Australia v India Test Series 2018-19: The Underperforming XI

vinayak roy chowdhry

Ishant Sharma was not at his lethal best

The recently concluded Test Series between India and Australia has not only been highly talked about in the two countries involved in the series, but by the whole cricketing world.

Due to the result it produced, the series has been on the receiving end of even more publicity. While India should be in high spirits, celebrating their first ever Test series in Australia, there are a few players in the Indian dressing room who might not be savoring as much of the joy as the others.

Australia might have more players in this list, but India too have their fair share of flopped players. These players were shadows of their real character and potential and indeed, let their team down.

On that note, let us have a look at the flop XI of this historic Test series between Australia and India.

#1 Aaron Finch

Finch did show a lot of character by batting despite carrying a painful finger injury

Aaron Finch, the Aussie limited overs opening batsman, was given an opportunity to prove himself at the longer format by being offered the role of opening the innings for his country.

He failed to deliver in any of the matches, apart from the first innings of the 2nd Test match, where he and his opening partner, Marcus Harris, made a 100+ opening partnership, out of which Finch scored 50 and they eventually went on to win the match. However, Finch was unable to prove himself as a Test batsman and looked only a fraction of his limited-overs self.

#2 Murali Vijay

Vijay has lost touch with the bat since India's tour of England in Summer 2018

The regular Indian opener who had done exceedingly well during his last tour down under, failed miserably with the bat in this series. With just 49 runs in 4 innings of 2 Test matches, that too, scored at an average of a mere 12.25 runs, Vijay's International career seems to have come to an end and it's obvious that he would make it to this team.

#3 KL Rahul

Over the past six months, it seems like KL Rahul has been finding new ways of getting out

The highly talented and consistent young batsman from Karnataka, who at one time, was looking like an all-format India player just like Virat Kohli, has now left all the praise behind.

KL Rahul is struggling to even get bat on ball and his dismal show with the bat has left many worried. Seeing a high skilled young batsman in his 20s who has all the shots in the book struggle so hard and fail after being given repeated chances is disappointing for the captain and team management. Rahul is probably the first candidate of this dishonorable list.

#4 Usman Khawaja

Khawaja's body language and batting style looked tentative

Australia's most dependable and trusted batsman, Khawaja, turned out to be a huge flop for them. Being a part of all the 4 Test matches and batting in all the 8 innings, the southpaw managed to score only one 50+ score, that too after being dropped early and at a very slow pace. Barring that 72, he managed only 126 runs in 7 innings at an average of 21. Such numbers for a player of his stature are extremely poor.

#5 Shaun Marsh

Despite his failures in Tests, Marsh has been picked in Australia's ODI squad

While Marsh Sr. showed some resistance with the bat in the 2nd innings of the 1st Test and the 1st innings of the 2nd Test, he never looked dangerous or worrisome. Moreover, it never looked like he would go on to make a big score.

Shaun Marsh always looked very mediocre and vulnerable while at the crease. His presence didn't seem to make the Indian bowlers worry or put them under any pressure. He scored 183 runs in 7 innings at an average of just about 26.

And still, no one quite knows why he is in the ODI squad to face the Men in Blue.

#6 Ajinkya Rahane

Rahane has under-performed in South Africa, England, India and now even in Australia

Ajinkya Rahane failed to make a mark once again, and now his credentials would be under serious scrutiny. While he has looked good in patches, the elegant batter has just not scored enough runs enough to justify his selection.

Formerly known as India's overseas hero, Rahane was only able to accumulate 217 runs under his belt in 8 innings.

This is overpowered by two innings of 70 and 51 runs, which if left aside, bring his numbers down to just 96 runs in 6 innings at an average of 16. With Rohit Sharma having shown some class with the bat, backed by a 63 not out and Hanuma Vihari settled at the number 6 spot, Rahane may have to face fierce competition for his spot in India's next Test series.

#7 Peter Handscomb

One of Sheffield Shield's leading run scorers, Handscomb flopped on the same home pitches against India

The man Australia had a lot of expectations from, the man who was expected to give Indian bowlers a tough time, as he was known to be one of the best players of spin bowling in their entire Test squad, Handscomb failed to make a mark. He just scored a meager 105 runs at an average of 21. He did get starts but never was he able to convert them into big scores.

Moreover, his reluctance to get on the front foot for the fuller balls was horribly exploited by Indian bowlers.

#8 Mitchell Starc

Mitchell Starc hasn't looked as incompetent as he was since the ball-tampering incident

A person watching Mitchell Starc for the first time would wonder why he is so hyped and arguably, overrated. The way the Aussie left-arm pacer has bowled this series; it looked like he was any other ordinary bowler struggling to make it to the national side, and not at all like the experienced lethal International fast-bowler he is regarded as.

The speedster did not live up to a single expectation, failing with both bat and ball. Also to mention, his presence only increased the pressure on Pat Cummins' shoulders.

#9 Umesh Yadav

Yadav was picked on the basis of his 10 wickets against West Indies at home, but looked a different bowler in Australia

Although Umesh Yadav played only one Test match, that was enough to prove how ineffective and unimpressive he was. He picked just 2 wickets in 37 overs and gave away runs at more than 4 runs per over, that too on a wicket that favored the fast bowlers.

He looked totally off-colour and India made a blunder by playing him instead of Bhuvneshwar Kumar.

#10 Josh Hazlewood

Not hitting the right lengths

The Aussie lead seamer failed to live up to his own standards as he didn't exert much pressure on the batsmen. Apart from a couple of instances, he did not look as sharp as always. While the short ball worked sporadically for him, the length that he is known for wasn't to be seen too often.

As aforementioned, Pat Cummins didn't get the requisite support from either of Hazlewood or Starc.

#11 Ishant Sharma

Ishant Sharma

Ishant Sharma failed to make a mark this series, as apart from the one four-wicket haul, he failed to pick up wickets regularly. He was also not pro-active in creating the pressure and scaring off Aussie batsmen, which Bumrah and Shami successfully did. Ishant went on very ordinarily throughout the series, before being dropped and replaced by Kuldeep Yadav in the last Test.