Team India failed to capitalize on their thumping victory in the first Test and broke their winning streak at the Wanderers on Thursday after they were handed over a 7-wicket defeat by South Africa. Team India was considered favourites before the 2nd Test match and were being applauded by the cricket fraternity for starting the series on a promising note but hosts ensured to shock the visitors.
The team led by KL Rahul performed in bits and pieces but collectively failed to cross the winning mark. However, South Africa’s captain Dean Elgar led from the front and contributions from Aiden Markram and Rassie van der Dussen helped the team to achieve the target in 67.4 overs. Notably, The Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg was India’s unbeaten fortress since India started touring the rainbow nation. SportsTiger is making an attempt to highlight five major factors which led to India’s defeat.
1) Inconsistent batting
KL Rahul’s 50 of 133 balls and Ashwin’s 46 off 50 balls were the only respectful runs scored by an Indian batsman in the first innings. None of the batsmen could even cross the 30-run mark causing unexpected collapse. A similar situation arrived in the second innings where only Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane were able to score half-centuries followed by Vihari’s gritty knock of 40 which guided the team to a respective total but not good enough.
2) Batting collapse in the first innings
As highlighted by Indian head coach and stand-in skipper KL Rahul in the post-match conference, the team fell short of 60-70 runs in the first innings of the game. “We could have probably got 60-70 more runs in that first innings. Probably that could have made a significant difference to this game and we would like to bat a bit better and need to keep improving,” said Dravid in his virtual post-match conference. The same was highlighted by the skipper KL Rahul, who also mentioned the fact that batsmen need to maintain some sort of consistency when playing in such a crucial series.
3) Mohammed Siraj’s hamstring Injury
Mohammad Siraj’s hamstring injury during the first innings of this Test match was one of the major concerns for the team. And by the time the swanky pace bowler arrived on the field he was far from his best.
4) Dean Elgar’s grit
Captains are meant to lead from the front and for hosts that turned out to be the decisive factor for the team. Although Team India failed to put on an impressive total on board, it was not expected to be a cakewalk for hosts. However, Elgar in the second innings stood firm and finished the game four runs before his individual century. He was also appreciated by Indian head coach Rahul Dravid for showing “resilience and determination.”
5) Absence of Virat Kohli
Unlike South Africa, India missed their aggressive captain who possesses the capability to boost the team with utmost aggression and belief in team. Kohli is widely known for his do-or-die attitude and because of that only he has led the team to some of the most historic victories. He is the kind of captain who never goes for draws but wins and only wins. That kind of nature was a major miss, and Rahul was seen as more of a casual and chilled out captain which didn’t work well for the team.