India surrendered the Border-Gavaskar Trophy at the WACA Ground in Perth losing the Third Test inside the three days to suffer an innings and 37-run defeat! The batting once again failed to come good for the visitors as they got bundled out below 200 in both the innings. The bowlers took a caning from David Warner and bowled only well in patches which wasn’t good enough.
Well lets take a closer look at how each player performed for India in the Perth Test :
1. Gautam Gambhir (Marks : 2/10) : Gambhir’s continuous failure to get going has been a major reason for India’s poor performance overall. After a solid 70-odd score in the Sydney Test, Gambhir looked confident at Perth. He did all the hard work to get to 31 before lost his concentration and edged behind a Hilfenhaus delivery on the first day. In the second innings, Gambhir was bounced out by a nasty lifter from left-arm quick Mitchell Starc which was fended off at slips. Gambhir scored only 14 to end another bad match for him.
2. Virender Sehwag (Marks : 0/10) : On current form, Sehwag is there in the team only because of his past reputation! In the Perth Test too, Sehwag failed miserably with scores of 0 and 10! The Aussie fast bowlers seemed to have got the better of him and Viru is caught doing nothing new but banking on his carefree style of cricket on seaming pitches.
3. Rahul Dravid (Marks : 3/10) : Dravid looks to be heading towards a career finish on this tour. He is no longer the solid batsman that India was proudly having at no.3. With scores of 9 and 47, Dravid couldn’t rescue his team on a fast and bouncy WACA pitch. In both the innings, Dravid got bowled, so his technical problems continue to persist and his reflexes do not look that sharp anymore.
4. Sachin Tendulkar (Marks : 1/10) : It was a rare failure for Sachin in this series with cheap scores of 15 and 8. Interestingly, Tendulkar was out lbw in both the innings on a pitch where that kind of dismissal is a rarity because of the extra bounce. In the first innings, Sachin paid penalty for playing right across the line to Harris and in the second innings was comprehensively done in for the lovely late inswinger from Mitchell Starc. The 100th international ton is still hanging in the air for the little master!
5. VVS Laxman (Marks : 1/10) : He has been a disaster on this tour! VVS Laxman hasn’t lived up anywhere close to the expectations on his class. Like Dravid, Laxman is also on the verge of a forced retirement following his poor show. He has come up with scores of 31 and 0 in the Perth Test. In the first innings, Laxman after being well set was out tamely edging behind a Siddle delivery. In the second innings, Laxman surrendered with a duck in what could be his last innings for India!
6. Virat Kohli (Marks : 8/10) : And finally Virat Kohli has proved his ability to play Test Cricket. The talent in him was never doubtful but somehow he has struggled to convert that into big runs in this format of the game. Perth was a wonderful opportunity for Kohli to cement a place in the side and he did just that with impressive knocks of 44 and 75 when the team was in dire straits in both the innings. Kohli is there to stay in the Indian test team and may be its not a bad idea to have him at no.3! The young man has shown that he has plenty of time on hand to face the quicks and his pull shots were all very convincing.
7. MS Dhoni (Marks : 0/10) : The Captain is going down with his sinking ship! What can one say about his performance in the Perth Test with scores of 12 and 2? The ICC has done a favour by dropping him for the Adelaide Test through a ban for slow over-rate. Dhoni will have to work hard to deserve a place in the Indian test team in overseas conditions!
8. R Vinay Kumar (Marks : 0/10) : He made his debut in the Perth Test after getting selected in the place of off spinner Ashwin. There was a lot expected from Vinay Kumar as he is in the Praveen Kumar mould of swinging the ball in both ways. However, he just didn’t show anything of that in the Perth Test and was taken to the cleaners by David Warner. Vinay was unfortunately a wasted resource in the 11 for India in that Test. For the record, Vinay Kumar took one wicket that of Michael Hussey while conceding 73 runs in 13 overs.
9. Zaheer Khan (Marks : 7/10) : It was an unlucky match for Zaheer Khan with plenty of balls beating the bat but the results not going his way. There was a also a catch put down off his bowling that too off David Warner early in the Australian innings! Zaheer could have done a lot more had Warner been caught then. He also lacked the support from the other three pacers and pressure was not being sustained on the Aussie batsmen because of this. It wasn’t a bad effort from Zaheer who took two quick wickets in one of his spells using the reverse swing to good effect.
10. Ishant Sharma (Marks : 0/10) : India’s loss at Perth can be blamed mainly on Ishant Sharma as it was his spat with David Warner that got the left-handed opener going to smash a 159-ball 180! Ishant was reserved for special punishment from the shortly built Warner. The figures for Ishant were 18-0-89-1, the only wicket he got in the match was that of David Warner that too after he had ran away with the match with a smashing knock.
11. Umesh Yadav (Marks : 7/10) : Umesh Yadav has been a silver lining for India in this disastrous tour. Yadav had a poor first day in which he lacked in rhythm and wasn’t at his best. The fast bowler from Vidarbha bowled on both the sides of the wicket to give plenty of runs away. However, he did bowl an inspired spell on the second day to end up with a maiden five-wicket haul of his career! When he is in rhythm, Umesh Yadav clocks consistently around 145 kmph, swings the ball both directions and has this uncanny knock of rattling up the stumps which even the great Ricky Ponting tasted!
A feature by BV Swagath