Reviewing the ODI series vs West Indies

Narbavi
Australia v West Indies - Twenty20

India with their current one day form had the upper hand going in to this short series which was arranged at the last minute. With important tours coming up, the selectors could have used this series to test our bench strength, but instead they chose route. Ranked 7th in the format, it was an important series for the Windies. Also the prospect of playing in Indian conditions would have sounded more daunting and challenging for some of the younger inexperienced players. So what exactly did both teams gain from this series before both of them embark on overseas tours next month.

West Indies

Despite losing the series, the West Indies will be a pretty contended bunch. Gayle’s injury after the first ODI came in as a rude shock to the entire squad. But they picked themselves up to win the second game.

Powell’s Rise and Bravo’s consistency

Bravo made 50s in all 3 matches

Kieron Powell was the find of the series for them. Powell was very much instrumental behind the victory in the second game as he made 59 off 70 deliveries replacing Gayle at the top of the order. He didn’t have a strong start to his young ODI career, so this knock would have given him a lot of confidence. If that wasn’t enough, he made 70 in the final game helping the Windies post a good total. These two fifties would have delighted the team management. With Gayle’s form and fitness always being a concern, having a third opener in the squad who has some runs behind him always helps.

Ever since being compared with Brian Lara in terms of both style and looks, Darren Bravo never really seemed to set the stage on fire. He did put in some good performances in 2013, but one would look at his scores in this series and think that he has finally settled in as the most important batsman in the lineup. Three high quality fifties in three matches proved that he is the one around whom the entire batting lineup will revolve around in the future.

Sammy fills in for Pollard

Important series this was for Darren Sammy after the criticism he faced during the Test series. Pollard’s absence meant he had to move up the order and bat at no.7. He made a match winning unbeaten 63 off 45 deliveries in the second game helping his team cross the line while chasing 289. In the final game, he helped them to a strong finish with some lusty blows. Sammy the bowler wasn’t quite used much by the new skipper Bravo, but these crucial runs would have certainly boosted Sammy’s confidence.

India v West Indies: Group B - ICC Champions Trophy

Sammy did a great job at no.7 in Pollard’s absence

With the ball, it was Ravi Rampaul who led the way with 7 wickets in the series with an economy of 5.5 which was a very good effort in pitches which didn’t offer much for the quick bowlers. Samuels hit some form in the final game and Narine had a quiet series in terms of wickets but was more economical. Overall it was a decent series for the Windies with a few positives to take in to while touring New Zealand. They would hope for more consistency as they push their bid to improve their ranking.

India

For Team India, it was all about maintaining the good run in a format which they have been ruling for the past two to three years now. But this was viewed as a very important one for a couple of guys in the middle order and also for our bowlers after the mauling they received against the Aussies.

Confusions over third seamer

The seamers Shami and Bhuvi shared seven wickets among them in the series, but it was the spinners who dominated the proceedings. Ashwin had a bit of pressure coming in to this series and he replied his critics by picking up 6 wickets with an economy of just 4.15. Jadeja picked up 5 wickets with an economy of 4.33.

But the question regarding our third seamer remained unanswered. For now, it looks like Bhuvi and Shami will be the two first choice seamers in the lineup. Unadkat and Mohit Sharma were tried out but the third seamer slot is still up for grabs.

The selectors have added Umesh and Ishant to the mix for the South African series and Dhoni would hope that one of them fixes his spot in the playing 11.

Unstable middle order

The pressure on Yuvraj and Raina kept mounting with each passing game. Once again, the top order shined for India. Kohli breezed through making two big fifties and with Dhawan’s blazing 100 in the final game combined with Rohit’s 72 in the first ODI, India’s top 3 made the most of their good run. Raina did walk out to bat in situations where he had enough time to make a few runs and stay at the wicket till the very end, but it didn’t happen. He made just 57 runs in the three matches and got dismissed in all of them.

South Africa A v India A: 3rd ODI

Raina will be vary of Rahane’s presence in the squad for the South African series.

Rahane’s inclusion in the one day squad for the South African series clearly indicates that the think tank is ready to play him in the middle order at no.4 at the expense of either Raina or Yuvraj if they keep failing.

So despite being on top of the rankings, India’s fringe players by now would have realized that there are still 3 to 4 places up for grabs. With the world cup fast approaching, the coach and the captain would be keen on identifying the right players to fill up those slots. And the upcoming South African tour would be the first step towards that process.

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Edited by Staff Editor