Suryakumar smacks sixes and India whitewashes Windies again

By Kersi Meher-Homji

What talented youngsters India has! I was shocked to read the Indian team for the third and final Twenty20 International (T20I) against the West Indies at Kolkata last night.

No Virat Kohli, no Rishabh Pant, no Bhuvneshwar Kumar, no Yuzvendra Chahal, no Jasprit Bumrah…

And yet young India under captain Rohit Sharma defeated a full strength West Indies team by 17 runs to win the T20I series 3-0. Nine days ago a full strength India had also whitewashed the Windies 3-0 in One Day Internationals.

Last night India was struggling at 4 for 93 in 14 overs with a disappointing rate of 6.7 runs per over. But then came a whirlwind partnership of 91 runs off only 37 balls between Suryakumar Yadav (65 runs off 31 balls with one four and 7 sixes) and Venkatesh Iyer (35 not out with 4 fours and 2 sixes) and India totaled 5 for 184 in 20 overs.

West Indies started aggressively and appeared to be in a winning position with Nicholas Pooran hitting a dynamic 61 with 8 fours and a six. But the rest of the batsmen folded up against the Indian attack of Harshal Patel, Venkatesh Iyer and Deepak Chahar and could score only 9 for 167 in 20 overs and lost by 17 runs.

Suryakumar Yadav was adjudged both Person of the Match and Person of the Series. He said at the presentation, “Just wanted to replicate what I did in the first game. It was important to stay till the end when [captain] Rohit Sharma got out. We had a chat in our team meetings as well as to how we are going to react in such situations. I’m just trying to repeat the same things which I have been doing in the last few games… whenever the situation arrives, I try to stay there till the end. Be a little harsh on yourself in the nets, that’s it!”

Now starts the tour of Sri Lanka in India. The three T20Is start at Lucknow on 24th February and the two-Test series start at Mohali on 4th March. The Sri Lankans are confident after beating Australia in the fifth T20I at Melbourne by 5 wickets yesterday, stylish batsman Kusal Mendis scoring an unbeaten 69.

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