This year some amazing Test cricket was played. The Ashes in England that was good for the home side, saw a complete turnaround in Australia where the kangaroos dominated like anything.
South Africa and Pakistan played each other quite a few number of times. The Aussies toured India as well early in the year, so did the West Indies later in the year. Bangladesh toured Sri Lanka and hosted New Zealand.
There were some great performances too. It was very difficult to select 5 and very painful at the same time to leave out certain ones that not only were terrific individually but also impacted the game to a great extent.
Still, here I present to you the 5 individual performances in Tests I thought absolutely stood out.
5. Shikhar Dhawan’s 187 vs Australia (Border-Gavaskar Trophy, 3rd Test, Mohali)
The Indians have discovered a new star in Shikhar Dhawan. He has established a permanent spot for himself in the ODI side, and will soon prove to be irreplaceable in the Test side also. This onslaught against the Aussies was a step in that direction. In a game that started a day late, the Aussies posted 408 batting first, and it was only at lunch on the 3rd day of the match that India started their batting.
In spite of so much time being lost, there was a result in the match. India won it by 6 wickets. The opening stand of Shikhar Dhawan and Murali Vijay ended with a 289 run contribution, which set the stage for India’s later batters to make a mockery of the Aussie total of 408.
Dhawan made 187 in just 174 deliveries, cracking 33 fours and 2 biggies down the ground. The boundaries came on the off-side in a flourish, as almost every bowler in the attack had no idea where to bowl to him. Be it Starc, Doherty or Lyon, all of them got a taste of his ruthless hitting. He attacked from the onset, dispatching Henriques for 2 boundaries in his first over itself.
Doherty was subjected to similar treatment in his first over. He came to bowl is 4th over just after India had crossed the 100 run-mark, and Dhawan pelted him for 4 boundaries, using his feet when needed or just using the reverse seep to get runs. It was perfect domination on display at Mohali as the Australians toiled for the wickets while the Indians ran away with the scoring.
He fell short of his double century when he gave an easy catch to Ed Cowan at silly point off the bowling of Nathan Lyon. But the damage had been done already. Australia managed only 223 batting again, and India secured victory on the 5th day with only a tad above 100 runs to chase, and went 3-0 up in the series. Dhawan was Man of the Match.