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England vs. India: Player Ratings for MS Dhoni's XI After 1st Test

Tim CollinsFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 7, 2017

England vs. India: Player Ratings for MS Dhoni's XI After 1st Test

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    Gareth Copley/Getty Images

    India fought out an arduous stalemate with England in the first Test at Trent Bridge, surviving a brief scare in the morning session on Day 5 to ensure the series will head to Lord's all square.

    Winning the toss and electing to bat on the opening morning, MS Dhoni's side compiled an imposing 457, led by a superb century from Murali Vijay.

    Seemingly on track for a decisive victory after having England on the ropes at 202-7 in reply, the visitors were forced to watch Joe Root and James Anderson put on a record 198-run partnership for the 10th wicket, topping the stand put together by Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Mohammed Shami. 

    On an utterly lifeless Nottingham pitch, England were then unable to capture the necessary wickets in India's second innings to push the match towards a result; the tourists finishing on 391-9 when the game was called off on Sunday afternoon.

    Across the following slides, we rate the performances for each Indian player at Trent Bridge. 

Criteria and Explanation of Ratings

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    Stu Forster/Getty Images

    Before employing a rating system, it's important to outline the key criteria used to award those ratings.

    Of course, sheer weight of runs and wickets will largely determine a player's match rating. However, the following factors also have a significant bearing on the rating of each player:

    1. First-innings runs carry more weight than those scored in the second innings.
    2. Runs scored in difficult situations are valued more highly than runs compiled when a team is well in front.
    3. The captain will be judged on his performance in the field in addition to his other contributions with bat or ball.
    4. Moments of brilliance or game-defining acts are looked upon favourably.
    5. Performing to a high standard in conditions that don't suit a player's skill set boost a player's rating.
    6. Acts of poor judgement, rather than poor execution, significantly hurt a player's rating.
    7. Ratings are also given based on what is possible in a wider context. For example, a player who scores a century isn't automatically awarded the top rating, given that a superior performance could be realistically attainable in a subsequent match. 

Murali Vijay

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    Jan Kruger/Getty Images

    With the bat: 146, 52

    With the ball: 0/8

    Rating: 9/10

    Murali Vijay came into this series under extreme pressure following a string a poor performances in New Zealand earlier this year.

    After his efforts at Trent Bridge, the opener's place is well and truly secured. 

    Indeed, it was the 30-year-old's composed century that ensured India made a positive start to their campaign in England, thwarting the hosts on the opening day of the series with some classical stroke play. 

    His equally calm 52 in the second innings also helped to quell the home side's momentum in the aftermath of Joe Root and James Anderson's record-breaking 10th-wicket stand. 

Shikhar Dhawan

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    Jan Kruger/Getty Images

    With the bat: 12, 29

    Rating: 3/10

    Shikhar Dhawan took a liking to English conditions in his last visit, smashing consecutive hundreds in India's opening Champions Trophy matches last summer. 

    But the opener's form has deserted him of late—a trend that continued at Trent Bridge.

    A tentative push to a James Anderson delivery saw the left-hander depart quickly in the first innings, before his chip back to Moeen Ali on Day 4 quickly ended his stay at the crease a second time around. 

    A quick look at Dhawan's short Test record also indicates that he's rather hit or miss at this point, having only passed 33 in three of his 13 innings. 

Cheteshwar Pujara

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    Stu Forster/Getty Images

    With the bat: 38, 55

    Rating: 5.5/10

    Cheteshwar Pujara looked extremely comfortable against the English attack at Trent Bridge, but committed the cardinal sin of not capitalising on promising starts in both innings. 

    Intervals seemed to present challenges for the visitors in Nottingham, with Pujara one of the Indian batsman to fall quickly after a break, chipping a delivery from James Anderson to Ian Bell in the second over after lunch on Day 1. 

    Serenely, the right-hander—along with Murali Vijay—steered India away from trouble in the second innings with a composed half-century, but found a way for another soft dismissal when he cut Liam Plunkett straight to Ben Stokes at point. 

Virat Kohli

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    Gareth Copley/Getty Images

    With the bat: 1, 8

    Rating: 2/10

    No Indian player came to England this summer with a bigger reputation than Virat Kohli.

    Unfortunately for the 25-year-old star, he endured a rather forgettable Test at Trent Bridge on a wicket that saw half-centuries from both No. 11s. 

    Looking uncertain in his first innings, Kohli nicked one to Ian Bell at second slip and then fell victim to Stuart Broad on Day 5 when the England seamer trapped him LBW for just eight. 

    He'll be eagerly awaiting a chance for redemption at Lord's. 

Ajinkya Rahane

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    Stu Forster/Getty Images

    With the bat: 32, 24

    Rating: 4.5/10

    Like Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane appeared perfectly comfortable during his stays at the crease, and, like Pujara, failed to kick on after making impressive starts.

    On the opening day, the stylish right-hander was responsible for restoring India's advantage, steering MS Dhoni's team away from trouble following the loss of two quick wickets shortly after lunch. 

    But Rahane had looked uneasy with Liam Plunkett's short-pitched approach at times, which eventually saw him toe-end an attempted pull-shot straight to Alastair Cook at silly point.

    That innings was followed by a brisk 24 from only 29 balls in India's second dig, but that too ended lamentably quickly, Stuart Broad capturing his wicket early on Day 5. 

MS Dhoni

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    Jan Kruger/Getty Images

    With the bat: 82, 11

    With the gloves: 3 dismissals

    Rating: 5.5/10

    For much of the Test, MS Dhoni got the upper hand of his battle with Alastair Cook, compiling a smooth 82 in India's first innings before leading his side impressively in the field for the first half of England's reply.

    Owning a relatively solid batting record on English soil, the skipper looked unfazed at Trent Bridge, enjoying the rather Indian-like pitch that couldn't expose the quirks of his distinctive technique. 

    But the captain's approach was rather forgettable during the record partnership between Joe Root and James Anderson that took the possibility of victory away from India.

    Reluctant to instruct his bowlers to attack Anderson's stumps, Dhoni opted for a predictable and fruitless short-pitched approach, which—on a pitch offering nothing in the way of pace, carry or bounce—took away most of the methods for the tail-ender's dismissal. 

Ravindra Jadeja

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    Gareth Copley/Getty Images

    With the ball: 0/80 

    With the bat: 25, 31

    Rating: 4.5/10

    Like Moeen Ali, Ravindra Jadeja is more of a batting all-rounder in the current India setup, initially used as a third spinner when playing at home before becoming his team's primary option at Trent Bridge thanks to his skills in both disciplines. 

    With the ball, the left-armer was rather unremarkable on the docile pitch, failing to capture a wicket in his 35 overs and rarely appearing threatening. 

    Of course, his value to the team was demonstrated in a couple of handy innings with the bat, but Jadeja needs to prove he can claim English scalps or Ravichandran Ashwin will be required. 

Stuart Binny

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    Gareth Copley/Getty Images

    With the ball: 0/37

    With the bat: 1, 78

    Rating: 5/10

    In all honesty, the selection of Stuart Binny was a mistake at Trent Bridge, given that he was picked ahead of Ravichandran Ashwin to bolster the depth of India's seam attack.

    But the debutant barely rolled his arm over in Nottingham, completing just 10 of India's 145 overs and was only used by MS Dhoni when all else had failed. 

    It must be acknowledged that Binny's fine 78 in the second innings helped steer the visitors to safety, but that's not why he was selected. 

    A re-think on the all-rounder needs to occur before the second Test at Lord's. 

Bhuvneshwar Kumar

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    Gareth Copley/Getty Images

    With the ball: 5/82

    With the bat: 58, 63*

    Rating: 9/10

    Bhuvneshwar Kumar's bowling is perfectly suited to typical English conditions—you know, the sort not on offer at Trent Bridge this week, the sort one associates with, say, a traditional Headingley strip, just not the 2014 version.

    Yet even on the more subcontinental wicket offered by the Nottingham ground for the first Test, the seamer managed to conjure enough movement to dismiss five England batsman at a tidy clip. 

    Additionally, Kumar looked extremely solid with the bat at No. 9, reaching two half-centuries to become his side's leading performer alongside Murali Vijay. 

Ishant Sharma

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    Gareth Copley/Getty Images

    With the ball: 3/150

    With the bat: 1, 13

    Rating: 6/10

    It seems odd that the much maligned and 25-year-old Ishant Sharma is the most experienced component of India's attack in England this summer. 

    Briefly, the right-armer shouldered the responsibility of being his team's leader with the ball rather well, capturing the wickets of Sam Robson, Gary Ballance and Ian Bell in rapid fashion during the middle session on Day 3.  

    But that's where it ended for the long-haired speedster.

    Unlike Kumar and Jadeja, Sharma wasn't able to restrict England's batsmen, conceding four runs per over while dealing with consistent no-ball problems.

    Of course, the surface at Trent Bridge did little to assist the right-armer, but aside from one nice spell, Ishant was dealt with rather easily by the home side.

Mohammed Shami

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    Gareth Copley/Getty Images

    With the ball: 2/128

    With the bat: 51*, 4*

    Rating: 6/10

    Although expensive with the ball, Mohammed Shami's performance at Trent Bridge was rather memorable.

    Averaging just 3.33 with the bat prior to this Test, the No. 11 crashed his way to a brilliant half-century alongside Bhuvneshwar Kumar that guided India to a large first-innings total. 

    Dispersing ugly heaves with more measured strokes, Shami added to England's lingering woes when it comes to tail-enders. 

    However, the seamer's lack of control with the ball will be a concern as India head to Lord's, given that wayward bowling tends to be punished more severely in north-west London than it does elsewhere in England—think Mitchell Johnson in 2009. 

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