England vs India 2018: Indian Players Report Card
India and England played out one of the most exciting, intriguing and interesting Test series in modern times from 1 August 2018 to 11 September 2018. England ran out winners 4-1 but the series was not devoid of exhilaration and thrill.
That the only days where batsmen scored freely and without any pressure, came in the fourth and fifth days of the last Test, is a testament to the intense brand of cricket played by both of these nations.
Although they played their skins out, we have compiled a report card for the whole squad. It is as follows:
Dhawan had a disastrous series, notching up only two thirty-plus scores in eight innings. He had little idea of where his off stump was and got out a lot in the slips while fishing outside the off-stump. Maybe, it is time India starts looking for his replacement.
2. KL Rahul
Although Rahul conjured a magnificent 149 at The Oval on the last day of the series, he had a moderate series with the bat. He was found wanting to deliveries coming in and also opened up quite a few times to deliveries pitched on middle and leg.
Rahul was a revelation in the slips, though, with most of his peers dropping catches around him.
3. Murali Vijay
Vijay had a forgettable tour too, playing only the first two Tests and scoring an aggregate of a measly 26 runs. He was dropped from the side after scoring a pair in the Lord’s Test and sent home after the third.
Maybe a little bit of leniency could have been dished out to him, given that amongst all Indian openers, he had the most apt technique to counter the conditions in England.
Pujara scored a hundred at the Ageas Bowl and got a half-century at Trent Bridge but apart from these scores, he struggled against James Anderson a lot. Chinks were found in his armour and one can only hope that he rectifies them soon and goes to Australia in a rich vein of form.
5. Virat Kohli
Kohli had an unforgettable tour, notching up nearly six hundred runs in ten innings. He hit two centuries and three half-centuries and was easily the best batsman among both the sides. He has proved his critics wrong again by showing that he can score runs in England.
Kohli is a champion and surely one of the best batsmen in the world. Selection-wise, Kohli made a few bloopers, like dropping Pujara at Edgbaston, playing Kuldeep Yadav in overcast conditions at Lord’s and bowling a half-fit Ashwin at the Ageas Bowl, but he is new to the job and can only do better.
Rahane hit two half-centuries on the tour but apart from them, he was found wanting. He got out by pushing at balls pitched outside off a lot and drove at balls he should have defended.
Questions are being asked of his place in the side, but it seems likely that he will retain it for the next series against the West Indies because of the fact that almost every batsman in the team struggled.
7. Hanuma Vihari
Vihari made his debut at The Oval and experienced it all. He got a half-century in the first innings, got the well-settled Cook and Root out with his gentle off-breaks and got a duck in the second dig.
He has shown exceptional temperament and there are only good days ahead for the young man.
Karthik did not have a great tour, both with the bat and the gloves and made way for Rishabh Pant after the second Test. Karthik had gone to England with high expectations and one can only wonder at what went wrong. His glovework was mediocre.
9. Rishabh Pant
Pant had a mediocre series with the bat until the hundred he got at The Oval. His ‘keeping has been faulty, imperfect and substandard. He struggled a lot to be consistent behind the wickets. He took some good catches but dropped some easy ones too.
He gave away 50 byes in the fifth Test in both innings and one can only hope that his ‘keeping gets better. Batting-wise: the lad shows a lot of courage and no fear.
Ashwin had a great start to the tour, taking a four-wicket haul at Edgbaston but slowly faded away, eventually to be dropped after the fourth Test. Maybe, his below par fitness led to substandard performance.
Seen as a budding all-rounder, Ashwin struggled with the bat too.
11. Ravindra Jadeja
Jadeja played only the last Test of the tour and impressed a lot. He scored a defiant 86 not out and also took 4/79 and 3/179 with his bowling. Jadeja’s fielding has been exceptional too.
12. Kuldeep Yadav
Kuldeep played only at Lord’s in overcast conditions and did not get enough of an opportunity to get a bowl, but when he did he gave away 44 runs in his nine overs without taking a wicket.
It was a tough initiation to cricket in England for the youngster and he will only look back on this as a learning experience.
13. Hardik Pandya
Pandya had an indifferent series with the bat, notching only one half-century in eight innings. With the ball in hand too, he was mighty inconsistent, taking a five-wicket haul at Trent Bridge but flattering to deceive in other times.
He was dropped for the fifth Test.
14. Ishant Sharma
Possibly India’s best bowler on this tour. He is hardworking, committed and shows a never-say-die attitude. Amongst all Indian bowlers, he is the least likely to get fazed by any situation.
He got a five-wicket haul at Edgbaston and kept bowling in the right areas throughout the series.
15. Mohammed Shami
Shami bowled well in patches but somehow could not get the returns. His outswingers kept missing the edges of bats but by some means just could not touch them. He bowled his heart out, impressing everyone, including the most stone-hearted of English fans.
16. Jasprit Bumrah
Bumrah played from the third Test onwards and immediately made an impact by picking up a five-wicket haul. He was impressive throughout the series by bringing the ball into the right-handers and taking it away from left-handers.
Bumrah was at his best throughout the series.
17. Umesh Yadav
Umesh Yadav played only the first Test of the series and was decent without being exceptional. It is hard to judge someone’s performance from only one match and Yadav did show potential but was somehow left on the bench more often than not.