When a team wins a four-match Test series 4-0, there are bound to be a number of excellent individual performances, which culminate into a brilliant team effort. The same has been the case with India as they outdid the clueless Aussies in every department of the game. As India celebrate their best-ever triumph in terms of a Test series win, we look back at a few of the men who made the historic victory possible.
Ravichandran Ashwin: The off-spinner let the side down in a big way against England. On pitches that were exceptionally receptive to spin, he could not make an impact even as his English
counterparts wreaked havoc on the same surfaces. Thus, when Australia arrived in India, he had a point to prove. Ashwin has done so very well. With 29 wickets in four Tests, he ended up as the highest wicket taker in the series, and even walked away with the man of the series award. At the awards ceremony, Ashwin admitted that he had faltered against the Englishmen, and so had worked hard on his game for the Australia series. What he did in the interim has worked very well for Ashwin. He had looked threatening throughout the series, and even his surprise balls have proved to be wicket-taking.
Cheteshwar Pujara: After a splendid showing against England in a losing cause, the Saurashtra youngster only enhanced his reputation as an impending Test great. Pujara’s double-hundred at Hyderabad was instrumental in India’s massive win, by an innings and135 runs. After a disappointing effort at Mohali, he returned to play the knock that gave India the 4-0 triumph. He hit a half-century in the first innings, but it was his unbeaten 82 with India chasing a tricky 155 that was even more praiseworthy.
Murali Vijay: Having played poor shots in the opening Test, Vijay’s spot in the eleven was definitely under the scanner. However, the Tamil Nadu opener responded in the best manner he could, cracking two brilliant centuries in back to back innings. At Hyderabad, he made a well-compiled 167 and at Mohali he compiled a sedate 153. The standout aspect in both the knocks was that he was playing second fiddle and yet did not mind the same. At Hyderabad, Pujara took away most of the plaudits and, at Mohal, Vijay was a mere spectator as Shikhar Dhawan shredded the Aussies. On either occasion, he was unflappable.
Ravindra Jadeja: When the series began one would not have bet on Jadeja being in the list. But four Tests and 24 wickets later, he ought to be. It is difficult to see Jadeja doing as well away from home. But in conditions which suit his kind of bowling, he has been top-notch. Most of his dismissals have been with deliveries where he has beaten the batsman in flight or pace. Although he was chosen as the third spinner, throughout the series Dhoni used him as a wicket-taking option.
Shikhar Dhawan: The Delhi opener played just one innings in the series, but it was by far the most incredible knock of the series, one that also set up India’s series win at Mohali. His 174-ball 187 was studded with 33 fours and two sixes, most of them were proper cricketing shots. The Aussies were left dumbfounded for sure.
--By A Cricket Analyst