India vs West Indies, 4th ODI: Rohit, Rayudu power India to 377 for 5
Rohit Sharma registered his seventh 150-plus score in ODIs. (AFP Image)

If Virat Kohli doesn’t get you, Rohit Sharma will. West Indies were over the moon in the 17th over of the innings when Kemar Roach had Kohli edging to Shai Hope behind the stumps. This was a big moment. Their chief tormentor in the series was back in the dressing room for his lowest ODI score of 16 this year. But despite getting the prized wicket of the Indian captain, West Indies were not able to escape from a punishment, with Rohit Sharma scoring a fabulous 162. Aiding him during a 211-run stand was Ambati Rayudu – also hitting a century – that set the base for India’s daunting total of 377 for 5.

As international cricket returned to the Brabourne Stadium after nine years, Kohli opted to bat after winning the toss. India made steady progress with Rohit and Shikhar Dhawan bringing up India’s 50 in eight overs. Dhawan once again got a start, having struck two lovely flicks for six and four exquisite boundaries. But a pull straight to the fielder at midwicket brought about his dismissal. Kohli walked out to a loud ovation but there would not be a fourth successive century.

India were in need of a partnership and that is exactly what Rohit and Rayudu provided. They dominated the middle overs scoring runs at almost a run-a-ball. Rohit was phenomenal in his backfoot play against the spinners. Between over 15 and 20, India scored only 15 runs, but Rohit made for it taking Rovman Powell for three boundaries in the 27th over. Ashley Nurse was given the same treatment.

With a crisply-timed boundary towards point Rohit brought up his 21st century. That is when he accelerated, moving from 100 to 150 in 32 balls, his seventh 150-plus score in ODIs. He also raised hopes of a fourth double ton in ODIs before edging a widish delivery from Nurse to Chandrapaul Hemraj at short third man.

While all the focus remained on Rohit, Rayudu slowly went about his business. He didn’t get much strike but despite that managed to score at a strike-rate of over 100. With eight boundaries and four sixes, Rayudu brought up his third century off 80 deliveries. Jason Holder and Fabian Allen were taken for 12 runs in an over and Kemar Roach was launched over his head for a six. It took a brilliant direct hit from Allen to end his knock. Even as India went past 350, Kedar Jadhav remained unbeaten on 16 off seven. India scored 116 off the final ten, 15 of which came in the 50th.