India dominated all the sessions of the first Test against Windies and ended up winning it by an innings and 272 runs on the third day itself. Almost everyone contributed, and as a result, India outplayed the Kraigg Brathwaite-led side in all facets of the game in Rajkot.Here’s Cricketnext report card of the Indian players:
Prithvi Shaw – Rating: 9, Verdict: Very Good
The 18-year-old couldn’t have asked for a better start to his Test career. Shaw was selected ahead of Mayank Agarwal and he justified it with a scintillating 154-ball 134, decorated with 19 fours. The opener from Mumbai looked at ease against the Windies bowlers and played his natural game. The likes of Keemo Paul and Sherman Lewis kept on bowling to his strength and Shaw pounced on almost every opportunity. He was also involved in a 206-run partnership with Cheteshwar Pujara for the second wicket and gave India a solid foundation. Shaw was also brilliant on the field.
KL Rahul – Rating: 1, Verdict: Very Poor
The Karnataka batsman was the only one to miss out on the run-fest. Having scored a brilliant century in the last Test against England, Rahul managed to cement his spot for this series. However, he got a pacey inducker from Shannon Gabriel in the very first over and was trapped right in front of the stumps. Just a bad day at the office!
Cheteshwar Pujara – Rating: 7, Verdict: Good
The local boy won’t be happy about missing out on a century. The No. 3 batsman arrived at the crease after the early departure of Rahul and took some time to settle in. The moment he got his eye in, Pujara played some terrific shots and wasn’t too far behind Shaw. He used his feet very well and scored at all parts of the ground before throwing away his wicket to Lewis. Not so Pujara-esque!
Virat Kohli – Rating: 9.5, Verdict: Excellent
India skipper Virat Kohli raises his bat after scoring a ton against West Indies. (Twitter/ BCCI)
Do we really need to talk about the top-ranked Test batsman? It was a normal day at office for Kohli. The 29-year-old looked in complete control from the word go and got his 24th Test century without any fuss. Kohli only hit 10 fours during his 139-run knock and focused more on the running between the wickets. His captaincy too was up to the mark, and looked a class apart from his opposite number Brathwaite.
Ajinkya Rahane – Rating: 6, Verdict: Average
Rahane looked solid while he was at the crease, and also shared a 105-run stand with Kohli for the fourth wicket. Just like Pujara, he too will be disappointed on missing out on a big score. The right-hander scored 41 runs before playing a loose cut of Roston Chase’s bowling, which led to his downfall.
Rishabh Pant – Rating: 8, Verdict: Very Good
It was quite visible that Pant was having fun when he was out in the middle. The 114 that he scored at the Oval would have done his confidence the world of good and the left-handed dasher did nothing but play his natural game in Rajkot. Pant smoked eight fours and four maximums but missed out on a well-deserved century by just eight runs. The 21-year-old dominated the 133-run partnership that he had with Kohli and especially went after the Windies spinners. Pant got out while playing a slog-sweep to Devendra Bishoo, and in future, he might have to cut out on few of his shots depending on what the situation demands.
Ravindra Jadeja – Rating: 9.5, Verdict: Excellent
Ravindra Jadeja celebrates after reaching his maiden Test ton. (AP)
A stroke-filled 100* with bat, followed by four wickets and a run-out, what more you want from your all-rounder? While Pujara might have missed out on a century, the other home boy didn’t. It took Jadeja 218 matches to finally bring up his maiden international century. He was brilliant in that last Test against England where he showed great composure, and it was no different at the venue where he has played most of his cricket. Jadeja batted with tailenders in this match and showed great match awareness. He put on 55 runs for the ninth wicket with Umesh Yadav and an unbeaten 23 runs with Mohammed Shami for the last wicket. He then cleaned up Windies’s tail in the second innings and completed the job for his team. Oh, not to forget that funny run-out!
R Ashwin – Rating: 8, Verdict: Very Good
Ashwin is altogether a different beast on tracks that are even slightly favourable to the spinners. The offspinner picked up key scalps of Shai Hope, Brathwaite and Chase in the match, and was the top wicket-taker in the first innings, with four victims to his name. Apart from those crucial wickets, Ashwin didn’t allow Windies tailenders to make substantial contributions. However, with the tour of Australia on the horizon, Ashwin will also be expected to contribute a bit more with the bat and get those handy runs down the order.
Kuldeep Yadav – Rating: 8.5, Verdict: Very Good
Kuldeep managed to put behind his first innings disappointment, where he leaked 62 runs in 10 overs, and bounced back brilliantly in the second dig. The left-arm wrist spinner bowled with great control and claimed his maiden five-wicket haul in Test cricket. The team management would be more happy about the fact that Kuldeep was able to adapt after getting hammered in the first innings. He used his variations more intelligently, and depending on the batsman varied his lengths. Kuldeep has already proven his worth in the limited-overs format but he will have to be much more consistent if he wants to regular in red-ball cricket.
Umesh Yadav – Rating: 6, Verdict: Average
The right-arm paceman played only one out of eight Tests in South Africa and England. The track that was offered at the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium hardly had anything for the fast bowlers and Umesh did a reasonable job in the 14 overs that he bowled in this match. It was Umesh who got rid of Paul, who was going after the spinners, in the first innings with a well-planned bouncer. His knock of 22 was quite entertaining as well.
Mohammed Shami – Rating: 7, Verdict: Good
Shami looked more effective than Umesh. He only bowler 12 overs in the entire match but gave India early breakthroughs in the first innings, dismissing both the openers. His incoming delivery that knocked over Brathwaite’s off-stump will be part of the series highlights.
*Rating chart: Very poor 0-1, Poor 2-4, Average 5-6, Good 7, Very good 8-9, Excellent 10.
First Published: October 8, 2018, 8:30 AM IST