Guwahati, The Windies lost the opening one-day international of the five-match series against India by eight wickets, but skipper Jason Holder says there are a lot of positives to be taken from his team’s performance in the game.
The visitors batted first at the Barsapara Cricket Stadium here, putting up a sizeable total of 322/8 in 50 overs. However, masterful centuries from Virat Kohli (107-ball 140) and Rohit Sharma (117-ball 152 not out) steered India past the target with relative ease.
“I’m not too disheartened by the performance,” said Jason Holder after the game on Sunday.”I thought the batters really put up their hands in this innings. Probably on this track, we were 20-30 runs short,” he said.
“I was pleased to get at least 300 because we’ve been faulted in the past for not getting up to 300 and maybe not batted a lot of overs as well. So it was pleasing to see the guys apply themselves. We were losing wickets at crucial stages as you pointed out, but it was good that we batted out all the overs and we got past 300. I still think there are a lot of positives,” Holder said.
Most of the Windies batsmen got starts, but could not convert them into big knocks. An exception to that was Shimron Hetmyer, who notched up his third century in ODI cricket to propel the visitors to a 300-plus total. Coming in at 86/3 in the 16th over, he helped swing the momentum of the innings, an ICC report on Monday said.
“Hetmyer was outstanding. It was good to see him get back to form,” said Holder of the youngster’s 78-ball 106. “He had a lean patch in the Test series and pretty innocuous dismissals as well, so it’s good to see him get a score on the board. He’s been doing pretty well in the limited-overs format for us so it’s good to see him put up his hand and score a hundred today.”
“Hetty was quite aggressive. Fortunately for us, it worked out and it was really good to see him get as deep as he could. Unfortunately, at the stage, he got out although he could have gone a little further. But credit to the young player coming and scoring his third ODI century,” Holder said.
India lost Shikhar Dhawan early in the chase, but the pair of Sharma and Kohli consolidated, and then some. They stitched their fifth double-century partnership in ODI cricket, helping the hosts scale the target within 43 overs.
While Kohli surpassed 2000 international runs in the calendar year for the third consecutive time, Sharma became the first batsman to cross 150 runs six times in 50-over cricket.
“Today is just one of those days where two quality players took it away from us; they’re two quality, world-class players,” said Holder. “The only way to stop them from scoring is by getting them out. Upfront we were obviously looking for wickets because we felt that that was the only way to win the game.”
“I said to the guys there’s no point looking to contain. I thought we had a par score at the halfway stage; probably 30-40 runs short so we felt that we had to get some wickets with the new ball and get into their middle order as quickly as possible. It didn’t work out today, hopefully, in the next game we can get into their middle order a lot quicker,” Holder added.