Rohit Sharma renewed his love affair with the Eden Gardens scoring an unbeaten 98 to boost his confidence and provide impetus to Indian hopes for the ICC World Twenty20.
Playing the first warm-up match against the West Indies, India won by 45 runs and set the tone for the group league match against Pakistan slated at the same venue on March 19.
Rohit was the key performer in Thursday’s match on the very ground where he scored 98 and 50 in two IPL appearances to help Mumbai Indians lift the title for the second time last year.
Rohit had made his Test debut here in November 2013, scoring 177 against the West Indies before scoring the ODI World record of 264 against Sri Lanka in November 2014.
Despite being an unofficial match, Rohit’s innings against the West Indies on Thursday breathed life into the Indian innings.
The opener had scored a match-winning 83 in the first match in the Asia Cup T20 round-robin league, which India won against Bangladesh.
Rohit, who had modest returns in the next four matches, pounded nine fours and seven sixes off 57 balls. Shikhar Dhawan (21) and Yuvraj Singh (31) were the others who made handy contributions.
Rohit was at his best in an 89-run partnership with Yuvraj Singh for the third wicket.
Mohd. Shami, who returned from injury after almost a year, picked up two wickets giving away 30 runs in four overs.
Jasprit Bumrah shattered the stumps of Chirs Gayle (20) and conceded just six runs in his two overs. Pawan Negi, Hardik Pandya and Ravindra Jadeja claimed two wickets each.
The scores: India 185 for six in 20 overs (Rohit Sharma 98 n.o., Yuvraj Singh 31, Jerome Taylor two for 26, Sulieman Benn two for 30) bt West Indies 140 in 19.2 overs (Mohd. Shami two for 30, Pawan Negi two for 15, Ravindra Jadeja two for 26, Hardik Pandya two for 25).