India in Australia 2011-12

Batsmen's failures highlight India's gloom

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

Sidharth Monga

January 29, 2012

Comments: 174 | Text size: A | A

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.


Virat Kohli is ecstatic after registering his first Test ton, Australia v India, 4th Test, Adelaide, 3rd day, January 26, 2012
Virat Kohli was the only India player who would have merited a place in the Australia side © AFP
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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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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by drsamprasad on (February 1, 2012, 13:23 GMT)

@ ved_mishra

You are right. Every one has the right to put forth their views, like i did. I COMMENTED not RATED on this article. COMMENTING is different from RATING! Instead of saying " He was wrong" its always better to say " He could have tried another way". Words hurt more than swords, am sure you agree to that. Anyways my point, is that the author is not QUALIFIED to RATE the players but within his rights to COMMENT. Like one needs to at least have an undergraduate qualification to grade kindergartens too..

Posted by Radiohead80 on (February 1, 2012, 0:54 GMT)

Sidharth Monga dude :d serioulsy??? I quite like most of ur articles but I see some Ishant love off late..lol jus few days ago when everyone was laughing at Ishant's 'unlucky bowler' claim, u wrote an article supporting him....and now u r giving him a 4 but Ashwin a 3 instead??? Ishant shud honestly get a 1 and should have been dropped long ago!!!

Posted by   on (January 31, 2012, 16:11 GMT)

1. Overseas conditioning is important. 2. Young players need test attitude. 3. Indian pitches need to evolve. 4. Coaching should be opponent specific. 5. Don't blame the captain when all the seniors in the team didn't have the effort to handle him.

Posted by pcraju on (January 31, 2012, 5:06 GMT)

I have some basic doubts about how Indian team prepares to play international matches. Australia just doesnt practice on the nets. They also analyse how opposition plays. They've a plan for each good batsman in the opposition. Among Indian batsmen, definitely, they have plans on how to get Sehwag, Tendulkar and Dravid out quickly. They see them playing in the video and analyse to make a plan on what kind of ball to bowl them to get out. Does India do that for any international cricketers? They may be trying to ball good balls, but are they specifically planning what kind of ball to bowl for a specific batsman to get him out? Samething goes with batting as well. Do they watch how aussies bowl and analysed how to play them? I saw most of the big Indian heroes were touching the ball which should be left alone and were getting out, which means they don't know which ball to leave alone and which ball to play. No enough analysis done for batting as well. They just play how they want to.

Posted by SamRoy on (January 31, 2012, 4:16 GMT)

@ssenthil You probably didn't see his innings' at Perth. He played better than Dravid and Laxman ever played at Perth. That second innings 75 (when the pitch had huge cracks) where he deserved a 100 was easily the best innings by an Indian batsmen in the series. A million times better than his 100 or Gambhir's 83 on flat pitches.

Posted by TRAM on (January 31, 2012, 2:22 GMT)

Author criticizes Ashwin's fielding and doesn't merit his batting. In what way Zaheer or Ishant fields or bats better than Ashwin ??? How is Zaheer way up?? And Saha got only one chance he did excellent. Either the author doesn't know how to evaluate or it is deliberate bias.

Posted by Wispa on (January 31, 2012, 1:55 GMT)

Well i totally agree with the marks given to India, except I would give Shewag 1.5 or 1 for a blatant disregard to knowing how to bat!! He may of got away with not moving his feet in the past and made a tonne of runs,,but to continuosly think he could on this tour is a joke....my 15 year old has better technique!! Laxman,,,I love you but you let me down,,,you should have attacked more rather than poke and prod,,,i had a dream and in it you could not even hit the ball more than 10 metres,,,very weak,,,and dissappointing. But I agree Dhoni is no captan, Sheqag is definately no leader to look to for re-assurance in a crisis,,,and Tendulkar/Dravid are have beens!!! India you need to purge and start again!!!!

Posted by ved_mishra on (January 30, 2012, 21:57 GMT)

Mr. @drsamprasad, you don't need to be the GOD or master of cricket to comment or put forward your views. All great cricketer's are not great coaches, commentators or writers. This is author's personal opinion. If your point of view is right, then even you should not be commenting here (by the way I was not able to see your score stats on cricinfo :p).

In my opinion, the points' result should be 6 - Virat Kohli; 5 - Sachin, Saha, Zaheer; 3 - Ashwin; Umesh 2.5 - Dravid; 2 - Ishant; Gambhir 1.5 - Sehwag; 1 - Laxman; 0 - Dhoni, Vinay Kumar. (Are negative points allowed for Vinay Kumar..lol)

Posted by   on (January 30, 2012, 21:00 GMT)

Also, it's not all batsman's fault. Failure to go through the Aussie batting line up for more than 3 out of 8 innings is a terrible bowling & captaincy failure. Both New Zealand as well as SA skittled through this Aussie attack very easily right before the India series.

Posted by   on (January 30, 2012, 20:49 GMT)

How is anybody in the Indian team rated above 5 ???

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