Team India continued their impressive performance in white-ball cricket by clinching the T20I series against West Indies 3 – 0.


After having been outplayed in the first two games, the Windies side displayed their fighting spirit at Chennai, taking the game to the last ball, before Manish Pandey finished off the proceedings for India.

With a clinical display in the absence of their premier star Virat Kohli, the performance of the Indian side augurs well ahead of the T20I series against Australia down under later this month.

Here are the 5 takeaway from the series.

 

The continued success of the openers

It is no secret that much of India’s white-ball success in the recent past has been attributed to the blazing form of Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan. While the former, also leading the side in the absence of Kohli in the series, scripted yet another T20I ton in the second game, Dhawan, who had gone off the radar after his Asia Cup showing, too showed his maturity by taking the team over the line in a tricky chase of 181 in the third game.

While opening the innings in T20Is, the duo of Rohit and Dhawan have amassed 2922 runs combined with a strike-rate of over 130. Ahead of the all-important tour, their fine form is a huge takeaway, as the middle order could once again struggle on bouncy tracks.

 

The emergence of Kuldeep as a match-winner

The fact that chinaman Kuldeep Yadav won the Player of the Series award, despite his absence from the third T20I, shows the impact that he has had on the series and on Indian Cricket as a whole. Kuldeep picked up 5 wickets in the two games he played, bowling economically and leading the win at Kolkata in the first game, where he conceded only 13 runs. The 23-year-old has just played 14 T20Is but has scalped 29 wickets at a phenomenal average of 12.48. The fact that he has impressed in South Africa and England as well, will be a major boost to the side, who are still uncertain as to who their second spinner will be.

 

The assured captaincy of Rohit Sharma

With 11 wins, Rohit is the most successful captain after 12 matches as a leader. He has stood up to the task when Kohli has decided to take a break and famously led the side to the Nidahas Trophy triumph earlier this year. He had even captained India when the team played Sri Lanka in December last year and his bold moves have left one and all impressed. With MS Dhoni, Kohli’s trusted aid, absent from the T20Is, the skipper can turn to Rohit for ideas on the field, and considering his success in IPL as well, the Mumbai player will have a huge role to play without the willow as well.

 

Pant finally stands up

Though Dhoni had been pushed out of the T20I side, the Indian camp were still unsure of how Rishabh Pant, as he was prone to inconsistency and had not yet sealed his spot in the limited overs international with a strong performance. However, the way he batted at Chennai would have pleased the management immensely, for he not only scored 58 but also batted with great maturity.

After KL Rahul and Rohit were back in the pavilion early, Pant combined with Dhawan to ensure that Windies were outbatted from the match. He put on a 130-run stand with the opener and blazed away to 58 off just 38 deliveries to seal the game in India’s favor. With the middle order causing concerns over the last year or so, Pant’s form proves to be the biggest takeaway from the series.

 

Khaleel Ahmed stamps himself as the third seamer

Though Khaleel Ahmed managed to take only 3 wickets from as many T20Is, he showed his class by outfoxing the batsmen with clever variations and change in pace throughout. He did prove to be expensive at Chennai, but his resurgence will ease the workload on Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who has looked out of sorts ever since the start of the year. With Bhuvi in indifferent form, India needed a third seamer to partner Jasprit Bumrah, and Khaleel’s rise promises to be a huge boost for India.

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