In the second One-Day International between India and the West Indies, Prasidh Krishna will come to the rescue as the hosts seal the series.
In the eighth over, Prasidh Krishna came into the attack and altered the game. West Indies hoped till then.
India was defending a modest 237 and needed to take early wickets. When skipper Rohit Sharma made a significant bowling change, Shai Hope and Brandon King, the two Caribbean openers, were getting into the rhythm and raising the tempo.
Prasidh has built a name for himself in T20 cricket with the Kolkata Knight Riders. With an attacking line and length, as well as the ability to move the ball, he screams "red-ball bowler."
The pitch at Motera for the second ODI was a little hot, with plenty of ball bounce and off-the-deck action. For the tourists, Alzarri Joseph bowled a magnificent spell with the new ball. In India's 44-run triumph, Prasidh outperformed him. After the West Indies were all out for 193, the hosts clinched the three-match series.
Sharma had brought him on as a wicket-taker, and it was critical that the seamer play to his strengths, adhering to traditional red-ball standards in terms of line and length. Prasidh got the ball rolling right away, hitting a powerful length outside off and getting some additional bounce. King failed to get on top of the bounce while trying an expansive slash.
Darren Bravo is a veteran of the Caribbean pack, and Prasidh was certain that he had forced an edge in Rishabh Pant from the left-hander. The appeal was denied by umpire Nitin Menon, but Sharma chose to walk upstairs. Ultra Edge spotted a surge, and the India captain was five out of five in DRS across two games. It's no surprise that Sunil Gavaskar has started referring to it as the 'Definitely Rohit System' on the broadcast.
Chahal said after the game that he bowled a lot of them on Sharma's request. Googlies had served the leg-spinner well in the first ODI. The captain's brief to the leggie on Wednesday was apparently to bowl loopy leg-breaks outside off stump, so removing the ball from the right-handers. Hope was becoming agitated as she moved at a snail's pace. He seemed oblivious to the idea that Sharma had kept Suryakumar Yadav a tad wider at long-on when he chose the wrong pitch to hit against the turn. It was top-notch cricket all around, with brilliant bowling, a superb catch, and top-notch captaincy. With Virat Kohli stepping down and Sharma taking over, India had missed out on this during their 0-3 ODI series setback in South Africa.
Returning to Prasidh, his emergence is welcome news for Indian cricket, which has been looking for a replacement for Bhuvneshwar Kumar. India's inability to capture wickets in the middle overs was highlighted by head coach Rahul Dravid after the South Africa tour. Prasidh might be able to help. The 25-year-old took three wickets in Cape Town and two in the first ODI here, and he finished with 4/12 in nine overs in this game. Along with Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami, he and Mohammed Siraj will make India's pace assault meaty across formats. A Man-of-the-Match performance just two days before the Indian Premier League blockbuster auction was timely in terms of Prasidh's immediate future.
With the exception of a handful of no-balls owing to fielding infringements, Sharma's captaincy was flawless. Every bowling change was successful.
Shardul Thakur was summoned back, as the medium-pacer bounced out Jason Holder. When Akela Hosein gave him a scare, Rohit turned back to Thakur, and the bowler got rid of him with another bouncer. Siraj's removal of Fabian Allen followed another effective bowling change. Prior to that, when Sharma introduced Deepak Hooda, the off-spinner took his first international wicket by removing Shamarh Brooks, who was well-set.
On Wednesday, Sharma (5) was bowled by Kemar Roach, who began his delivery from a length outside off stump. Kohli (18) went for a cover drive on an Odean Smith delivery, but the ball slipped off the seam and kissed the outside edge after pitching. The former captain hasn't scored an international century in almost two and a half years. The team's batting loses its luster without huge scores from him and Sharma.
As Rahul exited, television cameras filmed the India U-19 World Cup-winning squad, dressed in national team blazers and seated with BCCI secretary Jay Shah and treasurer Arun Dhumal, watching the seniors. Washington Sundar, a U-19 graduate, hit a beautiful straight drive off Roach out in the center.