Archiman Bhaduri for CaribDirect

Staff Writer – Archi

India reigned supreme in the Twenty20 and One-Day International series against West Indies at home to end the year on a high. The hosts won both the three-match series 2-1 as the spectators were treated to some fabulous game of cricket. But the West Indies put up a real challenge and even looked good enough to upset India in the series also. Both the series went to the wire as the winners were decided on after the last matches.

In the T20 series, India began with a six-wicket win at Hyderabad. But West Indies pulled things back by recording a resounding eight-wicket victory in the next match at Thiruvananthapuram. India, however, dominated to win the last match by 67 runs in Mumbai to seal the series.

The visitors were, however, not disheartened by the loss and they began the ODI series by winning the opening match at Chennai by eight wickets. India came back strongly to record a resounding 107-run victory at Visakhapatnam in the next match. The last match had its moments of ups and downs as India finally romped home winning the tie by four wickets at Cuttack.

Nicholas Pooran. Photo courtesy

It is not for nothing that West Indies’ Nicholas Pooran felt that they could have won both ODIs as well as T20I series.

“We could have won both ODI and T20I series,” he said after the series. “India is a very tough team to beat but we put up a tough fight against them,” the left-handed batsman added.

This was Men in Blue’s tenth consecutive series win over the West Indies.

Skipper Kieron Pollard too is not disappointed to have lost the series closely. “I don’t think there is much to be disappointed about actually. I’m very proud of the guys,” he said in the post-match presentation ceremony at the end of the series.

The Indian team owes much of the success to its skipper Virat Kohli and opener Rohit Sharma. The Indian duo ended the year on a glorious note remaining static at the first and second positions respectively in the ICC ODI rankings for batsmen. While Kohli has 887 points to his name, Rohit followed him closely with 873 points.

“What a way to finish the year. I’ll take most of that year what we did as a team and personally too,”Rohit later tweeted.

The Indian skipper is also a satisfied man. “2019 has been one of the best years for Indian cricket. The way we’ve played has been satisfying,” he said. “We feel we have it in us to win series overseas, not just the odd game. We are in the process of trying out people, see how they react under pressure. Whether people want to accept it or not, the younger people will have to step up in a few years,” the skipper added.

It must be a nice feeling for Indian team management just a little less than a year before the World T20 in Australia, as the victory came in spite of the team missing their frontline pacers Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar, both out due to injuries as well as opener Sikhar Dhawan, another injury casualty. But their replacements filled up their shoes well.