What was supposed to be a day-night contest was instead reduced to a day affair as India made light work of West Indies on Thiruvananthapuram's ODI debut as well as the series decider. Opting to bat first, the visitors were bundled out for 104 by a meticulous Indian bowling display on a fresh surface. Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli then chased down the target, hardly breaking a sweat, as India sealed the series 3-1. Out sooner than usual is our player's report card for the final ODI.
The left-arm spinner had been given an extended run in the series with Hardik Pandya absent and Yuzvendra Chahal leaking runs. With a final chance to nail down his spot in the XI, Jadeja picked up his game on a wicket where the ball held up a bit. He generated sharp turn and forced false shots from the hapless Windies batsmen. He broke through Marlon Samuels to end West Indies’ attempt at resurrecting the innings and added three more to finish with 4/34, figures that would go a long way in sealing his spot in the World Cup squad.
Having slammed two 150-plus scores in the series already, the 'Hitman' had little to play around with at Thiruvananthapuram as West Indies folded for a lowly total. Yet, he managed to clear the fence four times, in the process becoming the fastest — in terms of innings — to 200 ODI sixes. His belligerent half-century ensured India faced no hiccups in gunning down the total and securing the series.
With early movement on offer, Bumrah was at his unplayable best. He straightened the ball after angling it into the right-handers, making life pretty difficult for the visitors. The odd one kept coming in and one of them nipped out Shai Hope, who appeared clueless against Bumrah and chopped one onto his stumps. The pressure of his early spell enabled Jadeja and Khaleel Ahmed to graze through the middle-order.
In another exciting performance, Khaleel used the zip on the fresh surface to push his claims for a permanent spot in the playing XI. The left-arm seamer was initially tonked for a couple of boundaries by Samuels, but he came back strong to remove a staunch Rovman Powell and the firefighter in the lower order — Jason Holder. Khaleel's promising show in the series has relieved India of a major headache in the pace department.
With swing on offer, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who has had an average 2018, found his mojo. He got the ball to move around at will and sent back Kieran Powell in the very first over, deceiving him with two inswingers before pushing one that moved away. He wasn't used after the initial spell though, with Jadeja and Khaleel running amok through the Windies batting order.
Kuldeep came in with India already having a distinct advantage over the Windies, and he did his bit to further the collapse. His five overs cost just 18 and accounted for a wicket as he played second-fiddle to Jadeja, who was firing it in from the other end.
With the ball moving around and a meek target on board, Windies were hoping that Kemar Roach could fire them up with a strong start with the ball. While the seamer kept his end extremely tight early on, wickets never came by and he ended his spell with an economy of 2.6 and zero wickets to his tally.
Kohli was dropped early in the innings by Holder as Oshane Thomas managed to find his outside edge, but made the reprieve count as he stroked the ball around peacefully while Rohit went on the rampage. Kohli remained unbeaten as India chased down the total and completed yet another series win.
Samuels’ counter-attack seemed to work as Windies fought back after the fall of the first two wickets. The experienced West Indian completed 2,000 runs in Asia and appeared to be in decent touch. However, he failed to let go of his attacking instincts even as the partnership with Powell picked up, and threw his bat at anything and everything. Jadeja eventually outfoxed him with one that held up on the surface.
Brought in to open the innings after Chanderpaul Hemraj was dropped due to his poor run of form, Powell showed composure and tenacity even as his partners kept throwing their wickets away. He found some support in Samuels and played a couple of delightful strokes, but before he could convert it to something substantial, Khaleel bounced him out.
Returning to the XI, Thomas appeared pumped up and removed Shikhar Dhawan in a manner similar to how he outfoxed the southpaw at Guwahati. He nearly added the big wicket of Kohli to his repertoire, but Holder failed to hold on to a sitter in the cordon. Thomas has impressed with his striking ability, but needs to be consistent with his lines to restrict the scoring rate.
Holder helped haul Windies over the 100-run mark with his 25 from down the order, but with little-to-no support, he struggled to sustain the fight. With the ball, he came on late and conceded 15 off his only over as India aced the target with little discomfort. To add to his misery, Holder put down Kohli in the slips off Thomas. The ploy to play one batsman less, as well as the choice to bat first, works against Holder's ratings.
Shimron Hetmyer's heroics never came to the fore on Thursday as he struggled with his timing with the ball stopping on him. Kohli was tactful in not giving the southpaw any sighters early on, and used Jadeja to cramp him for room. The ploy worked fine as Hetmyer was pinned to the crease by Jadeja's tossed up delivery.
The all-rounder was banked upon to lend some stability to the batting unit as West Indies opted to sit one batsman out. Allen, whose batting hasn't really come under the microscope on the tour, struggled to justify the trust placed on him. With the ball, he was barely needed as India chase the target down in no time.
Powell's disastrous run at the top came a full circle as he went after Bhuvneshwar's outswinger in the first over to nick one behind the stumps. With Chris Gayle and Evin Lewis expected to return for the World Cup, there is little reason to persist with Powell in this format of the game, considering his age and waning returns.
Hope had a dreadful day as he copped back-to-back ducks in the series to end what started out as an ODI comeback of sorts. The West Indian had been a thorn in India's flesh in the first three games, but after a messy run-out in the previous game, Hope had another poor outing as he played all around a Bumrah in-decker to be cleaned up for nought.
In a replica of his dismissal in the first ODI, Dhawan chopped one onto the stumps off Thomas to depart early in India's run-chase. The southpaw, who moved to Delhi Daredevils this week in the Indian Premier League, has had a poor run of form this series and the manner in which he chopped the ball onto his stumps at Guwahati and Thiruvananthapuram would haunt him.
In another unimpressive display on the tour, Keemo Paul gifted too many freebies in his two overs that leaked 22 runs. The seamer has been listless on this tour and with guys like Alzarri Joseph and Obed McCoy waiting in the wings, should find himself ousted from the ODI side.
If Bishoo’s Test form doesn't worry the Windies, his ODI form ideally should. With Sunil Narine's ODI career still at crossroads, Bishoo is supposedly the man to lead West Indies’ spin attack at the World Cup but has shown little evidence to suggest that he could fulfill the role. He had another disappointing outing although to be fair, he barely had a chance to get an extended spell.
*Rayudu, Dhoni, Jadhav weren't rated owing to their minimal role in the match
Rating chart: 10-9: Excellent, 8-7: Good, 6-5: Average, 4-3: Poor, 2-1: Very poor
Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.
Bumrah is an integral part of Mumbai Indians' team, which won record four Indian Premier League titles under Rohit's leadership.
Teams in the world's richest cricket competition must abide by strict guidelines, leaving them encased in an isolation "bubble" with only hotel staff, their fellow competitors, and their similarly quarantined family.
Just like the previous two years, CSK will once again depend heavily on their experienced international players to make an impact.