India in preparation for the T20 World Cup ahead in October, have found a solution and back-up for all spots. In fact, they now have a headache for selections. Apart from the second T20I, India never looked in trouble. India won the five-match T20I series 4-1:
India’s most successful year
There has been plenty of criticism against Rohit Sharma and Rahul Dravid for experimenting a lot. But, those have been put to rest by India’s strong results against South Africa, England and West Indies.
Since the start of 2022, India hadn’t lost a single T20I till the start of IPL in March. Post the IPL, apart from their two losses against South Africa, one loss against England and one loss in this series, India have won all their remaining 16 encounters (one no-result against South Africa). The 16 wins this year are the most for India in a calendar year of T20I.
Indian spinners script history
In the first four matches of this series, Indian spinners had bagged only 11 wickets. In the fifth T20I alone, they bagged all 10 wickets of the innings. By doing so, Indian spinners were the first to pick up all 10 -wickets of an innings in Men’s T20I. Overall, including Men’s and Women’s, Thailand Women against Malaysia and India Men’s against the West Indies, are the only teams to achieve this feat in the shortest format.
The change in approach
In the tenure under Rohit’s full-time captaincy and Dravid’s coaching, India’s approach has been entirely different. The number of sixes hit is a testimony of it:
-In this series, Indian batters smashed 14 sixes in the first overs, which is the most for them in a T20I series in this phase.
-Overall, Indian batters hit 35 sixes in this series, which is the joint-most in a bilateral series and the joint-second most in a T20I series. Only in the inaugural World Cup edition in 2007, they had hit more (38). In three other series, they had hit 35 sixes.
-In the year 2022, batters have hit 141 sixes, which is also the most for them in a calendar year of T20I. in 2018, they had hit 122, the highest before.
High scoring series for India
Despite the wickets being slow, Indian batters were able to score big in three matches out of the five. Apart from the second T20I, India managed to score in excess of 8.5 runs per over in the remaining four.
By virtue of it, India were able to score over 185 thrice in this series. This was the first T20I series in which India achieved this feat. Among full member nations (Test playing team), India were the fifth team to hit 185+ totals thrice in a series. New Zealand in 2018 (Tri-nation), West Indies in 2021 against Australia, Zimbabwe in T20 WC Qualifiers in 2022, and South Africa in 2022 against England are the other four to achieve this feat.
One of the most common features of India under Rohit and Dravid, has been the constant effort of looking for future prospects. Hence, every series has seen a lot of changes.
In this series India featured 17 players, which is the second most for them in a series. In fact, the top three series with most players featured, has been under Dravid’s coaching. They played 19 players in the 2021 tour to Sri Lanka and another 19 in the 2022 tour to England. Changes against Sri Lanka’s were majorly forced because of COVID.
As a result of this, India has had nine different opening pairs in 2022, which is their most in a calendar year of T20I. Overall, among full member nations, Sri Lanka in 2019 and 2021, had nine different opening duos, the most for a team.
McCoy’s extreme ends
In the only win for the West Indies, McCoy played a massive role. In the second T20I, he ripped through India’s top order in the powerplay and came back to finish off things at the back end.
In that match, he registered a spell of 6/17, the best by a West Indian, and the best by a left-arm pacer in T20Is. Also, he became the first bowler to pick up a five-wicket haul against India in the shortest format of the game.
After reaching the summit of bowling, two matches later, McCoy suffered a huge down fall. In the fourth T20I, India scored 191/5 and, in that match, McCoy was unfortunately at the opposite end. In his four over spell, he conceded 66 runs for his two wickets, which is the worst spell by a West Indian bowler in T20Is.
INDIVIDUAL RECORDS ON COURSE THIS SERIES
In the first T20I, Rohit scored his first half-century of the year in all T20s after 23 innings. This turned out to be his 31st score of over 50, which is the most for a player in T20Is.
In the second T20I, Rohit became the second Indian captain after Shikhar Dhawan against Sri Lanka in 2021, to suffer a golden duck. To add more, he was the third Indian after KL Rahul against Zimbabwe in 2016 and Prithvi Shaw against Sri Lanka in 2021, to be dismissed in the first ball of the innings.
In the second T20I, McCoy became the third West Indies bowler to bowl a wicket-maiden in the first over of the innings.
West Indies’ win in the second T20I, was their 100th international win against India. They became the third team after Australia (132) and England (104) to achieve this feat.
In the third T20I, Avesh Khan conceded 47 runs in his three-over spell. His economy of 15.7 was the second worst for an Indian bowler in an innings (3+ overs).
In the third T20I, Hardik Pandya became the first Indian player to score 500 runs and pick up 50+ wickets in the shortest format.
In the fourth T20I, before being dismissed, Rohit smashed his 477th international six, which is now the second most by a player after Chris Gayle. He went past Shahid Afridi’s tally of 476.
In the fifth T20I, Axar Patel started off the innings with a wicket-maiden. By virtue of it, he became the first Indian and fifth overall spinner to start the innings with a wicket maiden. Among Indians, he was the second after Bhuvneshwar Kumar (twice), to achieve this feat. All three have come this year.
In the fifth T20I, India won the match by a margin of 88 runs, which is the biggest margin of win for them against West Indies in T20Is. Interestingly, three of the top five biggest wins against West Indies came in this series.