Australia sealed a come from behind win in the ODI series to hand India its first-ever ODI series defeat at home since October 2015. After being 0-2 down in the series, Australia staged a stunning comeback to outclass India in the final three matches to clinch the series 3-2. With the World Cup around the corner, it was a crucial series for both the teams not just with regards to the result but also firming up remaining slots. Here we look at the series report card to see how the players fared.
Shikhar Dhawan – 4/10
Mat – 5, Runs – 177, Avg – 35.40, SR – 104.11
Dhawan turned around his poor form post the Asia Cup with a superb 143 at Mohali. That he failed to click in all other matches and scored only 34 more runs in those would continue to worry the think-tank. His inconsistency has seen the average partnership for the opening wicket take a dip and the Delhi batsman will look to make full use of the IPL to return to form ahead of the World Cup.
Rohit Sharma – 5/10 Mat – 5, Runs – 202, Avg – 40.40, SR – 75.65 With Dhawan misfiring more often than not, Rohit Sharma failed to adapt too and aside from a brilliant 193-run opening stand in Mohali, the duo did little at the top of the order. Rohit, however, was the better of the two and showed an inclination to grind it out when the conditions were tougher for batting. With the big knocks missing, Rohit’s strike rate remained a concern and Australia ensured he couldn’t quite convert his starts either, a rarity for the Hitman.
Virat Kohli – 9/10
Mat – 5, Runs – 310, Avg – 62, SR – 107.63, 100s – 2
Kohli started off with a bang with scores of 44, 116 and 123. The tons were racked up in Nagpur and Ranchi. Denied support at the other end and constantly peppered with tight lines by the Aussie bowlers, Kohli had to fight for each run and came out on top most of the times. He, however, couldn't contribute significantly in the last two ODIs. Adam Zampa dismissed him twice in the ODIs and once in the T20Is and he knowing Kohli, he would look to delve deep into this contest and look to come out on top when the two teams clash in the World Cup.
Rishabh Pant – 2/10 Mat – 2, Runs – 52, Avg – 26, SR – 130.0 With Dhoni rested after the first three matches, Pant had a golden chance to make that back-up keeper’s for the World Cup slot his own. He didn't grab the chance with both hands thought. His wicketkeeping came under a scanner as he fumbled quite a lot behind the stumps and couldn’t make a significant impact bat either. His race for a World Cup spot could well depend upon how he fares in the IPL, both behind and in front of the wicket.
MS Dhoni – 6/10
Mat – 3, Runs – 85, Avg – 42.5, SR – 73.91
Dhoni produced a match-winning effort alongside Kedar Jadhav in Hyderabad and it kind of re-established his credentials in this Indian side. With an average over 60 (since the 2015 World Cup) when the top three don’t make half-centuries, Dhoni’s firefighting skills would be crucial to India’s chances at the World Cup if the top-order doesn’t fire. He had a decent series and in all likelihood, has played his last ODI in India.
Kedar Jadhav - 7/10 Mat – 5, Runs – 172, Avg – 43.0, SR – 83.09, Wkts – 2, Eco – 6.43 Jadhav played two outrageous knocks in the series with the team in dire straits and showcased the value he brings to the side. He remained unbeaten on 81 in a successful run-chase at Hyderabad and then fought through dire circumstances in the series decider to keep India’s hopes alive until the end. His economy with the ball was a concern as he appeared ineffective for the first time since he started bowling in ODIs but there is no denying that Jadhav’s presence lends some much-needed balance to this Indian ODI side.
Vijay Shankar – 5/10
Mat – 5 Runs – 120, Avg – 30.0, SR – 112.14, Wkts – 2, Eco – 6.28
Vijay might well have taken over the No 4 spot from Rayudu during the course of this series. His strike rate – which had been a concern after his Nidahas Trophy struggles – has been a revelation in the past few months and the all-rounder has shown a penchant for upping his game when the situation demands. His technique and ability to play anchor or up the ante make him a strong contender for No 4 in this line-up. Add to that his uncanny bowling, which won India the game in Nagpur, and Shankar has catapulted himself into a must-have for the World Cup.
Ambati Rayudu – 1/10 Mat – 3, Runs- 33, Avg- 11.0, SR – 55.93 Rayudu was India’s equivalent of Shaun Marsh and after an impressive few months at No 4, his fallacies against pace and bounce made a hazy appearance in this series. The inability to keep the scoreboard ticking further pulls him down in this format. With 33 runs in 3 matches this series and a suspect strike rate, Rayudu might well miss the World Cup flight, months after Kohli announced him as the designated No 4.
Ravindra Jadeja – 4/10
Mat – 3, Wkts – 2, Avg – 63.33, Eco – 4.75, Runs – 45
Jadeja’s lack of wickets and no-show with the bat could well overshadow his economy and accuracy with the ball and athleticism in the field. The left-arm spinner has averaged a shady 16.5 with the bat post the Champions Trophy and has had average bowling figures. He was surprisingly chosen over Chahal for the series decider but fared well enough to ensure he remained in the good books. But the performance won’t mask the fact that he isn’t a consistent wicket-taker with the ball.
Kuldeep Yadav – 6/10 Mat - 5, Wkts – 10, Avg – 30.2, Eco – 6.04 Australia once again played Kuldeep with conviction and this is evident from the fact that he went for over 6 runs per over in the series. With Chahal not bowling in tandem, Kuldeep was less effective and the Aussie batsmen blunted him by getting to the pitch of the ball and smothering him down the ground. Though he picked up 10 wickets in the series, that economy and the ease with which he was dealt with, would worry the Indians.
Yuzvendra Chahal – 1/10
Mat - 1, Wkts – 1, Avg – 80.0, Eco – 8.0
Chahal was carted around the park in the only game he played but it would be unfair to rate him based on that performance which came on a belter of a wicket where most bowlers leaked aplenty. He picked up the key wicket of Handscomb in that Mohali game but went for 80 in his quota of overs. Chahal remains a wicket-taking option and as stats back up, his presence boosts Kuldeep’s effectiveness. A long tail, however, might see India bench him every now and then at the World Cup too.
Mohammed Shami – 6/10 Mat - 4, Wkts – 5, Avg – 42.6, Eco – 5.46 Shami’s tussle with Bhuvneshwar Kumar for the second pacer’s slot in the team resumed this series but an injury cut short his stint before he returned in the decider to bowl in tandem with Bhuvneshwar with the new ball. His persistent back of a length channel and new-found ability to mix pace up at the death makes him a potent weapon at any given phase in an ODI. He picked up five wickets in four matches this series but was more effective than what numbers suggest.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar – 5/10
Mat – 2, Wkts – 4, Avg – 28.75, Eco – 6.05
Bhuvneshwar’s return to the ODI side saw him have a horrid day at Mohali where his death bowling left a lot to be desired. The swing bowler was smashed around by Ashton Turner in Mohali. But he bounced back strong in Delhi with figures of 3/48, the best by an Indian this series. He also showed value with the bat in the lower order with a gritty 46 in the final ODI. If the conditions in England assist swing, which they generally do, Bhuvneshwar Kumar might be the second name in the bowling sheet ahead of Shami.
Jasprit Bumrah – 8/10 Mat – 5, Wkts – 7, Avg – 34.85, Eco – 4.99 Bumrah was effectively dealt with by the Aussies in the latter half of the series but the pacer’s ability to own the death overs made a difference in at least two matches. His searing yorkers and change of pace in the death posed problems aplenty for batsmen and Australia had to deal with it by playing him out with minimal damage, a strategy most teams could adopt at the World Cup. His seven wickets in the series came at an economy of 4.99. It was kind of a mixed series for the pacer but he remains India’s biggest weapon with the ball cometh the World Cup.
KL Rahul – 2/10
Mat – 1, Runs – 26, Avg – 26.0, SR – 83.87
Rahul was just given the solitary game to display his readiness in ODIs and couldn’t grab the chance on a batting beauty at Mohali. Having played most of his home games for Kings XI Punjab last season at the venue, Rahul ought to have grabbed his chance but failed to do so, edging behind off Zampa for 26. It remains to be seen how India see Rahul in their World Cup plans. He could well be in competition with Rayudu for one slot.
Usman Khawaja – 10/10
Mat – 5, Runs – 383, Avg – 76.6, 100s – 2
Usman Khawaja the ODI player announced himself in the series with scores of 104, 91 and 100 in the final three matches of the series. The southpaw acted as the anchor in Australia’s faltering batting line-up and set the game up for the likes of Marcus Stoinis, Ashton Turner and Alex Carey to carry forward the baton. His sensational form in the series makes him an indispensable option for the Aussies even when the likes of David Warner and Steven Smith return.
Aaron Finch – 3/10
Mat – 5, Runs – 157, Avg – 31.4, Ducks – 2
The Australian captain stays on tenterhooks. With a gap wider than a valley between his bat and pad, the inswinger continued to torment the opener and despite a bossy 93 in Ranchi, Finch remains under scrutiny for his string of low scores. More than the lack of runs, it is the manner of his dismissals that will be a cause of concern for the management.
Peter Handscomb – 8/10
Mat – 5, Runs- 236, Avg – 47.2, 100s – 1
While Handscomb was always acknowledged as a fine player of spin, this series showcased his temperament, ability to control the middle overs and play the anchor. The fleet-footed Aussie batsman played some extraordinary knocks in the series with his maiden hundred in Mohali helping the visitors pull off a heist. Handscomb is certain to be an omnipresent figure in Australia’s middle-order at the World Cup.
Marcus Stoinis – 5/10
Mat – Runs -140, Avg- 46.6, SR – 81.87, Wkts – 2, Eco – 6.59
Stoinis struggled to finish games off and his dot ball percentage early on did create a cause of worry. However, what does stand out is his ability to take the game down to the wire. A nerveless lower-order batsman, Stoinis adapted to team requirements and acted as a floater in the batting line-up. His bowling in this format is still a work in progress as that economy shows but he did grab the big wicket of Kohli in the series decider to tilt the game Australia’s way. He remains a big match player Australia will bank on.
Glenn Maxwell – 3/10
Mat – 5, Runs – 115, Avg – 23.0, Wkts – 1
After topping the run-charts in the T20I series, Maxwell endured a listless ODI series where he teased to fire but failed to sustain the momentum. The all-rounder was largely ineffective with the ball too but ensured he wasn’t leaking too many runs. With middle-order spots quickly filling up, Maxwell will hope to make the series against Pakistan in UAE count.
Ashton Turner – 9/10
Mat – 3, Runs – 125, Avg – 62.5, SR – 145.34
Turner stole the thunder, and perhaps the series, when he turned up in his superman avatar at Mohali and pulled off a heist in a high-scoring thriller. Perhaps the biggest takeaway for Australia from the series would be Turner’s composure and grit under pressure. The Perth Scorchers batsman all but booked his flight to England in this series but every good knock needs a follow-up innings and Turner will hope to impress in the upcoming UAE series to seal that World Cup spot in ink.
Alex Carey – 5/10
Mat – 5, Runs – 103, Avg – 34.33, SR – 100.98, Not outs – 2
With Australia having an overflow of middle-order batsmen, the move to use Handscomb as wicket-keeper could be pondered upon. Such a move would see Carey struggle to make it to the team. The southpaw, though, did little wrong when banked upon this series. He stood unbeaten in two innings and showed a penchant for playing those handy cameos in the back-end of the innings. His contributions at Ranchi and Mohali might easily be forgotten but Australia would acknowledge the role it played in the wins.
Pat Cummins – 10/10
Mat – 5, Wkts – 14, Avg – 15.71, Eco – 4.64, 3-plus wicket-hauls – 3
Cummins bowled with a lot of steam and it showed in his returns – 14 wickets in the series at 15.71 - with only two other Australian bowlers taking more wickets in a bilateral series of five matches. Cummins was the only bowler to pick up more than four wickets in a match in the series as he scalped a five-fer in Mohali. Spearheading the attack on docile wickets, the seamer showed the character to keep running in over after over with the same intensity. Cummins effectiveness on flat pitches could well be Australia’s trump card at the World Cup.
Jhye Richardson – 7/10
Mat – 3, Wkts – 8, Avg – 21.12, Eco – 6.03
Richardson is a new ball bowler with an ability to swing the ball upfront but his economy remains a concern and despite picking up 8 wickets in the series, he made little impact due to the tendency to gift runs away. His batting, which won them a T20I, and possibly the series decider too, would also be a takeaway, even if minor. That said, he hasn’t booked his place in the World Cup squad and needs a great series in UAE to achieve that.
Adam Zampa – 10/10
Mat – 5, Wkts – 11, Avg – 25.81, Eco – 5.68
Zampa cramping Virat Kohli for room with his sliders was a sight to behold and the leg-spinner out-bowled Kuldeep Yadav to ensure Australia remained in control in the middle overs. He had clear plans against each batsman and wasn’t scared to toss the ball up when required although the quick slider onto the pads was his main weapon to tie down the fleet-footed Indian batsmen. His 11 wickets came at an impressive economy of 5.68.
Nathan Lyon – 3/10
Mat – 3, Wkts – 3, Avg – 44.33, Eco – 4.43
With Zampa confirming his status as Australia’s No 1 spinner in the format, Lyon’s place in the side is in danger. The off-spinner had an average series, finishing with three wickets in three matches although he restricted the scoring rate by coming around the wicket and turning the ball into the right-handers. Lyon’s economy remains his greatest strength but without complementing it with wickets, he is could struggle in England.
Nathan Coulter-Nile - 2/10
Mat – 2, Wkts – 3, Avg – 32.66, Eco – 5.65
Coulter-Nile is quickly losing ground in the World Cup selection race with Jhye Richardson and Jason Behrendorff threatening to jump above in the pecking order once Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood return. The hit-the-deck seamer did not have the right conditions to showcase his complete skillsets but having had the experience of playing in India before in the IPL, Australia would have expected more out of him.
Shaun Marsh – 1/10
Mat – 3, Runs – 29, Avg – 9.66, SR – 59.18
After a superb series Down Under against India where he played Kuldeep with such conviction, Marsh came a cropper in the return series, making 29 runs across three matches. Australia, however, might see this as a minor blip because Marsh has been their most consistent batsman and will be hoping that he returns to form against Pakistan.
Jason Behrendorff – 1/10
Mat – 2, Wkts – 0, Eco – 5.35
Behrendorff largely remains a new-ball bowler and this limitation seems to have restricted the number of matches he plays for Australia in these conditions. He might prove to be a potent weapon in England but when Starc returns, would Australia really need him? He went wicketless in the two matches this series and is likely to find himself watching the World Cup from home.
Rating chart: 10-9: Excellent, 8-7: Good, 6-5: Average, 4-3: Poor, 2-1: Very poor