The third and deciding T20I between India and West Indies was played at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. West Indies had exploited India’s Achilles heel of defending targets in the last game and it started off in Kieron Pollard’s way in this game as well.
He won the toss on his home ground in IPL and chose to chase. India brought in Kuldeep Yadav in place of Yuzvendra Chahal, while Mohammad Shami came in for Ravindra Jadeja in this match. Windies went in unchanged for this game as well.
On a batting beauty, the Indian openers Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul took on the West Indies bowlers as they knew anything less than a stellar total here will put their team in danger. West Indies had chased down 192 runs the last time these two teams met in Mumbai in World T20 2016.
Rohit Sharma hit a magnificent 71 off just 34 balls with 5 sixes and 6 fours and was looking good for a century before his mishit a pull shot off Kesrick Williams and was caught by Hayden Walsh. Rishabh Pant was promoted to no.3 to give impetus to the innings, but Pollard sent him back for a two-ball duck. During his innings, Rohit became the first Indian batsman to hit more than 400 sixes in international cricket.
Meanwhile, on the other end, KL Rahul (91 off 56 balls with 4 sixes and 9 fours) continued to thrash the bowlers and with the help of Virat Kohli (70* off 29 balls with 7 sixes and 4 fours), who looked in ominous form from the go, further intensified the attack. Kieron Pollard was hit for 27 runs in the 19th over as Kohli hit him for three sixes and a four.
India managed a huge total of 240/3 in the do or die encounter. Kesrick Williams, Sheldon Cottrell and Kieron Pollard were the wicket-takers for the visitors.
The cricket fraternity was amazed at the ruthless batting shown by the top three of the Men in Blue who came to the party when it most needed and showered them with praises on Twitter.
Here are some of the tweets: