India enjoyed a successful start to their T20I series against West Indies, beating the visitors by a comfortable five wickets with 13 balls to spare at the Eden Gardens on Sunday. The victory marked the hosts' dominance over Windies in the ongoing tour, which has seen them comfortably win the Test and ODI series.
While the win was sweet, there was controversy prior to the start of the match. At the bell-ringing ceremony, which has become somewhat of a norm at most cricket stadiums, Mohammad Azharuddin was the individual given to honor to do the same.
The decision to entrust this task with the former Indian skipper, who was reported to have been involved in match-fixing, did not go down well with a few people. And one of them was Indian opener Gautam Gambhir.
'Gauti', one of the most vocal cricketing voice on Twitter, be it on any political or sporting matter, lashed out at the BCCI, CoA and CAB for allowing Azharuddin to ring the bell, despite knowing his past.
The off-field controversy did not hamper the Indian cricket team, as they romped to a convincing win, despite being put under pressure. The visitors were put into bat first, and managed a mere 109 for 8 in their 20 overs after being bamboozled by some stunning bowling display by the Indian bowlers. Kuldeep Yadav was yet again the star of the show, endig with figures of 3 for 16 in his 4 overs.
In reply, an easy chase became a tad difficult after India lost their openers cheaply. The hosts were 45 for 4 at one point of time, and staring at a shocking defeat, before Dinesh Karthik and Manish Pandey stitched a valuable 38-run partnership to calm the proceedings.
India, despite losing Pandey, walked home to a comfortable win thanks to an unbeaten 9-ball 21 by Krunal Pandya, as well as steady head by Karthik, who remained unbeaten at 31.