England suffered a disastrous final day in Chennai, being bowled out for 207 to lose the match by an innings and 75 runs and the series 4-0. Here are how England’s players fared in the final Test of their India tour.
Alastair Cook – 5/10
After a strong start to the series, Cook looks mentally and physically drained. The England captain got out to a ball he could have left in the first innings off his nemesis Ravindra Jadeja when his side needed a good start. Cook batted far better in the second innings, however, and particularly looked comfortable against the seamers. Yet Jadeja proved to be his undoing again as the Essex man flicked a ball down the leg side straight into the hands of leg slip on 49. On day four, Cook’s captaincy left plenty to be desired as he was too defensive early on against Nair and Ashwin, who picked off the runs at will.
Keaton Jennings – 5/10
Was out cheaply in the first innings with a lazy waft outside off stump to Ishant Sharma when England needed to start positively. Though, like Cook, Jennings offered an improved display on day five, scoring 54. The left-hander applied himself and batted according to the situation, barring one or two needless reverse sweeps. His dismissal was tame in the end, chipping a flighted delivery straight back to the bowler. Nevertheless, Jennings has offered positive signs in this series and should be an England regular for years to come.
Joe Root – 6/10
Played beautifully, as usual, in the first innings for his 88. Root combined a good defence with positive and controlled strokeplay but will be disappointed yet again that he failed to convert a fifty plus score into a hundred. He has easily been England’s most consistent batsman in this series but the lack of match-defining hundreds after being set on so many occasions is a worry, by Root’s high standards. He failed to play to the situation in the second innings as he was LBW on review after attempting a needless sweep shot against Jadeja.
Moeen Ali – 7/10
Scored 146 in the first innings but not without his element of luck. Moeen should have been caught on nought and several reckless shots narrowly avoided the fielders. Despite this, his attacking strokes came with grace as they always do and was a joy to watch. The left-hander did the hard part of getting in the second innings also, until a brain fade on 44 led to him inexcusably slogging Jadeja to mid-off when England needed to bat out the match. His high-risk batting approach is attractive when it comes off, but extremely ugly when it does not.
With the ball, Moeen was inconsistent and ineffective, ending with figures of 1-190 from 41 overs. The Indian batsmen found things too easy against his off-spin and the fact that Jadeja and Ashwin extracted more turn out of the flat surface underlined the gulf in class between India and England’s spin department.
Jonny Bairstow – 5/10
Played well in partnership with Moeen to guide England to 253-3 until a loose drive off Jadeja gave away a great chance to score a big hundred. Bairstow played another misbegotten stroke in the second innings as he flicked a leg-side delivery from Ishant Sharma very high in the region of deep mid-wicket, where Jadeja took an exceptional catch running back. In future, Bairstow needs to combine his undoubted talent with the bat with better game management and cricketing nous. Still, it has been a stunning year for the Yorkshire man. He kept nicely, conceding only two byes, with the tough missed stumping off Karun Nair the only blemish in an otherwise solid display on that front.
Ben Stokes – 5/10
Was undone by a good piece of bowling in the first innings by Ashwin, who drew Stokes forward with extra flight. The second innings was a different story, however. After grafting hard for 53 deliveries, the left-hander proceeded to chip a spinning Jadeja delivery tamely in the air to midwicket. After his brilliant hundred at Rajkot, Stokes has failed to capitalise on positive starts with the bat. Yet the all-rounder was impressive with the ball, bowling with good pace and hostility, and on a more helpful pitch, would have had wickets to show for his efforts.
Jos Buttler – 4/10
Was out LBW for just five after missing a straight ball from Ishant Sharma early on day two when England needed to make count the earlier momentum built by Root, Moeen and Bairstow. In the second innings, Buttler played to the situation and did his best to try and help England draw the match, finishing unbeaten on six from 50 deliveries. He stuck at his task well in the field also and produced a stunning one-handed catch to dismiss Ravi Ashwin when England were wilting in the Chennai sun.
Liam Dawson – 7/10
Batted very nicely in the first innings for his 66 not out. Considering this was his maiden Test match, Dawson played with excellent application against the likes of Ashwin and Jadeja. The Hampshire man batted in a very orthodox manner and his partnership of 108 with Adil Rashid was vital in getting England up to a good score of 477. And despite bagging a duck in the second innings, Dawson gave plenty of room for encouragement with the bat. Also offered control with the ball and, despite not looking too threatening in terms of taking wickets, was the pick of the spinners.
Adil Rashid – 6/10
After a superb start to the series, the quality Rashid’s bowling seems to have deteriorated, especially after the departure of Saqlain Mushtaq midway through the series. Bowling-wise, this was arguably Rashid’s worst Test of the series. The Yorkshire man failed to land the ball in threatening areas consistently and as a result, the likes of Karun Nair and KL Rahul cashed in. That being said, Rashid batted excellently, scoring 60 and dragging his team from 321-7 to 429 before he got out. His shot in the second innings, a lazy flick that flew to point off a leaning edge, summed up England’s woes on a disastrous final day of the series.
Stuart Broad – 6/10
On a totally lifeless pitch for the seamers, Broad returned creditable figures of 2-80. His off-cutters, change in length and variation in pace kept the Indian scoring off his bowing in check. He got the wicket of Kohli by sticking to a plan, which was forcing the Indian captain to drive more often, as he chipped one to extra cover. Very hard to criticise the pacemen at all on such a wicket but Broad, as ever, stuck to his task well.
Jake Ball – 5/10
In very hot conditions, Ball hit the pitch hard and bowled with good pace, often touching the 88-90 mile per hour mark. To bowl with that pace and hostility is a credit to his fitness levels. However, the Nottinghamshire seamer did not look threatening to the Indian batsmen too often, largely because of the pitch. Yet he has done his England credentials no harm on this tour and should enjoy better success in more benign conditions.