Keeping their good form from the World Cup in the shorter format of the game with young faces alongside veterans, India decimated West Indies in Providence to complete a 3-0 whitewash. India’s experiment with giving young players – especially bowlers – a stage to showcase their talent reeked off positive results as they didn’t disappoint throughout the t20 series.
Playing on slow pitches, where batsmen struggled to be consistent, debutants ensured they take complete advantage of the conditions. Right from the first t20, seamers including Navdeep Saini made their presence felt between the 22 yards as they restricted West Indies to a total 95/9 in Florida. Navdeep Saini claimed three wickets at an economy of 4.2 to enjoy a dream debut. He interestingly trapped Pollard in the first game, one run short of his 50, before the shared efforts from the batsmen sealed the game for India. Khaleel Ahmed and Washington Sundar settled for one wicket each.
Throughout the series, the bowlers gave fans and the selectors a sheer display of attacking bowling during the wee-overs as they nestled the top order of the opponent.
The next day, tables turned as India was batting first on the same venue and had a job to set a threating total against the unpredictable West Indies. A tad less threating, India managed a decent 167/5 after notable contribution from the top three. Rohit scored 67 of 51 balls to give India a head start while Dhawan and Kohli put on a steady 23 and 28. In answer to the same, Powell was the lone contributor as he scored 54 of 34 before the play was called off and covers donned the field. Later, India won by 22 runs by the DLS method.
With series in the bag, India had the choice to try new combinations. Rohit Sharma was replaced with KL Rahul to open with Dhawan. However, the plan didn’t work like India would have wanted it to as both the openers weren’t able to put much on the board. Chasing a total of 146 set by West Indies after major contribution from Pollard (58) and quick-fire from Powell (30), it was Kolhi and Pant who lead India’s innings.
The former and latter together stitched a 106-run stand. Rishabh Pant, who top-scored for India with an unbeaten knock of 65, scored the winning six as India chased down the 147-run target with five balls to spare. Earlier, Deepak Chahar’s swing blowing added to the woes of West indies as he was named the Man of the Match for his 3 wickets in three overs at an economy of just 1.3.