It was yet another well-fought T20I series and West Indies did give India a tough fight throughout the series. They may have lost the series 1-2 but in the first two games, they did look the better side. The men from the Caribbean were in the zone and did come pretty close to toppling India.
In the first T20I, it was the brilliance of Virat Kohli that took India over the line as they hunted down 208. West Indies hit back in the second game when they first restricted India to 170 and chased it down with relative ease. Thus, Wankhede Stadium was expected to be a cracker and the series-decider almost lived up to expectation.
After being put in to bat, India scored a mammoth 240. Half-centuries from Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul and Virat Kohli set the foundation before the bowlers did well to restrict mighty West Indian batting line-up.
Thus, India took the series 2-1 and with the series coming to an end, here is the post-series combined XI from both India and West Indies:
Shikhar Dhawan’s injury allowed KL Rahul to open the batting in this series and he’s cashed in big time. The Karnataka lad had an excellent series as he scored a couple of half-centuries and ended as the second-highest run-getter as well.
In the first game, it was Rahul who set the foundation. The right-handed opener scored a fine 62 and also helped Kohli take his time at the other end. While he missed out in the second game, Rahul was brilliant in the last game of the series.
He started with a bang and simply kept going. He scored 91 off just 56 balls and missed out on a third T20I ton. In all, Rahul scored 163 runs at an average of 54.66 and also scored at a strike-rate of 153.27. He will definitely be happy with the way things have gone about in this series. Moreover, it should almost seal his place as India’s first-choice T20I opener.
There is something between Evin Lewis and India. The left-handed opening batsman simply loves playing against India and has invariably scored big against them. He had a bit of an up and down past and recently has been struggling to make big scores.
However, this series presented him the opportunity and Lewis got back into some sort of form. He was very good in the first two games he batted. He gave the start which the other big hitters eased the pressure off the likes of Shimron Hetmyer, Nicholas Pooran and the others.
In this series, Lewis got a pair of 40 each in the first two games. He was striking at a very good rate as well. He has a strike-rate of 153.84. The 27-year-old couldn’t bat in the third T20I after he suffered an injury while fielding.
It was a series where the Virat Kohli was seen is sensational touch. The Indian skipper was all fired up throughout the three games and didn’t shy away from giving it back to the bowler. With the bat, he was simply phenomenal and finished as the player of the series as well.
In three games, Kohli smashed 183 runs and was dismissed just once. Moreover, he scored a couple of half-centuries (in the first and third game). He had a fabulous strike-rate of 190.62 which was the best by an Indian batsman in this series.
The chase master Kohli was at it once again in the first T20I. Despite scratching around and not having the best of the days, he drove India home (target of 209) with a fine unbeaten 94. He wasted a start in the second game but he stamped his authority in the third T20I.
After the platform the openers gave, Kohli walked out at No. 4 and belted the West Indian bowlers all around. The Indian captain scored a super 29-ball 70 and finished the series and the year of T20I cricket on a high.
There was a lot of frustration creeping in as far as Shimron Hetmyer is concerned. The promising left-hander was constantly facing issues with his form. Irrespective of the format, Hetmyer couldn’t really make it big and struggled to get runs.
However, throughout the course of this three-match T20I series, the 22-year-old showed signs of returning to his best. The left-hander was striking the ball really well too. Every time he was dismissed in the series, he wasn’t happy. He threw it away in every innings and missed out on a big score.
The youngster amassed 120 runs at an average of 40.00. He got starts in every game and his scores read 56, 23 and 41 (latest) in this series. Hetmyer may not have a great time in the recent past seems to be finding his touch once again.
Kieron Pollard led from the front. He is the most experienced player in this West Indian squad and he has also played a lot of cricket in India. He was coming on the back of a rather quiet series against Afghanistan where he scored 85 runs in six innings.
However, against India, he looked in ominous form. He was striking the ball cleanly and the ball kept sailing into the stands. In the first game, Pollard scored a quickfire 37 which gave West Indies some momentum in the middle. He even picked up a wicket in that game.
Pollard wasn’t required to bat in the second game and in the third, he just kept going after the bowlers. With the asking rate over 14-15, Pollard had to keep going and he even kept finding the boundaries at regular intervals before he was dismissed. He scored 68 in 39 balls and finished the series with 105 runs and a strike-rate of 181.03.
No wicket-keeper batsman had a standout series. Denesh Ramdin played just the first game while Nicholas Pooran played the other two. The left-hander was good in the second game but he was dismissed for a duck in the series decider.
The same was the case with Rishabh Pant. The Delhi stumper smashed a couple of sixes in the first T20I and was out for 18 before scoring a good 33 not out in the second. Pant was promoted to No. 3 in the final game but he failed and returned with a two-ball duck.
Thus, Pant was slightly better than Nicholas Pooran and contributed in two the first two games with the bat.
This is once again a slot that did not see a lot of competition. Most of the all-rounders went for plenty of runs with the ball and didn’t really do a lot with the bat. However, Shivam Dube had a series or rather game to remember.
In a surprise move, the Mumbai all-rounder was promoted to No. 3 in the second T20I and he made full use of it. Dube struggled to get going initially but once he found his rhythm, he showcased his power. The left-hand batsman scored 54 off 30 balls and was pretty impressive.
With the ball, he was the only bowler in the series who did not pick up a wicket. He conceded runs at 10.50 per over. However, there were times when he bowled some excellent yorkers as well.
It wasn’t a series for bowlers. The batsmen kept going after them and scoring sixes. None of the bowlers have an economy of under 7.5 barring Mohammed Shami who played one game. In fact, the highest wicket-taker in the series ended with a mere three wickets.
Everybody leaked runs and barely managed to pick wickets. Thus, Washington Sundar was one of India’s best bowlers in the series. The Tamil Nadu all-rounder didn’t get a lot of opportunities with the bat but he did decently with the ball. He conceded runs at an economy of 8.12 which is the least for an Indian bowler who played two or more games.
He returned with figures of 1/34 and 1/26 in the first two games. Sundar bowled just one over and that too towards the end of the third game. It was an average series for the off-spinner.
Hayden Walsh Jr
Hayden Walsh Jr is another spinner who bowled well throughout the series. He kept the run flow under check and also picked up a couple of wickets. The leg-spinner did manage to do a decent job as he bowled 10 overs in the series and went for 85 runs, picking up two wickets.
He made his ODI and T20I debut earlier this year for the USA. However, he has now shifted his base to West Indies and made his debut for them in both the white-ball formats against Afghanistan.
Khary Pierre did manage to pick three wickets but he was very expensive as he had an economy of 11.25. Thus, Walsh was picked over the left-arm spinner.
It was a comeback series of sorts for Bhuvneshwar Kumar. He had been out of action since the time India toured West Indies in August earlier this year. However, he returned fully fit and in the absence of Jasprit Bumrah, he led this Indian pace attack decently.
If you plainly look at stats, you’d feel Bhuvneshwar didn’t really have a good series. He conceded runs at 9.41 runs an over and picked up just two wickets in the series. But he was pretty good at times. In fact, at the start of the innings, the Meerut pacer was very economical. There were a couple of catches that went down of his bowling as well.
Like everyone else, Bhuvneshwar was taken for plenty at the death. However, in the third T20I, he picked up a couple of crucial wickets. First, he dismissed Brandon King in his first over before returning to dismiss the dangerous Kieron Pollard. Thus, he had an okayish return to international cricket.
In a series where bowlers were largely taken to the cleaners, Sheldon Cottrell was excellent. He got the ball to move around a touch early on and also, rushed the Indian batsmen with some extra pace. He even bowled well at the death.
Cottrell may not have picked up a heap of wickets but took one every game. He returned with figures of 1/24, 1/27 and 1/40 in the three games and was by far the best bowler of the series from both sides. In fact, he was one of the only three bowlers who bowled the full quota every game. He conceded runs at an economy of 7.58 in this series which is the best by a bowler who played more than one game.
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