During this week, a total of two Test matches were played, one between India and Windies, which India won and whitewashed the series 2-0 and another between Pakistan and Australia, which ended in a close draw. In addition, two T20Is were played between South Africa and Zimbabwe, where South Africa won both the T20Is and won the series 2-0 and one ODI was played between Sri Lanka and England, which England won and are currently leading the five-match ODI series 1-0.
There were many praiseworthy batting performances this week, a century by Roston Chase, Mohammad Hafeez, Haris Sohail and Usman Khawaja. In addition, there were some tidy bowling performances as well by Mohammad Abbas, Kuldeep Yadav, Imran Tahir, Bilal Asif, Lasith Malinga and Umesh Yadav. Jason Holder too showed his all-round abilities with his batting and bowling.
This article covers the top five players from these matches played this week.
5. HARIS SOHAIL:
The year 2018 has not been quite remarkable for Sohail. He has almost lost his place in playing XI in ODIs. However, he has made his mark in Tests by his performance in the first Test against Australia. In this Test initially, he had a very slow partnership with Azhar Ali. He got his form after spending some time at the crease and produced his maiden Test century by scoring 110 runs.
At present, he is the second highest run-getter of the series with 149 runs at an average of 75.
4. JASON HOLDER:
After having a successful series against Sri Lanka and Bangladesh at home, Holder again exhibited his skills in the second Test against India. Unfortunately, due to niggle, he was not able to play the first Test. In the second Test, he had a crucial 104 runs partnership with Chase and scored 52 runs. Moreover, he also picked five wickets while bowling. Currently, Holder’s bowling average in 2018 is 11.87, which is the best for a fast bowler in a calendar year in the last 100 years.
Holder was the fifth highest wicket-taker of the series by picking five wickets in one match.
3. MOHAMMAD HAFEEZ:
Hafeez last played a Test match in 2016 against England. Then, due to his form and illegal bowling action, he could not find a place in the Test team. To make a comeback, he performed better in the domestic circuit, which includes a double-hundred. Furthermore, he made his comeback at the international level with a century, scoring 126 runs in the first Test against Australia. He also took an important wicket of Travis Head in the second innings.
At present, he is the third highest run-getter of the series with 143 runs at an average of 72.
2. UMESH YADAV:
In 2018, India has played 11 Test matches. Out of these 11 Tests, Umesh has played only four Tests. Primarily, as there is a lot of competition currently in the Indian pace bowling department and secondly, Umesh’s form. In the first Test against Windies, he could only pick one wicket. For the second Test, Mohammed Shami was rested and Shardul Thakur was picked, who got injured while bowling his second over of his international career. Therefore, India had only one pace bowler in Umesh. He took that pressure positively and picked six wickets in the first innings and four wickets in the second innings. He became the third Indian fast bowler to take 10 wickets in a Test match at home after Javagal Srinath and Kapil Dev. Moreover, he was also adjudged as the Man of the Match for his 10 wickets.
He was the leading wicket-taker of the series by picking 11 wickets in two Tests.
1. USMAN KHAWAJA:
After having a mediocre series against South Africa and with the absence of David Warner and Steve Smith in the batting, Khawaja’s role became crucial. There were questions raised of him struggling against the spin. This he tried to rectify against a tour game in India, where he scored a century for Australia A. In the first Test against Pakistan, he scored 85 and 141 runs in the first and second innings respectively. His 141 runs in the second innings played a major part for Australia to draw the Test. Also, for his match-saving knock, he was adjudged as the Player of the Match. He also made a record of scoring highest runs by a visiting batsman in Asia in the fourth innings, breaking Daniel Vettori’s record of 140 runs.
Khawaja is currently the leading run-getter of the series with 226 runs at an average of 113.
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