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India’s mid series Report Card

Where do India stand half-way through the series.

India are under the pump after losing the first two Tests. Image: The Indian Express

After 2 tests and with England in a strong position up 2-0 in the series. We at cricket insights have taken a look at how the Indian players have fared to date:

Murali Vijay - The question needs to be asked how does a player such fluent stroke play and so nice to watch at the crease, have a less than impressive test record. After a pair at Lords Vijay's test average has dipped below 40. Rating: 2

Shikhar Dhawan : Kohli opted for Dhawan in the first test, and with a chase of 194 in the fourth innings of that test, it was set up perfectly for him to chime in with a quick fire 40 that could have turned the test. Unfortunately for him and India, he wasn't able to deliver and was dropped. There are some question marks over his technique on these pitches. Rating: 3

KL Rahul : Just re-read Vijay's summary about a talented batsman averaging under 40. Just 35 runs in total this series. Interesting to see if Kohli and Shastri keep the faith with him or if he tags Dhawan to come in whilst he waits in the corner like a world wrestling tag-team combination. Concentration a problem and must not hang the bat out like he did when playing on in the first test. Potential needs to become runs very soon. Rating: 3

Cheteshwar Pujara: An excellent average of 62 at home and 34 away, plus a lean start to the English summer saw him overlooked for the first test. Run out in the first innings and then bowled in the second of the Lords test. Will really need to lift for the rest of the series to take the pressure off his captain. Rating: 4

Virat Kohli : One of the greatest individual performances of all time in the first test. A superb run out, a brilliant 149, some astute captaincy especially with the use of Ashwin and then a second innings 50. The only thing he failed to do was get his team over the line, though he didn't have much help from his teammates with the bat. In the second test his greatest mistake was losing the toss and couldn't rescue his team in difficult conditions from there. Some criticism of his selections has been fair, especially picking two spinners at Lords. Rating: 9

Ajinkya Rahane: Really disappointing ways of being dismissed for an experienced and quality campaigner. Fishing well outside the off stump being caught behind the wicket isn't good enough from this good batsman. Rating: 3

Dinesh Karthik: Was very untidy with the gloves first test, struggling with the Duke ball's swing and taking balls on his wrist and chest. With the bat has looked all at sea with flaws in his technique seeing him get bowled through the gate or LBW first ball in India's second innings at Lords. Should make was for Rishabh Pant in the third test. Rating: 1

M.Vijay being bowled in the first over of the Lord's Test. Source: Dhaka Tribune.

Hardik Pandya: At least shown a bit of application that his more senior players have not shown, without going on to get a score. Kept India's hopes alive with a bit of maturity in the first test before falling short of being the hero of the hour, and bowled with heart in the second test. Rating: 7

Ravi Ashwin: India's second best cricketer and the second best on this tour after his captain. Was excellent with the ball first test taking a bag in the first innings and only player to really stand up with the bat in both innings at Lords. Rating: 8

Ishant Sharma: Bowled a wonderful spell in the first test before lunch, which probably should have been a match winning spell, if not for some poor catching after the break and a good innings from Sam Curran. Not the same effect at Lords. Rating: 7

Mohammed Shami: 6 wickets in 2 tests isn't a bad return, but doesn't seem to have the ability to really swing a test in India's favour like perhaps a Bhuvneshwar Kumar could. Fitness doesn't appear to be as good as it should for a test fast bowler. Rating: 5

Kuldeep Yadav: Nervous stepping out on to Lords to bowl which is understandable. Sprayed it a bit but can still have a role to play this series. Rating: 3

Umesh Yadav: Disappointing in the first test. Will need to provide a more consistent line and length if he wants to trouble the English batsmen. Rating: 3

The bowling has been the brightest light for India to date. Sharma and Ashwin walked away from the first test knowing they did their jobs, with some support from Shami. However in both tests, only Kohli, with some support from his allrounders, have put their hands up with the bat. If India want to get back into this series, their batsmen will need to step up as soon as Jimmy Anderson bowls his first ball at Trent Bridge.

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