World Cup 2019, India report card: Top and bottom heavy

India’s top order and pace attack were the pick of the assets at the World Cup, but the middle order lacked depth and the spin twins lacked bite.

Rohit Sharma

9/10

Matches: 9

Runs: 648

Average: 81

India’s best batsman at the World Cup by a distance, Rohit Sharma hit five hundreds – the first to do so in a single edition – and amassed 648 runs. He was the rock at the top of the order around which India’s batting revolved. His early dismissal in India’s semifinal against New Zealand was a massive blow.

Shikhar Dhawan

 

7.5/10

Matches: 2

Runs: 125

Average: 62.5

Shikhar Dhawan’s tournament was cut short by injury but not before he had scored a vital hundred. The opener was struck on the thumb by a Pat Cummins delivery, but soldiered on as he made 117 against Australia. Looking in great touch, his presence could have made a difference to India’s batting.

K. L. Rahul

 

7/10

Matches: 9

Runs: 360

Average: 45.00

K. L. Rahul started the tournament batting at No. 4, but was promoted to open due to Dhawan’s injury. He scored fifties against Pakistan and Bangladesh, 48 against the West Indies, and a hundred against Sri Lanka – his first since his century on debut in 2016. He looked good, but could have done much more with the starts he got.

Virat Kohli

 

8/10

Matches: 9

Runs: 442

Average: 55.25

Virat Kohli hit five fifties, but will be disappointed that he could not convert any into a hundred. He led the team well and scored crucial runs against Australia and Pakistan, but, by his own high standards, was not at his best. It will hurt that he could not make a contribution in the semifinal when his team needed him the most.

M. S. Dhoni

 

7/10

Matches: 9

Runs: 273

Average: 45.5

Catches: 7

Stumpings: 3

Assessing M. S. Dhoni’s performance is tricky because the default move is to judge him by his old standards. His role as a batsman is different now, but that will not mask the fact that he unable to score quickly when required. He was inexplicably slow against England and Afghanistan, scoring quicker in the semifinal might have relieved the pressure on Ravindra Jadeja. He also endured a mixed tournament behind the stumps.

Rishabh Pant

 

6.5/10

Matches: 4

Runs: 116

Average: 29

Rishabh Pant came into the side only after Dhawan’s injury, but should have been included at the outset. He scored thirties against New Zealand and England and an impressive 48 against Bangladesh, but he got out at the wrong time in two run chases when he was looking good. What will hurt is his dismissal in the semifinal.

Hardik Pandya

 

7.5/10

Matches: 9

Runs: 226

Batting average: 32.28

Wickets: 10

Bowling average: 44.7

Hardik Pandya produced 10 steady if unspectacular overs in nearly every game. With the bat, he wasn’t able to repeat the brilliance he showed against Australia, but his performance was acceptable. Like Pant, he fell at the wrong time in the semifinal when a lot was resting on him.

Kedar Jadhav

 

6.5/10

Matches: 6

Runs: 80

Average: 40

Kedar Jadhav scored an important half-century against Afghanistan, but had little else to show. He was sparingly used as a bowler, sending down only six overs, and was dropped after six matches. Jadhav could probably end up being a casualty of India’s World Cup disappointment, even if his opportunities were limited.

Vijay Shankar

 

6.5/10

Matches: 3

Runs: 58

Batting average: 29

Wickets: 2

Bowling average: 11

Vijay Shankar played on three matches before his tournament was truncated by injury. He claimed a wicket with his first ball in the World Cup, in a match against Pakistan in which he claimed two for 22 in 5.2 overs. He did not bowl again and didn’t do a great deal with the bat either.

Dinesh Karthik

 

5/10

Matches: 3

Runs: 14

Average: 7

It was surprising that Dinesh Karthik was even picked in the squad. What was also more surprising was that he was chosen ahead of Jadhav in the playing XI, especially when it meant that India was going into games with only five bowling options. He will probably be another casualty of the post-World Cup churn.

Ravindra Jadeja

 

8.5/10

Matches: 2

Runs: 77

Batting average: 77

Wickets: 2

Bowling average: 37

Ravindra Jadeja only came into the side for India’s last two games, but he should have been a part of the playing XI a lot earlier. He made telling contributions as a substitute fielder. Jadeja was brilliant against New Zealand in the Manchester semifinal, and his 77 in the match won’t be soon forgotten.

Kuldeep Yadav

 

6/10

Matches: 7

Wickets: 6

Average: 56.16

Kuldeep Yadav was not at his best at the World Cup. Given his form and the team’s lack of batting depth, India had to abandon its plan of playing two wrist-spinners in the semifinal for the sake of team balance. The dismissal of Babar Azam was his only highlight of the tournament.

Yuzvendra Chahal

 

7/10

Matches: 8

Wickets: 12

Average: 36.83

Yuzvendra Chahal had a better outing at Yadav, but he had tough days when the team could least afford it. He was good against South Africa, Afghanistan and the West Indies, but was taken apart by England and made little impact in the match against New Zealand.

Mohammed Shami

Shami’s personal life made news in 2018, when his estranged wife Hasin Jahan filed a domestic violence case against the cricketer and his family, sought protection and reparations and accused him of adultery.   -  Getty Images

 

8/10

Matches: 4

Wickets: 14

Average: 13.78

Mohammed Shami was simply superb – when he played. He reminded India of the value of a genuine strike bowler in the squad. The game against Bangladesh was an aberration, and Shami ought to have played the semifinal.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar

 

7/10

Matches: 6

Wickets: 10

Average: 26.9

Bhuvneshwar Kumar was good in patches and lacked Shami’s bite. A defensive bowler, he made an honest effort.

Jasprit Bumrah

 

9.5/10

Matches: 9

Wickets: 18

Average: 20.61

Jasprit Bumrah was one of the bowlers of the tournament. The wickets column may not do him justice, but that was because the opponents decided they were better playing him out that taking him on. Bumrah was impossible to score off, either at the start or at the death, and he delivered wickets at regular intervals. He’s not No. 1 in the rankings for nothing.