A couple of blockbuster encounters that held the viewers till the end and then a one-sided rain-curtailed game – that’s how the three-match ODI series between India and West Indies panned out. On Wednesday, the Shikhar Dhawan-led side registered a 119-run win to complete a 3-0 clean sweep over their hosts.
Also Read: India Complete 3-0 Clean Sweep
Rain played the spoilsport and denied Shubman Gill his maiden international hundred but it couldn’t stop India’s dominance over the West Indies.
The series saw a second-string Team India taking on a full-strength West Indies and yet rolling them over. For the Men in Blue, the victory once again highlighted their bench strength but at the same time, there were areas which need to be addressed.
As India end another white-ball series on foreign soil successfully, let’s have a look at the takeaways:
Shikhar Dhawan’s Redemption
Dhawan wasn’t in the best of form when he left for England. But the responsibility of leading the side in the absence of big guns brought out his better version and not the best because three games weren’t enough to bring the old Dhawan back who would hardly breathe or let the bowlers do so while batting. During the Caribbean series, the opener did get runs but at a slower pace.
A 97 in the series opener and 58 in the final game on Wednesday were the silver linings but the old touch was definitely missing somewhere. Overall, it was a sweet and sour kind of series for him, and he is experienced enough to asses himself and return stronger.
Shubman Gill, The Rising Star
After playing his last ODI Down Under in 2020, Gill was back in the 50-over format after more than 18 months. He couldn’t have asked for a better comeback as he finished the series as the highest scorer with 205 runs to his name. In the opening game on July 27, he notched up his maiden ODI fifty and he could’ve got his first international hundred as well if the rain hadn’t played the spoilsport on Wednesday. He was stranded on 98 before the game, which was halted twice, forced India’s innings to an early end on 225/3. It was a bitter pill to swallow for the youngster, but he definitely has spiced up the tussle for World Cup spot for openers; if not the one in Australia (T20) then definitely the 50-over one in India next year.
Evolution of Axar Patel
The team management needed a like-to-like replacement for Ravindra Jadeja who suffered a niggle prior to the beginning of the series. Axar was trusted to fill in the void and he didn’t disappoint. He wasn’t that effective as a spinner but what Axar did with the bat in hand in the second encounter has raised hopes. His unbeaten 64 off 35 balls helped India clinch the series and also testified to the rock-solid bench strength of the Indian team.
After surreal consistency, Suryakumar Yadav showed he’s a human being after all. The right-hand batter has been consistently performing until he arrived in the Caribbean. For the first time since his international debut, the Mumbai cricketer had an underwhelming series in which he scored just 30 runs in three innings, averaging only 10.
If the top-order put up a promising show throughout the series, the bowlers couldn’t match it. They managed to get a complete 10 in the final game on Wednesday but before that, the Windies batters completely overpowered them in the first two games. The absence of Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami was visible and also raises a question about the team’s strategy over the exclusion of young Arshdeep Singh despite a commendable debut in England.