India conceded 321 in the first ODI against West Indies in Kochi and eventually lost by 124 runs, but their captain MS Dhoni said he was "quite happy" with the bowling, especially in the death overs. After going for 52 in the batting Powerplay, India's bowlers gave away 66 between overs 41 and 49, before Marlon Samuels and Darren Sammy scored 15 off the final over.
"Most our bowlers apart from Bhuvaneshwar gave runs," Dhoni said after the game. "Considering that we restricted them to a total of 321 on this wicket, I must say our bowlers did a decent job. I was quite happy with the death bowling and they bowled quite consistently maintaining their lengths and we were able to put fielders in right areas. Overall, I am quite happy with the bowling."
Although Bhuvneshwar Kumar was wicketless, he conceded only 38 in ten overs. Ravindra Jadeja had the next best economy rate - 5.80 - but the other four bowlers went at more than 6.50 runs per over. Dhoni had decided to bowl first because of the dew factor in Kochi but his ploy did not pay off in the afternoon heat.
"I think we had to do something because we have seen the impact of dew here. There was no surety, but dew plays a factor more often than not so the team is forced to bowl first," Dhoni said. "It was very hot and the fast bowlers were having a tough time and they would love to bowl few more overs. It was quite hard also to keep them rotating. I could not really rotate them well.
"They [West Indies] batted really well. If you see, we could not get too many wickets with the new ball. They were hitting the big shots but still we were not able to put pressure on them by not letting them get those easy singles."
Samuels was the key player for West Indies. He lifted a squad depleted by injury and dealing with contract issues with his sixth ODI hundred, and had a partnership of 165 with Denesh Ramdin - a West Indies record for the fourth wicket against India.
"I got some runs in the warm-up match against India A - including a half-century so I came here today determined to make my mark," Samuels said. "I lost my coach [Roy McLean] a little while back, so I dedicate this innings to him.
"Ramdin is in good nick for the last year and he's been batting well so we were able to feed off each other at the wicket. The communication and running between us went well. It is good when you can get runs and wickets and the team goes on to win the match. I will value this performance - when you do well and the team loses it doesn't mean that much to me. But to perform and take the team to a win against India in India is something special."
Samuels and the other West Indies batsmen were able to overcome the threat posed by India's spinners in Kochi. Collectively, they went for 144 runs in 22 overs and took only two wickets. Samuels was severe on Amit Mishra, whom he took for 40 runs off 28 balls.
"They have good spinners and I wanted to make sure I played well against the spinners," Samuels said. "Mishra is a very good legspinner with a googly like an offbreak so you had to be watchful. We tried to get the ones and twos against him and then attack the bad ball. It worked well."
Samuels also credited Viv Richards, who is with the West Indies A team in Sri Lanka at present, for his match-winning performance. "I had a long talk with the Master [Richards] and he just shared all his knowledge and I just soaked it up. I like to talk to the legends of West Indies cricket and gain knowledge. We have with us on tour, the great man Clive Lloyd, and also Sir Curtly Ambrose and Sir Richie Richardson as part of the team management. I like to listen to them as well. I will continue to talk to them and try to better my game."
West Indies go to Delhi for the second ODI on October 11 with a 1-0 lead in the five-match series.