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India vs England: Team India Report Card - How Virat Kohli and Co. fared at Trent Bridge

Hindustan Times takes a look at the performance of the Indian cricket team in the third Test vs England at Trent Bridge.

cricket Updated: Aug 23, 2018 13:36 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
India vs England,Indian cricket team,Virat Kohli
Indian cricket captain Virat Kohli (2L) congratulates teammates after they won the third Test match against England by 203 runs at Trent Bridge in Nottingham, England on August 22, 2018. (AP)

An all-round show from India saw them beat England by 203 runs at Trent Bridge. If Hardik Pandya and skipper Virat Kohli stood out with quality performances, Ajinkya Rahane hit a solid 81 in the first innings while Cheteshwar Pujara scored 72 in the second. Not to forget Jasprit Bumrah’s fifer in the second inning that saw England all at sea.

Hindustan Times takes a look at the performance of the Indian players in the third Test at Trent Bridge.

Shikhar Dhawan - Rating: 7/10, Verdict: Very Good

He might not have scored a fifty in either of the two innings, but his knocks of 35 and 44 went a long way in ensuring that the nerves in the dressing room were settled.

As an opener, it is one’s job to play out the new ball in testing conditions and that is just what Dhawan did. In fact, there was a conscious effort from him to restrain from playing the drive and that helped his cause further.

Back in the squad after being dropped for the second Test, Dhawan showed great character.

ALSO READ: Team India answer critics in style with 203-run victory over England

KL Rahul - Rating: 6/10, Verdict: Good

Once again, Rahul didn’t set the stands on fire, but his knock of 23 and 36 ensured that the platform was set for the middle-order batsmen to come out and play freely.

Having looked woefully out of form in the first two games, Rahul was ready to grind in the first innings. Even though he looked a bit flashy in the second innings, scoring his 36 off 33 balls, the Indians had the luxury of a huge first innings lead by then. Rahul will want to take this form forward and score a big one in the fourth Test.

Cheteshwar Pujara - Rating: 6/10, Verdict: Good

After being dropped in the first Test and failing to make it count in the second, Pujara finally came good in the third Test as he combined beautifully with skipper Kohli to hit 72 in the second innings.

Their partnership of 113 runs helped India set up a mammoth total of 352/7 decl. With talks surrounding his scoring rate and inability to rotate the strike, the knock was important to give India’s no.3 some confidence.

Pujara himself confessed that the knock was important for him even though he said that missing out on a hundred wasn’t a disappointment as the team had done well.

Virat Kohli - Rating: 10/10, Verdict: Excellent

Words aren’t enough to describe the kind of form that Virat Kohli is in at the moment. Whatever the conditions, the ball just seems headed to the boundary every time it hits the India captain’s bat.

What stands out for the batsman is his ability to show restrain and not hang the bat out outside the off-stump — an area of concern for him in the past. Kohli has almost done away with playing the cover drive till he is well set.

ALSO READ: Virat Kohli registers 22nd win as Test skipper; overtakes Sourav Ganguly

If he was unfortunate to miss out on a well-deserved 100 in the first innings, he made up for it with his 23rd ton in the second innings.

He is now also second on the list of Indian skippers with maximum Test wins, having broken Sourav Ganguly’s record of 21 on Wednesday.

Ajinkya Rahane - Rating: 8/10, Verdict: Very Good

A prolonged run of poor scores had pundits questioning his spot in the Test team. But Rahane answered the critics in style in the first innings with a knock of 81.

More than the runs, it was the shots and the decisive footwork that had everyone sit up and take note. It was indeed a vintage Rahane knock with the square drives and cuts flowing from his bat.

He did score 29 in the second innings, but got out against the run of play. The knock in the first innings in slightly difficult conditions will help Rahane get back the confidence that had gone missing after a string of poor scores.

Hardik Pandya - Rating: 10/10, Verdict: Excellent

There were a lot of talks about his role in the team. Pundits had even questioned if he deserved to be called an all-rounder. But Pandya answered the critics in style.

If he picked his maiden fifer in the first innings to show his class as a bowler, he backed it up with an unbeaten fifty in India’s second innings to show that he does know how to wield the willow.

ALSO READ: ‘We can win the series’, says Virat Kohli after Trent Bridge triumph

The best was his statement at the end of the England first innings when he made it clear that he didn’t wish to be compared to any former great and was happy to be known as Hardik Pandya.

Rishabh Pant - Rating: 6/10, Verdict: Good

Coming into the team after Dinesh Karthik’s failure in the first two Test matches, Pant showed glimpse of belonging at the highest level as he first hit a gutsy 24 in the first innings before picking five catches in the England first innings.

Things didn’t go as per plan in the second innings as he first got out for 1 and then dropped the catch of Jos Buttler who went on to score a hundred.

But most importantly, Pant has shown that he belongs and that is a good sign considering that regular keeper Wriddhiman Saha is out for a while with a shoulder surgery.

R Ashwin - Rating: 4/10, Verdict: Average

With injury plaguing him and the pacers running away with the wickets, Ashwin didn’t really have much to do. While he bowled just one over in the England first innings, he bowled 22.5 in the second innings, giving away 44 runs and picking a wicket.

The team management will be hoping that he is a 100 per cent going into the fourth Test which starts on August 30. Considering the 7-day break in between, the Indian physio and support staff will look to work overtime to get him fit for the all-important fourth game.

Jasprit Bumrah - Rating: 9.5/10, Verdict: Excellent

Back in the playing XI after missing the first two games due to a thumb injury, Bumrah started well from the word go. While he picked two wickets in the first innings, he picked up his maiden fifer in England in the second innings.

Speaking to Ishant Sharma after the fourth day’s play, Bumrah revealed how he worked overtime during his injury-induced break to ensure that he didn’t lose rhythm when he was back on the pitch.

ALSO READ: Kohli dedicates Trent Bridge win to Kerala flood victims

Bumrah kept hitting the right line and length to ensure that the English batsmen were on the backfoot right through.

Ishant Sharma - Rating: 8/10, Verdict: Very Good

The county stint going into the England series worked wonders for the fast bowler. Leading the pack, Ishant has not only been one of the most consistent bowlers on display for the Indians, he has also picked wickets at crucial junctures to bring the visitors into the game.

And it was no different at Trent Bridge as he picked 4 wickets in the game. It did come as a bit of a surprise that Kohli decided to go ahead with Shami and Bumrah as the opening bowlers in the England first innings, rather than handing the new ball to Ishant.

Mohammed Shami - Rating: 2/10, Verdict: Poor

Shami sticks out as the only bowler who failed to perform in the third Test. Even as the others thrived, Shami managed to pick just 2 wickets over two innings.

While not getting wickets isn’t a huge deal, the fact that Shami was inconsistent with his line and length doesn’t augur well for the team. Handed the new ball in the first innings, he sprayed it all over the place.

First Published: Aug 23, 2018 09:43 IST