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Thursday, October 09, 2014

WI 2014 ODIs - India start with a huge loss

West Indies are the new Sri Lanka. Remember the times when Sri Lanka used to be playing India every other day? It is now West Indies and thus the latest tour has started with a set of ODIs. India A teams managed to easily defeat the tourists, just like how everyone had expected the ODI series to go. But, the result was not what everyone had expected!

Marlon Samuels was back to his favorite hunting ground - a country where he has scored tonnes of runs and an attack that he prefers any day. He made sure that this chance would not be lost. The Windies management had come up with bizarre pairing at the top where the IPL regular Dwaynes (Smith and Bravo) opened the batting. Though there was not much success at the top, Samuels and Ramdin exposed the Indian bowlers to the hilt. Runs were easy against a team that seemed to be still struggling to cope up. The Champions League had ended recently and thus the team was not gelling well.

The Indian bowlers (especially Ravinder Jadeja who has bowled 246 overs over the last year, Shami and Bhuvi) looked jaded and tired. Their bowling workload has been very high (without including the bowling in test matches) and they should be given the same treatment as Ashwin - a good rest. Otherwise, they will surely burn out. These three have the highest workload from Indian bowlers in all international matches, in fact.

The Indian batsmen were expected to chase down the target with ease. But, it was not to be. Why? A combination of factors. Though the openers started well, the subsequent batsmen failed to consolidate. Virat Kohli's poor form (and technique) continued here as well - the Windies pacemen had done their homework very well and his failure outside the off hampered the Indians. There were rare failures for MSD and Suresh Raina - this meant that the brittle lower order was exposed. The tail looked longer than normal in this match and when wickets fell early, the match was destined to end early.

Shikhar Dhawan was the lone bright spot in the Indian innings but he did not look comfortable in his stint at  the crease. Of course, from the rigors of the English tour (with tough pitches and expert bowlers), Dhawan would have relished the Windies bowling. With the bowlers not giving him enough width, Dhawan ensured that he gritted out to help his team chase.

Let us hope in the next set of matches, the Indian team will raise its form further and win the series.
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