Well, it was yet another series defeat for India in South Africa. After 1-0 down in the series, South Africa made a remarkable turnaround and won the series 2-1. A youngster Keegan Petersen was adjudged as Man Of The Match and Man Of The Series. India has never won a Test Series in South Africa in 29 years. This time it was the best chance for India but it did not happen. Here are the five major reasons for India’s series loss against South Africa.
1. Batters Poor Show
It is the script for a couple of years. The Indian batting is letting the team down. Most of the time, the bowlers did the job for India. However, every time there was a debate, discussion about the poor form of the middle order. Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane are India’s most senior batters in this squad. They have been not in touch for long. But the team management still persists with them every time. In this series also the duo has been failed miserably. Only one fifty each in six innings each.
To your surprise, South Africa’s team has given more extra runs than they have made in the three-Test series. The middle-order is not contributing for India and the selectors need to take tough calls for the upcoming Test series. The openers after performing so well in the first Test failed to give starts in the second and the third Test that leads to India’s loss.
2. Virat Kohli’s Injury Second Test
Right before the start of the second Test match in Johannesburg, India got a big blow in the form of Virat Kohli’s injury. Virat Kohli missed the second Test and KL Rahul, who was the deputy of him, captained the team. However, KL Rahul’s start as a captaincy was not good. His decisions and tactics on the field were not up to the mark. With South Africa needing 240 runs to win the second Test, which they have not done for long, India was in driving seat. However, lack of aggression and poor bowling management resulted in India’s loss. The team missed Virat Kohli’s aggression and captaincy.
3. Poor Team Selection
Hanuma Vihari was sent to South Africa along with India A to gain some exposure. The batter did not disappoint and scored four half-centuries during India A tour. Instead of starting with him in Playing XI, Hanuma Vihari got the opportunity in the second Test when Virat was injured. He played well and scored 40 not out in the second innings. But was dropped from the third Test. Coincidentally, both Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara scored half-centuries in the second innings of the second Test. The duo performs in one innings in the series and is unable to score in the rest of the series. This results in a selection headache and Hanuma Vihari got axed. By the time, the team realizes the mistake, the series was already gone.
Shreyas Iyer, who made a century and a half-century in his debut Test match was dropped and not picked in any three Tests. If Shreyas Iyer and Hanuma Vihari would have given opportunities, the result of the series may have been different.
4. Not Understanding South Africa’s Potential
Without a doubt, this was South Africa’s most inexperienced side in recent times. With their legend cricketers AB de Villiers, Faf du Plessis, Hashim Amla, Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel, Vernon Philander all were retired, it was India’s best chance to win. However, India’s performance degraded from the first Test to the third Test. For South Africa, it was exactly the opposite, the youngsters like Keegan Petersen and Marco Janesan kept on improving and providing the team, a much-needed balance with the bat and the bowl.
5. Losing Momentum At Crucial Stages
The series will be known for some weird and shocking DRS decisions. In the first Test match, it was Mayank Agarwal’s dismissal of out, and in the last Test match, it was Dean Elgar’s decision of not out. Even umpire Marais Erasmus was shocked looking at the ball tracking and said ‘That Is Impossible.’ That was the crucial moment in the game and had that would have out, it would have been a different story. However, the decision went against India and this is where they became more animatic in the field. The bowlers started trying much and that results in leakage of runs at a quick speed. The drop catch from Cheteshwar Pujara of Keegan Petersen was also the reason.
This time as well we were short to win the series. Now the three-match ODI series will start from January 19 at Paarl. We hope India will play well and win the series. What do you guys think? Where we have been short? Let us know in the comments below.