India went 2-1 ahead in the tightly fought series against Windies with a massive 224 run win - their third best-ever in terms of runs - at the Brabourne stadium in Mumbai after the 'Hitman' show and a rare hundred from No 4, thanks to Ambati Rayudu, took them to a stupendous 377/5 in 50 overs. Khaleel Ahmed then showed he belongs to the biggest stage by generating enviable swing off a fuller length, scalping three, while the Windies themselves contributed to the debacle with a couple of run-outs. Jason Holder's late flourish merely lent respectability to Windies' total.
Here is our players’ report card from the Mumbai ODI.
With his second 150-plus score of the series, 'Hitman' Rohit smashed the Windies into submission in belligerent fashion. The Mumbaikar was on a roll at the Brabourne stadium, settling himself in before going bonkers, threatening to make another double hundred in the process. He fell for 162 but not before he had completed a record seventh 150-plus score in ODIs.
Stamping his own mark at No 4 in the batting line-up, Rayudu played the perfect second fiddle to Rohit after India lost Virat Kohli early on. Falling for 73 earlier in the series, Rayudu was careful not to go down a similar route and made his start count with a brilliant hundred, just the third by an Indian No 4 after the 2015 World Cup. With this knock, Rayudu has put to rest the No 4 debate.
India's seemingly never-ending search for a back-up seamer came to a grinding halt at the Brabourne stadium, when the left-arm seamer used the zip in the surface to wreak havoc in the middle-order. Khaleel removed the dangerous Shimron Hetmyer first before proceeding to get rid of Rovman Powell and Marlon Samuels. He generated inswing off a fullish length and got the odd one to straighten, putting Windies batsmen at his mercy in a thrilling spell.
Kuldeep made an impact with his fielding in the circle, even before he came on to bowl. The spinner, often criticised for his slowness in the outfield, ran out Windies' in-form batsman, Shai Hope, to peg the visitors back early. When he eventually came into the attack, he sliced through the lower-order to finish with a three-wicket haul, with his googlies proving to be deadly yet again.
Bumrah was economical and kept probing the Windies right-handers with his unique angle. The visitors were clearly circumspect against the Mumbai Indians' seamer despite the high required run rate, well aware of his wicket-taking abilities. In the process, though, they conceded wickets to Khaleel. Bumrah kept his end extremely tight and barely gave anything away in his eight overs.
Dhawan got off to another good start in the series only to fall before he could convert it into something substantial. Dhawan put on 71 for the opening wicket with Rohit, and was the aggressor initially for India. His 38 came at nearly run-a-ball and included a few pleasing strokes but Dhawan would rue the fact that he wasted another solid start.
Brought into the playing XI in place of Yuzvendra Chahal, who has been giving away a few runs, Jadeja created an immediate impact with his stump-to-stump bowling. He bowled in tandem with Khaleel and kept his end pretty much silent as the left-arm seamer picked up the wickets. Jadeja finished with a lone wicket in his bag and ended with economical figures of 1/39 in his quota of overs.
The Windies skipper had a forgetful day with the ball, giving away 62 in his nine overs but waged a lonely battle with the bat as Windies lost their top-order in no time. Holder stood tall in the lower middle-order and looked to shepherd the tail to get his team to some sort of respectability. His unbeaten half-century had little to no effect on the outcome of the match but once again showcased his fighting instincts as a leader.
Contrary to his usual approach, Dhoni was proactive walking in after a solid start from the top four. He smacked Keemo Paul for back-to-back boundaries but fell for 23 before he could finish off the innings with a flourish. That said, this is one step in the right direction for Dhoni, if India see a huge role for him in the 2019 World Cup.
Bhuvneshwar hasn't had the best of runs in ODIs this year but with a massive total to back him up, he wasn't scared to push the ball fuller in search of swing. He strayed onto the leg in the process and was hammered over cow corner for a six by Chanderpaul Hemraj. Bhuvneshwar, though, came back strong and had the opener caught at cover. He will, however, have to back Bumrah up more in matches when the team is in trouble.
Walking in with less than 3 overs left, Jadhav came in looking for boundaries and found three of them in seven balls to help finish India's innings on high. Jadhav has not put a foot wrong in recent times, except for a comment against the selectors a week ago, and should be a permanent feature in the top six if he manages to stay fit.
Roach created chances with the ball and accounted for the massive scalp of Virat Kohli, with a brilliant delivery, but once again couldn't contain the run flow. He kept gifting runs with his inconsistent line and length and conceded 74 in his quota of overs, although he managed to add one more wicket - that of MS Dhoni late in the innings. He will, however, have to step up his consistency to become a go-to bowler for the Windies.
While Powell was finally used with the ball by the Windies and did a fairly decent job in a four-over spell, his batting continued to disappoint. With the top-order wiped away early in the run-chase, Powell had a chance to showcase his potential by spending some time at the crease. Instead he played all over a ball seaming in from Khaleel to potentially end his chances in the middle-order.
In search of a record-equalling fourth consecutive ODI hundred, Kohli had a rare failure at Mumbai as he fell to Roach for 16. He didn't blaze away at the beginning like in the previous games but appeared in pristine touch until a peach of a delivery from Roach had him edging behind.
The belligerent Hetmyer was tamed by Kuldeep in the previous game and India perhaps made the mistake of dishing out too many freebies to him early on in the innings in the last few games. This time he was left to tackle a rampaging Khaleel and came second best. The left-arm pace bowler angled one into Hetmyer's pads and trapped him in front before he could go after the bowling and turn the tables.
The off-break bowler was the pick of Windies' bowlers in the last two games but on a flat pitch with little in it for the spinners, he leaked runs. Nurse picked up Rohit's wicket before the opener got to 162 and was perhaps unlucky not to have snapped up Dhawan early on, with Hope dropping a chance, but was otherwise expensive.
The left-arm spinner was conservative with his lines and looked to cramp the batsmen for room but wasn't entirely successful. Giving the spinner another game ahead of the experienced Devendra Bishoo, Windies hoped to cut-off India's right-handed heavy top-order but Allen was rather uncreative with his channels. He did effect a terrific run-out off his own bowling to send back Rayudu, which gives him brownie points.
After teasing to score in the last two matches, Hemraj was once again guilty of wasting his start as he took off with a bang only to play an irresponsible stroke - an uppish drive straight to the cover fielder. The youngster had a golden opportunity in the absence of Chris Gayle to impress the selectors in this series but has done little to enhance his credentials.
After a heroic performance with the ball in Windies' win at Pune, Samuels was back to his underperforming self. The veteran all-rounder leaked 14 off his only over and ambled along to 18 before an extravagant, ill-timed drive off Khaleel found an edge to the slip fielder. With wickets tumbling around him, Samuels should have donned more responsibility in a fairly inexperienced middle-order.
Paul was a rather controversial pick ahead of Obed McCoy, who had impressed with his variations in the previous game, and never really justified his inclusion. Like in the Test series, Paul was listless with his lines and gifted a lot of freebies, eventually conceding 88 in his quota of overs. The only consolation for Paul, in an otherwise forgetful day, was the wicket of Dhawan.
With a massive total to chase down, Powell seemed to panic early on and in a moment of madness scampered out of the crease for a non-existent run. With Shai Hope falling in similar fashion in the previous over, Powell should have held his own given his experience. Instead, he gifted his wicket to completely hand over the advantage to the hosts.
Walking in at the fall of Hemraj early on, Hope, on the back of two terrific knocks, took a gamble and challenged Kuldeep's arm at mid-on. He made a mess running and diving at the non-strikers end as Kuldeep threw down the stumps to give India their second breakthrough in the fifth over of the innings.
Rating chart: 10-9: Excellent, 8-7: Good, 6-5: Average, 4-3: Poor, 2-1: Very poor
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