India v West Indies, 2nd ODI, Visakhapatnam November 24, 2013

Catches, drops, and a missed century

Plays of the day from the second ODI between India and West Indies

The drop
The cliché goes, "Well bowled, well batted, well fielded. Good cricket all around." The first ball of the 34th over of the Indian innings was a two-fingered salute to it. Lendl Simmons had been brought on to bowl his military medium-pace. He bowled a filthy long-hop first up, down the leg side and slow. Suresh Raina didn't play a distinguished shot either, helping it into short fine leg's lap. The most shocking piece of work, though, was from the fielder, Kieran Powell. A knee-high catch, at no real pace, and Powell spilled it. Poor cricket all around.

The reaction
Virat Kohli reached the 90s in the 36th over of the Indian innings, but despite the Powerplay being on he was on 99 in the 40th. For most of the time during the fielding restrictions, he watched his partners Raina and MS Dhoni play dots or get out. In four overs - starting with the 37th - Kohli got only nine balls to face. It was a long time for his team-mates in the dressing room to wait for the milestone. So when Kohli finally got strike on 99, to the last ball of the 40th over, he hooked and his team-mates assumed he had got the hundred. Ravindra Jadeja, padded up to come in next, even began clapping as the others stood beside him. The smiles narrowed, and the claps stopped as they realised that Jason Holder had taken a low diving catch at long leg.

The catch
Standing up to the quicks is hard enough, but when the ball stays low and takes an outside edge, it becomes that much harder. Dhoni stood up to not just Bhuvneshwar Kumar, but also to the slightly quicker Mohit Sharma, when there wasn't much assistance to be gained from the pitch. One of those deliveries from Mohit didn't rise and took an outside edge from Marlon Samuels, but Dhoni had stayed low, had the gloves in the right place, and closed them at the right time. His reaction - repeated leaps in joy - showed you how special the catch was.

The catch, part II
This was a more painful effort, also initiated by Dhoni standing up to the stumps. Bhuvneshwar bowled short of a length and because Dhoni was up, Johnson Charles couldn't move forward. He still managed to time it, but failed to keep it down. The ball travelled quickly to Bhuvneshwar, who missed it and was hit in the chest. He managed to catch the rebound, but nearly collapsed after the act and had no energy to celebrate.

The dropathon
The conditions in the evening were less than ideal for cricket. The heavy dew made it near impossible for the bowlers to grip the ball, and Darren Bravo might want to walk straight into one of the Sri Lankan casinos being advertised in the stadiums during this series. In a space of four balls, he was dropped thrice. First it was Dhoni, who had taken a more difficult catch earlier. The deflection on the cut wasn't that big, but the gloves didn't quite close at the right time. Two balls later, Bravo went hard at R Ashwin again, but this time the difficult chance went through Suresh Raina at first slip. The resulting single kept Bravo on strike for the next over, and he hit the first ball back to the left of Mohammed Shami, who got a hand to it but couldn't hold on.

The reaction, part II
On second thought, Bravo shouldn't be venturing into any casino. He rode his luck too far. In Ashwin's next over, he tried to cut a ball that was not short enough and Dhoni caught the edge this time. Bravo's partner in the 100-run stand, Kieran Powell, hit the ground with his bat in disgust.

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Ashok on November 25, 2013, 16:03 GMT

    My first play recalls the worldliness of Einstien! Einstien defined "Insanity" as repeating the same mistake but expecting different results. Bravo epitomised this definition by hoping to expect the dropped catches to continue for the fourth time in <6 balls. My second play of the day was no appeal on a caught behind when Mohit was bowling to Sammy, late in the game. That would have won the game for India. Third play of the day was Sami finally using his common sense when he got 2 Wkts. in an over. Had he bowled just short of a length rising balls to Sammy - Instead of Full Tosses- he would have had him out straight away. Full Toss is the easiest ball to hit - which made Baseball as the "home run hitting entertainment"!

  • Kah on November 25, 2013, 14:53 GMT

    So hopefully now Dhoni, Selectors, etc will realize that "Jadeja a Batsman" is a myth. Jadeja needs to bowl really well to be in the national side, and be a full time bowler. Cant expect him to take singles, connect bat to ball, leave aside winning matches with the bat in crucial situations. India badly needs to reinstate its 7 "proper" batsman policy and 4 bowlers to win matches. Too much to expect Kohli, Dhawan and Rohit bail out India every time.

  • Chris on November 25, 2013, 10:49 GMT

    that was the best i;ve seen the west indies bat in ages. they took tons of singles instead of blocking everything and waiting to hit boundaries. they rotated the strike beautifully and lost wickets to rushes of blood. still, a few catches held would have turned the match the other way.

  • Dummy4 on November 25, 2013, 9:43 GMT

    The Powerplay overs did not bring many runs for India. In fact we were having healthy score at that point of time. Missed opportunities by Indians. And Kohli commited harakiri by hooking and holing out to Long leg, where Jason holder took a brilliant diving catch. And when we bowled in the 2nd innings, the dew factor played against us. And as usual our bowlers bowled poorly in death overs and it costs us the match. Of course, we have to give credit to Windies for wonderful chasing.

  • RAJARAMAN on November 25, 2013, 8:04 GMT

    To attribute Kohli's wicket to MSD is nonsense ... it was very casual of Kohli to hook the ball and very fortunate for WI that Holder took a briiliant catch ... unless it was a run-out owing to poor calling by the partner, the player has to take all the balme for getting out on 99 ... be it nervousness or the opposite of it (over confidence)

  • Arunprasath on November 25, 2013, 6:46 GMT

    Worth to metion Yuvraj's Dropped catch at long for Simmons and Sammy's unnoticed cath by Dhoni during 49th over

  • Subramanian on November 25, 2013, 6:03 GMT

    Dew dew dew all around. Can't blame anyone. crucial toss as MSD had mentioned. Hard luck guys. Hope we will come back strongly in the final match.

  • Dummy4 on November 25, 2013, 6:03 GMT

    Hope this is the time to give some chance to new players like Sanju and Rishi Dhawan. The form Sanju is in at this point of time, he will be the making of Indian version of Lara. Great Attitude and temperament towards game.

  • Dummy4 on November 25, 2013, 5:55 GMT

    Poor cricket from team India on 2nd odi ind vs wi specially between overs 35-45 in this match. Knowing truth of Rohith, Raina, Yuvara and Jedeja are not good in picking singles atleast beginning of their innings. But what Dhoni did today seems to be utterly mind game even though I like his game. MSD is one of the reasons for Kholi's wicket. Hope the team India sprit always remain high.

  • Ramhance on November 25, 2013, 4:24 GMT

    This was a win for th WI and a wind for cricket. WI has to learn the ways of winning again and keep a constant vigil on thier MENTAL clarity at every stage of the game. Ian Bishop is right when he proclaims the absence of "thought process" in WI approach

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