India v WI: Five takeaways from the T20I series

The 3-match India-West Indies T20 series ended last night in Chennai, with India comfortably clinching the series 3-0. It was another comprehensive performance by the Men in Blue at home and the West Indies have a lot of soul searching to do.

For now, here is a look at the five takeaways from the T20 series.

Rohit excels as a captain, again

As he had done in the Indian Premiere League (IPL) for the Mumbai Indians a number of times, Rohit Sharma led from the front as a captain for the Indian T20I team as well. After leading India to victory in the Nidahas Trophy T20 series in Sri Lanka and the Asia Cup in UAE earlier this year, Rohit added another feather to his cap by whitewashing the West Indies at home in the T20I series while also smashing his record-breaking 4th T20I hundred. He was inspiring and tactical as a captain and has shown the selectors that he can be an alternative option to Virat Kohli as a leader in the future.

Pant a future No.4? 

While he got to display his talent in only one game, Rishabh Pant showed why he has it in him to be a regular member of India’s T20I side. His sparkling 58 off 38 balls with 5 fours and 3 sixes in the final T20I at Chennai was a match-winning effort. It was Pant’s first T20I fifty in 7 games and if he can show some consistency at the No.4 position then it can bolster India’s middle order.

Oshane Thomas – a genuine fast bowler to watch out for

He might not have the numbers to show for it (he took 3 wickets in the series at an economy rate of 7.58), but West Indian pacer Oshane Thomas is the real deal. Tall, strong and with broad shoulders, Thomas showed his ability bowl consistently in the late 140s on the flat Indian pitches. What was more that he extracted great bounce and moved the ball around at pace which troubled the Indian top order. With proper honing, he can be one genuine fast bowler to watch out for.

The inconsistent Mr Rahul

With scores of 16, 26* and 17 in the series, KL Rahul squandered another opportunity to establish his place in the Indian T20I team. Rahul looked out of touch and regularly fell to careless shots after setting in. Earlier this year, after his unbeaten 101 against England at Manchester, Rahul looked to be the best Indian T20I batsman. But he has not had a 30-plus score ever since and his inconsistency is a worrying sign.

West Indies disappoint, again

It is the format they thrive in. It is the format they love. And it is the format they are the current world champions in. And yet, the West Indian T20I team’s performance in the 3-match series was mediocre to say the least. Save for Oshane Thomas’s bowling and Nicholas Pooran’s batting in the last T20I, they didn’t have much to take back. Kieron Pollard looks like a pale shadow of his former self and Carlos Brathwaite isn’t really an inspiring captain. The selectors and the team management need to do some tinkering and a lot of thinking for the future.

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