‘Don’t be blinded if someone is your favorite,’ Veteran Indian cricketer slams team India
Shubman Gill had a memorable year and is moving toward securing his positions across formats for India. Although Yashasvi Jaiswal is still in the beginning stages of his international cricket career, he is certainly making the appropriate noises.
Together, they enabled India to successfully chase down a score higher than 95, something no team had previously been able to do at Lauderhill in Florida in 15 previous T20Is.
With one game left in the five-match series, India tied West Indies at 2-2 by chasing down 179 with an opening wicket partnership of 165 by Gill and Jaiswal, the joint-highest for India in T20Is. Shimron Hetmyer had earlier guided West Indies to 178 with his 61, which was his second consecutive fifty-plus performance in T20Is in Florida.
West Indies may have had a slim chance to win the series with one game remaining, but India’s up-and-coming stars had other plans. Jaiswal scored fours in both ends of the chase’s first over by cutting Obed McCoy’s length ball through third base and lofting one over mid-off. After that, he gave Jason Holder three fours before Gill delivered his signature short-arm jab to put McCoy over deep midwicket.
In the final over of the powerplay, which ended with a score of 16, Gill attacked Odean Smith after Jaiswal hit back-to-back fours off Romario Shepherd. In the powerplay, India rolled to a score of 66 for 0.
Even after the powerplay, Gill and Jaiswal did not provide the West Indies bowlers with any relief, playing out just two non-boundary overs in the period before their partnership was broken.
Prior to Jaiswal reaching his first half-century in just his second encounter, Gill registered his second fifty-plus score in T20Is. Before Gill’s flick picked out deep midwicket with his catch, the pair had achieved complete dominance, breaking the mark held by Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul for the highest opening partnership for India.
Jaiswal made sure that India didn’t experience any setbacks in sustaining the series, working alongside Tilak Varma.
West Indies chose to bat first on a flat field in the first of back-to-back T20Is in Florida on a bright and hot morning, but they struggled to get off to the best start.
Initially hitting a couple of fours off India’s opening bowler, Axar Patel, Kyle Mayers then hit a maximum off Arshdeep Singh over deep midwicket. However, Arshdeep got back at Mayers by bouncing the next ball and catching him off guard.
West Indies’ powerplay was pushed by Brandon King, who kept hitting well. Before throwing an Arshdeep length ball over deep midwicket, he glided down the track to Yuzvendra Chahal’s legspin to tonk him down the ground for a maximum. But after a boundary ball, Arshdeep struck once more, forcing King to be caught at short third.
After an aggressive opening six overs in which they scored 55 for 2, it appeared West Indies would once again flatter to please until Kuldeep Yadav picked up two wickets in his first over, including having Nicholas Pooran misfire one to long-on off his first delivery of the game.
Johnson Charles was substituted in for Shai Hope for his first T20I play since March 2022 as a result of his 3, 2, and 12 return totals from the opening three games. Attacking Axar and Chahal with his feet. Although West Indies went from 54 for 1 to 57 for 4 when Hetmyer joined Hope, they lost three wickets for three runs in the process.
Hope broke the chains by hitting Chahal for four and six in the tenth over after a few uneventful overs. Following that, Hetmyer launched a barrage of boundaries, first flicking Kuldeep over midwicket and then welcoming Hardik Pandya into the attack with a six and a four. Before Hope holed out to long-on, they accumulated 49 runs in just 36 balls for the fifth wicket.
Hetmyer then switched up his approach to send Kuldeep flying over extra cover after releasing his arms to scoop Mukesh Kumar over short fine leg for a six. Thanks to an athletic effort from Tilak Varma, who charged in from long-on and lunged forward to pouch the catch, he walloped Arshdeep into the deep midwicket stands before becoming his third victim.