India’s spinners restricted West Indies before Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli made light of a low, turning surface and secured a six-wicket win at Kochi in the first one-day international of three.
Ravindra Jadeja and Suresh Raina claimed three wickets apiece in the tourists’ 211 all out, while fellow spinner Ravichandran Ashwin tidied up the tail after seamer Mohammed Shami bowled key man Darren Bravo for an enterprising 59.
Although lacking foot-movement, the ball that accounted for Bravo kept devilishly low, while Raina benefited from similar fortune in re-arranging Marlon Samuels’ stumps for 24.
Conversely, West Indies seamer Jason Holder extracted sharp lift from the surface to have India opener Shikhar Dhawan caught at the wicket in the fourth over of the hosts’ response.
That brought Kohli in to join Rohit and the pair made batting appear an altogether more comfortable pastime as they compiled 133 runs throughout 21.4 overs of attractive strokeplay.
Kohli peppered the boundary early in his innings before Rohit assumed the role of the aggressor upon the introduction of off-spinner Sunil Narine.
The stand virtually ended the match as a contest but neither man was able to see the job through.
Rohit miscued a pull off Ravi Rampaul to deep midwicket on 72, and Kohli – after an explosive pull in front of square made him the joint fastest player to 5,000 ODI runs alongside Sir Viv Richards – holed out for 86 and handed Holder his second scalp.
India’s task was a straightforward 20 runs from 18.4 overs at that stage and they crossed the line after Narine removed Raina without scoring.
Earlier, the West Indies innings began badly as talisman Chris Gayle was run out second ball and left the field on a stretcher having suffered a hamstring injury in the process.
Fellow opener Johnson Charles impressed with seven fours and a six in a muscular 42 before sending a return catch to Jadeja.
Lendl Simmons made 29 in a 65-run stand alongside Bravo for the fourth wicket but batsmen departed at regular intervals thereafter to undermine West Indies' efforts, which ended with seven deliveries unused.