The final match of India’s limited-overs tour to the West Indies ended in a damp squib. The hosts looked listless and seemed to have no plans, be it in the bowling department or the consistently underperforming batting unit. As a result, India won the 5th T20I by a massive 88 runs – their biggest win against West Indies in terms of runs.

5th T20I - Key Performers cricket stats T20I India West Indies
5th T20I – Key Performers

India made four changes to their lineup and were practically playing not their ‘A’ team but their ‘B’ team. Despite that, West Indies were no way near to even competing with the tourists, let alone challenging them for a win. We look back at three key moments/stats from this one-sided encounter.

Shreyas Iyer as opener

Shreyas Iyer became India’s 8th batter in 2022 to open the innings. It was a surprise move considering India already had Sanju Samson in the team to play as a make-shift opener in the absence of Rohit Sharma and Suryakumar Yadav.

This musical chair with the openers is a puzzling idea for fans and viewers, with team management not giving any reasons behind these constant changes. But one reason, a not-so-good-one for Iyer, could be the management wanting to pick either Samson or Deepak Hooda as a middle-order batter in the upcoming Asia Cup and then the T20 World Cup.

India have tried 8 openers in 8 months cricket stats T20I West Indies
India have tried 8 openers in 8 months

That dilemma and the batting positions in the 5th T20I could also mean that Iyer is no longer in the frame for a spot in those squads. However, Iyer took the opportunity with both hands and kept himself in the reckoning by hitting the most runs as an Indian batter in their maiden innings as an opener – a 40-ball 64.

Pooran’s forgettable series

A lot of West indies’ success depends on how their new captain, Nicholas Pooran, steps up as a batter in the middle overs. But in T20Is, Pooran is yet to achieve that consistency and the impact that he has had over the years in T20s.

Pooran’s T20I average before the start of the series was 29.56, but not once did he get past 29 in this series. His strike rate this series was 128.57, which was also a bit slower than his career SR of 130.88. In the final match, Pooran was tamely dimsised by Kuldeep Yadav as the chinaman bowler trapped him in front for just three runs.

Pooran had a poor series with the bat cricket stats T20I West Indies
Pooran had a poor series with the bat

Spin for the win

Both teams went into the match with contrasting bowling combinations. West Indies picked four seamers and a lone spinner in Hayden Walsh Jr. They even left out their best spinner of the series, Akeal Hosein. India, on the other hand, went in with three spinners in Axar Patel, Ravi Bishnoi and Kuldeep Yadav.

The hosts couldn’t have misread the pitch any better as the pitch was on the dryer and slower side – quite helpful for the spinners. Indian spinners bamboozled their opponents by creating a unique record. The spinners picked up all 10 wickets – a feat never achieved before in a Men’s T20I.

India will now shift their focus to the Asia Cup, which will also give a fair indication of their 15-member squad for the T20 World Cup. West Indies will take on the visiting New Zealand team on 10th August for a white ball tour. They end this series with more questions than before regarding their team combination. India, now, might have a decent idea about their first-choice 12-13 members for the all-important T20I World Cup in October.