Team India report card: Perfect 10 for Tendulkar
The young guns came to the fore as India comprehensively outplayed the West Indies in the just-concluded two-Test series.
India won the second Test in Mumbai by an innings and 126 runs inside three days, on Saturday, to complete a deserving 2-0 series whitewash.
Rohit Sharma was the star performer of the series, slamming back-to-back centuries, while Mohammed Shami and Pragyan Ojha were the top wicket-takers, with 11 scalps each.
A look at how the Indian players fared in the series:
Sachin Tendulkar (10/10)
Sachin Tendulkar deserves full marks for the way he performed in his farewell series despite the intense hype and pressure around him.
The abject surrender of the West Indies batsmen meant that Tendulkar got only two innings to bat.
In Kolkata, he was unlucky to be adjudged leg before wicket for 10, but signed off in style with a sparking knock of 74 in Mumbai in front of his home fans.
It was Tendulkar at his vintage best as he hit boundaries to nearly every part of the ground, displaying every possible shot in his armoury.
He may have missed a chance of ending his career with a century but he certainly left millions happy with his magical batting in his final innings in cricket.
Image: Sachin Tendulkar
Rohit grabbed his opportunity
Rohit Sharma (9/10)
He had to endure a long wait of six years to get his first taste of Test cricket. And when he did get his opportunity he made sure he grabbed it with both hands.
Rohit started his career in style, with a century on debut in Kolkata to rescue India from a precarious 83 for five and lift them to 453. The innings, perhaps, changed the course of the series, as Rohit slammed 177, putting on 280 runs for the seventh wicket with Ravichandran Ashwin, who also slammed a century.
In the next Test, in Mumbai, he continued his good run of form, hitting a fluent 111 from 127 balls, with 11 fours and three sixes as India registered another convincing victory.
Image: Rohit Sharma
Dhawan threw his wicket away
Shikhar Dhawan (4/10)
While Rohit made most of the opportunities he got, Shikhar Dhawan let a few go. In both the Tests, the left-hander got off to good starts, but threw his wicket away.
In Kolkata, he scored 23 while in Mumbai he was out after scoring 33. In both matches poor shots cost him his wicket.
He must be regretting not having made most of the two good batting tracks that were on offer against an ordinary West Indies bowling attack.
Image: Shikhar Dhawan
Vijay failed to come to the party
Murali Vijay (3/10)
Murali Vijay was one of the India’s top performers in the previous Test series, against Australia, but failed to come to the party against the West Indies.
He scored 26 in the first Test before being dismissed stumped by Shane Shillingford. He fell to the same bowler in the next match after scoring 43.
His biggest test will come in South Africa next month against their pace battery on pitches helpful to the fast bowlers.
Image: Murali Vijay
A rare below-par series for Kohli
Virat Kohli (5/10)
A rare below-par series for India’s batting sensation.
Virat Kohli scored just three runs in the first Test before stroking a brisk 57 in the next game, on both occasions scalped by off-spinner Shillingford.
Image: Virat Kohli
Pujara rounded off the series with a cracking hundred
Cheteshwar Pujara (8/10)
India’s run machine Cheteshwar Pujara rounded off the series with a cracking hundred in the Mumbai Test.
After scoring just 17 in Kolkata, the right-hander redeemed himself with a splendid knock of 113 in Mumbai to help India post a huge first innings score.
He is now the lynchpin of India’s batting and will hold the key to their hopes in South Africa next month.
Image: Cheteshwar Pujara
Dhoni didn't have to do much in the series
Mahendra Singh Dhoni (6/10)
India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni didn’t have to do much in the series. He played a crucial innings of 42 in the first match to steady the innings after a few early wickets.
In Mumbai, he perished cheaply after scoring just four.
However, his captaincy and glovework were top- notch once again.
Image: MS Dhoni
Ashwin answered his critics in fine style
Ravichandran Ashwin (8/10)
Ravichandran Ashwin had come in for a lot of flak after a poor showing in the ODI series against Australia but he answered his critics in fine style in the Tests.
His century (124) in Kolkata proved quite crucial, while he also did his job with the ball to finish as the highest wicket-taker in the series.
The off-spinner made good use of the turning tracks to claim 12 wickets in the two games, at an average of 19.33.
Image: Ravichandran Ashwin
Ojha's superb showing with ball helped win in Mumbai
Pragyan Ojha (8/10)
Pragyan Ojha’s superb showing with ball in Mumbai helped India win the match before lunch on the third day.
The left-arm spinner claimed five-wicket hauls in both the innings of the second Test to end with a tally of 11 wickets, at an impressive average of 16.18.
Image: Pragyan Ojha
Shami's fiery bowling came as a breath of fresh air
Mohammed Shami (8/10)
Mohammed Shami’s fiery bowling came as a breath of fresh air for Team India.
Shami not only troubled the West Indies batsmen with his extra pace and movement, but his reverse swing caused the tourists a lot of problems.
He destroyed the West Indies batting in the second innings in Kolkata as he got the ball to reverse swing quite a deal.
Shami, indeed, excelled in his first Test series, ending up with an impressive tally of 11 wickets in the two games.
Image: Mohammed Shami
Kumar's job was mostly restricted to the new ball
Bhuvneshwar Kumar (6/10)
Bhuvneshwar Kumar is making giant strides in international cricket.
The young pacer tormented dangerman Chris Gayle in Kolkata, picking his wicket in both innings, but his job was mostly restricted to the new ball.
He claimed just three wickets in the two matches, but with the other bowlers striking at regular intervals, his role was limited.
Image: Bhuvneshwar Kumar