A 3-0 drubbing against South Africa was nullified by a stellar performance against West Indies as they defeated them without losing a match (3-0). India will be happy with the fact that the series win was engineered by their bowlers.
Rohit Sharma, wanting to bat after winning the toss, was rocked early as they lost the top three within the first powerplay. However, a 110-run partnership between Shreyas Iyer and Rishabh Pant for the fourth wicket steadied the early collapse. Both Iyer (80) and Pant (56) got to their fifties. Washington Sundar and Deepak Chahar’s cameo of 33 from 34 balls and 38 from 38 balls, propelled India to a total of 265. Jason Holder was the star for West Indies with the ball after he ended with figures of 4 for 34.
In reply, Shai Hope, their most reliable batsman in recent times, departed early and the rest of the batsmen failed to contribute once again, which has been the biggest concern throughout the series for West Indies. The skipper Nicholas Pooran, failed to convert his start. Odean Smith once again, played blazing innings of 36 at a strike rate of 200. Prasidh Krishna and Mohammad Siraj with three wickets each were well supported by Deepak Chahar and Kuldeep Yadav with two wickets. India won the third contest by a comfortable margin of 96 and white-washed West Indies.
Kohli’s lean patch worsens
Every player goes through a rough patch and Virat Kohli, inevitably is going through one. He had a decent series in South Africa when he scored two fifties. But, in this series, his highest score was just 18. For the first time since his series against Bangladesh in June 2015, Kohli didn’t score a 50+ in a series. In the three innings this, he averaged just 8.7, which is his third lowest in an ODI series.
He had scored only 26 runs in this series, which is the second lowest from him in a bilateral series. Against Pakistan in 2012/13, he had scored only 13 runs in three innings.
Kohli second in an unwanted list among Indians
One more concerning cause in Kohli’s lean patch has been his frequency of getting dismissed for a duck. From the start of his career till 2019, Kohli suffered a duck every 17.8 innings in international matches. However, since 2020, the frequency has gone down to 8.8 innings.
In today’s match, he suffered his 15th duck in ODIs and his 32nd in internationals. Among Indian top order (1-7) batsmen, he now sits at second behind Sachin Tendulkar’s tally of 34.
Crumbling top three
Though their middle order coming to the party is a good sign, the top order have had a forgettable series, apart from the first ODI. Rohit with a 60 in the first match was the only upper order (1-3) batsman to post a 50+ score.
All-in-all, the upper order batsmen in this series had averaged 17.8 in three matches. In an ODI series at home, only twice have they averaged fewer after playing three-plus matches. Against Pakistan in 2012/13, their top three batsmen had averaged just 9.6 and against South Africa in 2005/06, they had averaged 12.6 after playing four matches.
Hope lets West Indies down
Heading into this series, West Indies had great hopes on Shai Hope in the batting department. Why wouldn’t he when he had an ODI average of over 110 in Asia. When they toured India last time in 2019, Hope’s scores read: 102*, 78 & 42.
In any case, Hope in this series never got going. His highest score in the series was 27 that he scored in the second ODI. Overall, he had averaged only 13.3 in this series in three innings. In his ODI career, only once has he averaged (8.3) lesser in a series and that was against New Zealand in 2017/18 in New Zealand.
Sudden decline of West Indies openers
None of the West Indian batters were up to the mark in this series. However, the openers had done pretty well post the 2019 World Cup. Hence, a lot of dependency was on the openers to thrive. Post the World Cup, West Indies have played 10 bilateral series, including this. In the first five, their openers had averaged 55.1 in 15 matches. But, in as many matches in the last five series, their openers have averaged 28.6.
Throughout this series, the highest score by a West Indian opener was 27 by Hope in the second ODI. Against England in 2013/14 and against Bangladesh in 2020/21, their openers had registered a lower best score (24).
Lean, mean, fiery and pacey Prasidh
One of the finds of this series has got to be Prasidh without any doubt. Two wickets in the first ODI, four in the second and three in the last ODI, in total, he had nine wickets to his name at an average of 7.6.
Among Indian pacers who have bowled a minimum of 20 overs (120 balls) in a series, his bowling average of 7.6 is the best. His nine wickets in this series is the joint-second best for an Indian pacer in a three-match bilateral ODI series. Mohammed Shami against West Indies in 2014/15 had picked up 10 wickets, the most.
First ever white-wash against West Indies
With a win in the second ODI, India extended their dominance over West Indies by winning a series for the 11th consecutive time, the joint most for a team against an opponent. In the third ODI, they etched another record against the West Indians.
For the first time, India white-washed West Indies in an ODI series. Out of the 22 times these two teams have met in a bilateral series, including the one-match face off in 1988, West Indies have achieved this feat thrice. After 39 years of rivalry between the two sides, India achieved this feat for the first time.
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