Cricket is a glorious game of uncertainties. Therefore, unpredictability looms in every match, which makes cricket competitive, delightful and uncertain until the last ball is not bowled. Underdogs can emerge as a world-beater and vice versa.
Smart cricket by West Indies
When West Indies (WI) arrived at Greenfield Stadium in Thiruvananthapuram on Sunday, die-hard Carribean fans must have never dreamt about their team’s mart display to outclass the formidable side like India so easily. Victory and loss are part and parcel of the game. Getting a lesson from the loss is the sign of a team’s consistency and never say die attitude. The men in blue have made it a habit to play even against odds as they did against South Africa and Bangladesh recently when they roared back like a wounded tiger after the debacle of losing a match each against both the countries and they changed the table in the next game.
Pooran’s knock changes match
Credit must be given to Islanders for producing a scintillating performance on the field. Opener Lendl Simmons set the platform for the visitors and played a defiant knock of 67 runs and carried the bat till the end. Nicholas Pooran displayed a little cameo of an innings and scored 38 runs in just 18 deliveries to seal an 8-wicket win for the men in maroon and level the three-match series 1-1. Meanwhile, the series is wide open and the decider at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on December 11 would be a do or die affair for both the teams.
Sloppy bowling & fielding
India at least by record is a far superior side compared to the visitors. Although India has chased more than 207 runs in the opening match in Hyderabad due to some extraordinary batting by Kohli and Rahul, victory has concealed all the drawbacks of the visiting side. Indian bowlers and fielders have failed to impress in the first match as well and repeated the same story in the second T20I which led the team down.
Indian batsmen disappoint fans
The host fielded poorly specially ground fielding was soggy. The fielders dropped catches at crucial junctures and bowlers kept bowling short lacking the perfect line and length to trouble the Carribean batsmen. The Islanders took full advantage of the sloppy bowling and chased down the required target of 171 runs on a tricky track with ease. In the batting department, senior players failed to click while Shivam Dube applied himself more sensibly and showed maturity, he has completed his maiden T20I fifty. Overall, the host batting remained off colour which disappointed the Sunday crowd in Thiruvananthapuram.
All-round display by West Indies
The visiting side executed their plan shrewdly, the reigning and two-time world champions in this format jerked the Indian batting and restricted them to 170 for 7. Clever bowling and superb fielding bogged down the batsmen and later aggressive batting by the Carribean changed the whole complexion of the match and kept the series alive. The disciplined Carribean bowling and acrobatic fielding never allowed the famed batting of team India to settle down to score at will.
Pollard wins the important toss
The Sunday’s lady luck was with the visitors since the beginning of the match when Kohli tossed the coin in the air, rival captain Kieron Pollard won the toss and he chose to bowl first in Thiruvananthapuram and soon justified his decision by sending both the Indian openers cheaply in the pavilion and kept the other batsmen at bay in most of the time of the innings. In the end, the visitors restricted the home team in less than 200 runs.
Kohli’s departure inspires visitors
The introduction of the left-arm spinner Hayden Walsh Junior paved the way for the men in maroon as he lured well set Dube to go for another aerial route which ended his fine knock. Then Kohli’s departure inspired the West Indies to go all out and made the life of the newcomers difficult on the pitch.
India would have to revamp its bowling and need vast improvement in batting and fielding segments as well to improve their performance in the deciding match. Top-order batsmen will have to click if the host wants to win the series and continue its glorious winning streak otherwise the West Indies known for playing powerful cricket are a team to watch. They may deprive India of winning the T20I series and break down the glorious run of an Indian victory.