WI vs IND: Key takeaways from the T20I series
India routed West Indies in the fifth and final T20I to snatch a 4-1 win in the series. The hosts didn't trouble the Indians barring the second outing, wherein a lousy show with the willow cost Rohit Sharma's men a chance to up the lead 2-0. All in all, the series had plenty of positives for Men in Blue. We look at the takeaways.
Rishabh Pant hasn't fired to the potential in T20I, given his numbers in a tournament as intense as IPL. However, he is finding his feet in the format with each passing series. Pant, who batted in the middle order, hoarded scores worth 14(12), 24(12), 33*(26), and 44(31). The last two knocks played a valuable part as India took an unassailable 3-1 in the series.
Suryakumar Yadav plays 20-over cricket as one should. He opened the innings in each of the four outings that he featured. His scores read 24(16), 11(6), 76(44), and 24(14). SKY excelling at the opening slot is a welcoming move. It gives India the luxury of a backup opener for T20 WC, in case KL Rahul fails to make the cut owing to fitness concerns.
Indians didn't miss Jasprit Bumrah for one bit, courtesy of 23-year-old Arshdeep Singh. The left-arm quick snared seven wickets at a jaw-dropping average and economy of 16.14 and 6.58, respectively. A noted death-overs specialist, Arshdeep registered 17 dot balls and conceded only 34 runs in this interval. Interestingly, he bagged five wickets in the death-overs, averaging 6.80.
Shreyas Iyer had poor returns in the series besides the dead rubber in Lauderhill. He bashed 64(40), acing in his maiden innings as an opener. He is India's leading run-getter in men's T20Is in 2022 (449). However, his vulnerability to the short ball isn't unknown. The return of Virat Kohli and Rahul might force him out of the XI for the T20 WC.
Axar Patel claimed five wickets in the last two T20Is, averaging 12.60. He swept the Windies' top three batters in the final fixture, reducing them to 33/3 in 4.6 overs. He chipped in with a sublime-looking 20* off eight deliveries in the fourth T20I, getting India past 190. All in all, he dazzled on both batting and bowling fronts.
Deepak Hooda has impressed in the opportunities received so far. He was a class act even in the last outing, belting a 25-ball 38. Is he in the contention for T20 WC alongside Axar? India have plenty of spin options in Yuzvendra Chahal, Ravindra Jadeja, and who knows, Ravichandran Ashwin. Despite their heroics, both Axar and Hooda could miss out on the 15-man unit.
India made light work of the Windies on Sunday. With that, the Men in Blue registered their 16th win in T20Is played this year. It's the most wins by a team in 2022. India have also bettered their previous best of 15 T20I wins in 2016. They would want to keep the momentum intact as they compete in the Asia Cup and T20 WC.