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India's report card vs England

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India_England_Report_Card_Series_LossIndia fought valiantly in the series but failed to capitalize when they had England on the mat. As a result, they lost the Test series 4-1. The scoreline was not a true reflection of the difference in ability between the two sides. India’s seam bowlers toiled manfully and out bowled their English counterparts but their batsmen, with the exception of Virat Kohli, were not consistent and that meant India ended up on the losing side.

The experience of playing in tough English conditions would have done wonders for their cricketing growth and will stand them in good stead for the future. Here we rank all the 17 Indian players on a scale of 1 to 10

 

Virat Kohli: 9.5/10
Runs-593, Batt Ave-59.3, H/S- 149

Kohli may not have been inspirational with his captaincy but he was in stupendous form with the bat. He completely exorcised the demons of his disastrous 2014 tour of England and was not dismissed even once by his nemesis, James Anderson. He corrected the flaws in his technique which were apparent in 2014 and struck 2 centuries and 3 fifties in his 10 innings. If only he had more support from the other batsmen, the outcome of the series could have been different.


Ishant Sharma: 9/10
Wickets: 18, Bowl Ave-24.27, Bowl S/R- 50.3

Ishant has improved as a bowler in leaps and bounds. Due to his county stint with Sussex, he has started to bowl a lot fuller while developing a ball that comes into the left-handers with the angle from around the wicket, before leaving them. Both Alastair Cook and Keaton Jennings were at sea against his pace and swing. It was good to see the marked improvement in his bowling. He is still only 30 and is finally proving himself as the leader of the pack.


Jasprit Bumrah: 8/10
Wickets: 14, Bowl Ave-25.92, Bowl S/R-57.1

Bumrah was injured for the first 2 Tests but made his mark on the series with a scintillating display in the next 3 Tests. He bowled with a lot of pace and developed a ball that straightened and left the right-handers while still bowling his normal delivery that came into the right-handers. However, he needs to eliminate his tendency of bowling no balls as this could hurt his team immeasurably. Since he now plays for India in all 3 formats, his workload needs to carefully monitored.


Ravindra Jadeja: 7/10
Runs-99, Batt Ave-99, H/S-86*, Wickets-7, Bowl Ave-36.85, Bowl S/R-66

Jadeja's performance in the last Test showed that it was an error not playing him in the 4th Test and maybe even earlier in the series. He was assured with the bat and willing to graft it out. Later, in the company of the number 11, he showed his full range of shots. In England’s first innings with the bat, he bowled tightly and picked up 4 wickets, though he was a tad disappointing in England’s 2nd innings. His performance showed that it is no longer a straightforward choice if India go with only one spinner overseas. His brilliant fielding is another feather in his cap.


Mohammed Shami: 7/10
Wickets: 16, Bowl Ave-38.87, Bowl S/R-64.7

Shami’s figures in the series may not look impressive but he bowled with a lot of pace and hostility. One lost count of the number of deliveries that beat the bat; he was unlucky not to end up with more wickets. He needs to work on his line when the ball is swinging excessively and eliminate his habit of bowling a loose ball every over. There will be certainly be a lot of occasions in the future where he bowls worse than he has on this tour, but gets more rewards in the wickets column.


Cheteshwar Pujara: 6/10
Runs- 278, Batt Ave-39.71, H/S-132*

Pujara was inexplicably dropped from the team for the first Test because of his poor county form but the Indian team management realised their mistake and brought him back for the 2nd Test. He has loads of patience and was willing to wait for bad deliveries to score off while keeping out the good ones. In a team full of stroke-players, his role becomes very important as it enables the others to play around him. He needs to be told that his place in the team is assured so that he can play without any pressure.

 

KL Rahul: 6/10
Runs-299, Batt Ave-29.9 H/S-149

Rahul had a disappointing tour by his standards, but to an extent made up for it with a sublime 149 in the 2nd innings at the Oval. He was particularly vulnerable to the incoming delivery and kept getting out in the same manner, either bowled or LBW. His slip catching was stupendous and he took a record 14 catches, the most by an Indian fielder in a Test series. The experience he got in this series will do him a world of good for the future.


Umesh Yadav: 6/10
Wickets: 3, Bowl Ave-25.33, Bowling S/R- 48

Yadav had a good outing in the IPL for RCB and therefore he made it to the playing XI for the 1st Test at Edgbaston. He acquitted himself reasonably well in conditions that favored the seamers and was unlucky to be dropped for Kuldeep Yadav at Lord's, in conditions that would have suited him to a tee. He bowled with a lot of pace and swung the ball and the Indian team management admitted that they misread the conditions. It says a lot about Jasprit Bumrah’s meteoric rise that Umesh could not force his way back into the side for the rest of the series, but that only shows the depth in India’s fast bowling stocks.


Rishabh Pant: 5.5/10
Runs-162, Batt Ave-27, H/S-114, Catches-15

Pant is a precocious talent with the bat, but he seemed to be caught in two minds: whether to play the big shot or defend the delivery. In the last Test, he realised that he could play with a combination of the two and he became the first Indian wicket-keeper to score a century in a Test in England. He has all the shots in the book and just needs to be a bit more prudent in his approach. He had a tough time with the gloves as the ball moved around a lot even after passing the batsman in England. However, apart from dropping the odd catch he was competent behind the stumps and was not to blame for most of the byes that went against his name. He needs to be persisted with in Tests.

 

Hanuma Vihari: 5/10
Runs-56, Batt Ave-28, H/S-56, Wkts-3, Bowl Ave-12.66

He made a promising start to his career with the bat even though he needs to work on how to tackle the short ball. He looked assured after the initial discomfort and seems to have a lot of time to play the deliveries. Vihari has another string to his bow as he can bowl useful off-spin. One hopes that he is persevered with for the home series against West Indies as he is a talent worth investing in.


Ravichandran Ashwin: 4/10
Runs: 126, Batt Ave-21, Wickets: 11, Bowl Ave-32.72, Bowl S/R-76.1

Ashwin started the series well, taking 7 wickets at Edgbaston but his form tapered away as the series progressed. He was under the cloud of an injury from the 3rd Test with a hip problem, but was embarrassingly out-bowled by Moeen Ali at the Rose Bowl. He could not get the same amount of turn that he usually does because he was unable to use his body to impart more spin on the ball, but if that was the case he should not have been selected for the 4th Test. With the bat, he got off to some starts in the series but couldn’t convert them into a single fifty. The analysis may appear harsh, but his performance was disappointing.


Hardik Pandya: 4/10
Runs: 164, Batt Ave-23.42, Wkts-10, Bowl Ave-24.7, Bowl S/R-38.5

The team management has a lot of faith in him but apart from the one innings at Trent Bridge, where he picked up 5 wickets, he was disappointing with the ball. He was picked as the 5th bowler but conceded 3.84 runs an over, which is far too expensive. He can play as the 4th seamer in helpful conditions but is too inconsistent to be the 3rd seamer. With the bat, he scored just 1 fifty when India were already in a commanding position at Trent Bridge. Hardik seemed to be caught in two minds whether to play his natural attacking game or put a price on his wicket. He was rightly dropped for the final Test.


Ajinkya Rahane: 3.5/10
Runs-257, Batt Ave-25.7, H/S-81

Rahane has been going through a lean patch for quite a while but bought himself some time with a quick 81 in the first innings at Trent Bridge. His overall performance was disappointing and even his usually assured catching in the slips and at gully was not up to his usual high standards. He needs to be given a break and he should play in the domestic circuit to iron out the chinks in his game. The mental break should do him a world of good.


Shikhar Dhawan: 2/10
Runs-162, Batt Ave-20.25, H/S-44

The thing most exasperating about Dhawan is that he kept getting out the same way throughout the series and didn’t seem to learn from his mistakes. He was brought back into the team after missing the 2nd Test, but kept getting caught in the slip cordon or trapped plumb in front. Unless he gets his act together outside Asia, this could be curtains for his Test career


Dinesh Karthik: 2/10
Runs-21, Batt Ave-5.25, H/S-20

Ever since he struck the last ball six against Bangladesh to help India clinch the Trophy, Karthik has failed to shine with the bat in the opportunities that he has got. His keeping was competent enough but India opted for Rishabh Pant from the 3rd Test onwards as they felt that the latter would provide an aggressive option with the bat. He had a golden opportunity to cement his place in Wriddhiman Saha’s absence. If he had hung around longer in the 2nd innings at Edgbaston and given more support to Virat Kohli, the outcome of the 1st Test could have been different.


Murali Vijay: 1/10
Runs-26, Batt Ave-6.5, H/S-20

Vijay has been India's first-choice opener for a long period of time and was a very prolific scorer during the 2014 and 2014-15 tours of England and Australia respectively. But he was a shadow of his best in his 2 Tests on this tour before he was dropped. Vijay’s strength is his patience. He leaves as many deliveries as he can as he is a very good judge of where his off-stump is. However, on this tour he lost the plot. After starting off the series with a 20 in the first innings of the first Test at Edgbaston, he faded away as the tour progressed and finished it with a pair at Lords. In South Africa he was accused of being too aggressive and trying to deviate from his normal method of leaving as many deliveries as possible. In England he seemed to playing low percentage strokes.


Kuldeep Yadav: 0.5/10
Overs-9, Runs conceded-44, Wkts-0, Bowl Ave-N/A, Bowl S/R-N/A

Kuldeep was in red hot form in the T20I and ODI series prior to the Test series and the English batsmen were unable to read his variations. Some pundits even advocated playing him as the sole spinner in the Test series if India went into a Test with a solitary spinner. The critics who felt that he would not be so effective were proved right as he was included for the 2nd Test at Lords in conditions where he was hardly required to bowl . He did not help his cause by bowling a lot of loose deliveries in his first few overs. He was dropped for the 3rd Test and wasn’t even in the squad for the remainder of the series.

 

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