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Gambhir, Sharma emerge top-performers

November 11, 2008

Young faces -- opener Gautam Gambhir [Images] and pacer Ishant Sharma -- gave ample proof that Indian cricket was in secured hands by emerging on top in the batting and bowling departments respectively in the just concluded Test series against Australia [Images].

Left-hand opening batsman Gambhir topped the list of top run getters while Sharma emerged as the highest wicket-taker to help the hosts regain the coveted Border-Gavaskar Trophy.

Gambhir, despite being forced to sit out in the fourth Test in Nagpur, retained the top slot accumulating 463 runs from six innings with an enviable average of 77.16, followed by batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar [Images] with 396 runs and an average of 56.57.

The 27-year-old Delhi [Images] batsman produced a double ton -- only the second in the series besides an unbeaten 200 by compatriot VVS Laxman, who is on the fourth place in the list with remarkable 95.35 average -- during the third Test at Ferozeshah Kotla.

Gambhir, with his resilient stroke-play, has also struck 54 boundaries, which is the highest by any batsman during the high-octane series.

Besides the trio, India's opener Virender Sehwag [Images] (351), left-hander Sourav Ganguly [Images] (324), who retired from the international cricket after the series and Mahendra Singh Dhoni [Images] (307) also featured among the top-10 run getters of the series. Sehwag was on fifth place, while Ganguly has perched on the seventh spot, followed by MS Dhoni.

Among the Australians, left-handed Michael Hussey is on the third spot with 394 runs in his kitty, while Simon Katich (349) ranked sixth and skipper Ricky Ponting [Images] is on ninth place with 266 runs.

In bowling department, young pacer Ishant Sharma, who was adjudged Man-of the Series, bagged 15 wickets from four matches with an economy rate of 2.94. The lanky pacer was followed by two Indian spinners Harbhajan Singh [Images], who has equal number of dismissals to his credit from three matches, and rookie Amit Mishra (14).

Left-arm pacer Zaheer Khan [Images] also had a good time during the series, who took 11 wickets from four matches to take the sixth spot in the top-10 wicket takers' list. Sehwag (5) was on the ninth slot.

But probably the best part of the list is Australian spinner Jason Krejza, who bagged 12 wickets for 358 runs in his debut appearance in the fourth Test in Nagpur to figure as the fifth highest wicket taker in the series.

Australia's bowling spearhead Brett Lee [Images] failed to live up to the expectation and could manage only eight wickets during the series, while left-arm Mitchell Johnson (13) emerged as the fourth highest wicket-taker.

Both the wicketkeepers left marks for their respective sides as Australia's Brad Haddin drafted 13 dismissals from four matches, while India's Dhoni had 11 to his credit from same number of matches.

Complete coverage: Australia in India 2008

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