India’s head coach, Gary Kirsten, acknowledged that his team had a distinct advantage in the Third Digicel One Day International at the Beausejour Cricket Ground since their innings was not as affected by the weather as the home side’s.
“It definitely helps a team batting second in this type of set up. It did suit us to be batting second because you can dictate the game a little better when the overs are shortening in terms of what you need,” the former South African batsman told reporters at the post match press conference after his team secured a tense six wicket victory in the final over.
West Indies made 185 for 7 from 27 overs in an innings which commenced over two hours after the scheduled start due to heavy showers and was then stopped on three separate occasions when the rains returned in short bursts.
India’s innings was once curtailed in the 14th over, reducing their target to 159 from 22 overs which they achieved with one delivery to spare even after needing 11 runs from the final over. Man of the Match, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, hit a massive six off Jerome Taylor with five deliveries to go to secure the game for his side.
“Someone like MS Dhoni can hit the ball out the ground at any time so it was comforting knowing that we had him at the crease controlling the game. He’s had a magnificent series and he’s played some really good one day cricket for us,” said Kirsten as he lauded the innings of Dhoni who made 46 not out from 34 deliveries with two fours and the lone match-winning six.
“When it comes down to the wire it can go either way, the most important thing is that you have game breakers and match winners in at that situation,” said the 41 year-old who is on his first international coaching assignment since retiring as an international player in 2004.
“It became a Twenty20 game and you know that when you are chasing more than a run a ball and (the required run rate) is up at 8 and 9 and you have one bad over, you’re behind a little bit. (Dwayne) Bravo bowled a magnificent second to last over when he went for five. But we had quality batsmen in so we always felt that one good over (would make the difference),” Kirsten said.
And the head coach said that he was alarmed that the electronic scoreboard blanked out towards the end of the game, forcing him to have to relay required scores to the batsmen in the middle from the dressing room and the batsmen also having to rely on the umpires for guidance.
“It was mind blowing to be honest, but the umpires were giving them notice every over so they knew what was going on. They were fully aware from us what the Duckworth/Lewis totals were so we were pretty much in control of that,” Kirsten revealed.
India now lead the four match Digicel Series 2-1 with the final match slated for Sunday at the same venue.