The story at Hyderabad was similar to the one at Chennai as the Australian batsmen once again capitulated against the Indian spinners, not just once but in both innings making it possible that the game was all over with still five sessions left [SCORECARD]. India won the match by a whopping innings and 135 runs (which is more than what Australia managed to score in its second innings) and things look bleak for the visitors as they now trail the series 2-0. For India it was putting on yet another grand show, and its bowling and batting both managed to do that. The three Indian spinners in Ashwin, Harbhajan and Jadeja worked well in tandem and Bhuveneshwar Kumar on day one bowled beautifully swinging the ball. The batting crashed in and managed to put on a huge 503 runs in the first innings thanks largely to the contributions of Vijay and Pujara who together were involved in a 270 partnership for the second wicket. Here's the 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: 10/10 - (167 runs; DNB) In the previous analysis of India at Chennai, I had written - "...Vijay had a brilliant domestic season and much was expected from his playing at home, but I was skeptical (of his selection). He failed in both innings and though he is technically sound, I'm not entirely convinced that he's test material just yet." And wasn't I given a right treatment by Vijay for that skepticism! Vijay showed tremendous commitment and dedication in that knock where he batted for 473 minutes. He took his time to settle down and played the game at his own pace, and boy did he play! Vijay is one of those classy batsmen whose flicks and drives look so very elegant and also thanks to the IPL has another dimension where he can at will send the ball roaring over the fences and his 167 saw a mixture of that which was truly an astonishing sight for both the fans and viewers and also the Australian players who must have been a little confused. Vijay still has long way to go and this is just the first big step in the right direction. Virender Sehwag: 1/10 - (6 runs; DNB) Sehwag the destructive batsman was missing at Chennai. And he was also missing at Hyderabad and now there are talks of his axing for the next two tests. Sehwag has been going through a slump in form and it is a worrying sight when one of the world's most destructive batsmen and one of your experienced campaigners doesn't perform. The Indian selectors have a big problem in the hand and it will be interesting to see if they do the same justice to Sehwag as they did to Gautuam Gambhir. Cheteshwar Pujara: 10/10 - (204 runs; DNB)
Wish there was someway I can break the scale and give Pujara a score of more than just 10. He was breathtakingly stunning at Hyderabad and played one of his greatest knocks in his short career so far. Perhaps his best. He was in an attacking mode all through the innings and put the sword to the Australian bowlers. What was even more amazing about the knock is that after tea on Day 2, Pujara was cramping and could hardly run, and braving the pain and often holding onto his thighs, he batted on putting up a magnificent platform with Vijay for India. At the presentation ceremony, Pujara after winning the Man of the Match award said, "There was a bit of pressure on me. I just got married, and my wife was worried how I would perform." Well if he is as good at other things as he is with the bat, then his wife need not worry.
Sachin Tendulkar: 1/10 - (7 runs; DNB)
Sachin Tendulkar did not trouble the scorers much at Hyderabad, but he certainly grabbed the headlines by being dismissed in a bizarre way as the ball clipped or rather brushed the face of his bat and got caught down the leg-side. It was a strange way to get out and goes to show that even the great Sachin Tendulkar is a mortal after all.
Virat Kohli: 5/10 - (34 runs; DNB)
Kohli did get a start and he stood tall as India had a late innings collapse in the first innings, and must feel extremely unlucky as he got out to a sensational piece of fielding, but such is cricket and such is life.
MS Dhoni: 5/10 - (44 runs; DNB)
Dhoni was in a murderous mood from the moment he walked in and starting sending the Australian bowlers to all over the park. He eventually was out for 44 which came better than a run a ball and he set the mood on the third day as India were looking to build on the platform Pujara - Vijay had laid.
Ravindra Jadeja: 7/10 - (10 runs & 3 wickets; DNB & 3 wickets)
Ravindra Jadeja has come a very long way and now is very much a front-line spinner on Indian tracks. His left-arm gives Dhoni plenty of options and the variation means that the Australian batsmen have yet another problem to deal with on their hand. His bowling was very good once again and his three early strikes on day 4, helped India wrap up the match early. Jadeja is a lovely talent and the only place where he is wanting is his batting and it'd be good to see him perform there. It feels as if India is playing 5 bowlers, and he should rectify that soon. Other than that, he's one smart cookie.
Ashwin once again proved just why he is India's lead spinner and picked up yet another five wicket haul. The Australian batsmen don't seem to have an answer to the tall off-spinner and he does his job of picking up their wickets. They better learn to play him else he's just going to end up with a truck load of wickets to add to his tally from the next two tests.
It was all India at Hyderabad
Harbhajan Singh: 4/10 - (0 runs & 2 wickets; DNB)
Harbhajan Singh's return hasn't set the world on fire but he has been quietly going on about his job as a secondary spinner and backs up Ashwin well. He didn't pick up any wickets in the second innings, but he has done well enough to hold onto his place I feel.
On day one, Bhuvneshwar Kumar set the match up for India with a beautiful spell of swing bowling. His medium pace nipped about and cut through the Australian batsmen and he cleaned up both the openers before coming back to clean up Shane Watson. Kumar is someone with limited abilities in terms of pace and bounce, but he bowls well within himself and makes the most of his strengths. This is just the second match for him, but he does show promise.
Ishant Sharma: 3.5/10 - (2* runs; DNB & 1 wicket)
Though Ishant Sharma just picked up one wicket in the match, he did his job and supported the other bowlers. Fast bowling is difficult in Indian pitches and Sharma has done the job decently well.
Overall team India's average - 5.4/10
India's overall team average at 5.4 might be lower than the one at Chennai (5.6), but that's largely due to the two special performances of Vijay and Pujara and the two individually scored more than Australia's 10 wickets in the second innings and that tells a story by itself. India look more than a formidable side at home all the sudden and will be keen on wrapping up the series in the next match.
Check out the mini-session analysis of the match here.