West Indies T20I skipper Rovman Powell spoke about the importance of batting in the middle overs against spinners in the ongoing T20I series against India.
The Windies made a positive start to the five-match series by defending a 150-run target and claiming a 1-0 lead in the process.
West Indies were rattled by spin in the powerplay, with both opening batters perishing to Yuzvendra Chahal in the fifth over. Left-arm wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadav then ran the show in the middle overs and finished with figures of 1-20.
The pair of Nicholas Pooran and Rovman Powell found it difficult to play against the spinners in the middle overs, inducing a brief spell without any boundaries.
Powell admitted that the conditions were tough to bat on and the key to victory was taking the pace off the ball.
“It was difficult to bat, it was always going to be a good powerplay and a slowdown in the middle. This series will be decided by how the West Indian batters play spin in the middle overs… it makes the left-hand batters very important. All the overs that Holder bowled were fantastic. At the interval, he told us to [take] pace off,” the all-rounder said during the post-match presentation.
Team India went into the contest with two full-fledged wrist spinners and a spin-bowling all-rounder in Axar Patel. West Indies, on the other hand, only had Akeal Hosein as a spinner in their playing XI.
The left-arm spinner provided the first breakthrough by dismissing Shubman Gill inside the powerplay and eventually finished with excellent figures of 1-17. It was the seam-bowling all-rounders, Jason Holder and Romario Shepherd, who troubled the Indian batters with their cutters and other variations.
Praising the pacers for compensating for the absence of spinners, Powell said:
“It’s a very good feeling. We talked about starting the series on a positive note, and we did that today… After watching the Indians bowl, I was thinking if we were a spinner short. But the fast bowlers bowled into the wicket.”
The second T20I between India and West Indies will take place on Sunday at the Providence Stadium in Guyana.