Africa has won the 3-match Test series played between India and South Africa by 2-1. In the third and deciding match played in Cape Town, Africa had a target of 212 runs, which the team easily won by losing 3 wickets. India was being judged as the favorite to win the series, but the team was disappointed.
Let us have a look at the important factors due to which the Indian team could not capture this Test series…
1. Captaincy Controversy Ahead of the Series
Before the start of the India-South Africa series, a big controversy came to the fore between the BCCI and Kohli regarding the captaincy. First, Virat was removed from the captaincy of ODIs. After this, BCCI President Sourav Ganguly said that Virat was forbidden from resigning from the captaincy of T20. The decision to remove Virat from the captaincy of ODIs was taken jointly by the selectors and BCCI, because in white ball cricket i.e. ODI and T20, we wanted to keep the captain of the team the same.
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In such a situation, Rohit Sharma was given the captaincy of ODI after removing Virat. To this, Kohli replied and before leaving for South Africa, the captain of Team India said in a press conference that when he announced his decision to step down from T20 captaincy, he was not denied by any of the BCCI officials. .
Everyone had justified his move. At the same time, the information about his removal from the captaincy of the ODI team was given by the selectors just one and a half hours before the announcement of the Test team. There were also reports that Virat Kohli will not play the ODI series. There were also reports of rift between Rohit and Virat and this spoiled the whole atmosphere even before the start of the series.
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2. Virat’s injury before the second Test
Ahead of the second Test against South Africa, Virat Kohli was ruled out of the team due to a stiffness in his back. Just minutes before the toss, the news of Virat’s exit came. KL Rahul was made the captain in his place. Rahul’s captaincy was not good throughout the match and Kohli was sorely missed. When both the openers were dismissed in the first innings, Pujara and Rahane also went on early. After this only runs came off Ashwin’s bat. Had Kohli been there, he could have played a big innings or else he would have saved wickets. Team India was all out for just 202 runs in the first innings. This is where Team India fell behind in the match and we lost.
3. First the middle order and then the failure of the openers
Team India’s middle order was a complete flop throughout the series. Experienced batsmen Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane disappointed Team India. Rahane scored just 136 runs in three test matches. During this his average was only 22.67. At the same time, Pujara scored only 124 runs in three Tests. Pujara’s average was just 20.67. Both the players flopped, but still they were not dropped from the team. Shreyas Iyer, who scored a century in his debut Test against New Zealand, was also out of the three Tests. At the same time, Hanuma Vihari, who performed well with the bat in the second Test, was dropped from the third Test.
Openers KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal batted wonderfully in some innings, but then they could not play big innings in the last two Tests. The team suffered a lot due to the failure of the openers. When they had to give a good start in the second innings of the third Test, both were dismissed within 24 runs. Even in the first innings, he did not contribute much with the bat.
4. Our bowlers could not get much bounce
South Africa’s pace bowling unit included Kagiso Rabada, Lungi Ngidi, Marco Jensen and Dan Olivier. His average height is 6 feet 4 inches. On the other hand, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Mohammad Siraj and Shardul Thakur played for India. His average height is 5 feet 9 inches. That is, the height of the South African pace bowling unit was 7 inches (17.78 cm) more than the Indian pace bowling unit. As a result, the African bowlers averaged 15-20 cm more bounce than our bowlers. Whether it was the Wanderers pitch or Cape Town, the difference proved to be decisive.
5. Underestimating South Africa
The performance of South Africa’s team has not been good for the last few years. Before the series started, we looked better than South Africa on paper, but Dean Elgar’s team played a wonderful game. Elgar himself batted brilliantly throughout the series and showed that even though he lacks experience, he can beat the best team in the world. The African pace attack was strengthened by the arrival of Marco Jensen and Dan Olivier in the team. At the same time, Keegan Pitterson did wonders with the bat in all three Test matches. Perhaps Team India had not prepared well for Pitterson and Jensen and they got the full benefit of it.
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