The India Australia Report Card: Who won, who lost

Author : Salman J Khan 8 Jan, 2019

India were victors in the Test series, but which players emerged with their reputations enhanced and whose took a blow? The Cricket Gateway Report Card explores.


Chesteshwar Pujara:

There were doubts circulating over Pujara's overseas ability in the lead up to the series but the right-handed batsman dismissed his detractors by scoring 521 runs at 74.42 which included three hundreds. Each of his hundreds came at a time when India desperately needed someone to stand up and get a tall score. With his Century at Adelaide he notched up his first hundred in Australia and followed it up with two more which got him his first Man of the Series award in Tests. It was a defining series for Pujara where he stamped his authority as one of the leading batsmen in world cricket.


Mayank Agarwal:

Agarwal notched up his first first-class hundred in 2015 and took the big leap two seasons later when he piled on more than 1000 runs which led to his progression into the national squad. He was thrust into what is considered one of the most daunting jobs in Test cricket - to open the innings in Australia and boy, didn't he take to it like a fish takes to water! He batted thrice in the series with a lowest score of 42 on a tough wicket where India slipped to 106/8. The Karnataka batsman proved that he had the game to succeed in tough conditions and is now being looked at as a long-term option in whites.


Pat Cummins:

The big fast bowler outbowled his more accomplished peers - Jos Hazlewood and Mitchel Starc - to scalp 14 sticks in 4 Tests. Cummins was relentless and extracted pace and bounce throughout the course of the series. But it was with the bat in hand that he really impressed. Cummins looked very composed and made tough runs down the order to prove his credentials as someone who can be a bowling allrounder. The 25-year-old was one of the very few players in the Australian camp who displayed the willingness to dig in deep and showed desperation despite the chips being down.



KL Rahul:

It was yet another tough overseas series for Rahul as he accumulated a measly 57 runs in 5 innings. The Australian pacers - particularly Josh Hazlewood who claimed his wicket 4 times in the series - worked out Rahul's judgement, or the lack of it, outside the off stump. His troubles were compounded when he tried to hit his way out of the slump. In a year where India toured outside the subcontinent thrice, Rahul had only 386 runs to show for his efforts at an alarmingly low average of 20.31. The tour of Australia was widely tipped to be the series of Rahul's redemption, especially since he notched up his first Test ton in the country four years ago, but the opener lost more than he gained.

Grade: D-

Ajinkya Rahane:

The vice-captain, like Rahul, had a tough time throughout the year barring the flashes of brilliance in the odd innings. He lacked consistency but was expected to emulate the highs of his previous tour to Australia in 2014. Despite starting the series with 2 solid fifties in the first 2 Tests, Rahane faded away often trying to throw caution to the wind and frittered good starts, finishing the series with 217 runs at an underwhelming average of 31.

Grade: C

Shaun Marsh:

The left-handed batsman fought hard for his runs but, somehow, the big innings - something which Australia desperately needed from their top 5 - eluded him. Marsh could only gather 183 runs at 26.14 which was far from what was expected from the 35-year-old. His ostensible weakness against spin, which troubled him in the preceding series against Pakistan in the UAE, was picked out by the Indian spinners during various stages in the series. With Steve Smith and David Warner set to return soon for Australia, Marsh has probably shut the door for himself.

Grade: C


Jasprit Bumrah:

Breathing fire throughout the course of the series, Jasprit Bumrah never exactly looked like a new-kid-on-the-block. With his first six-wicket-haul (6/33) in Tests at the MCG, Bumrah became the first Asian bowler to collect five-wicket hauls in South Africa, England and Australia in the same calendar year to cap off a smooth initiation in Test cricket where he also broke the record for most wickets for India in a debut year (48).

Grade: A+

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