oppn parties Rahane And Pacers To The Fore As India Thrash The West Indies

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Rahane And Pacers To The Fore As India Thrash The West Indies

By Linus Garg

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Linus tackles things head-on. He takes sides in his analysis and it fits excellently with our editorial policy. No 'maybe's' and 'allegedly' for him, only things in black and white.

There was a time when India has medium pacers just for the name. Their job was to take the shine off the new ball and make it ready for the dreaded spin trio. Any wickets they got were a bonus. But in Ishant Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammad Shami, India now has one of the most feared opening attacks in the world. All three of them bowl at a good pace, swing the ball both ways and with Bumrah able to bowl stinging yorkers at will, they are the scourge of the best batsmen in the world. If the conditions are even a trifle helpful, these three do not let partnerships build at the top and always put India in a commanding position.

This was on full display in the first Test versus the West Indies in Antigua as India beat the West Indies by a huge and humiliating margin of 318 runs. While Ishant Sharma tormented the islanders in the first innings by returning figures of 5/43, it was Bumrah's turn in the second innings as he bowled unplayable yorkers to get 5 wickets for just 7 runs. Shami played the supporting role with excellence by picking up crucial wickets in both innings. No West Indies batsman, except Roston Chase in the first innings, looked like settling in. This proved the complete domination of the Indian pace trio.

But even in victory, there few negatives India carries from the Test. For one, the failure of Mayank Agarwal at the top in both innings once again brings in focus India's continued problems with the opening pair. But Agarwal should be given a few more chances as he is a good talent. Then, the form of Cheteswar Pujara must also be a cause for concern. The same goes for Rishabh Pant. On the other hand, Ajinkye Rahane showed why he is important to this team by anchoring the innings in both the essays.  Hanuma Vihari is also shaping up well and was unlucky to miss out on a century in the second innings and Ravindra Jadeja proved that his captain was right in selecting him over Ashwin by preventing a collapse in the first innings and doing his bit with the ball. It was a good victory and India must now not let the advantage slip.