India in West Indies, 2011 July 11, 2011

Ruthlessness lacking in India's win

Madhusudhan Ramakrishnan
Although India won the series quite comfortably in the end, there will be concerns about the back-up batting strength and the inability to force results

A win lacking the dominance
After a terrible start to their campaign in the West Indies when they collapsed to 85 for 6 in the first Test in Jamaica, India recovered to post a competitive first-innings total of 246 and went on to win the Test comfortably by 63 runs. In the second Test on a difficult track in Barbados, India once again played themselves into a winning position only to be denied this time by a combination of the fickle weather and gutsy batting by the West Indian middle-order batsmen.

In the third Test in Dominica, India let the West Indies off the hook in much the same way as they allowed South Africa to consolidate in the final Test in Cape Town in January 2011. After having West Indies on the mat at 256 for 8, a lead of only 113 runs, India failed to make further inroads and the ninth-wicket stand between Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Fidel Edwards consumed 37 overs. India, who were finally left to get 180 from 47 overs for a 2-0 win, chose not to press for the target and instead settled for a 1-0 win in a series they dominated.

Not surprisingly, India were the better team in both the batting and bowling departments. They averaged nearly five runs more per wicket and scored at a quicker rate than West Indies on pitches that proved to be a stern test for batsmen. India also picked up eight more wickets than West Indies managed. Rahul Dravid scored the solitary century for India, but Indian batsmen managed 12 half-centuries compared to West Indian batsmen, who scored five fifties.

Overall stats for both teams
Team Runs/Wicket Scoring rate 100/50 Wickets taken 5WI/10WM
India 28.75 3.02 1/10 57 2/1
West Indies 23.73 2.76 2/5 49 2/0

Top-order batting woes for both teams
Both teams struggled on the batting front and failed to forge substantial partnerships on a consistent basis. India's opening pair had a disastrous time and aggregated only 55 runs in six innings. M Vijay, in particular, had a very poor run scoring only 72 runs at an average of 12. West Indies, who missed Chris Gayle's aggression at the top of the order, also had a tough time. Lendl Simmons, who had performed well against Pakistan in the previous series, scored just 46 runs in four innings in the first two Tests.

Dravid and VVS Laxman, who were part of India's embarrassing loss in Barbados in 1997, provided the much-needed experience in the middle order. Dravid scored over 250 runs with one century and one half-century while Laxman scored three half-centuries including two in the second Test in Barbados. Despite the fourth wicket partnership averaging nearly 60, West Indies were let down by the top order's inconsistency. India, on the other hand, had century stands for the fifth, sixth and seventh wickets, and made up for the poor starts in the three Tests.

Apart from Dravid and Laxman, only Suresh Raina performed creditably in the demanding conditions. Raina scored over 200 runs with three fifties. Abhinav Mukund managed one half-century, but could muster only 85 runs in five other innings. Virat Kohli, one of India's most successful batsmen in recent ODIs, also found the going tough, and aggregated only 76 runs in five innings.

For West Indies, Chanderpaul, who scored his 23rd Test hundred to deny India victory in the third Test, and Darren Bravo were the only batsmen to demonstrate any consistency. While both scored over 200 runs, the rest of the batting failed to apply themselves. The experienced Ramnaresh Sarwan was an abject failure; he scored only 29 runs in four innings before being dropped for the third Test.

Partnership stats for teams in the three Tests (Runs, average, 100/50) - wickets 1-7
Team 1st wicket 2nd wicket 3rd wicket 4th wicket 5th wicket 6th wicket 7th wicket
India 55, 9.16, 0/0 219, 36.50, 0/3 241, 40.16, 0/2 186, 37.20, 0/2 198, 39.60, 1/0 141, 28.20, 1/0 228, 57.00, 1/0
West Indies 126, 21.00, 0/1 38, 6.33, 0/0 167, 27.83, 0/1 359, 59.83, 1/2 50, 8.33, 0/0 273, 45.50, 0/3 115, 19.16, 0/0

Ishant and Edwards stand out
On tracks suited for pace bowling, fast bowlers from both sides had an excellent time. India proved to be the better bowling side on both the pace and spin fronts. Both Indian fast bowlers and spinners had a better average and strike rate compared to their West Indian counterparts.

Ishant Sharma was outstanding with 22 wickets at an average of 16.86. After a lean patch for the last two years leading up to the series, Ishant was back to his best, and consistently troubled all West Indian batsmen with movement and bounce. Fidel Edwards was by far the best West Indian bowler. Returning from a long injury layoff, Edwards bowled with pace and sustained hostility creating problems for all Indian batsmen. Praveen Kumar, who made his debut in Jamaica, swung the ball both ways, and picked up six wickets in the first Test.

Harbhajan Singh and Devendra Bishoo were also very impressive in a series dominated by pace bowlers. They picked up 12 and 11 wickets at averages of 32.58 and 25.36 respectively. Harbhajan, who picked up 6 for 101 in the final Test, also became the 11th bowler to reach the 400-wicket mark in Tests.

Bowling stats for pace bowlers and spinners
Team Bowler type Wickets Average Economy SR 5WI/10WM
West Indies pace 36 25.38 2.77 54.9 2/0
India pace 38 21.78 2.70 48.2 2/1
West Indies spin 13 34.46 3.27 63.1 0/0
India spin 18 25.83 2.53 61.2 0/0

Struggle against pace
Vijay, who had a very ordinary series, found the going toughest against Ravi Rampaul. Rampaul picked up Vijay's wicket five times in five innings while conceding just 27 runs. The West Indian opening pair of Adrian Barath and Simmons also struggled against Ishant and Praveen. Edwards had a great deal of success against MS Dhoni and Kohli dismissing them three times each. Harbhajan had the better of Carlton Baugh dismissing the wicketkeeper-batsman four times in six innings. Sarwan, who had a wretched series, was dismissed three times in four innings by Ishant, and managed just 11 runs at an average of 3.66 against the fast bowler.

Batsman v Bowler in the Test series (Dismissals, Average, Scoring rate)
Bowler/Batsman Innings Dismissals Average Scoring rate
Ravi Rampaul/M Vijay 5 5 5.40 2.16
Carlton Baugh/Harbhajan Singh 6 4 10.50 3.36
Adrian Barath/Praveen Kumar 6 3 16.33 2.31
Adrian Barath/Ishant Sharma 6 3 16.00 3.06
MS Dhoni/Fidel Edwards 4 3 10.33 3.32
Virat Kohli/Fidel Edwards 4 3 7.00 2.25
Ramnaresh Sarwan/Ishant Sharma 4 3 3.66 2.53
Lendl Simmons/Ishant Sharma 4 3 8.66 4.33

Dhoni's dream run continues
Dhoni, who took over as captain in 2008, is yet to lose a Test series as captain. West Indies hold the record for the most consecutive series without defeat (29) while India under MS Dhoni are joint-sixth on the list (11 series undefeated). Dhoni now has five wins out of 12 away Tests which puts him joint-second with Dravid on the list of Indian captains with the most away-Test wins. Sourav Ganguly, who is on top with 11 overseas victories, has a win-loss ratio of 1.10 while Dhoni has a much better win-loss ratio of 2.50. Among captains who have led in at least 25 Tests, Dhoni has the best win-loss ratio (5.00) followed by Steve Waugh (4.55) and Mike Brearley (4.50). As in the case of the third Test, India have struggled to close out matches, and as a result, their draw-percentage under Dhoni (33.33) is among the highest. In contrast, Waugh and Ponting have the lowest draw-percentages (12.28 and 16.88 respectively).

Captains with best win-loss ratio (min 25 Tests as captain)
Captain Matches Overall Wins/Losses Wins/Losses (home) Wins/losses(away) Overall W/L ratio Overall draw %
MS Dhoni 27 15/3 10/1 5/2 5.00 33.33
Steve Waugh 57 41/9 22/2 19/7 4.55 12.28
Mike Brearley 31 18/4 12/0 6/4 4.50 29.03
Andrew Strauss 35 17/5 13/2 4/3 3.40 37.14
Viv Richards 50 27/8 15/2 12/6 3.37 30.00
Richie Benaud 28 12/4 7/2 5/2 3.00 39.28
Ian Chappell 30 15/5 9/2 6/3 3.00 33.33
Clive Lloyd 74 36/12 13/2 23/10 3.00 35.13
Ricky Ponting 77 48/16 29/5 19/11 3.00 16.88

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Alexk400 on July 12, 2011, 19:12 GMT

    Now rain is the da excuse. pathetic. The fact of the matter is 8th ranked team matched well number 1 team. Even first match West indies could have drawn. you can say if to anything.

  • Alexk400 on July 12, 2011, 19:10 GMT

    India wiill lose first test in england

  • ashish514 on July 12, 2011, 19:08 GMT

    Well, after looking at the last bit of stats, i am a little less disappointed than before by the Indian team's defensive tactics. Dhoni's win loss ratio is highest, which shows that his ploy of either win or draw is working(though some, including me think of it as a cowardly act). This also shows that the risk taking tactics of waugh and ponting had a potential of backfiring sometimes, hence a lower win loss ratio for them.

  • jupiterlaw on July 12, 2011, 18:20 GMT

    For the teams that played in the 3rd test, the players in the Indian team, had played in a total of 503 test matches against the West Indies 272. But the results turned by India did not reflect their far superior experience. Good work West Indies.

  • ansram on July 12, 2011, 15:03 GMT

    Barring the last one hour of the 3rd test, where they could have pressed for a win, India did seem to be in control for the greater part of the series. You can't afford to loose a lot of time to rain in a series like this where batsmen were struggling to score. WI showed a fighting spirit but they would have been exposed completely without the rain. Without rain, it was 3-0 India without several bigger names and that is cool.

  • Angad11 on July 12, 2011, 13:26 GMT

    Cant understand the silly logic given by everybody that India missed first choice players. Well for a start we were playing against a grade B WI team (without Gayle), Rampaul was not able to bowl a single over in the first innings. And most importantly, 86 runs from 90 balls for god's sake why the hell would you need first choice players. The issue that annoys me (and i believe most others) is India and MS did not try to win the game even after Raina fell. That is the KILLER INSTINCT that we r missing. @frommoonman, stop talking like a 70-year-old grandpa who has "leanrt to be happy" with whatever is thrown at him. Cant help it if you are already one or may b from the moon where things are like that.

  • dummy4fb on July 12, 2011, 11:30 GMT

    well .. i think india played really poor cricket...... defenatly as being number 1 test dominance like oz or west indiz in past........very defensive cricket.... if india continue such attitude then very soon , india wll loose crown of test hurts being an indian

  • hellraiser9 on July 12, 2011, 11:12 GMT

    Wow..what an achievement by Dhoni. as captain. incredible.. in 27 tests he has won 15 and lost just 3 and in those 3 matches The fact is Dhoni is setting out to achieve everything what previous captains couldn't. Greatest and Best Captain simply because the team is performing very well in last 3 yrs since sep 2008, he has cracked the formula to how win Series and get back into series if first test is lost. As long as he is captain of India, Indian cricket team is safe and secure and will achieve tremendous heights. He plays for the country not for the audience. He is smart and shrewd captain who knows the value of series victory something that will stay in history for long long time. Wait n watch how he sets record straight by the time he captains India for 50 odd tests. Fact is Dhoni showed he can achieve more in less time with sheer intelligence and calmness. He showed aggressiveness is not about chest thumping, shouting and screaming on field. It is in the way you WIN series.

  • concerned_cricketer on July 12, 2011, 10:09 GMT

    Of course, the win should lack dominance. This is India A team not the real Indian team. If this India second team dominated WI anymore than this, how sad would that be?

  • dummy4fb on July 12, 2011, 9:39 GMT

    I feel that Barath was rusty after being out for a long time,it was just his bad luck to come up against Praveen Kumar and Ishant who were probably on their best,my guess is that anybody would have struggled against them,especially as openers.

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