Virender Sehwag, India's stand-in captain, has said there was "no excuse for anybody not scoring runs" after his side limped to a one-wicket win in the first ODI against West Indies in Cuttack. Chasing 212, India's batting order collapsed before and after Rohit Sharma, who made 72, and the hosts needed the last pair of Varun Aaron and Umesh Yadav to secure victory.
"In India you hardly see the team tottering at 59 for 5. Hopefully we will come up with strong batting performances in the next games," Sehwag said after the match. "We have to learn from our mistakes. There were two good balls. The ball came in and we [Virat Kohli and I] played early and made mistakes."
Sehwag was critical of the "soft dismissals" of Parthiv Patel, Gautam Gambhir and Suresh Raina, which left India on 59 for 5 in the 12th over. "There were three soft dismissals of Parthiv Patel, Gautam Gambhir and Suresh Raina. There is no excuse for anybody not scoring runs. We have to back our batting. We have some exciting youngsters playing for last three four years. But I am happy with bowling and fielding."
Rohit anchored the chase by scoring 72 off 99 balls and was praised by Sehwag for winning the game for India. "Rohit is one of the talented batsmen. He is improving match by match. He is proving himself. He is one of the best. Full credit to Rohit Sharma, [Ravindra] Jadeja and Vinay Kumar. One by one they did it for us.
Rohit added 83 for the sixth wicket with Jadeja, who made 38, and then 42 with Vinay Kumar for the eighth. "When you lose five quick wickets, it's difficult to come back. I praise Rohit Sharma and Jadeja as their partnership took us there. After that Vinay and Rohit had a good partnerships. The way Rohit, Jadeja and Vinay batted was great to see."
The previous ODI series in India, against England, had poor attendances at the grounds but the match at the Barabati Stadium had a strong crowd. "It feels great when people come to watch a game. We hope people will come and support us in the next matches," Sehwag said. "I love to play in smaller towns. People give so much respect and love. They bring all kinds of food and stuff to you to make sure you are happy."
The second ODI between India and West Indies is in Visakhapatnam on December 2.