MS Dhoni’s plan kept Shai Hope hopeful till the last delivery
The India vs Windies 2nd ODI ended in a tie as both the teams had scored exactly equal runs after 100 overs.
It was more disappointment for the Windies in the second ODI in Vishakhapatnam as they failed to square the ODI series despite being in a winning position. Chasing 322 to win, the Caribbeans had once required just 101 runs in over 18 overs but after the dismissal of Shimron Hetmyer, the first match’s centurion, for 94, they lost their way and finished at 322 for 7, the same score that India posted in the first innings. This is the second tied match in the history of India-Windies ODI rivalry after the low-scoring tie they had in Perth way back in 1991.
The tie at Vizag was more disheartening for Shai Hope, the 24-year-old batsman from Barbados who hit his second ODI hundred in the game and remained not out but could not take his team across the line. However, before the final delivery of the thriller was bowled, Hope benefited from a plan which was said to be Indian wicketkeeper MS Dhoni’s and took his team very close to what could have been a well-earned victory.
India came back strongly in the dying overs of the game and captain Virat Kohli gave the ball to pacer Umesh Yadav to bowl the final over. Windies required 14 runs in the final six balls with four wickets in hand. At this time, Yadav went by Dhoni’s advice and bowled yorkers to both Hope and Ashley Nurse though the one to the latter went for four leg byes in the third-man boundary area. The next ball, Yadav went for two and on the ball after, got Nurse as he scooped one to the third man.
India’s last-ball field placement surprised many
Hope then took two runs on the penultimate ball and that left the Windies with five runs to win from the final delivery. It was then when India made a strange change to its plan. They brought the third man and pushed the point to the deep backward point. The field set was that of a wide ball and Hope put a delivery outside the off stump across the point boundary to level the scores.
Spinner Kuldeep Yadav said at the post-match press conference that it was Dhoni’s idea. “I’m too young to know. I’ve played only 30 games and Mahi bhai has played 300 games. He’s got more experience than me. It happens. He’s more experienced than us. At that time he thought it and he did it,” Kuldeep said.
Hope had an understanding of what was coming. “I knew a wide yorker was coming. I got enough bat on it to be able to get it to the boundary. I was trying to get more bat on it so it would go for a six and we would win. It didn’t happen on the day. But one positive is we didn’t lose the game,” the batsman said.