England vs. India: Player Ratings for MS Dhoni's XI After 2nd Test
India beat England by 95 runs at Lord's to record their first win at the venue in 28 years and first away from home in three.
Doing so, MS Dhoni's men took a 1-0 lead in the five-Test series with three matches to go.
India's win was much-deserved after coming out on top in all departments, from the disadvantage of losing the toss and being asked to bat first on a green pitch on Day 1.
India outbatted, outbowled and outfielded the hosts, who have now not won a Test since their 74-run victory over Australia at Chester-le-Street last summer.
India's win was achieved on the back of several individual performances. Here are the match ratings:
Criteria for Ratings
The number of runs scored and wickets and catches taken will obviously play a significant role in determining a player's match rating. However, the following factors also affect it:
1. Runs scored or wickets taken in match-saving or similar under-pressure situations count more than otherwise.
2. The captain will be judged on his performance in the field in addition to his other contributions with bat or ball.
3. Moments of brilliance or game-changing performances get more credit.
4. Performing in conditions that don't suit a player's skill set boosts a player's rating.
5. Irresponsible acts or those of poor judgement significantly affect a player's rating.
MS Dhoni (captain)
With the bat: 1, 19
With the gloves: 6 catches
After a first-innings flop, Dhoni took it upon himself to preserve his wicket in the second innings in a bid to support Murali Vijay and stem the fall of wickets.
However, this resulted in him curbing his natural attacking instincts and playing an uncharacteristic defensive knock. Dhoni was able to survive difficult spells from the Englishmen and did well to support Vijay but at the expense of keeping the score ticking.
In the end, a lapse in concentration led to him being dismissed for 19 runs that came off 86 deliveries.
In the field, however, Dhoni was superb with his field placing and bowling changes. He was innovative and instinctive, which showed in his unorthodox positioning a few yards behind the stumps to spinner Ravindra Jadeja, when the bounce was variable off the rough.
Dhoni's suggestion to Ishant Sharma to keep bowling short to the Englishmen in the second innings also worked out marvelously as the latter picked up a career-best seven for 74 that helped India win the game.
With the bat: 7, 31
With the ball: 0-2
Shikhar Dhawan has struggled with the bat in this series so far. A naturally attacking player, in the second innings, he tried his level best to preserve his wicket, but he looked twitchy and uneasy while batting.
He did well to survive until 31, hitting four boundaries along the way, but he wasn't able to convert into a big score.
He was decent in the field in the slip cordon.
With the bat: 24, 95
With the ball: 1-12, 0-11
Murali Vijay played his best knock in a 23-Test international career which helped India set a sufficient target in the second innings.
His 247-ball stay in the middle for 95 runs was a masterclass on how to grind out a Test knock for your team when it's most needed, however dreary as it may appear to a neutral watcher.
Even with wickets falling around him, he carried on with his vigil, his focus fixed on the finish line like a race horse.
It was unfortunate that he was dismissed five runs short of what would have been a well-deserved century at Lord's, but the importance of his knock was wonderfully highlighted in India's eventual victory margin—95 runs.
He even picked up his first-ever Test wicket with his part-time off-spin in what was a memorable Test.
With the bat: 28, 43
Cheteshwar Pujara is another batsman who knows how to grind runs out of the opposition. Although he failed to score a half-century in either innings, his knocks helped India build partnerships.
Pujara was looking very promising in his second innings, playing a disciplined and vigilant knock to help boost India's lead. A minor lapse in concentration resulted in him losing his wicket for a well-made 43.
A big score seems just around the corner.
With the bat: 25, 0
India's golden boy was supposed to be the mainstay of their batting line-up, but he is going through a nightmare out in the middle.
Kohli has scored just 34 runs in four innings so far and hasn't been all that great in the slip cordon as well.
India would hope his form turns around for the remaining three Tests.
With the bat: 103, 5
Ajinkya Rahane came as the surprise package in the India's middle order and stole the limelight away from Pujara and Kohli with a delightful century under pressure.
In the first innings, with India reeling from a middle-order collapse, he played responsibly with the lower order, dug his team out of trouble and ensured they reached a very respectable total on a difficult surface.
In the second innings, he was unlucky to be given out caught in spite of the ball hitting his arm guard and not his gloves as the umpire saw it.
Nonetheless, Rahane's ton at Lord's not only proved his traditional class as a batsman, but it went further in cementing his role as an all-weather player—an invaluable quality for an Indian cricketer.
With the bat: 3, 68
With the ball: 2-46, 1-53
Ravindra Jadeja's alleged escapade with James Anderson off the pitch at Trent Bridge had dominated the build-up to the match, but the southpaw ensured that the only counter-attacking action he took was in the middle in full public view at Lord's.
Jadeja shared a crucial 99-run eighth-wicket partnership with fellow all-rounder Bhuvneshwar Kumar (52) to bail India out of trouble in the second innings and helped them to a score that turned out to be sufficient to defend.
His innings of 68 in 57 balls was attacking and entertaining, but it was as risky as it can get. Any batsman who thinks before playing would have adapted a more conservative approach but not Jadeja. This is how he plays, be it limited overs or Tests, under pressure or not.
With the ball too, Jadeja was a constant threat as he exploited the rough in the second innings and asked quite a few difficult questions to the English batsmen, picking up three wickets for the match and getting the cherry on the cake by running out Anderson to clinch the Test.
India have found in him a genuine batting all-rounder who can perform both home and away. His fearless brand of cricket could lead to a few disappointing scores and dismissals, but when his stars are aligned he can single-handedly change the complexion of a game with bat and ball, as he proved at Lord's.
With the bat: 9, 0
With the ball: 0-45, DNB
For all his heroics at Trent Bridge, Stuart Binny turned out to be as much a disappointment at Lord's.
He failed to reach double figures with the bat in either innings, and the shot he played that led to his dismissal in the second innings warrants a drop for the next Test.
Binny is all but certain to be benched at Southampton, what with his skipper not trusting his bowling with even a single over in the second innings, instead relying on part-timers Vijay and Dhawan to get him wickets.
With the ball: 6-82, 0-21
With the bat: 36, 52
Bhuvneshwar Kumar has been a revelation for India in the series and cannot appear to put even a foot wrong.
Coming into the side as a bowling all-rounder, Bhuvneshwar already has three half-centuries and two five-wicket hauls to his name in two Tests, including a career-best score of 63 not out and figures of six for 82.
The amazing thing about his cricket is that he keeps it so simple, without having to rely on any extravagance like Jadeja.
With the bat, his solid technique and timing meant that he played near chanceless innings. With the ball, he kept things even more disciplined: bowling the right line and length, getting the ball to swing both ways and just letting the conditions do the rest.
If anything, he schooled the English bowlers on how to bowl in their own backyard.
Bhuvneshwar has missed out on the man-of-the-match award in both Tests so far to players who affected the results in a more direct fashion. However, he wouldn't mind that one bit and could just be the man who most affects India's fortune in this series.
With the ball: 1-58, 1-33
With the bat: 19, 0
Mohammed Shami was a disappointment in this Test match, considering the expectations from him ahead of the series.
He struggled to bowl the right line and length on a helpful pitch at Lord's and constantly drifted down the leg, kept things too short and gave away easy runs.
Shami would look to get his act together if he wants to keep his place in the XI, with three more fast bowlers waiting in the ranks.
With the ball: 0-61, 7-74
With the bat: 12*, 0*
If one were to compile a list of the most unlikeliest of heroes in a game of sport, Ishant Sharma would top it by a country mile after what he did in the second innings at Lord's.
Sharma bowled one of the most hostile, accurate and relentless spells of short-pitched bowling ever witnessed from an Indian bowler that completely destroyed the Englishmen.
So intimidating and ruthless was he that even Mitchell Johnson, England's last tormentor with the ball, would have been proud watching him bowl.
Not only did Ishant get his name on the honours board at Lord’s—a muzzle for his very vocal critics—but he recorded his career-best figures of seven for 74, also the first time an Indian bowler had taken that many wickets in England.
It was a spell which won his team their first Test at Lord's in 28 years and is bound to go down in India's folklore.