Left-arm spinners Kuldeep Yadav and Ravindra Jadeja masterminded the rout of an abject West Indies team as India romped to a five-wicket victory with more than 27 overs to spare in the opening ODI of a three-match series at Kensington Oval in Barbados on Thursday.
Beaten 1-0 in the preceding two-Test series, the home team were brushed aside for just 114 off 23 overs after being put in as they appeared completely at sea in trying to cope especially with variations offered by Yadav’s wrist-spin.
India were always on course for the modest target thanks to Ishan Kishan’s belligerent 52, although the loss of three wickets near the end of the chase took some of the gloss off the win.
In what was clearly a bit of an audition for younger batting aspirants ahead of the World Cup, champion batsman Virat Kohli did not feature while captain Rohit Sharma only appeared at the fall of the fifth wicket.
Brought on as the sixth bowler, Yadav triggered the capitulation which saw the last seven wickets cascading for 26 runs, finishing with the outstanding figures of 4-6 off three overs.
“I’ve been working on my rhythm over the past two years. My rhythm wasn’t very well last year but now it’s coming out very well,” said Man of the Match Yadav.
“With the spin and drift it’s very difficult for the batters to read, especially now with an increase in pace.”
Jadeja claimed 3-37 to perfectly complement the work of Yadav after seamers Hardik Pandya, debutant Mukesh Kumar and Shardul Thakur had done the early damage with a wicket apiece.
Only captain Shai Hope, who was ninth out for a top score of 43, seemed capable of coping with the varied Indian attack as the West Indies folded for their second-lowest ODI total against India and joint-third lowest ODI total at home.
India are counting down to the hosting of the World Cup in just over two months’ time while this latest West Indies batting display will only deepen the gloom in the Caribbean after the team failed to advance to the World Cup following a disastrous qualifying campaign in Zimbabwe in June.
© Agence France-Presse