Australia's captain Steven Smith (centre), with David Warner (left) and Peter Handscomb (right)
Australia's captain Steven Smith (centre), with David Warner (left) and Peter Handscomb (right) Tsering Topgyal

Aussies in India: All the players rated

FEW expected Australia to even win a Test on this tour of India, let alone push the hosts and top-ranked nation right to the death of the decider in Dharamsala.

It was a series which produced ups, downs, career bests and career firsts.

We run the rule over every Australian who took part in one of the more memorable Border-Gavaskar series in history.

 

David Warner
David Warner Tsering Topgyal

David Warner - 3

193 runs @ 24.12. Highest score: 56. Catches: Six

A very rough time of it for the Australian vice-captain, who Australia needed to fire but got very little from. Only passed 40 once, and that came in a knock where he was given a life first ball. On six occasions he was the first Australian to be dismissed in the innings, and his average of 24.12 is almost identical to his return from his last series in India. One to forget for Warner, who will be more at home on bouncy Australian wickets for the Ashes next summer.

Matt Renshaw - 7

232 runs @ 29. Highest score: 68

Sadly saved his worst for last, and had a genuine shocker in Dharamsala where he struggled with the bad and grassed some costly catches. But what can't be forgotten is how well he played to begin the series - his first on the subcontinent, and in fact anywhere outside Australia. He opened with a gutsy 68 in Pune which helped set up Australia's only victory, and had significant contributions of 60 and 44 in the first innings of the second and third Test. Overall, Renshaw was Australia's second-top runscorer: a very strong return for someone who turned 21 on the final day of the series.

 

Steven Smith
Steven Smith Tsering Topgyal

Steve Smith - 9

499 runs @ 71.28. Highest score: 178 not out. Centuries: Three. Catches: Nine

What a series for Steve Smith. Where do you even start? He's cemented his place as the world's No.1 batsman with some extraordinary knocks in difficult conditions - including three centuries. Finishes with a series-high 499 runs and almost single-handedly dragged this Australian team to the most improbable of series wins. He's also been front and centre for seemingly every controversy in a hostile series. Bottom line? He's been superb.

 

Shaun Marsh
Shaun Marsh Rajanish Kakade

Shaun Marsh - 3.5

151 runs @ 18.87. Highest score: 66

Played two significant knocks - the 66 in Bengaluru and the 53 in Ranchi, which saved the Test and ensured there would be a decider. Certainly his gritty knock in Ranchi will not be forgotten for a long time. But for the most part Marsh came up short. He notched five single-figure scores and finishes with an average of 18.87. He's more than likely played his last Test.

Peter Handscomb - 5

198 runs @ 28.28. Highest score: 72 not out. Catches: Six

As with Marsh, Handscomb's magnificent unbeaten 72 in Ranchi saved the Test series. But his time in India will be marked by his inability to cash in on good starts. He had six scores between 18 and 24. If two of those become fifties, and one goes on to be a century? It's a whole different series. However, what cannot be questioned is his work under the lid. Handscomb took some absolute gems in Pune and has proven to have some of the safest hands in the team.

 

Glenn Maxwell
Glenn Maxwell Aijaz Rahi

Glenn Maxwell - 7

159 runs @ 39.75. Highest score: 104. Centuries: One

The Big Show took the most of his chance in the Test team, having previously fluffed his lines on The Big Stage. A breakthrough century in Ranchi was an emotional one, and he batted with authority on day three while topscoring in Dharamsala with 45. The challenge will come when he tries to keep his place for home series. Didn't get much of a chance to show his abilities with the ball, but reminded everyone that he's one of the world's elite fielders when he twice threw down the stumps in Dharamsala.

Matthew Wade - 6.5

196 runs @ 32.66. Highest score: 57. Catches: Nine. Stumpings: Four

into the series with as many question marks over his head as anyone, but managed to silence most critics through steady keeping and batting. Just the one half century, coming in the fourth Test first innings, but was Australia's fourth-top runscorer (just behind Handscomb). His keeping could be described as ugly but effective for the most part - he missed the odd chance, but none which could be characterised as easy. Definitely enhanced his reputation on a tour some predicted would be his biggest challenge.

 

Steve O'Keefe
Steve O'Keefe Rajanish Kakade

Steve O'Keefe - 6.5

19 wickets @ 23.26. Best figures: 6/35

Started with a bang and man-of-the-match figures of 12-70 in Pune, in a bowling effort which shocked 99.95 per cent of cricket fans around the world. But it proved to be an outlying performance, with O'Keefe coming back to the field in the remaining three Tests where he finished with figures of 1/40, 2/36, 3/199, 1/75 and 0/22. He will never forget Pune - but will also struggle to forget Ranchi, where he bowled a punishing 77 overs that truly tested his ironman status. But he delivered.

 

Pat Cummins
Pat Cummins Tsering Topgyal

Pat Cummins - 7.5

Eight wickets @ 30.25. Best figures: 4/106

Came in halfway through the series and proved a revelation for Australia, who have been waiting for his Test recall for nearly six years. And this is precisely why Australia have persisted with injury after injury. This bloke is golden. His return of eight wickets at 30 barely tells half the story either - considering the number of catches which were put down off his bowling. To have batsmen hopping and ducking on Indian surfaces takes something special. Cummins has that something special.

Nathan Lyon - 7.5

19 wickets at 25.26. Best figures: 8/50

Another whose figures arguably don't paint the full picture of his influence. Lyon bowled for much of the series with a cracked callus on his spinning finger, further enhancing his achievements. Goes home with 19 wickets for the series, bagged career-best figures of 8-50 in Benagluru and can take solace in the fact that he outbowled India's pre-series No.1 Ravi Ashwin. His reign as Australia's first-choice spinner remains unchallenged.

 

Josh Hazlewood
Josh Hazlewood DAVE HUNT

Josh Hazlewood - 6

Nine wickets @ 32.77. Best figures: 6/67

Started and finishes the series as the world's top-ranked fast bowler, but Hazlewood had a tough time of it on wickets that didn't offer him enough to be effective. The tall quick did well to stay economical, but couldn't pick up wickets with the regularity which has worked for him in the past. His haul of 6/67 in Bengaluru, which briefly swung the momentum back in Australia's favour, was his multiple-wicket haul of the tour.

Mitchell Marsh - 2

48 runs @ 12. Highest score: 31.

A nightmare tour. Marsh barely bowled a ball, struggled with the bat and was flown home after the second Test for serious shoulder surgery.

Mitchell Starc - 6

118 runs @ 29.5. Highest score: 61. Five wickets @ 30.2. Best figures: 2/38

Like Marsh, was flown home after the second Test after it was discovered he'd suffered a stress fracture in his right foot during the Bengaluru defeat. Starc, however, was a big loss. While not having the devastating impact he offered in Sri Lanka last year, Starc provided key moments with the ball - and on two occasions had double-wicket overs - and was a menace with the bat.

News Corp Australia

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