Best of 2019: Top 5 Indian cricketers in Tests
Sunday mid-day runs the rule on batsmen and bowlers who made a telling impact for India to be well placed atop the ICC Test rankings right through 2019
India skipper Virat Kohli led from the front with three centuries and an equal number of half-centuries in 11 games during this period to stay on top in the Test rankings. He also broke several records in this process. His unbeaten 254 against South Africa earlier this year made him the first Indian player to score seven double hundreds in Tests. En route 136 in the innings and 46-run win over Bangladesh last month, Kohli became the first Indian to score a century in a pink ball Test. With 20 centuries, Kohli is second on the list of captains with most Test hundreds. Kohli is also the fastest to reach 5,000 runs in Test cricket as captain (86 innings) and also the only Indian to breach the 5,000-run mark as skipper. Apart from scoring big, Kohli has led India to wins in the last seven Tests, including four innings victories in the last four matches.
Mohammed Shami has been one of the most consistent Indian pacers this year, claiming five or more wickets in a match four times in the last six Tests. With 16 wickets in just four Tests, Shami, India's second highest wicket-taker, played a crucial role in the country's maiden series win in Australia. His seven-wicket match haul against Bangladesh last month, helped him break into the Top-10 for the first time in the Test rankings.
Matches: 9, Wickets: 26,
Bowling average: 32.76,
Batting average: 49.88
Ravindra Jadeja lived up to his all-rounder tag by scoring five half-centuries in the last nine Tests in which he claimed 26 wickets. The left-arm orthodox spinner troubled the Australians and West Indians in their home conditions to claim 13 wickets in four Tests. Batting at No. 6, Jadeja put India in a commanding position many a time. His 91 and 3-52 in the second innings of the Pune Test against South Africa meant India would not have to bat again.
Jasprit Bumrah was skipper Virat Kohli's go-to bowler in foreign conditions (Australia and West Indies). He bowled with pace and accuracy to play a crucial role in India's first series win on Australian soil earlier this year. The pacer ended the series with 21 wickets; joint-highest wicket-taker with Aussie spinner Nathan Lyon. His then career-best 6-33 decimated the Australian batsmen for just 151 runs in the first innings of the Boxing Day Test at Melbourne. He ended the year as India's highest wicket-taker (48 wickets) in Tests in 2018. The pacer with an unorthodox action, ended the Test with nine wickets to give India a crucial 2-1 lead in the series. However, a stress fracture in his back
has ruled him out for the last four months.
Mayank Agarwal, who made his Test debut last December in Australia, is in the form of his life, scoring three centuries in his last five Tests (two double hundreds). The opener converted his maiden Test hundred into a brilliant double century in his very first Test on Indian soil to guide the team to a 203-run win in the first Test against South Africa at Visakhapatnam last October. The Bangalorean continued his fine form to score a career-best 243 against Bangladesh at Indore last month, thus making him the second batsman to score two double tons in his first 12 innings.
*Stats factored in from December 2018
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