India v West Indies, 1st ODI, Cuttack November 29, 2011

Ashwin is run out, again

ESPNcricinfo presents the Plays of the Day from the first ODI between India and West Indies in Cuttack

The déjà vu moment
After being at the centre of the nerve-shredding draw in Mumbai, R Ashwin wouldn't have gambled on being run out in the very next game, in incredibly similar fashion. Rohit Sharma steered a slow offcutter to third man, for what seemed like a straightforward couple. Like in Mumbai, Ashwin wasn't running to the danger end, but for some reason decided to refuse the second. The noisy crowd meant Rohit probably heard the call late and Ashwin was eventually forced to leave the crease with his partner almost beside him, for the second time in two innings. Things are looking up for Ashwin with bat and ball, but running is another matter altogether.

The transformation
Lendl Simmons came into the game with seven half-centuries and a ton in his last 12 innings, and the confidence was evident in the flourish accompanying his strokes. But the placement and timing took a while to make an appearance. He played out 15 balls against India's nifty new-ball pair, without managing to find a gap and the pressure was building on West Indies. Simmons eventually broke free off his 16th ball, moving out of the crease to punch Vinay Kumar powerfully for a four down the ground. The next ball, he sashayed out again and picked up a length ball to deposit it for a six over midwicket, and suddenly looked a completely different batsman.

The start
Virender Sehwag has never been one of those get-your-eye-in kind of batsmen. During the World Cup, he made a habit of muscling the first ball he faced in nearly every match for boundaries. This was the first one-dayer he played since the World Cup final, but being away from the format for eight months didn't stop that trend. His first delivery was a free-hit - short and well outside off, and it was duly dispatched over backward point for four.

The turning point
West Indies had the chance to close out the game in the 39th over, when Rohit Sharma suffered a sudden brainfade with India 37 runs short of the target. He tried to pull a ball that wasn't quite short at a time when India needed only singles, and top-edged it in the air towards third man. Darren Bravo had to move only a few yards forward to complete the catch, but he seemed to lose sight of the ball. He stayed rooted to his position as the ball bounced in front of him and Rohit survived. He knocked off another 15 runs before being eventually dismissed, and the tailenders held their nerve to pip West Indies.

The interruption
After the one-dayers against England failed to attract the customary large crowds, Cuttack showed the appetite for cricket in the smaller centres. There wasn't a seat to be had at the Barabati Stadium as international cricket returned after two years. While the jam-packed stadium would have heartened the organisers, there was a period of concern in the eighth over of the chase. It wasn't entirely clear what happened, but Sammy called all the West Indian players to the middle after a disturbance in the outfield. Play was held up for several minutes as a large number of policemen were stationed near the stand where the problem occurred.

Siddarth Ravindran and Nitin Sundar are sub-editors at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Srinivas on December 2, 2011, 14:22 GMT

    @Karthik Raja, I agree with you regarding the runout. After reading your comment, I watched the footage closely again. Yes, while Ashwin was wrong in making the call, he made it VERY early and yes Rohit was caught ball watching and Rohit watched Ashwin after he came almost halfway down the pitch. Instead of turning back at that point of time, he pressed forward which was absolute rubbish. And the kind of theatrics at the boundary line by Rohit were quite aweful. Yes, Ashwin was at fault and Rohit didn't approach the situation with a level-head, as a senior partner. It's like flying a flight. Your junior co-pilot makes a mistake. But the Captain of the flight makes the situation worse instead of trying to undo it, resulting in a crash. Rohit should have gone back to prevent this runout. Ashwin needs to be commended for trying to undo his elementary mistake and sacrifcing his wicket. Hope Rohit learns from the elementary mistake on his part as well.

  • Dummy4 on December 2, 2011, 8:06 GMT

    One single question - Given the situation, wt was more important "a single run" r "preserving fall of a wicket".. I wud go for later.. Okay, Ashwin is bad runner.. He screamed a big NOOOO as soon as he reached his end.. Rohit has turned and running towards him.. He is seeing that Ashwin is not responding.. Throw has left the fielder's hand.. Rohit in mid pitch and Ashwin in his end.. Who can make it other End easily.?? It should be Rohit.. I am not blaming Rohit.. Bt, its not entirely Ashwin's fault for India to lose that wicket.. Indeed he made sure that Rohit is in play by sacrificing his wicket.. He has shown some character in the field and should be appreciated.. Such kinda mistakes wil happen and he shud b ADVISED wid a pat in his shoulder and not in such a rude way.. We all r reacting as if we hv never seen pathetic running in Indian cricket.. Many a times, our batsman has run for non existent run.. So, guys.. Relax.. All these r part and parcel of the GAME.. :))

  • Dummy4 on December 2, 2011, 7:34 GMT

    @Dravid_Gravitas.. Every1 will have their own view.. I respect ur view reg Sachin's answer.. And, I am not going to argue against it.. Bt, wt I believe is that he doesn't need to do any gimmicks now(like showing himself as Monk) given his fan following all around the world which includes some gr8 cricketers who r definitely our(u & mine) favorites.. But ur arguments like "Playing for records", "should be shown door", "when he performs, India fails", "Not performing in pressure Conditions", "Selfish", "Useless runs" - all these deserves some serious re-thinking.. As I hv observed frm ur comments, u seems to hv level headed approach on cricket, barring these nonsense "Sachin bashing".. I could also see u list him as great in few of ur recent comments.. If u r interested, I can recommend u my policy.. "If u don't like some1 who is loved by majority, better dont comment.. Don't try belittle their credits which hv earned him a huge following.." Believe me.. This has earned me lot of frndz.

  • Kannan on December 2, 2011, 4:42 GMT

    Can't take constructive criticism? It is childish to cast aspersions at Sunil for his well meaning comments on Ashwin. The fact remains that Ashwin needs to improve on his fielding and running between the wickets ability. Nobody gets discounts on their performance, even if they have had an injury preventing them from discharging what is required to represent the country. I've seen Sunil bat and field and believe me he used to score at a pretty brisk clip in an era when there was no limitation on bouncers and the number of overs in a day was just about 75. People seem to judge him by his 36 n.o. That shows how little these people know about Sunil's cricket or why he played that innings in such a fashion. Sunil moulded the first Indian team that excelled in fielding under his cap in 1985 when India won the Victoria Jubilee series in Australia. Some of the fielding done then would put many of the test players' fielding to shame and that would include Dhoni's keeping!

  • Srinivas on December 1, 2011, 22:52 GMT

    @Karthik Raja, honestly, I look at questions with obvious answers in a different way. As humans, we need to understand that questions with obvious answers are part and parcel of our lives, be it a job interview or an interview with a journalist. When such a question is posed, there are several ways to answer it. One of the ways is, directing the question back at the journalist, "What do you think I will be thinking"? and then laughing it away. Humorously admitting that you are a human doesn't dent your dignity in any way. You asked me, "BTW, wts wrong in thinking abt it.."? In fact, if you've noticed, I never said there's anything wrong in thinking about it. I'm saying it's wrong to say that one is not thinking about it. Sachin, with his ludicrous answers, is trying to project himself as a Monk, which Sachin obviously isn't; and dishonest answer begets pressure. How? Now, he has to act, while playing, that he isn't thinking about 100. Instead of playing, he chose acting. Pressure!

  • Dummy4 on December 1, 2011, 13:36 GMT

    Guys, he suffered a severe pelvic injury when he was young, so for him to made his mark in this level is itself a great achievement. Appreciate people for what they have done, lets have our criticisms to ourselves. Do not engage in petty fights, grow up and get on with you life. Lets not judge any ones attitude or talent sitting behind a computer or a TV, no one cares about the difficulties and obstacles these people face, all they care about is to criticize people of their short comings to compensate for their own low level of self respect and esteem. Congos Ashwin...

  • Sganu on December 1, 2011, 11:51 GMT

    We were all praises for Ashwin, until his controvercial handling of last 2 balls in final test.., his stock dropped drastically and questions raised on his commitment and maturity in the situation. When Aaron has completed the second run at the danger end, what was Ashwin thinking- preserving his wicket at the cost of the win? It's a shame..again given benefit of doubt by some diehard fans...and then its proven beyond doubt that team management needs to work on him and his reading of game while taking decision in running between the was Rohit's call but he is not prepared to react. Criticizing Gavaskar as a commentrator is unreasonable here for the fact that he is in commentory role, where some of the commentrator doesn't even achieve enough so they cannot be critical of the mistakes, is that the logic then it's failed one, not withstanding what he has done as a player. He is justifying here as a commentrator, one cannot shoot the messenger...however bad the news may be

  • Ram on December 1, 2011, 11:27 GMT

    Why this north - south issue still? If someone succeeds try to appreciate or if he does a mistake then pinpoint it, y dou want to criticize a person for the sole reason he is a southe or a tamilian( in this case). Aftr all we are all indians!!!

  • Desi on December 1, 2011, 11:20 GMT

    Lets be honest here and accept that Ashwin needs to improve in his fielding and running between the wickets..He is playing in 2011, so there is no need to compare him with players from other era than this era. Without a doubt he is an exceptional bowler and India´s spin future; He has to be good in other things to be a part of a successful team. Lets wish Ashwin improvement in weak areas.

  • Jaganathan on December 1, 2011, 10:54 GMT

    Continuation... Sunil Gavaskar is a great legend.. but sometimes he should be careful while commenting.... his comments makes us to think about what he performed during his cricketing days. Gavaskar should think about his running and strike rate... he played one of the most humiliating innings in ODI cricket so far.. making 36 of 170+ balls.. just for the sake of talking, he cannot make rubbish comments on youngsters... It is the duty of super senior players like SG, RS to help these youngsters and not to make stupid comments in air... Everybody needs improvment and fans should also understand players have limitations.. cannot expect munaf to do a jonty in feild.. people talking abt kumble and laxman being natural athletes.. chk out their video's of 90's for their pathetic feilding... they improved over the years.. I wish these youngsters Ashwin, Rohit, Raina's will do the same and be the legend's for the future generation. MOTIVATION DOES A WORLD OF GOOD THAN CRITICISING...

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