C365's Test series report cards: India

Blog Opinion

India started the five-match series against England with a draw and win, but went on to lose the next three Tests and thus the series, with their batsmen in particular looking dreadful away from home.

India started the five-match series against England with a draw and win, but went on to lose the next three Tests and thus the series, with their batsmen in particular looking dreadful away from home.

Here's how we rated them, though it was tempting to put a big F in red pen across the whole page.

<b>Murali Vijay</b><br><b>Runs</b>: 402<br><b>Average</b>: 40.20<br><b>HS</b>: 146<br><b>Catches</b>: 2<br><b>Wickets</b>: 1<br><b>Ave</b>: 32.00<br><b>Best figures</b>: 1/23

The opener was by far India's best batsman, aside from his skipper, but he had virtually no support from the top order. He was one of two centurions in the side, and the only Indian to score more than 350 runs in the series. His ton came in the first innings of the series, and he added a half century in that drawn game too, before one more fifty prompted a slide in fortunes. He ended with six scored below 35 as the India line-up gave up any pretence of fighting back. He may just have been tired of doing all the work, frankly.<br><b>Out of 10:</b> 7

<b>Gautam Gambhir</b><br><b>Runs</b>: 25<br><b>Average</b>: 6.25<br><b>HS</b>: 18<br><b>Catches</b>: 0

This was a horrific return to the side, after two years on the sidelines. The veteran was given a place after Shikhar Dhawan failed to impress in the first three games, and he was so far from taking advantage that he appeared to be robotic. His dismissals in the final Test were indicative of this, when he still got an edge when trying to leave the ball in the first innings, and then run out in comedic fashion in the second. The chances of him keeping his place after this are slim, with an out of form Dhawan preferable given he can hold a catch at least. It was agonising to watch a talented player look like a hungover Sunday club player.<br><b>Out of 10:</b> 2

<b>Shikhar Dhawan</b><br><b>Runs</b>: 122<br><b>Average</b>: 20.33<br><b>HS</b>: 36<br><b>Catches</b>: 5<br><b>Wickets</b>: 0<br><b>Ave</b>: -<br><b>Best figures</b>: 0/6

The selectors should just have stuck with Dhawan instead of dropping him after Southampton. He was terrible, but not as bad as Gambhir, though that isn't saying very much. His Test average has dropped below 40 now, his debut knock far back in the memory, and seemed to be hampered by his IPL stint. He was in good form there, but hadn't played any longer format cricket before the tour, and he was unable to cope with the movement the new ball in England presented. But thanks to Gambhir's disgrace, he'll get his place back for the next series.<br><b>Out of 10:</b> 4

<b>Cheteshwar Pujara</b><br><b>Runs</b>: 222<br><b>Average</b>: 22.20<br><b>HS</b>: 55<br><b>Catches</b>: 5

As someone on Twitter said during the final Test, The Wall 2.0 has become The Window. After being solid as a rock early on in his career, defending ala Rahul Dravid, Pujara looked discombobulated in England, unable to navigate past the new ball in his usual manner. In his defence, he was practically an opener given how early he always had to come in, but still, he's famous for his mental fortitude and this seemed to abandon him. His only decent knock came in the first Test, which was drawn, and added 43 at Lord's, but after that he faded away like the rest of the team. He was very good in his close catching position though, so, silver lining!<br><b>Out of 10:</b> 4.5

<b>Virat Kohli</b><br><b>Runs</b>: 134<br><b>Average</b>: 13.40<br><b>HS</b>: 39<br><b>Catches</b>: 1

Regular readers will know of our love for Virat, so this is painful. Gosh, he was bad. When your number 10 batsman scores significantly more runs than your marquee batsman, then you have an issue. Be it down to missing his Bollywood girlfriend (what's the rest of the order's excuse?) or too much time taking selfies in the gym, Virat looked out of his depth and not made for the format, which is not true ordinarily. Of his 10 innings, only four reached double figures, and he was unable to breach the 40-run barrier. He kept playing away from his body, not accounting for swing, and was punished accordingly.<br><b>Out of 10:</b> 3

<b>Ajinkya Rahane</b><br><b>Runs</b>: 299<br><b>Average</b>: 33.22<br><b>HS</b>: 103<br><b>Catches</b>: 2

The middle order batsman started the series well, picking up the slack when the top order failed at Lord's and scored a century to see his side win the match. He then bagged two futile double tons in Southampton, before seemingly giving up the ghost with the rest of the side. His final four knocks totalled just 29 as England's senior bowlers got the measure of him.<br><b>Out of 10:</b> 6

<b>MS Dhoni</b><br><b>Runs</b>: 349<br><b>Average</b>: 34.90<br><b>HS</b>: 82 (twice)<br><b>Catches</b>: 17

India's captain was a conundrum, because while his captaincy was below par, he was one of the few batsmen who shoed some fight. He scored four half centuries, often coming in hours before he should have as at one point India sat on eight for four in Manchester. He scored 71 there to ensure it wasn't a total embarrassment, as he did in other innings too. Without his 82 at The Oval, they would have been out for much less than 148. He was his usual dependable self behind the wickets, though did confound watchers when he stood back to spinner Ravi Jadeja at one point.<br><b>Out of 10:</b> 7

<b>Ravi Jadeja</b><br><b>Runs</b>: 117<br><b>Average</b>: 22.12<br><b>HS</b>: 68<br><b>Catches</b>: 2<br><b>Wickets</b>: 9<br><b>Ave</b>: 46.66<br><b>Best figures</b>: 3/52

Jadeja got more attention for his antics off the field than on it, to be honest. His run-in with James Anderson during the second Test dominated the headlines, and made their interactions in the middle fraught with intrigue. But England were the victors in the end, as Jadeja was dropped for the final Test after indifferent, but not horrible, performances. His one highlight was a half century in the victory at Lord's. His lowlight was the dropped catch off Alastair Cook in Southampton, which arguably kick-started England's recovery.<br><b>Out of 10:</b> 5

<b>Ravi Ashwin</b><br><b>Runs</b>: 106<br><b>Average</b>: 35.33<br><b>HS</b>: 46*<br><b>Catches</b>: 1<br><b>Wickets</b>: 3<br><b>Ave</b>: 33.66<br><b>Best figures</b>: 3/72

The spinner was out of action for the first three Tests, with the belief that he was not good enough away from home swaying the selectors. When he did get to play in Manchester, he was so-so with the ball, but scored two 40s with the bat. It was the reverse at The Oval, where he took his three wickets but joined the rest of the team in being inept with the bat. He wasn't great, but he wasn't rubbish either, performing adequately in foreign conditions.<br><b>Out of 10:</b> 5.5

<b>Stuart Binny</b><br><b>Runs</b>: 118<br><b>Average</b>: 23.60<br><b>HS</b>: 78<br><b>Catches</b>: 1<br><b>Wickets</b>: 0<br><b>Ave</b>: -<br><b>Best figures</b>: 0/37

The all-rounder was used as a yo-yo in this series, his first for India. After waiting years for his debut, the fourth