Here is Cricketnext's report card as we analyse the performance of every Indian player from the game.
Shikhar Dhawan: Rating: 6 Verdict: Good
Back in the Test team after missing the second Test due to personal commitments, Dhawan started off poorly, scoring just 23 in the first innings. But he redeemed himself with a fifty on his birthday as India looked to pile the agony on the Lankan bowlers. He was swift with his feet movement and kept playing some attractive shots to send out a strong signal to the Indian selectors ahead of the Test series in South Africa.
Murali Vijay: Rating 10: Verdict: Excellent
He might have been out for 9 in the second innings as he looked to up the ante on the fourth day, but the 155 he hit on the opening day bore testimony that he is still India’s best bet at the top of the order. Swift feet movement and crisp shots, a full flowing Vijay is a cricket fan’s dream. And Vijay showed that he can grind as well as play attacking cricket with equal ease.
Cheteshwar Pujara: Rating 7: Verdict: Good
One of the rare games when the mainstay of the Indian batting order did not get a fifty. But then, he impressed with his attacking display on the fourth afternoon as the Indians looked to score quick runs. In fact, at one point he overtook the otherwise sublime Dhawan and was scoring faster than the southpaw. Pujara has time and again showed that he plays according to the situation and he did just that in the second innings of this Test.
Virat Kohli: Rating 10: Verdict: Excellent
Running out of adjectives to describe the Indian captain, Virat Kohli continued to roll out tons at will and this time he once again converted it into a double ton. Kohli batted with aggression and hit 243 off 287 balls before smog-induced distraction saw him get out. While in the middle, he played almost every shot in the book and showed why he is currently one of the world’s best batsman. Also, the burden of captaincy just does not seem to effect this run-machine.
Ajinkya Rahane: Rating 1: Verdict: Very Poor
Ajinkya Rahane's poor home season continued as he was cheaply dismissed yet again. Scores of 1 and 10 will have done little to boost his confidence going into the limited-overs series. In fact, he was even promoted ahead of Pujara in the second innings, but that did not manage to bring Rahane out of the rut. He will be a vital cog for the Indians in the Rainbow Nation and the Indian deputy in Tests needs to get his act right at the earliest.
Rohit Sharma: Rating 9: Verdict: Very Good
Rohit seems to be hitting the right notes in the longer format of the gentleman’s game at the right time. With the South Africa series knocking on the doors, Rohit once again showed why everyone around him considers him a special talent. After a century in the previous game, Rohit scored twin fifties in this one to celebrate his elevation to the captain’s spot in the ODI team as Kohli will be taking a well-deserved rest.
Wriddhiman Saha: Rating 5: Verdict: Average
Saha flattered to deceive in this one. While he picked up a few blinders behind the stumps in the first innings, he missed a regulation stumping of Niroshan Dickwella in the second innings at the Kotla on Wednesday. Had he managed to dismiss his counterpart, things could have turned out very different as far as the outcome of the game is concerned.
Ravindra Jadeja: Rating 7: Verdict: Good
Five wickets in the game doesn’t justify being rated good, but what stands out for Jadeja is the role he played in answering the captain’s call and kept coming to the bowling crease whenever his skipper demanded him to. While he was unlucky that the ripped he dished out to dismiss Dinesh Chandimal in the second innings was a no-ball, he did bowl some beautiful deliveries.
Ravichandran Ashwin: Rating 5: Verdict: Average
Having reached the milestone of 300 Test wickets in the previous game, Ashwin was expected to be on a high and run through the Lankan batting in the third Test. But India’s spin spearhead once again showed that he needs wickets which shall assist him before he can return with bags full of wickets. Batting form too has deserted him in recent times as he played the most lazy shots in the first innings to get out for 4.
Ishant Sharma: Rating 8: Verdict: Good
Good in spells would be the perfect way to describe the performance put in by the once pace spearhead of Indian cricket. While he showed good application as he mixed his line and length to fox the batsmen in the first innings, Ishant failed to show similar impact on the flat deck on the fifth day. But then, he did bowl his heart out and deserves credit for going full throttle even when the Lankan players were affected by the Smog.
Mohammed Shami: Rating 8: Verdict: Good
He might have finished with just 3 wickets in the game, but the kind of grit and determination he showed to bowl his heart out even though he was suffering from illness, speaks volumes about his commitment towards the game. Taking pills and yet running in and bowling at top speed, Shami showed why skipper Virat Kohli loves his new pace spearhead and is ready to go that extra mile to keep him with the team even when the former is injured.
Ajinkya RahaneCheteshwar Pujaraind vs sl 2017ishant sharmamohammed shamimurali vijayR AshwinRavindra Jadejarohit sharmashikhar dhawanvirat kohliWriddhiman Saha
First Published: December 7, 2017, 11:13 AM IST