Ajinkya Rahane grabbed his chance at the top of the order with both hands, Virat Kohli let his bat do the talking and India cruised to a victory over the West Indies in the second one-day international at the Queen's Park Oval in Port of Spain on Sunday.
Rahane was solid and productive, opening the innings for India in the absence of Rohit Sharma, and with Shikhar Dhawan continuing his explosive ways at the other end, India had a great start after being put into bat in a match that was reduced to 43 overs a side due to a two-hour rain-delayed start.
Thanks to that start, Kohli went into overdrive mode, putting on a ridiculous show with that bat that had the crowd at the Queen's Park Oval applauding.
With India posting a score of 310/5 in 43 overs, one that was never going to be possible for the West Indies to chase down, the bowlers did what they needed to do – bowl with discipline, keeping the home side to 205/6. The result of that was the West Indies basically giving up on the chase before it even really began, with Kuldeep Yadav finishing with the best figures in only his second ODI – his debut match was abandoned by rain on Friday – picking up three for 50 in his nine overs.
The highlight of the match was Kohli's innings, with the India captain showing why he is considered the best batsman in this format.
Kohli usually reserves his best innings for a chase, but this time, knowing the pressure was on him after the Anil Kumble fiasco, the 28-year-old decided to turn on the batting style.
Admittedly, Kohli walked in with India in a really strong position. Dhawan (63, 59b, 10x4) and Rahane (103, 104b, 10x4, 2x6) had just given the away side the perfect start, putting on 114 in just 18.2 overs.
With Dhawan picked up by Ashley Nurse, it would have been easy for the two India batsmen to take their time and slowly build another partnership, before taking off in the final overs.
But, Kohli looked good from the off, and he was helped by the fact that he had a smooth-as-silk Rahane at the other end.
Once Kohli got his eye in – he didn't have a boundary in his first 26 balls – it was go time for the skipper. He started his boundary glut with consecutive fours off the leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo, and then when Rahane fell after completing his third ODI century, it was the Kohli show all the way.
As wickets dropped at the other end – Hardik Pandya and Yuvraj Singh couldn't quite make a difference – Kohli continued on his merry way, with all of those strokes that he makes look so easy coming out in spades.
And easy as that, India crossed the 300-run mark in a 43 over game – they also went top of the list of teams with 300-plus with this being India's 96th – with it ending any hopes West Indies might have had of chasing down the score.