Atul Wassan believes that Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara have not done enough with the bat in the South Africa series and might not get chances in the future. Wassan also added that the batsmen had lost the series this time as they didn’t give bowlers enough runs to defend 20 wickets.
India lost a three match Test series to South Africa by 2-1 on Friday. The visitors had won the first Test but the hosts bounced back to secure a series win with seven wicket victory in Cape Town. India had a world-class bowling attack but their batting disappointed them the most. Middle order was not scoring runs and the form of two senior batsmen in the team, Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara is still an issue of concern.
Rahane scored 136 runs with an average of 22.67 in the series while Pujara amassed 124 runs with an average of 20.67. Former India cricketer Atul Wassan belivest that the ship has sailed for both these batsmen and they might not get more chances in the future
"I think the ship has sailed for Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara because they are not doing enough. An odd 40 and an odd 50 will not work for them, it is not expected. Our batsmen have lost us the series this time. They have not given bowlers enough runs to defend 20 wickets," Wassan said to ANI.
"We saw the wickets becoming easier as the game progressed and we saw these guys score runs. So it was identical to what happened in the last two Test matches. So the blame lies with Pujara and Rahane. The Indian team has invested a lot on them and we wanted them to feel counted and they did not make it count.”
Going into the series, South Africa were looking a slightly weak side with their batting up against a quality Indian bowling attack. Also, they were missing the services of Anrich Nortje for the series. Keegan Petersen, Dean Elgar and Temba Bavuma contributed for them with the bat while Kagiso Rabada and Marco Jansen led the wicket taking column for them. Wassan stated that he is disappointed with India losing the series but also pointed out that it is a good sign of the victory as they were lagging behind in quality in the last few months.
"Definitely this team is not what we have seen before. I am disappointed not shocked as these things happen in cricket but I was not expecting this kind of a fight back. It is a good sign for South African cricket because somewhat they were falling of the map. There were England, Australia and India dominating. A good South African team will work very well for Indian cricket. Having not won the series and lost the series is disheartening but lessons to be learnt," he concluded.
"I think Rahul Dravid has been where we were in the series after leading 1-0. They have done that before also but yes this is the weakest side but in hindsight you can see the way their batsmen played especially Petersen and Bavuma and Van der Dussen. So, they have played very well. It shows that they have got the potential and beating a side like India will help them do better overseas also.”