The India-West Indies clash at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai will forever be remembered as Sachin Tendulkar's farewell game in Test cricket. However, one look at the scorecard will indicate how one-sided the two-match series has been. While Generation Next, featuring newcomers Rohit Sharma and Mohammed Shami, showed the depth of talent available in India, West Indies were a pale shadow of their glorious past. Like Brian Lara said to NDTV recently, Caribbean cricket is in real doldrums. It is hard to imagine a West Indian team losing back-to-back Test matches inside three days.
Skipper Darren Sammy was visibly distraught after the second Test. "We are very disappointed with our performance. The side had come here hoping to play much, much better. We were an embarrassment," he said on Saturday.
The Caribbeans had come to India on the back of six successive Test wins - two each against New Zealand, Bangladesh and Zimbabwe. However in 'alien' conditions, against a higher-ranked Indian side, Sammy and Co. fell well short of the mark. "We robbed Indian fans of good cricket. This series has been a reality check for us," he added.
West Indies should be concerned with the current form of two of their star batsmen, Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Chris Gayle. Chanderpaul, playing his 149th and 150th Tests in the series, had scores of 36, 31, 25 and 41. Known for his dogged batting, Chanderpaul failed to convert starts and struggled to bat with the tail-end on most occasions.
Gayle, with legions of fans in India after his exploits during the Indian Premier League, flattered to deceive in all of his innings. Scores of 18, 33, 11 and 35 were well short of expected standards. Gayle was constantly troubled by Bhuvneshwar Kumar's probing line outside off stump and was dismissed by the pacer on two out of four occasions. "India showed us how to play Test cricket," added Sammy, who is an IPL regular and quite familiar with conditions in the sub-continent. "We can really learn from Rohit (Sharma) on how to bat with the tail. Our batsmen should take a leaf out of his book, how to score a 100 with a No. 11 batsman."
Sammy though was gracious enough to congratulate Sachin Tendulkar after the Master bought his 24-year career to an end in Mumbai. "From the entire West Indies side and all the people back home, I would like to congratulate Sachin on a glorious career. I wish him all the best in his retirement," he concluded.