India won the T20 Series 3-0 against a West Indies side who were good in spells but whose big crime was never being able to fully come to terms with conditions, particularly when it came to spin bowling.
But what were the big talking points from the Series, as far as India are concerned, and what have they learnt about themselves?
India win…and So Do We
India had some concerns about their Test and ODI side after losing in both formats in South Africa.
But their T20 form, the World Cup aside, has generally been very good.
Which is why I tipped them to win ahead of each of the three matches, at odds of 1.31, 1.33 and 1.43 respectively.
A reminder that makes it 11 matches in a row that I’ve picked the winner in matches involving India, stretching back to the Test Series in South Africa.
But we saved the best for last.
This is what I said:
“One of the nice things about betting is that whereas sometimes star names like Kohli, Sharma and Pant are under-priced, less famous and fashionable names like Yadav are overpriced.
And this is a case in point with Yadav priced up at 8.99 to top score for India here.
He’ll bat at three or four and with neither Kohli nor Pant around, the heroes with the bat from the last game, his chances will be even better than usual.“
Batting at five, he scored 65 off 31, ultimately the difference between the two sides. He was also man-of-the-match in the process.
So a nice way to round things off with an 8.99 winner with 10CRIC.
Here are a few things we learned about India after the Series.
Sky Yadav and Venky Iyer impress in the middle-order
A Top 4 of Sharma, Rahul, Kohli and Pant is very strong on paper, if not always in practice.
But it’s after that they’ve struggled a bit.
However, they may just have stumbled on a combination at five and six that could give them real impetus going forward.
Yadav, one of Mumbai’s four retained players in the IPL, contributed with an important 31 off 18 in the first game, just eight in the second but came up trumps with that excellent 65 off 31 in the last game. He’d also been good in the ODI Series.
He ended up as India’s top scorer in the T20I Series with 107 runs at a strike rate of 194. That should keep him in the side at least for the Sri Lanka series.
Batting at six, Venkatesh Iyer didn’t have quite as many chances to impress but he more than did what was asked of him.
He was nothing if not consistent, scoring 24, 33 and 35, the first and third of those unbeaten. All at a strike rate of 184.
If they can start to get a few overs out of him with the ball, as well, he’ll quickly become irreplaceable.
Kohli feeling the heat?
A year or so ago and the idea that Virat Kohli may not walk into any of India’s three teams would have sounded ludicrous.
But it’s quite different story now.
He’s no longer captain in any format and is therefore vulnerable to the axe now, if his form doesn’t pick up, because no-one is picked purely on reputation.
He hit 17 off 13 in the first game but should have kicked on.
In the second, his 51 was one of his better knocks of late with more intent and aggression than usual, but his strike rate was still just 126.
To put things into perspective, Rishabh Pant needed just 28 balls to score the same 52 that Kohli did off 41.
Kohli, alongside Pant, were rested for the third game.
In the likes of Sky Yadav, Pant, Shreyas Iyer and Ishan Kishan there are plenty of players capable of filling in that number three role.
Kohli needs some good innings scored at a decent strike rate to convince the selectors he’s still the man for the job when the World Cup comes along.
Bishnoi throws his name into the hat
Injuries to Ravindra Jadeja and Washington Sundar, Ravi Ashwin being left out and Kuldeep Yadav still recovering from injury opened the door to Ravi Bishnoi to make his debut.
And what a debut it was, picking up man-of-the-match in his first-ever appearance for India thanks to 2/17 off four overs.
He was decent in game two with 1/30 and went wicketless with 0/29 in game three, but his economy rate for the Series was a superb 6.33.
In all likelihood, India will go with Ravindra Jadeja plus two frontline spinners when the World Cup comes along. If he carries on like this, Bishnoi could well be one of them.
Kishan fails to make an impact
When you’ve just been the most expensive buy at the Mega Auction, it’s hardly surprising that India’s selectors what to see what you can do at international level.
And with KL Rahul, Rohit Sharma’s regular opening partner, out injured, Kishan was given three chances to impress as an opener.
In game one he made a pedestrian 35 off 42, in game two it was even worse with two off 10 and in the last match he made 34 off 31, finally bettering a run-a-ball.
But he really didn’t make the most of his chances.
Ruturaj Gaikwad may now be given a run of his own as an opener against Sri Lanka, while there may be a recall for Sanju Samson, who would presumably keep wicket ahead of Kishan, if the Rajasthan skipper plays.
One of the two will have to take the gloves with Pant rested for the Series.
So we’ll have to wait and see in what capacity we’ll see Kishan against Sri Lanka.
Just as an opener? Keeper and opener? Keeper and number three? Or perhaps, not at all.
India begin a three-game T20I Series against Sri Lanka with the first game played at Lucknow on Thursday with the second (Saturday) and third (Sunday) played at Dharamsala.
We’ll have full cricket betting tips available ahead of each of the matches.