There was just a glimmer of a fight from the West Indies in the first one-dayer before it fizzled out once again. Just like in the two Tests that they lost inside three days, their first 90 minutes of batting gave the hope that they would be able to put up a challenging total on the board.
With Chris Gayle failing again and now out of the series with his injury, there doesn’t seem to be a batsman who can take the Indian attack apart. Sure, Charles, Samuels and young Bravo batted well, but in limited overs cricket, a team needs at least one three figure knock and a couple of other 50 plus scores to put up a good total on the board. The West Indian batsmen are getting starts but for some reason unable to convert it into a match defining innings.
India had their two in form batsmen show the way with capital innings. Both Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli have been in the form of their lives and making sure that they are going to cash in. They of course did miss out on a century playing shots that they would still be kicking themselves for.
Sharma, after playing fluently once again, holed out to the only fielder in the deep on the legside and barely controlled himself as he walked away dejectedly. Kohli may have got a bit pressured because there was not much difference in the number of runs that he needed for yet another one-day century and the winning runs.
He picked the wrong ball to go over the infield and perished. He had however achieved the remarkable feat of joining the one and only Viv Richards to the fastest to 5000 runs in this format.
Virat may not look as destructive and fearsome as the great Viv, but in his own way, he has been demoralising the opposition bowlers with strokes all round the wicket. It is this special ability to hit the same delivery through both sides of the wicket that makes it hard to contain him.
India’s one-day fielding continues to delight. With natural athletes like Ravindra Jadeja, who took a stupendous return catch, as well as Kohli, Raina, Sharma, Yuvraj patrolling the boundaries, the runs are not easy for the opposition.
For the West Indies, the one bright spot was the batting and bowling of Jason Holder. He may not have scored plenty or picked a bagful of wickets, but he showed that if he stays injury free, then the West Indies could have the kind of player who could change the course of the game with both bat and ball.
Professional Management Group