Roseau, July 12: A marked difference in the attitude of the Windies compared to recent series is that they put in a genuine all-round effort to improve during the engagement. Marlon Samuels came up with an innings of character and substance in the second Test, while Shivnarine Chanderpaul regained some of his old feisty verve in the third Test which apparently rubbed off onto fellow-centurion Kirk Edwards. After all, how long has it been since two Windies' batsmen scored tons in the same innings!
Plus, Darren Sammy demonstrated flashes of brilliance with both the ball and the bat while Fidel Edwards, who snatched two five wicket hauls, ending the series with a tally of 19 wickets, had the Indian batting line-up grappling for safety on several occasions.
India's flaws, however far outstripped their boons. Sure, Ishant Sharma and Suresh Raina performed their roles well (especially the former who has suddenly appeared to have taken on the avatar of a strike bowler). But the visitors' batting was rife with glitches and chinks as the onus to stabilise the separate innings more often than not, fell on the shoulders of individual batsmen.
The most inexcusable and baffling ploy of India's was not to make a go at the Windies' meagre target of 180 in 32 overs in the third Test. It would have upped the stakes and had the crowd hollering in the stands. Such a meek surrender to a draw by India is not becoming of a side that had earned the title of a world-beater. Perhaps the upcoming tour of England will effect a change in approach. With pedigree batsmen returning to the Indian side, it had better be!