India’s agonising loss against West Indies exposed a lot of chinks in their bowling on flat wickets. However, India can take heart from the fact that their batsmen, led by Virat Kohli and the opening pair of Rohit Sharma and Ajinkya Rahane, who was picked ahead of Shikhar Dhawan, showed mettle.
India skipper MS Dhoni had refrained from making changes to his playing XI in the lead up to the World T20. On Thursday, he was forced into make two.
In hindsight, the latter proved to be quite crucial as India were put into bat by West Indies on a tricky wicket. Thrown into the ring, Rahane opened the innings and was part of two crucial partnerships that laid the foundation for India’s total of 192, their highest of the tournament.
ROHIT HITS FORM
Rohit prospered in the new set up as he launched into the West Indies bowling with three sixes and as many boundaries. His score of 43 was his highest in the World T20.
Kohli continued from where he had left off against Australia. His knock of 89 once again showed class. Kohli assessed the conditions well and hardly ever played a risky shot. His knock included only one six but saw 11 fours.
However, between Rohit and Kohli, it was Rahane who played the perfect supporting role to both.
Brought in as a replacement for Dhawan, Rahane avoided playing expansive shots, instead focused on rotating the strike and converting the one into twos. His game, complemented the aggressive style of both Rohit and Kohli. He scored 40 off 35 and hit just two boundaries.
The focus was on handing strike to the more aggressive partners.
Kohli, who came onto the field amidst a loud cheer, seemed jittery at the beginning, handing a freak run-out opportunity to the West Indies, which they missed.
Rahane’s presence at the other end though seemed to have helped Kohli come into his own as the two focused more on running than the big shots.