Rohit Sharma took a break, Suryakumar Yadav was rested, Hardik Pandya stepped up to lead the side and yet India thrashed West Indies by 88 runs to bag the T20I series 4-1 on Sunday. It was a listless performance by Nicholas Pooran & Co. as they were shot out for 100 runs, with the Indian spin contingent combining to bag all 10 wickets on offer.
This series was more about giving different roles to different players and it proved to be quite a success. With Suryakumar Yadav sizzling as an opener and Arshdeep Singh taking giant strides to be one of the main bowlers for India, Rohit Sharma will be thrilled with the outcome.
On that note, here we take a look at three positives for Team India after this series:
#3 Axar Patel emerges from the shadow of Ravindra Jadeja
Axar Patel has often been seen as a replica of Ravindra Jadeja, albeit slightly undercooked. However, he showed his worth as a genuine all-rounder in this series. He gave a glimpse of his match-winning abilities with the bat in the ODI series and in the T20Is too, he kept scoring quick and crucial runs lower down the order.
With the ball, the 28-year-old sliced through the West Indies top order in the final T20I. He played only a couple of matches this series, picking up five wickets with an economy rate of nine. Patel is one of the players who can render a lot of balance to this Indian side, especially when the conditions are conducive to spinners.
#2 Suryakumar Yadav shows that he is the man for all conditions
Suryakumar Yadav was asked to open the innings this series and he looked like the perfect T20I opener. He emerged as the leading run-scorer in this series with 135 runs in four innings at a strike rate of 168.75.
The right-hander has been in sublime form since making his international debut last year. He creamed a superb ton in England and then carried his form against West Indies as well.
“We want the guys to be able to bat anywhere and don't want them to be batting in specific positions. We want the guys to be flexible, there are two ways to look at it depending on certain players," captain Rohit Sharma had said about the move to open with Suryakumar Yadav after the second T20I.
#1 Arshdeep Singh steals the show
In the final match, West Indies lost all 10 of their wickets to spinners with Axar Patel scalping three, Kuldeep Yadav and Ravi Bishnoi picking up four and three wickets, respectively. Arshdeep Singh, with seven wickets, bagged the Player of the Series award. In many ways, it was a series that defined him.
Arshdeep was superb in the death overs and his control over the yorkers was something that stood out. His left-arm angle will come in handy for Rohit Sharma when the side jets over for the T20 World Cup.