India v West Indies, 1st ODI, Kochi November 21, 2013

Spinners set up easy win for India


India 212 for 4 (Kohli 86, Rohit 72) beat West Indies 211 (Darren Bravo 59, Raina 3-34, Jadeja 3-37) by six wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli continued their prolific runs to set up India's chase with effortless half-centuries after India's spinners, led by Ravindra Jadeja and Suresh Raina, had taken eight wickets to bowl West Indies out for a below-par total in Kochi.

Shikhar Dhawan was caught behind off a rising Jason Holder delivery in the fourth over, but Rohit and Kohli were unfazed by the dual nature of the pitch, and kept scoring freely throughout their 133-run partnership in 21.4 overs.

It was Kohli who did the bulk of the scoring in the first 10 overs, hitting five boundaries against Rohit's one. But as soon as Sunil Narine was introduced in the 11th over, Rohit took over the role of aggressor. The next seven hits to the boundary came from Rohit's bat, as he used a wide array of shots - from powerful slog-sweeps to deft late-cuts - to zoom past Kohli. During the course of his innings, he went past Misbah-ul-Haq to become the leading run-scorer in 2013, but just when a century looked certain, he pulled one straight to deep midwicket to be dismissed for 72, with his tally of international runs since October standing on 859.

Kohli had been happy to turn over the strike to Rohit during their partnership, but he switched gears as a struggling Yuvraj Singh - not Raina - joined him in the middle. A couple of powerful pulls were unleashed against the fast bowlers - the second one making him the joint-fastest to reach 5000 ODI runs along with Viv Richards, in 114 innings. But just like Rohit, he too was dismissed when a hundred appeared for the taking.

India needed 20 runs at that stage off 18.4 overs, which despite a brief flutter, was not enough for the West Indies to defend. Apart from Rohit and Kohli, none of the batsmen from either team found it easy to bat.

For Indian bowlers though, the Kochi pitch brought a respite, soothing the wounds they endured during the series against Australia last month, as they finally exerted some control over the batsmen.

West Indies had recovered from the loss of Chris Gayle in the first over to get to 63 for 1 after ten overs when spin was introduced. Jadeja, who had been left out of the Tests to nurse his injured shoulder, took only four balls to make an impact. Johnson Charles, trying to whip a flighted delivery to the leg side, got a leading edge towards Jadeja, who dived full length to his left to pull off a one-handed blinder.

That the ball had stopped a touch on the batsman was an indication for MS Dhoni to introduce spin at both ends. Raina didn't have to wait for long either. His eighth delivery barely bounced, hitting the base of the middle stump to dismiss a well-set Marlon Samuels.

Raina added two more wickets - Lendl Simmons was adjudged lbw to one which was probably spinning down the leg side while Narsingh Deonarine had himself to blame for playing across the line to a straighter one - and ended up with his best ODI figures of 10-1-34-3.

Darren Bravo, though, fought back with 59 off 77 deliveries. He manoeuvered the strike around in company of Simmons - both adding 65 for the fourth wicket - while being severe on anything that was pitched up. Twice, he hit flighted deliveries from Jadeja into the stands. However, he too was dismissed by one that stayed low from Mohammed Shami during the Powerplay. His dismissal signaled the end of resistance from West Indies as the rest of the batsmen could only manage 28 more runs. Jadeja finished with three wickets that also propped him up to the top of the ODI wicket-takers' charts this year.

Spin was thought to be a factor at the start of the match because of the presence of cracks on the pitch. West Indies chose to bat, hoping to build the pressure in a format they are more comfortable with.

The change to coloured clothing was supposed to bring relief for Gayle, who had endured a difficult time in the Test series with a top score of 35. But he didn't give himself a chance to settle. He dabbed the second delivery of the match towards the non-striker and called straightaway for a risky single. Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who has dismissed Gayle four times this year already, sprinted to his right, swiveled and threw down the stumps at the non-striker's end, catching Gayle well short.

But as Gayle tried to make his ground, he took a tumble and injured his hamstring that is likely to keep him out for up to four weeks.

Devashish Fuloria is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Sreekanth on November 23, 2013, 11:53 GMT

    Indian ODI team is at its peak now. Yes, it was not long ago that our bowlers conceded 300+ runs against Australia almost every match. But the combination of Bhuvi, Shami, Ashwin & Jadeja will be a decent attack, if not a threatening one. If India can continue to restrict the opposition to 260-275 consistently, then rest is assured our batsmen will make a mockery of the chase on ANY SURFACE in ANY COUNTRY against ANY BOWLING. And in MS Dhoni, we have one of the greatest ODI captains and best ODI finisher. I certainly believe this team will go down into the books as one of the best ODI teams ever.

  • Dummy4 on November 23, 2013, 11:28 GMT

    rohit sharma is great. I hope he gets big hundred in second ODI. He had wonderful chance here but threw his wicket. I hope this ODI belongs to rohit

  • Dummy4 on November 23, 2013, 8:01 GMT

    well done india ! Dissappointment from WI to their fans. Being 100 odd runs for 3 down & getting bowled out for 211 doesnt enthuse much. they just dint apply. Another fine performance from rohit & virat. together they r bcoming a deadly combination ! touch wood ! But either of them should have gone for a century. Its high time yuvi & raina pull their socks up or else they will have no one to blame. this is the time to roar back to form against a relatively inexperienced bowling. i think rayudu needs a look in if india go 2-0 up.

  • Dummy4 on November 22, 2013, 20:21 GMT

    Dhoni needs to use Bhuvaneshwar, Shami and Mohit. Unadkat is decent but he lacks pace and does not seam or swing. Unless unadkat can get one of those three i dont see him surviving in the international league for too long. If we are going to play Ashwin and Jadeja then either or both Yuvi and Raina need to make space for two batsman who are in form. Thats my two cents

  • YOGENDRA on November 22, 2013, 18:11 GMT

    Now, I am watching T20 match between Pakistan and SA. It is vert interesting because SA has to chase a big score. So to conclude, test matches are interesting only if Bowlers have advantage and taking a lot of wickets

  • Android on November 22, 2013, 12:31 GMT

    I would like to remind u guys who r criticizing abt Indian team winning in their own back yard , well it hasn't been a long ago when india beat every single team right through warm up matches including south africa and beating west indies in west indies in tri angular.

  • RAJARAMAN on November 22, 2013, 11:39 GMT

    I don't understand ... 2 people have crossed a milestone in same number of matches ... how does this gets affected by playing more ODIs? What is the sin by comparing X with Y by the same yardstick? VK is certainly on par with Viv at least in this statistic ... and there will equal number of arguments for and against ... just relish the feat and move on

  • RAJARAMAN on November 22, 2013, 11:33 GMT

    @nampally ... MSD certainly has good figures batting at no. 4 ... only he can't do it now is simply because his services are much required for match-finishing rather than in the run-building phase ...

  • Dummy4 on November 22, 2013, 11:27 GMT

    Let us see what will the world best team do at South Africa?

  • Dummy4 on November 22, 2013, 11:18 GMT

    Please dont compare the old time cricketers with the present day players with statistics.Those days the ODI was not played frequently like present days.A player may get 5to 6 matches per year and in his whole career may be 100 or little more.These days a cricketer get 30 ODI in a year. I saw a comparison note for Virat Kohli against Sir Viv Richards equaling 5000 ODI runs in equal number of innings.It is sacrilege to compare the great man with the present day players. It took 11 and odd years for Viv to complete 5000 runs where as Kohli did in 5 years? Can Kohli maintain the same average and strike rate for 11 years? Viv was a captain, bowler,exciting fielder and no.1 batsmen those days. No body can hold candle to Viv. Infact, he was the God father of ODI cricket.