T20I: India Start The WI Tour With A Win




S Badrinath

S Badrinath

When a group of Indian cricketers left for the tour of West Indies, there was not a lot of interest generated. It was a group devoid of the big names like Tendulkar, Dhoni and Sehwag. The tour has also been ill-timed starting barely a week after the end of IPL 4, which itself started a week after the World Cup. A case of viewer fatigue does come up but spare a thought for the players.

Also Read: YuppTV To Stream India-West Indies Cricket Series Online

India started their tour at Trinidad by playing a T20 game. Both sides had relatively new skippers with little experience. Darren Sammy won the toss and elected to field on a pitch that was slow and moist at the start of play. The ball did not come on the bat well and the Indian openers found the going tough. Shikhar Dhawan departed first in the third over but not before protesting the umpire’s decision when he should have simply walked. Parthiv Patel was joined at the crease by Virat Kohli and the two started to up the tempo of the innings. Suddenly the brakes were back on the side with the Darren Sammy picking up two wickets in two balls which brought Badrinath and Raina to the crease. Raina failed to do justice to his recent form and perished soon.

The much maligned Rohit Sharma was entrusted with the task of re-building the innings with Badrinath. S Badrinath has been a consistent performer on the domestic circuit with Tamil Nadu and CSK. However he has not been able to convert the chances he has got on the international stage. This was to be a different day altogether with the two batsmen stitching a fine partnership to take India to a comfortable position. Yusuf Pathan and Harbhajan Singh struck some blows to end the innings on a high.

The West Indian openers started cautiously and Raina introduced Ashwin in the fourth over. Fletcher promptly dispatched a ball beyond the ropes before somehow the umpire gave Lendl Simmons out. The decision was remarkable as it was wrong not on one but on two counts. Firstly it did not hit the bat or the glove plus it hit Parthiv’s helmet which meant he could not be given caught out. However the bad standard of umpiring was evident and West Indies bore the brunt of this decision. Munaf cleaned up Fletcher in the next over with a yorker to send West Indies reeling. Samuels and Darren Bravo consolidated for a period of time. Both were able to get off the blocks well, but faced problems in keeping the same scoring rate once the field restrictions were lifted. By the time they departed in the 16th over (both to Harbhajan), the equation had become unrealistic. Even though Danza Hyatt and Cristopher Barnwell tried their level best, it proved to be a bridge too far.

India won the first game fairly comfortably by 16 runs in the end. However India will have to improve their game if they want to do well in the ODI and Test series that follow.

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