It’s been an emphatic tour for the Indian team. They blanked the West Indies in the T20Is and ODIs and now, they’ve done the same in Test cricket as well. Moreover, this 2-0 series win means that they have pocketed 120 Test championship points which puts them at the top of that table.
West Indies won the toss in both the games and inserted India in to bat first. They did pick up early wickets in both games but failed to capitalize. The Indian middle-order showed its strength as Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane and Hanuma Vihari contributed big in both games and put the Indian team in a position of strength. Meanwhile, Jasprit Bumrah led the attack beautifully and was at his lethal best. He had good support from Ishant Sharma and Mohammed Shami as well.
For the Windies, there’s not a lot of positives to look at. Jason Holder led from the front but didn’t have a lot of support. Kemar Roach bowled his heart out but was unlucky as well. However, they were shoddy with the bat and hence, paid the price.
Thus, with the series and the tour coming to an end, we look at the combined XI for the two-match Test series.
1. Mayank Agarwal
Mayank Agarwal. (Photo Source: Twitter)
It wasn’t a great series for the openers. In fact, openers from both sides struggled. The West Indian openers combined to score 76 runs in the series. However, the Indian openers fared better. KL Rahul got starts but didn’t convert them and also looked pretty tentative. Mayank Agarwal looked the best of the lot.
Agarwal made his debut in Melbourne in the Boxing Day Test and impressed in the first two Test matches. He continued his good run here as well. He didn’t get a lot of runs but was the only opener to score a fifty in this series. After a couple of failures in the first Test, the Karnataka opener scored a solid half-century in the first innings of the second Test.
He battled tricky conditions and looked really good before he was dismissed for 55. He missed out in the second innings.
2. Hanuma Vihari
Hanuma Vihari. (Photo Source: Twitter)
There was a lot of debate around India’s No. 6 just before this series. Hanuma Vihari got the nod ahead of Rohit Sharma and the Andhra lad has sealed the spot. He played a few difficult games in England and Australia before this series and did well too.
Vihari was absolutely brilliant in this series. In the first innings of the first Test, he scored a patient 32 which helped India get back on the track alongside Ajinkya Rahane. In the second innings, he missed out on a well-deserved ton as he was dismissed for 93.
However, he made up for it in the second Test. He scored a brilliant ton and helped India get to a strong 416 on a tricky pitch. The 25-year-old batted patiently and punished the bad balls. He returned to finish the series on a high as he scored a fifty in the second innings as well. Thus, Vihari finished the series as the highest run-getter (289 runs in four innings).
3. Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli. (Photo by RANDY BROOKS/AFP/Getty Images)
The Indian captain had an indifferent and a rather underwhelming series. For the first time since March 2017, Virat Kohli did not score a hundred in a Test series. Moreover, he had a couple of failures, including a golden duck in the second innings of the second Test.
While he looked rushed in the first innings of the first Test, he failed to convert two excellent half-centuries into big tons in his next two innings. He scored a lot of runs in the white-ball leg of this tour and looked good here as well.
Kohli scored half-tons from tricky positions and helped India recover from wobbly situations. However, he failed to convert his two fifties which was a little surprising. Hence, the Indian skipper finished the series with 136 runs.
4. Ajinkya Rahane
Ajinkya Rahane. (Photo by RANDY BROOKS/AFP/Getty Images)
Before this series, there were a lot of question marks over Ajinkya Rahane’s spot in the side. The Mumbaikar hadn’t scored a Test ton for more than two years and blew hot and cold all the time. However, the Indian Test vice-captain shut his critics in style. In both Test matches, he looked solid and scored 271 runs in four innings.
In the first Test, he walked out to bat at 25/3 and weathered the storm. He missed out on a hundred as he scored a fighting 81 to put India in a good position. In the second innings, he consolidated with Kohli before dominating and reaching the much-awaited three-figure mark.
Rahane missed out in the first innings of the second Test as he failed to convert a decent start but he made it count in the second essay. Coming out to bat at 36/3, Rahane struck a confident 64 before India declared. Hence, it was an excellent series for the Indian Test vice-captain.
5. Roston Chase
Roston Chase plays a shot. (Photo Source: Twitter)
Roston Chase likes playing against India and some of his top performances have been against India. However, he didn’t have a great series but he looked a lot better than what his scores suggest. He scored 72 runs and picked up six wickets in the series.
In the first Test, Chase was the only Windies batsman who got a score in excess of 40. He scored a patient 48 in the first innings while he was the only batsman in the top seven to reach double-digits in the second innings. In fact, the 27-year-old all-rounder also had a very good outing with the ball as he took six wickets in the match.
He bowled a lot lesser in the second innings due to the inclusion of Rahkeem Cornwall. He failed with the bat in the first innings but was looking good in the second essay. However, he was undone by Ravindra Jadeja. Hence, it was an under-par series for Chase but it was a lot better than most of the other West Indian players.
6. Rishabh Pant
Rishabh Pant and Hanuma Vihari. (Photo Source: Twitter)
Rishabh Pant has established himself as the first-choice Test wicketkeeper for India. He has done really well and over the last year, he has improved with the gloves as well. However, it was a rather underwhelming series for Pant with the bat.
The Delhi stumper got starts consistently but failed to kick on and get a big score. He contributed well in a few partnerships but he never got a substantial score. He had scores of 24, 7 and 27 in the three innings he batted. Pant was also very good behind the stumps as he took 11 catches in the series.
Pant was given a chance ahead of keeper Wriddhiman Saha in this series and he has done a good job both with the willow and behind the wickets. It would be interesting to see team management’s pick for SA Test series when it comes to keeping.
7. Ravindra Jadeja
Ravindra Jadeja. (Photo Source: Twitter)
It was a little surprising to see Ravindra Jadeja start ahead of Ravichandran Ashwin as India’s frontline spin option. However, over the last couple of years, Jadeja has really done well in Test cricket. In fact, even in the limited opportunities, he’s got in overseas Tests, he’s done well.
The left-handed all-rounder was excellent in England and Australia and he’s continued his good run here as well. Jadeja’s contribution with the bat has been really good. He struck a vital fifty in the first innings of the first Test which helped India get to 297. He looked really good even in the first innings of the second Test before perishing to a slog.
With the ball, the Saurashtra lad complimented the pace trio really well too. He picked up a couple of wickets in the first Test before finishing the tour with a three-fer in the second innings of the second Test.
8. Jason Holder
Jason Holder. (Photo Source: ICC)
The West Indies captain had a pretty good series as well. While Jason Holder may not have scored big with the bat, he stuck around and showed his teammates how to go about business with the bat. With the ball, he was a touch disappointing in the first Test but he made up for it in the second game.
Holder was absolutely brilliant in the second Test. He bowled exceptionally well and challenged almost every Indian batsman. He bowled nagging lines and lengths and got the ball to nip around as well. The 27-year-old all-rounder picked up a fifer in the first innings and bowled really well in the second innings too.
Thus, Holder would be certainly disappointed with the result of the series but personally, he did well. He picked up eight wickets in the series and was also the highest run-getter for the Windies. The 27-year-old scored 104 runs and was the only West Indian batsman to score more than 80 runs in the series.
9. Kemar Roach
West Indies bowler Kemar Roach. (Photo by MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)
Kemar Roach has been excellent for the West Indies in the recent past. He has been one of the reasons for their success at home in the last couple of years. he troubled the opposition batsmen with pace and movement constantly.
Thus, he continued his good form in this series. Roach was excellent on the first morning of the first Test. He bowled his heart out and had India in a spot of bother. However, the 31-year-old pacer didn’t get enough support from the other end. He finished with a four-fer in the first innings and picked up another wicket in the second essay.
He bowled really well even in the second Test as he ran through the Indian top order in the second innings. Thus, it was the same story throughout the series. Roach bowled well but was a little unlucky and he didn’t have enough support from the other end.
10. Ishant Sharma
Ishant Sharma. (Photo by RANDY BROOKS/AFP/Getty Images)
Since 2018, we have seen a different Ishant Sharma. He is the most experienced Indian pacer and is the leader of this pack. The tall lanky pacer has been brilliant throughout the series. He started the series with an excellent five-wicket haul. He pitched the ball in the right areas and also got it to move appreciably.
He returned with figures of 5/43 in the first innings of the first Test while he picked up another three in the second innings of the same Test. Ishant picked three wickets across both innings in the second Test to finish the series with 11 scalps.
Moreover, he chipped in beautifully with the bat too. He scored a stoic 19 in the first Test helping India get to 297. In the second Test, he was brilliant as he scored an excellent half-century which helped India get to 416 in their first innings.
11. Jasprit Bumrah
Jasprit Bumrah. (Photo by RANDY BROOKS/AFP/Getty Images)
After missing the white-ball leg of this tour, Jasprit Bumrah is back to his lethal best. He made Windies batsmen dance to his tunes like never before. He got the ball to jag around massively and the Windies batsmen simply had no answers.
Bumrah was a touch slow to get off the blocks. He had indifferent first innings in the first Test but he came roaring back in the second innings. He picked up 5/7 to blow away the Windies top order. In the second Test, he continued his red-hot form as he picked up a six-wicket haul in the first innings which included a hat-trick.
Hence, Bumrah finished the tour with one wicket in the second innings. Overall, he took 13 wickets in the series which is the most by any bowler across both sides.
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