Ind_vs_Aus_Montage

After the most engrossing and high quality Test series India has been involved in since 2001 got over, it is interesting to look at who the highest impact players in various categories were.

These are the four matches that unfolded:

Test 1 – Pune
Test 2 – Bengaluru
Test 3 – Ranchi
Test 4 – Dharamsala

 

HIGHEST IMPACT BATSMEN

      Name Matches Runs Average Runs Tally Impact Pressure Impact Partnership-Building Impact Match Impact Series Batting Impact
KL Rahul 4 393 65.5 100 91 75 100 100
SPD Smith 4 499 71.28 91 28 79 96 61
CA Pujara 4 405 57.85 93 100 100 95 60
MA Starc 2 118 29.5 85 0 32 84 53
AM Rahane 4 198 33 62 76 46 70 44
MT Renshaw 4 232 29 62 0 57 58 37
GJ Maxwell 2 159 39.75 41 40 32 51 33
DA Warner 4 193 24.12 46 8 32 47 30
PSP Handscomb 4 198 28.28 37 34 11 45 29
SE Marsh 4 151 18.87 29 25 14 35 22

Note:
1) All impact parameters are expressed on a scale of 0 to 100, with the maximum (100) assigned to the highest impact batsman in that parameter. All other batsmen are scaled relative to that.
2) Match Impact denotes the average impact a batsman has had in a match in the series.
3) Qualification: 2 Tests

 

Lokesh Rahul was phenomenally consistent in the series, registering six fifties in seven innings. He scored the highest proportion of runs in the series and his ability to absorb pressure while wickets fell around him was also the best in the series after Cheteshwar Pujara. He was the only batsman who registered a series-defining ( SD ) performance (a high impact performance which helps your team win the series or draw level from behind) following his effort in Dharamsala (60 and 51). Steven Smith had a 40% higher impact with the bat than Matt Renshaw – the second highest impact Australian batsman in the series. He scored big and was the pivot of the Australian batting order throughout the series. No Australian batsman (apart from Neil Harvey in 1956-57 and Michael Clarke in 2004-05) has scored a higher proportion of runs in an India-Australia series (in India) than Steven Smith in 2017. Cheteshwar Pujara played to his billing of being the highest impact batsman in the history of Test cricket in the subcontinent. With Kohli out of form, he held the Indian middle-order together scoring tough runs throughout the series. Even though Pujara is ahead of Smith in most of the batting parameters, Smith still had a higher Batting Impact due to his superior consistency in the series.

kl rahul1
KL Rahul: The highest impact batsman of the series.

 

HIGHEST IMPACT BOWLERS

Name Matches Wickets Average Wickets Tally Impact Economy Impact Partnership-Breaking Impact Match Impact Series Bowling Impact
RA Jadeja 4 25 18.56 100 100 57 100 100
R Ashwin 4 21 27.38 98 57 29 83 83
UT Yadav 4 17 23.41 75 0 29 66 71
PJ Cummins 2 8 30.25 77 0 100 62 41
NM Lyon 4 19 25.26 67 9 29 53 35
SNJ O’Keefe 4 19 23.26 65 10 0 46 30
MA Starc 2 5 30.2 48 0 57 39 26
JR Hazlewood 4 9 32.77 36 12 0 28 18
I Sharma 3 3 69.66 19 6 0 14 9

Note:
1) All impact parameters are expressed on a scale of 0 to 100, with the maximum (100) assigned to the highest impact bowler in that parameter. All other bowlers are scaled relative to that.
2) Match Impact denotes the average impact a bowler has had in a match in the series.
3) Qualification: 2 Tests


Ravindra Jadeja
picked up the maximum proportion of top-middle order wickets and, as is his wont, was also the most restrictive bowler of the series (he is now the most restrictive bowler in Test cricket history if we reduce the minimum number of matches considered to 25). For once, he was the leading act, and not the support act to R Ashwin, in a home series. The off-spinner despite not being at his best still finished as the second-highest impact bowler in the series. Umesh Yadav was the surprise package of the series. He was the highest impact fast bowler and was phenomenally consistent, not failing even once over the course of the four Tests. While everyone expected the Indian spinners to dominate, it was his ability to strike with the new ball, and then come back and make serious inroads in the Australian middle order that ultimately turned out to be the difference between the two sides. Pat Cummins was the highest impact bowler from Australia. Although he played just two Tests, he consistently troubled the Indian top and middle order and was also successful in breaking crucial partnerships.

Ravindra_Jadeja_Final
Ravindra Jadeja: The highest impact player and bowler of the series.

 

HIGHEST IMPACT PLAYERS

Name Matches Runs Wickets Batting Impact Bowling Impact Match Impact Series Impact
RA Jadeja 4 127 25 20 100 100 100
R Ashwin 4 53 21 6 83 85 86
KL Rahul 4 393 0 100 0 76 78
UT Yadav 4 23 17 2 71 65 69
AM Rahane 4 198 0 44 0 58 60
MA Starc 2 118 5 53 26 83 55
SPD Smith 4 499 0 61 0 77 51
CA Pujara 4 405 0 60 0 85 49
PJ Cummins 2 33 8 7 41 66 44
NM Lyon 4 31 19 4 35 55 36

Note:
1) All impact parameters are expressed on a scale of 0 to 100, with the maximum (100) assigned to the highest impact player in that parameter. All other players are scaled relative to that.
2) Match Impact denotes the average impact a player has had in a match in the series.
3) Qualification: 2 Tests

 

The five highest impact players are all Indian because they are the ones who registered a series-defining performance ( SD ), by virtue of the series going down to the wire.

No surprise to see Jadeja and Rahul up there, of course. Ashwin, despite not delivering by his usual high standards, produced crucial performances in the two Tests India won. Umesh Yadav turned the match, and series, around with his spell on the third day at Dharamsala – the crucial timing of his best performance got him an SD Rahane’s contribution with the bat, coupled with what he did as a fielder and captain in this crucial Test, also gives him this impact as a player. Smith and Pujara, both of whom had little to do in their team’s crucial last innings of the series, come below these other players on this count, without in any way devaluing their contributions.

Steve Smith
Steve Smith: Amongst Australian batsmen, only Neil Harvey and Michael Clarke have scored a higher proportion of runs than him in an away series against India.

 

The Best on Individual parameters

Highest proportion of runs in the series: Lokesh Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Steven Smith

Best ability to absorb pressure in the series: Cheteshwar Pujara, Lokesh Rahul, Ajinkya Rahane

Best ability to build partnerships in the series: Cheteshwar Pujara, Steven Smith, Lokesh Rahul

Best ability to occupy the crease and score runs against the new ball in the series: Lokesh Rahul, Steven Smith, Cheteshwar Pujara

Highest proportion of top/middle order wickets in the series: Ravindra Jadeja, R Ashwin, Umesh Yadav

Most restrictive bowler in the series: Ravindra Jadeja, R Ashwin, Josh Hazlewood

Best ability to build pressure by picking quick wickets in the series: Steve O’Keefe, Nathan Lyon, Ravindra Jadeja

Note: Mitchell Starc registered the highest Strike Rate Impact in the series for his performance in the series opener in Pune (61 in 63 balls and 30 in 31 balls). Starc scored at a rate much higher than the average run rate of the match and his contribution at the end swung the momentum of the match not once but twice in Australia’s favour. ( Strike Rate Impact is awarded in exceptional circumstances in Test cricket when a batsman’s scoring rate actually helps his team win the match.)

 

Highest impact batting performances in the series

Cheteshwar Pujara: 17 and 92 in Bengaluru
Lokesh Rahul: 90 and 51 in Bengaluru
Ajinkya Rahane: 17 and 52 in Bengaluru

After being behind in the series, and in the match, Rahul, Pujara and Rahane produced the highest impact batting performances of their careers to take India to a defendable total – clear echoes of Kolkata 2001, even if not as dramatic. None of them got a century – so much for that being the measure of great batsmanship.

Pujara-724x1024
Cheteshwar Pujara: Produced the highest impact batting performance of the series in the 2nd Test in Bengaluru.

 

Highest impact bowling performances in the series

Steve O’Keefe: 6-35 and 6-35 in Pune
Ravindra Jadeja: 5-124 and 4-54 in Ranchi
Umesh Yadav: 2-69 and 3-29 in Dharamsala

Three match-defining bowling performances in three separate Tests. O’Keefe’s performance is the highest impact performance by an Australian bowler in India and also the highest impact performance by any overseas spinner in India in the last 40 years; unfortunately, he fizzled out post that and could pick up only 7 wickets in the remaining three Tests.

 

 

 

Nikhil Narain/ Soham Sarkhel
Illustrations: Vasim Maner