India vs Australia: Assessing top Indian performers in the Border-Gavaskar 2020-21 series

India won the Test series 2-1 against Australia and retain the Border-Gavaskar trophy. Here are the top Indian performers from the series.

Team India celebrates after winning the Border-Gavaskar series 2-1.

Though the series concluded 2-1 in India’s stride, who continue to retain the elite Border-Gavaskar trophy, each Indian player had sweat incessantly to put their best forth. The fact that different Test matches demanded different strength, players lived up to the resolve. Here we analyse top India’s performers in the Test series against Australia.

Shubman Gill

Blessed with a chance in the second Test to replace the out-of-form Prithvi Shaw, Gill made the full use. His body language, confidence and playing technique garnered him a lot of attention and were appreciated by the cricketing experts. He scored 259 runs in 3 matches at an average of 51.80 with the help of a couple of half-centuries.

Cheteshwar Pujara

The successor of Rahul Dravid, he justifies his number 3 spot very aptly. Indeed, he is a pressure absorber and stood for the team whenever needed. Unfortunately, he didn’t get a century in the Border-Gavaskar series this time, but that doesn’t matter much because his interest for the team was all-encompassing. As always, Aussies had to devise a stringent plan for this senior player. In the four matches that he played, he aggregated 271 runs.

Ajinkya Rahane

The standing captain is worth tons of appreciation! After a smashing defeat in the first Test in Adelaide, he scored a century in the iconic Boxing Day Test match. His little contributions with the willow beside his exceptional captaincy won him millions of hearts. He accumulated 268 runs in the four matches at an average of 38.28.

Rishabh Pant

The historic moment to break the 32-year winning in Brisbane for Australia would have been impossible without this young cadet. Though he was initially critiqued for his dropped dismissals behind the stumps, he made them look too meagre for he coped up the loss in multiplying numbers for Team India. He remained 89 not out and hit the winning shot on Day 5 in Brisbane to win the series 2-1. He had similar winning intentions on Day 5 in Sydney but couldn’t clinch the win as he was dismissed at 97. He was India’s leading run-scorer in the series with 274 runs in 3 matches.

Washington Sundar

It is too early to conclude his performance, but the resolute, mature innings and a calm head that the debutant showed won him everyone’s admiration. Right in his debut match, he scored 84 runs and scalped four wickets. His 100 plus run partnership with Shardul Thakur kept India alive in the fourth Test in Brisbane which later turned into a glorious victory. The 21-year-old, taken as a net bowler initially,  picked Steve Smith as his maiden Test wicket. In his debut match, he scored a maiden fifty. No doubts, the net bowler had so much infused in him.

Shardul Thakur

Featuring in only the fourth Test match in Brisbane, Thakur gave selectors a regret for not featuring him in Test cricket for so long. He picked seven wickets in the match, scored a half-century which came handy for India in the fourth Test. After two years, Thakur featured in India’s Test Cricket after five first-choice pacers were injured, after two youngsters made their debut.

Mohammed Siraj

The right-arm pace acer debuted in the Boxing Day Test match after Mohammed Shami picked up an injury. Right in his debut series, Siraj emerged as leading wicket-taker of your team. Mohammed Siraj snared 13 wickets, including his maiden five-wicket haul, in the three matches he played. He played a role as a senior bowler in the last Test in Brisbane after Jasprit Bumrah suffered a little niggle.

T Natrajan

Luck has been in his stride ever since the IPL days. India’s net bowler, he became the first Indian to debut in all the three formats- ODI, T20 and finally Tests in the same series. He played only one Test match and picked three wickets which included the one of Marnus Labuschagne.

Ravindra Jadeja

The allrounder spurted on many occasions- for his match-winning half-century in Melbourne, his stark bowling figures to his jaw-dropping direct throw to dismiss the centurion Steve Smith in the third Test in Sydney. In the two matches that he featured in, he smashed 85 runs and grabbed seven wickets. Though he suffered a thumb injury while playing, he still ended the series with the best average, batting, and bowling for Team India.

Ravichandran Ashwin

Needless to say, Ashwin’s seniority did wonders for India. From troubling their Australian batsmen to scalping major wickets to playing a resilient partnership with Hanuma Vihari to draw the third Test in Sydney, Ashwin threw himself entirely for Team India. He appeared in three Test matches, smashed 78 runs and took 12 wickets. He overpowered Steve Smith not once, but thrice in three matches.

Also read: India vs Australia: A panoramic view on the just-concluded Border-Gavaskar 2020-21 series


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