Rohit, Rayudu tons pummel Windies

Brief scores:

India 377/5 (50)
Rohit Sharma 162 (137)
Ambati Rayudu 100 (81)
Kemar Roach 2/74

Windies 153 (36.2)
Jason Holder 54 (70)
Keemo Paul 19 (18)
Khaleel Ahmed 3/13

India made two changes to the team that played in Pune. Kedar Jadhav replaced Rishabh Pant and Ravindra Jadeja got the nod ahead in place of Yuzvendra Chahal.

Virat Kohli won the toss and opted to bat first on a batting friendly CCI pitch. Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma got off to a steady start, toppling the pair of Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag to become the second most successful Indian opening pair in ODIs.

Dhawan and Rohit got India off to a steady start and were hitting the ball confidently over the inner circle once they had set their eyes in. Dhawan threw it away when he was looking set on 38 and fell victim to Keemo Paul and his thigh-five celebration.

Windies finally found a way to stop Virat Kohli when he was caught behind for 16, his lowest score in 2018. When the visitors thought they could capitalise, Rayudu joined forces with Rohit and took the game away from them.

Rohit got to his half-century and had a clear plan in mind – to keep rotating the strike. Ambati Rayudu was playing second fiddle all this while with their partnership flourishing. Rohit picked up pace in the middle and completed his 21st ODI century and the first in Mumbai.

With Fabian Allen not being as effective as Holder would have wanted him to and Ashley Nurse’s troublesome right shoulder limiting his skills with the ball, Windies fell to Marlon Samuels.

But with wickets in hand, Rohit and Rayudu had no problem in targetting him or any other visiting bowler.

In the 40th over when Rohit cleared Keemo Paul over the fence, he crossed Sachin Tendulkar’s tally of 195 ODI sixes. The prolific batsman, batting past his 19th ton as an opener, raced to his 7th score of 150+ and was looking good for more when he sliced a delivery from Nurse to Chandrapaul.

Once Rohit fell, Rayudu along with Dhoni upped the ante as India looked for a total in excess of 350. Rayudu in the meanwhile also completed his ton, only the third for any India number four since the 2015 World Cup.

India lost Dhoni on 23 and Rayudu on 100 but Jadhav’s 16-run cameo propelled them to 377/5 at the end of their fifty overs.

Windies, chasing 378 for a win, had a bizarre start when they went from 20/0 to 20/3 in the space of 7 balls. Kumar removed Chandrapaul for 16 but the runouts of Shai Hope and Kieran Powell hurt them dear.

Shimron Hetmyer, Marlon Samuels and Rovman Powell found themselves on the receiving end of a splendid Khaleel Ahmed spell. Fabian Allen and Jason Holder did their best for Kohli to bring back spinners but Allen was superbly held by Rohit off Kuldeep as the visitors were reduced to 77/7.

Holder, their lone soldier, fought till the very end, trying to bat through the fifty overs but Kuldeep removed Nurse and Jadeja had Keemo stumped to bring it down to their last pair.

Roach blocked a few until Holder got to a well-deserved half century but fell to Jadeja helping India win by 224 runs – their biggest win against a Test-playing nation.

The last ODI on November 1 will decide the outcome of the series in Thiruvananthapuram..