#NewsBytesExplainer: Analysis of Virat Kohli's first SENA cycle as captain
India did not end the gruelling overseas campaign on a positive note. After drubbing New Zealand 5-0 in the T20I series, the Kohli-led side were swept 0-3 and 0-2 in the ODI and Test series respectively. With this, skipper Kohli's first full-fledged SENA cycle, that commenced with the South African tour, came to an end. Let us analyze how India fared in each tour.
Victory at Wanderers laid the foundation of India's eventual success
India were completely outplayed in the first Test despite valiant efforts from Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Hardik Pandya. The decision to drop Bhuvneshwar in the second Test drew flak. Although India staged a resounding fightback in the Johannesburg, South Africa clinched the series 2-1. However, Kohli's sublime form paved the way for India in the limited overs leg (5-1 in ODIs, 2-1 in T20Is).
England beat India 4-1 in the Test series
India rattled England in the T20I series, but they were beaten 1-2 in the ODIs. Captain Kohli was firmly criticized for tinkering with the playing XI in Test series. In a controversial move, Cheteshwar Pujara was dropped in series opener to make way for KL Rahul. Decisions like playing Kuldeep on a seamer-friendly Lord's deck and then dropping Murali Vijay were under the scanner.
Kohli dominated the England bowlers throughout the series
Virat Kohli fetched his redemption despite India's defeat. The ghosts of 2014 tour didn't perturb him. He was the highest run-scorer with 593 runs in five Tests, this time around. Rishabh Pant also became the first Indian wicket-keeper to smash a ton in England.
India scripted history in Australia
A ferocious Team India made a huge statement by winning the Adelaide Test straight up by 31 runs. Even after losing the second Test by 146 runs, India registered their first ever victory in the Boxing Day Test. Following the 2-1 series victory, the visitors routed Australia 3-0 in the ODI series. The Men in Yellow looked fragmented sans Steve Smith and David Warner.
A special milestone for Indian cricket
India became the first Asian side to register a Test series victory on the Australian soil. Cheteshwar Pujara was adjudged the Player of the series for his 521 runs across four matches. He racked up as many as three hundreds in the series.
The Kiwi bowlers rattled the Indian batting line-up
The Kiwis had forgotten start to the home series, having lost the T20I series 0-5. India were on course for making the tour memorable before the hosts dismantled them in the ODI series (3-0). The campaign derailed big-time as a poor all-round display cost India the two Tests as well. Skipper Kohli was unable to break the deadlock in the entire tour.
The Indian batsmen and seamers failed to deliver the goods
Virat Kohli tallied 218 runs from 11 innings, the lowest he has managed on a tour wherein he has played all three formats. Tim Southee and Trent Boult shared 25 wickets between, while the four Indian seamers scalped only 18 in the Test series.