India begin on a high, stroll past the Windies | cricket | Hindustan Times
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India begin on a high, stroll past the Windies

The humidity was sapping and questions were asked of the India batsmen by the host bowlers, spinners in particular, but the confidence of the side wearing the world champions’ tag was unmistakable.

cricket Updated: Jun 08, 2011 01:48 IST
HT Correspondent

The humidity was sapping and questions were asked of the India batsmen by the host bowlers, spinners in particular, but the confidence of the side wearing the world champions’ tag was unmistakable.

Chasing what appeared a modest 215-run victory target, India, playing their first ODI after the World Cup victory but without the top batsmen, still ensured a four-wicket victory with 5.1 overs to spare in the first match of the series here.

After Shikhar Dhawan held firm to contribute 51, Rohit Sharma took charge, top-scoring with 68 not out in an assured effort with skipper Suresh Raina (43). Their 80-run fifth wicket partnership saw India through.

Although Harbhajan Singh helped peg back the hosts, the vice-captain leading from the front with three for 32, the India batsmen still had to apply themselves on a sluggish pitch that was not much of an advertisement for limited-overs cricket.http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/HTPopups/080611/08_06_11-metro-21e.jpg

Talented leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo gave little away and the tall spinner, Anthony Martin, impressed too in taking two wickets after opening the bowling.

However, India underlined their depth and superiority, and more importantly, there was no sign of panic. They were in a spot of bother when Dhawan was caught in the deep playing a tired pull shot. However, man-of-the-match Rohit applied himself and rotated the strike with Raina as fast bowler Ravi Rampaul lost his early sting and the duo tackled Martin and Bishoo with a sensible approach.

Rohit needed attention for cramps and Yusuf Pathan fell cheaply, caught and bowled after he was dropped by Martin on his follow through, but the target was near by then.

Bishoo’s deliveries spun and bounced but the medium-pace of skipper Darren Sammy and Dwayne Bravo were inadequate on the slow pitch, finding no inspiration from the cheering Trinidad fans in the stands.

The silver lining for the West Indies was their seasoned batsmen Ramnaresh Sarwan (56) and Marlon Samuels (55) finding some of their touch.