Amit Mishra      his performance in the West Indies questions the wisdom of the selectors in not giving him a better run than Piyush Chawla    AFP
Amit Mishra his performance in the West Indies questions the wisdom of the selectors in not giving him a better run than Piyush Chawla AFP

 

By Dhananjay Devasper

 

The Indian sojourn to the Caribbean has been something of an anti-climax with only the 3rd ODI proving to be interesting. Much was expected of the India s second-string team to dominate the West Indies. While they did so in bits and parts, it must be said that the Indian and West Indies fans expected a lot more from some of their players.

 

The tour, so far, has thrown up a couple of surprises. Here s a quick look at who s made the cut until now and who hasn t:

 

It s been a great tour so far for Rohit Sharma, who s notched up the most runs and has played crucial innings to guide India through. There has been no questioning his talent; doubts have been always about his temperament and ability to handle himself at the international level. It can be argued that this West Indies side does not look threatening in the least. But when a player is struggling at the international level, sterling performances on tours like these, could potentially be ones which effect a career turnaround.

 

Amit Mishra is another player who has grabbed the opportunity given to him with both hands. By his own admission, he contemplated quitting cricket due to continuous non-selection. The way he has spun the ball and has had the batsman tied up in knots, makes you question the wisdom of the selectors in not giving him a better run than the likes of Piyush Chawla.

 

Andre Russell has been the talk of the town for the West Indies and perhaps the only thing to talk about in a team which has not been allowed to settle within the tour too. Almost every match saw inexplicable changes in the team. In the midst of all this chaos, Russell made merry when the West Indies were down and out for the count in the third ODI. Add to it his bowling abilities and he could be a handful in the years to come.

 

The folks who were unable to make it count are many from both sides. That explains why for a better part of the four matches, there have been individuals who have carried their teams to respectable totals or victories. Much was expected from Ravichandran Ashwin, Subramaniam Badrinath and Yusuf Pathan. Barring one innings, Badri has looked a pale shadow of his assured self. Yusuf, on the other hand, is predictable. His penchant for an ungainly hoicks has gotten the better of him on this tour. The 4th ODI was the best possible opportunity for him to make it count. Sadly that, too, was wasted. Even the selectors might get a cold and go “Brrrrrrrr” when his name is brought up the next time! While Ashwin may not have done badly, but he has not put any pressure on the other senior offie, Harbhajan Singh, with his lacklustre bowling. But it s early days for him too.

 

It s been a disappointment of sorts for some of the seniors in both the teams as well. Suresh Raina, Kieron Pollard, Ramnaresh Sarwan and Marlon Samuels have not had much to write about in terms of performances. This could have been a series where they should have stood up and be counted. While Pollard did play a knock of some significance in the 4th ODI, it amounted to nothing since the series was already lost by then.

 

This tour is already running into the danger of being the most experimental tour ever, with cricket completely taking a backseat. For the sake of cricket, especially West Indies cricket, let s hope there s more excitement in the Test matches that there has been in the T20 and one-dayers.

 

Stay tuned

 

(Dhananjay Devasper is an “IT guy” by profession and a sports fanatic at heart. He has an unbridled passion for sports and Indian achievements in sport. Extremely opinionated, he attempts offering perspectives around sports which are simple to understand and easy to relate with)