India should have played practice matches in SA, feels Dilip Vengsarkar

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India should have played practice matches in SA, feels Dilip Vengsarkar

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SportsCafe Desk

01/08/2018

Dilip Vengsarkar has pinpointed the lack of practice matches in South Africa as the main reason for India’s struggles with the bat in the first Test in Cape Town. However, the former chairman of the selectors was quick to add that the team would keep on improving as the tour progressed.

India got off to a blistering start in South Africa as Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s opening spell saw the hosts restricted to a mere 12/3 in the opening half an hour of play. However riding on half-centuries by AB de Villiers and Faf du Plessis, along with important contributions by Quinton de Kock and Keshav Maharaj, the hosts reached a competitive total of 289 in their first innings.

However, the hosts were not ready to hand the keys to the castle to the Indian just yet and fought back by restricting the visitors to a modest score of 92/7 in reply. India found a saviour in the shape of Hardik Pandya whose 93-run knock ensured that the Indians limped over the 200-run mark. Former Indian captain Vengsarkar claimed that the poor batting display by the top order was down to the lack of match practice in South African conditions.

"India should have played a few practice matches to adapt better," Vengsarkar said, reported TOI.

"They will improve from here on. Now that they have got the feel of the wicket, they will perform better. The match is still wide open."

After playing South Africa for the first ever Test series in 1992-93, post the Apartheid era, it took India 14 years to claim their first Test victory on South African soil. While it was Rahul Dravid who led the side in the Johannesburg Test, it was Vengsarkar who, as the chairman of the selectors, had selected the side.

Taking about the current Indian side, Vengsarkar also questioned the advantage of playing Sri Lanka in a long series at home just before the start of the much anticipated South Africa series.

"As India had already played a series against Sri Lanka in Lanka, the recent series played on the Indian soil was unnecessary," Vengsarkar added.

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