Shimron Hetmeyer scored a stroke-filled hundred to propel the Windies to 322 against a Kuldeep-less India at Guwahati.
The 21-year-old notched up the third century of his fledgling career in the 38th over of the innings when he lofted Shami over extra cover for a six. Although Hetmeyer departed shortly on 106 off 78, Windies managed to go well beyond the 300-run mark courtesy lower order contributions from captain Jason Holder and a 44 run 10th wicket partnership between the bowling pair of Devendra Bishoo and Kemar Roach.
Earlier in the day, India decided to go in with three seamers as Khaleel joined the returning new ball bowling pair of Shami and Umesh, giving Kuldeep Yadav a day off, thus moving away from their famous wrist-spin-twin combination that has given them so much success in the middle overs.
This move, in retrospect, might have made the difference as Hetmeyer made merry in the period of the game when Kuldeep, along with Chahal, has in the past year, wrested the initiative in India's favour.
Hetmeyer, despite being aggressive showed great application in his stroke play as he picked the bowlers and pre-empted their lines before teeing off. Preferring the leg side to the off while playing the lofted shots, Hetmeyer often cleared his front foot and deposited the ball over mid-wicket with brute strength.
While all but one of his 6 sixes came on the leg side, most of his ground strokes were reserved for the offside. A particular cover drive off Umesh Yadav was specially eye-catching.
Hetmeyer's batting was completely moved from his shockingly restless display in the Test matches where Kuldeep Yadav managed to outfox him on 3 of the 4 occasions. The chinaman's absence aside, there was visible calmness in Hetmeyer's batting in a format, he feels much more at home.
The left-hand batsman who captained his country to an under-19 World Cup victory in 2016, used his feet well to the spinners – both coming down the track and going deep into his crease to score on either side of the wicket.
Earlier in the day, Shami had struck twice in the first half of the innings, along with one wicket each from Khaleel and Chahal, to reduce Windies to 114-4 before being clobbered around by Hetmeyer. He finished with 2-81 on his comeback while Umesh Yadav ended up with no wickets. The spin-duo of Jadeja and Chahal picked up 5 wickets.
Chasing 323 to win, India have made a quick start despite losing Dhawan early and at the end of 8 overs have scored 57 runs with Kohli and Rohit at the crease.