West Indies tour of India 2018

Windies outface Kohli hundred in series-levelling

India vs West indies 3rd ODI, It’s not always sunny in Philadelphia. That India never lose a run-chase when Virat Kohli scores a hundred is an expired gospel now. Set 284, thanks to an inspired Windies batting showdown against the likes of Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah, even Kohli’s 38th ODI century couldn’t offset a middle-order meltdown India’s camouflaged so efficiently in recent times.

Windies’s win over India by 43 runs at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium, Pune on Saturday (October 27) means that the series, where India were expected to ride roughshod over Windies, now stands level at 1-1.

Ashley Nurse, Man of the Match: I guess it was my day. I guess I played with a lot of free spirit. When Shai got out, I had to do something because the score was not that big. Sometimes you can be the hero, sometimes you can be zero as well. If I get a chance to win the game, I back myself to do it. Just dedicating the celebration to my Indian friend – Sunny Sohal.
Jason Holder: Credit to the boys. We hung in the game for as long as possible. I should have gone deeper. Something to learn there. We hung in there. They were probably a batter short. We knew if we remove Dhoni, we could get in to their lower order. He is a competitor. I know what to expect from him.
Virat Kohli: We bowled pretty well. I think the wicket was not offering much in the first 35 overs. From 227 for 8 we should have been chasing 250-260 at the maximum. It was a pretty gettable total. we did not get the partnerships going. In the field we were fine. This Windies side is an explosive side and they can beat any team on a given day. Look when Hardik and Kedar both play, we get the extra option. When someone like Hardik is not playing, who gives you both bowling and batting option, it is difficult to get the balance. It is a bit embarassing when people ask you the same thing again and again. I wanted to go after him and just did not execute well. Definitely, we have to take the wins and losses in our way. Just shake the loss away. Our plans are there and we just need to execute better.
Samuels: Yeah definitely (on him being the side to take Kohli’s wicket). I have not been bowling in the nets much as I am coming back from a knee injury. We are playing as a unit and we are getting stronger and stronger. For me to sit in the dressing room and watch Shai Hope bat in the way he’s been batting, we have been having a lot of discussion on how to bat on the Indian tracks, is wonderful. He is definitely one for the future. He’s (Hetmyer) fearless. He is brave, he has to get consistent. Very important going into the next game 1-1, we wouldn’t want to go 2-0. We will take the next game even more seriously and as long as we are good in all three departments we will be good. We are looking to win and not only compete.
Shai Hope: I am becoming more consistent, so I am pleased. We lost wickets at some crucial stages so I had to put up my hand up and bat through the innings. My aim was to bat as deep as possible. My preparation is same. I haven’t changed anything from the Test series.
Kohli’s ODI 100s in losing run chases:
123(111) vs NZ, Napier, 2014
106(92) vs Aus, Canberra, 2016
107(119) vs WI, Pune, 2018
Now to the questions which stare both the teams. Both teams have a hollow middle order. Samuels and Powell have looked clueless for Windies and India have had the same issue with Pant throwing away a couple of starts and Dhoni’s wretched run entering extended territory. He will have to contribute more with the bat to ensure he is not a liability for the WC squad. Alarm bells have been rung and the sound will only get louder. It is 1-1 and with Kedar Jadhav coming into the squad for the last two ODIs, who sits out in the next game? My guess is one which a lot of people won’t be able to fathom but looks likely. Let’s wait for the awards ceremony.
The tragedy waiting to happen in the last game has struck India, finally. There were a few reasons which contributed to a rare loss at home. Firstly, Kohli got it wrong at the toss. There was more bite for the spinners in the second half. Secondly, only five batsmen and a keeper ensured Bhuvneshwar was batting at seven! Thirdly, India’s inabilty to clean up the the lower-order for the third successive time in the series. Windies were 227 for 8 and India allowed them to get to 283. And lastly, Windies have been by far one of the most competitive tourists, in white ball cricket, that India have hosted in the near future. India’s first loss in 9 ODIs which includes a couple of tied affairs.
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