A super professional effort by the visiting West Indies side left the World no. 1 India stunned at the Jawahar Lal Nehru Stadium, Kochi last night. Despite their row with their board over the contract issue, the men from Caribbean were at their clinical best in batting, bowling as well as fielding. They did not have the best of playing conditions as they had to bat first with wicket still a little bit damp because of the overnight rain and then, they had to bowl second with the wet ball because of dew. So, plenty of things were against them, but, the individuals put their hands up and did the job.
Marlon Samuels was brilliant in his comeback game. It was vintage Samuels, eating up deliveries at the start, taking singles, biding time and then, a few explosive shots in the middle to get going. Denesh Ramdin, who is batting up the order these days, seemed to carry on from the same point he had left against Bangladesh. He was not afraid taking on the spinners from the word go and he was picking the vacant places in the field to hit his shots. He was toying with the Indian captain’s field placings.
Mohammed Shami, by going around the wicket and cramping batsmen with some good yorkers at the end, limited the climbing run rate somehow, but, West Indies still got to a score which was way more than enough. The wicket was looking easy paced when India started batting. A good opening partnership was being built, but, all of a sudden, a miscommunication between Rahane and Dhawan led to the former getting run out.
Virat Kohli’s angled bat issue continued as he edged to the slips again. Rayudu played a very average shot to give catching practice to the mid on fielder who did not have to move even a millimetre to take that catch. Raina, unfortunately, played it on. Thereafter, it was all up to an out-of-touch Dhoni who could not pull it off this time. With his wicket, the game was sort-of gone for India. It was only a matter of how much the tail-enders could reduce the gap. Last wicket partnership of Jadeja and Shami fought to some extent, but, Rampaul, with a cracking delivery, knocked Shami over to hand India their biggest defeat at home in 9 years.