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Friday, 22 November 2013

Report: India vs West Indies - 1st ODI, Kochi, 2013


The Indian spinners were the undoing of the West Indies ODI line-up as the visitors folded for 211 in 48.5 overs. The hosts then sailed to the target to register a six-wicket win and take a 1-0 lead in the three-match series.  (Also Read: Stats Highlights: India vs West Indies - 1st ODI, Kochi, 2013)
The trio of Ravindra Jadeja (three wickets), Suresh Raina (three wickets) and Ravichandran Ashwin dismantled the visitors’ line-up to bowl the visitors out with seven balls to spare in the first ODI. Then with a scintillating 133-run partnership, the in-form Rohit Sharma (72) and Virat Kohli (86) put India in a commanding position. And although Kohli departed with victory in sight, Yuvraj Singh and MS Dhoni took India across the line with 88 balls to spare.   
Earlier, after WI ODI captain Dwayne Bravo opted to bat first, the run-out of Chris Gayle in the first over set the tone for the innings. Bhuvneshwar Kumar was once again responsible for Gayle’s departure. The pacer collected the ball in his follow through to send back the opener without a run on the board.
Although Johnson Charles then found an able ally in Marlon Samuels to build a partnership, Jadeja, introduced into the attack in the 10th over struck to end it for 65. Diving to his left, the left-arm spinner pulled off a one-handed catch to send back Johnson. 12 runs later, a Raina delivery stayed low and knocked over Samuels’ middle-stump. With the wicket aiding spin and the batsmen continuing to be perplexed by it, Dhoni attacked with all the spin weapons in his armoury.
Darren Bravo continued to graft runs and was supported by Lendl Simmons for another 65-run partnership, until Raina trapped the latter leg-before. Narsingh Deonarine was the off-spinner’s next scalp four overs later. Attempting to sweep, Deonarine missed and saw his bail topple off.
With spinners getting purchase off the wicket, Dhoni handed the ball to Rohit Sharma who was also miserly in his short spell.
Joined by Dwayne Bravo in the middle, Darren Bravo decided to accelerate in the batting powerplay. While Darren lofted Jadeja over mid-wicket, his captain launched Ashwin over the ropes in the next over. However, in the following over, Mohammed Shami breached Darren’s defense and uprooted his stumps. And Dwayne, stepping out to Jadeja in the next over, was stumped by Dhoni. Darren Sammy, attempting to clear the ropes, was caught at long-on by Bhuvneshwar off Jadeja. Sunil Narine, who replaced him, handed a catch back to Ashwin and returned without adding to total.
Couple of overs later, Ravi Rampaul, taking the aerial route off Ashwin, was caught by Shikhar Dhawan after WI had trudged their way past the 200-run mark.
Chasing 212, Dhawan departed nicking Jason Holder to the keeper in the fourth over. But Virat Kohli then joined forces with Rohit to make easy work of the target.
Rohit held up one end and bided his time early in his innings. He soon overtook Kohli to bring up his fifty in 53 balls. Scoring at over six runs per over, they blunted the WI attack as they galloped towards the target. Kohli then reached his half-century off 58 balls.
With 68 run required, India took the batting powerplay in the 25th over. And off the last ball of the over, Rohit, taking the aerial route, holed out to Simmons off Rampaul to return for 72.
With Yuvraj Singh for company, Kohli brought India within sniffing distance of the target. He pulled Holder for a six to become the joint-fastest – along with Viv Richards – to reach 5000 runs in ODI cricket. However, he was caught by Narine off the very next ball. 
Suresh Raina, who replaced him, followed him back. The India captain then walked out to the middle and got off the mark with a boundary off the next ball. In the next over, Dhoni hit Holder for a couple more. He, along with Yuvraj, took India to 212-run target with ease.  
Man of the Match: Virat Kohli for his 86 off 84 balls

Virat Kohli, Man of the Match: When we fielded I sorted out how to play, needed to play with a straight bat. Just wanted to play as straight and late as I can close to the body. Started timing it well so it gave me confidence and kept me going from there. The ball might keep low at any point of time so need to keep a straight bat. Me and Rohit were conscious about playing as straight as we can. The idea was to just play straight and keep rotating the strike. Usually Shikhar and Rohit were giving us a good start, but Shikhar went out early. I just watch the ball and react. Later on we switches gears and it was nice to have to bat with him (Rohit). Last year we played here against England and the crowd was fantastic. It's always nice to have a stadium so full of people and loud like this. It helps to pep you up. It's very different, I mean coming to November end, imagine what it must be like in June or May? We were out of steam and everyone was struggling. It was different conditions and we had to battle it out.

MS Dhoni, India captain: I think it was a fantastic performance. Could have been even better if one of the batsmen scored a 100. I think the spinners did the job for us. We didn't start very well, with the ball coming on nicely. There was a bit of variable bounce which assisted our fast bowlers. Overall I think the spinners did the job and keep the pressure on. It was not easy for the opposition to rotate the strike, so they had to go for the big strokes. I thought it was a wicket where the spinners can do the job, so I thought let's start with Raina. He bowls slightly flattish and can be of good effect with the variable bounce. The first wicket he got didn't bounce much. Ashwin we had a few overs, plus Jadeja, so it was hard for the right handers to hit Jadeja, with the lower order batsmen batting left-handed. I think they (Dhawan, Rohit, Virat) have been batting really well. Again Virat was brilliant. I thought our bowlers did well and the batsmen negotiated the new ball really well. There was not many runs to be scored, but still they batted really well, especially of Narine who was spinning it both ways. Crowd has been fantastic, and keeping in mind of the humidity, it takes the toll on the body when you have to play three games. The crowd came out in good numbers, so even if it was hot for us, it was even worse for them. It takes a lot of toil so let's have a good rest now.

Dwayne Bravo, West Indies captain: We fell short of our batting target. We felt we were below par. We have to take responsibility for this. We didn't adjust to the style of play. It's not a 300 or 290 wicket, if you can get to 250 it could have been a bit different. Rampaul and Holder bowled very well so that is good signs for us going into the next game. We got out at the wrong time, apart from Samuels and Bravo who had two balls beyond their control. I think it's a very small ground so our batters are aggressive by nature, so when the field is spread or the spinners come on, we don't have the ability to rotate the strike. Batting first and posting a poor total is not good enough.

Rohit Sharma, India batsman: It wasn't an easy wicket to bat on. It was a two-paced wicket. It was good to get that partnership, and me and Virat managed to do well. It was keeping low and just climbing a little bit. Once we got through that initial phase we were able to put on a big partnership. As you must have seen it was just not easy to play your strokes, so it was important to take some time out and see what is happening and what the wicket looks like. I played a bad shot, I must accept that, but that shot was really on as I was batting well. I was thinking if Rampaul was bowling back of length, then I must go through with that shot, even when it skidded to me. The spinners chipped in with wickets at the right time. We put pressure and fielded well to make the batsmen play shots, even if the wicket did not allow it. Even the fast bowlers bowled well initially.


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