Even though the West Indies side rattled India, Indian skipper Virat Kohli heaped praises over the young guns, Shreyas Iyer and Rishabh Pant who helped the host put up a defendable score. The visitors defeated India by eight wickets in the first One-Day International to take a 1-0 lead in the three-match series in Chennai. However, Shreyas Iyer and Rishabh Pant added 114 runs for the fourth wicket as Iyer scored 70 while Pant scored 71. Virat Kohli further extolled his former RCB teammate, Shimron Hetmyer, who slammed 139 off 106 and anchored West Indies to an in the opening game.
Speaking at the post-match presentation, Koli asserted the performance of Pant and Iyer to be a good sign for the team as the youngsters pulled the team out of a tough situation.
“Very good signs for us with the performances of Iyer and Pant. Rohit and I, not clicking today gave a good opportunity for the youngsters to stitch together a partnership. You try to go in with as many options as you can. We thought six bowling options would be enough. We thought six bowling options would be enough. I don’t think pitch changed drastically, they batted brilliantly. The spinners were getting help but they put pressure on our spinners brilliantly. Hetmyer’s innings was outstanding,” he said.
Chasing a target of 288, the West Indies looked in trouble when Sunil Ambris was trapped in front of the wicket by Deepak Chahar. However, that was the only relief for the Men In Blue as they were made to toil for wickets by the duo of Shimron Hetmyer and Shai Hope who hit the bowlers to all corners of the ground and were involved in a 218-run stand for the second wicket. Both of them went on to score tons and by the time Hetmyer was dismissed for 139, the momentum was already shifted in favour of the visitors and there was no looking back for them from thereon. Meanwhile, Hope continued to playing his attacking shots and was ably supported by wicket-keeper batsman Nicholas Pooran. Hope finished unbeaten on 102- a knock which included seven boundaries and a maximum as West Indies drew first blood in the three-match series.