India thrashed West Indies by six wickets and seven balls to spare in the first T20I at Eden Gardens in Kolkata on Wednesday.

Here are the five key takeaways from India's commanding win over T20 heavyweight West Indies ahead of the second T20I on Friday.

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Ravi Bishnoi’s dream debut

Leg spinner Ravi Bishnoi sizzled on his international debut, picking two wickets for just 17 runs in four overs to restrict West Indies to 157. The 21-year-old had a nervy start as he stepped on the boundary cushion after pouching a catch at long-off and followed it up with three wides in his first over. However, he shrugged off the nerves with two wickets in his following over, trapping Roston Chase in front before luring Rovman Powell to hole out to long-on with his trademark googlies. Bishnoi, with his penchant for wrong'uns, and Yuzvendra Chahal's traditional leg-breaks can make the duo a lethal hunting pair in limited-overs cricket.

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Suryakumar Yadav – the middle-order glue

Suryakumar Yadav guided India home in a run chase for the second time in the white-ball series with an unbeaten 18-ball 34. With India still needing 44 runs to win from 33 balls after Virat Kohli and Rishabh Pant perished in quick succession, Suryakumar paired with Venkatesh Iyer for a 48-run stand to prevent further hiccups. The 31-year-old is revelling in the No.5 slot, having sealed a victory in the first ODI with another unbeaten 34. In the second ODI too, Suryakumar held the middle-order together with a top-score of 64 after India’s wobble at 43 for three and strengthened his case for the spot.

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Rohit Sharma and the PowerPlay revolution

Skipper Rohit Sharma took the attack to the opposition with a blitz of 40 off 19 balls and set the tone for India’s 158-run chase. India’s new white-ball captain has been in marauding form in the shortest format, scoring 359 runs at 161.71 in the seven innings since the loss against New Zealand at the T20 World Cup in October. Rohit’s flamboyance at the top of the order has prompted a radical departure from India’s watchful approach in the PowerPlay in T20Is. The team has cruised at a staggering 9.92 runs an over during this period in the last seven matches, resulting in as many wins for the country. India was off to yet another flyer in the first T20I on Wednesday, smashing 58 runs in the first six overs, 38 of which came off the willow of the captain.

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Rohit Sharma's whirlwind knock was studded with four fours and three sixes in the first T20I against West Indies in Kolkata on Wednesday.

 

Ishan Kishan’s labour versus spin

A few days after the swashbuckling southpaw bagged a whopping Rs 15.25 crore at the IPL 2022 auction, Ishan Kishan huffed and puffed for his 35 runs off 42 balls in the first T20I. While one expected him to crank up the tempo after Rohit’s dismissal, the 23-year-old’s struggles against spin ensured his innings never took off. After facing 10 dot balls against off-spinner Roston Chase, Kishan perished on the 11th delivery with a miscued pull to deep midwicket. Considering KL Rahul – who was ruled out of the series due to a hamstring injury – has sealed the opener’s slot, Kishan’s woes against spin bowling puts his viability in the middle-order and his spot in the playing XI under a bit of a cloud.

The Iyer conundrum

Venkatesh Iyer – picked ahead of Shreyas Iyer – forged a crucial alliance with Suryakumar to seal India’s run-chase and scored an unbeaten 13-ball 24 in the process. Additionally, he bowled a solitary over that went for just four runs. Venkatesh doubles up as a sixth bowling option on top of donning the finisher’s role while Shreyas is a solid anchor in the middle-order and can hit the long ball as well. However, with India making limited use of Venkatesh’s bowling (four overs in four matches), it remains to be seen if dropping a batter of the caliber of Shreyas justifies the mental comfort of having a sixth bowling option.