Sunil Gavaskar has opined that India’s dream of winning first Test series in South Africa has turned into a nightmare as they lost to South Africa by 2-1 in Test series. He also suggested that India should have bowled Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami after lunch on last day of Cape Town Test.
South Africa won the recently concluded Test series by 2-1. The hosts won the Cape Town Test by seven wickets securing a series win. India were eyeing for the maiden Test series win in South Africa but they will now have to look forward to their next tour to South Africa. Indi’s bowling was good throughout the series and batting disappointed them most.
South Africa were in need of 111 runs on the last day with eight wickets in hand. Keegan Petersen led the charge for them as he scored 82 runs from 113 balls. Reflecting on the defeat, former India cricketer Sunil Gavaskar said that the India’s dream of winning the first Test series in South Africa has turned into a nightmare. He also questioned the tactics used by Virat Kohli saying he should have bowled Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami after the lunch break.
“India's cricket after lunch has just baffled me. One would've thought that you would make one last-ditch effort, bring Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami on to bowl. Because after an interval, batsmen have to reset. India's dream of winning a series for the first time in South Africa has turned into a nightmare,” Gavaskar said on-air after Temba Bavuma hit the winning runs for the hosts in the Cape Town Test.
“What can one say? Both of these victories are comprehensive for South Africa, winning by seven wickets again. India hasn't even got close. India had a big victory in first Test and I really thought that is going to be a template for the next two Tests as well. It didn't happen.”
Batting was the most disappointing area for the team. Batting unit, especially the middle order failed to score runs in the second innings of the last two Tests when it was very important to do so. Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara scored a half century each in the series but they were dismissed for low scores except for that knock. Ravichandran Ashwin and Shardul Thakur were not able to score runs in the lower order. Gavaskar said that India's performance with the bat was disappointing and they had a chance to win the series by 3-0 against a depleted South African side.
“That is something which is terrific for South Africa. But hard to understand as far as India are concerned. The way they dominated that first Test, I really thought they would be able to win the series. I was thinking in terms of 3-0 series win, because of the fragility of South African batting, the fact that Nortje wasn't playing.. that was a huge plus once again for India,” he concluded.
"You have two inexperienced bowlers, they had Olivier who was making a comeback. Rabada was the only threat really and I thought the Indian batting would come good. Yes, the pitch had been testing but I thought the Indian batting wouldn't have too many worries.”
“The application shown by South Africans in Johannesburg and here is praise-worthy. That tells the character of the team.”