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.
|Team||Runs/Wicket||Scoring rate||100/50||Wickets taken||5WI/10WM|
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.
|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.
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.
|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).
|Captain||Matches||Overall Wins/Losses||Wins/Losses (home)||Wins/losses(away)||Overall W/L ratio||Overall draw %|