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Nov 15, 2019-Friday



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Friday, Nov 15, 2019

India vs England: Team India report card - How Virat Kohli and Co. fared at the Oval

Hindustan Times takes a look at the performance of the Indian players in the fifth Test at the Oval.

cricket Updated: Sep 12, 2018 14:33 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
New Delhi
India's K. L. Rahul (2L) walks back to the pavilion after losing his wicket for 149.
India's K. L. Rahul (2L) walks back to the pavilion after losing his wicket for 149.(AFP)

Despite fighting centuries from KL Rahul and Rishabh Pant on the final day of the fifth Test, India crashed to a 118-run defeat against England to lose the series 1-4. For the hosts, it was fitting farewell for Alastair Cook as the end of the series also brought down curtains on the career of one of the best openers that the world has ever seen.

Hindustan Times takes a look at the performance of the Indian players in the fifth Test at the Oval.

Shikhar Dhawan - Rating: 1/10, Verdict: Very Poor

Opener Shikhar Dhawan had a horror outing at the Oval as he was dismissed in single digits in both the innings. Dhawan was adjudged LBW twice in the match and was guilty of repeating the mistake as he was trapped in front of the wickets by Stuart Broad and then James Anderson. With so much competition for places at the top in the longest format for India, Dhawan may just have blowed his chance of sealing a place in the side with yet another meek show.

KL Rahul - Rating: 9/10, Verdict: Very Good

Lokesh Rahul saved his best for the last as he struck a magnificent century in the second innings to provide some glimmer of hope to the visitors, before it died an untimely death. Rahul showed great application in the first innings, where he tried to take the attack to the English bowlers, scoring a 53-ball 37. But in the second essay, he brought to use all the things he learnt from the first nine innings that he failed in, and hit a breathtaking 224-ball 149. The way he was batting, Rahul would definitely have gotten India closer to the target, had it not been for Shane Warne, who came to bowl wearing the mask of Adil Rashid.

Cheteshwar Pujara - Rating: 3/10, Verdict: Poor

Middle-order maestro Cheteshwar Pujara was once again guilty of being inconsistent in the match and that cost India dear at the Oval. After a fighting knock of 37 off 101 deliveries in the first innings — which saw him stitch good partnerships with KL Rahul and Virat Kohli — Pujara was dismissed for a duck in the second innings, which paved way for the English bowlers to start their bid of winning the match on the perfect note.

Virat Kohli - Rating: 5/10, Verdict: Average

For once, skipper Virat Kohli failed to shine with the bat like he managed to do in the previous Tests in the series. In the first innings, Kohli held the innings from one end for a brief period and was dismissed just one run short of a half-century. However, in the second, Kohli fell to Stuart Broad in a way which was reminiscent of the 2014 series. Kohli was the third Indian batsman to be dismissed when India’s score read just two in the final innings and that is not the kind of start a team needs while chasing more than 400.

Ajinkya Rahane - Rating: 3/10, Verdict: Poor

After a relatively-decent show at Rose Bowl, Ajinkya Rahane once again put up a very meek show at the Oval, which raises question marks over his batting in tough batting conditions like England. Rahane was dismissed for a duck by Anderson in the first innings when the right-hander tried to chase the ball outside the off-stump. Rahane then redeemed himself a bit in the second essay as he stitched a 118-run partnership with Rahul to steady the India ship after the fall of early wicket. But Rahane’s good work was undone when he tried to play an outrageous sweep shot but ended by giving catch to the field in front of square off Moeen Ali for 37.

Hanuma Vihari – Rating: 7/10, Verdict: Good

Much was being said about debutant Hanuma Vihari’s inclusion in the side at the start of the final Test, however, the young put those talks to bed by scoring a fifty in his first innings on the international arena. Vihari’s 56 was crucial in India getting closer to the England first innings total and the visitors not conceding a huge lead. But the right-hander couldn’t carry that momentum in the second essay and was removed for 0 by Ben Stokes. Not to forget his bowling in the second innings, where he managed to scalp three wickets — includings that of centurions Alastair Cook and Joe Root.

Rishabh Pant - Rating: 7/10, Verdict: Good

Wicket-keeper Rishabh Pant’s match scenario was similar to the traits of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde – his batting was very poor in one innings but outrageously good in the other. Pant nicked the ball to the slip in the first innings but didn’t give any such opportunity to the bowlers in the second as he blazed away to his maiden Test ton — which he brought up by smashing a huge six off Rashid. Pant’s 204-run stand with Rahul gave India hope, even if it was for a small duration in the match. Pant also scalped five catches in the match and displayed good keeping skills when the ball was doing all sorts of things after going past the batsman.


Ravindra Jadeja - Rating: 9/10, Verdict: Very Good

All-rounder Ravindra Jadeja was finally able to play a match in the series after R Ashwin was ruled out due to an injury. Jadeja made the most of this chance and produced the goods with both bat and ball and put forward a question to the team management as to why he wasn’t given a chance earlier. Jadeja’s celebration after scoring fifty in the first innings said it all about how he feels about sitting out for matches. In total, Jadeja scored 99 runs (86* and 13) and scalped seven wickets, forcing the opposition to concede that they were glad watching him sitting on the bench for most parts of the series.

Mohammed Shami - Rating: 7/10, Verdict: Good

They say that sometimes, stats doesn’t say the entire thing and this old adage fit perfectly for Mohammed Shami as far as the Oval Test in concerned. Shami managed to pick just two wickets in the entire match, however, his bowling was much better than the number in the wickets columns — especially in the first innings where he managed to get the better of batsmen at will, without getting rewarded for it.

Ishant Sharma - Rating: 6/10, Verdict: Good

For most part of the now-concluded series, pacer Ishant Sharma bowled like a man possessed by the idea of giving his all for the team and such was the case in the first innings at the Oval as well. Ishant scalped three crucial wickets — Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow and Sam Curran — to help India put breaks on the hosts’ innings. But Ishant couldn’t recreate that magic in the second as he went wicket-less but for that skipper Kohli should be blamed as the pacer bowled just eight overs in the innings.

Jasprit Bumrah - Rating: 6/10, Verdict: Good

Like Ishant, India’s other new-ball bowler Jasprit Bumrah too had a very hot and cold game. After the high of first innings, where he scalped three wickets, came the low of second, where he bowled 23 over but went wicketless. Also, like the other India pacers, he too was guilty of giving the English tail a chance to wag in the first innings which eventually resulted in the hosts keeping their nose ahead in the match.