India v West Indies, 5th ODI, Chennai

Pollard special not enough for West Indies

The Report by Siddarth Ravindran

December 11, 2011

Comments: 110 | Text size: A | A

India 267 for 6 (Tiwary 104 retd, Kohli 80) beat West Indies 233 (Pollard 119, Russell 53) by 34 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details


Manoj Tiwary raises his arms after reaching his century, India v West Indies, 5th ODI, Chennai, December 11, 2011
Manoj Tiwary's maiden ODI hundred set up India's total of 267 © AFP
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India completed a fantastic year as far as home one-day internationals are concerned with another victory over West Indies in a topsy-turvy ODI, on a sweltering day in Chennai, to make the series scoreline 4-1.

The focus in dead rubbers is usually on fringe players auditioning for bigger roles, and plenty took centre-stage at the MA Chidambaram Stadium. Manoj Tiwary stated his case for a permanent place in an increasingly crowded India middle-order with his maiden one-day century and Kieron Pollard played his finest international innings without managing to complete a herculean task after West Indies' top order did its familiar house-of-cards impersonation.

Those two were the headliners but there were significant contributions from other players scrapping for a place. Andre Russell showed why he should be an automatic pick for West Indies, legspinner Rahul Sharma displayed great accuracy and a cool head in only his second international match and Irfan Pathan caused plenty of excitement with his famous inswingers with the new ball.

India were missing their four biggest ODI batting stars but that didn't prevent their next generation, led by Tiwary and Virat Kohli, from piling on 267 for 6 on a slow-and-low track. Then West Indies' batting floundered against an attack that featured at most one player who would make India's first-choice XI.

Irfan swung out Lendl Simmons first ball, and added the wicket of Kieran Powell soon after. Abhimanyu Mithun, one of the quick bowlers selected ahead of Irfan for the Test series in Australia, also took two wickets with the new ball. When Denesh Ramdin was adjudged lbw in the 16th over, the game seemed over as West Indies slumped to 78 for 5.

Pollard thought otherwise. The slow surface in Chennai is not suited to Pollard's explosive style of batting but that did not prevent him from stroking some effortless sixes down the ground. The one shot he did put some power behind, in the 16th over, cleared not just the rope but the stands as well, landing on the roof over long-on. There were very few slogs in his entire innings; virtually all of his the sixes were hit with a straight bat.

Keeping him company in an attempted revival was Russell, who has already shown his hitting skills several times. He matched Pollard stroke-for-stroke in a boundary-filled stand of 89 runs for the sixth wicket. Caribbean flair may be an old cliché but there was plenty of it in Russell's batting, highlighted by a flick for six over midwicket off Rahul Sharma. He bustled to his 50 off just 37 balls, outpacing even Pollard, though he did get two reprieves from wicketkeeper Parthiv Patel.

It was an athletic bit of fielding that broke the partnership that threatened to take the game away from India. Gautam Gambhir pounced on a Pollard dab towards short third man and scored a direct hit to run out Russell, who carried on running to the pavilion. Sammy failed once again but that still didn't stop Pollard from believing.

He farmed the strike and sprinkled in the odd nonchalant six in what was easily the longest innings of his international career. His wait for a first international hundred seemed set to be extended when he thumped Rahul Sharma to Kohli at long-on when on 99, but Kohli shelled the straightforward chance. With only the final wicket remaining, a rain of boundaries followed from Pollard before one mis-hit ended the game; he holed out to Ajinkya Rahane at long-off to leave West Indies 34 runs short.

If that was a special innings from Pollard, there was an important one from Tiwary earlier. It was Tiwary's first opportunity of the series, and he came in with a charged-up Kemar Roach on a hat-trick, three balls into the match. It was only his sixth game for India in nearly four years, spread across four different series. He had never made a hundred even in domestic one-dayers, and his previous highest score in internationals was 24.

He was greeted by a sharp bouncer from Roach, but grew more assured as the innings progressed. A couple of eye-catching off-drives early on eased his nerves, before he started picking off plenty of leg-side boundaries off the spinners. He first steadied the innings through an 83-run stand with Gambhir, whose 31 had a mix of sharp singles and panicky running.

That didn't prove a setback for India though, as Virat Kohli gave another example of his increasing ease at the international level. He worked risk-free singles off seven of his first eight deliveries, and opened up once he got used to the pace and bounce of the track. Kohli and Tiwary put on 43 runs in a five-over spell starting from the 27th over. It was not even the Powerplay and was supposed to be part of the 'boring' middle overs with the field spread out.

Tiwary had been cramping towards the end of his innings, and retired soon after reaching his century. Kohli became the highest ODI run-getter of the year and marched on towards his fifth one-day century of the year, but spooned a catch to long-off on 80.

The final stages of the Indian innings showed how difficult a surface it was to score on. Only three boundaries were hit in the final ten overs, as Sunil Narine proved hard to read, and Anthony Martin and Marlon Samuels didn't offer any freebies. The damage had already been done though, and despite Pollard's best efforts, West Indies couldn't reduce the margin of defeat in the series, which was far more closely contested than the 4-1 scoreline suggests.

Siddarth Ravindran is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by butterBum on (December 14, 2011, 6:09 GMT)

I really dont understand why Darren Sammy is still the captain of WI cricket team,They have better BOWLERS, BATSMEN and ALLROUNDERS than him and its higggggggh time west indies fans realise(Selectors-- waste of time ) his place is costing a really Talented individuals! ITS so sad to see EGO ,PRIDE and FOOLISHNESS make merry when it comes to a NATIONS pride!

Posted by lugujaga on (December 14, 2011, 2:26 GMT)

LOOSE LIPS SINK THE SHIP.. WHY IS IT THAT AFTER EVERY GAME SAMMY HAVE THE SAME POST MATCH SPEECH. DESMOND HAYNES AND RICHIE RICHARDSON ARE IN THE WEST INDIES SETUP JUST FOR THE MONEY. THEIR WAS NOTHING DIFFERENT THAT I SAW THE PLAYERS DID TO SHOW THAT THEY HAD IMPROVED IN THEIR BATTING ,AFTER BEING COACHED. AS FOR OTIS GIBSON HE ALREADY PROVED THAT HE CAN DESTROY MUCH MORE THAN HE CAN CREATE. THE W.I.C.B. AND THE WEST INDIES SO CALLED COACH AND SO CALLED BATTING CONSULTANT ARE NOT EVEN CAPABLE OF GETTING WATER WET... IT'S HIGH TIME THEY WENT. LET ANDY ROBERTS RUN THE SHOW BECAUSE HE SEEMS LIKE THEY ONLY ONE WHO IS NOT INERESTED IN ALL THE MONEY AND POWER THAT THE CURRENT ADMINISTRATION IS FIGHTING FOR

Posted by arun02k81a0205 on (December 13, 2011, 14:17 GMT)

Can someone please tell me how the rating points are calculated??? At the start of the series India were at 118 points. Inspite of winning the series against WI why the rating points are reduced to 117?? They have won by far a comfortable margin(4-1). Will the rating points increase if a team lose the match or win the match??

Posted by   on (December 13, 2011, 12:18 GMT)

Certain thing just can't happen when u want to win a series of any sort in cricket. Check this out. The ODI series; WI: Avg opening stand 7.2runs. 1st ODI 3-52-10ov; 2nd:5-63-17ov; 4th: 4-90-14ov; 5th:5-78-16ov; the rd ODI 2-97; was fine. Run outs at crucial pts; The foll. run outs in the series; Hyatt-27th ov; Simmons-36th ov; Powell-2nd ov; Russell-29th ov. All were match changing run outs. The capt avg 12 with the bat & drop nothing less than 6 catches. Bravo's injury didn't help either. Jadeja & Sammy r not friends u know why,don't u?

Posted by Sachit1979 on (December 13, 2011, 4:02 GMT)

I would still praise Windies after their loss in ODI and test series knowing the fact that they are going through a reformation phase. Following are some positives for them to pick: 1.> They came really close to victory in 2 out of 3 tests and 3 out of 5 ODIs. Probably with experience they could learn to convert such opportunities into wins. 2.> Bravo Jr once again proved that he belongs to generation of caribbean classics. 3.> Roach has been sensational in phases. He needs to be more consistent with his firepower. 4.> Russel showed all signs of a quality all rounder. He needs to come up into the order and needs to be more desciplined with his bowling. 5.> Rampaul emergence as an all rounder. 6.> Narine and Martin made impression with limited opportunities given and certainly deserve more chances.

Posted by Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas_Atheist on (December 13, 2011, 1:47 GMT)

I was very disappointed with the way Sammy couldn't bat. I think I'm one of the Indian supporters who supported him to the hilt. But his batting is found wanting when the team was in trouble. Sorry Sammy for turning my back against you.

Posted by   on (December 13, 2011, 1:12 GMT)

Mr Balajik68is very much correct in telling what he felt. I also felt on the same lines, Those who read my comments on Bombay Test .& later on on the ODIs might remember aboutvwhat I said about the need to change Sammy &making the Replica of Brian Lara Lara ;Yes BRAVO as the new Captain!Now I am more convinced with support from mr.BalajiK68 who shares the same view almost. Sammy can avoid. Defeat by wasting time for treatment of Injury w/o sending 12 th Man in to deny an extra over to the opponent to finish game in their favor.This is never was the Spirit of LLyoid,Kanhai,Richards ,Kallicharran ,Brian Lara or Courtney Walsh..Then why Sammy alone? The answer is with the WIndies Selectors & not with anyone in this Nation! Sreedharan Mundanat

Posted by Cricwiz82 on (December 12, 2011, 23:50 GMT)

West indies should choose their best 11 players and pick their captain from that. A captain of a team in any sports should be one of the best player not the worst (SAMMY). This is the reason why west indies cricket is going no where, the board and selectors have no clue.

Posted by harshthakor on (December 12, 2011, 17:58 GMT)

Full credit to West Indies for running India so close and fighting till the very end..The fitting margin should have been 3-2 in favour of India,with windies almost winning the first one day international..In only one game were they convincingly beaten.Infact on the whole tour they have given India hard fight,running India close and coming into possible winning positions in 2 of the 3 test matches.

Posted by TTking on (December 12, 2011, 16:03 GMT)

Rohit Sharma has to play in Australia in front of Virat Kohli. His technique is more suited to bouncy wickets where as Kohli is more suited to sub-con conditions.

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