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From Rahane's 3/10 to Pujara's 9/10: Rating Indian players' performance at Headingley 

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India lost the third Test comprehensively at Headingley

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From Rahane's 3/10 to Pujara's 9/10: Rating Indian players' performance at Headingley 

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Harshit Anand

08/29/2021

After India's remarkable win at Lord's, Virat Kohli's men faced the wrath of a depleted yet top-notch English attack in Leeds with the game finishing well inside four days. After a shambolic opening day, India were always playing the catch-up game and ended up losing by an innings and 76 runs.

KL Rahul - 3 

After reigning supreme with the bat in the first two Tests, KL Rahul had a poor outing in Leeds as he failed to curb his natural instincts and lacked solidity and temperament like the earlier games. He went for a booming drive off James Anderson in the first over of the Test and nicked off to Jos Buttler and then struggled in the second innings before Jonny Bairstow grabbed a stunner to end his stay at the crease. 

While Rohit Sharma again looked set for a big one, batting at ease, with a touch of class and elegance - for the nth time, he failed to capitalise on a start and got out on 59 in the second innings in some flat batting conditions. In the first innings too, after getting set in the middle, he had thrown it away, falling to the pull shot for the third time in the series.

Cheteshwar Pujara- 9

India's No.3 Pujara turned a leaf with his exceptional batting on the third day as he showcased ample intent, confidence and the determination to get a big score under his belt after falling on 45 at Lord's. His 91 might well prove to be a lifeline for his dwindling Test career, though he would need to replicate his form in the upcoming Tests, given his long run of struggles and the underlying pressure on the Indian batting unit.

Virat Kohli - 5

When Virat Kohli was playing bottom-handed swat flicks, middling the cover drives, and oozing class with his check drives - it finally seemed as if his long wait for an international century would cease, but it continued to elude him as he got out on 55. The game was a mixed bag for him - the good thing being his confidence and class at the crease in the second innings. However, his vulnerability on the off-stump haunted him yet again and unless he tightens up his game on that front, a Test century in the English shores seems a long shot this time.

Ajinkya Rahane - 3

With scores of 18 and 10, India's vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane again endured a poor game, and his lack of runs again put India's lower-order into a hole. Rahane, who earned his reputation through some stellar knocks in overseas conditions, has averaged 29.93 across 27 Tests in the SENA countries, easily the worst among India's present middle-order batters since the start of 2018.

When Rishabh Pant sparkles, he makes the world take notice of him with his chutzpah and audacity, and that's exactly the case when he fails too, given the nature of his dismissals. He has played away from his body, poked at deliveries but most importantly, failed to decide whether to attack or trust his defence and that has made up for a sorry tale for the 23-year-old in England so far and has a point to prove in swinging/seaming conditions.

Ravindra Jadeja - 5

With India's batting putting up a horror show in Leeds, India's No.7 Ravindra Jadeja was wasted and ran out of partners after being tasked with the arduous challenge of batting with the tail, which hardly wagged like the previous encounter. On the bowling front, Jadeja was decent at best, but nothing extraordinary.

Mohammed Shami - 8

One of India's batting protagonists in the Lord's win, Mohammed Shami was back to what he does the best - running in with full fire when the chips are down, bowling with an upright seam, just short of the good length, and making the batsmen dance to his tunes. His three strikes on the second day, Rory Burns, in particular, was a sheer piece of art that any artist would brag about. He helped India pull back things after a poor start on the first day.

India's seasoned quick Ishant Sharma is known for his impeccable accuracy and watertight control. But at Headingley, the lanky pacer was truly out of sorts and endured arguably one of his worst displays in recent times, away from home. His run-up looked off, the speeds were down, and after conceding three boundaries in his first four overs, could never quite come back in what was a contrasting game for him after the high of Lord's.

Jasprit Bumrah - 7

The wicket flattened out quite remarkably after India's 78 all-out collapse and taking that into account, or perhaps the start that England got or the lack of scoreboard pressure, Bumrah turned into a banker in the Test. He bowled tight lines and lengths and kept England's scoring under the check with 10 maidens in 27 overs, conceding 2.15 runs per over and got the prized scalp of Joe Root with a jaffa after the English skipper seemed largely unconquerable. He also troubled the English openers the most on the first day of the Test.

Mohammed Siraj - 3

With eight wickets at Lord's, Mohammed Siraj was expected to do great things for India in the third Test. But the young pace sensation had a rather disappointing game and was a pale shadow of himself. He was guilty of bowling too short or too wide and wasn't able to threaten the English batters much. 

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