There has been some great performances by India in this season. Whether it be Kohli , Ashwin , Rahane but there are some some players which stood performed beyond expectations and showed their capability to play for India.
5. Kuldeep Yadav
M 1 Overs 28 Wickets 4 Average 22.75 SR 42 BB 4/68
An inspired pick in Dharamsala, where he received his first Test cap and surprised Australia with his left-arm chinaman deliveries to the tune of 4/68 on day one. The deliveries to bowl Hanscomb and Maxwell were beauties, and his control and ability to hurry the batsmen with the wrong one was excellent. Took a bit of stick from Maxwell in the second innings, bowling five wicketless overs for 23 runs. Should be persisted with as the third spinner whenever the situation demands, purely for his variety and control. In hindsight, India may have erred in not picking Kuldeep earlier in the series.
Kuldeep’s first bowling performance in Tests was quite impressive, for picking wickets on a first-day pitch is always tough for a spinner. Since his optimum speed is a little slower than both Ashwin and Jadeja, it’ll be interesting to see if and how the slowness of the pitch impacts his bowling in the second innings of this Test.
4. Ravindra Jadeja
M 4 Overs 213.1 Wickets 25 Average 18.56 SR 51.1 BB 6/63
The leading wicket-taker of the series. Probing, teasing, damaging. Whenever Ashwin struggled, Jadeja rose to the fore with his left-arm spin, which always found a way to trouble Australia. His best spells came in Bangalore, where his 6/63 ensured Australia did not run away with the Test after bowling out India for 189, and in Ranchi, where he constantly posed a threat in batsmen-friendly conditions. Taking nine wickets on that surface was exemplary, and due reward for his ability to keep plugging away with those darts into the rough. Following that nine-wicket haul, Jadeja joined Ashwin as the No 1 Test bowler. Then came Dharamsala, where he dismissed Marsh for 57 on Day one and on the third helped skittle Australia for 137.
Jadeja’s batting, as all through his career, was hit-or-miss. Four scores of under 5, then two half-centuries at strike-rates of 98.18 and 66.31 respectively. His best of 63 came in the decider, when India were trying to scale Australia’s 300. With Saha, Jadeja got the team into the lead. A match-winning innings.
3. Cheteshwar Pujara Back In form
M 4 Runs 405 Average 57.85 HS 202
The second highest run-getter of the series after Steven Smith (499). Contributed in every game. Became the top-ranked Indian in the ICC Test batsmen rankings. Surged where Kohli slumped, and that really was the defining feature of India’s series win. After a lukewarm first Test, India’s No 3 underlined his necessity this time with a masterful 92 in the second innings in Bangalore, on a dodgy track, which powered India to a match-winning lead. In Ranchi, after Australia posted 451, Pujara carried India with a remarkable 202, the longest innings by any Indian batsman in terms of balls faced. Looked good much more than the 57 he made during India’s first innings in Dharamsala. Ended the series by getting run out for 0, a minor blot.
2. KL Rahul
M 4 Runs 394 Average 65.66 HS 90
No hundred, but six half-centuries made for a fine series for a fine young batsman – even though concentration remains an issue, as scores of 90, 51, 67 and 60 indicate. The comeback win in his home city of Bangalore could not have been possible without that 90 and 51, for which Rahul was named Man of the Match. The 90 was the innings that set up India’s win. In Ranchi, looked sublime for that 67 until a jaffa from Pat Cummins ended his stay. In Dharamsala, was solid during the first innings with 60 until a mistimed pull shot settled at mid-off, and then played a blinder to finish the chase inside two sessions. The question lingers: What could have happened had Rahul, on 64, not thrown away his wicket in the first innings in Pune, after which India lost seven wickets for 11 runs?
M 4 Overs 129 Wickets 17 Average 23.41 SR 45.5 BB 4/32
The most successful fast bowler of the series, with nine more than the next best, Josh Hazlewood. Had his best series returns, beating the 14 he took against Australia in 2011-12. Enhanced his reputation as India’s most developed, and subsequently the best, fast bowler. The pace was expectedly good, but what was again the most impressive was Umesh’s control, ability to break partnerships and, as best highlighted on the third afternoon in Dharamsala, the hostility.
In Pune, where the ball spun alarmingly from the start, it was Umesh’s pace that did most damage during Australia’s first innings, his 4/32 including the big wicket of David Warner and then the tail in a hurry. Took three big wickets in the Bangalore win, including that of Shaun Marsh for 66 in Australia’s first innings and then Smith and Marsh in the definite burst of the final day. On the Ranchi flatbed, Umesh bowled 46 overs for returns of 3/142 and twice created breakthroughs during Australia’s first innings of 451. Was at his fiery best on day three in Dharamsala during the spell that swung the deciding Test India’s way, in which he had Australia’s top order fending and swaying before he reaped the rewards from the good-length sucker-punch balls. Umesh should have had four late in the day, except R Ashwin dropped a catch at slip. An outstanding series for him. Unlucky to not be named Man of the Series.