India put up an incredible 240 for 3 as Rahul top-scored with 91 from 56 balls. Rohit and Kohli were not to be left behind as they dazzled their way to 71 from 34 balls and 70 not out from 29 balls respectively.
In the absence of regular opener Evin Lewis, who could not bat following a knee injury he suffered while fielding, West Indies stumbled to 17 for 3. Despite skipper Kieron Pollard’s defiant 39-ball 68, and Shimron Hetmyer’s breezy 41 from 24 balls, West Indies were restricted to 173 for 8 in their 20 overs. Mohammed Shami (2/25) and Deepak Chahar (2/20) were the standout bowlers for India. Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Kuldeep Yadav also claimed two wickets each but went for over 40 runs.
India have often come second to West Indies in terms of power-hitting. But, on Wednesday, the top order combined to give the Windies a dose of their own medicine. India raced to 72 at the end of the powerplay, and brought up the 100 in the eighth over.
Rahul and Rohit featured in a 135-run stand for the opening wicket. The struggling Rishabh Pant was promoted to number three, but he fell second-ball, without scoring. Kohli and Rahul then continued to torment the Windies attack. Kohli came up with his quickest T20I fifty, off 21 balls. The Indian captain hit seven sixes while Rohit slammed five, and Rahul hit four.
Man of the match Rahul said the win batting first will give the team confidence moving forward. "Both of them (Kohli, Rohit) were in a destructive mood today, they were hitting the ball so sweetly from ball one. It's pretty obvious that our record hasn't been great batting first, and we're looking to see what we can do to put up better totals. It was a great opportunity to bat first in a series decider, and it came off, and it'll give us a lot of confidence going into the other T20 series going forward."
--Renin Wilben Albert