Team India report card: A ten for Tendulkar
India registered a comfortable seven-wicket victory over Australia in the second Test at the Chinnaswamy Stadium, in Bangalore, on Wednesday. The victory helped the hosts pocket the series 2-0 and consolidate their No 1 rankings in Tests.
As India celebrates their first ever clean sweep over Australia, our correspondent Bikash Mohapatra takes a look at how the players performed in the series.
Image: Team India with the Border-Gavaskar trophy
Dhoni was brilliant as captain
Mahendra Singh Dhoni 5/10
As a batsman and wicketkeeper, Mahendra Singh Dhoni was unimpressive, to put it mildly.
While 46 runs in three innings isn't something you expect from a captain, his many goof-ups behind the stumps cost his bowlers, especially spinners, a few wickets.
However, as a captain, Dhoni was spot on, maintaining his impeccable record -- of 12 wins against just two losses in his 18 Tests.
He also maintained his perfect record against Australia, winning his fourth successive Test in charge.
And his strategy to promote debutant Cheteshwar Pujara up the order (to No 3) in the fourth innings at Bangalore proved to be yet another masterstroke.
Image: MS Dhoni
Sehwag was effective in this series without being explosive
Virender Sehwag -- 7/10
He gave India the start they required in three of his four innings.Virender Sehwag was effective in this series without being explosive.
And it was his early aggression that forced the Australians on the backfoot. The lone time he failed to fire was in the fourth innings at Bangalore.
Thankfully, India did not have to pay any price for it.
Best Bowling: -
Economy Rate: 2.19
Image: Virender Sehwag
Dravid had a disappointing series
Rahul Dravid -- 6/10
His 77 in the opening essay in Mohali was a vintage knock. Save that, it was a disappointing series for a batsman who is still described 'The Wall'.
Considering his form wasn't too good on the preceding tour to Sri Lanka as well, Rahul Dravid has some serious introspection to do.
And a three-Test series against New Zealand at home might just be a blessing in disguise, a lifeline to his ailing career.
Image: Rahul Dravid
Yet another memorable series for Sachin
Sachin Tendulkar -- 10/10
What more can be said about Sachin Tendulkar?
His batting itself provides all the answers.
The numbers below say all.
Need we add more?
Image: Sachin Tendulkar
A player for the future
Suresh Raina -- 7/10
Suresh Raina followed up his impressive debut in Sri Lanka with an equally impressive performance against Australia.
His 86 in India's first innings at Mohali was without doubt the best. But the other two contributions, though small, were significant.
A player for the future. And we are just talking about his Test career.
Best Bowling: 1/19
Economy Rate: 2.37
Image: Suresh Raina
Bhajji struggled to make an impact
Harbhajan Singh -- 5/10
Don't let yourself be fooled by the number of wickets. Truth be told, Harbhajan Singh struggled to make an impact on this tour.
After the retirement of Anil Kumble, the 'Turbanator' is no more the potent weapon he once was.
If there's addition to his kitty of wickets, it more because of reputation than form.
Ahead of the Mohali Test, Harbhajan pronounced himself as a batsman, mentioning his own name in the same breathe as Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag et al.
To know how he performed with the bat, have a glance at the stats below.
Best Bowling: 4/148
Economy Rate: 2.68
Image: Harbhajan Singh
Zaheer bowled with pace and fire
Zaheer Khan -- 8/10
Our best seamer, without doubt, especially on Indian conditions. Zaheer Khan has, over the years, mastered the art of reverse swing.
And he used it to a good effect to torment the Aussies in the just-concluded series.
Eight wickets in the opening Test at Mohali, besides winning the man-of-the-match award, also ensured a personal landmark -- 250 wickets in Tests, only the fifth Indian to achieve the feat.
Best Bowling: 5/94
Economy Rate: 3.43
Image: Zahher Khan
Ojha was impressive
Pragyan Ojha -- 8/10
Pragyan Ojha was impressive, to say the least.
Kept things tight at one end and reduced the burden off Harbhajan's shoulders considerably.
Had it not been for MS Dhoni's blemishes, the wickets column in the stats below would have made for a better reading.
Best Bowling: 3/57
Economy Rate: 2.57
Image: Pragyan Ojha
Nothing much to talk about
Gautam Gambhir -- 2/10
Hugely disappointing in the lone Test he played.
Made 25 in the first essay and helped Sehwag put on a 50-plus partnership for the opening wicket but was dismissed for a duck in the second.
An injury subsequently ruled him out for the second Test and saved him from further embarrassment.
Image: Gautam Gambhir
Laxman's love-affair with Aussies continues
VVS Laxman -- 8/10
He defied a back injury to ensure India an improbable win at Mohali. His unbeaten 73 was not just a defiant knock. It was an innings of unparallel grit.
India carried forward a winning momentum into the second Test at Bangalore.
And Laxman carried forward his injury, meaning he missed out being part of another memorable win.
Image: VVS Laxman
Maiden century for Vijay on tour
Murali Vijay -- 9/10
Confidence is writ large on his face. And if the recent Champions League T20 in South Africa was a curtain raiser, this series was the real show.
Besides scoring a maiden Test century, he was also involved in a record third-wicket (308 runs) with Sachin Tendulkar.
And the duo ensured their team a platform to build on.
Image: Murali Vijay
Perfect replacement of Dravid
Cheteshwar Pujara -- 7/10
A memorable debut, to say the least. Cheteshwar Pujara missed out in the first innings.
But he more than made up for it in the second. Promoted to number three in the order, the young Saurashtra batsman responded with a superb 72.
The search for Rahul Dravid's replacement is probably over.
Image: Cheteshwar Pujara
Ishant redeemed himself in the second innings
Ishant Sharma 6/10
A complete disaster in the first innings at Mohali, Ishant impressed in the second. The Delhi bowler took three wickets to help dismiss Australia for a low score.
Then the unthinkable happened.
Coming in to bat with India precariously poised at 124 for eight, Ishant helped veteran Laxman to ensure a victory for India.
We give him a point extra for that innings of his.
Best Bowling: 3/34
Economy Rate: 5.08
Image: Ishant Sharma
S Sreesanth 4/10
Lacklustre, listless, lackadaisical
There are many words that can be used to describe Sreesanth's performance at Bangalore. The first innings cost India only runs and yielded no returns.
However, when the ball reversed on the fifth morning, Sreesanth added two names to his wickets column.
It is safe to say that there's still along way to go before the Kerala bowler hits peak form.
Best Bowling: 2/48
Economy Rate: 3.62
Image: S Sreesanth