The former Indian captain Kris Srikkanth considers that the Indian cricket team’s united batting failure in both innings of the second test in Centurion, which helped South Africa win the series with a match to go, could have been evaded with better performance. Srikkanth described India’s mild batting at Centurion in his column for TOI.
“To say the defeat in the second Test was an embarrassment is an understatement. The manner in which the batsmen surrendered in the second innings proved beyond doubt they lacked the stomach for a battle,” said Srikkanth. The 58-year-old former cricketer wrote that “I am not going to get into the manner in which the Indian batsmen lost their wickets, all I can say is the South African bowling was not as menacing as it was made out to be and it was lack of application that cost the game. A target of 287 was not easy at the same time it was not impossible”.
The first century from India’s side came from Kohli, who made 153 in their first innings of 307. In the same innings, the next highest score following Kohli was made by opener Murali Vijay’s 46 followed by 38 from R Ashwin. The other team players disappointed as many players weren’t even able to touch the 20 runs mark. “My heart goes out to Virat Kohli the batsman. The manner in which he handled the bowling in the first innings made us believe he was playing on a different wicket against a different attack. He deserved support from his top order colleagues. Barring M Vijay and later R Ashwin, there was little else for Kohli to fall back on,” Srikkanth wrote.
“To score half the team’s score and do that effortlessly shows the class of Kohli. It was a pity that his early fall in the second innings shut the match as a contest. I did expect the batsmen to come out with a better show during the chase. At the end of the day this team looks like a team of good bowlers and one great batsman,” the 58-year-old added. However, the former captain added that he was happy to witness India’s pace bowlers and Ashwin do well across both Tests in South Africa. “The Indian bowlers, on the other hand, have done a terrific job. Barring the first innings at Cape Town where they leaked 40 runs more that they should have. They did makeup in the second innings by bowling the hosts cheaply. Honestly, the team management could not have expected anything better from their bowlers,” the 52-year-old wrote.
The third and final test will start from January 24 at the Wanderers in Johannesburg.