Border-Gavaskar series player analysis: India
Ishant Sharma - man of the match against England. (Tony ASHBY)
Australia had only two batsmen average over 40 for the series, and neither Michael Clarke nor Steven Smith played in every game.
India had three players average over 80; of which Cheteshwar Pujara and MS Dhoni played every game.
Pujara, in his one innings, outscored every Australian batsman for the series other than Clarke, Ed Cowan and David Warner. Both Pujara and Dhoni also had individual scores above the series tally for every Australian except Clarke and Cowan.
Let’s take a look at India’s players individually.
3, Did not bat, 1, DNB, 4, DNB, 12, DNB : 20 runs @ 5.00
7/103, 5/95, 1/41, 5/63, 2/97, 2/72, 5/57, 2/55 : 29 wickets @ 20.10
Bowled extremely well, exposed every Australian weakness in helpful conditions.
Did not play, DNP, DNP, 187, DNB : 187 runs @ 187.00
The one number says it all. A stunning debut performance, and at better than a run a ball.
224, DNB, 44, DNB, 4, DNB, 24 : 224 runs @ 81.50
His innings in Chennai helped set the tone of the series. After that did relatively little with the bat, despite always threatening, and his glovework was often terrible for a guy who has grown up with those conditions.
16, DNB, 10, DNB, 8, 8*, 43, DNB : 85 runs @ 21.25
2/71, 3/72, 3/33, 3/33, 3/77, 3/35, 2/40, 5/58 : 24 wickets @ 17.45
Picked as a batsman to provide a third spin option, his batting was disappointing for a man averaging 50 at first class level.
His bowling, however, was above all expectation; finishing on top of the series averages and probably deservedly so.
107, DNB, 34, DNB, 67*, 34, 1, 41 : 284 runs @ 56.8
Still establishing himself at Test level, Kholi put in a better than solid performance and while his first Test hundred was overshadowed by Dhoni, he was in a match-winning and series setting partnership.
Annoying in the extreme for opposition players and fans, a right obnoxious prat in the David Warner mould.
38, DNB, 10, DNB, 18, DNB, 14*, DNB : 80 runs @ 26.67
0/52, DNB, 3/53, 0/7, 0/44, 3/31, 0/43, 0/9 : 6 wickets @ 39.83
Toiled hard, making his debut in Chennai, but pacemen were never going to get much of an opportunity for India in this series.
It is difficult to gauge his future based on that series. If he learns how to bowl in conditions which suit him better he may become a handy bowler.
DNP, DNP, 1, DNB, 0, DNB : 1 run @ 0.50
DNP, DNP, 2/98, 2/46, 1/75, 2/19 : 7 wickets @ 34.00
A surprising omission to many in the first two Tests, he bowled well upon recall without really living up to the reputation he earned against England.
Maybe he struggled to come to terms with the left-handers dominating the Australian line-up.
44, 8*, 204, DNB, 1, 28, 52, 82* : 419 runs @ 83.80
That series should establish him in the Indian line-up for some time, but like most of the inexperienced players his real test will come when playing good teams outside the sub-continent.
His only two away Tests so far, against South Africa, did not produce; but in this series he certainly did.
DNP, DNP, DNP, 7, 1 : 8 runs @ 4.00
Did not do much in his debut game, but one performance is not enough to judge a batsman too harshly. His first class record suggests more chances will come.
2, 19, 6, DNB, DNP, DNP : 27 runs @ 9.00
One of India’s all-time greats may have played his final Test, after failing when most batsmen were cashing in.
If so, he finishes with an average of just under 50, leaving Tendulkar as the last of a golden generation of batsmen.
4*, DNB, 2*, DNB, 0, DNB, 0, DNB : 6 runs @ 3.00
0/59, 0/2, 0/45, 1/5, 3/72, 0/34, 2/35, 1/13 : 7 wickets @ 37.85
Sharma’s decline from promising youngster when he first played Australia to plodder has been one of cricket’s sadder career paths. Conditions didn’t help, and opportunities were few, but he should know how to use them by now and showed none of the maturity of a 50 Test veteran.
He bowled steadily, but those who saw him early in his career expect more despite his recent showing suggesting he has nothing more.
11, DNB, 0, DNB, DNP, DNP : 11 runs @ 5.50
1/87, 2/55, 2/52, 0/10 : 5 wickets @ 40.80
After the Symonds monkey-incident, there is nothing Australians like to see more than the failure of this clown.
It wasn’t really a complete failure, but replacing him with Ohja was the right call.
81, 13*, 7, DNB, 37, 21, 32, 1 : 192 runs @ 32.00
0 wickets, 2 runs
The Sachin of old is long gone, and while averaging 32 is not a drastic failure for most players, it is yet one more sign that India’s modern god may not be that far behind that other great batsman of his time, Ricky Ponting, on the way out.
10, 6, 167, DNB, 153, 26, 57, 11 : 430 runs @ 61.42
The series top run scorer, averaged over 60 and was the only player to score two centuries. Yet he is almost forgotten in the series behind Kholi and Dhoni.
It is hard to see how he has managed only 16 Tests in five years, until one look at his away average of 19.08.