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India defeat West Indies by 68 runs with three spinners

In the first T20I between India and West Indies, the hosts decided to field three spin-friendly players instead of their usual one. The strategy paid off as the likes of R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, and Ravi Bishnoi were able to pick up five-for each.

Before the start of the T20I, the economy rate of the spin-friendly players was around 6.31, the fourth-lowest in the West Indies. They also had an average of 20.91, the fourth-lowest at a venue where the slow bowlers have typically performed well.

After winning the toss and electing to field, India managed to post a challenging 190 for 6 on a slowish surface. The contributions from the middle-order, such as Dinesh Karthik's 41 off 19 balls, and skipper Rohit Sharma's half-century, helped the team reach the target.

After making a couple of crucial contributions in the Indian Premier League (IPL) and the T20Is against South Africa, Karthik could perform well again in the Caribbean. His performance in the Caribbean provided him with a strong case for inclusion in the team's World Cup squad.

Match recap

After India won the toss, Sharma decided to field first. He brought in Suryakumar Yadav, the seventh opener for the team this year, in the shortest format. He started well with a couple of fours and a six off Jason Holder. His wristy shots also caught the attention of Alzarri Joseph, a young leg-spin bowler.

Yadav's introduction was also disrupted by the presence of rookie leg-spin bowler Akeal Hosein. He was dropped on the first ball of his over, and he was eventually run out after a thick edge off the next ball sailed past the bowler at short third.

Yadav's early dismissal restricted India's run rate. Despite finding some boundaries early on, Sharma was still unable to get the ball away. The partnership between McCoy and Hosein ended when the latter dismissed Shreyas Iyer for a duck.

After adding 43 runs for the fourth-wicket partnership, India lost three wickets quickly. Pant and Hardik Pandya were dismissed by the West Indies' Alzarri Joseph, who had just taken his first T20I wicket.

In the middle overs, Sharma reached his 27th T20I half-century. He hit a couple of boundaries and a six off the first ball of the next over from Jason Holder. At 131 for 5 in 15 overs, India was on the verge of reaching 170.

Despite losing three early wickets, India could still reach the target with the help of Karthik and Ashwin. The two players put on a valuable partnership of 36 runs off the last two overs.

Kyle Mayers provided West Indies with an early boost by hitting Bhuvneshwar Kumar for 11 runs off the first over of the innings. He was then dismissed by Arshdeep Singh, who had deceived him with a short ball. The dismissal of Mayers marked the first time India's fast bowlers had claimed a couple of early breakthroughs.

In response, West Indies lost three wickets in quick succession. After sending back the left-handed pair of Nicholas Pooran and Shimron Hetmyer, India's slow, medium pacers, including Bishnoi, ensured the game was secured.

Gian Chacko

Sports enthusiast with love for cricket, football and sports in general. Holds 10+ years of following and writing about sports and lately also betting.