Dhoni consoled by consistent bowling

Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni expressed satisfaction in India’s bowling toward the end of the innings, despite Wednesday’s heavy 124-run defeat to the West Indies in the first ODI at the Nehru Stadium in Kochi.

The Windies romped to an impressive final total of 321 for six on the back of a fine century from batsman Marlon Samuels. The tally, however, would have been considerably larger – had the host attack not conceded just 66 runs between overs 41 and 49.

The Indians’ reply was entirely insufficient, slumping to 197 all out in 41 overs, with medium-pacers Ravi Rampaul and Dwayne Bravo – and Man of the Match Samuels – snaring two wickets each.

“Most our bowlers apart from Bhuvneshwar Kumar gave runs. Considering that we restricted them to a total of 321 on this wicket, I must say our bowlers did a decent job,” insisted Dhoni.

“I was quite happy with the death bowling and they bowled quite consistently maintaining their lengths and we were able to put fielders in right areas. Overall, I am quite happy with the bowling.

“The West Indies batted really well. If you see, we could not get too many wickets with the new ball. They were hitting the big shots but still we were not able to put pressure on them by not letting them get those easy singles.”

Dhoni admitted the rotation of the bowling ranks proved difficult in conditions laden with dew, which saw seamers Kumar, Mohammed Shami and Mohit Sharma – and spinners Ravindra Jadeja, Suresh Raina and Amit Mishra – struggle to grip the ball well.

“I think we had to do something because we have seen the impact of dew here. There was no surety, but dew plays a factor more often than not so the team is forced to bowl first,” he added.

“It was very hot and the fast bowlers were having a tough time and they would love to bowl few more overs. It was quite hard also to keep them rotating. I could not really rotate them well.”

The result afforded the tourists vital lead in the five-match series. The second ODI will get underway at the Feroz Shah Kotla in Delhi on Saturday. Visakhapatnam, Dharamsala and Kolkata will host fixtures three, four and five respectively.