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

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  • ESPN on November 26, 2013, 9:46 GMT

    why chris gayle is not playe come to gangam style chris gayle bond

  • Anshul on November 22, 2013, 5:38 GMT

    I dont understand why everyone is talking about pitches ..Its same for both the team. the pitches should be home team's strength. Do Indian get a spining track when they go to australia and england ..and lets not critisise our player even after they are performing. whether flat track or any track u have to play well to score.. All the best team India..we will do well outside the home as well. Get going

  • Satish Chandar on November 22, 2013, 4:00 GMT

    Lol. You get falt tracks - Blame pitches in India for no proper contest between bat and ball. Get spin track which aids bowlers and makes batsmen earn runs, again blame it as under prepared.. For the rocket scientists, it is VERY TOUGH to prepare green tracks with clouds hovering around and offer juice to the pace bowlers for the enitre day.. Even in England, the ball swings prodigally ONLY when it remains overcast. This is not New zealand or South Africa with their climatic conditions.

  • Dummy4 on November 22, 2013, 2:43 GMT

    To all of you complaining about the pitch,no Indian batsmen had any problem with playing there.And standard for the pitch is not based on how much pace and bounce it got.That can only mean it is a pitch good for pace bowlers.

  • Dummy4 on November 22, 2013, 1:15 GMT

    It is high time to set standard for Pitches prepared for International matches. Indian Pitches are the worst prepared ones in the international level.

  • Dummy4 on November 21, 2013, 23:50 GMT

    Windies - This series doesn't matter to you unless you want to be prepared for sub-standard wickets for your future.. So relax. USELESS series sans excitement, 2015 world cup is coming up and we have some pathetic players viz Raina & Ashwin. Even Yuvraj is struggling. Why not test the mettle of rest on real wickets/pitches?

  • Ashok on November 21, 2013, 19:33 GMT

    My first play of the day was Run out of Gayle via direct throw from Kumar. Gayle has been "Kumar's Bunny" but getting him Run out is the alternate way Kumar tried for the first time- A Run Out Ball!. My second play of the day is Kohli's six which gave him the 5000 runs in ODI cricket in the shortest time of 114 innings. In doing so he equalled the existing record by Sir Viv- Congats Virat- Well done. Last play of the day was search for #4 Batsman by Dhoni. It is like a blind man searching for a black cat in a dark room, which is not there. Why not accept Pujara- the best #4 or #3- a World class talent that is staring at you!

  • Muthuvel on November 21, 2013, 19:12 GMT

    Get well soon Chris...but yeah it was worrying to see two little guys take him out in such a small stretcher..what if it broke. You need strong stretchers for a guy who is like 6'4"..probably 200+ pounds

  • Douglas on November 21, 2013, 18:38 GMT

    Yes - have Chanderpaul open the batting and you only have to worry about wickets falling at the other end!

  • Douglas on November 21, 2013, 18:33 GMT

    Gibson would never play Chanderpaul as he he scared he would get 10,000 runs in one dayers as well. He already killed Sarwan's cricket. Had Chanderpaul not been averaging 70+ over the last few years, he would have been out too.

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