Sometimes you need a wake-up call: Ravi Shastri
India coach Ravi Shastri. (AFP Image)

India coach Ravi Shastri lauded India’s comeback in the five-match series against West Indies having lost the third ODI in Visakhapatnam. After beating West Indies by eight wickets in the series opener, India and West Indies produced a tie before the visitors surprised India by 43 runs in Vizag. But West Indies failed to build from there onward and lost the final two games of the series by a heavy margin, resulting in a 1-3 series loss.

In the fifth ODI at Thiruvananthapuram, West Indies, batting first, were bundled out for 104 as India comfortably chased down the target and won the match by nine wickets.

West Indies, however did not go down without a fight. In fact, their performance was appreciated by none other than Shastri. “We are back on track. I thought we were below par in the field in the second and third ODI. We could have done much better. Sometimes you need a wake-up call and we were at our best in the last two ODIs. This Windies team is a promising unit. They have some exceptional players who with exposure, I am sure will test some of the big sides,” Shastri said.

Following India’s thumping nine-wicket win over West Indies on Thursday that led them to a series win, India captain Virat Kohli mentioned that the performance of Ambati Rayudu and Khaleel Ahmed was India’s biggest takeaway. Rayudu, who prior to the series, was backed by Kohli to cement himself at the No. 4 spot answered lived up to his captain’s faith by scoring 73 in the second ODI and followed it with a hundred in the fourth.

Meanwhile, Khaleel, who made his ODI debut during the Asia Cup, finished the series with seven wickets from four games, including returns of 3 for 13 in the fourth ODI. He followed it with another tidy performance on Thursday in Thiruvananthapuram, taking 2 for 29 as India bowled West Indies out for a lowly 105. Kohli’s thoughts were echoed by the coach.

“I am pretty happy with Rayudu. It is never easy to make a comeback in the team after couple of years. Even though you have to express yourself, you hold back and that is understandable because couple of bad performance can lose you your place in the team. He has handled the pressure really well and batted really well in the last match,” Shastri said.

“The left-arm fast bowlers can be very handy. Khaleel is raw, he doesn’t have the experience but he has the variations and has the aggression too. Once he adds to his speed, he will be more than effective.”