Kolkata: India’s stand-in skipper Rohit Sharma praised his bowlers for their “exceptional performance” after a hard-fought five wicket win over the West Indies in the first of the three T20 Internationals here on Sunday.
However, Sharma also conceded that the low-scoring match at the Eden Gardens also had some lessons for his batsmen, as to how they should go about their job when conditions were in their favour.
“It was an exceptional performance with the ball. There was quite a bit for the seamers upfront. Even for the spinners, if they put in the revs, it was spinning. There was a little bit in every department,” Sharma said after India reached a winning 110/5 in 17.5 overs in reply to the visitor’s 109/8.
“We used the conditions well, were in trouble chasing. We knew it won’t be easy given the seamers they have, but there’s some learning for us there, what we should do as a batting unit when conditions are in our favour,” he said after the match.
Sharma also lauded West Indies’ debutant pacer Oshane Thomas, who finished with figures of 2/21 after seeing the back of Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan.
“He is a really exciting talent without doubt, good height plus that jump he takes, if he bowls in the right areas, it won’t be easy for any batsman in the world to counter that.
“He’s really talented, also has the advantage of height which gives him the extra edge. I wish him the best in the future,” the Mumbaikar said.
He also effusively praised Krunal Pandya, who finished with 1/15 with the leather before remaining unbeaten with a 19-run cameo.
“Very very exciting talent. Krunal, I’ve seen him closely playing for Mumbai Indians. He likes the situation where the team expects him to perform.
“He was the one who asked me ‘I want to bowl to (Kieron) Pollard, and got him out.’ When you see guys accept challenges and bail the team out, it’s exciting as captain or as a team management.”
The West Indies batsmen were reckless and paid the price for that by losing to India by five wickets in the T20 series opener, said debutant Fabian Allen. Allen made 27 from 20 balls to take the total to 109/8 after chinaman bowler Kuldeep Yadav (3/13) and debutant Krunal Pandya (1/15) spun a web around the tourists, reducing them to 87/8 in 18 overs.
The 23-year-old said it was not the best of wickets and a score of 150 would have made the game competitive.
“It was not the best wicket but we had to be patient, should have played the ball on merit. We were too aggressive; I think we could have easily got 150 or 140, that was the target we were looking for,” Allen said at the post-match news conference on Sunday.
“It’s one of those days. We will look to come back in the next game. I hope we learn from this and take it to our next game,” he said ahead of their second T20I in Lucknow on Tuesday.