England v India: Curran and Kohli shine in the series report card but Dhawan disappoints

Ashish Peter 12/09/2018
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Curran and Kohli shine in the series report card.

A five-match series fought with some ferocity by both sides came to an end finally with England completing an 118-run win in the final Test at the Oval to take the series 4-1.

India showed semblance of a fightback on the final day of the fifth Test on Tuesday but it was too little, too late as the hosts completed a dominant series performance with another victory.

At the end of over a month’s action of high-quality Test cricket, we rate the performance of the players from both sides in the five matches.

ENGLAND

Alastair Cook – 6

Knocks of 71 and 147 in his final two innings was a befitting end to a remarkable career for the opener after what was otherwise a poor series.

A fine end to Cook's glorious international career.

A fine end to Cook’s glorious international career.

Keaton Jennings – 4

The other England openers’ woeful performance in the series does not augur well for the hosts given their struggles to still find a suitable partner for Cook.

Moeen Ali – 8

Some comeback. He took no time to settle in and spun England to victory at Southampton with a nine-wicket haul.

Joe Root – 6

The England skipper started and ended the series excellently with the bat but was largely rubbish in between.

Jonny Bairstow – 6

The England wicketkeeper made a good start to the series by piling on the runs at Edgbaston and Lord’s but followed it up with three ducks in his last five innings.

Ollie Pope – 4

It was a harsh introduction to international cricket for the Surrey youngster who was dropped after three average showings with the bat.

Jos Buttler – 8

The Englishman continued his red-ball cricket renaissance with a maiden Test ton and was responsible for bailing England out of trouble on at least two occasions.

Ben Stokes – 7

The star England all-rounder showed a more mature side to his batting with a couple of uncharacteristic innings where he dug in for dear life and was a constant menace with the ball.

Stokes rose to the occasion plenty of times.

Stokes rose to the occasion plenty of times.

Chris Woakes – 8

The England all-rounder replaced Ben Stokes at Lord’s and delivered a man-of-the-match performance with a ton and four wickets to his name. He was quietly effective at Trent Bridge too.

Sam Curran – 9

The find of the series. Has shown all the makings of an excellent all-rounder for England with some tenacious showings with both bat and ball.

The find of the series: Sam Curran.

The find of the series: Sam Curran.

Adil Rashid – 4

The series could mark the end of the Adil Rashid Test-experiment with the Yorkshire spinner being a spectator for the most part.

Stuart Broad – 7

Played an able second fiddle to James Anderson with the red cherry. With 16 scalps to his name, he finished as the third highest wicket-taker in the series.

James Anderson – 9

The wicket of Virat Kohli might have eluded the veteran pacer but he still ended up as the highest wicket-taker in the series and went past Glenn McGrath’s wicket tally.

INDIA

Shikhar Dhawan – 4

The left-handed opener’s technical failings against the moving ball were for all to see and he cut a frustrating figure with the mode of his dismissals.

Failure after failure for Dhawan.

Failure after failure for Dhawan.

Murali Vijay – 3

Was dropped from the playing XI in the third Test after bagging a brace at Lord’s before being dropped from the squad altogether for the final two matches.

KL Rahul – 5

The right-handed opener was having a treacherous series after poor showings in the first four Tests but he showed his absolute class at the Oval with a belligerent ton.

Cheteshwar Pujara – 6

The top-order batsman played two innings of note in the entire series including a sensational unbeaten ton in India’s loss at Southampton. However, Kohli and India needed more from the right-hander.

 Virat Kohli – 8

Only one Indian batsman leaves the tour with his head still held high and that is the skipper himself. He made amends for his disastrous 2014 tour in some style by notching up 593 runs in 10 innings to finish as the series’ top-scorer.

Waging a lone battle: Virat Kohli.

Waging a lone battle: Virat Kohli.

Ajinkya Rahane – 5

His excellent knock of 89 in India’s victory at Trent Bridge does not hide the fact that he gave his wicket away cheaply umpteen times in the series.

Dinesh Karthik – 3

Just 21 runs in four innings along with a shaky display behind the stumps means that Karthik is now behind young Rishabh Pant in the wicketkeeping pecking order.

Rishabh Pant – 6

Some promising signs from the youngster who showed his mettle with a fine counter-attacking century in the final innings at the Oval.

Hardik Pandya – 5

The all-rounder’s Test credentials have taken a big hit despite his maiden five-wicket haul at Trent Bridge leading India’s charge to victory.

Pandya's all-round credentials take a massive hit.

Pandya’s all-round credentials take a massive hit.

Ravichandran Ashwin – 6

Started the series like a man on a mission at Edgbaston but comes away from it with his overseas credentials thrown further into question.

Ravindra Jadeja – 7

He got his chance finally at the Oval and scored a fine unbeaten 86 along with a seven-wicket haul with the ball.

Mohammed Shami – 7

Although he ended up with 16 wickets, Shami was still the least effective of the Indian pacers at times with some wayward bowling.

Ishant Sharma – 8

The pick of India’s excellent pace attack with 18 wickets and he is now turning into a genuine leader with the ball.

Ishant is turning into the leader of India's pace attack.

Ishant is turning into the leader of India’s pace attack.

Jasprit Bumrah – 7

He returned from injury in the final three Tests and showed India what they had been missing with some venomous bowling.

Umesh Yadav – 6

The pacer played only the one Test at Edgbaston and found it difficult to exert control over the swinging ball.

Kuldeep Yadav – 4

The wrist-spinner was hung out to dry after being picked to play on a seaming wicket at Lord’s.

Hanuma Vihari – 6

Showed some promise with a gritty debut Test innings which fetched 56 runs.

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Tottenham threaten Barcelona plans for Ajax starlet Frenkie de Jong

David Cooper 11/09/2018
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Barcelona plans to snare Ajax youngster Frenkie de Jong could be scuppered by Tottenham Hotspur in January 2019, according to reports.

De Jong, 21, is rated as one of the best prospects in the Netherlands and was handed his international debut during this international break.

The Telegraph stated this progress has alerted Spurs, who didn’t sign anyone in the summer. Both themselves and Barca saw bids rejected for De Jong last month.

De Jong has scored once in 37 matches for Ajax. He can play in centre midfield or at centre-back.

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Inter send scouts to monitor Ajax star Frenkie de Jong

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Inter sent a scout to watch Frenkie de Jong in the Netherlands’ Nations Cup opener against France on Sunday, according to Corriere dello Sport.

The Ajax star played the full 90 minutes of the 2-1 defeat to Les Bleus in Paris, showing his class on and off the ball against the world’s best team.

The 21-year-old, who still has four years remaining on his contract at the Johan Cruijff Arena, has also been monitored by Barcelona, Manchester City and Chelsea.

The Serie A side though will face tough competition from Barcelona, who are keen to sign the player in the January transfer window.

It is believed a bid of as much as €60 million may be enough to get the deal over the line.

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