at Rajkotwhich was f

at Rajkot,which was followed by an inspirational spell of spin bowling by Adil Rashid and Zafar Ansari thevisitors were hardly able to get a grip in the series India’s captain Virat Kohli celebrates with teammates in Chennai during the final Test Reuters There were those who pointed towards Virat Kohli winning all three tosses in the New Zealand Tests as one ofthe primary reasons behind their 3-0 whitewash In this case Kohli ended up losing four out of five tosses and ended up conceding first innings totals in excess of 400 in three out of five matches Yet India beat the visitors by a comprehensive 4-0 scoreline With the seriesfinally having come to a close after more than a month’s worth of action it is time to look back at the performances of the Indian players who are rated on a scale of 1 to 10 in descending order of points scored: Virat Kohli (95/10): Sincerest apologies for taking half-a-point away from Kohli That was but a feeble attempt at reassuring ourselves that the India Test skipper is human after all 2016 is a year that Kohli will remember fondly While he had been rising up the ranks since making his debut in 2008 it was this year that cemented his reputation as a batting superstar and his feats in the latest bilateral engagement sums his year up in a nutshell The responsibility of leading the Test side only seems to have transformed Kohli into a batter batsman and the Delhi boy went on to top the batting charts by amassing 655 runs at a remarkable average of 10916 which only was bettered by Karun Nair after the latter’s triple-century While he notched up his highest Test score of 235 in a fabulous innings in Mumbai it was his81 in the second innings at Vizag that would arguably go down as his best knock given the pace at which hescored despite the pitchplaying the wildest of tricks Ravichandran Ashwin (9/10):The England Test series seemed to follow the same script as India’s Test series’ against South Africa and New Zealand — Ashwin topped the bowling charts and played a vital role in triggering batting collapses The reason behind striking a solitary point off his rating would be his ineffectiveness with the ball at Rajkot and home turf of Chennai However performances such as that at the Wankhede in Mumbai (where he ended up taking six wickets in both innings) as well as his indispensability with the bat (306 runs at 4371 including four half-centuries) make him one of the key players behind India’s 4-0 victory Him topping the bowling charts with 28 wickets hardly came as a surprise Karun Nair (85/10): It takes an incredible feat for one to take the spotlight away from someone like Kohli Maybe something like converting one’s maiden Test century into a triple hundred Young Karun did not have quite the best start to his Test career getting involved in an unfortunate mix-up with his skipper at Mohali for no fault of his own which was followed by a brilliant use of the DRS by England skipper Alastair Cook in Mumbai Two low scores on the trot for Nair and suddenly his maiden opportunity seemed to be slipping away from his hands much like his one-day debut earlier this year during the tour of Zimbabwe Until he struck what will go down as one of the greatest knocks of all time and not just in Indian cricket history In an innings that ensured the tumbling of quite a few records the Karnataka lad ensured India declared with a lead that would give their bowlers enough stick to gun for an innings win Ravindra Jadeja (8/10):Jadeja believed that he played the perfect foil to his spin partner Ashwin at the end of the New Zealand Test series However he turned out to be the undisputed star in the final Test in Chennai with a seven-wicket haul that helped skittle England out for 207 to seal an innings win for the hosts Unlike the last two home Test series’ the gap between Jadeja and Ashwin in this series was just two wickets — the all-rounder nearly ended up outshining his former Chennai Super Kings teammate In the end what eventually mattered was that Jadeja and Ashwin destroyed the opposition while bowling in tandem That is ultimately what captain Kohli the Indian selectors as well as the fans are looking for Jayant Yadav (8/10): One of India’s finds of the tournament Jayant could not have asked for a better start to his Test career Getting his maiden Test cap at Visakhapatnam the same venue where he flagged his ODI career off he made his presence felt with a three-wicket haul that helped bowl England out for a meagre 158 Things only got better for him in the next two Tests in Mohali and Mumbai as the off-spinner established himself as an all-rounder by getting his maiden Test fifty and century respectively His 204-ball 104 helped setup a towering 241-run partnership for the eighth-wicket — an Indian record — with Kohli who helped himself to his career-best score of 235 An unfortunate injury ahead of the Chennai Test saw the return of Amit Mishra to the team although Jayant had probably done his chances of retaining a spot in the team enough justice by then Cheteshwar Pujara (8/10): Pujara made the first-ever Test hosted at Rajkot all the more special when he brought up his ninth century in front of his home crowd and the image of his wife going ecstatic while celebrating will be a lingering memory for Indian fans Pujara was a vital cog in the Indian batting machinery especially in the first three Tests where he racked up two centuries and a 50 In the end he finished with a total of 401 runs — the only batsman other than Kohli and Joe Root to cross the 400-run mark marking what turned out to be another successful venture following the New Zealand Test series (he was dropped in the West Indies tour one of the lowest points of his career) Parthiv Patel (7/10): India’s home season has seen some interesting comebacks into the senior side Gautam Gambhir made an emphatic return in the Indore Test against New Zealand although he couldn’t quite repeat the feat at Rajkot Parthiv Patel who was rising up the ranks under Sourav Ganguly’s captaincy but the arrival of MS Dhoni meant his exit from the side However Patel got a much-awaited call-up after Wriddhiman Saha suffered an injury ahead of the Mohali game Leading India’s chase of a tame target while scoring a half-century — and hitting the winning runs in the process — made for a bold return to the Test team He still might have some distance to go as far as his keeping is concerned which was one of the core reasons for his eight-year exile from the most elite form of the sport But the diminutive keeper-batsman has so far taken the right steps forward in ensuring he remains in the selectors’ reckoning even if he might end up playing as a specialist batsman Mohammed Shami (7/10): While the spinners were the ones who walked away with all the wickets the pacers did their job in maintaining pressure at one end and chipping away from time to time especially with the new ball The sight of Shami shattering Cook’s off-stump into two is one clip that surely will define hisyear which marked his return to Test cricket after a knee surgery He executed his responsibility as the leader of the attack in the series well and could have ranked higher in the top wicket-takers list had it not been for a niggle that ruled him out of the final two Tests Despite that he still ended upemerging the best pacer in the entire series both in terms of his numbers and the impact in influencing match situations KL Rahul (7/10): The sight of Rahul sitting on his hunches after getting dismissed on 199 at Chennai was a heartbreaking one for fans as well for his teammates Disappointment aside it was an outstanding knock by any standards one that would have made him the toast of the town had it not been for a certain Karnataka teammate slamming a triple ton Rahul once again had to battle injury in the series missing out on the first and third Tests The Royal Challengers Bangalore glovesman would have ended up recording disappointing numbers in the series had it not been for the Chennai ton which turned out to be his first international century on home soil Murali Vijay (7/10): Like Rahul Vijay has had to endure injury niggles in recent times having played just one Test in the tour of West Indies While he recorded back-to-back fifties in the New Zealand Tests he couldn’t get going in the next two matches Even though Vijay suffered a couple of blips in the series two centuries off his bat helped him reassert his reputation as the first-choice opener in the Test side His stay at the crease at Wankhede where he ended up scoring 136 stabilized the Indian innings after a couple of early dismissals At Rajkot he was at his flamboyant best as he forged a double-century stand with Pujara However he would have wished for a better innings in front of his home crowd in Chennai Umesh Yadav (6/10): The Vidarbha pacer may not have had the best numbers among the pacers but he executed his job of partnering Shami with the new ball well With his pace regularly touching the mid-140s and getting decent zip off the pitch Umesh was effective in getting breakthroughs from time to time In the current scheme of things? Wriddhiman Saha (3/10): The rise of the Indian lower-order perhaps first began in the New Zealand Tests.

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