2017 Test round-up: India's 5 most valuable players of the year
2017 was another year in which India continued to dominate in Tests. The year began with a home series win over Bangladesh and ended with a win over Sri Lanka. In between, India had also beaten Australia at home and whitewashed Sri Lanka away from home.
While India's unbeaten streak at home finally came to an end courtesy of the loss to Australia at Pune, they won all four Test series that they took part in 2017. From the one-off Test against Bangladesh on the back of Kohli's double ton, the comeback win over Australia in the Border-Gavaskar series to the whitewash over Sri Lanka in Sri Lanka or the closely-fought 1-0 win at home in the three-match series, India kept on winning.
That was possible thanks to the consistent performances of the Indian Test stars. As India embark on their tour to South Africa, let us have a look at India's most valuable Test performers in 2017.
Here are India's 5 most valuable players of the year:
#5 Shikhar Dhawan
The fifth spot on this list is a three-way tussle between the Indian openers. While no player has scored more fifties than KL Rahul's nine in 2017 and Murali Vijay has three centuries in just 6 Tests, the spot goes to Shikhar Dhawan for his enormous impact in the brief run that he has had as opener.
In the five Tests that he played in 2017, he scored two centuries and two fifties and finished with the third-best average of any player with over 500 runs in 2017. What was more impressive about Dhawan wasn't just his incredible consistency but also his strike rate, which gave India the perfect start.
His 550 runs in 2017 came at a strike rate of over 90, which is incredible even for ODIs but simply unreal in Tests. All of his runs came against Sri Lanka, who were unfortunate victim as the southpaw bludgened his way into contention for the opening spot for the South Africa Test series.