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Marks out of 10: Player ratings for all 26 India men’s Test cricketers in 2021

Marks India 2022
by Divy Tripathi 6 minute read

India had a golden year in Test cricket with victories in Australia, England, and South Africa.

The team thoroughly dominated the format: winning 2-1 in Australia, 3-1 against England at home, leading 2-1 against England away, winning 1-0 against the World Test champions at home, and then capping off a very successful year with a win at Centurion. The only blemish was a loss in the one-off World Test championship in England.

Let’s take a look at how the India players fared over the year:


Cheteshwar Pujara – 4/10

702 runs @ 28.08, HS 91, six half-centuries

The Saurashtra batter had a year to forget with the bat, with his figures worsening as the year progressed. In his last six innings, he scored merely 111 runs. Still he showed glimpses of the old die-hard attitude throughout the year especially during the Australia series in January, when he helped India secure a miraculous fightback Down Under.

Ajinkya Rahane – 2/10

479 runs @ 20.82, HS 67, two half-centuries

The Mumbai batter had the worst year of his Test career, and crossed fifty only twice. He started the year as the captain who inspired India to a series win Down Under, but ended it with losing his status as the vice-captain.

Rishabh Pant – 8/10

748 runs @ 39.36, HS 101, one century and five half-centuries, 33 catches and 6 stumpings

Pant had the finest year of his cricketing career. He played three match-defining innings when his side had their backs against the wall, and was one of the batters the side could bank on. His figures might have tapered off during the England tour, but Pant’s overall record suggests that he is a player for all the seasons.

Virat Kohli – 4.5/10

536 runs @ 28.21, HS 72, Four half-centuries

India’s captain rounded off the trio of middle-order batters who didn’t quite get going in 2021. His average in the late 20s is a far cry from his career average of 50.34. While the side would want Kohli to turn it around with his willow, they will hope that he continues his run as the skipper. The Delhi player managed to keep all the off-field drama including that involving his own sacking from the ODIs away from the side as they kept delivering one stellar performance after other.

Shubman Gill – 4/10

478 runs @ 29.87, HS 91, four half-centuries

Gill had an excellent start to the year but wasn’t able to keep up the form in the latter half, being hampered by injuries as well.

Rohit Sharma – 8.5/10

906 runs @ 47.68, HS 161, two centuries and four half-centuries

If there were any doubts as to how Rohit would perform away from home, they were laid to rest in 2021. He did well in Australia, but more importantly in England where India batters have struggled over the last decade or so. He made two important hundreds in the year.

KL Rahul – 8/10

461 runs @ 46.1, HS 129, two centuries and one half-century

KL Rahul’s talent has been talked about for years, and the highly-rated player teamed up with Rohit, and Mayank Agarwal to deliver stupendous performances in England and South Africa.

Mayank Agarwal – 7/10

353 runs @ 44.12, HS 150, one century and two half-centuries

Mayank Agarwal was yet another opener who suffered through injuries, yet also filled in for others when they got injured. He had only four outings in the year but showed grit as an opener, securing India’s win in Mumbai with 212 runs in the game.

Hanuma Vihari – 7.5/10

27 runs @ 27, HS 23*

Vihari scored merely 27 runs in his only outing but managed to pull off the most significant turnaround by an India player in the year. While, it seemed that the pressure got the better of him in the first innings, he battled injury, pain and sledges to battle on for India’s cause in one of the greatest draws of all time in the second innings.

Wriddhiman Saha – 6/10

102 runs @ 34, HS 61*, Half-century 1, One stumping

The Bengal keeper was impressive in the second innings of Kanpur Test, where he batted fitness concerns to ensure that India were able to set a competitive target against New Zealand.

Shreyas Iyer – 7/10

202 runs @ 50.5, HS 105, one century and one half-century

Iyer featured late in the year in home Tests against New Zealand and made his way to the record books by becoming the first India player to score a century and half-century on debut.

Shahbaz Nadeem – 2/10

Four wickets @ 58.25, BBI 2-66

The Jharkhand spinner failed to impress in what was a shock defeat for India at Chennai. He was of little support to Ravichandran Ashwin in the first innings of the game.

Washington Sundar – 7/10

265 runs @ 66.25, HS 96*, six wickets @ 49.83, BBI 3-89

While he was supposed to replace an injured Ashwin at the Gabba, he ended up impressing more with the willow in his subsequent Test appearances. He scored three half-centuries in four appearances and looks like a good late middle-order option for India with the bat.

Jayant Yadav – 6.5/10

18 runs @ 9, five wickets @ 12.4, 4-49

The Haryana all-rounder was a surprise call-up to the India squad after he had made his last India appearance in 2016-17. He impressed enough on the home turf to be selected for the South Africa tour as a back-up to Ravichandran Ashwin.

Ravindra Jadeja – 7/10

269 runs @ 24.45, 16 wickets @ 29.75, BBI 4-40

While he had his fair share of injuries in the year, Jadeja kept at it – giving all-round performances both at home and away. His presence allowed India to field a four-man pace attack away from home.

Axar Patel – 8.5/10

179 runs @ 29.83, 36 wickets @ 11.86, BBI 6-38

Having waited in Ravindra Jadeja’s shadows for about half a decade, Patel was exemplary in his debut series against England. He’s had a Hirwani-esque start at home and it is to be seen if he could continue the same against Sri Lanka and Australia next year.

Kuldeep Yadav – 5.5/10

Two wickets @ 20.5, BBI 2-24

The Uttar Pradesh left-arm wrist spinner featured in a solitary Test in Chennai, and managed to pick two wickets. At stages it seemed like he enjoyed little support from his skipper, bowling only 74 balls on a turner at Chepauk.

Ravichandran Ashwin – 9/10

355 runs @ 25.35, 54 wickets @ 16.64, BBI 6-61

In another era, the many questions around Ashwin’s expulsion from the Test side during the England tour might have created a controversy which would’ve affected the player’s performances. However the India players were able to shrug off the outside noise and deliver their best in 2021. Ashwin was the prime example of the same. He had yet another fruitful year in all the disciplines and also made a comeback to the T20I setup.

Shardul Thakur – 7.5/10

200 runs @ 28.57, 16 wickets @ 23.18, BBI 4-61

Shardul Thakur was India’s lucky charm, delivering crucial blows in Tests away from home in both disciplines. In the absence of Hardik Pandya from the Test setup Thakur was able to take up the fast bowling all-rounder role and lived up to it.

T Natarajan- 5/10

Three wickets @ 39.66, BBI 3-78

For a bowling reserve to get the better of Australia batters on his Test debut in one of the toughest places for touring sides is no mean feat. Natarajan, primarily seen as a limited overs bowler, played an important role in one of the greatest ever wins for India.

Navdeep Saini – 4/10

Four wickets @ 43, BBI 2-54

Saini was another surprise debutant for India during the tour of Australia, and impressed with his pace, even if he was a bit wayward at times.

Umesh Yadav – 6.5/10

Eight wickets @ 30.75, 3-60

India’s home specialist played only three Tests away from home but the fast bowler managed to impress the most at The Oval, securing six wickets against the England batters.

Ishant Sharma – 5/10

14 wickets @ 32.71, BBI 3-48

The Delhi seamer had an ordinary 2021, but he had his moments especially when he played as a part of the four-man pace attack in England.

Mohammad Siraj – 8/10

31 wickets @ 29.96, BBI 5-73

A star was born last year during the Boxing Day Test in 2020, and Mohammad Siraj lived up every bit to the promise he showed during his debut. The Hyderabad seamer has quickly overtaken others to become the third most reliable pace bowler for India.

Jasprit Bumrah – 8.5/10

30 wickets @ 26.53, BBI 5-64

While an injury hampered his appearances and performances early in the year, Bumrah soon proved his mettle by delivering match-winning performances in England and in South Africa. He enjoyed playing with the opposition batters and outwitting them with his skills.

Mohammad Shami – 9/10

23 wickets @ 22.47, BBI 5-44

While the figures don’t do justice to the kind of impact Bumrah and Siraj had during 2021, for the India pace attack was easily the most lethal across the conditions, they do in Shami’s case. The Amroha-born pacer played only five Tests this year, but bowled with high skill and confidence in all the games.

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