Krunal claimed his maiden T20I wicket in the experienced campaigner Kieron Pollard, who departed after scoring just 14. @ AFP
Krunal claimed his maiden T20I wicket in the experienced campaigner Kieron Pollard, who departed after scoring just 14. @ AFP

India captain Rohit Sharma heaped praise on debutant Krunal Pandya, who scripted a memorable performance picking up one wicket and guiding his side after scoring the winning runs to a five-wicket victory against West Indies in the first of the three-match T20 International series at the Eden Gardens on Sunday.

Krunal claimed his maiden T20I wicket in the experienced campaigner Kieron Pollard, who went for the big one, but ended up miscuing it to Manish Pandey at long-on.

“Krunal is a very exciting talent. I’ve seen him closely playing for Mumbai Indians. He likes the situation where the team expects him to perform. He was the one who asked me, ‘I want to bowl to Pollard, and got him out.’ When you see guys accept challenges and bail the team out, it’s exciting as captain or as a team management,” Rohit said at the post-match presentation.

India’s bowlers, specially Kuldeep Yadav, found high praise from Rohit. The Chinaman’s three wickets starred as West Indies were bundled out for 109/8.

“It was an exceptional performance with the ball. There was quite a bit for the seamers upfront. Even for the spinners, if they put in the revs, it was spinning. There was a little bit in every department. We used the conditions well, were in trouble chasing. We knew it won’t be easy given the seamers they have, but there’s some learning for us there, what we should do as a batting unit when conditions are in our favour,” he said.

Rohit was impressed with young West Indies pacer Oshane Thomas, who was responsible for the wickets of both the Indian openers – Rohit (6) and Shikhar Dhawan (3).

“Oshane Thomas is a really exciting talent without doubt, good height plus that jump he takes, if he bowls in the right areas, it won’t be easy for any batsman in the world to counter that. He’s really talented. He has the advantage of height which gives him the extra edge. I wish him the best in the future,” Rohit said.