The West Indies were always expected to struggle in India during the hastily arranged two-Test series. They had gone down to India without much of a fight last time as well, in 2011. Their performance during the two Tests at Kolkata and Mumbai though would have been a shocker for them as well. West Indies had come to India on the back of a few good Test wins, but most of them were against minnows. Losing both the Tests by an innings margin was a real eye opener, as Windies skipper Darren Sammy candidly admitted.
As the results suggest, the main reason why West Indies lost the series in such an embarrassing was because their batsmen failed to live up to the challenge. Not a single batsman from their side got a century during the four innings, and only two of them got half-centuries – Marlon Samuels at Eden Gardens and wicket-keeper Denesh Ramdin at Mumbai. It wasn’t as if the batsmen did not have their chances. In fact, most of their players got their eye in more than once during the tour, but as it is so important in India, could not carry on to build a length innings.
The failure of experienced men like Chris Gayle and Shivnarine Chanderpaul was a major setback for the tourists. They needed much better from the two left-handers. Gayle made 18, 33, 11 and 35 while Chanderpaul registered scores of 36, 31 not out, 25 and 41. The latter’s failure was particularly disappointing for West Indies. Chanderpaul has never done badly against India over the last two decades that he has played against them. Had he come up with his marathon knocks, West Indies could have hoped for a better show.
The scores for the rest of the batsmen tell the sorry story in itself. Kieran Powell made 28, 36, 48 and 9. He should have converted at least a couple of those scores into big knocks, particularly since he is an opening bat. Unlike during the last tour, Darren Bravo was a total failure at number three with scores of 23, 37, 29 and 11. Batting at number four, a lot was expected of the talented and experienced Samuels. But apart from his 65, he didn’t do much of note in his other three knocks. Ramdin got a half-century, but it was all too late while skipper Sammy had a forgettable series, his limitations against spin being thoroughly exposed.
West Indies fared slightly better with the ball, but even here it was one man – Shane Shillingford – who stood up, with 11 wickets in 2 innings. He troubled a number of India’s top and middle order batsmen, but even his performance has come under scanner with him being reported for a suspect action at the conclusion of the series. As for the others, Tino Best was pedestrian, Sheldon Cottrell and Shannon Gabriel unimpressive and skipper Sammy himself was completely ineffective with the ball.
--By A Cricket Analyst