Unlike the India-Australia series, the contest between India and West Indies has been a lot more balanced between bat and ball. The fact that not a single score of 300 was registered points towards the same – the highest being 289 by West Indies in the second ODI. Here’s a look at the top performers in the recently-concluded series.
Virat Kohli: Another series in which India’s number 3 was consistency- personified, and ended up as the man of the series. He totalled 204 runs in three games with two fifties. His 86 at Kochi helped India chase down a small target with ease, and he was the top scorer at Visakhapatnam, falling one short of a well-deserved hundred. Kohli’s dismissal in the second game turned the match around as West Indies got on top after his dismissal and went on to win the match. He failed in the final ODI, but he was due for one.
Darren Bravo: The left-hander was the most consistent of the West Indies batsmen, scoring 160 runs in the three games. In fact, he got half- centuries in all the three matches – 59 at Kochi, 50 at Visakhapatnam, and an unbeaten 51 at Kanpur. While West Indies and the man himself would be pleased with the efforts, he should be disappointed that he couldn’t carry on to get a bigger score. In the final game, he was unbeaten at the end, but in the earlier two matches, he fell with plenty of overs remaining.
Shikhar Dhawan: The Indian opener played one innings of note, and that made the difference as his hundred came in the decider. After failing at Kochi and making 35 in the second ODI, Dhawan reserved his best for the do-or-die clash. His 119 took India to a series win with ease. The knock took his tally up to 159 for the series.
Kieran Powell: He was the surprise success story for West Indies. Coming in due to the injury to Chris Gayle, Powell made 59 and 70 in the last two games, which will make it difficult for the selectors leave him out when Gayle comes back. Like Samuels’ though even he would have liked to convert fifties into bigger scores.
Ravi Rampaul: The West Indies medium pacer was the best pace bowler on either side. He picked up seven wickets averaging 22 over the three matches. His spell of 4/60 was critical in West Indies fighting back and going on to win the second ODI, which saw them square the series. Even in the final ODI, Rampaul kept West Indies’ hope alive with the early scalps of the dangerous Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli. Rampaul continues to impress more and more with each game.
Ravichandran Ashwin: The off-spinner was consistent, picking up wickets as well as keeping the runs down. He ended up with six wickets while averaging 21. In fact, in each of the games he picked up two wickets each. His economy rate of 4.15 was also top notch.
--By A Cricket Analyst