After the test series India played, our Sports Editor Kumar Ankit gives his ratings to the various cricketers. An interesting read:
1. Virender Sehwag (9.5) — The prolific opener with his two centuries, one in nagpur (109) which he termed as his best ever in test and the second a blistering knock at the Edens (165) . His partnership with Sachin played a very prominent role in India’s levelling the series. I deducted a 0.5 as he got out playing a bad shot in the series opener.
2. Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar (9) — The little master produced two quality knocks in this series and played with perfect balance and precision in his stroke making throughout the series. His solitary advice to Sehwag worked in Kolkata and he saved a virtual collapse. The veteran of 166 tests lost a mark because he got out early in the first innings in Nagpur.
3. Harbhajan Singh (8) — The man who has been playing international cricket for 13 long years and has been a match winner, did what he used to do. After the Nagpur debacle where he was held responsible, the volatile offie, regained his mojo in Kolkata. He was on target in Kolkata as he took 8 wickets in the match and shut the mouth of his critics. He loses 2 marks for not performing well in Nagpur.
4. VVS Laxman (8) — Very Very Special Laxman proved why he is called so, he played one knock and that was a sight for the gods. His wristy, willowy and sinuous cover drives were a treat to watch and so was the catch he took on the fourth day of Kallis.
5. MSD (7) — The Indian skipper who outwitted Smith in his field placements and regular bowling changes at Kolkota. Playing with just 3 Bowlers on the last day, he used them properly. His century and partnership gave India the advantage.
6. Amit Mishra (6) — The spinner from Delhi provided with three major break throughs ,when it was needed. Smith, De Villiers and Kallis fell prey to him. He ably supported Harbhajan on the last day.
7. Zaheer Khan (6) – The Bowling spearhead who could not bowl in the last innings due to an injury was the main weapon through out the series as he delivered early breakthroughs through out the series and led to the collapse in first innings at eden gardens.
8. Ishant Sharma (4) — Bowled waywardly through out, but when it mattered the most, he produced. Took 2 wickets on the last day when tail enders were marching well. His fiery spell on the first day helped Zak to go for the kill.
9. Badrinath (3) — Took a wonderful catch of Peterson on the final day which proved consequential. His debut innings was not as one would want it to be.
10. Gautam Gambhir (3.5) — He disappointed throughout the series as he was not able to deliver any special knocks. Was unfortunate as he got run out when he was looking good in Kolkota
11. M.Vijay(3) — He was the victim of Steyns’ aggressive bowling. He fielded poorly and was a letdown.
South African players:
1 Hashim Amla (9) — The man in the form of his life. He ended the series with a staggering batting average of 490 with 3 centuries, Batted for 1402 minutes, 490 of the calmest runs, and one mistake yet he saw his team losing in Kolkata. I give him a 9 as he fell early in the first innings at Eden which proved to be decider for the match as he was the man standing between India and victory.
2. Dale steyn (8) — With highest scalps in the series taking away 11 wickets, Steyn was the most lethal bowler. His bowling was a master piece in the first test, Indian batsmen faced 62 balls from Steyn, scoring 17 runs except Sehwag.He bowled with a speed of 140 to 150 kmph on a dead track. India was out of chips in the first innings itself thanks to Steyn. I took his 2 marks as he failed to deliver in Kolkota.
3. Kallis (6) — His 173 put RSA on the driver seat, when they were 6/2 at the first innings in Nagpur.Although he was looking well in Kolkata but his shot selection disappointed.Took only 1 wicket in the whole series and thus failed to make a mark as a bowler.
4. Morkel (5.5) — His figure didn’t say much about his performance (4 wickets in 2 matches ) but he ably supported Steyn in the first test. He bowled a great spell but without taking wickets.
5. Alviro Peterson (5) — He was included as a replacement to Boucher. He played well, scored a century but when most needed, he felt playing a bad shot which eventually lead to their loss.
6. Paul Harris (4) – Bowled well and after Steyn did his job, he gave an another jolt to Indians as he dismissed Dhoni. He bowled waywardly in Kolkata.
7. Boucher(4) — Kept without any let down in the first match, suffered injury and so could not play in the Kolkata match.
8. Parnell, De Villiers (3) — Parnell could not perform well in both the matches as he took only 3 wickets and was expensive as well.
De Villiers was a complete failure with the bat and with the gloves. He made 53 in the first test but in Kolkota he played poor cricket.
9. Smith (2.5) — Fell to Zaheer twice and once to Mishra when he survived Zaheer for long. His captaincy was brilliant in the first test but couldn’t inspires much in the next match.
10. Duminy (2) – He disappointed all with his batting. Harbhajan made him his new Ponting and he was unable to reach a score of even10 in both the matches.
The writer is the Sports Editor at Youth Ki Awaaz.