Team India produced a clinical display on Thursday to outclass a struggling West Indies to take another step towards ensuring a semi-final berth at the ongoing ICC World Cup. On a dry pitch where batsmen struggled to get going and bowlers ruled the roost, the experience and match sense of captain Virat Kohli and former captain MS Dhoni helped India prevail. The bowlers, led by Mohammed Shami, came hard at the inexperienced Windies batting and eventually helped the team win by a huge margin of 125 runs at the Old Trafford stadium in Manchester.
1) Rohit Sharma – Rating: 4/10, Verdict: Below Average
India scores big when Rohit scores big. This is becoming increasingly evident as India failed to muster up a total close to 300 in this match too as Rohit was dismissed for 18. The Indian vice-captain was a shade unlucky to be given out but that is a part and parcel of the game. Looked good for the 18 runs he added at the top of the order.
2) KL Rahul – Rating: 7/10, Verdict: Good
KL Rahul had a decent outing with the bat and there isn’t much that he could do with the delivery that he got out to. Rahul shared a healthy partnership with captain Virat Kohli and put the Indian innings on track after the early loss of Rohit Sharma. His contribution of 48 runs in 64 balls helped India consolidate but Rahul needs to convert the good starts into big scores. Dropped an easy chance in the field.
3) Virat Kohli – Rating: 8/10, Verdict: Very Good
Virat Kohli will be disappointed with the timing of his dismissal and that is the only glitch in an otherwise perfect match as batsman and skipper for the run machine. The high standards that he has set in ODI cricket mean a fourth consecutive fifty is also not enough for the fans who are waiting for a century from Kohli. His knock of 72 was the centerpiece of India’s stop and start batting effort and he remains the fulcrum of this batting unit, which needs to fire in sync with each other.
4) Vijay Shankar – Rating: 2/10, Verdict: Poor
The Vijay Shankar experiment hasn’t worked for India so far and the time has come for the team management to look for alternatives at the crucial number 4 spot. Shankar’s inability to convert starts into decent scores has hurt India as losing a wicket in middle overs has stalled their progress even further. The fact that Kedar Jadhav got to bowl an over in the match and he didn’t means Shankar isn’t an automatic bowling choice for the captain. Will be lucky to get another game.
5) Kedar Jadhav – Rating: 1/10, Verdict: Poor
Kedar Jadhav failed to fire against the Windies at a crucial situation and this has once again rung the alarm bells for the management. The middle order isn’t the strongest but Jadhav has been a consistent performer. His inability to hit the big shots down the order means Rishabh Pant could get a look in, in place of Vijay Shankar, to ease the burden on him and Dhoni.