After beating West Indies by five wickets in a one-sided ODI series opener at Kensington Oval, India captain Rohit Sharma revealed that the reason behind rejigging the batting order in a chase of 115 was to give time to the players who haven’t played much in the last few weeks.
"We said that we wanted to give a chance to the guys. Never thought we'd lose five wickets but it was a good chance to give a chance to a lot of the guys who have just come in. I thought restricting them to 115 got us in a commanding position that we needed so we thought we could give those guys a chance who haven't played a lot in the last few weeks," said Rohit in the post-match presentation ceremony.
In the rejig, wicketkeeper-batter Ishan Kishan made his promotion to opening count by top-scoring with 52, while Rohit finished off the chase after coming out to bat at seven. He felt India's take-away was the bowling effort in bundling out West Indies for 114.
"It was my debut actually (on batting at number seven last time)! Mukesh has been brilliant. Even in Tests we saw he can swing the new ball, has a bit of pace and is quite consistent as well. So we want to see what he has to offer. Haven't seen him much so it was good to see what he can do with a white ball," the India captain said.
"The take away from this game was the bowling effort. Even with conditions favouring you have to bowl well. And Kishan did well with the bat.
To be honest, I never thought the pitch was going to play like that. It was the team's need that we wanted to have a score in front of us but never thought the pitch would deteriorate like that. It had something for everyone. But never thought we'd restrict them to that low a score," he added.
Spinners Kuldeep Yadav and Ravindra Jadeja combined to take seven wickets between themselves to make merry on a spin-friendly pitch. Kuldeep was named player of the match for his figures of 4-6.
"Perfect (bowling performance). Started off with the fast bowlers. Mukesh, making his debut. Shardul and Hardik got wickets too. Me and Jadeja, we were great. Just following the routine and rhythm and it's been amazing in the last one year," said Kuldeep.
"Focusing on the length is more important than getting wickets. People say it's a seaming paradise and I was happy that (spinners) got seven wickets from our side and some from their side as well. It was spinning a bit and there was bounce as well," he added.
The left-arm wrist-spinner further said he likes competing with leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal, who didn't play in Thursday’s game.
"It's always good to have competition, but me and Chahal don't think about the competition and just work with each other. When you have seniors like Chahal to help you it gives you a lot of confidence. We have been playing together for five or six years so he has really helped. There's no competition, we just give each other great company," said Kuldeep.
Meanwhile, West Indies skipper Shai Hope, who waged a lone battle with his 43, rued the shoddy performance of his batters in recording their second lowest ODI total against India.
"Let's just say we didn't play the way we needed to. On a challenging pitch, we need to find ways to score. I'm not making excuses but anyone watching cricket can see what's happening here. But we have to find ways to score," Hope said.
"He (Seales) is a quality player. Worth investing in. Going from strength to strength. We knew an early start here would be difficult and the Indian bowlers did well on this surface, but again we didn't bat very well," he added.