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November 27, 2013
Dwayne Bravo, the West Indies captain, has said his team lost a great opportunity to win a series in India, having lost the Kanpur ODI by five wickets. The series was level 1-1 before this match, in which West Indies set India a target of 264 - the hosts chased that down with nearly four overs to spare.
"At times we were inconsistent with the ball and we paid for it," Bravo said. "We did a lot of things right but unfortunately just didn't win the game. We are disappointed because this was our best opportunity to win a series in India. We just have to regroup and keep believing."
Bravo conceded he was happy with the total the West Indies batsmen put on the board, but would have preferred one of them to kick on from their start. Kieran Powell and Marlon Samuels scored fifties, putting together a 117-run partnership for the second wicket, but neither got through the 70s. The subsequent batsmen could not get another substantial partnership going until the end, when Darren Bravo and Darren Sammy scored 67 runs in the last eight overs.
"The average score on this wicket is 230-235 and we did really well to get to 260-plus," Bravo said. "But the wicket did get better to bat [on] in the afternoon and the strong Indian line-up got a very good start. We were outplayed with the bat and we need to give credit where it is due.
"Samuels and Powell had a fantastic partnership but unfortunately none of them could carry on to score a big one. Samuels got out to a good ball from Ashwin, which was the turning point. I would have loved our batsmen to consolidate on their starts but as long as they keep showing signs of form, I am sure big score will follow."
India opener Shikhar Dhawan, who scored his fifth ODI hundred of the year, said he was happy to get a big score in the series decider. Dhawan scored an attacking hundred, finishing with 119 off 95 balls, which laid the platform for India to chase the target.
"I am very happy that I made a century and the team won," Dhawan said. "I have been getting starts in the last two-three matches but was not being able to convert them into big scores. It couldn't have been better that I scored a century in the series-deciding match."
With the hundred, his new highest-score in ODIs, Dhawan took his runs tally to 1150 for the year and is third on the list of highest run-scorers, behind team-mates Virat Kohli (1237) and Rohit Sharma (1159). Ending the series with a ton, Dhawan said, would give him a lot of confidence for the upcoming South Africa tour.
"It's always good to end a home series on a high note," Dhawan said. "This century is going to give me lot of confidence when I travel to South Africa. I am really happy that I have been scoring lots of centuries. It's a good habit and I want to continue this habit, winning lots of matches for my team."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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After the tragedy of Phillip Hughes' death, this match showed that cricket and life will continue to go on. This time Test cricket dug in and got through to tea.
Virat Kohli's innings on the final day transcended the conditions, the bowlers and his batting partners, and when it was all in vain, he displayed remarkable grace in defeat
The new stand-in captain has the makings of a long-term leader, given his ability to stay ahead of the game
Both batsmen seemingly have buckets of talent at their disposal and the backing of their captains, but soft dismissals relentlessly follow both around the Test arena
The failed gamble of handing Karn Sharma a Test debut despite him having a moderate first-class record means India have to rethink who their spinner will be
Turning your back on a system that the whole cricketing world wants a discussion on, refusing to discuss it because it is not 100%, is not good enough
After a long time we have seen an Indian team and captain enjoy the challenge of trying to overcome stronger opposition in an overseas Test