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India vs New Zealand | Series Verdict: Indian Batting Unit’s Poor Show Leads to Whitewash

By: Cricketnext Staff

Edited By: Shayne Dias

Last Updated: March 03, 2020, 08:33 IST

(Image: Twitter/@BCCI)

(Image: Twitter/@BCCI)

A tour of New Zealand that started with India whitewashing the hosts 5-0 in the T20I series ended with a whimper from the tourists’ point of view.

A tour of New Zealand that started with India whitewashing the hosts 5-0 in the T20I series ended with a whimper from the tourists’ point of view.

The Virat Kohli-led side not only lost the subsequent ODI series 3-0 but were also whitewashed in the Test series, handing them their first series loss in the ICC World Test Championship.

Familiar foes raised their heads once again as India’s batsmen proved susceptible to the moving ball and were thus unable to provide their formidable pace unit enough to bowl at.

Here’s a look at how every Indian player fared in the series.

Mayank Agarwal – 5/10

He was India’s highest run-getter in the series but it was an overall forgettable tour for the Karnataka batsman, who struggled to get to grips with the swing bowling of Tim Southee and Trent Boult.

The opener posted scores of 34 and 58 in the first Test at Wellington but could only manage 7 and 3 in the second Test at Christchurch. These were disappointing returns for someone who is now expected to bat long as often as possible.

Prithvi Shaw – 5/10

The youngster was afforded an opportunity to come back into the Indian side thanks to the absence of Rohit Sharma through injury yet he was unable to make the most of what was a golden chance.

Although he did manage to score one half-century in the second Test (54), his other three innings saw him post scores of 16, 14 and 14. He also struggled against both swing and short bowling, issues that will need to be rectified if he is to be a consistent performer at the international level.

Cheteshwar Pujara – 4/10

Usually India’s most dependable batsman in away conditions, Pujara has hit something of a rough patch in recent times and his mixed form continued through the tour of New Zealand.

He too only managed the sole half-century in the series and his other scores don’t make for pleasant reading: he recorded 11 each in both innings of the first Test and could only manage 24 in the second innings at Wellington. To top things off, his sedate approach came under criticism from skipper Virat Kohli.

Virat Kohli – 3/10

To say that Kohli had a forgettable series would be an understatement. He was outscored with the bat by both Mohammed Shami and Trent Boult and his captaincy decisions left a lot to be desired.

Kohli’s weakness against the moving ball outside off stump has been previously used to target him in England and the New Zealand bowlers also used this tactic to good effect. Without their best batsman firing, India struggled.

Ajinkya Rahane – 4/10

The Indian vice-captain is usually a solid presence in the middle-order but like most of his teammates, he flattered to deceive on this tour. Despite starting well during the first Test, he was unable to convert his starts into big knocks.

He managed only 46 and 29 in the first Test and his output in the second Test was even more forgettable; he notched 7 & 9 as India’s batting line-up was humbled by an on-song New Zealand attack.

Hanuma Vihari – 4/10

Vihari’s knack of scoring big runs in the lower-order had become a useful weapon in the Indian team’s arsenal but the Andhra Pradesh batsman’s touch all but deserted him during this tour.

He managed scores of only 7 & 15 at Wellington before pitching in with a well-made 55 in the first innings at Christchurch. However, he could only score 9 in the second innings. The 26-year old will want to put this tour behind him as soon as possible.

Rishabh Pant – 4/10

Pant has been suffering through a poor run of form in recent times and his form did not see a positive upturn during the tour of New Zealand.

The 22-year old posted a highest score of 25 in the series and could only manage to score a total of 60 runs in the series. His work behind the stumps was also shaky as he sometimes struggled to cope with the moving ball.

Ravindra Jadeja – 6/10

Jadeja came into the side for the second Test in place of Ravichandran Ashwin and did a fine all-round job as he was effective with the bat, ball and in the field.

He didn’t do much with the bat in the first innings but ran out of partners in the second. He pitched in with two wickets in the first innings and took two stunning catches as well. At this point, he seems hard to drop from the side regardless of format.

Ishant Sharma – 8/10

The lanky bowler has been in spectacular form for the last one year and that showed in his performance in the first Test. He bagged the 11th fifer of his career in the first innings of the match but couldn’t prevent the New Zealand tail from scoring crucial runs.

He also missed the second Test due to an ankle injury that put India’s chances in the series in jeopardy. All in all, it was a good performance by him and India did miss his services in Christchurch.

Mohammed Shami – 6/10

The biggest criticism for Shami in the series would be his knack to bowl short or back-of-the-length balls consistently.

When the ball was swinging he stuck to the short balls and gave an opportunity to Kiwi lower-order to score quick runs. But he did return with five wickets in two Tests and also took crucial wickets in the second Test.

Jasprit Bumrah – 7/10

It was a forgettable first Test for Bumrah in Wellington where he just got one wicket, but he announced his comeback in the second with five wickets in two innings.

He swung the ball prodigiously and troubled the Kiwi batsmen. When New Zealand were on the brink on victory in the second Test, he gave it his all and did manage to bag two wickets for himself and the team.

Umesh Yadav – 3/10

Brought in as a cover for injured Ishant, a lot was expected out of Umesh, who tends to swing the ball more than his counterparts.

But he disappointed and did not pick up enough wickets. He was ineffective against the tail too. He hardly used the yorkers that he uses to good effect in Indian conditions.

R Ashwin – 4/10

Last couple of years have been tough for Ashwin – the all-rounder. He isn’t the same reliable bowler who used to run through opposition sides and his returns with the bat have become scanty too.

In the only match he played in the series, he picked up three wickets but was very expensive. But it is his batting that is doing the real damage to India’s team combination. He scored 0 and 4 in the first Test.