India vs Australia: Five things we learnt from Test series

Nitin Fernandes 16:50 29/03/2017
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The stars of the India-Australia series [Picture via Sportzpics].

India battled to a 2-1 Test series win over Australia after winning the fourth and final match of the series in Dharamsala.

As has been the case when these two teams met recently, tensions flared again with India captain Virat Kohli even stating that his relationship with the Australian players had changed after the series.

Here, we look at the five talking points (from a cricketing point-of-view):

STEVE SMITH IS THE BEST IN TESTS

Steve Smith came into the series as the number one Test batsman in the world and he fully justified that tag with some stupendous performances. His century in Australia’s second innings in Pune played a big role in the Australians winning their first Test on Indian soil in over 12 years.

STEVE SMITH'S TEST CAREER

  • Matches: 54
  • Runs: 5251
  • Average: 61.05
  • Centuries: 20

The Aussie captain was the top run-getter in the series, with 499 runs to his name at an impressive average of 71.28, including three centuries.

If he continues in the same vein, he could break a number of Test records in the years to come.

INDIA AREN’T ALL ABOUT KOHLI

There were question marks raised about whether or not the Indian team would be able to win matches without star batsman Virat Kohli. After all, the talismanic captain was the Player of the Series against England and was named the Player of the Match in the lone Test against Bangladesh as well.

In the series against the Baggy Green, though, Kohli’s form came crashing down as he could manage just 46 runs in the three Tests he played in at an average of below 10.

In fact, the Delhi batsman didn’t even play in the fourth Test and India won the match in his absence which showed that the Indian team is formidable even in his absence.

PUJARA, RAHUL ADD STABILITY AT THE TOP

Before the start of the series against Australia, Indian opener KL Rahul had a reputation for being feast-or-famine. He had four Test centuries to his name in his young career but had failed to even get starts on other occasions.

Rahul finally added consistency to his game, scoring six half-centuries in seven innings during the series. He will be disappointed that he wasn’t able to convert any of these knocks into a hundred, but he can be proud of his performances.

Cheteshwar Pujara, on the other hand, continues to shine in the longest format of the game. He notched up 405 runs, which included a double century in the third Test in Ranchi.

UMESH YADAV COMES OF AGE

It has been more than five years since Umesh Yadav made his Test debut and over the years, he has had his doubters. A Test bowling average in the high 30s hasn’t helped either.

It was a different story in the India-Australia series, though, as Umesh bowled with superb control to end the series as the highest wicket-taker among all the fast bowlers.

It is not often that an Indian pacer outbowls his Australian counterparts, but the Vidarbha fast bowler did just that, ending the series with 17 wickets to his name at an average of 23.41. His spell in Australia’s second innings in the Dharamsala Test is not something many people will soon forget.

JADEJA CONTINUES TO SHINE

Since making his debut for the Indian Test team, Ravindra Jadeja has mostly played second fiddle to Ravichandran Ashwin. However, that has changed now with Jadeja playing a starring role in India’s series win against Australia.

The 28-year-old won the Player of the Series award for his efforts as he topped the bowling charts with 25 wickets during the campaign and also made crucial contributions with the bat – scoring two important half-centuries.

Jadeja also ended the series as the number one Test bowler in the world.

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