India’s hunt for a maiden series win in South Africa continued as Kohli and Co. failed to win the Cape Town Test. South Africa, despite being an inexperienced side, showed immense courage to turn it around after being 0-1 down. The Proteas found their hero in young Keegan Petersen who won a lot of praise for his gutsy knocks in the third Test. Meanwhile, India, who started as favorites, lost the plot completely and gave away their best chance to win a Test series in the Rainbow Nation.
After India’s loss in Cape Town, former India cricketer Sunil Gavaskar has raised questions on Kohli and Co.’s approach on the fourth day. The legendary opener feels that India gave up midway and never played for a win. Gavaskar was also surprised at the use of Jasprit Bumrah and Shardul Thakur.
“It was a mystery to me why Shardul Thakur and Jasprit Bumrah did not bowl after lunch. It was almost as if India had decided that they are not going to win this,” Gavaskar was quoted as saying on Star Sports. He further questioned the field placements made by Kohli while R Ashwin was bowling.
“The field placements there were for Ashwin was not right… There were singles available easily. Five fielders were in the deep. Let the batters take a chance. That is your only opportunity to get them out,” he stated.
South Africa showed character: Gavaskar
While commenting on South Africa’s performance, the former opener did not shy away from praising Dean Elgar and Co. He felt South Africa showed character and application on tough pitches while batting which made a difference for them. “The pitches weren’t the best for batting but the application shown by the South Africans in Johannesburg, the application shown by them in this Test as well has been praiseworthy. That showed the character of the team,” Gavaskar added.
After being 0-1 down in Centurion, the Proteas fought hard and won the second Test in Johannesburg on the back of a fabulous performance from their captain. But with Kohli back in playing XI for the final Test, it was difficult for them to win the series. However, Dean Elgar and Co. did not allow India to take a stride forward and sealed the series comprehensively in Cape Town.