Dreams shattered as India lost to South Africa once again
Pressure, Overconfidence or the baggage of carrying black sheeps? Dissecting India’s defeat against SA
Well, before we jump right into the subject, it is important to declare that we are not against any player but the truth needs to be spoken. Whatever may the cost be!
Before the series kicked off, everyone expected India to win the series and not just win it but win it by comfortable margins. After a triumph in Australia and England, the expectations are so high from the Indian team that the pressure of course builds up. However, a team that has won a series in Australia after getting all out for 36 and that too with almost a B team, pressure might just be an excuse. Virat Kohli under pressure is something that we have never seen and we might not as well. Thus, pressure is definitely not the reason behind this downfall.
Was it over confidence? It can be. One cannot rule that out. After India’s win in the first test, the team was much relaxed in the second match and with that they lost. The decision of KL Rahul leading the team was also not a right decision for so many reasons. There’s no doubt in his ability but for someone who has no experience in captaining a side in red ball cricket that too in foreign condition needs to be reviewed. He is not aggressive like Virat or Rahane, thus there is a chance that mentally the team wasn’t as charged up as they should have been or they normally are.
Coming to the third and final point, no one can deny that India is carrying two black sheeps at the moment. As a fan of Indian Cricket, it is difficult for me to acknowledge it, but it has been the case. Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara did their best in the second match as the duo scored a 50 each but in the third match, they failed once again and Indian team is choking because of their constant failures. Be it in the home conditions or away, they are not making it count and don’t be surprised if these two players get dropped from the Sri Lanka series.
So, the team lost to South Africa in the third test by 7 wickets and their dream of winning their first test series in South Africa was shattered. They had the golden chance this year but the wait continues. There of course are a lot of positives from the series and the first one of course will be how South Africa played. No one gave them any chance before the series and they are considered as minnows but by defeating India, they have shown their potential and if given a chance, they can cause havoc in test cricket.
Positives for India will of course be Mohammed Shami’s form. Even if the pacer hasn’t done very well in the last test but he has shown a lot of potential and whether we agree or not, he is right up there with Jasprit Bumrah as India’s best bowler at the moment. The second one will be Rishabh Pant’s 100. The youngster now has centuries in England, Australia and South Africa. The 24-year-old has a lot of cricket left in him and keeps on performing like this, he is going to be a legend of Indian cricket.
Indian Captain in the post-match conference said that the team lacked concentration at times and that played a role. He said, “I think it's a great spectacle of Test cricket for all to see. We played well in the first game to win but South Africa bounced back well in the second and carried on the momentum in the third as well. There was some lapse of concentration from us as well in key moments”.
Bashing India’s batting form, the captain said, “Of course, it (batting) has been the reason, no doubt about that. Their bowlers were just better in terms of their execution and applying pressure. Batting is certainly something to be looked at. No excuses there. It's really disappointing for sure. We did well in Australia and England but that doesn't guarantee us success in South Africa”.
Well, until 2023, India will not tour abroad other than their one-off game against England. Thus, for the next one year or so, there won’t be any problems as such. This is the best time for the team to groom for all the big series’ and Rahl Dravid and company needs to take care of that. Something that Ravi Shastri and Bharat Arun did during the first wave of Covid-19.
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