Bhuvneshwar tops Indian report card

Bhuvneshwar tops Indian report card

Bhuvneshwar tops Indian report card

India salvaged some pride by winning a hard-fought Wanderers' Test but lost the series 1-2. Barring Virat Kohli, and Ajinkya Rahane, who played only the last Test, none of the batsmen measured up to his reputation that cost India dear. The bowlers, however, did exceptionally well, claiming all the 60 South African wickets in the series. Naturally, the bowlers, especially the pacemen, top the report card.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar: Missed the second Test as team management thought the conditions at Centurion didn't suit him, but he was their best bowler in the first innings of both the opening Test and the third Test. He also made decent contribution with the bat. In fact with 101 runs at 33.66 average, he is the fourth highest run-getter for India in the series behind Kohli, Hardik Pandya and M Vijay. He was also adjudged the man of the match for his all-round show in the final Test.

Stats: Matches: 2; Runs: 101; HS: 33; Wickets: 10: BBI: 4/87. Rating: 9/10

Virat Kohli: As a captain made some contentious calls insofar as selections are concerned, but as a batsman he was top notch, standing head and shoulders above the rest of the Indian batting. With 286 runs at 47.66, he is the top run-getter from either side and led the aggressively in the final Test.

Stats: M: 3; Runs: 286; HS: 153. Rating: 8.5/10

Mohammad Shami: He was generally off-colour in the first innings of each Test, but somehow found his range and rhythm, focus and fire in the second innings. The right-arm quick topped the bowling charts for India with 15 wickets, joint highest for the series along with Kagiso Rabada and Vernon Philander.

Stats: M: 3; W: 15; BBI: 5/28; R: 72; HS: 28; Rating: 8/10

Jasprit Bumrah: Pitchforked into Tests without having bowled in a first-class match for close to a year, the Gujarat bowler showed why the team management had so much faith in him. Claimed his maiden five-wicket haul at the Wanderers and returned as the second highest wicket-taker for the series (14).

Stats: M: 3; W: 14; BBI: 5/54; R: 4; HS: 2. Rating: 7.5/10

Ishant Sharma: The most experienced bowler in the Indian side, Ishant missed the first Test due to illness but played crucial role in the next two Tests without actually setting the pitch on fire. The tall paceman provided crucial breakthroughs, especially in the third Test.

Stats: M: 2; W: 8; BBI: 3/46; R: 14; HS: 7 n.o,; Rating: 7/10

R Ashwin: Didn't get picked for the final Test for obvious reasons, but made his presence felt in the first two Tests. On a grassy Newlands pitch, he claimed two wickets and picked up a four-for on the opening day of the Centurion Test.

Stats: M: 2; W: 7; BBI: 4/113; R: 90; HS: 38. Rating: 6.5/10

Ajinkya Rahane: Played just one Test after being kept out for the first Test and proved his worth in these conditions with an attacking 48 on the difficult Wanderers pitch, and perhaps made the difference between India winning and South Africa losing the match. It was a statement of intent that Kohli would surely have taken note of.

Stats: M: 1; R: 57; HS: 48. Rating: 6/10

Hardik Pandya: Started off with a great promise in the first Test with breakthroughs and the third highest individual knock of the series (93) at Cape Town but his performances fizzled out later. A silly run out in Centurion and a making a hash of run-out chances in the fourth innings of the Wanderers Test, blighted his bright start.

Stats: M: 3; R: 119; HS: 93; W: 3; BBI: 2/27. Rating: 5.5/10

M Vijay: The opener was largely disappointing before playing a crucial knock in India's second innings at Wanderers. He took many blows on body and guarded one end for a prolonged period to play out the tough part.

Stats: M: 3; R: 102; HS: 46. Rating: 5.5/10

Cheteshwar Pujara: The two run-outs in the Centurion Test were unacceptable, but the right-hander somewhat redeemed himself with a gritty half-century in the first innings at the Wanderers.

Stats: M: 3; R: 100; HS: 50. Rating: 5/10

Wriddhiman Saha: Played just one Test before getting injured and being ruled out of the series. He didn't do anything of note with the bat, but was spectacular with the big gloves at Cape Town. The Bengal stumper claimed a record 10 catches, and his absence was felt in the subsequent Tests.

M: 1; R: 8; HS: 8; Catches: 10. Rating: 4.5/10

Parthiv Patel: Keeping wickets in place of Saha, Parthiv did precious little with the bat and lived up to his reputation as a technically poor stumper. His knock of 16, however, at the Wanderers in India's innings was massive in the context of the game and was busy through the Test behind the wickets.

M: 2; R: 56; HS: 19; Catches: 10. Rating: 4/10

KL Rahul: Replacing Shikhar Dhawan in the second Test, Rahul, with acknowledged technical nous to bat in these conditions, failed to live up to expectations. His 44-ball 16, however, was crucial in the context of the Wanderers' Test.

Stats: M: 2; R: 30; HS: 16. Rating: 2/10

Rohit Sharma: With tons of runs in home conditions, the right-hander failed to raise his game in testing conditions.

Stats: M: 2; R: 78; HS: 47. Rating: 1.5/10

Shikhar Dhawan: Failed in both innings of the first Test, looking completely out of place.

Stats: M: 1; R: 32; HS: 16. Rating: 1/10

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