The last seven days witnessed two interesting but contrasting matches. In the final Test of the India-England PayTM series in Chennai, England won the toss and posted 477 – two things that guarantee most teams a win on Indian pitches. England lost.
In the other Test, the first between Australia and Pakistan down under in Brisbane, Australia dominated for a greater part of the game only for Pakistan to almost threaten pulling off the miracle, like only Pakistan can do, before losing eventually. While the one at Chennai was heart-breaking for the England fans who saw their team capitulate in the last two sessions of the Test on a pitch that was absolutely flat, the latter broke the Pakistani hearts after their team went so close to a record-breaking chase without reaching it.
We take a look at the top 5 cricketers of the week. Moeen Ali and Mohammad Amir miss out from the list. Ali scored an impressive 146 in the first innings of the Chennai Test, while Mohammad Amir, besides picking up 5 wickets scored 48 in the second innings of the Brisbane Test, to help Pakistan threaten to reach an impossible target of 490.
#1 Ravindra Jadeja
Jadeja is finally turning out to be the cricketer MS Dhoni had hoped for a long time ago. In the final Test against England on a flat pitch, Jadeja, who has a reputation for picking wickets only on turning tracks, silenced his critics by taking a 7-for and morphing a draw into an unlikely Indian victory. Jadeja also took two catches, one of them a blinder.
This is in addition to his three wickets in the first innings and a swashbuckling 51 off just 55 balls to help India reach a record score of 759 runs in their only innings of the match. The 10-wicket haul made Jadeja the second leading wicket-taker in the series with 26 wickets, just 2 short of Ashwin’s 28.
Ashwin averaged 30.25 while Jadeja averaged just 25.84. At lunch on Day 5, England had managed to keep all their ten wickets intact making the draw look inevitable. However, after lunch, Jadeja broke England’s back with the wickets of Cook, Jennings and Root in the space of 10 overs before taking a spectacular catch to help Ishant Sharma pick up the prized scalp of Jonny Bairstow.