As the regular heroes failed to deliver, a rookie all-rounder took the charge and forced the Thiruvananthapuram crowd to erupt in joy. Promoted up the order against West Indies in the 2nd T20I, Shivam Dube showed his real side and brought up his maiden half-century to guide India to a 170-run total.
Put to bat first, the men-in-blue had a steady start but the openers couldn’t put a decent partnership for the first wicket. After adding 24 runs, KL Rahul (11), who slammed a fifty in Hyderabad, fell prey to one of Khary Pierre’s slower delivery.
The viewers expected captain Kohli to come and repeat his heroics from the previous game but it was someone else who stepped out. Having scored just 10 runs in the last 3 innings, it was a chance for Shivam to prove his mettle and he turned his outing to a memorable one.
He went off the mark with a single and gradually gained the momentum. Meanwhile, Rohit Sharma struggled to get runs on a slow Trivandrum track. Before he could find his mojo back, he was left bamboozled by Jason Holder on 15. The vice-captain missed his paddle and saw the bails getting dislodged.
Shivam, who was then joined by Kohli, increased the pace and began dealing in bigger shots. He brought up his maiden fifty off just 27 deliveries but couldn’t go much further. Right in the next over, he was caught by Hayden Walsh at the extra cover while attempting for another areal shot. The 26-year-old ended up scoring 54 off 30 balls, including 3 boundaries and 4 maximums.
The hosts were reduced to 97/3 and the responsibilities came on the Kohli’s shoulder. He was expected to launch the fireworks again but Kesrick Williams had other plans.
His story with the Indian captain was narrated through a ‘silent celebration’ this time. After removing Kohli (17) in the 14th over, the bowler kept a finger on his lips, signalling his teammates to remain silent.
Pant held the nerve and struggled alone till the end. He couldn't get any support from the other end. The slow wicket took a toll on the lower order as India kept losing wickets in regular interval.
Iyer (10), Jadeja (9) and Sundar (0) didn’t contribute much whereas Pant remained unbeaten on 33.
From West Indies, Kesrick Willaims and Hayden Walsh scalped 2 wickets each. Besides them, Jason Holder, Khary Piere and Sheldon Cottrell took once wicket apiece.