India vs Australia: Team India Report Card for the Perth Test
India vs Australia: At Perth, there were some noteworthy performances from the Indian team but things didn’t come together for the tourists and they eventually allowed the hosts to make a stunning comeback into the series.cricket Updated: Dec 19, 2018 12:50 IST
Australia put in a comprehensive performance on a true Australian pitch at Perth to tie the series with a 146-run win in the second Test. There were some noteworthy performances from the Indian team but things didn’t come together for the tourists and they eventually allowed the hosts to make a stunning comeback into the series.
Hindustan Times takes a look at the performance of the Indian players in the second Test in Perth.
KL Rahul - 0/10; Verdict: Very Poor
Luck favours the brave they say and KL Rahul is currently being anything but brave. A full delivery from Josh Hazlewood in the first innings, which swung very late, crashed into the Indian opener’s stumps when he was on two. Yes, the degree of difficulty was high but this is international cricket and things are expected to be tough. Rahul’s absolute inability to gauge the length of the ball shows the state of flux his mind is in currently where he is not sure of which shot to play when.
The same uncertainty was visible in the second innings as he tried to leave a Mitchell Starc delivery close to his off stump and yet kept his bat hanging mid-way. The ball took an inside edge and crashed into his stumps. We sincerely hope the team management’s obsession with his ‘prodigious’ talent is over and he is sent back to the domestic circuit to fix his game for good.
Murali Vijay - 1/10; Verdict: Very Poor
He was never top bracket stuff but for a few years Murali Vijay had become a world-class player, due to his discipline as a Test opener. The moment that discipline was lost, he became mortal again and has not been able to lift himself up. He is clearly lacking in depth and this series might bring the curtains down on his international career. Left a big gate open to Starc in the first innings and then to Nathan Lyon, Vijay’s penchant for the drive is driving him towards an early sunset.
Cheteshwar Pujara - 4/10; Verdict: Below Average
When Cheteshwar Pujara is in good form, the opposition needs to be lucky to see his back and the Aussies were lucky in the first innings. Pujara was rock solid and playing the perfect second fiddle to Virat Kohli, when he nicked one down the leg side to Tim Paine when on 24. Batting would be difficult in the fourth innings on the Optus Stadium pitch and Pujara got a peach outside the off stump early in his innings and there wasn’t much he could do about it. Hopefully for Team India, he could get back to scoring on relatively easier tracks in Melbourne and Sydney.
Virat Kohli - 6/10; Verdict: Good
The Indian captain had failed to get a big one in the first Test and he was raring to go on a difficult pitch at Perth. Kohli likes bounce and pace and he got both from this surface. India were on top till the time he was in the middle and it was all lost thereafter, a true reflection of this team’s over dependence on him for runs. A 25th Test century in the first innings could not be followed up with a match winning one in the second as Nathan Lyon showcased the world why he is perhaps the most underrated spinner in the history of Test cricket.
As a captain Kohli failed to read the surface again and his decision to not play a frontline spinner hurt the team.
Ajinkya Rahane - 5/10; Verdict: Average
Ajinkya Rahane looked to be returning to his imperious self on away tours as he compiled a half-century in the first innings to keep India in the match. But his inability to tackle quality spin is now known to every opposition and he fell for the trap again.
The second innings provided Rahane with a perfect opportunity to win a Test while batting last for India, but his false bravado led to his downfall. Rahane would do well to watch a few VVS Laxman classics. It will do him good for the rest of his career.
Hanuma Vihari - 5/10; Verdict: Average
He picked wickets with his part-time spin in the first innings, but he needed to contribute more with the bat down the order. Looks to be a part at the international stage and should be groomed for the future. He has the ability to gring it out and get big scores, needed to do that in this match. India can expect more from him in the remaining matches.
Rishabh Pant - 6/10; Verdict: Good
Rishabh Pant kept the chatter going behind the stumps but dropped a sitter, which cost India runs in the first innings. He made handy contributions down the order and lost his wicket while looking for quick runs when left with India’s long tail. Needs to learn to bat with the tail.
Umesh Yadav - 3/10; Verdict: Poor
Drafted into the team in place of a spinner, Umesh Yadav was as indisciplined as he has been throughout his career. His raw pace can be an asset, but instead he wastes it by spraying it all over the place. Picked up two wickets in the first innings and leaked runs in the crucial second innings. His inability to create pressure on batsmen makes things difficult for other bowlers too. India’s weak link without any doubt.
Ishant Sharma - 7/10; Verdict: Good
The old war horse was India’s most prolific bowler with 4 wickets in the first innings as he bowled with a large heart. Hit the right spots and maintained pressure on batsmen throughout, Ishant Sharma’s second coming has been a boon for Indian cricket. Would have liked more wickets in the second innings but he did his job nonetheless.
Mohammed Shami - 8/10; Verdict: Very Good
They say when Shami is in the mood, no batting line up can stand up to him. The Indian pacer was in his elements in the second innings as he picked up 6 wickets to record the fourth best bowling figures for an Indian pacer in Australia. His antics with the ball kept the Indians in the game.
Jasprit Bumrah - 8/10; Verdict: Very Good
Jasprit Bumrah bowled with pace, verve and venom and was unlucky that the Australian batsmen weren’t good enough to get an edge to his probing deliveries outside the off stump. Picked up a total of five wickets in the match and continued to make progress in his young but highly successful Test career so far.
First Published: Dec 19, 2018 12:36 IST