India v West Indies, 4th ODI, Indore, Sehwag’s record 219 wins series; Match Highlights
It took nearly four decades for a batsman to score the first double-century in one-day international cricket but less than two years for the second. Virender Sehwag, the batsman most touted to break Sachin Tendulkar’s record for the highest individual ODI score, didn’t merely break it – he shattered it and raised the bar so high that it’s hard to imagine anyone, apart from Sehwag himself, raising it higher.
Unlike Tendulkar in Gwalior, Sehwag wasn’t running out of time as he raced towards 200 in Indore. He got there in the 44th over and had made 219 off 149 balls by the time he was dismissed in the 47th. And in one of cricket’s stranger coincidences, both ODI double-centuries were scored in the same Indian state – Madhya Pradesh – at venues less than 500 kilometres apart.
Sehwag’s performance led India to 418 for 5, their highest ODI total, and sealed victory in the five-match series against West Indies. It was an innings characteristic of Sehwag’s approach to batting. He hit his second ball for four and simply did not stop. He took plenty of risks too, surviving two run-out chances and two dropped catches, but thundered on, ensuring India’s run-rate stayed above seven after the 15th over. Sehwag’s only out-of-character moment came in the 20th over, when he dived to avoid being run out. Sehwag never dives. It was a sign that he was determined to stay the course. He went to 50 off 41 balls, to 100 off 69 balls, to 150 off 112 and past 200 off 140. The record was broken with a withering cut that sped to the backward-point boundary, and he celebrated with an aggressive fist-pump before breaking into a smile.
Before this game, and after each of the previous three, Sehwag had admitted that the top-order failures, which he contributed to, were the reason India had struggled in their chases. Sehwag had made a duck in the previous match in Ahmedabad, where India lost, but led by example today.
India did two things differently at the Holkar Cricket Stadium. They chose to bat for the first time in the series and also opened with their strongest combination, Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir, pushing Parthiv Patel down the order. The upshot of those decisions was an opening partnership of 176 that began smoothly, picked up speed, and gathered the momentum of a runaway train before it was eventually ended, inevitably, by a run-out.
A strong crowd continued the trend of resurging attendances during the home ODIs and they cheered the first boundary in the second over, when Sehwag flicked Ravi Rampaul’s first ball for four – a welcome he would give several other West Indian bowlers. Sehwag looked dangerous from the start. Gambhir did not. After making only 3 off 15 balls, Gambhir finally had the width he needed and cut Kemar Roach to the point boundary.
Both batsmen could have been dismissed on 20, though. Sehwag had given up hope of making his ground but Kieron Pollard missed the stumps from point, and Andre Russell dropped Gambhir on his follow through. Gambhir began to steer, cut and drive through the off side frequently, going over fielders’ heads and placing wide of the boundary riders. Seven of his first nine fours were in this region. India ended the mandatory Powerplay on 63 for 0.
The field spread after that but it didn’t matter. Sehwag and Gambhir scored 45 runs between overs 11 and 15. This passage began with Sehwag hoisting the offspinner Sunil Narine’s first ball over the long-on boundary. He then launched Darren Sammy’s first inside out over extra cover. This passage ended with Sehwag hammering Narine again, this time into the stands beyond deep midwicket.
The field came in for the bowling Powerplay and Gambhir immediately cut Roach through point, and then dabbed for a single to reach his half-century off 51 balls. The smash-and-dab combo was a feature of the partnership. Sehwag got to his hundred with a fierce cut, hit in the air, brushing the fingertips of the leaping fielder at point before speeding to the boundary. The next ball, he ran Gambhir out, to a direct hit from Samuels. Visibly upset with himself, Sehwag continued to punish West Indies.
When he was hitting fours, Sehwag preferred to go square of the wicket, flicking and glancing the numerous deliveries he received on the pads. When he wanted six, he usually went straighter, targeting the arc between midwicket and long-on. He hit 25 fours and seven sixes in all. On 170, in the 38th over, Sehwag spooned Rampaul towards cover, where Sammy dropped a dolly, leaving the bowler distraught.
The rest of the innings was a blur of boundaries and landmarks. Suresh Raina got to his half-century off 42 balls. India reached 300 in 39.1 overs. Sehwag broke his personal best – 175 against Bangladesh in the World Cup – with a flick to the square-leg boundary. He went past 8000 ODI runs with a chip over the fielder at short fine leg. That shot took him from 191 to 195, and soon he was cutting Russell to send India into rapture. When Sehwag was dismissed – lofting Pollard to the substitute Anthony Martin at long-off – most of the West Indian fielders came from far and wide to shake his hand.
Sehwag did not come out to field – the only blot on his performance – and watched from the dressing room as West Indies’ top-order batsmen crashed and burned amid a flurry of shots. India’s debutant legspinner Rahul Sharma struck with the last ball of each of his first three overs in international cricket, bowling Marlon Samuels, Danza Hyatt and Pollard to leave West Indies reeling at 100 for 5.
Rahul, who’s been in India’s squads since the home ODIs against England but stayed on the bench, bowled a variety of deliveries. He sent down legbreaks, googlies and topspinners at varying speeds, but it was the one delivered quicker that brought him success.
Samuels tried to cut a fast topspinner but bottom-edged it onto his stumps. Hyatt then stepped out of the crease, but was yorked by a fast legbreak. The ball pitched outside leg stump and spun between the batsman’s pads to bowl him. Pollard was the next to go, swinging across the line and missing a topspinner that clipped off stump.
After losing more wickets, West Indies decided to bat out time instead of playing shots, and the match ended in stark contrast to how it began – tamely. Denesh Ramdin, however, made 96, his best score and the highest by a West Indies wicketkeeper in ODIs. His 64-run partnership with No. 11 Sunil Narine merely kept India on the field longer than they would have liked.
West Indies in India ODI Series , India v West Indies 4th one day international match
India 418/5 (50 ov) West Indies 265 (49.2 ov)
India won by 153 runs
- West Indies in India ODI Series – 4th ODI
- ODI no. 3223 | 2011/12 season
- Played at Holkar Cricket Stadium, Indore
- 8 December 2011 – day/night (50-over match)
|India innings (50 overs maximum)||R||B||4s||6s||SR|
|G Gambhir||run out (Samuels)||67||67||11||0||100.00|
|V Sehwag*||c sub (A Martin) b Pollard||219||149||25||7||146.97|
|SK Raina||run out (Russell)||55||44||6||0||125.00|
|RA Jadeja||c Rampaul b Russell||10||10||0||0||100.00|
|RG Sharma||b Roach||27||16||3||0||168.75|
|V Kohli||not out||23||11||3||0||209.09|
|PA Patel†||not out||3||3||0||0||100.00|
|Extras||(lb 1, w 13)||14|
|Total||(5 wickets; 50 overs)||418||(8.36 runs per over)|
|Did not bat R Ashwin, R Vinay Kumar, A Mithun, R Sharma|
|Fall of wickets1-176 (Gambhir, 22.5 ov), 2-316 (Raina, 40.2 ov), 3-341 (Jadeja, 43.2 ov), 4-376 (Sehwag, 46.3 ov), 5-393 (RG Sharma, 47.6 ov)|
|West Indies innings (target: 419 runs from 50 overs)||R||B||4s||6s||SR|
|LMP Simmons||c †Patel b Jadeja||36||35||6||1||102.85|
|KOA Powell||run out (R Sharma/Ashwin)||7||5||1||0||140.00|
|MN Samuels||b R Sharma||33||26||4||2||126.92|
|DP Hyatt||b R Sharma||11||17||2||0||64.70|
|D Ramdin†||c RG Sharma b Raina||96||96||12||0||100.00|
|KA Pollard||b R Sharma||3||4||0||0||75.00|
|AD Russell||st †Patel b Raina||29||24||1||3||120.83|
|DJG Sammy*||c Mithun b Ashwin||2||6||0||0||33.33|
|R Rampaul||c sub (MK Tiwary) b Jadeja||10||31||1||0||32.25|
|KAJ Roach||c & b Jadeja||7||19||1||0||36.84|
|SP Narine||not out||27||33||3||1||81.81|
|Extras||(lb 2, w 2)||4|
|Total||(all out; 49.2 overs)||265||(5.37 runs per over)|
|Fall of wickets1-13 (Powell, 1.6 ov), 2-63 (Simmons, 9.3 ov), 3-81 (Samuels, 11.6 ov), 4-90 (Hyatt, 13.6 ov), 5-100 (Pollard, 15.6 ov), 6-140 (Russell, 23.2 ov), 7-145 (Sammy, 24.4 ov), 8-168 (Rampaul, 32.2 ov), 9-201 (Roach, 38.5 ov), 10-265 (Ramdin, 49.2 ov)|
|R Vinay Kumar||4||0||34||0||8.50|
|Toss India, who chose to bat
Series India led the 5-match series 3-1
|ODI debut R Sharma (India)
Player of the match V Sehwag (India)
|Umpires AL Hill (New Zealand) and S Ravi
TV umpire S Asnani
Match referee DC Boon (Australia)
Reserve umpire CK Nandan
Big Picture, Match Facts and Predictions
Darren Sammy’s reactions at the end of each game on this tour have been fascinating to watch. Resignation after the hammering in the Eden Garden’s Test, unabashed school-boy glee following the nerve-jangling draw in Mumbai, and agony after being denied by Umesh Yadav and Varun Aaron in Cuttack. The best of the lot came in Ahmedabad, though, when Sammy lasered down the stumps from mid-on to run out Rohit Sharma and all but confirm West Indies’ first win on tour. He leapt, yelled, pumped his fists and could barely control the adrenaline rush as he charged towards his team-mates. Sammy will be determined to recreate that feeling with the series still up for grabs.
West Indies have played better cricket than the hosts in the ODI series, but that isn’t saying much. Their top order has been asked to bat in all three games – a rare streak of extended generosity on the flat decks of the subcontinent – but has floundered against India’s young seamers, before steadily losing momentum against spin in the middle overs. They haven’t been as disadvantaged by the dew as expected in any of the matches, yet have allowed the action to drift along after making major incisions with the new ball. The catching has been poor, the captaincy worse, and on both counts Sammy has been the biggest culprit.
The visitors’ lapses mean India need only one win to take the series, but concerns abound for the home side ahead of the Indore ODI. The 2-1 scoreline doesn’t quite convey how much they have been stretched. West Indies had no business letting India’s last pair sneak home in the opening ODI, and have toyed with the hosts’ pop-gun attack in the slog overs in both games since. Bowling meltdowns in the death have become so routine that India don’t panic when it happens anymore (think of the World Cup final). The bigger worry is the prolonged top order funk, and more specifically the lack of runs from Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir. They have two games to hit upon some form ahead of far sterner tests in Australia. Will they shake off the rust in Indore?
India LWWWW (Most recent first)
In the spotlight
His fans have been clamouring for this day for months on end, often disregarding form, and at times even ignoring his injury status. Irfan Pathan is back in the mix, but crucially, he is in form and fitter than he has been at any stage since he last played for India. His resurgence has come the hard way, with wickets by the bunch in the Ranji season, and the banana swing that made him such a rage in 2003-4 has also shown promising signs of reappearance. Can he transfer the rhythm and skill to the white ball?
At Motera, Sunil Narine walked up to the cauldron like he belonged and performed without a fuss. The much-feared topspinner made an early appearance, but he got his wickets with an offbreak and a carom ball. If the ball stays dry in Indore, expect him to parade a few more of his unique variations.
Pitch and conditions
The Motera game featured strange crop patterns on the outfield as the groundsmen went a touch overboard with their creativity. There will, however, be no such gimmickry at the Holkar Stadium where heavy seasonal dew in the evenings has dissuaded chief curator Samandar Singh Chouhan and his team from removing any grass from the outfield. According to Mail Today, Chouhan is betting big on an anti-dew chemical that has been routinely sprayed on the outfield in the lead-up to the game. Expect India to field again if they win the toss, unless Sehwag believes batting in the afternoon will offer a better chance to regain some form.
West Indies’ best batsman on the tour, Darren Bravo, is out with a hamstring injury. The replacement is most likely to be Adrian Barath, though Kieran Powell deserves a chance after batting impressively in the Tests.
West Indies (possible): 1 Lendl Simmons, 2 Adrian Barath / Kieran Powell, 3 Marlon Samuels, 4 Danza Hyatt, 5 Kieron Pollard, 6 Denesh Ramdin (wk), 7 Darren Sammy (capt), 8 Andre Russell, 9 Ravi Rampaul, 10 Kemar Roach, 11 Sunil Narine
Umesh Yadav is flying to Australia early, which means Varun Aaron has the chance to return to the XI. It will be a tricky call for Sehwag to make: Irfan Pathan and Vinay Kumar will both expect to play since they are the more experienced seamers in the ODI side. But neither is going to Australia for the Tests; Abhimanyu Mithun and Aaron, who are likely to tussle for the third seamer’s spot in Indore, are.
India (possible): 1 Parthiv Patel (wk), 2 Virender Sehwag (capt), 3 Gautam Gambhir, 4 Virat Kohli, 5 Rohit Sharma, 6 Suresh Raina, 7 Ravindra Jadeja, 8 Irfan Pathan, 9 R Ashwin, 10 R Vinay Kumar, 11 Varun Aaron / Abhimanyu Mithun
Stats and trivia
- Rohit Sharma has amassed 514 runs against West Indies in 2011 – already the highest by any batsman against them in a calendar year
- This will be the first day-night international ever played at the Holkar Stadium. Indore has hosted two ODIs prior to this one, with India beating England in both.Quotes“It’s difficult to say I am satisfied when you are losing. But we have shown a lot of spirit and created opportunities to win.”
Ottis Gibson, the West Indies coach, repeats something he and Sammy have said all tour“It feels great to be leading the Indian attack. The new ball suits me very well because I am more a swing bowler.”
Vinay Kumar is keen to continue new-ball duties