Virat Kohli and Kieron Pollard, the captains of the respective teams both fell for a first ball duck in Vizag. (Photo Credit: PTI)
Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul had given India a brilliant platform with centuries as they notched up a double century opening partnership. Rahul fell immediately after reaching the landmark but the stage was set for India skipper Virat Kohli to team up with Rohit and push the side to a score in excess of 200. However, the crowd in Vizag were in for a real anti-climax. Kohli was facing his opposite counterpart Kieron Pollard. The bowler bowled a short and slow delivery outside off, Kohli seemed to check his pull shot and he miscued it totally to be caught by Roston Chase at midwicket. At the same venue where he became the fastest to 10,000 ODI runs when he smashed a century last year, cricket proved that it was a great leveller as he fell for a golden duck in 2019. Shreyas Iyer and Rishabh Pant's blitz helped India reach 387/5.
West Indies made a poor start but they were boosted by a superb stand and knocks from Nicholas Pooran and Shai Hope. Pooran blasted 75 off 46 balls but he was sent back by Mohammed Shami as the batsman top-edged a pull shot to long leg where Kuldeep took the catch. Pollard stepped in as he looked to keep West Indies in the hunt. However, he was greeted by a pacy, full ball from Shami that swung away sharply outside off. Pollard wafted at it and the edge was taken by Rishabh Pant as he too fell for a first ball duck.
Thus, in this match, both captains fell for a golden duck. The first ball duck for Kohli and Pollard represented the first time in the history of ODIs that both captains had been dismissed for a first-ball duck. India, though, maintained their nerve and a hat-trick by Kuldeep Yadav helped India win by 107 runs to level the series 1-1.
Speaking at the end of the match, Kohli credited the openers for laying a solid platform. " I think what has been good in the last three games including the one at Wankhede and first two ODIs, we have batted pretty well in the first half. Batting second has never been an issue. We're one of the top sides, if not the best, while chasing. It is always good to see the team getting 40-50 extra than what you would've thought at the start of the game. I think it all boils down to the good foundation. Rohit and KL were outstanding, the opening partnership set it up," Kohli said.
Pollard said conceding too many runs in the death overs proved to be costly for the West Indies. "I thought we gave away too many runs at the back end, in the last 20 overs. We were a bit indisciplined towards the end of the 50 overs. We thought and saw that it will be a good wicket. They were able to get away from us at the back end," Pollard said.