With the recent West Indies tour concluded of India, there is much to say about the kind of opponent they provided for India. Though the series did result in a defeat for them, the West Indies is seen as a perfect opponent for a number of reasons.
They are being considered an alternative to playing with Sri Lanka since this team has stepped up their game to offer India the right strength of opposition that makes for strong games on the field. The team that came by had players whose strength in their game was as evident as their ease of playing it. Long boundaries are not daunting to them and neither are long flights that brought them to the Asian subcontinent.
Performance at the Series
Many were commended for their performance such as Nicholas Pooran who put up the adequate competition as well as entertainment on the field such as Kesrick Williams. It was overall a team that pleased the crowd quite well. The challenges they put up can be had more often since they help India step up their own capabilities. The team offers a different style in how they play and that makes Indians rethink many of their game strategies.
Strength in T20 Matches
The team definitely has its strength proven in T20 world cups. They won in 2012 as well as repeating the same in 2016. They show belligerent moves between the different overs and treat the format as a sprint throughout. In such ways, they have redefined this limited over cricket format and have compiled a formula that has been sourced over several leagues of T20 that they have played the world over. The flavors then leak into the ODI games as well.
In the 2019 ODIs, they scored fast and cruised the year at a rate of 5.98 RPO. Their rate was only surpassed by England, the world champions in the fifty-fifty format. The Windies also outscore other semi-finalists to World Cup that includes India.
The team is also adept at the strategies on how to score and how fast. Emphasis is to hit sixes in the limited over matches including ODIs and that is something that this country’s team excels at, the top hitters across the world being West Indian as of 2019. Their approach to bowling also remains divergent; their relying on their strength with pace attacks that is four-pronged and the use of short balls. Today, under the leadership of Pollard they exhibit more stability.
Since India faced such a team, they had to adapt their strategies accordingly. Kohli then made a knock at the first match that was held in Hyderabad and this prevented the West Indies from gaining an advantage over their opponent. Kohli brought in a different approach with the ball and these changes were carried out by KL Rahul when he opened, Shikhar Dhawan who held his position and others. The par score that the team obtained was not enough which the West Indies showed against India in the match played in Chennai.
They brought in the need for India to look at gaining superlative scores. Windies had a winning position in Chennai and in Visakhapatnam, the West Indies upped the game and there was the fear of failing which pushed the Indian team. The West Indies players were able to push their opponent in a way that other countries had not been able to, barring the reigning Australian side.
Men in Action
There were several spotlight moments for the West Indies team in this Test series. For instance, Day 4 saw that the batsmen put up a strong fight especially when they played the first innings. The hosts did have a shaky start and that was after Darren Bravo had to retire after an injury on Day 4. Bravo was hit by a ball thrown by Jasprit Bumrah; he did return to complete his innings later on.
Jermaine Blackwood was another who helped to come in substitute for Darren Bravo; he also became the second to be a concussion substitute in a game that was part of the World Test Championship series of ICC. Others who also played well were Roston Chase, Shamarh Brooks among others.