India in Australia 2011-12 January 29, 2012

Batsmen's failures highlight India's gloom

Marks out of ten for India following their 0-4 loss to Australia

There were few bright spots for India in a series during which they were outplayed in every Test, and it is worrying that the captain was their worst performer. ESPNcricinfo runs the rule over the 13 players India used during the series.

6.5
Virat Kohli
The whole world was against him. The fans abused him, the match-referee fined him, the opposition sledged him, the press hounded him and the moral police convicted him. Despite all that, Kohli kept improving his game, was the only centurion for India and scored more runs than any of his illustrious team-mates. The only India player who would have merited a place in this Australia side. No more needs to be said.

5
Sachin Tendulkar
Tendulkar began the series, and almost every innings in it, gloriously, looked good for a century twice, but didn't cross 80. His dismissal in the first innings in Melbourne was one of the turning points in the game, and in Sydney his departure marked the end of India's fight. Converting starts into long innings was Tendulkar's problem in the series. It would be too simplistic to say, however, that the 100 centuries landmark consumed him.

Zaheer Khan
Perhaps Zaheer's biggest achievement of the series was that he actually stayed fit through the whole of it, something he has not done in an away Test series since India toured Bangladesh in January 2010. His spells late on the first day in both Melbourne and Sydney kept India alive, but he did not have a single five-wicket haul through the series, something expected of a spearhead. His inability to produce a match-winning performance was accentuated because the rest of the attack was not as accurate, smart or consistent.

Umesh Yadav
The only India bowler to take a five-wicket haul in the series, Yadav showed he had pace, and can swing the ball late, attack the stumps and run through the tail. Consistency, though, was an issue and he will need time to develop more control.

4
Ishant Sharma
Ishant bowled better than his series strike-rate of one wicket every 150 balls suggests, but was still a disappointment considering these were the conditions in which he announced himself in 2007-08. His failure is also a failure of the coaching staff, who have failed to develop Ishant from a raw find into an accomplished bowler.

Wriddhiman Saha
MS Dhoni's one-match ban for his side's slow over-rates meant Saha got an opportunity in Adelaide and he kept impressively. He showed determination with the bat too: he helped Kohli reach his hundred in the first innings. In the second innings, though, Saha did not go out to bat at No. 7 at the end of the fourth day, and the nightwatchman Ishant was involved in a mix-up that led to Kohli's run-out before stumps.

3
R Ashwin
Ashwin gets an extra half-mark just for facing the media every time no-one else felt like it. He batted better than he bowled; his batting average was the third highest of all India's players. With the ball, he kept bowling the odd loose ball that took the pressure off the batsmen. He is one of the few India players who can use the conditions in Australia as a legitimate excuse - his counterpart Nathan Lyon took fewer wickets than he did. Ashwin, however, has no excuse for being as slow as VVS Laxman in the field.

2
Rahul Dravid
Getting bowled six times in eight innings does not befit a man nicknamed The Wall. Dravid, to his credit, kept working hard in the nets to try to get his back foot across, but kept finding it stuck outside leg during the Tests. He fought for two decent scores but never reached a point in any innings when he looked in form.

Virender Sehwag
Sehwag could not handle the seaming ball and extra bounce made it doubly dangerous. He began with a streaky 60 in Melbourne but his series went downhill from there, ending with two dismissals to full tosses on a flat Adelaide track.

Gautam Gambhir
Gambhir could not help poking at balls outside off at the start of the series, and was found out by the accurate bouncer towards the end. He fought in the second innings at the SCG but fell to a soft leading edge on 83.

R Vinay Kumar
Vinay Kumar was a man caught in the wrong place at the wrong time. Four overs into his debut, his figures read 4-0-31-0. His inclusion meant India were playing four medium-pacers for the first time in 20 years, and the slow over-rate cost MS Dhoni a Test. Vinay Kumar will not forget Perth and David Warner in a hurry.

1
VVS Laxman
Laxman was the biggest disappointment of the series because he has paid his bills through innings played in dire circumstances and has an excellent record against Australia. This time, though, he could not do anything to break the bowlers' rhythm.

0.5 MS Dhoni
Stubborn. Both as captain and batsman. Dhoni captained by a text book that should be found and burnt. With the bat he kept pushing tamely outside off when he should have known his technique is not adequate for that kind of play.

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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