India vs Australia: Team India Report Card for the Melbourne Test
The Indian team inched closer to history when they thrashed Australia by 137 runs in the third Test in Melbourne on Sunday. After Cheteshwar Pujara set up the match with a beautiful century, the bowlers dismissed the Australians for 151 and 261 in the first and second innings respectively.
Hindustan Times takes a look at the performance of the Indian players in the third Test in Melbourne.
Hanuma Vihari – 2/10; Verdict: Poor
Following the dismal performances of KL Rahul and Murali Vijay at the top of the order, the Indian team management decided to push Hanuma Vihari up the order. The Andhra Pradesh cricketer managed scores of just 8 and 13 in the match, but gave ample support to Mayank Agarwal in the first innings to help India get off to a decent start. Vihari batted for 66 balls as India lost their first wicket on 40.
Mayank Agarwal – 7/10; Verdict: Good
Mayank Agarwal got off to a great start in Test cricket with a score of 76 runs. He strung a very important partnership of 83 runs with Cheteshwar Pujara to lay the platform for Virat Kohli and company to take India to a huge total of 443/7d. The 27-year-old was the top scorer among Indians in the second innings with 42 runs.
Cheteshwar Pujara - 7/10; Verdict: Good
Cheteshwar Pujara has been in top form during this four-Test series. The number three batsman notched his second century of the tour in this match and it was for a winning cause once again. Pujara scored 106 runs off 319 balls. During his innings, Pujara and Kohli had a vital partnership of 170 runs. However, Pujara was out for a duck in the second innings.
Virat Kohli - 6/10; Verdict: Good
The Indian captain played another sublime innings in this year. Kohli, who scored 82 runs off 204 balls, produced some brilliant shots and kept taking the game forward. With three players out of the top four notching half-centuries, India were always going to be ahead in the game. Kohli struck nine boundaries during his innings. But, following Pujara, Kohli was also out for a duck in the second innings.
Ajinkya Rahane - 3/10; Verdict: Poor
Ajinkya Rahane said ahead of the third Test that he may get a century or a double century, but it wasn’t to be. Rahane managed scores of just 34 and 1 in the match. The number five batsman was out LBW in the first innings after a ball kept low from Nathan Lyon and in the second innings, he was caught down the leg side off Pat Cummins’ bowling.
Rohit Sharma – 6/10; Verdict: Good
Rohit Sharma was dropped early on in his innings, but made the most of it to remain unbeaten on 63 during India’s first essay. The Mumbai batsman shared vital stands with Ajinkya Rahane and Rishabh Pant which yielded 62 and 76 runs respectively. Rohit Sharma hit five boundaries during his innings.
Rishabh Pant - 5/10; Verdict: Average
Rishabh Pant made valuable contributions with the bat in both the innings. Pant scored 39 off 76 balls in the first innings and was the second highest scorer among Indians in the second innings with 33 runs. The wicket-keeper, who scalped three catches in the matches, ensured the energy levels are up on the field with some chatter behind the stumps. He took a great catch off Tim Paine’s bat during the match as well.
Ravindra Jadeja – 7/10; Verdict: Good
Ravindra Jadeja failed as a batsman in the match, but was excellent with the ball. The off-spinner kept one end tight and picked up the wickets of Usman Khawaja and Mitchell Marsh in the first innings. In the second innings, Jadeja took the wickets of Marcus Harris, Mitchell Marsh and Tim Paine. The Gujarat cricketer provided great support to the fast bowlers in this match.
Mohammed Shami - 4/10; Verdict: Below Average
Mohammed Shami went off the boil a tad bit in the Melbourne Test. The fast bowler picked up three wickets in the match, out of which, two of them were lower middle order batsmen. However, the fast bowler got the big wicket of Usman Khawaja in the second innings when he was batting on 33.
Ishant Sharma - 5/10; Verdict: Average
Ishant Sharma may never be the star performer in any Test match, but he always has a consistent contribution towards India bowling out their opposition. The fast bowler provided the first breakthrough in Australia’s first innings, when he dismissed Aaron Finch for 8 and in the second innings he took the wickets of Travis Head and Nathan Lyon.
Jasprit Bumrah - 9/10; Verdict: Very Good
Jasprit Bumrah was the star bowler for the Indian team in this match. While defending a total of 443/7d, Bumrah completely tilted the match in India’s favour by returning with figures of 6/33 in Australia’s first innings. In the second innings, the speedster returned to take three more wickets to help India register a victory in the Boxing Day Test.