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‘If they are set, it's tough to get them out’ – Jadeja on Kohli-Sharma stand

Ind v WI, 1st ODI, reaction

The pitch for the first one-day international was great for batting, and there was nothing in it for the bowlers, said Ravindra Jadeja after India’s eight-wicket win over the Windies.

The Windies did very well after being asked to bat at Barsapara Cricket Stadium in Guwahati, hosting an ODI for the first time. Kieran Powell scored 51 at the top, Shimron Hetmyer hit a brilliant 106, and there were good contributions from a number of others as they put up 322/8.

Against another set of batsmen, that might have been a match-winning total. But Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma are No.1 and No.2 in the MRF Tyres ICC Men’s ODI Rankings for batsmen, and they showed just why they enjoy that status.

Shikhar Dhawan was dismissed cheaply, but Sharma and Kohli slammed 152* and 140 respectively, and added 246 for the second wicket, to take India home with 7.5 overs left.

“Virat and Rohit batted very well. They played proper cricketing shots, and didn’t take any chances, they didn’t play too many aggressive shots,” said Jadeja, who returned 2/66 earlier.

“They were playing with the momentum, they played according to the situation. If they are set, it’s very tough to bowl to them, it’s very tough to get them out. They can play shots to every part of the ground.”

There was nothing in the pitch for the bowlers at all, pacers or spinners. Keeping that in mind, Jadeja’s returns and, even more, Yuzvendra Chahal’s 3/41 were outstanding efforts.

“When we were bowling, or when I was bowling, there was no turn off the pitch. I was trying to keep the ball on the stumps and restrict the batsmen by bowling in good areas. The key was to not give them any width,” Jadeja pointed out.

“It was a good pitch for batting, but we had no idea how it would play in the second half. But it ended up playing the same. The start we got ­– after Shikhar fell, Virat and Rohit had a great partnership. So we felt that we’d chase it down because the ball wasn’t turning and the fast bowlers were also not able to do much.”

The second ODI will be played in Visakhapatnam on Wednesday, 24 October.

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