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Batting first in fifth ODI was a wrong decision, feels Brian Lara

Windies could only win a solitary game in the ODI series.

Brian Lara
Brian Lara. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Former Windies players and supporters were hoping that their team would be able to produce something memorable in the just-concluded ODI series against a strong Indian side but Jason Holder’s men let them down towards the end. The Windies could not maintain the same intensity they had shown in the first half of the five-match series and eventually lost the contest 3-1.

The legendary Caribbean player Brian Lara was critical of the Windies side’s decision to bat first in the final game at the Greenfield International Stadium in Trivandrum which hosted its first ODI as the visitors were bundled out for just 104 in less than 32 overs. India then came out with full force and reached home inside 15 overs and the match did not even last 50 overs. It was the Windies’ lowest total against India in ODIs.

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Lara, who has over 22,000 international runs and also is the Windies’ top run-getter in the ODIs, said the team had got a golden opportunity to square the series in the final ODI but their decision to bat first did not click. The Windies slumped to 57 for 5 in 17 overs and could never recover. Spinner Ravindra Jadeja took 4 for 34 to grab the Man of the Match award. The 49-year-old, however, praised Shimron Hetmyer as a big positive for the visitors from the series.

The wicket was a bit sticky, dry

Speaking on captain Holder’s decision to bat first, Brian Lara said, “The wicket was a bit sticky, it was dry. I felt that using the wicket with the ball first was the best option for the Windies. Also, you would like to nullify the Indian spinners bowling by making them bowl last. Definitely batting first was the wrong decision,” he was quoted as saying by Cricket Next.

Lara also said that the Windies should resist from batting first in the subcontinent as it could lead to poor performance. He described his team’s show to be “lacklustre” and was of the opinion that even if they put up a score like 225-250, it would have been a cakewalk for India’s powerful batters.

The Windies’ only win in the series in Pune though came after batting first as they won by 43 runs. The Windies have not won an ODI series in the country since 2002. They were also beaten 0-2 in the preceding Test series which means they are winless on the Indian soil in the longer format for over three decades now.

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