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Ind vs WI T20Is: Success of Middle Order, Wrist Spinners, Death Over Bowlers huge positives for Ind

India vs West Indies T20I series review: India ticked most of the boxes, middle-order batting and bowling departments biggest takeaways.

Ind vs WI T20I Series Review: Success of Middle Order, Wrist Spinners, Death Over Bowlers huge positives for India (Image ©BCCI)
India clean sweep West Indies by 3-0 in T20Is series (Image ©BCCI)

Team India, on Monday, regained the top spot in the ICC men's T20 international team rankings, on the back of their 3-0 series sweep over the West Indies at home.

India marked an easy 17-run victory in the third and final T20I of the series and clinched an emphatic 3-0 clean sweep over the men from the Caribbean. It was India's straight second T20I series win after thrashing New Zealand 3-0 earlier at home.

Both the series victory might have come at home but with another marquee event scheduled this year, India will be relieved with the results they have got.

With the backdrop of whatever has happened in the last five months in Indian cricket, there should be no doubt that the series victories against New Zealand and West Indies, even at home, offer a glimmer of hope.

Bright signs visible in the shortest format under the captaincy of Rohit Sharma

Out of these two, the victory against the mighty West Indies was remarkable as India ticked almost all boxes. The Rohit Sharma-led side chased the total, posted mammoth targets twice after losing the toss, and defended it successfully.

The squad looked good in all the three matches they played, with the approach being clear. Earlier, India were criticised for not having a good strategy in the shortest format of the game. Having said that, let's take a look at some takeaways from India’s T20I series win against West Indies.

Middle Order Spearheading The Batting After Top Order Collapse

The success of the middle order in this series will remain one of the biggest takeaways for India.

The middle order which was seen as a concern till the start of the series, looks sorted now with Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant and Venkatesh Iyer joining hands and assaulting the opposition.

The middle order stepped up with Suryakumar Yadav scoring 107 runs, the most by an India middle order batter and Venkatesh Iyer looked in an excellent touch to deliver 92 runs with the bat in the 3-match series. One of the best things about this duo is that they don't take time to settle in and start attacking the ball from word go.

Rishabh Pant, who was rested for the final T20I, got the job done for India in the second T20I, smashing a 28-ball 52 and remaining not out. Shreyas Iyer, who was given a chance in the 3rd T20I didn't disappoint either as he went straight into an attacking mode from ball one and scored 25 off 16 balls.

The middle order of Team India passed the litmus test despite shuffling their positions in the lineup.

"Pretty much got everything that we wanted. We do understand we are very young as a team. We are still a good chasing side but a lot of the players are missing. So we wanted the guys to understand how to bat in pressure situations. It was pleasing to see guys bailing the team out of situations. Good sign moving forward as a group and something to be proud of. The biggest takeaway from the ODIs was the middle order making it count," Rohit Sharma said after defending a total in the final T20I despite dew being a factor at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata.

Ind vs WI, 3rd T20I_ Suryakumar Yadav, Venkatesh Iyer put on 91-run partnership for 5th wicket against West Indies. (Image ©BCCI)
Surya, Venkatesh Iyer put on 91-run partnership for 5th wicket against WI in 3rd T20I. (Image ©BCCI)

Wrist Spinners - The Show Stealer

Ravi Bishnoi and his unreadable googlies were the talks of the town throughout the series. The 21-year-old leggie made his international debut in style as he was awarded the player of the match for the stunning figure of 2/17 in the first T20I and followed this superlative performance with 1/30 and 0/29 in the remaining two matches.

India used two wrist spinners in the series in the form of Ravi Bishnoi and Yuzvendra Chahal with the latter missing out on the final T20I. However, Bishnoi continued his good form with the ball as West Indies batters looked troubled against him.

With Ravindra Jadeja making a comeback in the next series against Sri Lanka, it will be interesting to see who Rohit Sharma will incline towards -- wicket-taking wrist spinners or a left-arm orthodox spinner who is handy with the bat too.

However, after what we saw in the series against West Indies, one thing is clear that Rohit Sharma and the team management will think twice before keeping Ravi Bishnoi out of the picture for the next series.

“Bishnoi is a very talented guy which is why we drafted him into the squad straightaway. We see something different in him. He’s got a lot of variations and skill-sets with him. He can bowl at any stage and it gives us a lot of options to rotate the other bowlers,” Rohit said at the post-match presentation after the first T20I against West Indies.

“Very happy with his first game for India and he’s got a bright future and it’s just about us now on how we use him,” Sharma added.

Ind vs WI, 3rd T20I_ Suryakumar Yadav's whirlwind 65, Harshal Patel's 3-22 help India whitewash West Indies in T20Is as well. (Image ©BCCI)
Harshal Patel took 3-22 against WI in 3rd T20Is (Image ©BCCI)

Death Bowling Success

Despite the absence of the world's best death bowler in T20Is - Jasprit Bumrah - India managed to defend two totals in the final two games, despite dew being a factor.

India, after losing the toss in the last two games, were asked to bat first. While the batters did incredible work with the bat, it was the bowlers on both occasions who played pivotal roles in pulling off victories. However, it was not an easy task, given the dew factor at Eden Gardens but Indian bowlers remained calm and steady and clinched victory for India on both occasions.

While it was Bhuvneshwar Kumar's masterclass in the second T20I, Harshal Patel and Shardul Thakur replicated the same in the final T20I.

With West Indies needing 29 off the last two overs in the second T20I, the right-arm pacer took out Nicholas Pooran and conceded just four singles in the penultimate over to give Harshal Patel 23 runs to defend, which he did to mark India's victory.

In the third and final T20I, it was the turn of Harshal Patel and Shardul Thakur who delivered with the ball. With West Indies needing 37 runs to win from 18 balls with four wickets in hand, Thakur and Patel wreaked havoc as they took three quick wickets and conceded just 19 runs in the last three overs.

"I was very impressed with our seam bowling in ODIs. And even here, Harshal is new. Avesh is on debut. Shardul is in and out. So the challenge for us was to give them game time and see how they respond. When you play against a team like the West Indies, you can test your batting and bowling. They bat very deep. It was a good challenge to defend in both games," Rohit Sharma said in the post-match conference.

Rohit Sharma is confident of replicating the same performance against Sri Lanka in the upcoming three-match series, starting from February 24.

India will be without Virat Kohli and Rishabh Pant who were given bio-bubble breaks after the second T20I but the likes of Jasprit Bumrah and Ravindra Jadeja will return to the side.

"Few guys will miss out on the Sri Lanka series because we want to keep them fresh. But we have the World Cup in mind and we are trying to give game time for individuals. Sri Lanka will be a different challenge. But I am not someone who looks at the opposition, I would like to see what we can do as a team," Rohit said.

The first T20I between India and Sri Lanka will be played on February 24 in Lucknow followed by two matches in Dharamsala.


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