On the back of a stellar batting performance by Virat Kohli and Shreyas Iyer, India sealed a 2-0 series win against West Indies and secured the LOI bragging rights. While the openers were nowhere close to the level that international cricket demands, the middle order, especially Shreyas Iyer, gave enough a glimpse into their potential. The bowling unit, too, failed to contain runs in the third ODI after a fine performance in the second gig.
Shikhar Dhawan (4/10): After a disastrous ODI series, all eyes were on Shikhar Dhawan to see if he could make amends and start living up to his lofty reputation. However, that wasn’t to be, as Dhawan failed spectacularly with two scores of 2 and 36, and had almost no role to play in India’s series win. With KL Rahul waiting in the wings, Dhawan can least afford to put in such performances time and time again.
Rohit Sharma(3/10): Fresh from a path-breaking World Cup, Rohit Sharma took the series as a forced dessert after a heavy main course dinner. There seemed to be no appetite for runs, and his casual and carefree approach resulted in far too much pressure on Virat Kohli and the middle order. The Mumbaikar could have definitely done a lot better.
Virat Kohli (9/10): The authority with which Virat Kohli played in the second ODI typified his passion and ambition of setting an example. Throughout the 120-run innings, he never let the intensity die down and seemed to be a man on a mission, but his third ODI century trumped that, especially thanks to the fluency of it. Given a big target was to be chased down within the space of 35 overs, India needed its captain to be at the top of his game, and with a 43rd century, Kohli did just that.
Rishabh Pant(2/10): With an average of 22.90 in ODI cricket, Rishabh Pant is forcing people to scratch their heads in frustration about his immeasurable talent and the budding youthfulness. His shot in the third ODI – a wild slog on the very first ball he faced straight to the hands of the fielder – talked a lot about his character and the failure to shoulder responsibility.
Shreyas Iyer (8.5/10): Always rise up to the occasion the way Shreyas Iyer did in Port of Spain on Sunday. Making a comeback into the team with his back against the wall, Iyer put on a show of batsmanship that was very rare for a youngster in international cricket. If that was not enough to prove his worth, Iyer did an encore in the following ODI, and even with Virat Kohli at the other end, he rose to become the man who took the game away from the hosts before perishing for a well-compiled 65. He clearly was the second best batsman in the series.
Kedar Jadhav(4/10): After being unceremoniously dumped from the playing XI for the World Cup matches in the second half of the tournament, it was only fair to question why Kedar Jadhav was handed a place in the side, especially when India are looking to build a team for the next four-year cycle. However, in the limited opportunities, Jadhav tried to justify his position with some lower order cameos. Fair enough in a way, but having him for long won’t do any good for the team in the long run.
Ravindra Jadeja (6/10): After a heroic performance in the World Cup semifinal, Ravindra Jadeja built on it and did just enough to hold on to his position for the future series. While he chipped in with wickets at regular intervals, he was also undone by Virat Kohli’s conservativeness, not using him against the right-handers at all.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar (7/10): Bhuvnehswar’s series is a total contrasting one at that. In the second game, he was at the top of his game, even defying physics to take a catch against the momentum on the follow-through, but in the second game, he forgot every length but full. Evin Lewis and Chris Gayle didn’t leave any stone unturned to smash him to smithereens.
Mohammed Shami (6.5/10): Shami had all the reason to feel hard done after missing out on the semifinal team for the World Cup and had a chance to answer it in a big way. Although he picked up four wickets in two games, he could not control his economy which came back to haunt him once again. If he somehow pulls a string on that count, it would do a world of good for the Indian pacer.
Yuzvendra Chahal(8/10): The leg spinner played only one match in the entire series, as a replacement for Kuldeep Yadav, and he instantly made an impact, delivering the killing blow for the team. Conceding only 32 runs in seven overs, he became the team’s biggest saviour in Trinidad, considering the way pacers were going about things.
Kuldeep Yadav (3/10): Ever since that RCB match, nothing has been right for the Indian left-arm wrist-spinner. Being in and out is one thing, not being able to prove that everything is alright is another and Yadav has failed awfully on that count. God knows why Virat Kohli dropped him from the squad for the third ODI – a good performance would have done a world of good for the Indian youngster – but the lack of it meant he ended it in the worst way possible.
Khaleel Ahmed (5/10): In the truest sense, Khaleel Ahmed is a great discovery for India – not only for his natural angle that he possesses but also due to his sinisterity. He showed enough glimpses of it in the series, by constantly troubling Windies batsmen, but at the same time was a touch expensive, which eventually gave his bowling figures a torrid look.