Rishabh Pant and skipper Rohit Sharma missed big knocks but contributed usefully to guide India to 191 for 5 in the fourth T20I against the West Indies on Saturday. Rohit (33 off 16 balls) and Pant (44 off 31 balls) were the main contributors while Akshar Patel scored an unbeaten 20 off 8 balls.
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Sanju Samson was more subdued with an unbeaten 30 off 23 balls, often failing to find boundaries, which kept India from reaching 200. For West Indies left-arm fast bowler Obed McCoy, cricket was indeed a great leveller. He scored 66 runs in 4 overs in the second ODI, the week after he took a career-best six-wicket haul. This was the costliest spell by a West Indies bowler in T20Is.
Rohit’s new style in the powerplay may not have resulted in big knocks while saving half-centuries but he is certainly leading the way with positive intent. McCoy hit three sixes and 25 runs in an over. Among these three, Rohit had a couple – a pull over deep mid-wicket and a flat over long-off.
Akeel Hossain (1/28 in 4 overs) got him the biggest cheers, but the very next ball, which was slightly shorter and a little short of length, led to his collapse. But Rohit scored 53 runs in five overs for 33 runs and gave the other batsmen time and confidence to approach the bowling.
In recent times, Indian T20 teams have lost the tendency to keep wickets. A cushion of strike-rate saw Pant and Deepak Hooda (21 off 19 balls) put on a nearly 47-run partnership in six overs, which was the launch-pad for a final flourish from Akshar.
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