The order of the venues might have been reversed for the Border-Gavaskar trophy, but the result went exactly as the hosts would have expected. The marquee series between two heavy weights who are looking for their next generation to take control kick-started in grand style on a typical Chennai dust bowl of a pitch that aided the spinners and puffed up dirt every time a ball or a boot landed on it. India won the match convincingly by 8 wickets [SCORECARD] and now go to Hyderabad one step closer to reclaiming the trophy from the Aussies. The match had some splendid and inspiring performances from both sides, and here's the performance analysis of the Indian performance.
Indian Player Performance Analysis - read as name: TWP performance score (1st innings; 2nd innings) (DND = did not bat, * = not out, pass = 4/10) Murali Vijay: 1/10 - (10 runs; 6 runs) Murali Vijay came into the team in the place of Gautam Gambhir who was dropped due to his loss of form and other reasons over his attitude. Vijay had a brilliant domestic season and much was expected from his playing at home, but I was skeptical. He failed in both innings and though he is technically sound, I'm not entirely convinced that he's test material just yet. He still has another chance to prove me wrong and hopefully he'll do that and get some runs under his belt. Virender Sehwag: 3/10 - (2 runs; 19 runs) Sehwag the destructive batsman was missing at Chennai. There was glimpses of that in the second innings as the ball kept flying of the edge of his bat, but it was just a small glimmer. He didn't make a big contribution in terms of runs, but he certainly made his presence felt standing at slip and plucking a couple of absolute beauties! Cheteshwar Pujara: 5/10 - (44 runs; 8*) Pujara once again showed that he has nerves of steel and in the first innings help steady the Indian ship after two early losses had them reeling at 12 for 2. He batted brilliantly and though he didn't convert his start into a big score, he certainly did his part as a number three batsman. However much more is expected from him than just scores of 40. It's good to see him take forward the form from the series against England.
Sachin Tendulkar: 7/10 - (81 runs; 13*) Whatever talks of retirement that were around, Sachin Tendulkar sure did manage to silence it with a breath-taking innings. His partnership with Pujara in the first innings was particularly important and set up India's platform for the huge score. Sachin got off the mark in the first innings with three fours and in the second with two sixes, and it seems to be that the aggressive Sachin of the 90s and early 2000s is still in him. Watching him bat is one of the greatest sights in cricket and I can't help but think whether we've seen Sachin's last test match at Chepauk.
Virat Kohli: 8/10 - (107 runs; DNB)
Kohli who looked completely out of sorts in the English series until the last test, came good at Chennai scoring a well composed century. Kohli certainly likes the Australians and he mixed caution with aggression to tackle the Aussie bowlers. He was a treat to watch and though his innings were over shadowed by both Sachin's and Dhoni's, it remains as a vital contribution. It'd be great to see if he can carry on this form through the series.
MS Dhoni: 10/10 - (224 runs; DNB)
There are few in the world who can play the kind of innings Dhoni played and make it look so easy.His innings was the knock out blow for the Australians and he metaphorically and literally bullied the Australian bowling unit into submission. He treated Lyon with absolute disdain and kept depositing him into the stands. The innings is without doubt Dhoni's best test innings and it's also his highest and the highest by an Indian wicket-keeper.
Ravindra Jadeja: 6/10 - (16 runs & 2 wickets; DNB & 3 wickets) It's not difficult to see why Dhoni wants Jadeja in the team. As an all-rounder, he gives more options to Dhoni and he certainly made use of them. Jadeja operated as the third spinner and a front-line bowler as both Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Ishant Sharma took backseat on a spinners track that crumbled into a dust-bowl. Jadeja who generally doesn't get much spin but rather keeps bowling a tight line, got a few deliveries to rip off the surface and he certainly was more than a headache for the Aussie batsmen who already struggle with spin.
It was a complete turn of fortunes for Ashwin from the England test series where he struggled to pick up even a single wicket. Playing at home, he certainly enjoyed the spinner friendly track and the crowd chanting out his name as he finished the match with 12 wickets - his best figures! He certainly must be a very happy man, putting on such a grand performance in front of his home crowd. It will be interesting to see how Ashwin fares in the next test.
Harbhajan Singh: 4/10 - (11 runs & 1 wicket; DNB & 2 wickets)
Harbhajan Singh's 100th test didn't turn out to be the fairy tale test he would have dreamed about, as he put on an average performance. I felt Harbhajan bowled beautifully but failed to fully exploit the track as Ashwin and Jadeja did. He looked a little lost in the first innings and his line and length erred but he came back well in the second. Will his place in the team in question, will this performance be enough to hold his spot for the next test?
Bhuvneshwar Kumar: 5/10 - (38 runs; DNB)
The test debutante bowled just 13 overs in the match (all of them in the first innings) and he looked uninspired. But then again in the context of the game where all pacers except James Pattinson struggled, it's not a huge worry. Kumar showed that he was no muck with the bat and his innings with Dhoni which resulted in 140 runs being added for the 8th wicket completely buried the Australians. It's not fair to judge his bowling on just 13 overs and so I'll overlook that.
Ishant Sharma: 3/10 - (4* runs; DNB)
Ishant Sharma like Bhuvneshwar Kumar was used little and he bowled just 20 overs in the entire match and likewise went wicketless. It was that kind of track and it is difficult to be hard on the pacers for not getting wickets. Ishant toiled hard, but got no returns.
Overall team India's average - 5.6/10
So India with this win go one up in Border-Gavaskar trophy and the onus will be on them to keep the momentum going. The bowling department looks good, with the spinners in good form and the middle order is solid with all the key batsmen among the runs. Australia are sure to come back with a better performance at Hyderabad and India will certainly face more competition, but if they can put up a similar performance, then they should be good.
Check out the mini-session analysis of the match here.