Sachin Tendulkar has asked the Indian players to be smart in their shot selection in South Africa explaining that they can’t be playing same strokes they do in home conditions. He has also advised the batsmen to play with patience as it would be the key against South Africa’s pace attack.
In the series opener of the three-match Test series, Team India suffered a 72-run loss to South Africa. The Indian batsmen managed to score just 209 runs in the first innings and while chasing a target of 208 runs in the second innings they were wrapped up for a paltry 135. Tendulkar believes that the team should have the understanding of the pitch and that will only happen when the team practices
“Look, Test cricket is all about understanding and adaptability. What you enjoy in India, you don’t enjoy overseas. In India, with the SG ball in play, you can get off to a flier. The bowlers only get the advantage between 20th to 50th overs when reverse swing comes into play. In South Africa, it’s exactly the opposite. The first 25 overs belong to the Pacers. Indian batsmen can’t be playing strokes they do in home conditions,” Tendulkar told Hindustan Times.
“If they had been patient in Cape Town, India would have scored the bulk of their runs between 50-80 overs. In Centurion, the openers have to take a lot of responsibility to see the new ball off.”
India visited South Africa after a brilliant home season where they equaled Australia’s record of winning nine consecutive Test series. The team performed really well throughout the year which raised the hope of winning first ever Test series on the South African soil. But the team’s campaign faced a setback when they lost the first game in Cape Town. Tendulkar suggested that the players should concentrate on their strong points and maintain a positive atmosphere in the dressing room.
“Batsmen should concentrate in the first 25 overs and look to accelerate after 50; bowlers should bowl in the right areas, and more importantly, remain positive as a team.
“While I don’t think the team is mentally down after the Cape Town defeat, South Africa will have their tails up. This is going to be a huge test for the team management. What India do outside the field will be as important as on it,” he concluded.