India yesterday ended their Zimbabwe tour on a losing note. After demolishing their rivals 3-0 in the ODI series and winning the 1st T20 in style, for the first time they were handed the taste of defeat by their African counterparts. In this tour, the Indian team featured a list of second string players and were led by first time skipper, Ajinkya Rahane. Despite a defeat in their last match, the Indians obtained convincing victories and had considerable hold over their opposition in most of the matches. Lets take a look at the performance of the individual players who featured in this tour :
1)Murali Vijay (6/10)
Vijay did come up with some match winning performances in the series. Once in the 2nd ODI and in the first T20 match. Other than that he was pretty silent with his bat.
2)Ajinkya Rahane (6/10)
The stand-in skipper of the Indian team, did pretty well with his captaincy but that might have affected his batting to a certain extent. He secured the ODI series 3-0 but could not do the same with T20 series as his African counterparts were able to draw it out. Still it can be concluded that he has acceptable leadership skills and can is capable of leading India in the future if required. Speaking about his batting, it was not as good compared to his standards. A partial reason may be he had the additional responsibility of captaincy on him but it was definitely a good rehearsal for him to know how it feels to bat and lead at the same time.
3)Ambati Rayudu (9/10)
After playing the first two ODIs, Rayudu got injured which ruled him out of the remaining matches in the tour. Still due his heroic century in the 1st ODI, India was able to walk away with a narrow victory.
4)Manoj Tiwary (2/10)
In the 3 ODI matches he featured, he could manage only 34 runs and was subsequently dropped for the T20s. Tiwary could not exploit this glorious chance given to him and unless a miracle happens, he can bid goodbye to the national jersey.
5)Robin Uthappa (6/10)
Uthappa had a lacklustre ODI series but in the T20s he showed tremendous improvement and became the highest Indian scorer in the T20s. Surely this performance will keep him in contention for a selection in the World T20 squad next year.
6)Kedar Jadhav(6 /10)
Apart from the century in the 3rd ODI, even Jadhav’s performance too was not that impressive as he failed to contribute much to the Indian scorecard in the remaining matches of the tour. Its highly unlikely that a solo century will give him another shot in the Indian team.
7)Manish Pandey (7/10)
Pandey debuted for India in the 3rd ODI with a bang but could not continue his dream run in the T20s. Pandey has to score runs and justify his position in the middle order if he intends to be a part of the national squad in further tours.
The 20 year old star of the Rajasthan Royals, sent as the replacement of injured Rayudu, played only one T20 match, that also the second one of the series which India failed to win. He came at a crucial time where he had the opportunity to help his team cross the finishing line but in spite of a steady start, he sacrificed his wicket which subsequently led to India’s heartbreaking loss.
9)Stuart Binny (9/10)
Binny’s all-round performance, both with the bat and the ball has been quite brilliant in this series. He played some crucial innings for his team, batting down the order and also contributed with his medium pace bowling, scalping important rival wickets at key moments which shaped the match in India’s favour. With this impressive performance, he can afford to stay optimistic about his position in the actual Indian team.
Much was expected from comeback man Bhajji but his fans won’t be so delighted with his bowling in the tour. It was neither a disheartening performance nor an outstanding one, somewhere lying in the middle of the two. He took wickets and did bowl tight but it might not be enough to retain his place in the team.
11)Axar Patel (7/10)
Considered as Ravindra Jadeja’s replacement in the Indian team, Patel did fine as far as his bowling abilities are concerned. His batting abilities still carry some question marks. Moreover he his facing some serious competition in the form of Stuart Binny, for the much awaited all-rounder spot.
Bhuvi has been the pick of the Indian bowlers in the series. His excellent death over bowling in the 1st ODI saved India’s day and he continued his impressive run throughout the tour. His pitch perfect bowling, accompanied by swing and accurate line was reminiscent of the old Kumar we are used to.
He replaced Kulkarni in the fast bowling department in the 3rd ODI and well complemented Bhuvneshwar Kumar. He managed to bowl tight as well as achieve key opposition wickets. Through his bowling, he sent a message that he deserves a place in the final XI.
Kulkarni was given a start in first two ODIs and then was pulled off for the rest of the tour. In those two matches, his bowling was mainly concentrated in restricting runs rather than taking wickets. If he continues with the same ideology, his position in the team will be at stake, especially because there is now severe competition amonsgt Indian fast bowlers for a place in the final XI.
The Kings XI Punjab star’s debut for the T20 squad was not exactly a smooth one as he leaked too many runs and was unable to get early wickets with his swing in both the matches he played. He definitely needs to work hard if he wants to retain the blue cap.