Hit, Miss or Meh | Analyzing India's performance in Test series against England

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BCCI

Hit, Miss or Meh | Analyzing India's performance in Test series against England

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Bastab K Parida

09/12/2018

It was a series to forget for Team India. Certainly not something that was expected nor was it a result that paints the picture of how competitive the series turned out to be. Indian players are rated and slated from their performance in yet another edition of SportsCafe’s Hit, Miss or Meh series.

Murali Vijay

Contribution: 26 runs (from two matches)End of the career? I would think so. Vijay bagged a pair at Lord's to follow scores of 20 and 6 that he scored in the first Test at Edgbaston which was sufficient reason for the selectors to omit him from the squad for the third Test at Trent Bridge. He completely failed in his pursuit to give India a good start, thereby exposing the middle-order to the new ball way too early. Verdict: MISS

Shikhar Dhawan

Contribution: 161 runs from 8 inningsIn both innings of the first Test, Dhawan reached out with hard hands at the ball that was moving away outside off stump and was caught in the slips. But, in the following Tests, he made slight technical changes to his batting and waited for the ball to come to him rather than reach out. However, that didn’t bring change his fortune and this series is a sure miss for the Delhite, who should be ousted in the favour of Mayank Agarwal for Windies series.

Verdict : MISS

KL Rahul

Contribution : 150 runs + last innings 149 = 299 runs off 10 runs

Another let down for Team India! KL Rahul was branded as a solid opener but his struggle against inswinging deliveries resulted in him scoring only 150 runs in the first 9 innings of the series and had it not been his 149 runs in the last innings, it would have been disastrous. Although he has been pretty good on the field and one of the few fielders to have taken more catches than dropping, his batting was not up to the mark, which gives him a Meh reaction.

VERDICT: MEH

Cheteshwar Pujara: 

Contribution: 278 runs from 8 innings

After being dropped for the first game and not living up to the expectations in the second one either, Pujara could have been forgiven for not performing. However, the tough character that he is, he made a stunning comeback in Trent Bridge and scored a fine century at Southampton, albeit in a losing cause. His main job was to bide time and he will be extremely happy about getting the job done. 

VERDICT: HIT

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Virat Kohli

Contribution: 593 runs from 10 innings

Oh Captain, my captain. All the talk surrounding his bad form in England went down the drain as the Indian skipper put up some performances for the ages, to remain head and shoulder above the rest. Is he the best batsman in the world now? Of course, he is. But, is he the best captain in the world? No really. The No. 1 ranking is an illusion and his tactical deficiency was wide open after the series. But his batsmanship deserves a Hit category.

VERDICT: HIT

Ajinkya Rahane 

Contribution: 257 runs from 10 innings

Please Rahane, go back to the grind of Bombay cricket again and get your technique and mindset sorted fast. We know, you are an excellent talent, but unless you work hard on your basics, India will have to carry your burden. This series just proved that. His two half-centuries restored some sanity, but that only gives him a Meh reaction.

Verdict: MEH

Hanuma Vihari

Contribution: 56 runs from 2 innings, 3 wickets in total

The selection of the man from Andhra ahead of Karun Nair was taken with a pinch of a salt. But take nothing away from him. What a match he had! After an understandably jittery start, Vihari composed himself and scored a valuable 56 runs before picking up three wickets including that of Joe Root and Alastair Cook, which makes him a Hit here and will keep him in good stead for the Windies series.

VERDICT: HIT

Dinesh Karthik: 

Contribution: 21 runs from four innings

Absolute disaster! A player always touted for bigger things, but always behind the eight ball, he came to England as a replacement for Wriddhiman Saha and with the happy memories of his 2008 tour where his majestic performances as an opener helped India secure a series win in England after 24 years. It was his chance at redemption and giving a second wind to his red-ball career. However, if anything, he dug his own grave and it could be the final nail in the coffin. 

Verdict: MISS

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Rishabh Pant: 

Contribution : 48 runs runs from five innings + 114 runs from last innings = 162 runs from 6 innings

If Dinesh Karthik was a disaster, his replacement was no better. He failed with the bat, even failed to understand Indian spinners behind the stumps and seemed to be on a spree to concede runs as a pastime. His batting in the last innings, however, was a stark difference from the rest and batted with more intent before scoring his maiden century. Now, he needs to pray that Kuldeep doesn’t make a comeback to the team or else his keeping career may see a premature end. 

VERDICT: MEH

Hardik Pandya: 

Contribution: 164 runs from 8 innings, 10 wickets from 7 innings

As one of my friends tweeted after the fourth Test, “Hardik Pandya is the biggest scam to have happened to Indian cricket since Amay Khurasiya” and I can’t agree more. He needs to understand that Indian cricket has so much of hopes on him and he can’t let the team down in almost every match. His performance at Trent Bridge is pushing me to give him a Meh reaction, but the way he let down India at Edgbaston, rest assured, I will not give him that.

Verdict: MISS

Ravichandran Ashwin:

Contribution: 126 runs from 8 innings, and 11 wickets from 7 innings

Apart from the first match where he just shut all the mouths with his superb bowling, Ashwin was nowhere close to his best in the next three. At Southampton, where Moeen Ali picked wickets like plucking apples in the garden. Ashwin might have had an eye-sight problem to deal with as he failed to recognise the rough areas that were created by Ishant Sharma. Ash, Not something India expected from you.

Verdict: MEH

Kuldeep Yadav: 

Contribution : 0 wickets from One innings

Before blaming Kuldeep, it would be wise to ask Virat Kohli was he was thinking while selecting him in the team for the Lord’s Test. Firstly, a day’s game had already been washed before the first ball was being bowled and still he replaced Umesh Yadav with Kuldeep Yadav. And what the poor man would do. England had planned to attack Kuldeep from the onset and there was no way the spinner was going to survive the onslaught. A Miss, but not solely because of his own fault. 

Verdict: MISS

Ravindra Jadeja: 

Contribution: 99 runs with the bat, picked up 7 wickets from 2 innings

Jadeja had to release the monkey off the back. Coming back to the team, he had a point to prove and what a way to strike back. He was beaten a few times in the morning against the swing and seam of Anderson and Broad, he made sure that he got runs as well and was never under too much pressure. While his 86 was paramount in India scoring a respectable 292 in the first innings, he also picked up seven wickets in the game to keep India in the hunt for most parts of the game.

Verdict : HIT

Ishant Sharma:

Contribution: 18 wickets from 9 innings

India’s biggest positive this series. Ishant will no more be ridiculed on social media if he continues such performance in the future. Ishant even overtook his English counterparts and extracted more than 2.5 degree of swing at an average, which is the highest by any bowler in the series. He was lethal with the ball and also stood like a rock in front of the stumps to help other batsmen score runs. A Hit!

Verdict: HIT

Mohammed Shami: 

Contribution: 16 wickets from 9 innings

He had his moments under the sun. But he was unlucky in most occasions. Mohammed Shami would rue this series as a missed opportunity and now, unfortunately, he, in all probability, will be the man to miss out when Bhuvneshwar Kumar will be back in the squad. A meh-type series for him.

VERDICT: MEH

Umesh Yadav: 

Contribution : 3 wickets from 2 innings

Due to his natural ability to extract reverse swing by bowling full balls, Umesh was supposed to be a handy option for India. However, in the only Test that he played in Edgbaston, he bowled at random lengths and there was no discipline whatsoever. He was dropped from the team for the next four Tests and quite justified that was. 

Verdict: MISS

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Jasprit Bumrah:

Contribution: 14 wickets from 6 innings

He is just six-Test match old, but Jasprit Bumrah’s clarity of thought stands out in the making of his cricketing story. He has that magnificent control over the ball and the release point made sure that England were strangulated. India may have lost the series, but Bumrah has given the reminder that he has arrived in the red-ball format. A hit and India will expect him to do an encore in future series as well. 

Verdict: HIT

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