Report Card: How India’s Players Fared

The India-Australia Test series finished in tame fashion as the two teams played out a lacklustre draw in the fourth and final Test in Ahmedabad on Monday, March 13, 2023.

India emerged 2-1 winners in the series for their fourth series win in a row against Australia.

The first three Tests, all played on turning pitches, finished inside three days as India claimed the first two before Australia bounced back to win in Indore.

Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja as expected dominated with the ball for India, while Virat Kohli ended his long wait for a Test century and all-rounder Axar Patel showed his utility with the bat with three half-centuries.

Harish Kotian‘s report card on how India’s players fared against Australia:

Rohit Sharma (7/10)

Rohit’s magnificent century on a difficult wicket proved to be decisive in India’s victory in the first Test in Nagpur.

He will regret not carrying on his good form in the next three games. He did get off to starts, but failed to convert as he perished in the 30s three times.

Rohit finished with 242 runs at an average of 40.

Virat Kohli (7/10)

Kohli got the monkey off his back with a century in the final Test in Ahmedabad — his first hundred in more than three years.

Apart from his solid knock of 44 in the first innings of the Delhi Test, Kohli never really got going.

He ended the series on a high with a dogged 186 to silence his critics and was India’s highest run-getter in the series with 297 runs at an average of 49.50.

Shubman Gill (7/10)

Brought into the Test team to replace the struggling K L Rahul for the last two Tests, Gill made most of the opportunity with a classy 128 in the Ahmedabad Test.

Cheteshwar Pujara (7/10)

Pujara once again proved to be the backbone of the Indian batting.

He had a slow start with 7 and 0 in his first two innings before he hit 31 not out to take India to victory in the Delhi Test.

In the Indore Test, he was the lone batter to offer some resistance with a gritty knock of 59 as India twice crumbled against spin on a turning pitch.

Pujara will regret not making most of a batting beauty in Ahmedabad, falling for 42, as he tallied a below-par 140 runs in the series at an average of 28.

K L Rahul (1/10)

Rahul enjoyed a lot of backing from the team management but failed to live up to expectations.

Rahul managed just 38 runs in three innings in the first two Tests before he made way for Gill and it looks unlikely he could make a comeback anytime soon.

Shreyas Iyer (3/10)

Iyer missed the first Test with a back injury but could not make most in the next three matches.

He failed in both innings of the Delhi Test, but earned praise for his brave approach as he hit a quickfire 26 in the second innings in Indore.

Shreyas was unable to bat in the Ahmedabad Test because of a back injury.

Srikar Bharat (5/10)

Wicket-keeper Bharat struggled with the gloves against the spinners, dropping a few chances.

He didn’t make most with the bat either, scoring 101 runs in the four Tests at an average of 20.

Axar Patel (8/10)

All-rounder Axar was one of India’s top batters in the series.

He managed just three wickets with the ball as he was sparingly bowled in the series. But he made vital contributions with the bat, including two successive fifties in the first two Tests.

His 74 while batting at No 8 was the turning point of the Delhi Test as India recovered from 139/7 to post 262, while his innings of 84 in the first innings of the Nagpur Test helped India grab a decisive first innings lead of 223 runs.

He continued his good form with the bat, hitting 79 in the Ahmedabad Test, to finish with 264 runs at an average of 88 — the second highest run tally for India in the series after Kohli.

Ravichandran Ashwin (8/10)

Ashwin was India’s best performer with the ball in the series.

He bowled India to victory with 5/37 in the second innings of the Nagpur Test before playing a role in Australia’s collapse in the next Test in Delhi.

Ashwin showed his mastery with the ball, picking up 6/91 on a slow flat wicket in Ahmedabad — which saw just 22 wickets fall over the course of five days.

He was the top wicket-taker in the series with 25 wickets in the series at an average of 17, but won’t be happy with a tally of just 86 runs with the bat.

Ravindra Jadeja (7/10)

Jadeja made a dream comeback after a long injury lay-off with five wickets in the first innings of the Nagpur Test while he also hit a crucial 70 on a rank turner.

He took 7/42 in the second innings of the Delhi Test to send Australia collapsing to defeat, before he bagged 4/78 in the next match.

He struggled in Ahmedabad, managing just one wicket in 55 overs bowled in the two innings.

Jadeja finished with 22 wickets, while scoring 135 runs.

Mohammed Shami (7/10)

Shami bowled his heart out in the series.

Despite the pitches not having much for the pacers, Shami left his mark with nine wickets in three Tests at an average of 28.

Interestingly, India lost the third Test when Shami was rested.

Mohammed Siraj (3/10)

He managed just one wicket as he bowled a total of just 24 overs in the first three Tests before he was rested for the fourth Test.

Umesh Yadav (4/10)

Umesh also didn’t have much to write about. He took 3/44 in the first innings of the Indore Test, making most of the reverse swing but struggled on a docile pitch in Ahmedabad as he went wicketless in 30 overs bowled, while conceding 126 runs.

Photographs: BCCI


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