The highly anticipated series between India and England ended with the home side England victorious. India fought hard and were ahead at various points in four test matches, but failed to clinch the key moments and that resulted in a deflating 4-1 series loss, that doesn’t do justice to the fight they showed. The bowlers stood up and skipper Kohli stood up with fantastic performances while the rest of the batsmen disappointed. Here are the ratings for each of the players based on their performances in the series.
KL Rahul (5)
Started and ended the tour with magnificent centuries, but was a massive disappointment in between. His slip catching was one of the major positives of the tour, but his batting numbers didn’t justify the immense potential he possesses. Too much exposure to limited overs cricket seems to have disrupted his approach to test match cricket.
M Vijay (1) –
Nicknamed ‘Monk’ for his grit and patience while faced with challenging conditions away from home, Vijay was brutally exposed by the English pacers. An unconvincing series in South Africa meant that Vijay was already under pressure and a pair in the second test saw him dropped from the squad. With age not on his side, it will be a long road back for him to get back into the side.
S Dhawan (2) –
Has been afforded a long, infinitely extending rope by the team management despite repeated failures away from home. His selection perplexes experts and fans and it’s high time the selectors look beyond him in tests. He didn’t get a single half-century across eight knocks. His most noteworthy contribution in the test series was the bhangra dance on the boundary line in the final test.
C Pujara (7) –
Was shockingly left out of the eleven for the first test and struggled in the second test. He scored a crucial fifty in the second innings of India’s victory. He scored a fighting century of the highest order in the fourth test, one which should have been a match-winning innings if he had received more support from the top order. Was gutsy but still has a few technical issues to address to become the Wall we have been waiting for.
V Kohli (9 for batting, 4 for captaincy)-
This was supposed to be the final frontier for Kohli after a dreadful tour to England four years ago and the skipper led the way with performances that have cemented his stature as the best batsman in modern times. He won his personal battle with Anderson as he wasn’t dismissed by the English genius. His batting was an absolute treat to watch and India always seemed to be in the game when he was still at the crease. His dismissals in the second innings at Edgbaston and Southampton were the difference between India winning and losing the series. His captaincy though, left a lot to be desired and some of his selections and tactics would be scrutinized heavily.
A Rahane (5) –
Regarded as India’s all-conditions test match player, the vice-captain was expected to take charge in England but was a peripheral figure- except for his crucial 81 in the first innings of the Trent Bridge test that India won. He surprisingly chased at balls which he was leaving a few years ago. His slip catching was also a disappointment as he put down a few catches too. No more the rock that he was supposed to be in the Indian eleven and his place could soon be under threat if he doesn’t start scoring more frequently.
H Vihari (5.5) –
Earned a surprise, maiden call-up for the last two tests at Vijay’s expense. Also jumped Karun Nair in the waiting line and got his maiden cap and took it with both hands with a gritty fifty in tough conditions. Was also the golden arm as he picked up the wickets of Cook and Root (both who were past their respective hundreds) of back-to-back deliveries. He’ll have to work hard against the bouncers, but has the talent to make it big.
H Pandya (5) –
Played four test matches as India’s fast-bowling all-rounder and produced two meaningful performances. His 5-28 destroyed England’s batting line up in the victorious Trent Bridge test and he followed that up with a run-a-ball fifty. Apart from that, he didn’t provide enough either with bat or ball. Had the opportunity to snatch a victory in the first test match, but was the last man out with India thirty runs short. Has potential but needs to develop both facets of the game considerably.
D Karthik (1) –
Was presented with a great opportunity to establish himself as India’s first-choice keeper but scored just 21 runs in the first two tests and looked all at sea against the English seamers. His keeping was better, but his batting didn’t inspire any confidence, which saw India turn to young Rishab Pant.
R Pant (5.5) –
A tough debut series in England with the ball moving around enough to cause him discomfort, both, while batting and keeping behind the sticks. He conceded over thirty byes in two of the three tests, a record which he wouldn’t be proud of, though; the bowlers didn’t really help either. His keeping still requires a massive improvement. He failed while trying to play according to the situation in his first five knocks and scored a blistering century while playing his natural game during an improbable run-chase.
R Ashwin (5) –
A decent performance, but India expected more from their lead spinner. He bowled well in the first test match, but a few more runs would have won his side a match that they narrowly lost. Was the top scorer in both innings of an embarrassing Lord’s defeat. He was extremely disappointing on a friendly pitch in Southampton where counterpart Moeen Ali took centre-stage for England. He would have been more of a threat if he was fully fit. A few more runs from his bat were also expected, something which India dearly missed at important junctures.
R Jadeja (7) –
Might have been the player that India missed in Southampton as they went with a half-fit Ashwin instead. Energised India in all three departments when selected for the final test. Picked up 4 wickets with the ball and then scored a swashbuckling 86* that kept India in the match. Gave it his all on the field and might have now moved above Ashwin as the first-choice spinner away from home.
M Shami (7) –
Injury-prone Shami surprisingly lasted the whole series and provided numerous moments of ‘oohs and aahs’, but didn’t have the wickets to show for them. Though he picked up 15 wickets, his bowling deserved a lot more. He could have done certain things differently too, like coming closer to the wickets and pitching the ball fuller. Batting was extremely irresponsible as he didn’t show any fight and didn’t provide his partners any support either.
I Sharma (8.5) –
Absolutely outstanding throughout the series. Ishant is criticized by certain sections of the public for not picking enough wickets, but his county stint seems to have done him a world of good. He bowled fuller lengths, got the ball to move and bounce and troubled the batsmen. Though his numbers don’t quite justify it, he was willing to fight it out with the bat and would always stick in if there was a more established batsman at the other end.
J Bumrah (8) –
A year ago he was regarded as India’s specialist limited-overs bowler. In just six test matches, he’s probably become India’s best bowler across all formats. Missed the first two tests but made an immediate impact in the third with his sharp and incisive bowling with his unique action. Would make things happen from nothing and his second innings showing in the Trent Bridge test is a perfect example. India have never won a test series in Australia but Bumrah could lead the attack in a bid to do so this winter.
U Yadav (5) –
Played the first test match and performed decently with the ball in the second innings when bowling to Sam Curran who was on fire. Also gave Kohli good company in a 57-run last wicket partnership in the first innings.
K Yadav (2) –
He had bamboozled the English batsmen in the limited-overs series prior to the tests and was in the side as an x-factor but wasn’t picked in the first test where he might have been handy. He was picked in the second test at Lord’s on a pitch made for pace bowlers in what was a crazy selection. Didn’t trouble the batsmen and was unfairly dropped from the squad for the final three tests.