Ashwin will win another man-of-the-series award: Gavaskar
India's magnificent performance on the last two days of the third Test at St. Lucia not only won them the series but has also given them a chance to go to number one in the rankings in Test cricket. That would be a tremendous achievement for a young side led by a young skipper.
At lunch time on day four with the West Indians seemingly well entrenched at 195 for just three wickets, a draw was the most likely outcome what with the entire third day's play being washed out. But Kohli just did not give up and he rotated his bowlers cleverly to dismiss the remaining seven wickets in no time at all.
He knew that the second new ball was still relatively new and hard and he needed just one wicket after lunch to create doubt in the others' minds and that's exactly what happened as Bhuvaneshwar Kumar got the ball to seam and swing prodigiously and had the West Indian batsmen completely befuddled.
This West Indian team also is a young team under a young skipper but unlike Kohli who is a certainty for India in all three formats of the game and so has automatic respect in the dressing room the same cannot be said of Holder. The West Indian is a personable young man but unless he comes out to lead from the front he will never be looked up to by the rest of the team. Kohli showed his leadership by opting to bat number three in place of Pujara who had been dropped for the Test match.
Like Ricky Ponting who was Australia's best batsman and so came at the fall of the first wicket, Kohli too will have to sooner than later make a statement that he will be batting at one drop as that allows him to take control of the innings and lead it as he sees fit. He bats at number three in the 50 overs and 20 overs format so it makes eminent sense for him to bat at the same number in Test matches too. Sure he didn't score runs at the number but it is only a matter of time before he does so.
If Holder who is a capable batsman can also make a statement by coming up the order it will also allow the West Indians to go in with five bowlers which will balance that attack. Roston Chase is an allrounder who is proving his mettle in Test cricket and if Holder can bat after him then the West Indies will be better served.
The way Marlon Samuels got out and the manner in which he is staying back in the crease and not getting behind the line of the ball does indicate that the time to look beyond him is near. For a batsman who looked as if he was going to be the next Carl Hooper, Samuels has not quite delivered as consistently as his talent demanded. He has an impressive record but if one is totally dispassionate then it has to be said that he has been an underachiever who hasn't done justice to his talent.
India is unlikely to make changes to its combination with Bhuvaneshwar bowling superbly and exposing the Windies batsmen's lack of technique against the moving ball. Shami and Ishant too have bowled with purpose and Ashwin will win another man of the series award even if he doesn't do much in the final Test. Jadeja struck a big blow getting the match saver and centurion of the Jamaica Test, Roston Chase, out cheaply and his fielding was as always outstanding.
If the Trinidad pitch stays true to what it's been for the last decade or so the Indians could well get a day off unless of course rains play spoilsport again.