No Windies quick fix – Holder - Windies suffer defeat to hand India series sweep
For many, it was only a matter of time, and predictably, the West Indies suffered a huge 257 run defeat to India on Day 4 of the second Test, which was played at Sabina Park. The result meant the visiting Indians had a clean sweep in all the formats on tour, as they won the T20 series 3-0, the ODI Series 2-0 and the Test series 2-0.
The home team, who resumed on their overnight 45 for 2, still needing a mammoth 423 runs to win, folded in the post-lunch session for 210 in 59.5 overs, thanks to another top-notch bowling performance from the Indians.
The day, however, began brightly for the home team, as overnight batsman Shamarh Brooks, who was on 4, hit the first ball of the day from Mohammed Shami for four.
His partner at the other end, Darren Bravo, who was 18 not out overnight, also showed some positive intent, as he stroked Jasprit Bumrah through the covers for 4.
However, after batting for 15 minutes, Bravo, who was hit on the head from a sharply rising delivery from Bumrah the evening before, had to retire hurt after suffering the effects of a concussion.
In came Roston Chase and he and Brooks shared in a 42 run third-wicket stand, with Brooks playing some lovely cover drives off the seamers, as he grew in confidence with every minute at the crease.
With the score on 97, Chase got a peach of a ball from left-arm spinner Ravi Jadeja and was trapped in front for 12 and five balls and one run later, Shimron Hetmyer’s wretched form with the bat continued, as the left-hander stroked Ishant Sharma to Mayank Agarwal at cover for 1, to leave the hosts in a spot of bother at 98 for 4.
Jamaican Jermaine Blackwood then became the first West Indian to be introduced as a concussion substitute, replacing Darren Bravo, who would take no further part in the match.
Blackwood’s introduction brought about some positivity to the Windies batting, as he and Brooks knocked the ball around to take the hosts to lunch at 145 for 4, with Brooks on 36 and Blackwood on 33. The pair would continue in the same positive vein in the post-lunch session, however, with the score on 159, Blackwood would edge an outswing delivery from Bumrah to Pant to start the slide for the Windies.
With their tails up, the Indians went in for the kill, despite Brooks bringing up his maiden Test half-century, which he got off 112 balls with nine fours.
The Barbadian would eventually become the sixth wicket to fall, as he was brilliantly run out by Captain Virat Kohli, who disturbed the stumps in acrobatic fashion, fielding at cover.
Two balls later, debutant wicketkeeper Jahmar Hamilton got a brute of a delivery from Jadeja, which spun and bounced and he was caught at slip for nought and the writing was beginning to show brightly on the wall.
Pacer Mohammed Shami would quickly snap up Rahkeem Cornwall (1) and Kemar Roach (5) to leave the Windies on 206 for 9, however Captain Jason Holder tried to counter the slide with a few lusty blows off Jadeja, but the latter would get his revenge, as Holder became the 10th wicket to fall, bowled for 39 to be all out for 210.
The win and series sweep allowed India to go atop the ICC World Test Championship points table with 120 points, while in the process, Kohli became the most successful Indian captain with 28 Test victories.
Captain Jason Holder, who spoke to the media after the result, said his team was outplayed by the number one Test team in the world.
“The Indians played some really good cricket right throughout the entire series, our batters were not able to answer to the call, I thought our bowlers did a good job, but once again we were not able to get enough runs and that is something we have to address right away,” said Holder.
To Holder’s point, the team’s 14.95 batting average in the series, is the lowest ever for West Indies in a series.
The skipper went on to add that the problems plaguing the Windies won’t be remedied by any quick fix, however, a holistic approach is required to address the issues.
“To be honest, we are not spoilt for choices with batmen coming through the region, we have to put things in place to continue developing players and make sure they do the right things in order to be successful at this level. I think we need to place more emphasis at the first class and franchise level and that is where we have to focus to build players,” he added.
Meanwhile, winning captain Kohli praised his team’s all-around effort.
“I am very pleased, I think we had a complete Test match, we were put under pressure a few times, especially when we were batting, but we came back really nicely into the game, rode that tide for a bit and handled the pressure well and then we put the opposition under pressure when we bowled, so all in all, it was a good team effort,” said Kohli.
Kohli had high praises for rookie batsman Hanuma Vihari and pacer Jasprit Bumrah, who he said played key roles in the entire series.
“The find of the series has to be Hanura Vihari. He has batted well under pressure, his skill sets and temperament has been outstanding, he handled everything that the opposition threw at him and I am very pleased how he is progressing in the team; we are (also) lucky to have a bowler like Bumrah in our team, I haven’t seen more lethal spells of fast bowling as we did with Bumrah in this test series and I can say he is probably the most complete bowler in Test cricket right now,” Kohli shared.