Hanuma Vihari the big winner but a blow for Rohit Sharma in India's Caribbean Test triumph

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Vihari (r) turned out to be the find of the series for India.

India could not have asked for a better start to their ICC World Test Championship campaign with Virat Kohli and his men prevailing over West Indies in resounding fashion in the two-match series.

The 2-0 clean sweep by the visitors saw the visitors bag all 120 points on offer along with Kohli becoming the most successful India Test skipper in history with a total of 28 wins under his belt.

While there were gains for India all-round, some players have more reasons to celebrate than others. Here, we look at the winners and losers from India’s Test triumph in the Caribbean.

WINNERS

Ajinkya Rahane

Rahane is back in form.

Rahane is back in form.

It had been two years and counting since the India deputy skipper last registered a Test ton but he managed to break that drought with a handsome return to form. The right-hander rescued the team from tricky spots in the first Test at Antigua where he returned with scores of 81 and 102 in a 318-run win.

Rahane carried that form over to the Kingston Test where he registered another half-century on a tricky pitch to reaffirm his overseas credentials. His batting average was however around the 30-run mark for the last two years and the Caribbean sojourn will come as a welcome relief after place in the side was being thrown into question.

India’s pace trio

India’s pace battery continued to build on their 2018 exploits with a devastating showing that gave the West Indies batsmen no respite throughout the two Tests. Jasprit Bumrah has scarily become even better with the addition of a lethal outswinger that helped him romp his way to 13 wickets in the series including a Test hat-trick at Jamaica.

Bumrah’s two five-wicket hauls in the series were a joy to watch and the India pacer has now soared to No3 in the ICC Test rankings. He was ably complemented by both Ishant Sharma and Mohammed Shami who claimed 11 and nine wickets respectively with the trio flourishing with the Duke ball in hand.

With a pace attack of such quality, it is not hard to see why India are the clear No1 Test side at the moment.

Bumrah continues to break records.

Bumrah continues to break records.

Hanuma Vihari

A deserved maiden Test ton for Vihari.

A deserved maiden Test ton for Vihari.

Vihari’s start to life in Test couldn’t have been a tougher one with the middle-order batsmen thrown in the deep end in England and Australia last year. The right-hander showed some encouraging signs in those tours without getting much success in terms of runs but all that changed drastically in the Caribbean.

The 25-year-old showed the ability to grind it out in tough conditions with a magnificent tour where he finished as the leading run-scorer with 289 runs at an average of over 96.

He was unfortunate to miss out on a maiden ton in Antigua but he made no mistake in that regard in Jamaica where he also scored a fifty in the second innings. India have lacked a reliable batsman down the order in overseas tours and Vihari has made that position his own for now with those displays.

LOSERS

Ravi Ashwin

What next for Ravichandran Ashwin?

What next for Ravichandran Ashwin?

The Caribbean tour has confirmed that Ravichandran Ashwin’s days as India’s undisputed No1 overseas Test spinner are well behind him. The 32-year-old did not get a single game despite his excellent record in the Caribbean and against West Indies in general with Ravindra Jadeja operating as the lone spinner in both Tests.

With a pace attack that is up there with the very best in the world, there is just one spot available for spinners in overseas conditions and the fact that Ashwin missed crucial Tests in the past year due to fitness issues didn’t help matters.

The off-spinner will still probably be the first name on the team sheet for home Tests but he looks to be behind both Jadeja and Kuldeep Yadav currently for overseas tours.

Rohit Sharma

Rohit Sharma.

Rohit Sharma.

Vihari’s sensational tour and Rahane’s return to form are both bad news for Rohit Sharma who would have been eying a spot in the middle-order himself. The India ODI vice-captain was given four chances on the South African and Australian tours last year but failed to really impress with just one half-century to show for.

With Vihari now cementing his place and Rahane looking like the solid batsman of old, Rohit’s chances of a Test comeback have dwindled. He cannot really complain given that he has been provided with ample opportunities in the format over the years and still hasn’t managed to average more than 26.32 in overseas Tests.

KL Rahul

Rahul has already been given a long rope in the Test side.

Rahul has already been given a long rope in the Test side.

The India opener worked hard for his scores of 44 and 38 in the first Test on a difficult pitch but his troubles show no signs of ending with another poor display in Jamaica.

The only reason Rahul was given an opportunity on the tour was due to Prithvi Shaw’s suspension but the Karnataka man failed to seize his opportunity with another timid display.

His average has hovered around 22 since the turn of 2018 and he will definitely be the one to face the axe once Shaw returns. If he continues to perform like this, India might be forced to bring back the more experienced Shikhar Dhawan till Shaw’s suspension is lifted.

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