Published: Sun, January 21, 2018
Sport | By Wendy Sparks

India relax, South Africa prepare for 3-0

India relax, South Africa prepare for 3-0

It's astonishing that India journeyed to South Africa for such an important campaign with virtually no preparation. "I just feel like getting out there and playing, and that's what a good break does to you". "But we have our plans in place". Dropping to an implausible 2-0 deficit, even an overwhelming Indian victory in the third and final match would serve no goal except to soothe Kohli and company's wounded pride.

The Indian team and the team management had conveyed to the BCCI that it needed to tweak the series against Sri Lanka - by either cancelling the three T20 matches or by replacing the Test series with six ODIs at best - so that the team could be free at least two weeks earlier than what turned out to be the case. Instead it opted for centre-wicket practise. In the same innings, the next highest score following Kohli was made by opener Murali Vijay's 46 followed by 38 from R Ashwin.

India's Test series loss to South Africa has been the talk of the week for many with it being Virat Kohli's first loss as captain and India's first series loss in three years. They stood out not just for their sheer excellence but for the situation they came in-with the Indian innings in ruins.

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"A lot greener (pitch) than what you have seen". The ball can climb from just short of a good length as well. The rest of his batting mates may be stylish in appearance and batting but have lacked the fire to put up any semblance of a fight, despite the bowlers putting the team in a position twice to edge past South Africa. Rahul Dravid and his men had made history. The other team players disappointed as many players weren't even able to touch the 20 runs mark. He will come first in the auction. Of course, money is important but not at the cost of hurting India's chances away from home.

Du Plessis also felt his side had won the battle of the seam bowlers. For those who had seen India tour New Zealand back in the early 2000s under Sourav Ganguly, this is nearly reminiscent of those wickets where you could literally play anywhere on the ground.

"I expected it to be a given that after the Test match at Newlands, India would be back the next day, at that pitch having a net session". The BCCI looked the other way.

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Skipper Virat Kohli did protest over cramming the tours without any rationale and packing all formats in one huge package without any consideration for the players who play in all three formats. If you can't take 20 wickets, you can never win a Test.

Now that the series was lost the reasons for the disastrous outing is reduced to nitpicking, comparing the comprehensive nature of India's 3-0 victory back home and the phases of intensity they showed before going down in this series.

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