ICC World Cup 2019 - India vs West Indies - Team India Report Card: How did Virat Kohli & Co fare?
Team India produced a clinical display on Thursday to outclass a struggling West Indies to take another step towards ensuring a semi-final berth at the ongoing ICC World Cup. On a dry pitch where batsmen struggled to get going and bowlers ruled the roost, the experience and match sense of captain Virat Kohli and former captain MS Dhoni helped India prevail. The bowlers, led by Mohammed Shami, came hard at the inexperienced Windies batting and eventually helped the team win by a huge margin of 125 runs at the Old Trafford stadium in Manchester. Here’s the performance analysis of each and every player of the team:
1) Rohit Sharma - Rating: 4/10, Verdict: Below Average
India score big when Rohit scores big. This is becoming increasingly evident as India failed to muster up a total close to 300 in this match too as Rohit was dismissed for 18. The Indian vice-captain was a shade unlucky to be given out but that is a part and parcel of the game. Looked good for the 18 runs he added at the top of the order.
2) KL Rahul - Rating: 7/10, Verdict: Good
KL Rahul had a decent outing with the bat and there isn’t much that he could do with the delivery that he got out to. Rahul shared a healthy partnership with captain Virat Kohli and put the Indian innings on track after the early loss of Rohit Sharma. His contribution of 48 runs in 64 balls helped India consolidate but Rahul needs to convert the good starts into big scores. Dropped an easy chance in the field.
3) Virat Kohli - Rating: 8/10, Verdict: Very Good
Virat Kohli will be disappointed with the timing of his dismissal and that is the only glitch in an otherwise perfect match as batsman and skipper for the run machine. The high standards that he has set in ODI cricket means a fourth consecutive fifty is also not enough for the fans who are waiting for a century from Kohli. His knock of 72 was the centre piece of India’s stop and start batting effort and he remains the fulcrum of this batting unit, which needs to fire in sync with each other.
4) Vijay Shankar - Rating: 2/10, Verdict: Poor
The Vijay Shankar experiement hasn’t worked for India so far and the time has come for the team management to look for alternatives at the crucial number 4 spot. Shankar’s inability to convert starts into decent scores has hurt India as losing a wicket in middle overs has stalled their progress even further. The fact that Kedar Jadhav got to bowl an over in the match and he didn’t means Shankar isn’t an automatic bowling choice for the captain. Will be lucky to get another game.
5) Kedar Jadhav - Rating: 1/10, Verdict: Poor
Kedar Jadhav faild to fire against the Windies at a crucial situation and this has once again rung the alarm bells for the management. The middle order isn’t the strongest but Jadhav has been a consistent performer. His inability to hit the big shots down the order means Rishabh Pant could get a look in, in place of Vijay Shankar, to ease the burden on him and Dhoni.
6) MS Dhoni - Rating: 7/10, Verdict: Good
The fickle nature of Indian cricket fans and experts means a legend like MS Dhoni has to face criticism and then respond with his bat time and again and the stage was set for the former captain to do the talking with his bat yet again. Criticised for his slow strike rate in the last match against Afghanistan, Dhoni was unfazed and batted at a slow pace yet again. With a long tail behind him and only Hardik Pandya for company, Dhoni shepherded the innings in a way only he can and eventually launched a last over assault that took the score to 268. Dhoni took a diving catch behind the stumps to yet again prove that age is just a number. He found support and appreciation from Indian captain Virat Kohli and former captain Sourav Ganguly.
7) Hardik Pandya - Rating: 8/10, Verdict: Very Good
Hardik Pandya is currently the heartbeat of this team. His hard hitting has helped India turn a competitive score into a winning total in quite a few matches in the tournament and he did the same against the Windies. With MS Dhoni looking to stay till the end and not taking too many risks, Pandya contributed 46 runs off just 38 balls to push the total past the 250-run mark. He bowled with verve and pace and picked up the important wicket of Sunil Ambris.
8) Mohammed Shami - Rating: 10/10, Verdict: Excellent
The second wind that Mohammed Shami is experiencing in his career has come at just the perfect time for the Indian team. He seems to be a man on a mission and is bowling superbly with both the new ball and the old ball. He ended West Indies’ hopes of chasing the total by picking up the wickets of Chris Gayle and Shai Hope at the top and then came back to dismiss Hetmyer and brought the curtains down on the innings by picking up the wicket of Oshane Thomas. He is the man who can win India the World Cup.
9) Kuldeep Yadav - Rating: 7/10, Verdict: Good
Kuldeep Yadav might have been outshone by his Yuzvendra Chahal in terms of picking up wickets in the tournament so far, but the left arm wrist spinner is playing his role to perfection. Called in to bowl immediately after the first 10 overs were up, Kuldeep ensured the opposition struggled to score runs off him and ended with figures of 1/35 in 9 overs.
10) Yuzvendra Chahal - Rating: 7/10, Verdict: Good
Chahal has been picking up the wickets in the middle overs for Virat Kohli and he did just that yet again. Unfazed by the fact that the opposition might target him, Chahal was relentless in his attempts to pick wickets and ended with the scalps of Jason Holder and Sheldon Cottrell.
11) Jasprit Bumrah - Rating: 8/10, Verdict: Very Good
If Jasprit Bumrah is not picking wickets he is ensuring that the opposition doesn’t get any runs off him. On Thursday he did both. His opening spell was as miserly as it can be in a limited overs game and his second spell produced the wickets of Carlos Brathwaite and Fabian Allen. Figures of 2/9 in 6 overs justify the best bowler in the world tag that he carries with aplomb these days.