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India's tour of West Indies 2019

03 Aug 2019 - 03 Sep 2019

Rahane will open in all five ODIs: Virat Kohli

The India captain confirms Ajinkya Rahane will partner Shikhar Dhawan against Windies
24-05-2017-Mumbai-Indian Cricket team captain Virat Kohli speaks during a press conference before going for Champions Trophy 2017 at a city hotel in Mumbai on Wednesday. Photo Shripad Naik

With India’s regular opener Rohit Sharma rested for the five-match ODI series against Windies, captain Virat Kohli said the second opener’s slot will be filled by Ajinkya Rahane. Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit were back together in England and opened the innings in the just concluded Champions Trophy. Rahane opened the innings in India’s first warm-up game New Zealand and batted at No. 3 in the second warm-up game against Bangladesh.

“We have Ajinkya, who we had as a back-up opener in the Champions Trophy. He will start for sure with Shikhar Dhawan. He is someone who has done well at the opener's slot.”

He further added that in limited-overs setup, the best slot for Rahane was the one that involved facing the new ball. “Opening is the slot that suits Rahane. He has batted in the middle order also but we see him to be more powerful in the opening slot, that is where he can play his game the best. So, during the course of all these five games, Ajinkya will open.”

With hardly any turnaround time post the high-octane Champions Trophy, Virat said the relaxed atmosphere that Caribbean islands offer was just what the team needed. “It is a lovely atmosphere to be a part of after a high-profile tournament like the Champions Trophy. It is great to be in a relaxing place. All the players are relaxed and are looking forward to some cricket in the West Indies, where cricket is always enjoyed because of the way culture is here. It is pretty relaxed and you are at ease. As such, it is always a nice feeling coming here.”

Though India start the five-match series as overwhelming favorites, Virat said the team won’t take the opposition lightly and will not lower their guard. As per the ICC ODI rankings, India are ranked third while West Indies are placed ninth.

“In international cricket, every game is an opportunity for the players to go out and do something. It improves your confidence whenever you come out at the international level and play. It is not about taking any opposition lightly.

“You have to come out and play good consistent cricket. It is another series we are looking to play good cricket. I am absolutely certain that the players are committed to playing their best,” the captain added.

India squad: Virat Kohli (C), Shikhar Dhawan, Rehab Pant, Ajinkya Rahane, MS Dhoni (wk.), Yuvraj Singh, Kadar Jadhav, Hardik Pandya, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Judea, Mohammed Shame, Umesh Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Kuldeep Yadav, Dinesh Karthik

Windies squad for the first two ODIs: Jason Holder (C), Devendra Bishoo, Jonathan Carter, Roston Chase, Miguel Cummins, Shai Hope (wk), Alzarri Joseph, Evin Lewis, Jason Mohammed, Ashley Nurse, Kieran Powell, Rovman Powell, Kesrick Williams

BCCI Staff

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India beat Sri Lanka in final warm-up game

Mithali Raj (85) and Punam Raut (69) set up win; Gayakwad claims 4/12

India Women’s attack sans Jhulan Goswami bowled the team to a 109-run win against Sri Lanka Women in their last warm-up match ahead of the ICC Women’s World Cup, 2017. Captain Mithali Raj scored an 89-ball 85 to set the opponents a stiff target after openers Punam Raut (69 off 79) and Smriti Mandhana (44 off 58) got India off to a solid start. While Shikha Pandey claimed two wickets, the Indian spin contingent led by Rajeshwari Gayakwad wrapped SL up for 166. The left-arm spinner finished with four for 12 in seven overs. 

After Mithali elected to win, the Indian openers bided their time at the crease before steadily gleaning runs off the SL bowlers. The Raut-Mandhana pair steadily built the innings as they laid a platform for a formidable total. Their partnership was worth 92 until Inoka Ranaweera claimed Mandhana to end the stand. The skipper the joined the opener in capitalising on the start. However, 49 runs later, Raut was sent back by Harshitha Madavi. 

Although Harmanpreet Kaur was dismissed for three, Mithali continued to hold one end up. She found an able ally in Mona Meshram and the pair added 71 for the fourth wicket until the latter was run out. Deepti Sharma was the next to return to pavilion for two and 16 runs later, Mithali’s innings was brought to a halt by Ama Kanchana. Veda Krishnamurthy then took the team to 275 for eight with an unbeaten 20 off 18 balls.

Defending the total, Pandey accounted for Nipuni Hansika to leave SL on six for one. Hasini Perera and Chamari Athapaththu then stitched a 48-run stand until Meshram ran out the latter to give India a crucial breakthrough.

Gayakwad soon followed up with the wicket of the opener to leave SL on 61 for three. However, Dilani Manodara and Prasadani Weerakkodi joined forces and plodded on to 74 for the fourth wicket until Pandey bowled the latter and left SL on 135 for four in the 39th over.

The Indian attack maintained a tight leash on the batters as they curbed the flow of runs. The spinners struck at quick intervals to bowl SL out for 166. While Gayakwad claimed a four-for, Ekta Bisht and Deepti Sharma too claimed a wicket each as they took India to a comprehensive win. 


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