Mumbai, Dec 11: The star-studded Indian batting line-up came off age as the trio of Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul and Virat Kohli pummelled West Indies bowlers to post 240/3 in the first innings of the third and final Twenty20 International here on Wednesday (December 11) at Wankhede Stadium.
After being invited to bat first, India's opening duo of Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul cleared their intentions early on and started attacking the visitors. The duo milked 72 runs in the powerplay and set the tone for a massive total for their team.
Rohit was the first one to notch up a fifty in the innings after facing 23 deliveries. His opening partner, Rahul, got to his half-century off 29 deliveries. The duo together stitched a partnership of 135 runs for the first wicket before Rohit was dismissed for 71 off 34 deliveries.
After Rohit's dismissal in the twelveth over, Kohli promoted Rishabh Pant at No. 3 but the youngster, while trying to give impetus to the run rate, was dismissed for a duck. Kohli - the man-in form - joined Rahul in the middle after Pant's departure and started attacking Windies bowler.
The Indian skipper slammed 21-ball fifty - his fastest ever - and hit some blistering shots and entertained the crowd at Wankhede Stadium. The swashbuckler hammered every bowler and showed why he's considered the best limited-overs batsman. Kohli, who played some exquisite strokes in his unbeaten knock of 70 off 29 balls, ended the Indian innings with a flourish as he hit a maximum on the final delivery of the innings off Sheldon Cottrell, who had dismissed Rahul for 91 in the final over.
Here's how the cricketers and experts hailed India for their imperious batting performance:
Along with Rohit and Rahul, Kohli is a smash hit too. I think we are seeing his evolution into a power hitter in this series. Means more trouble for opponents!— Cricketwallah (@cricketwallah) December 11, 2019
India showing that everyday is a learning opportunity. They have been ushered into 21st century Power Play batting tempo out of need. Necessity is the mother of invention.— Ian bishop (@irbishi) December 11, 2019
16 sixes & 19 fours in Indian innings- that's some power-hitting!!— Rajneesh Gupta (@rgcricket) December 11, 2019
Rohit 71 off 34 (SR 208.82)
Virat 70* off 29 (SR 241.37)
Only 2nd time 2 Indian batsmen have scored at a 200+ SR while making 50+ in the same game. Other was also v WI -Lauderhill, 2016 (Rohit & Rahul).#INDvWI
Any team that gets Kohli mad is probably playing him the wrong way.— Joy Bhattacharjya (@joybhattacharj) December 11, 2019
Kohli is Outrageous, in a league of his own. He can adapt to any format and don't think anyone else comes even remotely closer across formats. To call it colloquially this is pure #Verithanam from the Men in blue #INDvWI— Hemang Badani (@hemangkbadani) December 11, 2019
Anyone know if there is something Virat Kohli can't do on a cricket ground?— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) December 11, 2019
Kohli's avg in 20 over cricket is 51.— Nikhil Naz (@NikhilNaz) December 11, 2019
At present, there are only 3 batsmen (other than Kohli) that avg as much or more in 50 over cricket.