India's Test Report Card 2018: Rating the players
India are the number one side on the ICC Test Team Rankings and their performances this year have in no way reduced their rankings or standards. They displayed a higher class of fight and spirit and deserved series wins in England as well as South Africa which they weren't able to achieve because of the pressure of batting in the fourth innings.
India are on their way to a historic series win in Australia and a few players have matured remarkably even as others still need to improve.
In this article, we will take a look at how each of the Indian Test players fared in 2018 and how important their contribution was to the team's performance in the calendar year. All players are rated on a scale of ten.
Note: Only players who have played 5 or more Tests have been rated in this article.
Rating - 3
In 2018, Murali Vijay scored only one fifty-plus score in Tests. This was a 105 against a below-par Afghanistan bowling attack. He wasn't able to score significant runs in either of the two challenging tours of South Africa, England and was axed after playing two Tests in Australia.
His batting average in the eight matches he has played is 18.80. Vijay earned his place against Australia through his performances in County cricket but failed to perform down under. With new players like Mayank Agarwal and Prithvi Shaw in the fray, Vijay might well be towards the end of his career.
Rating - 3
Shikhar Dhawan had a disappointing run of Test matches in 2018. The southpaw scored 301 runs in six Test matches. Of those, 107 runs came against Afghanistan in great batting conditions.
He struggled against South Africa and England where he scored runs at an average of 16 and 20.25. Dhawan's inability to cope with foreign conditions led to him being left out of the Test squad for Australia.
Rating - 4.5
KL Rahul is one player who disappointed everyone in 2018. Hailed as the next big thing in Indian cricket, he has scored just 468 runs in 12 matches averaging a below par 22.28.
Rahul had a poor series against South Africa but his IPL performances gave everyone hope that he was going to shine in England. After scoring a lot of runs in the T20Is, Rahul along with the other Indian batsmen struggled in the Tests. However, he still managed to score a stunning 149 during the fifth Test at the Oval.
Rahul failed to capitalise against the West Indies and also played badly against Australia. Due to his low confidence and poor form, he was axed along with Vijay for the third Test at the MCG. With other exciting options competing for his spot, Rahul must find a way to regain his form.