Virat Kohli Hits Second Century To Clinch 3rd ODI Against The Windies
The bookmakers got it right when they had India ODI cricketers as the favourites (1.24) and the West Indies as underdogs (4.10) for the third and final ODI. If you were one of the cricket punters who took a risk and put money on the West Indies to bounce back against India in the ODI series, you got it wrong!
Gayle Retires (Maybe) In Style
The third and final ODI against India was supposed to be the last international outing for the Universe Boss, Chris Gayle. The Windies star had previously announced that he would retire after the India series. However, Gayle has since cast doubt on that announcement.
In the meantime, Gayle came to the party in the third ODI. In total, he smashed 72 off 41 balls, hitting 8 fours and 5 sixes in vintage style. Gayle and Lewis also put on a 115-run partnership and gave the West Indies a great platform. The West Indies played good cricket and went after the Indian bowling in what ended up being a curtailed first innings. That’s because bad weather meant the bowling of just 35 overs was possible.
The West Indies subsequently lost seven wickets and got to 240 runs. India had to chase down a total of 255 in 35 overs based on the D/L scoring system.
Virat Kohli Hits Second Consecutive Century
India lost Rohit Sharma (10) early due to a run out. Meanwhile, Shikhar Dhawan (36) got a start. However, he quickly threw it away to put pressure on the captain, Virat Kohli, and the middle-order. Kohli, who scored a century in the first ODI, took command of the chase, though. Kohli then proceeded to hit the bad balls to the boundary and running quick singles.
India needed Rishabh Pant to fire as they were under pressure to score quickly and see if they could wrap up the ODI series. Pant, who has had a miserable tour so far, once again failed with the bat and got out first ball. Shreyas Iyer, who had a good partnership with Kohli in the first ODI, once again showed that he has both the class and composure to be batting at four.
Kohli and Iyer put together another century run partnership as Iyer decided to take on the bowlers and take the pressure off Kohli. Iyer played a fabulous knock, hitting 65 runs off 41 balls, which included 3 fours and 5 sixes. His innings swung the momentum India’s way and enabled them to chase down the total with 15 balls to spare.
Kohli remained unbeaten on 114 with a strike rate of 115. In addition, Kedar Jadhav helped take India across the line by hitting 19 off 12 deliveries.
India ODI Cricketers Heaps Praise On Iyer
India ODI cricketers and Kohli were very pleased with their series win. Consequently, India now enjoy a 5-0 record against the West Indies, including their recent three-match T20 series victory. Kohli was awarded both the Man of the Match, as well as the man of the series award for his fabulous batting.
The Indian captain was full of praise for Iyer. He said that he showed great composure and was not intimidated by the situation or by the fact that he was batting with his captain. Kohli also said there’s every possibility that Iyer can be a permanent fixture in the middle order.
During the last couple of years, whenever the openers have fallen cheaply, the pressure falls entirely on the shoulders of Kohli. This time around, Iyer shouldered that pressure and showed that he should be batting above Pant.
The West Indies will be disappointed with the way they have played in the shorter format of the game. After all, this is their preferred format. They will look to redeem themselves in the two test match series against India, which starts on 22 August.