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Monday, Oct 14, 2019

India vs Australia: Team India Report Card - How Virat Kohli and Co. fared at Adelaide Oval

India secured their first Test victory in Australia since 2008 and now lead a series down under for only the second time. In many ways, it was a complete team performance and nearly every member of the side chipped in with vital contributions.

cricket Updated: Dec 11, 2018 20:05 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
India's captain Virat Kohli (L) reacts with teammates after the dismissal of Australia's Peter Handscomb on day four of the first test match between Australia and India at the Adelaide Oval in Adelaide, Australia, December 9, 2018
India's captain Virat Kohli (L) reacts with teammates after the dismissal of Australia's Peter Handscomb on day four of the first test match between Australia and India at the Adelaide Oval in Adelaide, Australia, December 9, 2018(REUTERS)
         

Australia’s lower order put up a brave fight and they ran India close, but the visitors had just about enough fuel in the tank to shut the door on the hosts and clinch the match by 31 runs.

India secured their first Test victory in Australia since 2008 and now lead a series down under for only the second time. In many ways, it was a complete team performance and nearly every member of the side chipped in with vital contributions.

Hindustan Times takes a look at the performance of the Indian players in the first Test in Adelaide.

KL Rahul - 5/10; Verdict: Average

KL Rahul was dismissed in the first morning when he chased a full and wide ball outside off and this sparked off intense debates over his position in the side.

However, he looked far more settled in the second innings. There were flamboyant strokes sprinkled along the way, but it was a much more measured innings. His dismissal did leave a lot to be desired, but it had promise and this augurs well for him and the Indian side leading into the Perth Test.

ALSO READ: Virat Kohli reveals he wasn’t ‘cool as ice’ during closing stages of Adelaide win

Murali Vijay - 2/10; Verdict: Poor

An injury to Prithvi Shaw gave Murali Vijay the chance to stake his claim at the top of the order. However, the right-hander looked jittery in both the innings, and he was dismissed trying to chase wide deliveries outside the off stump. If Prithvi is fit for the second Test, Vijay could well be benched.

Cheteshwar Pujara - 10/10; Verdict: Excellent

The difference between the two sides, Cheteshwar Pujara was the lynchpin for the Indian batting efforts in both the innings. He not only arrested the slide in the first innings, but then shepharded the lower order perfectly to notch up a priceless century.

He was not yet done and came back with a half-century in the second innings to shore up India’s position in the side. An in-form Pujara is just what India would want for the rest of the Test series.

Virat Kohli - 6/10; Verdict: Good

The Indian captain tried to drive a full and wide ball in the first innings, and was caught by Usman Khawaja in the gully. He put away his flamboyant self away and dug in the second innings and scored 34 - not a very big score but very significant in the context of the match.

Also, he was on point with his bowling changes as he employed the quicks in short, sharp bursts.

Ajinkya Rahane - 7/10; Verdict: Very Good

The vice-captain was rather loose in the first innings and his stroke drew a lot of ire of the fans and pundits alike. However, much like Pujara and Kohli, Rahane was more restrained in the second innings and this bore fruits for him. He combined beautifully with Cheteshwar Pujara and took India to safety. Also, his score of 70 had shades of a belligerent Rahane, which should be music for Kohli and management.

ALSO READ: Ravi Shastri relives closing moments of the Adelaide Test with Sunil Gavaskar

Rohit Sharma - 4/10; Verdict: Below Average

He extracts awe, he draws flak, he is just Rohit Sharma. When the rest of the top order were blown away in the first innings, Rohit looked at home against the pace and bounce. He played a few sumptuous strokes, few drives, and few hooks and looked to be on course. However, he then had a brain fade against Nathan Lyon and played a shocking stroke to gift his wicket away.

In the second innings, he tried to combat the turn and bounce by coming down the track, but it was a good ball by Lyon which accounted for him. He could get another go at Perth, but the rope is shortening for Rohit.

Rishabh Pant - 6/10; Verdict: Good

The young wicket-keeper created a world record by claiming 11 catches behind the stumps and barring a few lapses, he was quite neat.

However, nothing was neat about his batting. Yes, he plays in an attractive manner, yes, he backs himself against the best bowling attacks, but Pant now needs to be more calculated while batting.

In the second innings, he took Nathan Lyon to the cleaners in one over and then played one stroke too many to gift his wicket away.

Coach Ravi Shastri too wants him to be smart even while attacking and it will be interesting to see the approach he adopts in the upcoming Test matches.

R Ashwin - 8/10; Verdict: Very Good

R Ashwin’s partnership with Cheteshwar Pujara was a decisive one in the first innings as this bailed India out of trouble. He was also exceptional with the ball as he sliced through the Australian top order in the first innings.

In the second dig, he could only get three wickets, but he wheeled away at one end and kept things very tight which allowed Kohli to continuously rotate his fast bowlers from the other end.

Ishant Sharma - 7/10; Verdict: Good

After India were dismissed for 250 in the first innings, they needed early wickets and Ishant got things rolling with the wicket of Aaron Finch. He was at his best and kept posing questions.

Also, Kohli kept bringing him back whenever he wanted to make things happen and the experienced man did not disappoint. He picked up the important wickets at crucial moments, which included Travis Head on the final morning.

Mohammed Shami - 7/10; Verdict: Good

As has been the case with Mohammed Shami, he was impressive in the first innings, but did not get the wickets. However, he hit back with wickets in consecutive balls to finish off the Australian innings.

The fast bowler was accurate and pacy in the second dig too and was relentless in his attack as he returned with three wickets and looked threatening right through.

Jasprit Bumrah - 8/10; Verdict: Very Good

He was touted to be India’s X-factor this series and Bumrah gave glimpses of his abilities with the ball. Fast, accurate and unnerving - Bumrah proved to be the ideal bowler on the Adelaide surface.

He returned with 6 wickets in the match and his form is a great plus for India going forward.

First Published: Dec 10, 2018 14:23 IST

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