West Indies v India, 3rd ODI, St Lucia

Rain gave India the advantage - Kirsten

Cricinfo staff

July 4, 2009

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MS Dhoni flashes a thumbs-up sign after guiding India to a 2-1 series lead, West Indies v India, 3rd ODI, St Lucia, July 3, 2009
Gary Kirsten on MS Dhoni: "He's had a magnificent series and he's played some really good one-day cricket for us." © Associated Press
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Gary Kirsten, India's coach, has credited India's innings not being affected as much as by inclement weather as crucial to taking a series lead. West Indies innings began two hours late and was interrupted thrice due to rain, and further intervals initially readjusted India's target to 195 in 27 overs before a further shower reduced it to 159 in 22 overs. In the end, thanks to MS Dhoni's unbeaten hand, India won in the final over with six wickets in hand.

"It definitely helps a team batting second in this type of set up," said Kirsten. "It did suit us to be batting second because you can dictate the game a little better when the overs are shortening in terms of what you need."

India went into the final over needing 11 and Dhoni hit the second ball from Jerome Taylor over midwicket to leave India on course for victory. "Someone like MS Dhoni can hit the ball out the ground at any time so it was comforting knowing that we had him at the crease controlling the game," said Kirsten. "He's had a magnificent series and he's played some really good one-day cricket for us. When it comes down to the wire it can go either way, the most important thing is that you have game breakers and match-winners in at that situation.

"It became a Twenty20 game and you know that when you are chasing more than a run a ball and [the required run rate] is up at eight and nine and you have one bad over, you're behind a little bit. [Dwayne] Bravo bowled a magnificent second to last over when he went for five. But we had quality batsmen in so we always felt that one good over [would make the difference'," Kirsten said.

The electronic scorecard at the ground blanked out toward the end of the game, forcing Kirsten to relay required scores to the batsmen at the crease. "It was mind-blowing to be honest, but the umpires were giving them notice every over so they knew what was going on," he said. "They were fully aware from us what the Duckworth-Lewis totals were so we were pretty much in control of that."

India lead 2-1 with one to play on Sunday.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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