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

Heavy load warning

Plays of the day from the first ODI between India and West Indies in Kochi

Heavy load
It's not often that you see a player being hauled off the ground on a stretcher, unlike, say in football. So it is understandable that the two paramedics who ran in after Chris Gayle had gone down on the pitch were a bit underprepared for the task. The two men had walked only a few steps before one of them realised that Gayle was not an average-sized cricketer, and had to quickly ask the two West Indies players, who had come from the dressing room, to give them a hand.

Grubber - I
Marlon Samuels had been introduced to the dual nature of the pitch early. In the first three overs, he saw a couple of deliveries reach MS Dhoni on the second bounce before being hit on the gloves by one that reared up from a length. But even that didn't prepare him for the shock that he got from Suresh Raina. As he went back to cut a shortish delivery in the 14th over, the ball almost scooted along the floor to strike the middle stump only a couple of inches above the base. A flabbergasted Samuels waited for a few seconds before slowly trudging off the pitch.

Grubber - II
By the time Mohammed Shami was brought back to bowl the 38th over, 69 out of the 75 deliveries Darren Bravo had faced were from the spinners, and he had done well against them. The assured footwork he had shown against spin, however, went missing when he stayed rooted to the crease off the second delivery he faced from Shami in that over. The ball stayed low and uprooted the offstump.

The first-ball surprise
All day, it was the lower bounce that had been causing batsmen problems. Rohit Sharma immediately checked the toe of his bat after defending the first ball of the second innings from Ravi Rampaul, but it was the first ball from Jason Holder that surprised everyone. First, Rohit, who was squared up as it bounced extra and flew past the shoulder of the bat; then the keeper, who was not able to hold on to the ball as it swerved away after crossing the batsman and went to the boundary; and finally, the slip fielders, who were perplexed by where that came from.

The sweeps

On a pitch that had afforded generous help to the Indian spinners, Sunil Narine was expected to play a part too. He did get a few to turn sharply during his spell. But with Rohit in the form of his life, that wasn't going to make a difference. Twice, in Narine's first two overs, Rohit intentionally swept in the air. The first one was behind square and it spun past the fine-leg fielder; the second was a dare to deep midwicket which went over the fielder for a six. The mini-battle was won by the batsman

Devashish Fuloria is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo