The test series underway in South Africa opened up Pandora’s Box as Team India is facing defeat after defeat and now facing a whitewash and so a post-mortem is on the cards to find out where we went wrong and how the cricketing world consider our crackdown at Cape Town and the surrender at the SuperSport Stadium.
Both Bedi and Ajit Wadekar, the star performers in the 1971 Golden Year considered that the way of picking up the team for the second test spell doom. The loss in the second test deprived Team India to make the series 1-1 and the way find our position on the wrong foot for the final test at Johannesburg stating tomorrow. The ultimate result in the first two games clearly reveals the timid approach of Indian team and the way team lost without semblance of fight came in open. Batting order was in shambles, choice of bowlers was questionable and the captaincy lacked maturity. Chip chop policy of the captain came for criticism. In the end, we could not digest defeat and lost the series in as matches. We paid price for complacency and our overconfidence.
The number on position in Test match cricket is solely on playing more matches against a weak Sri Lankan side and not because of any superlative show. How long we remain a frog in the well and not worry about ranking all the time and play the game on merit at home and abroad.
Opinion differs and the Indian fans shower praise for nothing show in South Africa and worried about only records, ICC ratings and averages. From SA side no one scored a century but did make a significant contribution with the bat and that ultimately tilted the scale on the number two side to win the series. Former captain Dhoni felt that picking of 20 wickets by Indian bowlers as a great achievement forgetting about the miserable losses. As an understudy of Virat Kohli, Dhoni has no choice but to speak in favour of skipper. Dhoni is in the reckoning for the 2019 World Cup and so he will have a soft corner for the skipper. Harbhajan Singh, an opportunist tried to defuse tension by saying the captain need support at this juncture and the carping critics should leave him all alone as of now.
After heavy defeats, we blame the schedule muddle, losing the toss and what not. But in reality, we were beaten by a better side. It was indeed a toothless show. Like Wadekar and Bedi, Manoj Prabhakar, India’s best bowler of swing bowling, blamed the dropping of Bhuvneshwar Kumar for the second test after a good show in the first test. And it was a blunder pointed out by most of the cricket lovers. We should have a special and particular way of selection, when we were one down and trying to make a comeback. One day form should not come in the way of team selection of test match. Test match cricket is a different cup of tea altogether.
Former South African pace bowler Fenie de Villiers made it open that Indian skipper priority of bowlers backfired in the end. He picked Shami for special praise alongside Bhuvneshwar Kumar. It is notable that Ashwin was kept in suspense before the start of the tour and in recent times not considered for contention of one day and T-20 side by Virat Kohli. But he came out trumps and bowled maximum number of overs and got the maximum number of wickets as well in the series.
Fielding came for sharp criticism and that was our weakness all these year despite holding the number one spot. Opinion may differ but the choice of shot selection put paid our hopes against Proteas. It is time to play for a win.
(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)