Photo Gallery: 5 players who failed to meet expectations in India-Australia Test Series
This Test series between India and Australia has indeed been a very memorable one. India broke it's 71-year drought by winning a Test series for the first time in Australia. There were some brilliant performances by players from both the sides. Some players stood-up and performed their best to get their respective teams out of pressure situations. But, this long four-match Test series, got the better of some players, who succumbed to the pressure of performing in this high profile competition between both the teams. In this list, let's have a look at such players from both the sides, who despite having a lot of expectations from, failed miserably.
Murali Vijay has historically been the backbone of Indian batting overseas. On India's previous Test tour of Australia in 2014-15, he was a stand-out performer for the side. At an average of 60.25, his 482 runs were only third to Steve Smith and Virat Kohli. Along with his four half-centuries, his single century was a majestic one. It came on the first day of the Test match at the Gabba. His knock of 144 runs showed that India had found an opener for all conditions. But, the year of 2018 changed everything for this prolific opener. Vijay's poor form with the bat in South Africa and England continued in Australia. The 34-year old could only manage 49 runs in four innings before being dropped after the first two matches. With his age not supporting him, along with the rise of young openers like Mayank Agarwal and Prithvi Shaw, his future in the Indian Test team seems uncertain. (Photo Courtesy: Reuters)
Shaun Marsh is a senior player in the Australian team currently. With his experience, the responsibility on him has also increased. He was expected to take charge of the Australian batting line-up along with Usman Khawaja and Aaron Finch. Though he failed to match these expectations in UAE, it was believed that in his home conditions, he might stand out. But, his performance remained the same. Neither was he able to resurect the Australian batting, nor was he himself able to outperform the Indian bowlers. Two of his famous dismissals include him getting surprised by the turn of Hanuma Vihari at Marsh's home turf of Perth and the magical slower one by Jasprit Bumrah in Melbourne. Marsh could only aggregate 183 runs in his total 7 innings at an average of 26.14. His highest score of 60 in the first Test match at Adelaide was his only half century of the series. (Photo Courtesy: Reuters)
Aaron Finch's prowess in limited overs cricket is hidden from no one. After the omission of David Warner, he was handed an oppurtunity to show his class in the longer format of the game too. He impressed everyone against Pakistan in UAE where he played his career's first two Test matches. He scored 181 runs in four innings at an average of 45.25, despite a dismal show from other Australian batsmen. However, his performance changed when he went to bat on fast tracks in Australia. Against the deadly India pace attack, he could only score runs at an average of a little over 16. His highest score was 50, out of his overall tally of 97 runs in six innings. He was also dropped from the final Test match of the series. His absence from the Test squad against Sri Lanka for Australia shows that he might not be a part of team's Test plans in future. (Photo Courtesy: Twitter@cricketcomau)
Usman Khawaja was part of the famous batting trio for Australia. Due to the unavailability of the other two members of this trio - David Warner and Steve Smith - all the responsibility was on Khawaja's shoulders. After his man of the series performance in UAE against Pakistan, more trust of the fans and team was placed on him. But, he wasn't able to fulfill these responsibilities. Despite being promoted to open the batting due to his ineffective performance at number 3, it didn't make any difference. The 32-year old could only manage to score one half-century in his 8 innings. His overall run tally of 198 runs in the series was even lower that of youngsters Marcus Harris and Travis Head. He still has a chance of redeeming himself in the ODI series. (Photo Courtesy: Twitter@cricketcomau)
KL Rahul's Australian connection roots back to the time of his debut. In 2014, he made his Test debut in the Boxing-Day Test match in Melbourne. But, world witnessed his class in the next match at Sydney. Accompanying skipper Virat Kohli, he stitched a 141-run partenership. Opening the batting for the first time in just his second Test Match, he scored a brilliant hundred. What made it more special was that these runs were scored against the likes of Mitchell Starc, Ryan Harris, Josh Hazelwood and Nathan Lyon. Later, he went on to make a world record of scoring most consecutive 50-plus scores in Test cricket. A major chunk of these runs came against the same opposition. However, in this tour he failed massively to match the expectations. He could only score 57 runs in 5 innings he got to bat in. Eventually, he was dropped from the side due to his disappointing performance. (Photo Courtesy: Twitter/@cricketcomau)