The fifth Test between India and England has been indefinitely postponed, with the BCCI and the ECB desperately trying to find a window to squeeze the match into a jampacked calendar in the pandemic era.
A member of India's medical staff, who had been in contact with almost all the players in the squad, tested positive for COVID-19, striking fear in the hearts of the Indian players. They declared that they wouldn't be able to put out a playing XI for the fifth Test, leaving the ECB and the domestic teams in England scrambling to make up for their losses in some way.
Irrespective of the disappointing end, the series between India and England provided several entertaining moments, with most players finding form and turning up with the goods. Here are five hits and flops from the Test series.
Note: With the second phase of the 2021 Indian Premier League expected to resume on September 19, the rescheduled fifth Test is unlikely to be played in the near future. If it does, this article will be modified accordingly.
Honorable Mentions: Rishabh Pant (flop), Shardul Thakur (hit), Jimmy Anderson (hit)
#5 Hit - Ollie Robinson (England)
With 21 wickets in four matches at an average of 21.33, Ollie Robinson made the most of his return to international cricket. Making his way back into the England series after serving a minor suspension, the pacer consistently provided the edge his team desperately craved whenever he was brought on.
Robinson had success against India's best batsmen, such as Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma, and never leaked runs. He moved the ball both ways and stifled the opposition with his accuracy, finishing the series as the highest wicket-taker across both sides.
#4 Flop - Ajinkya Rahane (India)
Despite playing all four matches, Ajinkya Rahane managed only 109 runs at an average of 15.57. India's vice-captain appeared to be a walking wicket each time he was in the middle, barring a fifty that elicited a fiery response from him on social media.
Rahane's redemption was short-lived, though, as he ended the fourth Test with a woeful duck in the second innings. His place in the team is under serious question, with players like Mayank Agarwal, Hanuma Vihari and Suryakumar Yadav waiting in the wings.
#3 Hit - Joe Root (England)
2021 has been really kind to Joe Root. The England captain continued his record-breaking Test run against India, amassing 564 runs in seven innings at an average of 94, with three hundreds and one fifty.
Root didn't cross fifty in either innings of the fourth Test, as a result of which his series numbers took a hit, but he still finished as the leading run-scorer across both teams by a landslide margin.
The 30-year-old just seemed to be batting on a different surface each time he was in the middle, and almost single-handedly carried England's batting lineup.
#2 Flop - Sam Curran (England)
Dropped for the fourth Test in favor of another similar swing-bowling all-rounder in Chris Woakes, Sam Curran couldn't replicate his 2018 heroics against India. The young all-rounder finished with just 74 runs at an average of 18.5 and three wickets at a disastrous bowling average of 79.33.
Curran was used as the fourth bowling option in the first three Tests, with Jimmy Anderson and Ollie Robinson generally taking the new ball. He found runs difficult to contain each time he came into the attack, either straying onto the pads or bowling wide.
Although he impressed in some phases, Curran was disappointing overall in conditions that were expected to be right in his alleyway.
#1 Hit - Rohit Sharma (India)
Rohit Sharma's Man of the Match performance and maiden overseas hundred in the fourth Test were the perfect sign-off notes for an all-time great showing. Opening the innings for the first time in England, he showed great restraint and judgment to tally 368 runs at an average of 52.57.
Always giving India a solid start and curbing his natural game to leave the ball with precision outside the off stump, Rohit established his place as one of the best all-format batsmen in the world. He crossed fifty only three times, but his knocks at the top were invaluable in India playing out tough passages of play.