India defeated the West Indies by five wickets in a game in which spinners from both teams claimed ten of the fifteen wickets that fell on a rank turner with a lot of bounce and carry.
“I never thought the pitch would play like that, it was the team’s need to bowl first. The pitch had everything for seamers and spinners, our guys did well to restrict them to that score,” Rohit said at the post-match presentation ceremony.
When the skipper came in at No. 7, he said it reminded him of when he was a rookie and he used to come in at that number.
“I made my debut for India and was batting at number 7, reminding me of those days,” Rohit said.
As it happened: India vs West Indies, 1st ODI
On a more serious side, it was an attempt to give white ball specialists like Suryakumar Yadav game time.
“We wanted to give game time to the ODI guys who have come in, we will keep trying those things whenever possible. To restrict them to 114, we knew we could try these guys and give them a go,” Rohit said, defending the move of sending Suryakumar at No. 3 and Hardik Pandya at No. 4.
“I don’t think they’ll get many chances like this.”
He also lauded debutant seamer Mukesh Kumar, who pleased everyone on his Test debut.
“Mukesh was brilliant, he can swing the ball at a good pace. Good to see what he can offer, I haven’t seen him much in domestic cricket. No matter the conditions, we need to bowl in the right areas to restrict them and I thought our bowlers did brilliantly. And then Ishan was good with the bat as well.”
West Indies captain Shai Hope kept it brief but harsh on a track that resembled a nasty turner.
“Not too many words come to mind. We didn’t play the way we needed to, we needed to find ways to score on difficult pitches like this. I’m not making excuses but anyone watching cricket can see what is happening here,” Hope said.
(With inputs from PTI)