India fought back marvellously in the third test match at the Wanderers and pulled of a stunning victory over South Africa to salvage some pride and finish the three match test series 2-1. India entered the series as the number one ranked ICC test series in the world and had a great chance to win their first test series in South Africa. We take a look at the four reasons why they lost to South Africa.
Ravi Shastri – Being A Yes Man
Head coach Ravi Shastri admitted after losing the second test in a row that his side should have played a couple of warm up matches. India opted out of a 2 day warm up match and preferred to have net practice – which was quite strange in itself. Captain Kohli continued to stick to his guns and maintain that the warm up game would not have had much impact and it appears that Shastri gave in to the fiery Indian captain instead of imposing his will and asking the team to play the warm-up match.
Rohit Over Rahane
Kohli made the choice to drop Rahane for the first two matches and took R Sharma who failed in both matches. Rahane came back in the third and played a match winning innings and showed that he is the second best overseas player India has after Kohli. Not having Rahane in the first two matches allowed the Proteas to run through the Indian middle-order.
Dropping B Kumar In The Second Test
A moved that shocked everyone was when Shastri and Kohli decided to drop B Kumar for the second test. Kumar took six wickets in the first test and proved yet again that he can bat. His absence in the second test hurt India in both the batting and bowling departments and eventually cost them the test.
Shastri Not Enforcing The Basics
It’s time for Ravi Shastri to shoulder some of the blame. Shastri who is media savvy knows how to milk the limelight when the team does well. Multiple wickets were lost because the Indian batsmen did not ground their bats while running, something which is taught at grade level. The catching was also dismal especially in the slips as former South African test player D Cullinan pointed out that the slippers were using the wrong technique. If Shastri cannot correct these mistakes and needs others to point them out, what exactly is he doing as head coach?