India 190 for 6 (Rohit 64, Karthik 41*, Joseph 2-46) beat West Indies 122 for 8 (Brooks 20, Ashwin 2-22, Arshdeep 2-24, Bishnoi 2-26) by 68 runs
In the first international game at the Brian Lara Stadium, India's move to play three spinners - as opposed to West Indies' one - reaped rich dividends as Ravindra Jadeja, R Ashwin and Ravi Bishnoi combined to pick up five wickets, helping the visitors to a 68-run win in the first T20I of the five-match series.
In T20s before Friday at this ground, spinners had an economy rate of 6.31, which is the fourth-lowest at any venue in the West Indies, and they had averaged 20.91 - the fourth-lowest at any Caribbean venue where spinners have bowled in more than ten innings.
India managed to post 190 for 6 on a seemingly slowish surface, thanks to captain Rohit Sharma's half century and Dinesh Karthik's unbeaten 41 off just 19 balls at the finish, before West Indies' batting was entangled in the web of spin.
Another partner for Rohit
After India were put in to bat, Rohit walked out with a new partner, Suryakumar Yadav, the seventh opener for India in T20Is this year. Suryakumar got going quickly with a four off Obed McCoy in the first over and then another off Jason Holder in the next. His trademark wristy flick for six over fine leg also made an appearance against debutant Alzarri Joseph.
Akeal Hosein's introduction, however, stalled Suryakumar's progress. He was dropped off the first ball from the spinner before a top edge off the next ball evaded the bowler running back. Hosein had the last laugh in his next over when Suryakumar's attempted whip resulted in a thick leading edge to short third.
Change in pace leads to change of momentum
India had raced to 44 inside five overs but Suryakumar's wicket slowed them down. Despite finding a couple of boundaries early on, Rohit struggled to get the ball away. With the odd ball gripping the surface, Hosein and McCoy thrived, the latter dismissing Shreyas Iyer for a four-ball duck.
Rohit and Rishabh Pant then added 43 off 25 balls before West Indies struck again, dismissing Pant and Hardik Pandya - who ramped Joseph straight to deep third for his maiden T20I wicket - in quick succession to leave India 102 for 4 with over eight overs remaining.
The perfect finish
In the interim Rohit got to his 27th half-century in T20Is off 35 balls. Just when he had begun accelerating, he slapped Holder straight to sweeper cover. At 131 for 5 in 15 overs on a track that was slowing down, India looked on course to finish at around 170.
But Karthik once again aced the finisher's role to move India well past that score. He used the crease well to put the bowlers off their lines and lengths, and, in the company of Ashwin, took a toll on Holder and McCoy to help India amass 36 off the last two overs.
Spin to win
In their pursuit of 191, Kyle Mayers got West Indies off to a rapid start, helping them score 11 off Bhuvneshwar Kumar's first over and as many off the first two legal balls of the next over, bowled by Arshdeep Singh. However, Arshdeep deceived Mayers with an off-pace short ball immediately afterwards, and India's bowlers had landed their first blow.
Holder, sent in at No. 3, couldn't see off Ravindra Jadeja's spin, while Ashwin sent back the left-hand batters Nicholas Pooran and Shimron Hetmyer. Ravi Bishnoi then dismissed Rovman Powell and Odean Smith in successive overs to pretty much seal the game.