India and West Indies have always had a colourful and healthy rivalry, their test and one-day history spanning throughout cricketing history. A landmark in their T20 relationship was the 2016 T20 World Cup, where, West Indies defeated India throwing them out of the semi-finals.
The teams played three matches; the first one was held on, 6th December 2019, at Hyderabad’s Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, where India won by 6 wickets; the second one was held at Greenfield International Stadium, Thiruvananthapuram, where West Indies won by 8 wickets and the deciding one was won by India by 67 runs, at Wankhede Stadium, in Mumbai. The three matches were part of the West Indies Tour of India, which also included 3 ODI matches.
This India Vs West Indies T20 series was indeed an exciting one, where both the teams put up splendid performances. The Indian team version top form and if there are any things that we learned from the India versus South Africa test series was that ours was a strong team excelling In all the departments.
- India Relies Heavily on Its Top Order
India’s top order with KL Rahul, Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli carried the team through the series. Rahul gave a spectacular performance hitting big sixes, yet showing incredible responsibility by staying put at the crease batsman. 163 runs across the three innings showcased technique as well as creativity.
Rohit Sharma over the years has managed to be the star of the batting line-up in all of the formats. His 71 runs in the deciding match made its mark for the team.
Virat Kohli, are you the most successful batsman India has produced in recent times. He was the most run-getter in the entire series, serving a mind-blowing performance in two of the three matches. He hit a whopping 70 from just 29 deliveries and was also declared the Man of The Series, on account of scoring 183 runs, and overall performance.
- Much Improvement Is Needed in India’s Fielding
Though India won the series the only area where India’s weakness was apparent was in its fielding. Over the course of the series, Indian fielders dropped plenty of catches and missed quite a few easy chances.
Only Virat Kohli and Ravindra Jadeja were in form when it comes to the fielding department. Even Washington Sundar dropped a number of catches why Rohit Sharma also missed a few obvious opportunities. The fielders dropped 11 catches throughout the series. Virat Kohli, in the post-match interview himself, said that “no score would be enough” if they were to continue fielding the way they were.
India’s fielding has to be taken into close observation and requires much improvement in order for them to become a more complete team, performing brilliantly.
- West Indies Bowling Order and Indian Spinners Take A Hit
The West Indies bowling order needs a lot of improvement, as they throughout the series were delivering extras at regular intervals, at crucial moments. Heading into the upcoming T20 World Cup, this is one aspect of their game that the West Indies team will have to sort out.
In the case of India, the spinners did not perform as per their potential. They kept conceding runs throughout the series, thus ending up to be ones with very high economy rate even though they did end up claiming 8 wickets in total. Yuzvendra Chahal has an economy of 10.28, Washington Sundar an 8.12, Ravindra Jadeja another 8.66, and Kuldeep Yadav gave away big overs with an economy of 11.25.
- Pollard, A Saving Grace
Amidst a problem-ridden West Indies team, Kieron Pollard managed to put up a valiant fight. Pollard might have had the advantage of knowing the pitch well, given that this is the home ground for Mumbai Indians, the IPL team, he plays for. He also provided a well-defined and solid captaincy to his team. The series saw the return of Dwayne Bravo, which is indicative of how Pollard’s trust network is taking shape and effect.
Even though the skipper of the West Indies cricket team, along with his ‘protege’ Nicholas Pooran made a 135-run partnership in 16.2 overs, the team did fall short. He hit an impressive 68 off 39, in the deciding match, even though his team ended up on the losing side.
The Indian Team will have to keep on shedding their conservative style of play and be more flexible, glimpses of which we saw in this series, to be able to make strides in the upcoming world cup.