After an exciting India Vs West Indies T20 Series that India won, the 1st match at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai started the ODI series between the two nations. West Indies drew first blood in the ODI Series against India and registered a compelling victory, thanks to impressive tons by Shai Hope and Shimron Hetmyer. West Indies humbled India by 8 wickets. India, who was invited to bat first, rose from earlier shocks and scored 287/8 due to amazing fifties from Shreyas Iyer and Rishabh Pant.
Hetmyer and Hope did it in style for the Windies
When West Indies came to reply, Shimron Hetmyer stitched a huge 218 run partnership with Shai Hope that helped the team chase the Indian total with 13 balls to spare.
The West Indies chase was not good as Deepak Chahar accounted for Sunil Ambris – trapping in the right in front. But once Hetmyer joined Hope, India was left looking for a wicket until they both had almost helped the Windies win with the 218 runs stand.
Shimron Hetmyer was aggressive of the two centurions as he looked for loose deliveries and punished almost all Indian bowlers. In the process, the flamboyant batsman registered his 5th ODI ton that was studded with 7 towering hits out of the park.
India pulled back things slightly by bowling 8 overs without conceding a boundary. But Iyer also spilled an easy chance to long on that gave Hetmyer a let off. It avoided the host a crucial breakthrough.
The other centurion, Hope’s ton was more of a controlled and subdued one – it was more a sheet anchor role to Hetmyer who enjoyed a free hand pounding the bowlers.
What kept India out of the driver’s seat in the game was the lack of the fine bowling attack – it meant Windies easily chased down the target without any hassles.
The pitch report, when the match was about to begin was, being slow, and the decision of the West Indies Captain Kieron Pollard to bowl first raised many eyebrows. But the strike bowler of Windies, Sheldon Cottrell justified it by picking two quick wickets.
The bowler had slower balls and cutters in his arsenal that exploited the lack of zipping in the surface. KL Rahul, coming to the ODI team after a marvelous outing in the India Vs West Indies T20 Series spooned a dolly at mid-wicket while looking to nudge one around the corner. On the other hand, Virat Kohli then chopped on while looking to guide a single to the third man.
India was left tottering at 25/2 with Rohit and Iyer at the crease to counter the storm. The partnership started looking good until Alzarri Joseph caught Rohit.
The departure of Rohit paved the way for Rishabh Pant to come and grab the chance with both hands to silence his critics as well as consolidate his position in the team. He did not let this chance slip and went on to score a confident 71 with 7 4s and 1 six.
He was involved in a healthy partnership with Iyer, who was also brilliant with the bat – if not these two batsmen; India would not have been able to get to 288/8. Yes, Jadhav also chipped in a handy 40. He joined Jadeja to finish the Indian innings with a good looking 288/8.
However, the target was easily replied to by Hope and Hetmyer with brilliant centuries by them.
Quick Recap of the Match –
India -288/8 in 50 overs (Rishabh Pant- 71, Shreyas Iyer- 70, Kedar Jadhav – 40; Sheldon Cottrell 2-46)
West Indies 291/2 in 47.5 overs (Shimron Hetmyer 139, Shai Hope 102*; Deepak Chahar 1-48) by 8 wickets.
West Indies Defeated India by 8 Wickets.
Chennai crowd cheered Rishabh Pant as went on to score his maiden 50
Rishabh Pant has been in the scheme of things for the Indian team in T20 and ODI structure. On many occasions, the batsman has given instances that he is a good talent. But he has not been able to utilize his potential to the fullest. He had made his debut way back in 2017; he completed a year in the One-Day format. He had also scored amazingly for the Delhi Capitals in IPL and helped his team win. His career has often been plagued by inconsistencies, but he has persisted with it. He has also been backed by Coach Ravi Shastri and skipper Virat Kohli. It helped him back himself and score a confident 71 – a knock that was cheered by the Chennai crowd.
Pant had not been among runs in T20s as he scored only 51 runs. He was criticized badly when he was out for a duck in the Mumbai game in the 3rd T20 against the WI. It was more because others were having a gala time as India had managed 240 in 20 overs. Adding insult to the injury was his bad outings with the gloved behind the wicket.
However, he made the most of the missed chances by scoring 71 in the 1st India Vs West Indies ODI at Chennai. This was his first-ever ODI fifty that really helped India get back into the match with able assistance by Shreyas Iyer.
Lately, he had been at the receiving end of the viewers and netizens on Twitter – but he compensated with a convincing show. It was his and Iyer’s innings that India would carry positively into the 2nd ODI vs WI.
Captain words became real @imVkohli said pant needs time to settle and he played today like that and crowd started cheering pant name— Kingkohlifanclub? (@Kingkohlifc18) December 15, 2019
Finally Everyone is shouting Rishabh Pant