India v West Indies, 3rd ODI, Kanpur November 27, 2013

All too easy for India in the decider


India 266 for 5 (Dhawan 119, Yuvraj 55) beat West Indies 263 for 5 (Samuels 71, Powell 70, Darren Bravo 51*) by five wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

India have been masterful while chasing in ODIs this year, and against a moderate total and a mediocre West Indies attack, they ambled to victory in the series-deciding third ODI in Kanpur. Shikhar Dhawan hit his fifth ODI hundred of his magical year and the struggling Yuvraj Singh hit his first ODI half-century in 11 innings as India cruised to their sixth successive one-day series win of the year.

With a 9am start on a hazy winter morning, the talk at the toss was about how the first hour would be a challenge for the batsmen. West Indies negotiated that phase well losing only one wicket, and half-centuries from Kieran Powell and Marlon Samuels took them to a strong 164 for 2 when the batting Powerplay was taken. Perfectly placed then for the power-hitters to come; they nearly squandered that advantage by losing three quick wickets, but Darren Sammy and Darren Bravo provided the late flourish to lift them to 263.

That proved too little, especially as only Ravi Rampaul and Sunil Narine posed any threat with the ball. Jason Holder had a disappointing day, with Dhawan feasting on the poor lines to take five fours in his first two overs to propel India along early. Dwayne Bravo and Sammy were tame, and midway through the chase - when Dhawan and Yuvraj were killing off the chase - West Indies had turned to the innocuous duo of Veerasammy Permaul and Lendl Simmons.

There was briefly some hope for West Indies early on, when Rampaul dismissed two of India's red-hot top three early. He couldn't get the wicket of Dhawan, though, and Dhawan scored big. As usual, the innings was studded with breathtaking cuts and drives through the off, and without really seeming to make the effort, he had 20 fours to his name was scoring at over a run a ball.

While it was Dhawan's innings that made the game safe, Yuvraj's will gladden Indian fans. A destructive batsman with a penchant for the big stage, Yuvraj hasn't been among the runs in recent months, even during the Australia series which was a bowlers' bloodbath. Australia turned to Mitchell Johnson to dismiss him early several times, and West Indies hoped Narine would have a similar impact. Yuvraj wasn't comfortable against Narine today either, misreading him several times, but he managed to ride out that difficult phase and cashed in against the lesser threats in the attack.

Even though Dhawan and Yuvraj were dismissed with India just under 50 away from the target, it only afforded the chance for India's other out-of-form batsman, Suresh Raina, to play a pressure-free cameo on his birthday, with the result never in doubt.

It was far easier batting in the evening than in the first hour. India's new-ball bowlers posed plenty of questions for West Indies' openers, who were regularly beaten by the movement. Even as late as the 12th over, India had three slips in place.

Powell had grabbed the chance offered by Chris Gayle's absence with a half-century in Visakhapatnam, and built on that with another solid score. He was a bit loose outside off early on but settled in as the innings progressed, showing off his driving skills, with a square drive off Mohit Sharma in the sixth over a highlight. He had reached 70 by the 30th over, but miscued a sweep off R Ashwin - the fifth time in a row that the opener has gone past 40 without reaching triple figures.

His 117-run partnership with Samuels had set West Indies up for a strong total. Samuels was nervy early on, extremely reluctant to get on the front foot against the fast bowlers, and played and missed often. After his initial struggles, he was more at ease against the spinners, stepping out to launch Ashwin onto the temporary roof in the stands beyond long-on. He was reprieved on 60 when Virat Kohli put down a chance at first slip, but was bowled soon after by Ashwin.

That was in the first over of the batting Powerplay, and with Simmons and Dwayne Bravo failing, West Indies had suddenly slipped to 196 for 5. However, Darren Bravo made his third consecutive half-century and Darren Sammy's all-power game worked again this time as they threw the bat around to put on 67 in little over eight overs. It proved to be too little against India's formidable batting though.

Siddarth Ravindran is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • trevor on November 29, 2013, 11:43 GMT

    The better team won. India put in the better effort forward.Bravo still have some technical stuff to work on-his shot placement-and as we all know-shot selection. The selectors must find a place for Kraigg Brathwaite, Kirk Edwards, and Ravi Rampaul.Dwayne Bravo, Darren Sammy and Tino Best will have to go.We meed updates on ROACH,S Condition.Good inclusion of Narine in test for NZ TOUR,Team still not balanced Ravi Rampaul looked fit, his experience is needed. Walton needs to work hard to maintain his place in team.Shot selection also.Now a word concerning Ramdin.I have been hard on him, quite rightly so;He is a talented wicketkeeper who can bat much better than what he has been showing-he has been slack at the wicket with his bat-amateurish looking, The team needs to know that he will perform down the order with Chanderpaul. He is EXPECTED TO CONTROL THE LOWER ORDER, HE IS CONSTANTLY LOOKED UPON AS A WINDIES CPT;Thererfore more is expected of him and from him.Ditto Samuel & Bravo.

  • Monoz on November 29, 2013, 6:11 GMT

    Congrat Ind for the victory. I think dew made the difference otherwise it would have been close battle with WA slightly ahead with their victory in the previous match.

  • Ramesh on November 28, 2013, 20:39 GMT

    easy pickings for Indian batsmen in home conditions, but real treat is coming soon :)!

    I hope the Indian batsmen can carry the "confidence" to SA....that way we can see healthy competition.... out for a Steyn storm...all the best to Indian team and hope to see some wonderful cricket...

  • Keshav on November 28, 2013, 15:56 GMT

    Looking forward to a good competitive series in SA, whatever the result. India must not get complacent because the sternest test of their powers awaits them and will ruthlessly expose any lack of preparation or skill. I hope they just try their best, give a fight, and then let the results take care of themselves. Whatever happens, India must be objective at the end of the series and not blame anyone for a defeat and at the same time not go overboard if the results are encouraging. India has a good ODI nucleus and hopefully their test nucleus will stand up tall too.

  • Arjun on November 28, 2013, 13:58 GMT

    Dear Friends , as a independent journalist and Indian citizen, I will express my sincerely view. I'm sorry If any one hurt because my comment. In this cricketing world every team will having they're ecstasy period, look now our team India going through that in high note, but that is normal thing in cricket world and It doesn't mean that we are the all time best . yes, now we are the best ODI team because of our super batting ability but look our bowling and fielding, It's not up to the mark, hence we don't have to over joy or over confident It will add our young team to more pressure, look Australian side, I think they're the all time best team for last two and half decade , they were excellent in all 3 department, they're 4 times world cup winners and 2 times runner-up adds more they're consecutively No.1 test team for two decade BUT see what happen now ?? we have think about it and don't put our team in pressure cooker ! this is young team If they going to fail no one can't stop it.

  • Naresh on November 28, 2013, 13:09 GMT

    Its really unfair to see the comments about the Indian players(Especially Kohli, Rohit and Shikhar). Instead of encouraging them and wish success as you all wished for Sachin, you all are disappointing by comments. As an Indian we should not be biased. What a competition between these three players. competing in centuries and runs scored in a year. Wow feeling wonderful. Do not discourage them by saying they have been playing on flat pitches and playing against lower garde bowlers.

    In this generation, these guys are talented and they will definitely succeed in forthcoming series as well.Look at their game plans, that I never saw in previous generations.Many cricketers have been learning from Kohli on how to plan their game, I am sure about it. Rohit is one of them. Rohit improved a lot in this current year. Shikhar is naturally talented as Kohli.

  • RAJIV on November 28, 2013, 12:57 GMT

    Another series gone.....Another series Lost!!!...And the same old same old continues in WI cricket. Is WI cricket doing anything other than causing ill health to the people of the region. If you look at Pakistan with all the troubles they have and had in the past, are still able to put in good performances against top ranked teams. Why can't WI even come close to that?!

  • Dummy on November 28, 2013, 12:40 GMT

    The proof of the pudding is in the eating.How good he is will be known shortly when he faces Steyn and Morkel.But Bcci has made things difficult by proving just one practice game.Well it is time for politicians and businessmen to stop administrating the game with their myopic vision.

  • Mohsin on November 28, 2013, 12:35 GMT

    Why do a flood of 4s n 6s excites us Indian fans more dan a bowler getting pace/bounce or spin? why do most of us want bowlers to be just carted around? why dont we understand dat bowlers are players as well & scores of ~300-350 regularly on flat & even/grassless pitches is damaging the game & dosnt necessarily mean that our batsmen r invincible? A white new ball in typical flat Indian pitch on a hot day moves around for 8-10 overs after which fast bowlers become cannon fodder. Wher is d motivation for being a fast bowler? If its only about 4 or 6s, we might just hav bowling machines and 5 batsmen game. If its nt flat track on hot in ODI, its a square turner wher we see scores of <200. Why nt hav a balanced track wher ~250 is par score, hav std size bats, 80m boundary, 5 fielers on d boundary n something for both bat & ball n then sit back to enjoy d game?

  • Gaurav on November 28, 2013, 10:43 GMT

    WI playing with their A team? big joke. Its the best team they can get. have a look at the following: Chris Gayle: Out of form in ODIs since last 12 months, only one 50 in last 22 innings played outisde WI..... Dwayne Smith: averages 16 with bat in ODIs...... Pollard: averages 24 with bat after 85 ODIs..... Andre Russell: Himself doesn't know whether he is a bowler or batsman..... Chanderpaul: has not played ODI since 2011.... Badree: a spinner who bowls short pitch balls (ODI eco rate 5.8), raina is much better bowler.......... Edwards: is not considered good enough for ODIs by WI selectors........ Roach: eco rate 5.43 against India...