Roseau, July 12: A collection of beaming Indian faces met the shutter-bugs at the conclusion of the tour of the West Indies. But such euphoria belied the fact that India were far from the No. 1 in Test stature that they are touted as bearing. Any critic will concede that it was a mediocre showing from the tourists in their latest outing. Coming away with a 1-zip result in a three-match series against a perceptibly much weaker side is nothing to write home about.
Indeed, India were in a winning position in both the second and third Tests. But their opponents exhibited a tenacity that the visitors didn't quite have an answer to. Validation of the Windies' fighting spirit was the cheers that they elicited from the crowd as they ran a victory lap at Roseau, the venue of their final encounter of India's tour.
Even India coach Duncan Fletcher accorded the hosts a proverbial pat on the back. "I think they have improved all the time," said Fletcher. "I think Ottis Gibson is doing a great job. I have come here before with England and watched them in England and watching the way they just have put it together, they are definitely moving up. I wouldn't like to be another touring side and come out here and face them if this improvement continues."