Rohit Sharma, Ambati Rayudu shine as India embarrass West Indies by registering 224 run-win in fourth ODI, take 2-1 lead in series
Chasing 378, West Indies simply caved in against India's clinical bowling attack on what was a batting-friendly wicket to be bundled out for a paltry 153 in 36.2 overs.
MUMBAI: What a day for India. Yes, West Indies were vivisected and handed a 224-run loss. Yes, Rohit Sharma looked like he’d end up scoring his fourth ODI double ton. But, the best part about Monday in Mumbai was the batsman who gave the India deputy most company: Ambati Rayudu.
The pressure to own the No 4 slot before the World Cup arrives isn’t that immense for Rayudu. Apart from skipper Virat Kohli’s lavish backing, the current series is also the perfect sandbox for him, considering the quality of the opposition. He’d already shown signs of making use of said factors if his composure during his 80-ball 73 in Visakhapatnam is anything to go by.
If that second ODI was a sliver of hope for ameliorating India’s flailing middle-order, the fourth turned out to be a lot more than just a thin slice, even if it wasn’t really a trial by fire for Rayudu.
India weren’t perched precariously when Rayudu walked in; 101/2 in 16.4 overs can’t really be labelled as a pressure-cooker situation. But then, India’s middle-order options, be it for No 4 or otherwise, have failed to capitalise on opportunities, even if those have been limited.
That’s the reason why the way Rayudu went about his business at Brabourne Stadium ought to cheer up those fretting about India’s middle-order muddle. With run-rate being his ally, all Rayudu had to prime India’s ODI nuke — read Rohit — was to keep the singles trickling in.He did. Till the 30th over, he reeled in his aggression, with his feet fetching him most of his returns. Rohit too flourished in the process, 89 sighters already behind him.
That’s when Rayudu switched gears, ostensibly to ensure that Rohit’s detonation starts towards the last 15-odd overs. He played to his strengths, targetting spinners to up the ante while his partner reached a 98-ball 100. And then it began. Rohit was set, and so was he. Rayudu sounded his clarion in the 37th over, smashing Marlon Samuels into the sightscreen. Fabian Allen received more disdain in the next.
From the 39th over onwards, Rohit’s mushroom cloud engulfed Jason Holder and his men. In the 41 balls between that Samuels six and the India vice-captain’s dismissal for a 137-ball 162, India plundered 85 runs. Rayudu too ended up reaching his third ODI ton in the process.
CricViz’s breakdown of Rayudu’s innings sums up how well he adapted in the middle. His first 50 were scored at 5.83 per over, with an attacking-shot percentage of 47. For the second fifty, those numbers jumped to 10.34 and 79. For the first time since last January a No 4 has notched up a ton for India.
Express takes a look at the key moments of the fourth ODI...
India were coasting along solidly courtesy the Rohit Sharma-Shikhar Dhawan combine, before the southpaw frittered away yet another start in this series to a ball that didn’t deserve a wicket. The law of averages caught up with Virat Kohli, as India went from 71/0 to 101/2 in five-odd overs.
Given the decent platform they had, Rohit and Ambati Rayudu had all the time in the world to consolidate. They did exactly that, getting the odd boundary and rotating the strike till they put on 100 runs in 99 balls by the 33rd over.
Rayudu sounded the bugle first, going after the Windies’ spinners. Rohit, who had cruised to a relatively-sedate century in the period, too teed off after a few overs. The latter was particularly severe on pacers as he went from 112 to 162 in just 25 balls. By the time Rayudu was dismissed for 100, India’s total had already swelled to 344/4, leaving the visitors with a huge mountain to climb.
Chasing a mammoth 378, Windies needed a solid start up front. But they ended up with the exact opposite. Their spiral began in the fourth over, courtesy three solid pieces of fielding. In the span of six balls, Rayudu pulled off a sharp catch, and Kuldeep Yadav and Kohli executed smart direct hits, leaving Jason Holder’s men reeling at 20/3.
No way out
With Windies already on the mat, Khaleel Ahmed and Kuldeep Yadav needed no invitation. The pacer’s slanting angles undid three batsmen, while Kuldeep’s googlies left two absolutely flummoxed. Skipper Holder’s sole knock of resilience and a few big blows from Keemo Paul helped their team avoid their worst ODI defeat.
India: Rohit c Hemraj b Nurse 162, Dhawan c Kieran b Paul 38, Kohli c Hope b Roach 16, Rayudu (run out) Allen 100, Dhoni c Hemraj b Roach 23, Jadhav not out 16, Jadeja not out 7. Extras (b 6, lb 1, w 7, nb 1) 15. Total (5 wkts, 50 ovs) 377. FoW: 1-71, 2-101, 3-312, 4-344, 5-355. Bowling: Roach 10-0-74-2, Holder 9-0-62-0, Nurse 8-0-57-1, Paul 10-0-88-1, Rovman 4-0-23-0, Allen 8-0-52-0, Samuels 1-0-14-0.
West Indies: Hemraj c Rayudu b Bhuvneshwar 14, Kieran (run out) Kohli 4, Hope (run out) Kuldeep 0, Samuels c Rohit b Khaleel 18, Hetmyer lbw Khaleel 13, Rovman b Khaleel 1, Holder not out 54, Allen c Rohit b Kuldeep 10, Nurse c Rohit b Kuldeep 8, Paul st Dhoni b Jadeja 19, Roach b Kuldeep 6. Extras (lb 4, w 2) 6. Total (all out, 36.2 ovs) 153. FoW: 1-20, 2-20, 3-20, 4-45, 5-47, 6-56, 7-77, 8-101, 9-132. Bowling: Bhuvneshwar 5-1-30-1, Bumrah 8-1-25-0, Khaleel 5-0-13-3, Jadeja 10-1-39-1, Kuldeep 8.2-0-42-3.