Following the thrilling three-run win over West Indies in the first ODI, Indian spinner Yuzvendra Chahal said that the team had confidence that Mohammed Siraj would be able to defend 15 runs in the final over. Brilliant half-centuries from Kyle Mayers and Brandon King went in vain as West Indies succumbed to a painful three-run defeat to India in the first ODI of three-match series here at Queen’s Park Oval in Trinidad on Friday.
“We had confidence and belief that Siraj could defend 15 runs in the final over because of the way he was bowling his yorkers. In his previous two overs as well, he had missed hardly one or two yorkers. There was confidence, but also pressure because of the way they (West Indies) were batting. When Sanju Samson made that save on the wide ball, it raised our confidence,” said Chahal in a post-match press conference. About his bowling plan in the match, Chahal said that he always backs his strengths.
“I knew that the ball was getting old and you can beat the batter by turning it. I was changing my line and bowling wider because the leg side boundary was small. I wanted them to hit me over the covers,” he added. On his role as a senior spinner, who bowls crucial final overs for his side, the spinner said that he performed this role during the Indian Premier League 2022 where he got to bowl a lot in death overs.
“I got a lot of confidence through that. I bowl two overs after the 40-over mark. My role is clear to me. I practice in the nets accordingly and discuss my plans with the coaches,” he added. Chahal said that there was no pressure on the young Indian bowling attack in this series in absence of seniors like Jasprit Bumrah.
“They have played a lot of matches, they have a lot of experience in IPL and in first-class cricket. You cannot say that this line-up is inexperienced,” he added. With this victory, India has a 1-0 lead in the series.
India posted a massive 308/7 in their first innings. Half-centuries from captain Shikhar Dhawan (97), Shubman Gill (64) and Shreyas Iyer (54) were instrumental in taking the Men in Blue to the huge score. Gudakesh Motie was the pick of the bowlers with 2/54 in ten overs. In chase of 309, half-centuries from Kyle Mayers (75) and Brandon King (54) helped Windies stay alive in the game. Akeal Hosein (32*) and Romario Shepherd (39*) almost took their side across the finishing line, but Indian bowlers held their nerves to seal a thrilling three-run win. Mohammed Siraj was the best bowler for India, with 2/57 in ten overs. He held his composure and did not allow the Windies to reach the target when they were just 15 runs away from it in the final over.
Dhawan scored a brilliant knock of 97 in the match, which also earned him the ‘Man of the Match’ award.