West Indies' Kemar Roach drops a catch during the Champions Trophy match between India and West Indies in London. AFP
India skipper MS Dhoni has often been accused of being reactive and not proactive. On Tuesday he was in the mood to mix it up. He replaced Umesh Yadav with Ishant Sharma after one bad over.
He brought Umesh back but after two expensive overs again took him off and brought in part-timer Virat Kohli. All the while West Indies, powered by opener Johnson Charles, were cruising along at 92-1 at the end of 17 overs.
He then handed the ball to Ravindra Jadeja. He responded with a maiden over. In the next over he turned the match around.
The left-armer set Charles up with two balls delivered slower and with a greater loop. He then bowled a flat, arm-ball, which thudded into Charles’ pads. As plumb as it gets. Over the next four overs the game changed as Jadeja added two more wickets. From 103-1 in the 20th over, West Indies slipped to 109-4 by the 24th.
That man again
For the second match in succession, Jadeja was the man who turned it around for India in the field. Against South Africa in the opening match, it was his diving, single-handed save that led to Robin Peterson’s run out and triggered a mini-collapse that sealed the deal for India.
Jadeja came back later, to pick up a further two wickets, to return his best ODI figures of 5-36. However, a cameo in the end by Darren Sammy guided West Indies to 233.
India’s new opening pair provided another solid platform, adding another 100-run partnership to the century stand they put on in their first outing together.
Rohit Sharma started things off with an exquisite cut to the boundary. He was particularly harsh when the Windies bowled short or wide. Shikhar Dhawan, at the other end, had a few anxious moments.
In the eighth over he slashed Sammy with width on offer. Kieron Pollard almost pulled off a sublime catch, but after an acrobatic effort failed to palm the ball.
Dhawan was given another reprieve, after Roach misjudged a pull and dropped him at fine-leg. From that point, though, there was no looking back for the left-hander, proving true the old adage, fortune favours the brave.
Rohit added to his 65 in the first match with 52 here before he was given out following a DRS challenge by Sunil Narine. Virat Kohli came in and never looked in any trouble till Narine got one through the gates to send him back for 22.
Following a 30-minute rain delay, which saw India head into the pavilion way ahead of the Duckworth-Lewis par score, Dhawan and Karthik knocked off the winning runs with more than 10 overs to spare.
Dhawan also completed his third international ton in a row, following his hundreds in the Mohali Test against Australia and the opening Champions Trophy match against South Africa in Cardiff.
The win means India have progressed to the semis, with only the matter of their final group standing to be decided. It also killed any hopes that Pakistan had of advancing to the last-four.