Kingston (Jamaica) : Indian batsmen faltered badly after a rollicking start provided by their openers reaching a sub-par 190 for 6 against World T20 Champions West Indies in a one-off T20, here on Sunday.
Skipper Kohli (39 off 22 balls) and Shikhar Dhawan (23 off 12 balls) added 64 in a whirlwind opening stand using the Powerplay overs to the fullest.
However, Dinesh Karthik (48 off 29 balls) and Rishabh Pant (38 off 35 balls) could not keep the momentum despite an 86- run stand in 9.5 overs.
As a result, India could manage only 97 runs in the their back 10 after scoring 93 in the first largely due to positive intent showed by the Dhawan-Kohli duo. The total was atleast 20 runs short of par-score on a good batting surface.
Kohli was in regal form as he punished each and every bowler hitting seven boundaries and a six during his short stay. A backfoot cover drive off Carlos Brathwaite and a six over long-on off Kesrick Williams stood out among the rest. Anything on his pads was treated with disdain.
Dhawan was also in imperious form hitting Samuel Badree for a couple of boundaries in his opening over. He hit three more boundaries as India looked set for a big total.
However, Kohli trying to repeat a shot off Williams couldn’t clear mid-on. New man Pant was responsible for a poor call running Dhawan out.
However once Pant and Karthik joined forces, the run-rate dipped badly. Especially young Pant, touted as the ‘Next Big Thing’ in Indian cricket was completely out of sorts. The harder he tried to hit the ball, the more miserable he looked only getting singles in the process.
The only shot he timed well was a six over long-on off Marlon Samuels followed by a boundary over extra cover.
Karthik, getting a lucky chance after seven long years (he last played T20I in 2010 during the World T20) due to Hardik Pandya’s injury, did hit some cheeky shots en route his career-best score.
He started with a square cut off Sunil Narine followed by a slog swept six off Samuels and couple of sixes off Brathwaite.
It was expected that Karthik with all his IPL experience would take the team past 200-run mark as his partner was struggling with his timing, he tried to play an audacious lap shot off Samuels, moving outside the off-stump, only to be bowled.
Jerome Taylor (2/31) then removed MS Dhoni (2) trying to slog over extra cover and Pant, trying a ramp shot, off successive deliveries as India slumped from 151 for 2 to 156 for 5.