ICC World T20 2014 – Review of India’s match against West Indies
Before the ICC World T20 2014 began not many Indian fans would have hoped that the team would be able to defeat the likes of Pakistan and West Indies, the world champions in this format, and make their path to the semi-finals that much easier. But that is what has happened in the end. After several months of disappointing results in all forms of the game the Indian team is finally starting to produce some consistent results in a world level tournament and that is a heartening prospect for anyone related to Indian cricket.
Team composition: India did not change the side that played against Pakistan while West Indies played with the first eleven that has been recently successful against England at home.
Batting: The Windies were inserted by Dhoni after winning the toss. The team has plenty of big-hitters none of whom got going and this was what cost the Caribbeans in the end. They got 129 with the biggest contribution coming from Gayle who got a scratchy 34 from 33 deliveries. Faced with a below par total Indian batsmen once again batted with an air of authority not seen recently. As is usual nowadays, Kohli scored a magnificent 54 but it was the much criticized Rohit Sharma who got 62 from 55 deliveries and anchored the chase for the Indians.
Bowling: The Indian bowlers completely justified the captain’s decision to bowl first. Jadeja was the highest wicket taker with 3 for 48 from 4 overs but Amit Mishra was once again the standout bowler with 2 for 18 from his 4 overs. Bhuvneshwar Kumar also performed well by conceding just 3 runs from his 3 overs. It was basically his spell that pegged back the West Indians. Ashwin and Raina bowled economical spells. Shami tried hard but was once again taken for runs.
The Windies bowling, on the other hand, proved to be ineffective – the penetration that is required to defend such small totals was clearly lacking. Narine, Badree and Santokie were economical but Bravo and Sammy were not. Samuels and Russell tried their best by picking up a wicket apiece but in the final analysis it did not count for much.
Where do the teams go from here?
As has been stated already, this victory will act as a major fillip for the Indian team. However, there are a couple of grey areas that need to be looked at. Shami has been playing every match of late and he clearly needs some rest – may be Varun Aaron can be played in the next match, which is against Bangladesh. Yuvraj is out of form but the team management cannot rest him. So as of now Rahane will have to stay out of the team.
As far as the West Indies is concerned, it will need to win all the other matches in the group so that it can progress to the next stage. It shall also need to look at the bowling lineup. May be Rampaul can replace Russell. As it is Russell bats pretty low down the order and does not bowl too much. So the team can jolly well have a specialist bowler instead of wasting his talents like this. If Russell has to be played he should be deployed as a floater and he should open with the new ball. Santokie can be asked to bowl in the later stages along with Bravo and Narine.