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Report card: How India fared in Adelaide Test

By Harish Kotian
December 10, 2018 14:59 IST
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Harish Kotian evaluates the Indian team's performances in the first Test.

Cheteshwar Pujara

IMAGE: Cheteshwar Pujara hit 123 and 71 to guide India to victory in the first Test against Australia. Photograph: Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

Cheteshwar Pujara and India's fast bowlers rose to the occasion in grand style as they bowled the visitors to a 31 run victory against Australia in the first Test in Adelaide on Monday, December 10.

The pace trio -- Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah and Ishant Sharma -- drew praise from all quarters for their splendid showing with the ball.

Even though India scored just 250 in the first innings, the pacers along with off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin ensured that the visitors took a handy 15 run lead.

 

In the second innings, the Indian fast bowlers never took their foot off the pedal to bowl their team to a historic victory.

The win in Adelaide is India's first series opening win on Australian soil.

But the one man the entire Indian team must thank is the ever dependable Pujara.

The No 3 bastman stood firm in tough conditions on Day 1 to score a century and then came up with a valuable 71 in the second innings to set the match up.

A look at how the Indians fared in the Adelaide Test:

Virat Kohli (captain) 6/10

Virat impressed with his captaincy, but the batting didn't live up to the billing.

In the first innings, he fell to a stunning catch from Usman Khawaja at gully after scoring just 3. In the second, he played a subdued 34 from 104 balls before he was caught at short leg off Nathan Lyon.

A rare Test away from home when India won without much of a contribution from Kohli's golden blade.

Ajinkya Rahane

IMAGE: Ajinkya Rahane hit a vital half-century in the second innings. Photograph: Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

Ajinkya Rahane 7/10

The India vice-captain must have been worried after his failure in the first innings.

But he answered critics with a cracking 70 in the second essay.

His 87-run partnership for the fourth wicket with Pujara proved crucial in the final analysis as India finished on a healthy 307 despite a lower order collapse.

Cheteshwar Pujara 10/10

In 2003, it was Rahul Dravid, who starred with the bat in India's victory in the Adelaide Test and 15 years later, another No 3 bastman played match-winning innings with a century and a fifty.

Pujara stood tall like the Wall which Australia struggled to breach after the top order had perished cheaply on the first day.

He scored a splendid 123 to rally India to 250, which later helped them secure a 15 run first innings lead.

In the second innings, he again top scored with a solid 71.

Australia Captain Tim Paine believes Pujara's batting was the difference between the two sides.

K L Rahul 5/10

After a poor stroke saw him perish early in the first innings, Rahul scored a positive 44 in the second, laced with 3 fours and a six.

Rahul counter-attacked after a slow start to help India recover after Murali Vijay's early dismissal.

Murali Vijay 3/10

Vijay, usually reliable overseas, has found the going tough this year. He was dropped after failing in the first two Tests in England and in the Adelaide Test, struggled to make an impact.

In both innings, he was guilty of playing loose shots away from the body and gave his wicket away.

With Prithvi Shaw likely to be fit only for the third Test, the second Test in Perth, which begins on Friday, could be Vijay's final chance to keep his Test career alive.

Rohit Sharma 3/10

Rohit continues to be the enigma of Indian cricket.

Supremely talented, the Mumbai batsman continues to struggle in Tests.

Well set on an aggressive 37, inclusive of 3 sixes and 2 fours, Rohit ended up throwing his wicket away attempting a reckless shot against Nathan Lyon. In the second innings, he fell cheaply, caught at silly point off the same bowler after scoring just one.

IMAGE: Ravichandran Ashwin, right, celebrates with Virat Kohli after picking up Usman Khawaja in the second innings. Photograph: Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

Rishabh Pant 7/10

A memorable match for Rishabh as he equalled the world record for most catches in a Test, with a tally of 11 catches.

Despite the record, his 'keeping is still a work in progress.

With the bat, he made useful contributions in both innings -- scoring 25 and 28 at a strike of nearly 100.

His manner of dismissal in the second innings didn't please Head Coach Ravi Shastri. 'He has to be smarter. You make a mistake now, but don't repeat it, then I'll be in his ears,' Shastri said.

Ravichandran Ashwin 6/10

Ashwin baffled all as he struggled to pick wickets on a fifth day track.

Only the previous day, Nathan Lyon finished with 6/122 in the Indian second innings.

Ashwin found the going tough despite the presence of footmarks in scenes reminiscent of his disappointing show during the Southampton Test against England in August.

The senior spinner managed just 1 wicket in 33.5 overs on the final day. It was the pacers who saved India with their superb bowling to deny the Australian lower order a win.

Jasprit Bumrah

IMAGE: Jasprit Bumrah celebrates Pat Cummins's wicket in the first innings. Photograph: Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

Jasprit Bumrah 8/10

Bowling at a good pace, Bumrah was relentless throughout the game as he picked up 6 wickets, three in each innings.

He struck the most crucial blow on the final day with the key wicket of Shaun Marsh who threatened to take the game away from India with a battling 60.

Mohammed Shami 8/10

Shami proved his worth with the ball, with crucial wickets in both innings.

He helped India grab the lead with 2 wickets in 2 balls to bowl out Australia for 235, including the vital scalp of Travis Head for 72.

In the second innings Shami made regular breakthroughs to finish with 5 wickets in the match, with the best strike (44) among the Indian bowlers in the Test.

Ishant Sharma 6/10

Ishant may have taken only 3 wickets in the game, but he was tough to deal with.

Spell after spell, Ishant kept bowling at a good pace and never let Australia off the hook.

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Harish Kotian / Rediff.com

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