India beat West Indies in the fourth fixture of a five-match series at the Broward County Stadium in Florida on Saturday. Rohit Sharma’s side dismissed their opponent for 132 off 19.1 overs. This is their important win ahead of the 2022 T20 World Cup.
India led 3-1 in the series ahead of the final match at the same ground. Arshdeep Singh led the bowling effort for his iside. The 23-year old left-arm medium-pacer continued to impress with a combination of swing and seam to take three for 12. Singh then finished off the match with the wicket of Obed McCoy.
This was not a wanted result for McCoy who just set a new bowling record for West Indies with figures of six for 17 in the second match. Despite taking two wickets, he was belted for 66 runs across his four overs, which was the most expensive spell ever by a West Indies bowler in this format.
On the other hand, Indie kept pushing through with their all-out attack play after being put into bat with Rishabh Pant, leading the effort for the top order with 44 off 31 balls. Every top five got starts and while none was able to carry on for the commanding innings.
After the game, Sharma praised his team bowlers for doing such a crucial job. Adding that the tough match against the West Indies was already predicted.
"We knew it was not going to be easy because of the conditions," said Sharma after the match. "I thought we had a good score on the board but just could not take things for granted. Our bowlers did extremely well to keep making crucial breakthroughs."
Two different fates
One of the bowlers, India medium-pacer Avesh Khan admitted that he didn’t show his best quality despite the result. He was criticized for combined figures of 1-78 in the previous two games. He caught and bowled Brandon King, and got a miscue from Devon Thomas.
However, he was happy that his team still got his back.
“Feel really good, since I didn’t do well in the last two matches,” Khan said. “I bowled hard lengths. I just talked to my coaches and captain. They said, ‘We are backing you.’”
West Indies captain Nicholas Pooran said that his team have a lot to learn after this defeat. The margin of defeat was a reminder of what is required from the two-time former champions ahead of the qualifying phase for the T20 World Cup in Australia, two months from now.
His dismissal for 24 runs after hauling left-arm bowler Axar Patel for a string of boundaries exemplified West Indian despair.
"The series may be over as a contest but the final match gives other players a chance to put their hands up ahead of the World T20," Pooran told the AFP in hinting at a number of changes for Sunday's finale.
"They had gotten off to a flying start batting first but I was really happy at least with the way the bowlers stuck to the task."
India won the T20 World Cup on its first inception in 2007, beating Pakistan in the final at Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg, South Africa.
Since then, they failed to win another six editions including the one in their home ground in 2016. Their closest chance to win the trophy was in 2014 when they lost to Sri Lanka in the final.