India completed yet another T20I series win as they beat the West Indies by a huge margin of 59 runs in the 4th match. The venue might have moved to Lauderhill in Florida, but the fortunes of the host team have stagnated. India continued their attacking approach, and it worked. None of the batters scored even 45 runs, but the team ended up posting 191. The young Indian pacers – Avesh Khan and Arshdeep Singh – were outstanding with the ball, with the former bagging a much-need Player of the Match award to boost his confidence, which took severe dents in his last two games.
It was the same old story for West Indies as they never really competed. Apart from one over from Axar Patel where Pooran took him apart, they never got going. To make things worse, Pooran gifted his wicket in the same over through a needless run-out. We look at three things that shaped up the 4th T20I.
Rohit Sharma’s blistering Powerplay
For the second time in this series, India hit five Sixes in the Powerplay. Before this series, they hit five or more Sixes only once. Three of the five Sixes were hit by India’s captain, Rohit Sharma. His third took him to 477 international Sixes, going past Shahid Afridi’s 476. Only Chris Gayle (553) has hit more Sixes across international formats. The Six also took him past 16,000 international runs for India.
One of the most remarkable things about Sharma’s inning was his conscious effort to maintain a high strike rate. His 16-ball 33 was his 5th quickest T20I score (minimum 30 runs). Sharma’s strike rate in Powerplay overs in T20I is 134.5. This year, it has jumped to 147.8. In the ongoing series, he might not have played many big innings, but he has played a couple of impactful knocks. His strike rate in Powerplay in this series is a solid 162.2.
It has been a conscious effort from the Indian captain to provide quick starts and shift from his usual T20 template of biding time upfront. It might not yield consistent results but is sure to create more impact.
Obed McCoy’s rollercoaster ride
In the 2nd T20I, Obed McCoy registered the best T20I figures for a West Indies bowler – 6/17. As they say, cricket is a great leveller. Within a week of his glorious peak came a crushing low. McCoy conceded 66 runs from his four overs to achieve an unwanted record – most expensive bowling figures by a West Indies bowler.
Avesh Khan’s confidence-boosting performance
Some people would have been surprised to see Khan’s name in the playing XI of the 4th T20I after the speedster had a torrid time recently. However, the team management kept their faith in him, and he repaid them with a supreme bowling performance that earned him his first Player of the Match award.
Before this game, Khan had conceded 14.62 runs per over in the previous two games that he played in this series. But in this game, he put in a splendid performance of 2-17 off his four overs at just 4.25 RPO. 58.33% of his balls were dots, and he didn’t concede a single Six.
The two teams will clash again on Sunday for one final time this summer. Despite already winning the series, India might not make too many experiments with their playing XI after they making three changes for this match. West Indies, on the other hand, have a few big questions that have remained unanswered. They would want to cap off this eight-match white ball series with a victory before they take on the Kiwis on 10th August.