Rohit, Virat shine but other young guns disappoint

Kingston: The series has been won but with it, the chinks in the Indian armour have also been revealed especially the batting frailties against pace and bounce.

Indian selectors would be wiser with the knowledge that one opener and two middle-order batsmen have not offered good returns on investment in the just concluded ODI series against the West Indies which the visitors won 3-2.

In fact, Shikhar Dhawan and Yusuf Pathan would have a lot to ponder on their flight back home today. Dhawan has tons of runs in domestic cricket and is still young at 25 but his technique and shot-selection is too much on hope and too little on sound judgment. He managed a half-century from the series but only 23 runs from four other innings imply that his career would now be on a pause-mode in the foreseeable future.

S Badrinath, who is also a part of the Test line-up, bubbles with hope in the field which makes his 30-plus age a non-issue among his younger mates. The first sight of him in the Caribbean, an unbeaten match-winning innings of 43 in the Twenty20, prepared one for bigger celebrations. But thereafter, only 40 runs from four ODI innings must hurt.

Badrinath always takes time to settle down but his innovations make up for it in the latter half of his innings, a characteristic which has led to comparisons being drawn
with Rahul Dravid in domestic circles. But his unease against the short-pitched bowling of Andre Russell in the fourth match would now force critics to put a hold on their judgment.

Yusuf Pathan too is at the end of a long rope. The cricketer made 42 runs from four innings and there is a question-mark on how he goes about constructing his knocks. Fans are still beholden to his sixes but a substantial innings is not built merely on hits beyond the ropes. His other values of off-spin and decent fielding are not too distinctive to put his career on a roll.

Skipper Suresh Raina, a hero of India`s world cup triumph, has done enough in the past for the criticism to be muted but his last three innings of 3, 10 and 0 told about a young batsman in unnecessary hurry.

Time and again he would heave towards midwicket early in his innings against ordinary bowlers. The left-hander is, however, a certainty for the Tests. The series though has reaffirmed the opinion that Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma are perhaps the two best young batsmen of India if not of the world.

Both looked head and shoulders above anyone else who was put on the park by the Indians. Sharma would leave for home today with the knowledge that he has done enough to be considered a regular in one-day internationals and a Test spot ought to beckon not long in future.

Amit Mishra, the leg-spinner, was the single biggest success story from the one dayers and it`s been a triumph of his character and fortitude. Every delivery of his was looked at by home batsmen with suspicion. India turned to him whenever it needed a wicket.


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