Beginning of a new journey in the Caribbean - one milestone achieved, many more to conquer for India
Updated: Aug 20, 2019
At a time when World Cup scares are still haunting the Indian cricket team, this West Indies tour is probably a new awakening for them. A fresh start after a notorious world cup exit is all that the team needed at the moment. An escape to the wonderful Caribbean land is a good way to get away from their insecurities.
Carrying several new talents on the West Indies tour, Virat Kohli already clarified the doubts over experimenting fresh faces on the overseas tour. All of the fresh faces have had some great domestic seasons as a backing.
Coming to the T20 series, India have completely outclassed the West Indies side which is known for its shorter format exploits. India not only clean-swept West Indies by 3-0 but also came out as a winner in every department.
Some promising performances here and there from the West Indians couldn't do justice to the tag they carry, i.e., World Champions in T20s. Eventually, they surrendered to the awe of the Indian team.
Top performers for India in the series
Navdeep Saini (4-1-17-3) (Ind vs West Indies 1st T20I)
Knocking on the selectors' doors for considerable time, Navdeep Saini comes from Delhi, the land of some great Indian Cricketers like Gautam Gambhir, Virender Sehwag and Ashish Nehra. Eventually, the right-arm pacer got the deserving platform to showcase his bowling prowess.
Getting three world-class T20 batsmen, registering best T20 bowling figures of the career and winning player of the match award on the debut, what else a cricketer could ask for? In the absence of strike bowler Jasprit Bumrah and all-rounder Hardik Pandya, Saini has proved a point here. In the long run, he will not just contend for a back up option but he has the potential to serve as a strike bowler.
Deepak Chahar (3-1-4-3) (Ind vs West Indies 3rd T20I)
Being a hotshot in the Indian Premier League (IPL), Deepak Chahar's biggest strength is control over the new ball. As Virat Kohli praised in the post-match conference, his ability with the new ball is on par with Bhuveneshwar Kumar.
He is a rare commodity to be handled with care. Playing his first game of the tour, Chahar has proved that he can deliver on the big stage what he has been consistently doing for Chennai Super Kings for last two seasons in IPL. Chahar has the potential to dismantle any batting line up on the given day.
Rishabh Pant 65*(42) (Ind vs West Indies 3rd T20I)
The young Rishabh Pant, since quite some time, has been a constant point of discussion across the cricketing fraternity. Be it for his Tests, ODIs or T20 exploits. The question is, why not? He may not have the numbers to back him but, support from the former cricketers and team management has always egged him on.
Getting out cheaply in the first two games, disappointed Pant came all guns blazing in the final T20I. He scored a quick half-century as well as carried the team to a clean sweep. His innings in the final T20I may shape a great future for him as ODIs and Test are to follow on the tour.
Final note - More milestones to be conquered yet
As Indian captain Virat Kohli said, 'on to the ODIs now', one can be rest assured that this team is on a journey to conquer many more milestones on the way and it will not just rest on its laurels. The seemingly obscure tour of the West Indies after a grueling World Cup 2019 may seem to be less on the importance scale for some, but it assumes significance as the two Test matches India will play will be part of the World Test Championship that began in Edgbaston when Australia and England met for the first Ashes Test.
The Test championship is an event drawn out over two years and every match will count. One would wait and watch what are the cards Virat Kohli will hand out in this journey. Will he be experimentative as usual and chop and change his side or will he adopt a more conservative approach in Tests? Time will tell and cricket fans would love to observe the process.