After a promising start and surprising one-run first innings lead, Australia swept their way to a capitulation for the ages in Delhi, handing India retention of the Border-Gavaskar trophy for a fourth consecutive series in the process.
The Sporting Landscape’s Player Rankings aim to determine the ten best players from the match, and rank each player’s performance from ten to one.
Unsurprisingly, Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin were the standouts for India again, while four Aussies cracked the list.
Read our full 2nd Test Player Rankings below.
10. Travis Head (AUS) 12 (30 balls), 43 (46) and 0-10 (2 overs), 0-9 (1)
Head sneaks onto the list with a somewhat mediocre performance purely from a numbers standpoint. Should be commended however for his almost run-a-ball 43 when thrust into the opening position in Warner’s absence.
9. Rohit Sharma (IND) 32 (69), 31 (20)
Following his impressive 120 in Nagpur, Sharma failed twice to capitalise on his starts in Delhi but was still solid with two 30s. Came out swinging in the Second innings as India chased the lowly target of 115, with a strike rate of 155.
8. Virat Kohli (IND) 44 (84), 20 (31)
Kohli improved upon his first Test performance with a pair of starts, but no doubt will be looking to improve upon those in the two Tests to come. It’s over three years since his last Test century, and he’d love nothing more than to exorcise those demons against the Aussies.
CATCH UP: 1st Test Player Rankings
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7. Peter Handscomb (AUS) 72* (142), 0 (3)
Amidst the chaos and collapses, Handscomb, known for his ability to play spin, has been one of Australia’s better performers with bat in hand throughout the first two Tests. Deserves credit for his 72*, and for being one of a rare few Australians to be dismissed playing with a straight bat in the second innings. While he was very well part of the untimely procession, he was beaten by a textbook delivery from Jadeja, as opposed to throwing his wicket away sweeping as a concerning majority of his peers did.
6. Usman Khawaja (AUS) 81 (125), 6 (13)
Khawaja’s a proven performer in the subcontinent, famously notching that 141 as Australia hung on for a draw against Pakistan in Dubai in 2018. Looked set to repeat his overseas triple-figure heroics until he was undone by a superb one-handed effort from KL Rahul.
5. Mohammed Shami (IND) 4-60 (14.4) While spin has stolen the show thus far, Shami continues to spearhead India’s pace attack commendably. Despite leading their first innings wicket-takers with four scalps, including those of David Warner and Travis Head, Shami - or any Indian quick for that matter - didn’t get a look in in the second innings, such was the dominance of spin.
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4. Nathan Lyon (AUS) 5-67 (29), 2-49 (12)
They say form is temporary, but class is permanent, and it rang true for Lyon in Delhi. After an underwhelming first Test where he was outshone by debutant sensation Todd Murphy, and the critics said his time was up, Lyon responded brilliantly with seven wickets for the match and a first innings five-fa.
3. Axar Patel (IND) 74 (115), 0-34 (12), 0-2 (1)
Patel rounds out a dominant showing from India’s trio of spinning all-rounders. While he didn’t claim a wicket, he top-scored for India with bat in hand in the first innings, and has 158 runs to his name from just two digs this series.
2. Ravichandran Ashwin (IND) 3-57 (21), 3-59 (16), 37 (71)
With two three-fa’s and 37 runs from his only bat, Ashwin was at his consistent best with bat and ball. Was a thorn in the side of Australia in the first innings dismissing Carey and Smith before they could score a run, while also claiming the crucial wicket of Labuschagne. His second innings battle with Smith was enthralling but short-lived, with Ashwin again prevailing over the former Aussie skipper, dismissing him for nine.
1. Ravindra Jadeja (IND) 3-68 (21) 7-42 (12.1), 26 (74)
For the second Test running Jadeja tops our Player Rankings and deservedly so. Couldn’t believe his luck in the second innings as Australia dumbfoundingly swept their way to a capitulation and handed him career-best figures of 7-42. All Jadeja had to do was attack the stumps, and attack the stumps he did, with five of his seven scalps bowled. Seems to be a two-horse race between Jadeja and Ashwin for Player of the Series honours, and at the halfway point Jadeja leads by a length.