India captain Rohit Sharma said he had no regrets about picking rookie seamer Avesh Khan ahead of veteran Bhuvneshwar Kumar to bowl the final over against West Indies after their five-wicket loss in the second Twenty20 International on Monday.
West Indies’ Obed McCoy claimed 6-17 as India was skittled out for 138 with two balls remaining in their innings.
Tidy bowling brought India back into the contest, with West Indies needing 10 runs from the last over.
Bhuvneshwar, renowned for his death-overs mastery, still had two overs left but Rohit handed the ball to Avesh instead.
Avesh, who made his India debut earlier this year, began with a no-ball and Odean Smith took a single off it.
Devon Thomas hit the next delivery, a free-hit, for a six and followed it with a four as West Indies prevailed with four balls remaining to level the five-match series 1-1.
Rohit said he wanted to test India’s bowling depth with an eye on the Twenty20 World Cup in Australia.
“We know what ‘Bhuvi’ does for us, he has been doing it for years. Unless you give chances to guys like Avesh and Arshdeep (Singh) you’ll never know.
“They have the skills and the talent and it is all about backing them. I am really proud of the bowlers and the team.”
Rohit lauded the fighting spirit of his side, especially the bowlers, who dragged the game till the last over.
“Proud of the team. When you are defending a target like that, it can end in 13-14 overs or you try to drag it to the last over. Guys kept fighting, it was important to take wickets. The planning we did, the guys came and executed,” he said.
“Happy with bowlers, but there are certain things in the batting we need to look at. I will again and again say that we will continue to bat in this fashion because we want to achieve something. One-off result, shouldn’t panic. After one loss we won’t change things around,” he added.
India will take on the West Indies in the delayed third T20I at the same venue on Tuesday.
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