In what turned out to be a tense run-chase, the Men in Blue kept their cool in the end, to overhaul the West Indian total of 315 and win the series decider at the Barabati Stadium in Cuttack. Kohli’s men not only won the series but also made sure they kept their proud record of having not an ODI bilateral series at home against the men from the Caribbean since 2002 and overall since their 1-4 defeat in 2006.
It was a tense run-chase; one that was set-up by another 100+ opening stand [their fifth this year] by the record-breaking Rohit Sharma, who broke Sanath Jayasuriya’s 22-year-old record of scoring most runs as an opener across formats in a calendar year and the in-form KL Rahul; steered close to the finishing line by Virat Kohli before Ravindra Jadeja’s calm and Shardul Thakur‘s madness took the hosts past the target of 316.
The ODI also happened to be the last International game of not only the calendar year but also of the decade for Team India. Captain Kohli talked about India’s performance this year in the post-match presentation where he said that barring those 30-odd minutes [against New Zealand in the World Cup semi-finals], it was a pretty good year for Indian cricket where they won bilateral series in Australia [1-2] and New Zealand [1-4] before topping the league-stage in the World Cup and notching up back-to-back series win over the West Indies [0-3 & 1-2].
“It’s been one of the best years in Indian cricket and apart from that 30-minutes at the World Cup, its been a beautiful year. We will keep chasing the World Cup, we have that vision in place. Having a bunch of fast bowlers is a brilliant thing to have in Indian cricket and them taking the attention away from the spinners is a huge statement,” Kohli said in the post-match presentation ceremony.
The Indian captain added, “We have it in us to win series overseas and our pacers deserve it fully. We are in the process of trying to find how people react to pressure. It’s just about identifying those people and that’s something we will keep striving for,” he added.
Those 30 minutes in the semi-final a blemish to what has been India’s dominance
Those 30 minutes in the semi-final that paved way for India’s exit from the World Cup coupled by MS Dhoni‘s unfortunate run-out at the end, has got to be the most heartbreaking moments of not only this year but of this decade for many Indian cricket fans.
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