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Monday, Sep 16, 2019

India vs West Indies: Team India’s key takeaways from Windies series as preparations begin for T20 World Cup

We take a look at the key takeaways from the series as Team India kickstarts preparations for the T20 World Cup slated to be held in Australia next year.

cricket Updated: Aug 07, 2019 12:01 IST
Manish K Pathak
Manish K Pathak
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Krunal Pandya and Navdeep Saini were the two stars for India
Krunal Pandya and Navdeep Saini were the two stars for India(AP)
         

Virat Kohli won the toss, elected to bowl first on a pitch which had traces of moisture on the surface. Deepak Chahar vindicated the decision of the captain perfectly as he picked up 3 wickets in his first 2 overs. However, Kieron Pollard’s first international T20 half-century in more than 7 years helped West Indies post 146 runs on the board.

This was never going to be enough as Rishabh Pant and Virat Kohli peeled off half-centuries and India walked past the target in the final over. This completed a 3-0 whitewash as India never really had to break a sweat.

ALSO READ: Kohli lauds Rishabh Pant after 3rd T20I heroics, calls him the ‘future

We take a look at the key takeaways from the series as Team India kickstarts preparations for the T20 World Cup slated to be held in Australia next year.

Will the ODI template work?

Shikhar Dhawan was making a comeback after being ruled out of the World Cup with a finger injury. However, he struggled to hit his stride and never got going. This did impede India’s opening partnership and even though, Rohit Sharma looked good, the big question which needs to be asked is: Will this opening partnership work in this format?

Both Rohit and Dhawan need time to settle down, but now, when batsmen go after the bowlers from the word go, will this tactic of seeing off the first few overs prove to be beneficial for the side?

India need to look at better options, at specialists who give bowlers the charge from the very first ball and there are plenty of options available in the IPL.

ALSO READ: Not World Cup 2023, Virat Kohli lists his priority with Team India

Emergence of a second string of fast bowlers

Navdeep Saini burst onto the scene with a superb spell in the first match at Florida. He was impressive with his pace and hostility as well as with his solid temperament.

And then Deepak Chahar showed his pedigree in the final match when he swung his way to pick three West Indies top order wicket. Such was his impact that captain Virat Kohli equated him with Bhuvneshwar Kumar and was chuffed with the way he managed to find assistance with the new ball.

There was no Jasprit Bumrah in this side and hence, the emergence of these two young bowlers is one of the biggest positives for India.

Krunal Pandya establishes himself in this format

In the second T20I in Florida, India had lost momentum in the final few overs. Krunal Pandya was on strike in the 20th over, Keemo Paul was the bowler. Paul dishes out a full toss, Krunal smokes it over deep square-leg for a six. The next ball, he waits for a shortish ball and then lofts a full ball straight over long-off for another six.

He stars with the ball too and bags the man of the match award for his all-round performance. It was a series to remember for Krunal who ended up with the man of the series performance. The left-arm all-rounder has great cricketing IQ and this is what should give the management and selectors enough confidence to give him a longer rope as the primary all-rounder in this format.

“Quite satisfying and obviously won the series and to contribute in a winning cause is a good feeling. The focus is to improve every day and and I am not thinking much about anything, just trying to focus on getting better,” he said after the series win.

First Published: Aug 07, 2019 11:43 IST