India were handed another overseas series loss in tough conditions even though they came close to winning more than one Test in the five-match series. Was it the lack of enough individual performances that hurt India? We run the rule over the men who played their part


Virat Kohli

Having bossed series as a batsman in Australia and South Africa, the big question was, could Kohli do the same in England? Could he boss James Anderson? By scoring 593 runs in five Tests, Kohli proved he can conquer nerves, pitches, lengths, lines, sledges, ego and, yes, Anderson as well. Their duel at Edgbaston, where Kohli was out twice, but for getting dropped twice by Dawid Malan, was straight out of a Hitchcock movie. The suspense hung in the air even after the ball left Kohli's bat. But he shrugged it off and only looked even more determined not to give his wicket away.

The only weaknesses Kohli showed was in picking his XIs and looking short of ideas when cornered by the Sam Curran-led England lower order.


Ishant Sharma

With 18 wickets in the series, Ishant finished second behind only Anderson. With control, accuracy and better lengths, he had one of the best tours in his decade-long career and performed the role of the bowling captain admirably. Ishant claimed Alastair Cook's wicket thrice and was a general menace to left-handers from round the wicket. His probing lines outside the off stump also kept the right-handers quiet and the pressure up.

Jasprit Bumrah

India sorely missed Bumrah in the first two Tests, which he had to sit out recovering from a freak thumb injury. But on his return at Trent Bridge, he polished off England's lower order with a high-quality five-for and paved the way for India's only victory in the series. Bowling long spells at high speeds, and from angles that batsmen like Joe Root and Jos Buttler found hard to cope with, Bumrah created panic and pressure in just his second Test series after a successful maiden tour of South Africa in January.


Cheteshwar Pujara

Unfairly dropped for the first Test, laughed out of the ground at Lord's after a comical run-out in his first innings of the series and bounced out at Trent Bridge playing a shot his dad had once asked him to never play (the hook), Pujara's inner steel was tested severely on this tour. He responded with a gritty 72 in the second innings at Trent Bridge and then a classy century in Southampton where he ran out of partners.

Mohammed Shami

He was unlucky to not get the number of wickets he deserved. Even though he bowled mostly with an old-ish Dukes, he kept beating the edges repeatedly, never wavering with his speed, intensity or the attacking lines. There is one area he needs to improve though: focus with the bat. His impulsive slogs were not only foolish, but hurt the team's chances of building a bigger total.


KL Rahul

Bowled five times in the series - the most on either side. Stunned by the nip-backer more than once. Defeated by grubbers. Rahul had a torrid summer with the bat in the first four Tests. Then he arrived at The Oval and decided he was going to defend himself by attacking. He didn't slog though. His runs came via stylish drives, cuts, lofts and pulls. With each crisp shot, the confidence streamed back and Rahul ended as the second-highest run-getter for India. He also took a record 14 catches in the series - many of them in the slips.

Rishabh Pant

Got first runs in Test cricket with a six. Reached maiden Test century with a six. With Dinesh Karthik failing with the bat in the first two Tests, the think-tank made the bold move to include the 20-year-old left-hander who primarily made headlines in the IPL with his explosive batting. Although he wasn't the safest behind the stumps, he did become the first Indian wicketkeeper to score a century in England by showing bundles of confidence.

Ravindra Jadeja

Picked as the second spinner and allrounder, he only got into the XI in the final Test of the series after R Ashwin was injured. But once picked, Jadeja made a telling statement, scoring an unbeaten 86, that carried India from 160 for 6 to within 40 runs of England's first innings total of 332, and picking up seven wickets in the match. He might still be disappointed at not making better use of a dry pitch.


Hardik Pandya

He knocked England out at Trent Bridge with five wickets in six overs. But that was the only time he could contribute to the team's cause. When conditions weren't helpful to swing the ball, his bowling lacked any kind of threat and his only fifty of the tour came at a time when India had plenty of runs on the board and were waiting to declare. He was eventually dropped for the last Test.


Ajinkya Rahane

Looked pretty, settled and balanced. But flattered to deceive. Rahane, India's vice-captain, was the side's best overseas batsman not so long ago. But he has not scored a century since August 2017 - in 19 innings. In this series, Rahane's shot selection was poor and he paid the price. Supposed to be one of the "pillars" of the Indian middle order, according to head coach Ravi Shastri, he was anything but solid and finished with only two fifties from 10 innings.

R Ashwin

He captured the first headline of the series, putting England on the backfoot at Edgbaston, and also showed a cool head with the bat. But as the series wore on, he struggled to make an impact. He picked up a niggle during the third Test and then failed to exploit a spinner-friendly pitch in the fourth, especially on the third afternoon when his team desperately needed wickets. India lost the series and Ashwin lost his confidence and spot in the XI with an aggravated injury.

Hanuma Vihari

After a very nervous first day as a Test batsman, Vihari settled down to score an important half-century in partnership with Jadeja and kept India in the game at The Oval. He also found himself on a hat-trick, making good use of the rough with his part-time offspin. Picked controversially ahead of Karun Nair, Vihari exhibited grit and technique in tough conditions against an in-form pace attack.


Shikhar Dhawan

A crowd puller. Wait, not with the bat. Dhawan was energetic moving his feet to the bhangra but with the bat, they remained static. The hands were too hard. The bat kept flashing. And the runs never came. During the fourth Test in Southampton, Dhawan was offered a shoe by a fan to autograph. He dodged it using comic gestures, but with the kind of weak series he has had, don't rule out the possibility of Dhawan getting the selectors' boot.


M Vijay

He had the most runs when India came to England in 2014. But Vijay had been struggling with form and technique since the South African tour. He is most solid when he leaves a lot of balls. But England learnt from previous experience and didn't give him that option very often, removing him for a duck twice in four innings.

Dinesh Karthik

At the end of the third day, India needed 84 runs to win the Edgbaston Test. Karthik had played well overnight in a 32-run partnership with Kohli. But he lasted exactly six balls the next morning. He was bowled twice in the series and promptly lost the team management's confidence after two Tests.

Umesh Yadav

In the first innings of the only Test he played, at Edgbaston, Umesh bowled a lot to England's top order with a control percentage in the late 80s, but got only seven overs in the second innings, picking a couple of lower-order wickets. Once Bumrah was fit, Umesh became the net bowler.

Kuldeep Yadav

He captured attention and headlines with his unorthodox bowling style during the T20 and ODI series in England. India thought they had an ace up their sleeve in Kuldeep, but unfortunately for the left-arm wristspinner, he got to play his only Test of the series on a seamer's paradise. After going wicketless, he was sent back home to play for India A.

And last but not the least... Ravi Shastri


For backing his team regardless of how bad a hole they might have dug themselves into.


For actual coaching. This tour Shastri wanted to see how far India had come from South Africa. But the batting which failed India there did the same in England. Shastri looked after each and every training session in the three months in England, never once skipping. But he needs to start fine tuning things and make players perform better before the plans start disintegrating. He also needs to have a bigger say in team selections in case he does not do it already.