India had a magnificent year in 2017 in all formats of the game and high praise was heaped on Virat Kohli and his team. They took the number one spot in the ICC Test rankings, number two spot in the ODI rankings and number three spot in T20 rankings.
However cricket pundits knew that India performed extremely well because they played most of their matches in 2017 on home turn. They took advantage of the conditions and crowd support to pummel their opponents and get high praise. However their real test was going to be their overseas tours in 2018 as they had to prove that they could beat the best teams at home and overseas.
India Get Pummelled By South Africa
India lost the first test against South Africa and went into the second test at Centurion, knowing that they would have to win in order to square the series and make the final test match a decider. However the Indian batting line-up once again succumbed to the pace and bounce of South African pitches and they surrendered tamely to lose the second test by a 135 runs.
This makes the third test at the Wanderers a dead rubber as India has only their pride to play for. What will be concerning for Ravi Shastri and Virat Kohli is that the Indian team looked weak in all departments of the game. The Indian batting was clearly the biggest weakness as apart from Kohli, none of the other batsman looked equipped to handle the pace of South Africa.
The bowlers performed in patches but unlike the South African pacers could not take wickets consistently or dismiss the tail cheaply. The fielding was horrible to say the least as multiple catches were put down, run-outs occurred frequently and Kohli’s body language was not the way a seasoned captain conducts himself.
India Shoot Themselves By Making Poor Selection Choices
The BCCI must answer questions regarding team selection for the second test. B Kumar who was the best bowler in the first test was dropped in favour of I Sharma and R Sharma continued to retain his place in the side at the expense of vice-captain A Rahane.
While Kohli might try and justify dropping Rahane due to his poor form in India, he cannot deny the fact that Rahane has a better overseas test record than Sharma. Kohli must take responsibility for the loss and make better decisions if he wants India to lose their reputation of being home turf bullies.