Chennai: Shikhar Dhawan and Rishabh Pant found form at the right moment as their 130 run partnership helped India register a last-ball victory against the West Indies in the third T20I and win the series 3-0, at the MA Chidambaram stadium, here on Sunday.
Chasing a challenging total of 182, India lost Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul early and was reeling at 45-2 before Rishabh Pant joined Dhawan. Both the batsmen raised the fifties and took the game away from the Windies.
During the post-match press conference, stand-in skipper Rohit Sharma said he was pleased with the way the two southpaws batted. “It was a very important from the team’s perspective that they get some runs and form ahead of the important tour of Australia. Shikhar has been batting well in the limited overs format especially in the ODIs but
was not able to get big scores. I am glad that he played a match-winning knock like that. Rishabh as well was quite hungry to get those runs. We were two down early and he had a perfect platform. He handled the pressure well with Dhawan,” said the skipper.
Rohit Sharma appreciated the team’s fielding effort. “Very happy with the way we approached the series. The team has different characters and at different point of time, guys have stepped up and taken responsibility. We ticked a lot of boxes. Especially I am very happy with the way we fielded.”
Opting to bat first, West Indies openers gave a good start and in the end, it was Nicholas Pooran’s 53 off 25 balls that helped them post 181 on the board. Praising Pooran, skipper Carlos Brathwaite said, “I don’t want to reduce his knock to just big hitting. He played some reverse scoops and paced the innings really well. Let’s not forget how slowly he started. It was very entertaining. Massive credit to Nicholas. He was always positive. As a team, we want that performance again from him.”
“As a team that’s what we have, the ability of the players to take the game away from the opposition and play a knock such as that (of Pooran). The challenge for us to do that on a more consistent basis.
We know we have 3,4 match-winners in the side who can blow the opposition away. We had a lot of positives now and we have to keep repeating it day in and day out” he said.
About the result, he said, “Need to give credit to Shikhar (Dhawan) and Rishabh (Pant) who played very well. We kept our belief and played till the end. It was a good game of cricket. 3-0 looks bad. It’s embarrassing obviously for me as captain but the way we came together trying to use our resources for the best of our ability was the
hallmark of the series for me. That’s what we can take home from the series. So if we can take forward this performance and give a better fight, we can come out on top in the upcoming series.”