It was the first of the 5-match ODI series between India and West Indies at Kochi. It has been quite a long time since there was an international match being held at the venue. And thus, the stadium was packed up today. It was a high scoring match and West Indies played extremely well and they did not feel the absence of Gayle today as other batsmen batted really well. Initially, India won the toss and opted to field first.

It was Dwayne Smith and Dwayne Bravo who opened the innings for West Indies. They gave a solid start to the West Indies. And initially, Bhuvaneshwar Kumar and Mohit Sharma opened the proceedings for India. Mohit Sharma did not look to be in perfect touch today and was expensive right from his initial overs. In the 8th over of the innings, Mohammad Shami brought India the first breakthrough in the form of Dwayne Bravo.  Next came in Darren Bravo. He started playing handy strokes for the team. It was a good partnership being built on until the spinners in the likes of Jadeja and Mishra were introduced. Jadeja picked up Smith’s wicket when he was set to make a half century. Smith was dismissed at a score of 46 runs off 45 deliveries. Next came in Marlon Samuels. Samuels looked to play a long innings and did not look bad on the crease. He was middling the deliveries well and he went aggressive after getting settled. After Darren Bravo’s dismissal, there was a huge partnership being built between Dinesh Ramdin and Marlon Samuels. The Indian bowlers looked helpless in front of them and the middle overs were dominated by the two batsmen. It was a 165 run partnership which was finally broken by Mohammad Shami in the form of Dinesh Ramdin. Ramdin managed to score 61 runs off 59 deliveries with 5 fours and 2 sixes. Samuels carried on with his good work and he managed to score a century. He remained unbeaten on 126 runs. It was a fine innings from him and West Indies finished at a score of 321 runs for the loss of 6 wickets. Shami was the pick of the bowlers for India with 4 wickets.

It was time for India’s reply and India desperately needed a solid start. It was Shikhar Dhawan and Ajinkya Rahane who opened the innings for India and it was quite a good start for India until the 9th over. There was a mix up between the openers in running between the wickets which led to the dismissal of Rahane at the score of 24 runs. Then came in Virat Kohli and for yet another time, his poor form continued. He edged a ball off Jerome Taylor which was eventually caught in the second slip region. He was dismissed at a score of 2. The middle order of the Indian line up crumbled then. None of Rayudu, Raina managed to score good amount of runs and India were 83 for the loss of 4 wickets in the 17th over of the innings. Dhawan was playing brilliantly on one end but there was no one to assist him. Finally, there was a small partnership being built between Dhoni and Dhawan but even that did not last long. Finally, Dhawan was bowled by a quicker one from Samuels and the final hopes of India were drowned thus. Dhawan scored 68 runs off 92 deliveries with 9 fours. Wickets kept falling after that. Only Jadeja and Rayudu scored more than 10 runs individually in the middle order. The last wicket partnership did last for few overs but that was not sufficient enough. Finally India were bundled at 197 runs and West Indies won the match by a margin of 124 runs. This is the second biggest victory for West Indies against India.

This was a huge defeat for India. Surely they need to improve a lot and the middle order of the Indian line up is a cause of their worry. Virat Kohli could not find his form even in the Indian pitches. They have to improve on it in the second ODI which will be held on the 11th October.   

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