India knew they would beat the West Indies by a comprehensive margin during their tour to the Caribbean in 2019 and exactly the same followed. The visitors clinched the T20I, ODI and Test series' with the home team failing to win a single match. That said a lot about the West Indies, who were no more a force to reckon with, a side which was not taken seriously and teams would fancy white-washing.
West Indies legend Brian Lara did not believe the team had the ability they showed in Southampton. He had almost written them off or probably miscalculated their potential. Ahead of the English tour, showing concern about the West Indies batting, Lara had tipped them on how to survive longer.
West Indies coach Phil Simmons too highlighted that batting was a concern for his team. He mentioned that lack of application, focus and not being able to forge partnerships has been the problem with the side.
However, at Southampton, Jason Holder and his men raise above all the criticism, disbelief and proved that their side should be taking seriously with the five days of consistent cricket the team produced.
West Indies were the better side by miles at Southampton from the word go. They scored more runs and even bowled out the Englishmen in both the innings.
Fast bowlers Shannon Gabriel and Jason Holder troubled the home team with their inch-perfect length and extra bounce which was combined by hitting the right areas of the pitch.
The batting shut down critics with their effective show right from the top to Alzarri Joseph providing depth lower down the order.
With Kraigg Braithwaite, John Campbell opening and the likes of Rostom Chase, Shai Hope, Jermaine Blackwood to follow, the West Indies proved to be a formidable batting unit which can bat deep down the order with Shane Dorwich, Holder and Joseph to follow.
Chasing the target of 200 runs on the final day, initially looked tricky for the West Indies as they lost three wickets for 27 runs. But then Chase showed composure with his 37-run knock and Blackwood took away the game from England but missed out on a worthy century by five runs.
In the remaining two Tests, England would know, they have a tough brick to break. The West Indies on the contrary will look to seal their first win in 32 years on the English soil.
The Southampton win, a famous one, is also special as it comes at the wake of racism and the West Indies are one of the first teams to take a firm step to support the Black Lives Matter movement.
As the West Indies legend Michael Holding said, about the efforts taken world-wide, 'even if at a snail's pace things should change'.
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