How much would you rate openers KL Rahul and Murali Vijay?    IANS
How much would you rate openers KL Rahul and Murali Vijay? IANS

India beat Bangladesh by 208 runs in the one-off Test at Hyderabad’s Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium. India captain Virat Kohli was adjudged Man of the Match for his stunning double-hundred. To add fuel to the fire, he became the first player to score four double-hundreds in four series. How much would you rate him for this swashbuckling performance? Let us have a look how did the players fare in this contest:

KL Rahul (1/10): Before this Test, Rahul had registered his highest score 199 vs England at Chennai. Before this Test, he had scores of 32, 38, 0, 10, and 24 in this season. Before this Test, he was picked ahead of Shikhar Dhawan, Gautam Gambhir, and Parthiv Patel every time he regained his fitness. Rahul either goes great guns or gets carried away. And in this Test, he did the latter and not once but twice.

In the first innings, he was back to the pavilion in the very first over, inside-edging the ball onto the stumps off Taskin Ahmed. In a format that allows to take your time to find your feet, Rahul often plays a stroke in haste. However, same was the scene in the second innings. He flashed his bat off a ball that was way away from his body. He, nonetheless, gets half a point for a delightful boundary to cover-point and took catch at forward short-leg.

Murali Vijay (9/10): An innings of substance is always expected off Vijay. Preferred in the only format for India shows why he is one of the few batsmen India bank on at the opening slot. On a Day-One track that was hard with a tinge of grass on it, Vijay scored 108 off 265 balls. Laced with 12 fours and a six, he displayed tenacity batting for 265 minutes. He loses one point for playing a reckless shot and not making a big score.

Cheteshwar Pujara (10/10): Pujara averaged 74.6 against New Zealand and 50.1 against England. There was no shadow of doubt about his credibility at No. 3, especially at home. With Rahul often falling early, the onus is always on him to steady India’s innings early on. At Hyderabad, he added 178 runs for the second wicket with Murali Vijay. He made a resolute 83 before thin-edging it to the keeper. He then followed it with an unbeaten, 58-ball 54 when India had very little time to post a safe target for Bangladesh.

In addition, he did a valiant job at forward short-leg.

Virat Kohli (10/10): He was adjudged Man of the Series against England. Before that he was the second highest run-scorer against New Zealand. Even before that, he was the highest run-scorer against West Indies. In other words he only got better with time. All the same, what was common against Bangladesh and the previous three series is that he scored a double-hundred, becoming the first to reach the 200-run mark in four consecutive series.

For Kohli, it was just another encounter. With this, he goes on to surpass gentlemen named Don Bradman and Rahul Dravid.

Ajinkya Rahane (10/10): It was obvious that a batsman of Rahane’s class, experience, and performance will be picked ahead of triple-centurion Karun Nair. His captain as well as coach reasoned when asked about the same before the match. Rahane, not much to our surprise, stayed true to their expectations and scored a resounding 82 in the first innings. Besides, had the ball not took off the rough patch, he would not have played it in the air and missed out on a well deserved century. And in the second innings, like Pujara, he wasted no time and played a quickfire knock. He gets extra point for taking three catches in the slip cordon.

Wriddhiman Saha (8/10): Had he not danced down the track when on 4, he would have been a ten-pointer as well. Otherwise, his unbeaten 106 and wicketkeeping kept India on course.

Ravichandran Ashwin (8/10): There were no cracks on the track. There were rough patches but not threatening enough. Besides all this, he managed 6 wickets in a game that saw the bowling unit perform collectively. He managed wickets of Shakib Al Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim (twice), among others. In short he took big wickets at crucial sessions. Moreover, he was effective with the bat, scoring 34 off 45 in the first innings. The No. 1 all-rounder did not fail to do what he does the best, despite not taking his routine five-fors or six-fors.

Ravindra Jadeja (10/10): He took as many wickets as Ashwin did in the match. But his performance with the bat puts him ahead of his spin partner: he scored an unbeaten 60 in the first innings followed by a quickfire 16 in the second. His fielding as well was second to none. All in all, he was spot on in all the departments.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar (5/10): He took only a wicket wicket that was a reminiscence of his maiden international wicket. It swung in so late that before Mehedi Hasan could defend it, he was completely outfoxed. Otherwise, Bhuvneshwar had a very small role to play.

Umesh Yadav (9/10): I was itching to give him a ten-pointer. His spell against Shakib on third day’s morning made every cricket traditionalist’s day. The scorecard will not mention about the rigorous reverse-swing that was on display. Be it a right-hander or left-hander, he beat them all ends up. Had he been a touch luckier, he would have had a five-for.

Ishant Sharma (8/10): He, too, took 3 wickets. He, too, reverse-swung the ball. He, too, mixed up his pace. He bowled as well as Umesh did, but he produced a slightly lesser venom than Umesh.


Now to the visitors…

Tamim Iqbal (3/10): He dropped Jadeja’s catch in the first innings and then got run out in the second. By his standards, it was a mediocre performance. All the same, it was his batsmanship his team needed the most, especially at the top order. For that matter, the track was helpful for the batters, no uneven bounce or wide cracks on it. In short, the platform was set for Tamim to explore. The conditions were suitable for Tamim to exploit. However, in the end, the southpaw failed to do what he is reputed for.

Soumya Sarkar (4/10): He gets a point more than his opening partner only for scoring an attractive 42. He loses the rest for lapse in concentration in the both the innings. Otherwise, the 10 boundaries he hit were a purists’ delight.

Mominul Haque (3/10): 4 hundreds and 11 fifties before this Test had stated Mominul as one of the players to watch out for, but all he could score was 39 runs in 2 innings. However, he was dismissed off Umesh’s late in-seamer, so late that it would send away any batsman 9 out of 10 times.

Mahmadullah (5/10): A fighting half-century in the second innings earns him 50 per cent marks. On a day-five track, he displayed resistance and delayed India’s victory march to almost last session.

Shakib Al Hasan (7/10): The No. 2 all-rounder in ICC Test rankings was out of sorts with the ball. Not that it was his fault that he was given only 13 overs on the first day. It is Test cricket, and hence the spinners are expected to bowl long spells. He bowled only 33 overs, taking only 2 wickets. But he made amends with bat, scoring 82 in the first innings and 22 in the second. He gets extra points for surviving Umesh’s spell.

Mushfiqur Rahim (5/10): Yes only 5, despite the gritty century. He scored more runs than Shakib did, still gets lesser points. His decision-making, wicketkeeping, and running between the wickets, were, by all means, mediocre. For a Bangladesh to surge in this format, Mushfiqur will have to learn the art of captaincy.

Sabbir Rahman (4/10): He looked ominous in the both the innings when he struck boundaries, but (there’s has always been one for Bangladeshis) failed to convert his start into a big innings. He scored 16 and 22.

Mehedi Hasan (6/10): To score a fifty at No. 8 is not an easy task. He added 87, for the seventh wicket, with Mushfiqur to take Bangladesh’s first-innings total over 300. Though he went wicketless in the second innings, he dismissed the likes of Cheteshwar Pujara in the first.

Kamrul Islam Rabbi (1/10): His figures in the first innings read 19-1-100-0. In the second he was injured. However, remained unbeaten on 3 off 70 on the last, earning a point for that.

Taijul Islam (5/10): He bowled the most overs for Bangladesh. Even his captain heaped praises on him in the press conference. Coming round the wicket, he tossed up in the right areas, bowling economically as well as taking crucial wickets.

Taskin Ahmed (3/10): Despite dismissing Rahul in the both the innings, Taskin’s contribution was miniscule. He bowled unnecessarily short on a track against the class of Indian batsmen.