by Aravind Mani
India’s domination in One Day Internationals continued as they won the last match of the series against Australia comfortably by 7 wickets and clinched the series by 4-1. With this win India reclaimed the number 1 ranking in ODIs. This was India’s 6th bilateral series victory in this format. This series was also good for the captain Virat Kohli, as every member of the team contributed towards the series win when needed. Here’s a rating on how Team India fared against Australia in the recently concluded series.
Ajinkya Rahane: 8/10
Rahane opened the innings in the series, due to absence of Shikar Dhawan. He scored 4 consecutive fifties in the series and his consistency was the major positive. His opening stands with Rohit Sharma helped lay the foundation for fellow players to capitalize. But it will be hard for him to retain his place in the playing XI once Dhawan returns. If that happens India can play Rahane at No 4 as he has the ability to stable the innings. He is very important for the team as his composure while batting can prove to be valuable on overseas tours. The only drawback of him is that he has not been able to convert his fifties into big score.
Rohit Sharma: 8.5/10
Sharma was the leading run scorer in this series with 296 runs at an astonishing average of 59.20. His loveaffair against Australia continued, as he became the first player to hit most sixes against Australia in ODIs. He has also scored an impressive 6 centuries against them. The best shot of the series was his pull shot six which went out of the stadium and left many people awestruck. After the first two matches Rohit started to take on the opposition with his quick-fire fifties, but was unable to convert it into a big one. In the last match of the series he comfortably led India to victory with his formidable 125 after the bowler did their task in the first innings.
Virat Kohli: 8/10
Kohli scored only one fifties in this series, he has proven to be better captain than a batsmen in this series. By his high standards the Indian captain had an ‘average’ series with the bat as he was unable to score a century in the series. He improved as a captain and rotated the bowlers at regular intervals and changed the field settings to provide some crucial breakthroughs. This made it tougher for Australia to capitalize on the good starts in the series. He needs 1 more century to go past Ricky Ponting and move into second spot just behind Sachin Tendulkar.
Hardik Pandya: 9.5/10
|5||5||31||6||31.33||6.06||31||2 for 28|
He is one of the rising stars in the Indian setup, who his enjoying his good run after his knock of 76 in Champions Trophy final against Pakistan. He played a superb knock of 83 in the first ODI when India lost 3 wickets inside 10 overs and was involved in a match winning partnerership with MS Dhoni to take them to a good total. In that match he took 2 wickets, which fetched him the Man of the Match for his all-round abilities. Pandya for the first time in his career was promoted up the order at No 4 position in a big chase, but he scored 76 runs which laid the foundation for India to win the match. He also proved to be a better seam bowling all-rounder, which Indian team has missed a player like this for a long time. He won his first Man of the Series award for his superb all-round show in the series.
Kedar Jadhav: 6/10
|5||2||17||2||43||5.05||51||1 for 38|
Jadhav has shown the temperament to stabilize the innings when the team has lost wickets in quick succession. His score of 67 in this series came in a losing cause as the middle order failed to capitalize on the situation. He has been the mystery spinner with a golden arm, as he provided crucial breakthroughs for the team when other bowlers were not able to pick any wicket. For the first tim in his career he completed his full quota of 10 overs in the 5th ODI.He is now trying to fill the place left by Yuvraj and Suresh Raina in ODIs.
Manish Pandey: 5/10
Pandey failed to use the opportunity which was given by the team selectors, as he was not able to cross the 40 run mark in this series. He has got the backing of the management, as they were gave the youngster time to settle down. But with the likes of Yuvraj and Raina there will be more pressure on him now. It is also evident that the possibilities of getting him picked for next series are not very high.
MS Dhoni: 7/10
Dhoni set the foundation for the series with a knock of 79 in Chennai, which turned to be a match winning knock. From then onwards he was not able to make any contributions with the bat in this series. His wicket keeping in the series was outstanding as usual, he stopped the flow of runs from the back, and guided the spinners on how to bowl. He is still considered as an invaluable asset to the team. He should be given back his number 4 spot in ODIs as he takes time to graft his innings and is more useful building the innings than as a finisher.
Yuzvendra Chahal: 8/10
|4||4||33||6||28.66||5.21||33||3 for 30|
Chahal led the spin attack in the absence of the experienced duo of Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja. He troubled the Australian batsmen with his leg spin and got the better of Glenn Maxwell thrice in the series. He destroyed the batting line up of Aussies in the first 3 matches of the series. So it will be good to see him if he performs the same in future and in overseas tour so that he can cemet his spot in the playing eleven.
Kuldeep Yadav: 8/10
|4||4||34||7||30||6.17||29.1||3 for 54|
The Chinaman bowler was a major threat for the visitors before the start of the series. In fact in order to tackle him they practiced with a local Chinaman bowler from Delhi Ranji team. He also became the 3rd player from India to claim a hat-trick in ODIs, when he achieved this feat in Eden Gardens. He has impressed the management with his variations and he was also the leading wicket-taker for India in this series. The only thing he should be careful about his economy rate as he tends to go for a few too many on occassion.
Axar Patel: 6/10
|2||2||20||3||34.66||5.20||40||3 for 38|
Axar Patel was not part of first 3 matches, as he was out due to injury. He got chance to play in 4th ODI, but he was not able to make an impact. In the 5th ODI, he destroyed the Aussie line up and restricted them to a below-par total of 242, which also helped him claim the Number 7 spot in the ODI bowler’s ranking.
Bhuvaneshwar Kumar: 9/10
|4||4||28.1||5||25.2||4.47||33.8||3 for 9|
Bhuvaneshwar is lethal with his economical bowling as he stops the run flow during the power play and death overs. His spell of 3/9 at Kolkata was his best performance in the series. Due to his low economy rate, he is an asset to the Indian team with his seam bowling option. Not only is he lethal with the new ball but he has developed his bowling at the death as well into a potent weapon.
Jasprit Bumrah: 7/10
|4||4||31||5||32.4||5.22||37.2||2 for 51|
This series was not very good for Jasprit, as he was not at his best during death overs. The only positive he got in this series was his variation during power play overs, which made Australia to score at a slow rate. In the first two matches he went wicketless. He picked up wickets only during the 3rd and final ODI of the series.
Umesh Yadav: 6/10
|1||1||10||4||17.75||7.1||15||4 for 71|
Umesh Yadav got only one chance to play in this series. He also picked his 100th ODI wicket in the process. He finished the match with 4 wickets, when other bowlers were not able to take wickets and stop the Australian batsmen from scoring runs. They should give him more chance in the upcoming series, as his pace will be valuable to the team when they play overseas.
Mohammed Shami: 5/10
Mohammed Shami who was back into the squad after a long time, who was out due to frequent injuries. He played only one match at Bengaluru and went wicketless, so it will be harsh to comment him based on this performances. He may be able to change the fortunes of him in next series.
KLRahul and Ravindra Jadeja were in the squad, but they didn’t get chance to play in the series.