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Rediff.com  » Cricket » Team India Report Card: Dhoni, Tendulkar get 2/10; Pujara 8!

Team India Report Card: Dhoni, Tendulkar get 2/10; Pujara 8!

Last updated on: December 18, 2012 19:24 IST

Team India Report Card: Dhoni, Tendulkar get 2/10; Pujara 8!

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Harish Kotian

It was a series India would like to forget in a hurry. Never before has an Indian team been outplayed so comprehensively in home conditions and on made-to-order turning tracks.

England were supposed to be easy rollovers, considering their tendency to struggle on spinning wickets, and after the crushing defeat in the first Test in Ahmedabad everyone had written them off. But they bounced back in style in the next two Tests to beat India at their own game, as their spinners made the Indian batsmen dance to their tune.

What also hurt India was the shabby performance from their bowlers, who struggled to get the English batsmen, mainly their captain Alastair Cook, who scored three centuries in the first three Tests, out.

Check out how the Indian players performed in the series:


Photographs: BCCI

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Team India Report Card: Dhoni, Tendulkar get 2/10; Pujara 8!

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Mahendra Singh Dhoni (2/10)

This must be the worst period in Mahendra Singh Dhoni's cricketing career. He struggled to impose himself in the series, both as captain and batsman, and all his strategies went awry. His only knock of substance came in the first innings of the Nagpur, where he was run-out for 99.

Before that he had only scored 92 runs in five innings.

His captaincy also came under a lot of criticism from all quarters and his bizarre demand for pitches to turn from ball one backfired big time as England outdid the hosts on turning tacks.

Dhoni was also slammed for poor team selection and handling of the bowlers in the matches, especially the second and fourth Test.

A poor series for Dhoni, and it would be a surprise if he retains his Test captaincy after this showing.


Photographs: BCCI
Tags: Dhoni , Pujara , England

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Team India Report Card: Dhoni, Tendulkar get 2/10; Pujara 8!

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Sachin Tendulkar (2/10)

Sachin Tendulkar, with all his experience, was supposed to guide the Indian batting in the series. Instead, he failed big time with the bat. Except for the scratchy half-century in the third Test in Kolkata, he flopped in the other five innings he played.

This was easily one of his worst performances at home as he finished with 112 runs in six innings, at an average of 18.66.

 Perhaps, it is the first time in his career that such a huge outcry was raised over his poor showing, with many ex-cricketers also calling for his retirement.


Photographs: Reuters

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Team India Report Card: Dhoni, Tendulkar get 2/10; Pujara 8!

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Virender Sehwag (5/10)

Virender Sehwag started the series with a lot of promise, hammering 117 runs in the first Test at Ahmedabad to set up India's nine-wicket victory.

But he struggled in the rest of the series and, more often than not, threw away good starts. He ended up with 253 runs in the four matches, at an average of 36.14.




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Team India Report Card: Dhoni, Tendulkar get 2/10; Pujara 8!

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Gautam Gambhir (4/10)

Gautam Gambhir scored two battling half-centuries, but even he was guilty of not carrying on after getting good starts. It's been a while since he scored a century or played a match-winning knock. Without doubt, his place in the side will come under scrutiny.

He finished with a tally of 251 runs in six innings, at an average of 41.83.




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Cheteshwar Pujara (8/10)

Cheteshwar Pujara was easily the best batsman from the Indian side in this series. He started with a big double century in the first Test in Ahmedabad and followed it up with a century in Mumbai. Such was the dependence on the youngster that his subsequent failures in the next two matches hurt India big time and they struggled to get big totals.

He was India's top-scorer in the series with 438 runs, at an average of 87.60.




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Team India Report Card: Dhoni, Tendulkar get 2/10; Pujara 8!

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Virat Kohli (5/10)

Virat Kohli came into the series with a big reputation but failed to live up to it. The only saving grace for him was the patient century he scored in the Nagpur Test -- 103 from 296 balls -- to rescue the hosts from a difficult position.

Other than that century, Kohli scored 85 runs in six innings and was guilty of playing in the T20 mode and throwing his wicket away with reckless shots.


Photographs: BCCI
Tags: Kohli , T20 , Pujara

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Team India Report Card: Dhoni, Tendulkar get 2/10; Pujara 8!

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Yuvraj Singh (5/10)

Yuvraj Singh made a good comeback to Test cricket with a fluent innings of 74 in Ahmedabad, but, thereafter, struggled on wickets that offered a bit of assistance to the bowlers. He was supposed to make a contribution with the ball, too, but rarely found favour with the captain as far as bowling was concerned.

He ended with 125 runs in five innings, while bowling 13 overs in the first three games without a wicket.




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Team India Report Card: Dhoni, Tendulkar get 2/10; Pujara 8!

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Ravindra Jadeja (4/10)

Ravindra Jadeja came in as Yuvraj's replacement, but did not inspire much confidence. He was fast-tracked into the Test team after scoring two triple centuries in the Ranji Trophy for Saurashtra, but soon realized that Test cricket is a different cup of tea.

He played in the fourth and final Test in Nagpur and operated mainly as a stock bowler, trying to stop runs but failed with the bat.

Jadeja took three wickets in 70 overs while scoring 12 runs in the one innings he played.




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Pragyan Ojha (6/10)

Pragyan Ojha was India's best bowler in the series and finished as the top-wicket taker with 20 dismissals.

He started with successive five-wicket hauls in the first two matches but failed to do much in the last two when it really mattered.



Tags: Pujara , India

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R Ashwin (5/10)

He was supposed to be India's No.1 spinner before the series, but ended up being one of the top batsmen for the hosts.

His bowling was a big disappointment, as he took 14 wickets in the series, at an average of 52.64 and rarely threatened with the ball. The worrying sign is that Dhoni also lost confidence in his bowling as the series progressed and he was used lesser than expected.

With the bat, he gave a good account of himself, scoring 243 runs in six innings, at an average of 60.75.


Photographs: BCCI
Tags: Dhoni , Pujara , India

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Ishant Sharma (5/10)

Ishant Sharma got his chances but didn't live up to expectations, claiming just four wickets in the two Tests. The pitches in Kolkata and Nagpur didn't offer the fast bowlers much help and the pacer struggled to make an impression.

He bowled a lively spell on the first day in Nagpur when the pitch offered uneven bounce, but, other than, rarely did anything with the ball.


Photographs: BCCI

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Zaheer Khan (4/10)

Zaheer Khan was not able to attain his usual standards and even the selectors lost patience with him after India lost the third Test in Kolkata.

The veteran pacer also struggled with his fitness and his fielding was way below par.

He finished with just four wickets in the three matches, at an average of 53.25, and was promptly dropped after that. It is unlikely that he will return to Test cricket, unless he shows a drastic improvement in both fitness and bowling.



Tags: Pujara , Kolkata , India

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Piyush Chawla (4/10)

Piyush Chawla was really lucky to make it to the Indian Test team. He was selected despite a mediocre record in the Ranji Trophy, and that was proved in the Nagpur Test.

He picked four wickets, but that was more the case of the batsmen gifting them to him.

Chawla hardly made an impression with the ball and lacked control bowling on either side of the wicket and England's batsmen were hardly troubled with whatever limited variations he dished out.




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Umesh Yadav (7/10)

Umesh Yadav's absence was sorely felt by the team. He took four wickets in the first Test, at an average of 21. His extra pace and ability to reverse swing the ball was missed in the remainder of the matches, which he missed after suffering a back injury.

Surely, India missed him big time. 




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