India vs West Indies: Five takeaways from T20I series

India defeated West Indies by 67 runs in the third and final T20I in Mumbai to clinch the series 2-1 at home. With a handful of games left to play before the World T20 in October next year, Sportzcraazy takes a look at the five takeaways from the series…     

  1. KL Rahul’s return to form

With Shikhar Dhawan getting injured just before this T20I series, it gave an ample opportunity for KL Rahul to claim his place in the starting XI. And the Karnataka batsman didn’t disappoint. In the three matches he played, the swashbuckling right-hander amassed 164 runs at an average of 54.7.

The pitches in Hyderabad and Mumbai indeed assisted the batsmen, but what caught the eyes was Rahul’s classical approach with shots square off the wicket. He used the pace of the spinners’ deliveries to play it as late as possible.

The 27-year-old has always found the Australian pitches suitable to his batting and his recent performances will give his captain Virat Kohli some sigh of relief at the top of the order going into next year’s World T20 in Aussieland.  

  1. Rishabh Pant’s batting woes continue  

It seems that time has taken a backseat when it comes to Rishabh Pant. The under-fire wicketkeeper has been the centre of attraction in the shortest formats of the game for quite some time now and the third and final T20 against the Windies was no different. The 23-year-old has time and again fallen under scrutiny for his shot selection – his tendency to go after the wide balls giving easy catches in return – and Wednesday was also the same.

Pant’s glovework behind the sticks was also pulled up with the ’keeper dropping Evin Lewis in the fifth over in the Thiruvananthapuram. However, it is high time for the team management to look beyond Pant and give Sanju Samson a chance who has been warming the benches for the last two series.     

3. Poor fielding 

Fielding has been the problem for India in this series. With Washinton Sundar and Rishabh Pant dropping catches in the second T20I in Thiruvananthapuram, the Men in Blue need to man up in letting these slip-ups happen in the future. Such has been the case, that even Virat Kohli too took a dig at the fielders for the loss at Kochi capital. 

4. Spinners’ performance 

Indeed, the pitches in Hyderabad and Mumbai were not the type a bowler would want, but that can’t hide the fact that Indian spinners failed to live up to the billing. India used four spinners in the series – Ravindra Jadeja, Washington Sundar, Yuzvendra Chahal, and Kuldeep Yadav – and the quartet claimed eight West Indian wickets in total.

Kuldeep Yadav who played only one game in Mumbai gave away 45 runs in his quota of four, Yuzvendra Chahal cost India 72 runs in the first two games. It’s surely an area of concern for bowling coach Bharat Arun and the former India medium-pacer needs to sort things out. 

5. India’s batting top order

The biggest takeaway for the Indian team management will be the batsmen’s success at the top of the order. In the series opener, despite a mammoth 208-run target, the duo of KL Rahul (62) and Virat Kohli (94 not out) made it an easy chase romping home eight balls to spare.

Things were different in the second game as the likes of Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, and KL Rahul failed to convert the starts, but rookie Shivam Dube lived up to the occasion with a 30-ball-54 to steer the team to 170-run mark in a losing cause.

The final was an entertaining affair as the troika of Rohit Sharma (71), Virat Kohli (70) and KL Rahul (91) made up 232 runs in India’ s total of 240/3. All in all, India had all their bases covered at the top of the order. 

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