The turnaround started with Steven Smith © Getty Images
The turnaround started with Steven Smith © Getty Images

Despite two days of Indian domination and a few late hiccups, Australia came back strongly to win in the second Test at Brisbane and take an unassailable  2-0 lead in the series. Analysing the performances in the Test, Abhishek Mukherjee dishes out points for the Australians in the Test.

The odds were probably stacked against Australia: Michael Clarke had been ruled out for the series; there was a new, young captain; the experience of Ryan Harris and Peter Siddle were not available; and both Shane Watson and Chris Rogers were out of form with the bat.

India were 311 for four after Day One. After being bowled out for 408, Australia were reduced to 247 for six on Day Three. Then Australia took a 95-run lead and eventually won the Test by four wickets. Here, then, are marks out of ten for The Gabba Test for the Australian team:

Chris Rogers: 6.5/10

Rogers came into the Test with his place in doubt. Some would even say that he should have made way for Ed Cowan. He scored a typically gutsy 55 in the first innings, but it was his second 55 of the Test that was more crucial. Australia were in trouble of sorts at 22 for two before Rogers counterattacked and ensured a victory.

David Warner: 3/10

A rare failure for Warner. Much was expected of him after his epic twin tons at The Adelaide Oval, and the unreal form he is in, but though he got off to a quick fire 29 in the first innings, he faced a peach from Ishant Sharma and perished cheaply in the second.

Shane Watson: 3/10

Watson’s failures at No. 3 continue. He looked uncomfortable against both pace and spin and looked completely out of sorts, but he gets points for dismissing Rohit Sharma in the first innings and bowling steadily in the second.

Steven Smith: 9.5/10

Smith would probably have got a full ten had he remained unbeaten at the end. Australia’s third-youngest Test captain started his tenure with a match-deciding hundred and a win on captaincy debut. He hardly put a foot wrong, and though he got a reprieve in the second innings, he scored a crucial 28.

Shaun Marsh: 4/10

Replacing Clarke is not an easy task, but Shaun Marsh did a competent job in the first innings. He also played a quick cameo in the second innings that turned out to be crucial, but in general, he would have to do more to cement a spot in the Test side.

Mitchell Marsh: 3/10

Mitchell Marsh would probably have done better had he not been injured. Though he ended up playing the winning hit, he generally did not impress with the bat. He gets a point for earning the first ever Test wicket for the Marsh clan.

Brad Haddin: 3/10

Haddin lasted a mere 14 balls across two innings, and scored only seven. However, he was brilliant in his primary role. He was outstanding behind the stumps, claiming six catches in the first innings and three more in the second, and did a tidy job in general.

Mitchell Johnson: 8/10

Thanks to Rohit’s attempt at sledging, Big Mitch was finally back in business. He first slammed a 93-ball 88 in a 148-run partnership with Smith. Warmed up nicely after his batting, he bowled faster than he has done in this series, and removed Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane and Rohit in one fiery spell. If this is an indication of things to come, the Indians have a lot of things to worry about.

Mitchell Starc: 6/10

Starc was caned in the first innings, but responded with the bat when his turn came. Smith and Johnson had taken Australia to within ten runs of India’s score; Starc’s composed 59-ball 52 gave them a lead of 97. He also claimed the all-important wicket of Murali Vijay and came back later to remove Ravichandran Ashwin.

Josh Hazlewood: 9/10

Hazlewood’s maiden Test can safely be called a dream debut. Fast and probing, he took a five-for in his first innings in Test cricket and followed up with the wickets of Cheteshwar Pujara and MS Dhoni in the second. In between, he crafted an unbeaten 32, dominating a 51-run last-wicket stand with Starc.

Nathan Lyon: 6/10

Lyon did not dominate at The Gabba the way he did at Adelaide Oval, but he did chip in with five crucial wickets (including the top-scorer in each innings, Vijay and Shikhar Dhawan) and also took two catches. He also scored a 23-ball 23, helping Starc put on 56 for the ninth wicket.

(Abhishek Mukherjee is the Chief Editor and Cricket Historian at CricketCountry. He blogs here and can be followed on Twitter here.)