The Indian team maintained their record of winning all four bilateral ODI series in 2017 so far after they steamrolled their way to 4-1 series win against Australia. The victory also meant the Men in Blue clinched numero uno position in the ICC ODI rankings.
The Australian side came to India on the back of a poor ODI run, losing eight of their last ten ODIs away from home, while the other two games were washed out.
Steve Smith’s side huffed and puffed their way to a solitary consolation victory in the fourth ODI at Bangalore against an Indian side which tested its bench, ending the hosts' 9-match winning streak in ODIs.
The tourists will aim to bounce back in the final leg of the tour where the two teams will lock horns for 3 T20Is. But before we head to Ranchi for the 1st one of those games, here is a look at how the Indian players fared in ODI series:
Ajinkya Rahane (Matches 5, Runs- 244, Avg-48.80, 50s 4)
The 29-year old opener displayed supreme consistency throughout the series slamming four half-centuries in five attempts, ensuring the team got off to a good start. Despite winning the Man of the Series in the 5-match ODI series in West Indies in June-July earlier this year, Rahane lost his place to Shikhar Dhawan in the following ODI series in Sri Lanka. Dhawan’s unavailability ahead of the Australian series meant the selectors didn’t have to look further than Rahane. And the Mumbai lad, once again proved his worth with some noteworthy performances, making a strong case for him being in contention for a spot in the side.
Rohit Sharma (Matches 5, Runs-296, Avg 59.20, 50s 2, 100s 1)
After a couple of modest outing in the first two matches, Rohit found his own in the final three ODIs of the series with the scores of 71, 65 and 125. It is no secret that India’s limited overs vice-captain loves scoring against the mighty Aussies, as his century at Nagpur was the 6th against the team from Down Under, leaving him only behind Sachin Tendulkar with 9 centuries by an Indian against Australia.
Virat Kohli (Matches 5, Runs-180, Avg 36, 50s 1)
The recently concluded series against Australia was the first bilateral series in which Virat Kohli failed to register a century since 2015. Let that fact sink in. As rare as that bit of record is, it was atypical to see the No 1 batsman flounder in a chase after getting off to a start. The Indian captain came back strongly in the second ODI in Kolkata with a splendid knock of 92 after getting a blob in first ODI in Chennai; but scores 28, 21, 39 in the last three ODIs while batting second didn’t compliment arguably the best chaser the game has ever seen. Kohli, though, must be applauded for his smart, sharp and proactive captaincy throughout the series, which adds up to his score out of 10 too.
Hardik Pandya (Matches 5, Runs-222, Avg 55.50, 50s 2, Wkts 6)
Hardik Pandya is a man in hurry! He didn’t have to spend years in the domestic circuit to earn his maiden call to the national side nor did it take long for him to become the poster boy of the Indian side or as Kohli would call him the ‘star’ or the ‘biggest asset’ of the team. Pandya’s herculean rise shouldn’t come as a surprise as he is everything that the team wanted — a fast bowling all-rounder, a basher, a finisher and during the series against Australia, he displayed skills of tenancy and ability to play the role of an accumulator if the situation demanded. Making him the man for all seasons. There was no real contest for the Man of the Series as the Gujarati boy stole the show with his complete performance in the 5-match series.
Kedar Jadhav (Matches 5, Runs-138, Avg 34.50, 50s 1, Wkts 2)
Kedar Jadhav had a hot and cold series with the bat scoring one half-century, a 40 and a 24. Add his low-arm-knee-bending bowling, his contribution as a player seems to accentuate. The wickets column might just read two but they were the wickets of David Warner and Steve Smith one each from fourth and fifth ODI respectively. The uncanny off spinner’s knack of picking crucial wickets is effective for the team and entertaining for the viewers. If Jadhav continues to make significant contributions with the bat and picks a wicket or two, he can add a different dimension to the team that can help India yield profitable results.
Might have been an expensive last over but 1-48 in 10 overs from Jadhav is something a captain would be delighted with.
— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) October 1, 2017
Manish Pandey (Matches 5, Runs-83, Avg 27.66)
Manish Pandey had a dismal start to the series with 0 and 3 in the first two encounters, but a demotion from No 4 to No 6 worked well for him. His unbeaten 36 in the third ODI in Indore ensured India didn’t fluff the chase and crossed the finishing line after losing Pandya in the 46th over. Will have to wait and see how long does India persists with Pandya at four and Pandey at six and if the batsman has found comfort in his new role.
MS Dhoni (Matches 5, Runs-100, Avg 33.33, 50s 1)
Chennai’s beloved MS Dhoni didn’t disappoint his fans as he lit Chepauk up with his solid 79 in the first ODI mentoring Pandya through his initial part of the innings as well. The two dug India out of a spot of a bother when the Australian pacers had reduced India to 87/5, the rescue act propelled India to 281 in 50 overs and eventually winning the rain-truncated game by 26 runs. As always MSD was agile behind the stumps besides from effecting stumpings and pouching catches, the senior statesman provided wrist spinners – Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav – with his constant counsel helping them outsmart the Oz batsmen.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar (Matches 4, Wkts-5, Avg 25.20, BBI 3/9)
Barring from adding a couple of yards to his pace, Bhuvneshwar Kumar has also added adroitness of a death bowler in his repertoire. Kumar along with Jasprit Bumrah make a formidable pair with the new as well as the old ball, something that the Indian cricket has longed for a while. The only match where the Aussies scored over 300 runs was wherein Kumar and Bumrah didn’t play. Apart from his bowling skills, Kumar makes for a handy lower-order batsman, his 32 in Chennai was valuable to the team in the first ODI and time and again, Kumar has reminded his ability to make significant contributions as a tailender.
Kuldeep Yadav (Matches 4, Wkts-7, Avg 30.00, BBI 3/54)
Ever since his Test debut in Dharamshala in March earlier this year, Kuldeep Yadav has moved from strength to strength. Credit must also be given to Kohli and the team management as they backed the ability of the 22-year-old Chinaman. Yadav finished with seven wickets to his name, the most by an Indian in the series, including a memorable hat-trick at Kolkata. Albeit Yadav’s economy remained on the higher side conceding more than 6 an over and it would be fair to assume that the way with which the bowler has gone about improving himself it will be a matter of time till he learns the art of stemming the run flow.
Jasprit Bumrah (Matches 4, Wkts-5, Avg 32.40, BBI 2/51)
At just 23, Jasprit Bumrah has been touted as the one of the best in the business when it comes to death bowling. Bumrah makes the other half of India’s growing-in-stature pace battery. He might have ended up with 5 scalps against his name but it isn’t just the wickets that makes him special, it is his ability to put on a leash on the scoring rate when the batsmen are lining up to play the big shots. The bowling figures of 2/52 in Indore and 2/51 in Nagpur do not reflect the true story. After being spanked to all corners by Aaron Finch and Warner in his first spell in the last one-day, Bumrah came back strongly for his second spell not to concede any boundary of the last six overs he bowled in the backend, including a maiden in the 45th over.
Yuzvendra Chahal (Matches 4, Wkts-6, Avg 28.66, BBI 3/30)
The right-arm leggie took six wickets in four games he played in, out of which he dismissed Glenn Maxwell thrice. Maxwell is a bully, who can severely wreck a bowler’s confidence with his imposing strokeplay. But it was the pint-sized leggie who shunned the ‘The Big Show’. Taming him is no easy task, but the former junior national champion in chess, knew exactly which move to deploy in order to outwit the Victorian. Maxwell was supposed to do what Pandya did to Adam Zampa, instead, both Maxwell and Zampa failed at their respective tasks. Eventually forcing Australia to drop Maxwell from the final two ODIs.
It wouldn’t be fair to mark Axar Patel, Mohammad Shami and Umesh Yadav with Patel playing two ODIs while the pacers getting their only game in the fourth ODI in Bengaluru.
Though in the limited opportunity, Patel managed to put an impressive show with the ball in the final ODI at the VCA stadium as he was the pivotal in choking Australia claiming three wickets for 38 runs in the match, while Yadav’s 10 overs reaped him four wickets at the expense of 71 runs and Shami remained wicketless leaking 62 runs in Bengaluru
KL Rahul remained the only player from the original squad to not feature in the playing XI in any of the five matches. While Ravindra Jadeja, who replaced injured Axar Patel, wasn’t a part of the playing XI either.