posted on 2018-11-06 11:10:14
posted by Manya Pilani
Image Credits: cricket365.com
When the Windies handed India a thrashing at Pune in the 3rd ODI to level the series, it seemed like the series had come alive. But perhaps, it was just a false alarm.
India had been devouring opponents for fun at the Asia Cup 2018 when the Windies came calling. The first ODI was just another game at home for India where they beat the visitors by 8 wickets. At Vizag, however, the Windies gave India a scare when they tied the match in a chase of 321 courtesy a brilliant ton by Shai Hope.
But it was the third ODI where it dawned upon us that the team from the Caribbean might prove to be more competitive than some of the higher ranked teams that had been in the subcontinent recently.
When the Windies handed India a thrashing at Pune in the 3rd ODI to level the series, it seemed like the series had come alive. But perhaps it was just a false alarm for what followed was the annihilation of the batting line-up of the visitors.
The result of the third ODI seemed to be a wake-up call for the hosts. They had to look themselves in the mirror, dust off the errors and pull their socks up and what took place was a complete turn-around.
The Windies batting crashed from the peaks of 321/7 and 283/9 to the troughs of 153 all out and 104 all out in the remaining 2 ODIs to hand India a 3-1 series win. The visitors had managed to bat only for a combined 67 overs. It was as anticlimactic as it could get.
The Windies couldn’t get the monkey off the back even in the T20I format where they have the reputation of enveloping themselves in a different zeal and competitiveness. Perhaps it was the fiasco in the ODIs or their creativity in T20Is that forced them to open with a rather unusual combination of Shai Hope and Denesh Ramdin.
Shai Hope has been a revelation at No. 3 in ODIs and was a late entry into the T20I side after the injury of Andre Russell while Ramdin is usually seen batting in the middle order. The experiment from Brathwaite and Co. however, failed badly as Windies lost both their opening batsmen inside 4 overs and were reduced to 22/2. The newest batting sensation, Shimron Hetmyer, IPL veteran and debutant Kieron Pollard, the experienced Darren Bravo and skipper Carlos Brathwaite all failed to put up significant contributions as the Windies looked like they would be wrapped under 100 runs.
It was Fabian Allen’s 27(20) and Keemo Paul’s 15(13) that did some damage control for the visitors but it wasn’t enough to save face as the T20 giants could only manage a meagre 109/8 in 20 overs.
Miscues, misjudgement and poor shot selection has been the Windies’ undoing. Spin, in particular, has been their nemesis. Kuldeep Yadav and Ravindra Jadeja have troubled them throughout while the Windies handed a memorable debut to Krunal Pandya who ended up with figures of 1/15 (4).
The Windies fashioned a deep batting line-up in the ODIs and much was expected from them. Perhaps, what they are missing is the experience of seasoned campaigners like Chris Gayle, Sunil Narine, the retired Dwayne Bravo and the injured Andre Russell.
Since lifting the trophy in WT20 2016, the Windies have played ten T20I series and have lost half of them. Their solitary win in the format in 2018 came against Bangladesh, barring a victory in a charity game against ICC World XI. Contract issues and injury concerns have led to a complete overhaul of the team which became champions a couple of years back.
Now, with the series and their T20 reputation on the line, the Windies batsmen must search their salvation. They have the exciting prospects in their arsenal, what they require is proper execution and fortitude.