After a whitewash in the Test series, India continued their domination over the Windies in the five-match One Day International series. India beat West Indies in the fifth and the final ODI in Thiruvananthapuram on Thursday to clinch the series 3-1.
If the Indian batsmen fought it out in the first three ODIs, the bowling unit were at the forefront in the last two ODIs. Windies did manage to give India good fight in the three matches but lost steam by the end of the series.
Indian skipper Virat Kohli, his deputy Rohit Sharma and Ambati Rayudu led the batting for India while the bowlers struggled to contain the Windies batsman, who not only managed a tie in Vizag but earned a win in Pune.
But in the last two ODIs India’s bowling unit came all guns blazing to make it one-man show as India notched a comfortable eighth consecutive ODI series victory against the Windies since 2007. This was also India’s sixth straight home series win in ODIs.
Here’s a look at how the Indian players performed against the Windies in the five-match ODI series:
Shikhar Dhawan - 4/10
Despite getting and giving good starts at the top of the innings, Dhawan failed to capitalise in all five matches.
In his five innings, the southpaw scored 112 runs but never looked to struggle or found it difficult against the Windies bowlers.
His strike rate of 88.88 and his 15 fours and 3 sixes are a testimony of it. But being one of the senior pros in the side, Dhawan has to realise the importance of his wickets and has make sure he doesn’t give it away easily, especially with World Cup less than nine months away.
Rohit Sharma - 9/10
Rohit ‘Hitman’ Sharma lived up to his reputation this time around. Amassing 327 runs in his five innings, second only to his captain, Rohit rewrote record books with his batting against the Windies.
For the second year in a row he crossed 1000 runs in a calendar year. With two 150 plus scores in the series, now Rohit has the most number of 150 plus scores in ODI cricket at seven. In the last ODI he also became the fastest batsman to reach 200 sixes in ODIs.
His two centuries and a fifty in the series included a whopping 16 sixes and 43 boundaries. Averaging 129.66 and striking at 119 runs per 100 balls, Rohit’s form can only usher in good news for the Indian camp before the World Cup.
P.S. Rohit is more than handy at the slips which is evident with the six catches he took against the Windies.
Virat Kohli - 10/10
For the Indian skipper it was just an ordinary series. He came. He batted. He scored a century. He broke records. He won the game for India. And repeated it again in the next game.
No doubt it was superhuman stuff. But for King Kohli it was just another day at work. And for us spectators and fans it was like: Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it is just Virat Kohli batting!
With three back-to-back centuries in the first three matches, Kohli broke two records of Sachin Tendulkar in the recently concluded series. In the first ODI in Guwahati, Kohli became the fastest batsman to reach 60 centuries in international cricket in 386 innings. In the very next match in Vizag Virat became the fastest cricketer to cross the 10,000-run mark in ODIs in just 205 innings.
Apart from this, it was regular affair for the captain. He scored 453 runs in five innings at an average of 151.00, which also included 52 boundaries and 7 over the boundaries.
Ambati Rayudu - 8/10
For Rayudu the series was all about seizing the opportunity and the diminutive batsman from Andhra didn’t even miss the mark by an inch. After the disappointments of Manish Pandey and Dinesh Karthik, the Indian management might have finally got their prayers answered.
In his four innings this series, Rayudu scored 217 runs at an average of 72.33 and strike rate above 100. This also included a century and a half-century.
Rayudu may still need some polishing before the World Cup but confidence with bat will only grow from here the more he spends time in the middle.
Even the confidence shown by by Ravi Shastri and Virat Kohli at end of the series speaks volume and might end up doing wonders for Rayudu personally and the side as well.
M S Dhoni - 3/10
This series was yet another batting failure for Dhoni. India’s former captain managed a paltry 50 runs in his three innings at an average of 16.66.
The only saving grace for Dhoni at least this time around was the rate at which he scored those fifty runs. He managed a strike rate of 98.03. The boundaries had dried up long time back and this time too it was same story with Dhoni managing only 2 fours and a solitary six.
But behind the stumps, Dhoni was as reliable as ever, accounting for 4 catches and two stumpings. More importantly, the DRS (Dhoni Review System in this case) was also right on the money most of the time in this series.
Rishabh Pant - 2/10
With the World Cup in mind, the selectors included Rishabh Pant in the ODI squad despite MS Dhoni’s presence. But the aggressive right-hander hardly made his presence felt in the middle.
He went on to score only 41 runs from the two innings he played in the series. Though he maintained a strike rate of over 130, he has to do a more than that if he wants to be a regular feature in the Indian side.
Since MS Dhoni was with the big gloves, Pant had to be part of the outfield. His shoddy work in the field, along with drop catches, hasn’t helped his case further.
Ravindra Jadeja - 6/10
It has been a good comeback month or two for Ravindra Jadeja. Since making his Test comeback in England, he has made a good case for himself first in England, then in UAE and now at home.
Jadeja continued from he left at Dubai since his ODI return. In the first match in Guwahati, he had a decent outing where picked up two wickets. After two quite matches in Vizag and Mumbai, Jadeja ended the series on a high with the ball. accounting for four wickets in the fifth and the final ODI. Jadeja didn’t play the third match in Pune, which India had lost. Bowling at an average of 26.85, the Saurashtra bowler was the second-most economical bowler from the Indian camp, giving away 4.71 runs per over.
Jadeja did make a good case for himself with the bowl for a ticket to England 2019 but since he is part of the team as all-rounder his batting performance would also matter. Unfortunately, he has to do better than what he did against West Indies to keep his place in the side.
Kuldeep Yadav - 8/10
Surprisingly, Kuldeep wasn’t part of the playing XI in the first ODI. But after an average bowling performance by the Indian bowling unit, Kuldeep was back in the team in no time. With nine wickets in four matches, Kuldeep has been the most successful bowler in the side.
Kuldeep’s knack of taking wickets in middle overs and giving India the break throughs has been the trump card for Captain Kohli and will continue to be so in the upcoming World Cup next year.
Taking wickets at the interval of every 20 balls, Kuldeep took three wickets thrice in the series. He also bowled at a decent economy of less than six runs per over.
Yuzvendra Chahal - 6/10
Chahal, the other half of India’s new spin duo, had a pretty average outing by his standard. Playing only the first three matches of the series, Chahal accounted for five wickets at an average of 32.00.
After a good first match in Guwahati, where he finished with figures of 3/41, the leggie could leave a mark in the next two ODIs, which might have led to his exclusion.
Among the Indian bowlers in the series, Chahal had the third-best economy of 5.33 runs per over.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar - 4/10
After India’s questionable bowling performance in first two ODIs, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who has been spearheading India’s bowling unit for a good period now, was included in the side for the last three matches of the series, after he was excluded under the rotation-policy.
But sadly, Bhuvi not only looked rusty in the third ODI, his first match in Pune, but managed to take only three wickets in three games.
Bhuvi, who is known for his economical spells, was a tad too expensive this time around going around six runs per over in the three matches. In fact, in the Pune ODI he was hit all around park by the Windies batsman, which is not a scene you see too often in international cricket, not even in the Indian Premier League.
Jasprit Bumrah - 7/10
The bowling debacle in the first two ODIs also brought back another trusted lieutenant of Captain Kohli – Jasprit Bumrah. Like Bhuvi, Bumrah, too, was sidelined to make sure he gets enough rest ahead of the World Cup and remains injury free.
But unlike Bhuvi, Bumrah showed no signs of lack of match practice. Instead, he went about with his job from the word go.
Bowling at an economy of 2.95 runs per over, Bumrah was the main catalyst behind India’s bowling fortune in the last two ODIs of the series.
In the third ODI in Pune, Bumrah finished with a figure of 4 for 38 in his 10 overs and accounted for sending both the Windies openers back in the hut. In the last ODI in Thiruvananthapuram also Bumrah picked up only two wickets but finished with a stingy economy of 1.83 runs per over.
It is Bumrah’s ability to tighten the screws at both ends of an innings which might strike gold for India at the World Cup in England. Virat Kohli knows and his use should be restricted until then.
Khaleel Ahmed - 8/10
After an above average debut in India’s first match at the Asia Cup, Khaleel has comeback strongly against the Windies to make a strong case for himself in front of the selectors.
Khaleel’s performance with the ball dipped in his first two outings in the series in Guwahati and Pune respectively but in Mumbai the lanky left-arm pacer came back to be the wrecker-in-chief for India.
Khaleel took the wickets of in-form Hetmyer, Powell and Samuels in three consecutive overs to break the Windies middle-order and restore India’s pride after they lost the third ODI. In the final ODI also Khaleel took the important wickets of opener Powell and skipper Jason Holder.
With seven wickets in four matches, Khaleel finished the series as the joint second highest wicket-taker for India in the series.
At an average of 24.42 and economy of 5.34, Kohli and coach Shastri rightly pointed out Khaleel to be one of the biggest gains for India from the Windies series.
And surely a left-arm pacer will add some kind of variety to India’s pace battery.
Mohammed Shami and Umesh Yadav also played two matches apiece in the ODI series but failed to leave any mark.
Shami, who was dropped after the first two matches, managed to pick up three wickets at an average of 46.66 and economy of seven runs per over.
Umesh Yadav picked up a solitary wicket in the first two ODIs he played and was also expensive, giving away 7.10 runs per over.
Meanwhile, Kedar Jadhav, who was included in the squad after the third ODI, played both the ODIs but managed to bat only in the fourth one where he smashed a quickfire 16 off 7 balls.
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