Stuart Law, Windies head coach, has rued his team’s bowling performance after the hosts suffered a 105-run defeat in the second One-Day International against India on Sunday (June 25).
Jason Holder’s decision to bowl first never looked right, as the Indian batsmen scored comfortably throughout their stay on the crease and posted a daunting 310 for five in a rain-curtailed innings that was reduced to 43 overs. Shikhar Dhawan and Ajinkya Rahane set the tone for the big score by sharing their second consecutive 100-plus partnership before the former was sent back by Ashley Nurse for 63. But any hopes of making inroads after getting the much-needed breakthrough was soon quashed with Rahane and skipper Virat Kohli adding 97 runs for the second wicket.
Windies’ miserable outing with the ball was perhaps summed up by the final over bowled by Holder. The first ball from the Windies skipper was inside edged for a single by MS Dhoni. The second was a full toss that Kedar Jadhav dispatched for a four. The next was a no-ball for overstepping. The fast-bowler went on to bowl two more no-balls, both of which were above the waist full tosses which led to the ball being taken away from him, as India amassed 99 runs in the last nine overs to cross the 300-run mark for a record 96th time in 50-overs cricket.
“We didn’t bowl anywhere near as well as we could’ve done and that’s probably the first time that’s happened since I’ve been here so you can live with that to a certain extent,” Law told reporters after the defeat. “But you’ve got to be better than that with the ball. The way we started, the way we set the tone for our innings wasn’t how we wanted to do it and I think at times our plans didn’t quite work out.”
“We’ve got to understand that India are number three in the world for a reason and they’ve ben hovering around that top three for quite a while now. They’ve got some of the best players, if not the best players in the world up there so we know that we’ve got to play really well and compete really hard to get anything out of these games but there is no reason why we can’t,” added the Australian who is in his fourth series with the side after taking over earlier this year.
Chasing the daunting score, the two-time world champions never looked in contention and were eventually restricted to 205 for six. The defeat is another huge blow to their aspirations of ensuring a direct qualification to the next World Cup.
However, Law believes recent performances like the ODI series against Champions Trophy holders Pakistan, is an indication that Windies can put on an improved show in the remaining three matches of this competition.
“We pushed Pakistan all the way when they were out here recently. We beat them chasing down 308 in the first ODI and in the last two we nearly got over the line as well so those performances are in us,” he added.
Law further praises opening batsman Shai Hope whose 81-run knock was the only spark on an otherwise dismal outing for the team.
“Some of our boys haven’t played a lot of international cricket so to get some time in the middle against some quality bowlers is good for their confidence,” Law pointed out. “When we batted I thought Shai Hope played extremely well.
“We’re lacking a little bit of something, a little bit of edge with our bowling and with our batting, we are not quite getting off to good starts consistently,” he concluded.