The Port-of-Spain Test ended in a farce with only 22 overs possible on the opening day, following which rain and poor drainage facilities did not allow any further play. And, while India ended up losing the just-earned Test ranking to Pakistan, they did manage to claim the four-match series 2-0. For a majority of the series, they were dominant, and this reflected in the end result. Both with the bat and ball, they found enough to overcome the West Indies. As for the hosts, but for the Kingston Test, they did not really manage to compete with the Indians.
A number of Indian batsmen contributed to the team’s cause across the three Tests. While skipper Virat Kohli struggled in the last two Tests, it was he who actually set up the win in the opening match with a stupendous double century. It gave the Indians the early advantage. Ravichandran Ashwin also was brilliant with the bat scoring two hundreds, both of which were instrumental in the team’s victory. Ajinka Rahane continued his good run in the middle order playing the steadying knocks while Lokesh Rahul again utilised his opportunities that came due to an injury to Murali Vijay.
As for India’s bowling, Ashwin was again the hero. He was just too good for the underwhelmed West Indian batsman from the start of the series to the end. Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who came in midway through the series, also made his presence felt. His five-for in the third Test broke the back of the West Indies batting, and threw open the match. The performance of some players remained a worry though. Cheteshwar Pujara and Shikhar Dhawan continued to falter away from home. In the bowling, Amit Mishra proved ineffective while Mohammed Shami and Ishant Sharma couldn’t perform completely to potential.
As for West Indies, but for that final day at Jamaica, they never really competed. On that particular day, Roston Chase played an unforgettable innings while Shane Dowrich and Jason Holder also chipped in well. Jermaine Blackwood had a mixed series, scoring half-centuries in the both innings of the second Test. But, he ideally should have carried on. Kraigg Brathwaite showed glimpses of his capability, but his overall effort wasn’t good enough for the team’s cause. The failure of the top and middle order hurt the West Indies in a big way.
If West Indies had to do well, they needed Marlon Samuels and Darren Bravo, two of their most experienced batsmen to stand up and deliver. But, they too could not make an impression. Had they performed better things could have been slightly better for the hosts. In the bowling, no one really could make much of an impact. Of all the bowlers, Shannon Gabriel was the most impressive with his pace and potency. But, he did not have the wickets to show. It did not help that the others like Holder and Devendra Bishoo could create any pressure. In the end, India were too good.
--By A Cricket Analyst