The ODI series against Australia was supposed to solve Indian team’s combination issues in shorter formats. Instead, 1-4 loss has only complicated things. Rutvick Mehta rates the bunch who failed to click as a unit
Rohit Sharma: 8/10
Was India’s best batsman in the series. Set the ball rolling with 171* in Perth, and followed it up with another ton and 99 in the second and fifth ODI, respectively. Was unfortunate that both his tons came in losing causes, for he showed consistency, maturity and flair throughout.
Shikhar Dhawan: 6/10
Looked woefully out of form in his first two outings, and was probably lucky to survive the axe. Repaid the faith by scoring 68, 126 and 78 in the next three games. Might have kept his place in the side for now, but one wonders the double standards of the think-tank when it comes to backing players.
Virat Kohli: 8/10
Wasn’t far behind Rohit for the top batsman’s crown with back-to-back tons as well. Loves performing in Australia, and it was fitting that he slammed his 25th century against them. Was gutted he couldn’t finish the game in Canberra. No wonder he was the first, and only, to run towards the pitch when Manish Pandey hit the winning runs in Sydney.
Ajinkya Rahane: 6/10
As always, was overshadowed by the likes of Rohit and Kohli but played his part really well. Gave Rohit brilliant support in the second ODI with an 80-ball 89. Notched up another 50 in the third. Manish Pandey capitalised on his absence in the final ODI, and Rahane might just find it tough to get back into the side now.
Manish Pandey: 7/10
Did not get to bat in Perth. Came in at No. 6 in Brisbane.
Was dropped for Melbourne and Canberra ODIs. Rahane’s injury brought him back, and the young lad pounced on that opportunity with a match-winning ton in Sydney at No. 4. Dhoni said the knock will give him an extra 10-15 ODIs. It is well deserved.
MS Dhoni: 2/10
Failed as a captain, failed as a batsman. India’s first three defeats had a similar pattern, and he did nothing to change it. Made some inexplicable comments and team changes, and seemed a skipper bereft of ideas. Complicated the chase in Sydney with his 42-ball 34. The sooner he realises that his time is up, the better for him and the team.
Ravindra Jadeja: 3/10
For some strange reason, the team management picked Jadeja over Ashwin as their lead spinner in the final three ODIs. The logic given was that the former adds balance with the bat. But the man has done nothing with the willow to give credence to that thought, his knock in Canberra giving ample proof. Maybe Axar Patel should be given a try.
Rishi Dhawan: 3/10
Dhoni reckoned the team didn’t have a seaming all-rounder. Rishi was picked as one. His confidence might have taken a huge hit by his skipper’s statement, but it didn’t show when he was picked. Did a decent job with his seam ups in the three ODIs, but threw away a chance of becoming a hero in Canberra. Needs a lot more work.
Gurkeerat Singh Mann: 2/10
Came in with a bit of a reputation of hitting the long ball, but showed nothing of that in the series. Looked all at sea during the chase in the fourth ODI, and his off-spinners are part-time stuff. Also, did not do himself any favours with poor efforts in the field.
Not quite ready for international cricket yet.
Ravichandran Ashwin: 4/10
Came into the series high on confidence after his show against South Africa, but was soon cut down to size. The Australian batsmen milked him with uncharacteristic ease, and after picking up just two wickets in the first two ODIs, was asked to warm the benches. Right or wrong, that is bound to hurt him. Let’s see how he responds.
Umesh Yadav: 2/10
Yadav has to be one of the most curious cases in Indian cricket. Has everything going his way: pace, fitness, heart. Yet, he disappoints more often than delivers. This tour was no different. Seven wickets at an average of 49.28 and an economy of 7.21 is not what one expects from a strike bowler. It’s time the selectors take a hard look at him.
Ishant Sharma: 3/10
Played in coloured clothing after almost a year, and it showed. He was the highest wicket-taker for India alright, but his inconsistency cost the team dear. Bowled at least one boundary ball every over. More was expected from a bowler with vast international experience. Needs to get his act together, and soon.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar: 2/10
Was flown in to replace the injured Mohammad Shami, and was drafted into the playing XI straightaway in the first ODI. As has been the case with him over the past one year, failed to generate swing with the new ball. He, thus, was in and out of the team, and failed to pick up a single wicket in the two games he played.
Barinder Sran: 5/10
Made people sit up and take notice with his lion-hearted effort in his debut game in Perth, bagging three wickets. Showed good skills and temperament for a 23-year-old, before the Aussies sorted him out in the next two ODIs. Strangely, though, he was left out thereafter. Could add much-needed spark and variety in the bowling unit.
Jasprit Bumrah: 7/10
Thanks to flight changes and Bhuvi’s injury, the boy found himself playing the final ODI before the T20Is, for which he was named as Shami’s replacement. But it’s one thing to get lucky, quite another to ride it. The 22-year-old was the most impressive bowler in Sydney, hitting the deck hard and firing those yorkers in at the death. Mighty promising.
Ravi Shastri: 4/10
The ever so positive team director continued with his optimistic ways even after losing the series. He repeated the “could have gone either way”, “plenty of positives”, “learning curve” statements but at some point, he has to admit that the ODI team needs to deliver results. The boss needs to walk the talk, now.