Report Card: How Team India Players Fared in Series Win Over Aus
After an attritional series, India registered their first ever Test series win Down Under, beating Australia 2-1 with some stunning individual performances hogging the headlines. The final Test turned out be a damp affair after rain cut short the final two days, denying India what appeared to be a certain win.
Here we put together the series report card for the players.
KL Rahul - 1/10
Matches - 3, Runs - 57, Avg - 11.40, 100s - 0, 50s - 0
Rahul had a horror series with the bat, making four single digit scores in five innings and appearing completely out of sorts at the crease.
Much like batting coach Sanjay Banger said before the series, Rahul seemed to be finding ways to get dismissed and despite a confidence-boosting 44 in the first Test, the mindset did not carry forward to the remaining matches.
Murali Vijay - 1/10
Matches - 2, Runs - 49, Avg - 12.50, 100s - 0, 50s - 0
If Rahul was deplorable, Vijay was equally disappointing in a country where he had made runs previously. A hundred in the warm-ups notwithstanding, the opening batsman was poor in defence and the Aussies exploited his weakness.
Going forward, the Tamil Nadu opener will find it hard to get back in the side, particularly with Mayank Agrawal and Prithvi Shaw (once fit) appearing first-choice options.
Mayank Agarwal - 8/10
Matches - 3, Runs - 57, Avg - 11.40, 100s - 0, 50s - 2
Agarwal made headlines this series by turning up as an injury replacement for Prithvi Shaw midway though the series and immediately belonging to the big stage, with crunch performances.
His handling of Nathan Lyon was in particular impressive and Mayank nailed down his place in the Test side with two composed half-centuries in three innings.
Hanuma Vihari - 6/10
Matches - 3, Runs - 111, Avg - 22.20, 100s - 0, 50s - 0
Vihari was mistreated in the batting order but showcased enough talent to suggest that he is here to stay. The middle-order batsman was solid, composed and moved his feet with authority even when pushed up to the opening slot when Rahul and Vijay both needed to be dropped after poor performances.
Vihari’s technique, exception being handling the shorter balls, came in for appreciation and he could soon be a crucial member of this line-up.
Cheteshwar Pujara - 9.5/10
Matches - 4, Runs - 521, Avg - 74.42, 100s - 3, 50s - 1
Pujara owned the series with three tons and 521 runs, with all of the centuries coming in the first innings of the Tests, putting India in the driving seat. The number 3 batsman was untiring, relentless and elegant as he grabbed the Man of the Series award.
If there was one evident difference between India and Australia, it was Pujara’s composure and unrelenting fight.
Virat Kohli - 7/10
Matches - 4, Runs - 282, Avg – 40.28, 100s - 1, 50s - 1
Virat Kohli had an underwhelming series by his own high standards but an average of 40.28 and a hundred in Australia is no mean feat as the skipper, was as usual, the lynchpin of India’s batting. His captaincy was encouraging and he showed authority in manoeuvring the field or rotating the bowlers.
Ajinkya Rahane – 4.5/10
Matches - 4, Runs - 217, Avg – 31.00, 100s - 0, 50s - 2
Ajinkya Rahane promised much in two outstanding half-centuries but inconsistencies continued to haunt him right through the series. The exceptional batsman that ruled in the SENA countries four years back was missing this time around but to his credit, Rahane showcased better tenacity and flair in Australia.
Rishabh Pant - 9/10
Matches - 4, Runs - 350, Avg - 58.33, 100s - 1, 50s - 0, Catches - 20
Pant was not only much better behind the stumps but also displayed the fearlessness and flamboyance that had made him an instant hit in domestic circuit.
He was India’s second highest run-getter in the series with 350 runs and cracked the first ton by an Indian keeper in Tests in Australia.
Rohit Sharma - 2/10
Matches - 2, Runs - 106, Avg - 35.33, 100s - 0, 50s - 1
Rohit Sharma was given two chances to own the middle-order slot but aside from a half-century on a flat surface, Rohit did little to claim the position. He was unavailable for the final Test and could well find himself dropped for the next series.
Ravichandran Ashwin - 6/10
Matches - 1, Wkts - 6, Avg - 24.83, 5w - 0
Ashwin played in just one Test before injury struck him down.
The off-spinner was all quality with his bowling in the first Test but was overshadowed by Nathan Lyon and never really got another chance to impress as an injury ruled him out for the rest of the series.
Jadeja and Kuldeep both impressed on the other hand which leaves Ashwin in a spot of bother.
Ravindra Jadeja - 7.5/10
Matches - 2, Wkts - 7, Avg - 28 .57, 5w - 0
Jadeja impressed with bat and ball and is quickly becoming India’s first-choice spinner in this format of the game. The left-arm spinner was a handful for the Australian middle-order which appeared flummoxed when spin came on. Jadeja’s record-breaking double-century stand with Pant in the Sydney Test further backs his case.
Kuldeep Yadav - 9/10
Matches - 1, Wkts - 5, Avg - 19.80, 5w - 1
Kuldeep walked into the side for the final Test and immediately turned heads with a five-wicket haul to give India a humungous lead in the first innings. The chinaman spinner found turn, drift and dip and was wily with his variations.
He was unfortunate to not get a chance to bowl at the Aussies on days 4 and 5 of the Sydney wicket.
Umesh Yadav - 2/10
Matches - 1, Wkts - 2, Avg - 69.50, 5w – 0
Umesh Yadav had a listless performance in the one Test he played, bowling wayward lines and gifting runs to the Aussies. The Indian pace attack was superb right through the series but Umesh was an exception despite Kohli picking him over Bhvuneshwar Kumar.
Jasprit Bumrah - 9.5/10
Matches - 4, Wkts - 21, Avg - 17.00, 5w - 1
Bumrah was perhaps the bowler of the series, picking 21 wickets, the most by any bowler, and keeping India in the hunt with crucial breakthroughs all the while.
The seamer had a sensational 2018 and is India’s unanimous first-choice fast bowler in a format he started playing just last year.
Ishant Sharma - 5.5/10
Matches - 3, Wkts - 11, Avg - 23.81, 5w - 0
Ishant Sharma thwarted criticisms surrounding his strike rate and came to the fore with brilliant spells right through the series. An injury prevented him from sealing the series off in style but Ishant has all but silenced his critics with a good display. He was particularly impressive for bowling a fuller length which reaped him rewards in the overseas Tests since last year.
Mohammad Shami - 7.5/10
Matches - 4, Wkts - 16, Avg - 26.18, 5w - 1
Shami was Kohli’s go-to man with the old ball and the seamer did not disappoint, picking up 16 wickets with his skiddy pace, reverse swing and uncanny bouncers. Shami was India’s antidote to Pat Cummins and was a strike force alongside Bumrah right through the series. The shades of inconsistency that pegged him back in England and South Africa were missing as Shami bowled with good rhythm right through the series.
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