‘And a tremendous win by West Indies over India.’ We used to hear about this news quite frequently during the 1980s and 90s. Defeating West Indies in their own den is even more difficult, with their fast bowlers who were harrowing the batsmen for almost 2 decades. But their performances have just been dropping since then.
Once hailed as the dominant team, nowadays aren’t even close to being one. India taking their apparent ‘A’ team, says it all. India’s series against West Indies was basically a chance for youngsters to prove themselves and a chance for India to test their bench-strength. But with West Indies struggling big time and hardly able to get their combinations right, India had a good chance to set it straight up for them. After winning 3 matches convincingly, India was already out there to prove what they have in store for the world. But the winning combination was changed in order to give everyone an equal chance, but the chance to whitewash West Indies was lost and over. Losing the last 2 ODIs, the sight wasn’t great.
Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli and Amit Mishra have been the highs of this series. Rohit Sharma pioneered Indian innings and helped India India win in a couple of matches. Averaging 128 and scoring around 257 runs in the 5 matches he played, he obviously has acknowledged many greats who have predicted him to be a future great for India. Kohli, another person who has been scoring consistently for India has had a pretty good series, but is capable of much more. Scoring 199 runs in 5 matches, he couldn’t score at all in a couple of matches as he lost out on capitalizing in the games. Parthiv Patel also gave us some solid starts in the games, and is trying to capitalize into the 2nc choice wicket-keeper place in the squad.
Among the bowlers, Amit Mishra was tremendous. Aggressive, he has always been looking for wickets. Picking up 11 wickets in the series with an exceptional economy rate of just 4, he has an awesome future to look at. Along with Harbhajan Singh, a defensive off-spinner, this leg-spinner can have a phenomenal partnership in the spin-bowling department. Munaf Patel has carried his form since the World Cup and looked good here again, picking up 8 wickets in the 3 matches he played.
Suresh Raina was an utter disappointment. Playing rash shots, he was certainly over-burdened by the captaincy. Making him a captain was a bad decision anyway, since he doesn’t have much experience anyways. Virat Kohli, who had the experience and certainly a good captain, could have been given the opportunity. Even Harbhajan Singh, a senior player could have had the chance to be what he ever wanted to be. Scoring just 82 runs, he certainly didn’t play to his capabilities. Even Shikhar Dhawan, lost out on a golden chance to prove his worth scoring as low as 69 runs, which included a fifty. Inconsistent performances are going to hurt. Manoj Tiwary, though didn’t get enough opportunities at the moment, but he certainly couldn’t get in through how many ever opportunities he was given.
Harbhajan Singh, being the senior-most player in the squad with his experience should have inspired the youngsters. Instead he himself wasn’t playing to his capabilities. Picking up 4 wickets in the 3 matches he played, his economy rate was good, and shows his defensiveness and the tendency to not look for the wickets. Even, Praveen Kumar was in the same league though his economy rate wasn’t as good as Bhajji’s. Even Ashwin couldn’t capitalize on the opportunities given to him. Actually he quite failed picking up just a wicket in the 2 matches he played.
The biggest disappointment of the tour being, Subramanium Badrinath. Hailed as a great player, ignored by selectors all the time scored just 40 runs in the 4 matches he played. Scoring well in the IPL, he lost the opportunity he was waiting for. Then why perform in the league games, if you don’t want to perform at the big stage? Nerves! Playing at the big stage is always a challenge and he needs to cope up with it. Dhoni brings out the best in him, and possibly his run tally could have been a lot better if he would have been around. Yusuf Pathan also couldn’t live up to his reputation of being a pinch-hitter and a clean striker of the ball. Poor selection of shots, he had a good opportunity to retain his place in the last ODI. When India actually needed him in the last ODI where wickets were consistently falling, he got a good start but fell for 30. Again losing out big time.
Ishant Sharma, who had a great opportunity to regain his lost glory again disappointed. Hailed as the one to put off fire in India’s fast bowling department when he actually made Ricky Ponting hop around in his crease he certainly has lost all the confidence in himself. He has to work on himself, indeed very hard.
It was a dream, but the dream just remained a dream. A whitewash and what would have been the frolic in the country. History would have been made, and how! A golden opportunity, lost big time for the players as well as for the history to be made. Hopefully, they will create more opportunities for themselves in the near future.
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