Experience is the key to doing well in Test match cricket. At this stage in the series, India have plenty of it and the West Indies have none because the 1-0 scoreline says it all.
Look at who have been the top performers for India in the series. In batting, it has all been about VVS
Laxman and Rahul Dravid. They have so much experience and have played under pressure all through their long careers. It comes through, as they have performed well even this time under tough conditions in the first two Tests.
Laxman and Dravid have been the crisis managers for India in this series and have saved the side the blushes. The way the two have batted makes me wonder, what would have happened had India's full-strength squad been there on this tour. It is very likely that by now the series could well have been decided in India's favour had that been the case.
Look at the West Indies in contrast. They are struggling and it has got to do with the senior-most players - Ramnaresh Sarwan and Shivnarine Chanderpaul - who have not come to the party. Chanderpaul held up the innings well at Barbados but it did not show in the final score. I am certain that in the final Test, Chanderpaul will show why he has such a fine record against India.
Sarwan will obviously not be around for the decider, but I am sure it was a tough decision to make for the selectors. I believe it will be tough for West Indies without Sarwan. I always remember the saying, "Form is temporary and class is permanent."
Let's hope for West Indies' sake their only senior player fires in the final Test and India's veteran pair does not.
What's good from India's viewpoint is that their skipper, MS Dhoni, is due for a big innings. He has not fired thus far and I have an inkling that a big knock from him is around the corner.
Darren Bravo's form is the only good news for West Indies in the series. He has batted well and held up the Indians well at Barbados. It is important that he gets runs because he is the future of West Indies cricket. I am also happy for my good friend Marlon Samuels, as he has been through plenty in recent years. Samuels made a hard-fought 50 at Barbados as he threw down a challenge at India.
The West Indies bowling has not been a problem, it is their batting. Fidel Edwards, Ravi Rampaul, Devendra Bishoo and Darren Sammy have combined well. At a personal level, I want to let my fans know that I am still available to play for the West Indies. But it is just that the West Indies Cricket Board has not discussed anything with me thus far. I hope we reach a closure in this matter very soon.
I am still hopeful that good sense will prevail and that I will be able to represent my region once again. Till then, I can only wish West Indies all the luck in the world.