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Thursday 23 May 2019
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Tough road ahead in T20 series

India’s Khaleel Ahmed (right) celebrates the dismissal of West Indies’ captain Jason Holder during the fifth ODI yesterday. AP PHOTO
India’s Khaleel Ahmed (right) celebrates the dismissal of West Indies’ captain Jason Holder during the fifth ODI yesterday. AP PHOTO

FORMER West Indies manager Omar Khan believes the West Indies tough tour in India will continue, but is hopeful they will be more competitive when the three-match T20 series bowls off on Sunday.

Following a 2-0 loss to India in the two-match Test series, West Indies fell 3-1 in the five-match One Day International (ODI) series. India won the opening match by eight wickets, before the second match ended in a tie.

West Indies squared the series 1-1 with a 43-run victory in the third ODI. West Indies did not carry that momentum into the rest of the series, losing by 224 runs in the fourth ODI and by nine wickets in the fifth ODI, yesterday.

The Windies had a couple decent performances with the bat, as Shimron Hetmyer and Shai Hope both scored at least 250 runs. Left-handed Hetmyer scored 259 runs in five matches at an average of 51.80. He scored one century and one half century with a highest score of 106.

Hope ended the series with 250 runs in five matches which included a top knock of 123 not out.

The right-hander cracked one century and one half century at an average of 62.50. Windies captain Jason Holder was the next best batsman at an average of 40.25.

The Windies bowlers struggled to find consistency in the series. Spin bowler Ashley Nurse was the top wicket-taker for West Indies with five wickets in four matches.

Looking ahead to the T20 series Khan said, “T20 is probably the best format for West Indies at this point in time, sad to say, they have always done well in the T20 version. Having said that playing India in India, India is one of the strongest T20 teams in the world and it is going to be difficult to see our guys bouncing back.”

Khan is hopeful that the new players joining the T20 team will help the team’s performances.

“...there will be a number of new players - (Kieron) Pollard, (Darren) Bravo, Nicholas Pooran joining the team and hopefully (captain) Carlos Brathwaite (can help the team), who has just come off leading CCC to victory in the Regional Super50.

“Probably with a different leader, different determination, different drive and a more purposeful approach they may be able to do better. But again, I do not hold my breath waiting. I am hoping, but again the lack of consistency has been our biggest downfall.”

Khan said it is disappointing the way West Indies ended the series after a positive start. “You had in the first three ODIs players at least demonstrating that they are there to win games because we did win one, we tied one which we should have won, and the first game we scored over 300. But at the end of the day, we could not maintain or sustain that level of performance which is required for us to be successful at international level, and that is the sad thing about the performance of this West Indies team.”

The former Windies manager said top teams and players perform consistently, something the Windies players lack. “We cannot compete internationally if you only giving a one-off performance. You have to be able to be like the (Virat) Kohlis and the (Rohit) Sharmas and be consistent all the time. Look at (Jasprit) Bumrah, he came into the ODI series and he immediately made an impact...Kuldeep Yadav, these fellas they are consistent players.”

India captain Kohli ended the series as the top overall batsman with 453 runs in five matches, followed by Sharma with 389 runs.

Left-arm spin bowler Yadav took nine wickets in four matches and Bumrah grabbed six wickets in three matches.

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