A hundred from your best batsman, check. A five-for from your best bowler, check. Valid contributions from your fast bowlers, check. An all-round team effort, with each and every player stepping up when needed, check. If Virat Kohli would have been asked what he wanted from his players at the start of the first Test match against the West Indies, it would have been all of the above, and his players delivered, with interest.
The captain himself led from the front with the bat in Antigua, scoring his first ever double hundred in international cricket. Then, the fast bowlers, with Mohammed Shami and Umesh Yadav leading the way, did the business with the ball in the first innings to help dismiss West Indies for a low total. As the wicket wore down, going into Day 4, the spinners came into play, and there are very few better slow bowlers in world cricket at the moment, if any at all, than R Ashwin. The offspinner, having gone without a wicket in the first innings, showed just why he is considered the best in the business with some wonderful bowling, which helped him to not five, but seven wickets in the innings and the man of the match gong.
However you look at it, this was as good a performance as they come from India – their first ever innings victory in the Caribbean and largest every win, by an innings, outside the sub continent.
Kohli might tire everyone out by espousing the five-bowler theory and the need to be aggressive and think positive, but at the end of the day, the India Test captain goes about doing just that, and quite effectively too.
The signs that only a win is a viable option came in the Adelaide Test match against Australia in late 2014, when Kohli stood in as captain after Dhoni was ruled out with an injury. India's never-say-die spirit then came to the fore in Sri Lanka, when the team came back from a gutting first Test loss to not just end up drawing the series, but winning it, for the first time in 22 years in the Island nation's soil.
And then came the piece de resistance for Kohli as Test match captain, a walloping of one of the best teams in the world in South Africa. Yes, the conditions were heavily tilted in India's favour, but to beat a team like South Africa, and nullify the threats posed by the likes of AB De Villiers, Hashim Amla and more, even on a helpful pitch, is something to be admired at.
After that thumping Test victory, India went on a long-format break, with limited-overs cricket, particularly T20s, taking precedence.
So, when India came down to the Caribbean for this Test-matches-only series against the West Indies, there were a few questions that still needed to be answered – would India still be as aggressive? Will Kohli change his mindset with a new coach in Anil Kumble taking charge? Will the new R Ashwin continue to stand up, or will the offspinner go back to the "not remotely as effective away from home" mode?
Against opposition like Australia, England or South Africa, the answers to those questions might not have been as clear cut, but against a West Indies side, searching for their own identity in Test match cricket, the answers were pretty comprehensive – this Kohli-led Test match side is here to stay, and be it home or away, they will continue playing the same brand of cricket.
Long may it continue.