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Wednesday, January 01, 2014

SAF Tour - performances by the team

India finished the South African tour with a depressing loss in the final test - though the series loss was expected, the manner in which the team went down was not. The two test matches were alive till the last day - something that was beyond any fan's delight!

How did the players perform in the test and ODI series? Who were the heroes and who did not perform? Firstly, the batsmen who lagged behind
  1. Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan - both played six innings in both the series included and could not get going at all. Never did they look comfortable (though Dhawan could blame Faf Du Plessis catch for his dismissal in the second test)
  2. Yuvraj Singh, Suresh Raina and Virat Kohli (ODIs) did not do justice to their talent and reputation during the travel. Yuvraj can claim that he played only one innings but the manner he was dismissed showed that he was not comfortable against pace
  3. MS Dhoni (tests) did not do well in test matches, despite being the senior-most batsman in the team. Though his captaincy was at its best, the captain's performance with the bat could have been better in the last innings of the series at least.
Ajinkya Rahane2412099669.6644247.28020292Tests
Ajinkya Rahane110888.001747.0500010ODIs
Bhuvneshwar Kumar110000.0040.0000100ODIs
Cheteshwara Pujara24028015370.0060046.66110360Tests
Ishant Sharma240942.253129.0300110Tests
Ishant Sharma21100*-20.0000000ODIs
Murali Vijay2401489737.0037539.46010250Tests
Mohit Sharma11100*-50.0000000ODIs
Mohammed Shami241642.001540.0000110Tests
Mohammed Shami320884.001844.4400100ODIs
MS Dhoni240872921.7518547.02000110Tests
MS Dhoni320846542.0010282.3501081ODIs
R Ashwin1211811*18.002572.0000020Tests
R Ashwin320341917.004575.5500050ODIs
Ravindra Jadeja120884.008100.0000101Tests
Ravindra Jadeja320552927.506485.9300071ODIs
Rohit Sharma240452511.2510244.1100141Tests
Rohit Sharma320371918.506953.6200040ODIs
Shikhar Dhawan240762919.0018441.3000090Tests
Shikhar Dhawan32012126.001580.0000130ODIs
Suresh Raina320503625.007071.4200050ODIs
Umesh Yadav210111.00520.0000000ODIs
Virat Kohli24027211968.0048855.73110330Tests
Virat Kohli320313115.504077.5000150ODIs
Yuvraj Singh210000.0020.0000100ODIs
Zaheer Khan2413229*10.667542.6600232Tests

The batsmen who did well were no doubt Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane and Murali Vijay in the test series while MSD was the sole contributor in the shorter version.

How did the bowlers fare? Who did well and who did not?
  1. Ravindra Jadeja did well in the opportunities he received during the ODIs and tests, making it an interesting headache for Dhoni in future tests. How he will be fitted into the playing eleven is going to be the biggest challenge for the team management, especially with the friendly rivalry of Ashwin.
  2. Ishant Sharma's bowling in the two ODIs were the reason he played in the test series. But, his performance in the tests were again back to his usual standard. The team management might be thinking of having him as the head of the bowling pack when Zaheer retires but he is nowhere in the same zone.
  3. Shami captured 9 (ODIs) and 6 (tests) during the tour, making him the most valuable bowler from the Indian team. He has improved quite well from his debut and has the ingredients to be one of the forces for Indian cricket.
  4. Zaheer did well in the first test but lacked energy in the second when the going got tough. When the pitches do not do well, Zak has a lesser role to play. But, he will be required to guide his younger compatriots for the rest of the year given that the team will be on major tours.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar1190680--7.55-00ODIs
Ishant Sharma24901731354/795/17062.603.4710800Tests
Ishant Sharma221717844/4019.504.5825.5010ODIs
Mohit Sharma11100820--8.20-00ODIs
Mohammed Shami24751126363/1075/15543.833.507500Tests
Mohammed Shami3328118593/4820.556.6018.6000ODIs
R Ashwin124251080---2.57-00Tests
R Ashwin3328016911/48169.006.03168.0000ODIs
Ravindra Jadeja1262.21515466/1386/15425.662.4762.310Tests
Ravindra Jadeja3324013911/49139.005.79144.0000ODIs
Rohit Sharma2211.41390---3.34-00Tests
Suresh Raina33100550--5.50-00ODIs
Umesh Yadav2215010211/57102.006.8090.0000ODIs
Virat Kohli2160180---3.00-00Tests
Virat Kohli33805411/1554.006.7548.0000ODIs
Zaheer Khan2388.31132074/885/22345.713.6175.800Tests
Murali Vijay211030---3.00-00Tests
MS Dhoni212040---2.00-00Tests

Bhuvi, Mohit and sadly for India, Ashwin did not do well during their outings. Mohit has already paid for it by losing his place for the NZ tour while Ashwin still gets picked for both versions. Dhoni has found an able bowler during the latter stages - Suresh Raina on recent evidence has done well in this new role. Virat Kohli was another bowler tried out by Dhoni to complete the middle stages. Hopefully, the team will learn from their errors and grow further. The bowling pack needs to fire and provide support to the batsmen for India to win anything outside their backyard.
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