Pooran seeks solace in upcoming T20 series and Hetmyer’s return, as India complete ODI sweep

On the plus side, there will only be 20 overs to navigate—with the bat and ball respectively—when West Indies face India again at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy in Tarouba on Friday. Talented top order batsman Shimron Hetmyer is available for selection too, after passing a fitness test yesterday.

West Indies have played 10 T20 Internationals in 2022, with five wins (three against England and two over Bangladesh) and as many defeats (three against India and two to England).

Photo: West Indies captain Nicholas Pooran (centre) has a word with cricket analyst Daren Ganga (right) while India captain Shikhar Dhawan looks on at the Queen’s Park Oval on 22 July 2022.
(Copyright Daniel Prentice/ Wired868)

Today, though, the format was 50 overs and West Indies were not good enough. Again. In 18 One-Day Internationals this year, the Maroon Men won four (three against the Netherlands and one to Ireland) and lost 14.

West Indies pressed India in the opening two ODIs but a whitewash was always on the cards and the visitors managed it comfortably today by 119 runs (D/L method).

It was the second time that India swept West Indies in this format in 2022, while they also lost 3-0 to Pakistan and Bangladesh along with a 2-1 defeat to Ireland.

“Today, we did not show up,” said West Indies captain Nicholas Pooran, who noted that they have played a lot of games over a short timeframe. “[The required run rate of] seven runs per over was a challenge, [and] not getting a good start and not stringing partnerships led to the loss.”

In truth, it was hard to remember any time in the third ODI when India were not in control. Visiting captain Shikhar Dhawan won the toss and, together with Shubman Gill, put on an opening stand of 113 for the first wicket at a run rate of 4.9 per over.

Dhawan scored 58 off 74 deliveries (7×4) before he was caught by Pooran off Hayden Walsh Jr, while trying to accelerate. No matter. India scored 86 off the next nine overs, as Shreyas Iyer scored a quick-fire 44 runs off 34 deliveries (4×4, 1×6) before he was caught by Keemo Paul off Akeal Hosein’s bowling.

Photo: India number 3 batsman Shreyas Iyer prepares to hit the ball during the second ODI against the West Indies at the Queen’s Park Oval, Port of Spain on 24 July 2022.
(Copyright Daniel Prentice/ Wired868)

Rain intervened after 36 overs, much to the chagrin of Gill—who was unbeaten on 98 runs from as many deliveries (7×4, 2×6)—with India on 225/3 and the tigerish Sanju Samson at the crease.

The DLS set West Indies a target of 257 from 35 overs, at a required run rate of 7.3 per over. Midway through the second over, the hosts were 0/2 with Kyle Mayers and Shamarh Brooks both undone by India pacer Mohammed Siraj without scoring.

And West Indies were 48/3 after 10 overs, with in-form opener Shai Hope stumped by Samson off Yuzvendra Chahal’s bowling for 22 (from 33 balls, 1×6).

With the fiery pair of Brandon King and Pooran at the crease, West Indies had their best spell of the match—as they combined to score 27 runs from four overs. But it would not last.

Photo: West Indies batsman Brandon King plays a shot during the first ODI against India at the Queens Park Oval in Port of Spain on 22 July 2022.
(Copyright Daniel Prentice/ Wired868)

King scored 42 from 37 balls before he was bowled by Axar Patel. Pooran managed as many runs from 32 deliveries before joining him in the dressing room. And Chahal returned to clean up the tail, as he finished with 4/17 from four overs.

Pooran congratulated an “outstanding” India team.

“We have a young [inexperienced] team,” said Pooran. “I’m expecting guys to get better [and] learn about their game. Hopefully, we’ll do well [in the ODI series] against New Zealand. 

“The batters were good in two games, the bowlers too—we didn’t get wickets but we are ticking boxes. The guys are getting more confident and hope we can get Super League points.” 

Photo: The West Indies team pose before the 3rd and final ODI against India in CG United Series at the Queen’s Park Oval on 27 July 2022.
(Copyright Nicholas Bhajan/ Wired868)

Dhawan, who deputised as captain for the absent Rohit Sharma, had little complaints about his makeshift team.

“My boys are young in age but played maturely,” said Dhawan. “They showed common sense and handled themselves well. The whole team performed which is important.”

Pooran suggested that West Indies have fared better in the shorter version of the game.

“We just won a T20 series [against Bangladesh], so hope we continue to entertain the crowd and perform well,” he said.

Notably, not for the first time, Pooran did not mention the word “win”.

Photo: India opener Shubman Gill plays a shot during the first ODI against the West Indies at the Queen’s Park Oval on 22 July 2022.
(Copyright Daniel Prentice/ Wired868)

(Match Summary)

Toss: India

India 225/3 (36 overs) (Shubman Gill 98*, Shikhar Dhawan 58, Shreyas Iyer 44; Hayden Walsh Jr 2/57)

West Indies 137 (26 overs) (Nicholas Pooran 42, Brandon King 42; Yuzvendra Chahal 4/17, Mohammed Siraj 2/14, Shardul Thakur 2/17)

Match Result: India win by 119 runs (DLS method)

Series result: India win series 3-0

Man of the Match: Shubman Gill

Man of the Series: Shubman Gill

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