India beat West Indies in the third Test match by 237 runs to win the match and take an unassailable 2-0 lead in the four-match series at Gros Islet on Saturday. R Ashwin and Wridhiman Saha played rescue acts with their outstanding tons in the first Test while Bhuvneshwar Kumar scripted the Windies collapse with his five-wicket haul.
Here we bring before you the hits and flops from the third Test match:
R Ashwin: This player has come into his own in this series, both, with bat as well as with his bowling. Scoring yet another Test hundred against the West Indies when his team was under immense pressure, he stringed an important partnership with Wriddhiman Saha, leading India to a respectable total. After the team lost five wickets early, the team needed someone who could have held one end up and Ashwin did that really well. He faced 446 balls for his composed knock of 118. In the first innings he picked up two wickets one of which was of well set batsman Kraigg Braithwatte. For his all round skills, R ashwin was named the man of the match for the second time in the series.
W Saha: It is not easy to replace MS Dhoni, the kind of calibre, quality and leadership skills he possesses. Wriddhiman Saha was warming the benches while MS Dhoni still playing and did not get many opportunities. But after MS Dhoni’s sudden retirement in Australia, Saha has been a consistent member of the Indian squad. There was never a doubt about Saha’s wicket keeping skills, but he did not do much justice with his batting. While he was doing a brilliant job behind the stumps in this series as well and got a few starts in the first two Tests, not many would have expected the kind of innings Saha played in the first innings. He played a tremendous hand to R Ashwin when the team was in deep trouble, building the innings first and then came out all guns blazing with his attacking approach on Day 2 scoring his maiden international hundred.
Bhuvaneshwar Kumar: This 26-year-old medium pacer, who has been in and out of the Indian side recently, was selected in place of Umesh Yadav in this Test. Justifying Captain Kohli’s selection with an awesome spell, he picked up five wickets in the first innings, leading to a West Indian batting collapse and providing India a crucial lead of 128 runs. Leading the attack on his comeback, he bowled an economical spell in the second innings as well that put pressure on the West Indies batsmen. His fiery spell in the first innings set the base for India’s victory.
Ajinkya Rahane: Carrying his form from the second Test, Ajinkya Rahane was one batsman who is oozing with confidence. Missing out in the first innings, Rahane wanted to cover up in the second innings and scored a solid 78* off 179 balls to give Indian bowlers a good total to defend. Scoring shots all around the park he built a good partnership with Rohit Sharma. A team player, he played a crucial innings when his team needed him the most.
Miguel Cummins: This tall 25-year old West Indian fast bowler, who struggled and did not get a wicket in his maiden Test match, picked up nine wickets in his second Test match. He picked up almost all top order Indian batsmen in the second innings. It was classy performance from this Barbados man. Likes of Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul were his prey. This man would have been very delightful with his results after all the hard work he had put in by consistently bowling in the right areas.
Virat Kohli: He promoted himself to number 3 by dropping Cheteshwar Pujara from the team, but the decision did not work out well as Captain Virat Kohli scored 4 and a 3 runs in both the innings, respectively. Although Virat plays regularly at number 3 in the limited overs format, he was not able to make the same amount of impact in this Test. Although it was aggressive move from the Captain who always wants to lead his team from the front, he struggled in this match with his bat. He was beaten a couple of times by Joseph in the first innings before he knicked one outside off stump. Hope he comes back with a bang in the next Test match.
Shikhar Dhawan: Shikhar Dhawan, who was preferred over Mulari Vijay in this match based on his performance in the previous test, did not do much justice to his selection as he got out early in both the innings, leaving the team in a tangle. The way in which he is getting out is bit of a concern for the team management. With Mulari Vijay looking to come back and KL Rahul performing really well in the last few innings, Shikhar Dhawan needs to bring his game a notch up to retain his spot in the team.
Roston Chase: Although all the West Indies’ batsmen were disappointing, Roston Chase, who was coming on back of a splendid match saving hundred in the last Test, could not carry his form in this Test and can be termed as a flop. With the ball too he was less effective and could not give breakthroughs in crunch situations.
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