Every international series has its own learning. After losing the 4th match, West Indies had a chance to level the series. But the Indian bowlers restricted the opposition to a decent total and the batsmen did the job perfectly to win the series 3-1. Let’s take a look at the five positive things Indian team got from this series.
1. Another opener in Ajinkya Rahane:
With Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma doing the job well, India did not experiment with their opening pair in Champions Trophy. After Rohit was rested for the Windies tour, Ajinkya Rahane got the opportunity to open the batting. The Mumbai batsman grabbed this opportunity with both hands and amassed 336 runs in the series, the most by any batsman. Barring the last ODI, Rahane scored a half-century in every other ODI, with 103 being the highest. Resting Rohit turned out to be a blessing as India has now another able candidate for the opener’s spot.
2. Rise of Kuldeep Yadav:
With spinners like Ashwin and Jadeja already in the line-up, not many would have expected Kuldeep to shine as much as he has. The chinaman bowler topped the list and ended up taking 8 wickets in 5 matches as the West Indies batsmen were not able to pick his variations. The 22-year old was excellent with his line and lengths as he bowled accurately, an economy of just 4.05 justifies that. With Kuldeep, improving after every match, the Indian think tank has a pleasant headache in front of them.
3. Virat Kohli and his love for chasing
Indian captain Virat Kohli was looking good in the first two ODIs but failed in the following two. But cometh the hour, cometh the man, Kohli rose to the occasion and played a superb unbeaten innings of 111 in the final match to help India win the series 3-1. Kohli, in that process, scored his 28th ODI ton and now sits with Jayasuriya. While the Sri Lankan veteran took 433 innings, the Indian captain achieved this landmark in just 181. Kohli is now behind Ponting (30) and Tendulkar (49) in the list of most number of ODI 100s. This was Kohli’s 18th ton in chases, which is a world record. He has also scored 5159 runs, 7th most in world cricket.
4. Team India’s middle order saga
India made few changes in the batting order in the series. Yuvraj was rested after three ODIs as Dinesh Karthik came in. Yuvraj had scores of 4, 14 and 39 but looked slightly out of touch. Karthik struggled in the 4th ODI but played well for a good-looking 50 in the last ODI. While fans were waiting to see Rishabh Pant, Karthik did his job perfectly. Kedar Jadhav struck the ball cleanly in the limited opportunity he got while Dhoni scored two half-centuries, one in winning and losing cause each. It is fair to say India experimented and barring one match, would be happy with their performance.
5. Shami’s impressive return
Mohammed Shami was included in the team for the 4th and 5th ODIs. He went wicketless in the 4th ODI, but took 4 wickets in the 5th as he looked charged up. Replacing Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Shami got good support from Umesh and Hardik. Shami’s return is definitely a good news for Team India as he can spearhead the bowling in any part of the world. With Bumrah most likely to come back in the squad, this will be another pleasant headache for the selectors.