Tour review

India vs West Indies, 2019-20

Debasish Datta

Twenty20 internationals (3): India 2, West Indies 1 One-day internationals (3): India 2, West Indies 1

For once in their recent encounters with West Indies, India did not have things all their own way. In the Caribbean in August, there had been only one team in it; this time, West Indies earned a big win in each series to ensure both went to a decider. It made for eminently more watchable cricket.

The starring roles were mostly filled by familiar names. Virat Kohli bookended the six matches with Player of the Match performances, and was Player of the Series in the Twenty20 games, while Rohit Sharma concluded an extraordinarily prolific year in 50-over cricket with 258 runs at 86.

But others prospered, too. K. L. Rahul opened the batting in the absence of the injured Shikhar Dhawan, and was India's second-highest run-scorer in each series. Shreyas Iyer continued the favourable impression he had made in the West Indies with 130 runs from No. 4 in the ODIs.

For the tourists, the games followed on from those against Afghanistan in Lucknow. Kieron Pollard, the new white-ball captain, had enjoyed mixed fortunes there, but against India he put his IPL experience to good effect, showing shrewd judgment of pitches. He was effective with the bat, but had a poor time with the ball. Shimron Hetmyer was occasionally brilliant.

In an ICC experiment, these were the first series in which TV umpires called front-foot no-balls. West Indies seamer Kesrick Williams was the first to transgress, and the governing body later judged the trial a success. The technology was later used at the women's T20 World Cup in Australia, with on-field umpires instructed not to call any front-foot no-balls.

But the major umpiring controversy came in the first ODI, in Chennai, after Shaun George decided Ravindra Jadeja had made his ground while attempting a quick single, despite a direct hit from Roston Chase. George did not call for a replay but, when it was shown, Jadeja was clearly out. West Indies' fielders urged George to consult the TV umpire, and he changed his decision. Kohli was unimpressed: "The fielder asked how was that, and the umpire said not out. The dismissal ends there."

© John Wisden & Co