Travis Head rescued Australia’s first innings. (AAP Image/Dave Hunt)
Travis Head rescued Australia’s first innings. (AAP Image/Dave Hunt)

Player ratings: He could have been a national hero

Australia came within whiskers of staging a remarkable fourth-innings run chase against India in Adelaide, but ultimately fell 31 runs short of victory.

Here's who starred and who flopped in the first Test match of the summer.

AARON FINCH - 2

Don't expect debate about where his best batting position is to ease up any time soon. Looked OK after a second innings reprieve, and his dismissal was innocuous, but he should have reviewed. Gets an extra point for four catches, three fielding in an unfamiliar position at short-leg.

 

Marcus Harris and Aaron Finch had mixed Tests. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)
Marcus Harris and Aaron Finch had mixed Tests. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

 

MARCUS HARRIS - 6

The opener gets a solid pass mark in his debut game for getting twin scores of 26, and a point because of the extra battle of the first game nerves. In both innings he got out, after fighting through the tough stuff, playing shots he shouldn't have. Looks the goods though.

USMAN KHAWAJA - 4

Not enough from Australia's best batsmen who knew he had to shoulder responsibility among a line-up lacking Test match experience. His second innings dismissal, when fight was required, couldn't have been much worse.

 

Shaun Marsh played a pivotal role in the second innings. (AP Photo/James Elsby)
Shaun Marsh played a pivotal role in the second innings. (AP Photo/James Elsby)

 

SHAUN MARSH - 7

The famine or feast nature of Marsh's Test career continued. Just two in the opening innings was bettered considerably with his second effort of 60, under considerably more pressure too. He could have been a national hero, but instead leaves Adelaide having earned a few more Test chances.

Travis Head rescued Australia’s first innings. (AAP Image/Dave Hunt)
Travis Head rescued Australia’s first innings. (AAP Image/Dave Hunt)

TRAVIS HEAD - 7

A massive, and important 72 in the first innings, a lot of it batting with the tail, guided Australia to within sight of India. It was his second 72 in six efforts for his country and while he couldn't hold out on day five he did enough to prove his worth in the top six.

TIM PAINE - 7

Made a stoic 41 in the second innings with a finger that was clearly hurting. He didn't get his team home, but was left to do way too much anyway. He was excellent behind the stumps, and his captaincy in the first innings in particular, and the way he used his bowlers, was very good.

PAT CUMMINS - 7

Bowled way better than a two-wicket return suggests, troubling plenty of Indian batsmen with his line at their body. Beat the outside edge a lot too, but maybe have bowled a bit short in the second innings. Held out for 121 balls with the bat chasing the win in a show of his fighting spirit.

 

 

MITCHELL STARC - 5

He took five wickets, and twice dismissed Indian opener Murali Vijay, which he's supposed to do. His second innings runs were handy. But his Sunday effort with the new ball, when he sprayed it everywhere, posed a few questions about just how well the leader of the pace attack is going.

 

Nathan Lyon was Australia’s best with the ball. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)
Nathan Lyon was Australia’s best with the ball. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

 

NATHAN LYON - 9

Has become his team's most important player because he can undertake a massive workload and be threatening nearly all the time, in all conditions. His six second innings wickets, plus he had three decisions overturned, gave Australia a fighting chance and the Indians will be wary for the rest of the series. Add his runs, in both innings, and he did all he possibly could.

JOSH HAZLEWOOD - 7

Easily the best of the quick bowlers and his Saturday battle with Virat Kohli was the gold standard. Was key to his team taking 20 Indian wickets, and keeping the tourists to just over 550 runs, which in Australia is a pretty good return.

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