The future of Windies willow wielding looks to be in safe hands for a number of years to come, with three of their crop of stylish and talented batsman taking turns to share the spotlight in this ODI series. Hetmyer’s 139 in the 1st ODI, Hope’s continued excellent form and sparkling 78 in the second ODI and now Pooran’s 64-ball 89 in the 3rd
and final ODI in Cuttack, have demonstrated the current wealth of riches within the Windies camp.
Pooran’s innings today was dynamic and towards the end, devastating. He scored all round the ground against both spin and seam, but today favoured the mid-off region, as 22 of his 89 runs came through this area.
There was a clear shift in attacking emphasis as Pooran’s innings developed, and his changing strike rate shows. Once Pooran passed the 25 run mark, he opened up, and started playing with more freedom, regularly finding the fence as well as pushing the Indian fielders hard.
Pooran was fabulously supported throughout the back end of the innings by the evergreen Windies skipper. Kieron Pollard’s 51-ball 74 included three 4’s and seven 6’s. Pollard’s innings was characterised by early watchfulness against the quicker bowlers, mirrored by early aggression against the spinners. As his innings progressed, this trend began to turn on its head, and his early watchful nature against the seamers was replaced by devastating power in the death overs. Likewise his early aggression against the spinners began to tail off towards the back end of his innings. This was due to the increasingly defensive bowling tactics and field placings employed by the Indian captain in order to stem the flow of runs from the big Trinidadian’s bat.
Pollard and Pooran’s efforts in the final phase of the innings propelled the Windies to 315-5, a total which at one point did not look at all likely. The innings had been ticking along slower than normal, and was looking to be moving along to a below par, sub 300 score on a true surface. But Pollard, Pooran and later on Holder caused mayhem in the final 10 overs of the innings striking 118 runs with 30% of deliveries disappearing to the fence.
315 runs on the board was not enough however and was chased down by India 6-down with 9 balls remaining, thanks to contributions from Rohit Sharma (63), KL Rahul (77), Virat Kohli (85) and Ravi Jadeja (39). The Indians claim the series win 2-1.