Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Player Ratings: India versus England Test Series

It looks like distraught Indian fans in the face of an astonishing 2/1 series loss to England will have to wait for the 'revenge for the revenge series' to ease some of their feeling of torment at the hands of the English.

Away from the melodramatics, you cannot heap enough praise on England for this result with them coming down from a 1 nil deficit in the series to achieve their first success on Indian soil in 28 years. Such was the meaning to the English group that Captain Alastair Cook described it in this manner 

"It is obviously a very special day, a special tour..." "I think it is on a par with the Ashes..."

On the flip side was the shock felt by the Indian's with them somehow letting a one nil lead in a series against a Team branded as a bunch of nohopers against spin slip- culminating in a series defeat

Ouch!........and stay tuned for some real fall out...........


The Indians actually put in a better show in this match from an attitude and application point of view, but were ultimately undone by the inability of their bowling to get 20 wickets. In their defence, they were not helped by the curious decision of their Selectors to prefer 4 spinners rather than include a 2nd seamer on a pitch that seemed to support pace as much as spin. Then cruelly in a game they had to win, the pitch was still playing true and offering no support for the spinners deep into day 5.

Player Ratings 

Virender Sehwag 

He batted once in the match and was bowled comprehensibly which summed up the diminished nature of his batting in recent times. In the field, he again confounded by his nonchalant attitude in a crucial position on the ground in slips 

4th Test Rating- 0/10

Duck Season should be called on Sehwag, and with it him taken out of the Team

Series Rating: 3/10 

A first Test century on a pitch that suited Sehwag offered promise for the veteran. But in the subsequent 3 Tests, the English bowlers neutralised Sehwag and with it took away India's greatest hope to make their batting line up a force in the series. 126 runs in 6 innings after the 1st Test told of Viru's tale and should see him be pushed into retirement. With his abject efforts in the field making this a priority for Team India going forward

Gautam Gambhir

He is doing his darnedest to turn around a career threatening funk, but he still resembles a person in a pool that is not quite drowning as well as not quite floating.

4th Test Rating: 4/10

Trying his best to add his past batting mastering to a struggling batting line up but still not quite being able to return to form

Series Rating: 4.999/10

He showed some real man's balls with the bat despite his obvious struggles, and I would have gave him a pass mark. But his selfish batting in the 2nd Test went against him even if it was essentially in a lost cause there is never an 'I' in 'Team'

Going forward it will be intriguing Gambhir's Fate in regards to if M.S.Dhoni gets the chop as Captain, Gambhir is the logical replacement.

In a sense, like Michael Clarke who was in a dreadful patch of batting outs when made leader, the honour might be the inspiration needed for Gambhir to turn his game around. 

Cheteshwar Pujara

A real find for India with him carrying the Teams batting in the first two Tests only to run out of a bit of steam in the last two game. Which can be understood and forgiven due to the inconsistencies that go with youth

4th Test Rating: 4/10

Got a bad decision in his only time at the crease

Series Rating: 8/10

One of the few who stood out as real class in the batting line up. A 10 year batting star that the Team can build around

Sachin Tendulkar 

Time to put India first and retire Sachin

4th Test Rating: 2/10

Ill give him a rating for every run he scored

Series Rating: 2/10 

Like every one I love and have the utmost respect for the Little Master.

Sadly though, he is not only making a fool of himself by playing on, but also making him look like a man that puts his own desires ahead of India- Selfish

Ultimately we as the peanut Gallery do not know his full truth and the powers influencing his decisions but he needs to go

Virat Kohli

Played a gem of an innings in this game that silenced his knockers and showed all that he is a very accomplished Test batsman in the making

4th Test Rating: 9/10 

Very fine performance by the young tyro

Series Rating: 5/10

Struggled mightily in the first 3 games, but his last Test rose him to a pass mark. In a sense if Cheteshwar Pujara is the 'Ice' in India's batting for the next decade, Kohli will compliment him by being the Teams 'Fire'

Definitely a future Captain, but please not now!

Wait till he fully establishes himself....

Ravendra Jadeja

Hard to judge him with his bowling being effective in this game, his batting lasting all to brief, and his fielding being startlingly good

4th Test/Series Rating: 6/10

Adequate first Test

But he will have to rely on his batting to remain in the Team with his bowling looking pretty hum drum coupled with some very fine left arm spinners in the Team in Ohja or on the outskirts like Harmeet Singh


LOL, excuse my giggle but I am so used to bagging Dhoni in this series that I am struggling to find a way to praise him. But in this Test he batted very well, led admirably for most of the game and was very respectable

4th Test Rating: 8/10

Great with the bat, but ironically his run out probably robbed India of their best chance of a series tying win

Series Rating: 3/10

Played very well in this game, and led quite well- surprisingly well....

But the series showed that having Dhoni as their leader is like having an anchor around Team India's neck...

Needs to go back to the comforts of ODI's/T20 where he is King

Ravichandran Ashwin

Struggled with the demands of what a Test standard bowlers needs to reach and the thinking that goes into it. He strays in his lines too often releasing pressure off the batsmen and has yet to formulate how to out think batsmen

4th Test Rating: 3/10

Rarely threatened

Series Rating: 5.01/10

He is in the Team as a bowler for which he failed as in the series, but then looked very good with the bat

In a sense Ashwin is a real anomaly for is his bowling good enough for Test Cricket?

Or if not, can his batting be strong enough to play at 6, and add to the Team in a batting all rounder sense?

Piyush Chawla

Interesting little player, who was adequate without ever offering a real threat. Despite this, his leg spin is a more attractive prospect for the Team in an all round sense than finger spinners

4th Test/Series Rating: 6/10

Not a bad display, and India should maybe keep faith in him

Pragyan Ohja 

The very impressive left armer seemed to lose steam as the series went on with him turning his back on what brought him success in regards to his flight and guile and choosing to bowl more defensively

4th Test Ratings: 3/10 

You forgot what was the basis of your success Pragyan..........

Series Rating: 7/10

I cannot be too critical of Ohja with him carrying most of the bowling burden all series long

Ishant Sharma 

Sharma is such a tease........

With him representing what India so craves in a very accomplished strike bowler which he was in this game

But consistency and ishant Sharma...........well I think you know how those things go together

4th Test Rating: 8/10

Very fine game

Series Rating: 4.25/10 

Not good enough for one as talented as Ishant

Series Summation- Player Figures

As a look at the figures for the series with both bat and ball it is easy to draw a conclusion that too much was left to too few.

This condemns Team Selection with them sitting on their hands on players that have consistently struggled for a while ago while at the same time ignoring youngsters who have been doing well. The Teams management is a bit like a dog chasing its tail with it talking up 'transition' and looking to embrace it by some actions, but the turning back to old timers like Harbhajan Singh and Yuvraj Singh. Then the choice of 4 spinners in Nagpur was just astoundingly dumb.

On the field the team lacks leadership as seen in their unwillingness to fight, and they need to sharpen the axe and load M.S.Dhoni into the Test guillotine.

The team is fundamentally flawed in all department, but of a more worrying sense is that they seemed to have lost their cricketing soul

As seen in their traditional cultural icon in the game in regards to mastery in both bowling and batting against spin being blown away in this series

To see England over match India comprehensively in this series in all regards of spin was a real tragedy of deep meaning to India

Fixing this needs to be their priority!

Then consistency needs to be shown with the choices made which seems to already be a forlorn hope. As seen in the War drums beating loud for M.S.Dhoni's head, while at the same time little or nothing being said about Sachin Tendulkar or Virender Sehwag's future....

Not a good time to follow Indian Cricket!


Very accomplished and professional display by England made even more meritorious with them losing Steve Finn before the game and having Alastair Cook's batting mastery cut down by 2 umpiring howlers. Their match and series was made complete by the ultra impressive debut of Joe Root coupled with centuries to two Sleeping Giants that awoke in Ian Bell and Jonathan Trott...

Player Ratings

Nick Compton

A real fighter with bulldog grit, but has he the skill to be a long term Test player?

4th Test Rating: 3/10

Shown up in this match in the first innings, and then got a dubious decision in the 2nd

Series Rating: 4.99/10

A decent first up series, but just as you think he can have a decent Test career he fills you with doubt again

Alastair Cook

Kumar Dharmasena #2..............need we say more?

4th Test Rating: 4/10 

Rated him down more on his ultra defensive batting in the 2nd innings that seemed to ignore that runs were just as important as time 

Series Rating:  28/10

Honestly you cannot laud him enough with him leading from the front in the face of defeat in the 1st Test that acted as a catalyst for the remarkable series win. His batting was outstanding in all regards and his Captaincy assured...

He seemed to have integrated Kevin Pietersen successfully back into the Team going on the man love they were showing as the game concluded

Which was HUGE

Jonathan Trott

Struggled mightily in the 1st two Tests but rose in the 3rd culminating in a crescendo in this game

4th Test Rating: 8/10 

Very fine display by Trott

Series Rating: 6/10

Two failures in two Tests, an alright third Test finishing with an outstanding display in the this match

Kevin Pietersen

It was almost surreal watching KP looking so shackled in his laborious 73 in the first innings, but it was such a crucial knock in the context of the game

4th Test Rating: 7/10 

That 73 was crucial

Series Rating: 7.5/10 

Helped turn the tide for England with his Mastery in Mumbai, and after that was a perpetual thorn in Indian sides

Ian Bell

Played an innings to make sure England drew the match and won the series and for his confidence going forward it could be definitive

4th Test Rating: 7/10 

Finally Bell decided to give up his 'passenger on the bus' disguise

Series Rating: 4/10 

Last Test was admirable, but still struggled throughout

Joe Root

It shock few the dropping of Samit Patel, but the selection of Joe Root ahead of Eoin Morgan and Johnny Bairstow raised a few eye brows.

Only for the youngster to show he has a HUGE future with a composed display belonging to a grizzled veteran

4th Test/Series Rating: 8/10 

Very fine game, and the future for the lad is so bright he might need to wear shades

Matt Prior

Great player that always lifts when the Team needs him.

4th Test Rating: 8/10 

Played a decisive innings with the bat and was cleaner with the gloves

Series Rating: 7/10 

Brilliant with the bat, but let down by a few gaffs behind the stumps

Graeme Swann

The big hearted offie had an excellent match with his half century with the bat being as crucial as the 3 wickets he took

4th Test Rating: 8/10

Excellent match by Swann

Series Rating: 8.5/10

Brilliant with the ball, an X-factor with the bat and completes his package as a very accomplished slips fieldsman

Tim Bresnan

The elbow operation seems to have reduced this big hearted quick from having real threat to resembling a water proof tea bag

4th Test Rating: 0/10 


Series Rating: 0/10

As above

James Anderson

If he was exceptional in Kolkata, he was in fact more impressive with his bowling in this match

4th Test Rating: 10/10 

Exceptional in his bowling, leading of the attack and all round play

Series Rating: 8/10 

He was a slow starter, but came home with a wet sail with him being decisive in the English win

Monty Panesar

Pretty impotent in this match because of the deadness of the pitch

4th Test Rating: 1/10

Pretty much a non contributor in this Match

Series Rating: 8/10

His inclusion in the Team in the 2nd Test flipped the series on its ear with him commandeering the English come back win as well as driving the teams success throughout the series

Series Summation/ Player Figures

Terrible first Test highlighted by a huge selection gaff in leaving out Monty Panesar made worse by a dreadful batting display that lead to a comprehensive loss.

But with this loss seeing many expect them to get pummelled in the series they chose to stand firm, fight, and remarkably prevail

Despite odds against them as highlighted by 3 lost tosses in the first three Tests and injuries throughout making the series win all the more remarkable

Enjoy your Christmas treats lads and looks forward to a bright 2013!


  1. Some interesting thoughts. Worth noting it came to light in the UK press at the weekend that prior to the 2011 India tour of England, the BCCI wanted to play only 2 tests and 10 ODI's..suspect that shows where Indian priorities now lie...

    1. Thank you for the comment, and yes India's priorities sadly lay in the Pyjama games