Team India continued the winning momentum after defeating West Indies by 44 runs in the second ODI at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad. The victory helped the hosts take a 2-0 lead in the three-match series with one game left to be played on February 11.
In the second match, the home team opted for a unique strategy as wicketkeeper-batter Rishabh Pant walked out to open the innings along with skipper Rohit Sharma. The move surprised many fans and commentators as Pant, who is considered a finisher, opened for the first time in ODIs for the senior men’s team despite KL Rahul being in the playing XI.
The experiment didn’t work for India as Pant was dismissed by pacer Odean Smith for 18 runs off 34 deliveries. After the match, captain Rohit spoke about the much-talked-about move, stating it was more of a one-time experiment before mentioning that regular opener Shikhar Dhawan is likely to play third and the final match.
“I have been asked to try different things, so that was something different (on Pant opening). We wanted to try it one game, and it is not a permanent thing. Shikhar should be back for the next game,” said Rohit in the post-match presentation.
The Mumbaikar further elucidated that the team can afford to lose a few matches as they are trying to figure out a combination, keeping the long term goals in mind.
“We don’t mind losing a few games while trying out a few things. Because it is important to look at the long term goals. We will see what works out well for the team combination,” added the 34-year-old.
Rohit also heaped praises on pacer Prasidh Krishna, who was named ‘Player of the Match’ for his outstanding bowling that helped India pack West Indies for 193. Prasidh bagged four wickets while conceding only 12 runs in 9 overs, including three maidens.
“I have never seen a spell like that in India for a long time now. Bowled with a lot of pace and kept it going. The others complimented him. When you have five bowlers and Deepak being sixth, you always need to keep rotating the bowlers,” Rohit added further.
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