Report Card For WI Series: Bumrah, Vihari, Ishant Steal the Show

India completed a comprehensive 2-0 win over West Indies in the two-match Test series.

For India it was an all-round performance, as their World Test Championship campaign started on a great note. India now are at the top of the table with 120 points.

For India both the new and the established names made their mark while some of veterans disappointed.

With an eye on the World Test Championships, here’s a look at how the Indian team fared in the Test series against the West Indies:

KL Rahul (3/10)

After some smart and matured batting in the 1st innings of the first Test, Rahul was back to his usual self for the rest of the series.

Managing a tally of 101 from 4 innings at an average of 25.25, it was once again Rahul’s technique that led to his dismal show. Not able to convert starts or get going after consolidation added to Rahul’s misery.

The first Test still saw some kind of resistance from Rahul with scores of 44 and 38 but it was the second Test which once again put a question mark on his future with the Test side. Rahul managed 13 and 6 in Jamaica.

Mayank Agarwal (4/10)

Barring a 50 in the first innings of the Kingston Test, Mayank Agarwal hardly has anything to show for himself in the Test series.

With scores of 5, 16 and 4, apart from the 55, Agarwal couldn’t even manage 100 runs from his four innings.

But during his 127-ball 55, he did exhibit his brilliant technique on a tricky Sabina Park wicket. Prior to India Tour of West Indies, Mayank also didn’t have a great time with the India A side in the Caribbean.

Cheteshwar Pujara (2/10)

One of those series where the ever-dependent Pujara wasn’t among runs. Coming into the Test series, Pujara looked in great touch, scoring a 100 against the West Indies A side.

But as far as the series is concerned, forget a hundred, Pujara couldn’t make that many runs in his 4 innings put together.

Pujara scored 2, 25, 6 and 27 in the four innings at an average of 15. 00. Like Rahane, Pujara is also In India’s best bet in overseas conditions but unfortunately such wasn’t the case this time around.

Virat Kohli (5/10)

Two fifties in each of the Tests, still not a great series for the Indian skipper if we go by the lofty standards set by Virat Kohli himself.

Kohli didn’t have a great start to the series, getting out for 9 in the first innings of the Antigua Test. He followed that with a hard-working 51. In Jamaica, Kohli was back to his best and was looking good for a century but 76 is what he could manage.

And if it started badly for Kohli with the bat then it ended in the worst-possible manner. Kohli was out for a golden duck in the second innings of the second Test, only the fourth time in his career.

Not only the series, it hasn’t been a great 2019 for the skipper. Kohli is averaging 31.80 while aggregating 159 in five innings (three Tests) - his worst performance in a calendar year in Tests since January 2012.

Ajinkya Rahane (9/10)

This series will always remain special to Rahane for quite a number of reasons. Firstly, he ended his two-year century drought in the second innings of the first Test.

In the process, he not only put to rest all the pre-match debate regarding who was a better option in the Indian middle-order – Rahane or Rohit, but also kind of cemented his place in the Indian Test squad.

Apart from the century, he also scored two crucial fifties. His innings of 81 in the first innings in Antigua came at a time when India’s top-order had surrendered to the Windies pace attack on the opening day of a Test.

He then went on to score 64 not out in the fourth innings of the second Test and put on a 111-run stand with Vihari to give India a cushion of 412 runs.

Rahane has been India’s most successful batsman abroad in the recent times and with this series he once again reconfirmed that piece of statistics. He ended the series with 271 runs at an average of 90.33 in four innings.

Hanuma Vihari (10/10)

‘Find of the series’ said Virat Kohli after the series win against West Indies on Monday. And why not! Vihari finished the series at an average of 96.33, scoring 289 runs from 4 innings.

Selected after scoring bucket load of runs in the domestic circuit, Vihari’s international career got off to great start in England with an innings of 56. But since then Vihari didn’t do anything extraordinary.

But this series has been a revelation of the Hyderabad batsman and his true skills with the bat have come to the fore. His missed a century in the first Test by a mere seven runs but he didn’t allow another slip up as he scored his maiden Test ton in the second Test.

Apart from the runs scored, it was his temperament and maturity that made all the right noise.

With India getting off to a great start in the World Test Championships, Vihari will be a vital cog for India in the competition.

Rishabh Pant (4/10)

The less the said about his batting the better it is.

Pant has been a disappointment with the bat and time and again has given the impression in the series that he is still not matured enough to bat in the longer format of the game.

Some may argue that Pant has two Test centuries to his name and that too outside India but the way he played in the two-match series it looks like he has to go back to the domestic circuit to hone his skills a little more.

With 58 runs from 3 innings, Pant’s only saving grace has been his work behind the stumps. He has accounted for 11 catches in two Tests and has kept well, especially to Jasprit Bumrah.

Ravindra Jadeja (8/10)

On Day 1 of the first Test when Virat Kohli opted for Ravindra Jadeja over R Ashwin, swords were out criticising Jadeja’s inclusion.

But the all-rounder answered all his critics in the best way possible- on the field. After scoring a crucial 58 in the first innings of the first Test, Jadeja picked up two wickets in the match. It was Jadeja’s 58 which propelled India to 297, which otherwise looked unlikely.

In the second Test, it was Jadeja’s bowling which came in handy. He finished with the wickets of Roston Chase, Jason Holder and Jahmar Hamilton in the second innings for 58 runs.

Ishant Sharma (9/10)

Ishant has been spearheading the Indian pace attack for quite sometime now but apart from his bowling this series was all about his batting also.

Time and again we have seen how stubborn a Test batsman he is. But in Jamaica, Ishant showed that his batting has more aspects apart from just defending and frustrating the opposition. Ishant not only put up a 112-run stand with centurion Vihari in the first innings but went onto score his maiden Test fifty – a bonus for Team India.

Now, coming to his bowling. Ishant was at his usual best right from the start. In fact, before Bumrah’s lethal form it was the lanky pacer from Delhi who stole the show with a fifer (5/43) in the West Indies first innings in Antigua.

Ishant finished the series with 11 wickets at an whopping average 12.27.

Mohammed Shami (7/10)

Shami stayed true to his wicket-taking abilities all throughout the series.

In all the four innings Shami has been among wickets. His figures of 2/48, 2/13, 2/24 and 3/65 has been equally crucial for India’s 2-0 sweep in the Test match series.

Just because Ishant or Bumrah were more effective we can’t overlook Shami’s consistency.

Jasprit Bumrah (10/10)

Bumrah took his time to settle down but once he came into his elements it was absolute carnage for the West Indies batsmen.

Bumrah’s assault with the ball started in the second innings of the first Test. Suddenly Bumrah was unplayable. His figure of 5/27 and the mammoth margin of India’s victory are a testimony of that.

Bumrah carried on his form to the second Test. Apart from the hat-trick and six-wicket haul in the first innings, it was the way Bumrah was bowling that made him stuff of legend.

Former West Indies pacer and commentator Ian Bishop’s tweets said it all: “ Jasprit Bumrah is a once in a life talent.”

If Ishant’s series record was superlative, Bumrah’s was superhuman. The seamer finished 13 wickets at an miserly average of 9.23 and not to forget the hat-trick (only the third Indian to do so in Test cricket).

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