ENG v IND 2018: Team India players’ rating for the Test series

Team India lost the five-match Test series 1-4 to England.

The 132* was the highest point for Cheteshwar Pujara on an otherwise disappointing tour | Glyn Kirk-AFP-GettyAnother stalwart of the Indian batting lineup Cheteshwar Pujara was found wanting in his technique and confidence in England.  He scored 278 runs in four Tests with a best of 132*. But the remains of the aftermath of South Africa tour was evident on him, as he went into a shell in almost all of his innings and then got out when it seems he would help India post a big total or help chase the total.

Apart from a 72 in Nottingham and 132* in Southampton, Pujara found playing the swinging and seaming conditions too hard to negotiate. Despite the fact that he had an extended county run with Yorkshire, Pujara was uncomfortable when it came to facing the likes of Stokes, Anderson, Broad, and Curran.

However, the most surprising and sad thing was the Pujara, who is known for his amazing defense and tight technique was found flawed in his execution. His defenses were breached way too often, as he was out LBW or bowled too many times for the liking of a player of his caliber. Pujara was found short on confidence also after his disastrous SA tour and it showed in his way of play in England.

It was a personal victory for Kohli the batsman, but a failure for Kohli the captain | GettyIndian captain Virat Kohli scored 593 runs with two centuries in the Test at an average of 59.30 with two centuries and three fifties. He negotiated the swing and movement well and came out on top in the battle with England’s ace bowler James Anderson.

However, his captaincy was found wanting many times including the bizarre decision to play two spinners under the cloudy and fast bowling helping conditions in Lord’s. Plus the way he let the England tail-enders get away with the game in three of the Tests, was the difference between Indian wins and losses in the series. His inability to deal with the tailenders cost games at Southampton and Edgbaston.

Plus his bullish statements before and after the games in terms of practice games and other things basically took the sheen off his performances. It was a personal victory for Kohli the batsman, but a failure for Kohli the captain.

Ajinkya Rahane well way short of expectations on England tour | Getty

Ajinkya Rahane was the hero of India’s Lord’s win with the bat in 2014 series and it was anticipated that Rahane will be the best bet for India to do well in the series. However, Rahane’s performance was barely noticed, apart from one game where he and Kohli joined forces for a big partnership.

257 runs in 5 Tests with an average of 25.70 and just two fifties don’t do justice to Rahane’s talent and caliber. His highest score of 81 came in the win at Nottingham Test. Rahane’s failures were more highlighted as India failed to chase down totals in Edgbaston and Southampton, where he scored 51 runs, but couldn’t take India to the win.  

By Jatin Sharma - 13 Sep, 2018

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