Australia relinquished the Border-Gavaskar trophy to India in Dharamsala but there were plenty of positives to take out of the tour. Many thought it’d be a whitewash, or we wouldn’t win a test, but the Australian public have many reasons to be proud of the boys.
Here are our ratings for Australia’s tour of India:
Let’s start with the skipper because it only goes downhill from here.
There’s nothing really to say about this man that hasn’t been said before. 499 runs @ 79.28 that included three centuries as he led from the front with the willow in hand. His ton in Pune was just the start for the Australian skipper as his legend only continues to grow. His captaincy was good for the most part, rotating his bowlers and more or less setting the right fields to win. He was right in the middle of the heated moments in the series which he apologised for post-match in Dharamsala, and will only learn from those experiences.
He entered India a boy and has come out a man. That’s in part because he turned 21 on the final day of the series but Renshaw’s temperament was on show for all to see, especially in the first three tests. His poor final test should not overshadow a series where he almost wasn’t picked for Pune. 232 at 29 doesn’t jump off the page but he was Australia’s better opener and second most prolific batsman.
The vice captain was as unsure as any batsman right throughout this series and in truth, it was a sorry sight. Usman Khawaja failed to get picked because of his failings in Sri Lanka last year, so what justified Warner’s selection? His vice-captaincy? His match-winning ability? Ravi Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja had the master-blaster all at sea with turn and bounce coupled with unsure footwork and shot selection. 193 runs @ 24.13 is simply not a good enough return for Australia’s second best batsman.
The elder Marsh copped a lot (and we mean a lot) of criticism on this tour, partly because he’s a Marsh but also because he was picked for his ability to play on turning decks, so a lot was expected of him. 151 runs @ 18.87 doesn’t highlight his match-saving knock in Ranchi or his 66 in Bengaluru but ultimately, his lack of consistency is what will be remembered – and we’re not just talking about this series here.
The Victorian got starts in all innings’ bar one but only reached 25 or more just once, albeit in a match-saving knock in Ranchi. Didn’t disgrace himself but will know at this level, he must convert those starts. After 198 runs @ 28.28, we’ll see him at the Gabba for the first Ashes test as he now heads to Yorkshire after turning away lucrative IPL dollars for more experience with the red ball. His fielding was also a highlight under the lid at bat pad.
The big show was exactly that in his Test return in Ranchi after producing his first ton with the skipper at the other end. 159 runs across two Tests was very solid as Australia’s ‘all-rounder’ although Steve Smith didn’t bowl him as much as many had hoped. Will he hold his place for the upcoming Ashes? Who knows with these selectors.
Rating: 7.5 (extra .5 for throwing down the stumps on the final day)
Many eyes were on Wade coming into the series but the Victorian delivered with both bat and with the gloves. Yes, he did miss the odd chance but he was keeping in some of the toughest conditions and his glovework stood up to the test. He also managed to score 196 runs @ 32.66 in the series and applied himself in most innings.
Cummins was unleashed after Mitchell Starc went down after the second Test and the youngster did not disappoint. He took eight wickets across his two tests, bowling with good control and showing he could get the batsman jumping on a regular basis. Took the key wicket of Virat Kohli as well, proving if his body can hold up, he’ll be in the Baggy Green for a long time to come.
If you just look at the stats, nine wickets @ 32.77 doesn’t catch the eye but was unlucky at times. Would’ve liked more wickets no doubt but his control to put it on a spot and strangle a batsman reaped the rewards for the bowler at the other end.
All eyes were on Lyon as they headed to India and ‘Garry’ far from embarrassed himself. At times, his control let him down but for the most part, he was superb. 8-50 in Bangalore was one of Australia’s biggest individual highlights of the tour to go along with hauls of five and four meant he finished with 19 wickets at 26.26 (better than Ashwin). Lyon showed why he’s Australia’s most successful finger spinner.
O’Keefe started the series off with a bang with 12 wickets in Australia’s lone win in Pune. Never a big turner of the ball, O’Keefe varied his pace well as he deceived the Indian batsman with bounce and the one that didn’t turn. A very good series with 19 wickets @23.05.
Starc bowled with as much venom and fire as you can on the slow wickets of Pune and Bangalore but still managed to show why he’s one of the world’s premier bowlers. The injury put a big dampener on the series however it wasn’t just his bowling that the locals came to see. 118 runs @ 29.5, maybe he should’ve batted at 6 for Mitch Marsh instead.
Has there ever been a more disappointing cricketer than this man? Time after time, he gets his chances and fails to deliver. He did score more runs than Virat Kohli in the series so we’ll probably still see him in the Baggy Green for at least another seven years, right?
31 of his 48 runs came in one innings, maybe his injury was a blessing in disguise for the Australian team?