India's Report Card: Kohli rises from Down Under

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Published: Saturday, January 28, 2012, 12:42 [IST]
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India's Report Card: Kohli, Yadav excel

Adelaide, Jan 28: A 4-0 humiliation at the hands of the Australians was not the result expected by any Indian fan when Team India left the country for the four-Test series. But match after match, Indian team kept hitting new lows and finally the misery ended on Saturday.

India crashed to their eighth successive defeat abroad after having been handed 4-0 whitewash by England last year. Australia's 4-0 clean sweep of India included two victories by innings margins.

Here, we try and get you the Report Card of Team India after the completion of the Test series.

Amid all the gloom, there emerged two young talents who could serve India better in the five-day format. Virat Kohli and Umesh Yadav were the real positives to come out from this forgettable series.

Below are the ratings for each of India's players who featured in the four Tests. Starting from a scale of 1 to 10 we will rank them.

Also read: India Tour of Australia 2011 12 Statistics

The top rating goes to Kohli.

1. Virat Kohli (300 runs from eight innings with one century and one fifty)

The Delhi right-hander was only Indian to score a century during the series. He stroked 116 at the Adelaide Oval in the first innings when rest of the famed batting line-up collapsed on a track good for stroke-making. Kohli was in the top five batsmen of the series, finished third behind the leaders Michael Clarke (626) and Ricky Ponting (544).

2. Zaheer Khan (15 wickets, 69 runs)

India's strike bowler, Zaheer, led the bowling attack exceptionally well. However, the batsmen did not put enough runs on the board and that put added pressure on the bowlers. He was the leading wicket-taker for India with 15.

3. Umesh Yadav (14 wickets, 28 runs)

Young fast bowler Umesh impressed one and all with his pace and was second behind Zaheer for India. He took 14 wickets consistently bowling at over 140 kilometres per hour. If nurtured well, Umesh has it in him to partner Zaheer and lead the attack for a long time.

4. Sachin Tendulkar (287 runs with two half centuries)

Besides Kohli, Tendulkar was the only batsman who looked have been in some kind of a form during all four matches. With the Australian crowd and Indian fans back home expecting his 100th international century, the Master Blaster disappointed all. His highest of the series was 80 and could have done more in Adelaide on a batting wicket. Now, Australian crowds will look forward to a ton from him in the tri-series that follows the Test rubber.

5. Ravichandran Ashwin (9 wickets and 163 runs with one half century)

Offspinner Ashwin did not do anything extraordinary. However, in his first trip to Australia, he did not do that bad either. Stepping into the big shoes of Harbhajan Singh was always tough for the Chennai boy. But he did not give up on the challenges he was facing and returned with nine wickets. He showed his batting abilities as well in the three matches he featured in. He missed out on Perth Test where India opted for all-pace attack.

6. Virender Sehwag (198 runs with two half centuries and one wicket)

Sehwag is that kind of a player if he gets going no bowler can stop him. However, the Australians kept him quiet throughout. He showed signs of his old game in the final innings of the series in Adelaide with a brisk half century. But could not convert that into a big one.

7. Rahul Dravid (194 runs with one fifty)

Being bowled often was Dravid's undoing on the tour. Known for his perfect batting technique, "The Wall" was breached six times by the Australian bowlers. The 39-year-old finished the series with just one half century. With him not playing ODIs anymore, Dravid will be on a plane to India soon and will ponder over his future.

8. Gautam Gambhir (181 runs with one fifty) and Wriddhiman Saha (38 runs, two catches as a wicketkeeper)

Gambhir, like his opening partner Sehwag, did not give the team the much needed strong starts. Gambhir-Sehwag combination failed to register even one 50 and above partnership in four matches. One of the best opening pairs in the world, it was one of the reasons that the middle order was put under huge pressure.

Saha, who replaced the banned regular Indian captain MS Dhoni in the fourth and final Test in Adelaide, showed that he is up for any challenge. He scored 35 in the first innings, spending more than two hours at the crease and raised a century partnership with Kohli. He did well
behind the stumps also.

9. MS Dhoni (102 runs with one half century, 8 catches as a wicketkeeper)

As they say, a captain is as good as a team. With the batsmen failing again and again, Dhoni could not do much as the leader of the team. To add to that, he has not got a good record as a Test batsman when playing on foreign soil. Here too the trend continued with just 102 runs in six innings. To add to his woes, Dhoni was suspended from the Adelaide Test for slow over-rate offence.

10. VVS Laxman (155 runs, one half century), Ishant Sharma (5 wickets, 49 runs), R. Vinay Kumar (1 wicket, 11 runs)

The talked about during this tour was Laxman. There were numerous calls for his axing after failing consistently. But the team stood behind him and the Hyderabad right-hander played all eight innings but was woefully out of form. He had only 155 runs to show with one half century. One wonders whether this is the end for him.

Ishant, who was shot to fame with his exceptionally bowling against Ponting in 2008 in the same country, found the next trip a very forgettable one. With only five wickets at an average of 90.20, the Delhi speedster was a big disappointment.

Vinay, who made his Test debut in Perth in place of Ashwin, would like to put that bad experience behind and look ahead at the tri-series. The Karnataka paceman managed just one wicket and bowled only 13 unimpressive overs.

Note: Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane, Abhimanyu Mithun and Pragyan Ojha were part of the Indian squad and never got a chance to play in the four matches. However, they did feature in the practice games before the start of the series.


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