Mumbai, October 29: Once India posted 377/5 courtesy classy hundreds by Rohit Sharma and Ambati Rayudu, the result of the fourth ODI against West Indies here was not in doubt but the emphatic nature - 224-run - might even have surprised the home side.
Buried under a pile of runs, West Indies simply lacked the mind to chase down that massive target. The Caribbeans were expected to give some fight to India considering their efforts at Visakhapatnam and Pune. But they just caved in against Indian bowlers and to their own indiscretions.
But the Indian win did not follow the script of earlier matches. Skipper Virat Kohli, who made three successive hundreds in the series, was dismissed for 16. At 101/2 in the 17th over, India had some work ahead of them. Rohit was at the crease but he had tapered off a bit after that century in the first ODI at Guwahati. While others like Ambati Rayudu were not really joined the party yet. Shikhar Dhawan yet again failed to convert start and he will have to give a thought to that soon.
But the day offered a perfect stage for them to move out of Kohli's shadow. Rohit (162) was just outstanding. It was not an innings built on downright aggression but more on calculative hitting. That he took 98 balls for his hundred testified that Rohit wanted to bat as long as possible since Kohli got out early in the innings. He had a perfect company in Rayudu.
Watching Rohit in his full swing is an experience unmatched. He is a throwback. Even in this era of bionic batsmen, Rohit oozes elegance and even some of those sixes were hit with effortless ease rather than in anger. Rayudu took his time to suss up the pitch and bowlers and once he set into a space, the right-hander unleashed some shots which matched his partner's for authority and aesthetic quality.
Once they added 211 runs for the third wicket stand and India reached 344/3 West Indies did not have much to offer. They can take solace from the fact that Rohit did not went on and made his fourth 200 in ODIs - an uppish cut of Ashley Nurse was snaffled by Chandrapaul Hemraj at point.
They were mere lonely islands of comforts for the West Indies as India soon marched all over them with the ball too. The run outs of Kieron Powell and Shai Hope, the in-form batsman, and early dismissal of Hemraj ensured that Windies' chase never took off.
As if the existing troubles were not enough, West Indies ran into left-arm pacer Khaleel Ahmed who purchased enough movement to rattle their batsmen. As a southpaw, Khaleel will always have the advantage of his natural angle of away from the batsmen but he has this wonderful ability to jag the ball back into the right-hander as demonstrated by the dismissal of Rovman Powell.
Ahmed added the wicket of Shimron Hetmyer, West Indies' biggest hope to at least even come close to India's total, as West Indies middle order was blown away like twigs caught in the storm. The fifth and final ODI will take place at Thiruvananthpuram on November 1.