India aims to make it 2 in 2 in Florida as Windies look to salvage pride
If the Caribbean leg was India’s rise to unrivaled ascendancy against the Windies, then the opener at Florida was simply the crescendo to a maddening symphony that laid waste to the hosts. Pooran won the toss at Lauderhill and opted to bowl first.
India got off to a flyer as Rohit Sharma and Suryakumar Yadav started peppering the Islanders to every nook and cranny of the park. Sharma piled up a 16-ball-33 while Suryakumar Yadav smashed 24 off 14 balls. Despite the fall of the two openers, Hooda and Pant continued the momentum with the hosts struggling to bring the run rate down.
Despite a drop in the run rate in the latter stages of the game, with the surface slowing down, thanks to a fine start by the openers, India piled up a momentous 190 with Rishabh Pant battering another crucial 44 to finish as the highest scorer of the innings.
Brandon King got off to a flying start but would soon crumble to Avesh Khan as the latter rocked the night with a couple of important scalps and an economy of 4.25. However, it was Arshdeep Singh once again, who would produce the late yorkers to skittle out the Caribbean tail as they were bundled out for 132, handing India a comprehensive 59-run win.
With the series already sealed, India will have two major objectives in their sights - the first being rotating their players to test out the bench strength, the second being finishing the tournament on a high, leaving impactful writing on the walls.
This has so far been a series to savor for the Indians with performances pouring in from all ends. The most satisfying part about this fray has been the youngsters taking center stage amidst the presence of a handful of seniors who have chimed in with crucial cameos.
With the final T20I all set to be played at the Central Broward Regional Park, West Indies will be bringing in the heavy artillery to salvage pride in a series that has seen them being on the backfoot on most occasions. A couple of changes may also be on the card as the upcoming T20I World Cup will also be a major factor for the hosts where they would like to field their strongest combination.
With all said and done, it is going to be a Sunday blockbuster as two heavyweights of the shortest format of the game go swinging at each other for one last time in the T20I series and also the tour before India travel to Zimbabwe.