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Indore Test: Shami, Ishant combine to pick team hat-trick

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Indore Test Team India

Indore, Nov 14 : A day after skipper Virat Kohli rated his fast bowlers as the best in the world, Indian pacers led by Mohammed Shami grabbed a team hattrick just after tea when Ishant Sharma dismissed Liton Das, on Day 1 of the first Test on Thursday.

Mohammed Shami grabbed two wickets off the last two balls before tea to dash any Bangladesh hopes of a revival as they were left reeling at 140/7 at tea.

Just after the break, Ishant had Das caught at first slip by Kohli who took a sharp low catch to complete the team treble and underline their supreme dominance in fast bowling in the last couple of years.

It was fitting for Ishant to grab the hattrick wicket as he has been around for the longest time among his teammates and is the senior most member of the side.

In the post-lunch session, Kohli brought back Shami for a short spell before the break to try and get rid of Mushfiqur Rahim as the batsman was looking good for a half century.

In the fifth delivery of the 54th over, in-form Shami rattled Rahim’s stumps with a searing inswinger that pitched outside off and came back in sharply to bamboozle the batsman. Mushfiqur was gone for a well-made 43 off 105 balls, his innings laced with four fours and a six.

In the very next ball, Shami trapped new batsman Mehidy Hasan in front to go into the break on a hat-trick. Hasan thought of reviewing it, but after consultation with non-striker Liton Das (21 batting), he walked towards the dressing room.

On the eve of the match, Kohli had said: “Well, if you ask we are right at the top. I won’t even count ourselves among the top 3. These guys deserve it. When we started off, that was the conversation. When I took over as captain, I really wanted to see our fast bowlers dominate world cricket.

“Spin was never an issue, batting was never an issue. After Zak (Zaheer Khan) and all these stalwarts went away, we were thinking how can we get back to the top and have the ability and the firepower to pick up 20 wickets.

“Just see the way they have bowled. It’s their belief that stands out. Any kind of pitch, any kind of opposition. They believe they can get more out of any pitch than the opposition. That belief matters a lot.

“I couldn’t be more happy for them. The best thing is they are still not done yet. They are getting hungrier every time they go out. And they love bowling together. I think that’s their biggest strength. The trust, the camaraderie and the belief they have is pushing this team forward,” said the captain.

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‘Special’ knock a gift for Anushka on 2nd anniversary: Kohli

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Indian Captain Virat Kohli

Mumbai, Dec 11 : India captain Virat Kohli on Wednesday dedicated his blitzkrieg unbeaten knock of 70 off 29 balls to wife Anushka Sharma on their second marriage anniversary, saying that it felt special to script an innings like that on this day as India thrashed West Indies by 67 runs in the series-deciding third T20 International to win the rubber 2-1, here on Wednesday.

“It was a pretty special innings and also being our second wedding anniversary, it was a special gift,” Kohli said at the post-match presentation ceremony after being adjudged Man of the Series.

“It was a special night and one of the best innings I have played. That we won batting first feels really good,” he said.

At a venue where the chasing team generally wins, India put into bat by Windies skipper Kieron Pollard, but Kohli’s unbeaten 70, along with K.L. Rahul (91) and Rohit Sharma’s (71) 135-run opening wicket stand, helped India to a mammoth 240/3 in the allotted 20 overs.

In reply, the West Indies could manage 173/8 at the end of 20 overs despite Pollard’s 39-ball 68.

“I know I can contribute in all three formats. It is about putting your mind into it. Now with the T20 World Cup coming up, there is motivation. My part becomes crucial as I have to play two roles. When you are not playing T20s for a while and come back and play like this, it feels good. It is all about executing the plans on the field,” Kohli said.

The skipper said the team has been too hesitant batting first and on Wednesday they showed their intent from ball one as they went after the bowlers.

“The way Rahul and Rohit played today was the key. Batting first, we have been too tight and hesitant, but this pitch allowed us to play freely. It was a good lesson for us and now we need to remember it.

“It depends on what kind of pitch and ground you are playing on (whether scoring more boundaries is a must). You don’t really feel the pressure when you have 20-25 runs on the board. Playing the T20 World Cup in Australia, we will have to figure out how big the boundaries are,” the skipper said.

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Happy we did well batting first in a T20 game: KL Rahul

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K Lokesh Rahul

Mumbai, Dec 12 : A scintillating display batting first will help the Indian team gain a lot of confidence leading up to the World T20 next year, feels in-form India opener K.L. Rahul.

Rahul top-scored with a devastating 56-ball 91 and shared a 135-run opening stand with Rohit Sharma (71) as India cruised to a 67-run victory against the West Indies in the series deciding third T20I, riding on their imposing total of 240/3. Skipper Virat Kohli too joined the party with an unbeaten 70 that came off just 29 balls.

In reply, the West Indies could manage 173/8 in the end of 20 overs despite skipper Pollard’s 39-ball 68.

“It’s obvious that our record batting first hasn’t been that great. Today was a great opportunity and I’m very happy that it came off. This will give us a lot of confidence as now we know what to do batting first,” said Rahul at the post-match presentation ceremony.

The World T20 is scheduled in October next year in Australia and Rahul said each game from here on will be important.

“Each game will be important and a learning lesson for us before the World Cup. Like any other format, once you are set, you want to carry on and know what shots to play. T20 has been kind and I try to do my best and give results for the team,” Rahul said.

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We are a work in progress: West Indies skipper Kieron Pollard

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India Vs West Indies

Mumbai, Dec 12 : West Indies skipper Kieron Pollard conceded that the team is a work in progress and the three-match T20 series against India was a learning curve for them leading up to the World T20 in Australia next year.

“We will look to take the positives from this game. At the end of the day, we knew where we faltered and it’s work in progress for us now,” Pollard said at the post-match presentation ceremony after the West Indies lost the series deciding third T20I here by 67 runs.

Rahul top-scored for India with a devastating 56-ball 91 and shared a 135-run stand with fellow opener Rohit Sharma (71) as India cruised to victory riding their first innings score of 240/3. Skipper Virat Kohli smashed an unbeaten 29-ball 70.

In reply, the West Indies could manage 173/8 in the end of 20 overs despite Pollard’s 39-ball 68. Windies had won the second T20I after losing the first one.

“It (the target) was gettable, we have chased a big total here in 2016. When you look at the way Rahul and Rohit went about at the start, they took their time and then exploded,” Pollard said when asked if the huge score was gettable.

“Yes, we are disappointed but we look to move on from here. There are a lot of emerging players coming through the ranks. Success is something you need to strive for day in and day out. All is not lost, we still have three ODIs to play. We will look to stay positive,” he concluded.

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