Samuels: I’m determined to make my mark

Centurion Marlon Samuels lauded a key partnership with wicketkeeper-batsman Denesh Ramdin, as the West Indies triumphed over India by 124 runs in Wednesday’s first ODI at the Nehru Stadium in Kochi.

The pair shared a convincing 165-run alliance inside 24 overs for the fourth wicket, which later afforded the Windies a formidable final total of 321 for six. Ramdin scored a complementary 61 to Samuels’ commanding 126.

The Indians’ reply proved entirely insufficient, slumping to a mere 197 all out in 41 overs, despite opener Shikhar Dhawan’s standalone 68 and all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja’s late-innings 33 not out.

“I got some runs in the warm-up match against India A, including a half-century, so I came here determined to make my mark. Ramdin has been in good nick for the last year and he has been batting well, so we were able to feed off each other at the wicket,” said Samuels.

“The communication and running between us went well. It is good when you can get runs and wickets and the team goes on to win the match. I will value this performance. When you do well and the team loses it doesn’t mean that much to me. But to perform and take the team to a win against India in India is something special.”

While seamer Mohammed Shami was the pick of the Indian bowlers en route to figures of four for 66, Samuels admitted leg-spinner Amit Mishra’s 10 overs – lined with plenty of variation – proved the most challenging.

“They have good spinners and I wanted to make sure I played well against the spinners. Mishra is a very good leg-spinner with a googly like an off-break, so you had to be watchful. We tried to get the ones and twos against him and then attack the bad ball. It worked well,” he added.

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.