Virat Kohli scored 655 runs at a staggering average of 109 in the five Test series. He was undoubtedly, and by some margin, the most prolific batsman. It is not surprising then, that he emerges as the highest impact batsman of the series. He was also the only Indian batsman to register a
But the adage ‘bowlers win Test matches’ held true here too, and it is not surprising that Ravindra Jadeja and R Ashwin – who combined to take 54 of the 93 English wickets that fell in the series – emerge higher impact than Kohli. While Ashwin displayed a better propensity to pick top/middle-order wickets, it was Jadeja’s exceptionally restrictive bowling which gave him a higher impact than the off-spinner despite taking two fewer wickets. The left-armer did not fail in the series either.
Still, neither was the highest impact player of the series.
That honour went to the series debutant Jayant Yadav, for his all-round performance.
Jayant scored just 221 runs and picked up just 9 wickets in the three Tests that he played in. From a conventional perspective, this appears to be a decent performance, but not worthy of being the best. However, when we see his contribution as a whole – and analyse the timing and context of his runs and wickets - the real picture emerges, starting with the fact that India won all three Tests in which Jayant played. Tellingly, he did not fail even once while Kohli and Ashwin failed in Chennai.
Second Test, Visakhapatnam: Jayant scored 35 and 27 (from 151 for 7) and picked up 4 wickets in the match.
Third Test, Mohali: Jayant first picked up the wickets of Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow (the highest scorer of the innings) and later, with the bat, he joined Jadeja at the crease when India were 301 for 7 (in reply to England’s 283). The pair proceeded to take the match away from England, putting together an 80-run stand for the eighth wicket. Jayant scored 55 as India went past 400. He then picked up two crucial top/middle-order wickets of Jonny Bairstow and Jos Buttler.
Fourth Test, Mumbai: Jayant came out to bat at 364 for 7 (India were still 36 behind England’s first innings score of 400). He partnered Kohli and took the match away from England again, as the pair shared a 241-run stand for the eighth wicket. Jayant registered his maiden ton (104) and India amassed 631. He then picked up the wicket of Joe Root – the best English batsman and the top-scorer of the innings - breaking a 92-run partnership between Root and Bairstow, following which the opposition collapsed.
As batsman, Jayant had the second-highest impact in the series - behind Kohli. He scored the maximum proportion of runs and displayed the best ability to build partnerships and absorb pressure (of falling wickets), again behind Kohli.
As bowler, Jayant picked up wickets of key English batsmen (Joe Root twice in the series) at crucial junctures in the match.
Jayant Yadav registered a