Australia clinched the four-Test match series 2-0 to recapture the Border-Gavaskar Trophy after having lost the same following the 4-0 thumping in India. The series saw some excellent performances from both sides, especially from the batsmen. A look at some of them.
Steven Smith: TheAustralian captain stood head and shoulders above the rest as far as batting was concerned. After eight innings, he finished with an almost unbelievable target of 769 runs. Smith smashed as many as four hundreds and two half-centuries during the innings. He averaged a mammoth 128, helped by the fact that he remained unbeaten on two occasions. As expected, Smith was the man of the series for his exceptional showing.
Virat Kohli: He was the Indian equivalent of Smith, well almost. Unlike his counterpart, Kohli had a couple of failures in the series. Still, from a standalone point of view, it was an exceptional performance from Kohli. He finished with series with 692 runs with four tons and one half-century. Kohli’s average in the series was brilliant – 86.5. They were a few occasions when he looked in trouble out in the middle, but credibly hung on and enhanced his reputation further.
David Warner: TheAussieopener was inspired to perform well in the series following the sad demise of his friend Phillip Hughes. And, Warner for sure put the tragedy behind him, and came up with some sensational batting efforts. The left-hander finished the series with 427 runs at an average of 53.3. Most importantly, he got three hundreds in the series, and that too at a significantly high strike rate of 79.6. Warner’s quick scoring was heavily responsible for Australia being able to push for wins.
Murali Vijay: Another successful series away from home for the Indian opener. Vijay scored 482 highly patient runs in the series at an average crossing 60. He held the innings together for the side on most occasions, building solid platforms for the middle order. While his consistency was good, his conversion rate is something Vijay must improve on. He crossed fifty five times in the series, but managed to reach three-figures only once.
Chris Rogers: The left-hander resurrected himself after a poor series in the UAE. He had as many as six half-centuries in eight innings, and finished the series with an impressive tally of 495 runs. Thanks to his consistent half-centuries, Rogers finished with a series average of 52. He finished with a highest of 95, in the first innings at Sydney.
Ajinkya Rahane: Yet again, Rahane was the standout performer for India in the middle order. He stitched together 399 runs in the series at a nice average of 57. Rahane had one hundred and two fifties to show for his effort. And, had it not been for his stubborn resistance at Sydney on the final day, India might well have ended up losing the series 3-0.
Nathan Lyon: TheAussieoffiewas the best bowler in the series. He finished with 23 wickets at an average of 35 with two five-wicket hauls, both of them coming at Adelaide. He wasn’t consistent throughout, but in a series dominated by batsmen, he was better than the rest.
--By A Cricket Analyst