India drubbed the so-called minnows of cricket, the West Indies (WI), in all the three formats of the game with ease, almost the way a knife passes through the butter. India’s complete dominance and stamp of authority were the only high point of the series. The hosts had nothing to lose as they were considered underdogs before the series. But their meek surrender without an iota of fight is a matter of concern for the West Indian cricket.
Lack cricketing sense
It seems sheen, professionalism, desire to win, fighting quality and positive approach as a team – all were missing in the Men in Maroon in the series against India. The talented youngsters of the Caribbean were found lacking in quality to match the top teams of the world. It’s the time for the Islanders to pay attention and improve the quality of their domestic cricket. Otherwise strong cricketing nations may shy away from playing against a fragile team like the WI.
Credit should go to Team India for their complete supremacy on the ground and registering resounding victory in the Caribbean in both the Tests. The emphatic win against the West Indies consolidates India’s position. We have now climbed to the top spot in the ICC World Test Championship (WTC) table with a maximum of 120 points from the series.
Kohli and his men showed maturity and played according to the situation with a purpose throughout the series. While some of the notable names like Ashwin, Rohit Sharma, and Shikhar Dhawan were missing in the Test series, inexperienced players like Mayank Aggarwal, Hanuma Vihari and Rishabh Pant were included to assimilate with the longer version of the game. All the three promising young men showed the glimpse of their talent which bodes well for the bright prospect of the Indian cricket.
Jadeja bowls well on flat tracks
Ravindra Jadeja lived up to the expectations of both the captain and the coach, which was a fitting reply to his critics. As Indian coach Ravi Shastri said, “Jadeja’s bowling suited more on placid tracks in comparison to Ashwin. But Ashwin can’t be ignored, he is an asset of the team and a true match winner.”
Competition to cement place in team
Healthy competition and strong bench strength have made it ultra-competitive for players to cement their place in Team India. The word negligence can’t come anywhere near their mind; rather these players attempt to pour each and every ounce of their energy to lift the game.
Rahane steadies Indian batting
India were staggering in the beginning in the first test at Antigua. When the top order was back in the pavilion, then Ajinkya Rahane took the responsibility and steadied the Indian ship. He knitted good partnership with lower order batsmen. In the end, India managed to score 297 runs, which was enough to challenge the present Caribbean side. Ishant Sharma derailed the Islanders and became the wrecker in chief by bagging five wickets.
Rahane registered his 10th hundred in the second innings after a lull of almost two years. His monk like innings almost assured Indian victory. Thereafter, the sizeable Indian pace battery discharged the Caribbean batting quickly. The poster boy of Indian cricket Jaspreet Bumrah led the charge with a fifer. His magical spell of 5 for 7 runs not only broke the backbone but rather dumped the opposition so deep from where they couldn’t really recover their fighting spirit. Rahane was adjudged man of the match for his sheet anchor batting in both the innings.
Hanuma Vihari scores his maiden ton
The mood in the India camp was upbeat while the depleted Islanders had nothing to lose in the second Test which got underway at Jamaica. India piled up a massive total of 416 in the first innings. Hanuma Vihari’s innings was replete with application, patience and concentration. In the end, he scored his maiden Test hundred.
Bumrah’s hat trick
The Antigua havoc of Indian pacers was fresh in the mind of the Islanders. Once again, the sultan of swing Bumrah ripped through the Caribbean squad and got 6 wickets including a hat trick, becoming the third Indian bowler to achieve this unique feat, after Harbhajan Singh and Irfan Pathan. The turbanator had tormented the Aussies in Kolkata while Pathan achieved this feat against arch rival Pakistan in Karachi.
Bumrah has continued the legacy of Indian bowling. Earlier he was considered the specialist in the shorter formats of the game. His lethal yorkers proved difficult for the batsmen to handle in ODI and T20 cricket. At present, he is the most complete bowler in the world in all forms. He has tremendous control in his swing, line and length, yorkers and, most important, he can put his finger on the weak pulse of the batsmen.
Teams plays as a unit
Although Team India easily knocked out the Caribbean team in both the Tests, the positive thing which emerged in this series was that the team played as a cohesive unit under the guidance of Virat Kohli. He marshalled his troops shrewdly throughout the series. The wall of the Indian batting Cheteshwar Pujara’s bat remained silent in the series, which is unusual. But it is an old saying ‘form is temporary but class is permanent’. Pujara is a warrior, and will surely come back in the next series like a wounded tiger and score heavily.
The Indian team management must be proud and relaxed with the team’s authentic and magnificent performance. Not to talk of the West Indies, even a stronger team may have to dance to the tune of Bumrah and company in the months to come. India is playing like a champion, and the team is a firm favourite from here to win the World Test Championship final to be held in England in 2021.