India vs Australia: 1st Test review

27 February 2013

Written by: Ashley Shenker

cricket-aus-sliderIndia romped Australia in the opening match of the Border-Gavasker Trophy in Chennai by eight wickets, with standout performances from local heroes MS Dhoni and Ravi Ashwin.

The Aussies were no match for their opposition, who had them in a spin from day one.

Here are the rating of the 22 players that took field, which featured some very tricky conditions for the visitors.

India:

Murali Vijay – Two cheap dismissals saw him back in the shed before he could even raise a sweat in the Indian heat. Zero impact. (2/10)

Virender Sehwag – Was terribly unlucky to chop on in the first innings, but like his opening partner made little impact on the game as he was dismissed in the second. (3)

Cheteshwar Pujara – Made a brisk 44 before becoming a victim of James Pattinson’s early rampage. There are big wraps on this young batsman, so watch out for him. (5)

Sachin Tendulkar – He’s still got it. Looked like he was batting in his lounge room until Nathan Lyon bowled him in the first dig. The arrogance in which he finished the game was pretty amazing too. (7)

Virat Kohli – A little bit brash and a little bit cocky. But with the runs to back him up. Seems to love batting against Australia in whatever coloured clothing. Threw a massive century away after holing out to mid-on, but 107 is not too bad. Has the world at his feet. (8)

MS Dhoni – Can’t make a run to save himself in Australia, but by golly he’s good on his home track. With the match seemed headed for a tight finale, his innings swung the game well and truly in India’s favour. His 224 earns him the <I>upstart<P> Man of the Match award. (10)

Ravi Jadaja – Playing as the third spinner, he provided the variety that was lacking in Australia’s spin bowling stocks – and with much success. Plugs a hole at number 7, but didn’t have much to do as Kohli and Dhoni went berserk. (6.5)

Ravi Ashwin – Had the Aussies in the spin. Showed Lyon the importance of flighting the ball in Indian conditions. Single-handedly halted Australia’s first innings, securing the first six wickets including Moises Henriques just before stumps. A fantastic 12 wickets. (9.5)

Harbhajan Singh – Stepped up his game in the second innings after looking rather pedestrian in the first. Benefitting from bowling with the new ball, he partnered Ashwin as they ripped through the Australian middle order late on day three. Solid (6)

Bhuvneshwar Kumar – It’s not often the debutant number 10 makes more of an impact with the bat than the ball. Wasn’t required to bowl in the second innings, but partnered Dhoni as they put on a 140 run partnership. His time with the ball will come, but probably on foreign soil. (6)

Ishant Sharma – A nothing player. Bowled too short and wide and was treated with disdain. Like Kumar, his workload was limited. (1)

 

Australia:

Ed Cowan – Anyone who knows me will tell you how much I hate unconverted starts. And Cowan had two of them. His first-innings dismissal was simply unforgivable – running down the wicket whilst eyeing off the spectator he was going to hit it to. Will need to convert his starts if Australia is to consolidate a decent opening stand. (5/10)

David Warner – Played well in the first innings before becoming one of Ashwin’s seven wickets. Has traditionally enjoyed Indian conditions in the shorter versions of the game, so expect him to continue with his aggressive intent. He was far from the Aussies worse this game. (6.5)

Phil Hughes – Two failures. Struggled to deal with the inconsistent bounce, but allow him to acclimatise. Will be fine (3)

Shane Watson – By golly the Aussies missed his stump to stump bowling. Came in as an opener and looked much better until he was dismissed with the last ball before lunch. Still of the belief he’s better as an opener, but not a bad option at four given the lack of experience in the top order. (5.5)

Michael Clarke – Casually scoring yet another hundred, albeit in a losing cause. Whilst his colleagues found the Mumbai pitch bordering on unplayable, the Aussie skipper played the bowlers with consummate ease. Needs help further down the order though. (8)

Matthew Wade – There surely cannot be enough ice in India for Wade to put all over his chest after the body blows he took from the bowlers. The scorecard will tell you he conceded nearly 20 byes, but keepers gone by will tell you India is the hardest place to keep wicket, so give him time to adjust. Batting needs to step up a cog too (4.5)

Moises Henriques – Surely exceeded all expectations. Two brave showings with the bat will shut the doubters up for a while, although his dismissal on the stroke of stumps on day one robbed the Aussies of a big first innings score. His long toil with the ball was also rewarded with the wicket of Harbhajan. May take some steps up the batting order. (7.5)

Peter Siddle – A shadow of his herculean self from the Adelaide test last summer. In conditions that probably suited him more so than Starc or Pattinson, the Victorian posed little threat to the Indian resistance, although he leaked less than three runs an over. Will be under pressure. (4)

Mitchell Starc – Like Siddle, posed little threat to the Indian batsmen. Should be retained for the second test, but having Mitchell Johnson breathing down his neck means his job security is not guaranteed. (4)

James Pattinson – Simply amazing. Showed the way with his aggressive intent, blowing through the opening batsmen on day two. Really seemed like the only bowler who really cared that Dhoni scored a double century in a day. (8)

Nathan Lyon – Where do you start… 3-215. You had to feel a little sorry for him, especially when Dhoni was trying to slam him to Calcutta. May get some help from either Glen Maxwell, Steve Smith or Xavier Doherty, but really needs to tighten up with his length. He’ll learn. (4)

Kevin Cheong is a third-year Bachelor of Journalism student at La Trobe University. You can follow him on Twitter: @Cheongas.