In the 3 Test match series with South Africa, India already loses first two test matches. Isn’t it shocking to see a world-class team like India losing these matches with such an ease? It is the same team that looks strongest the most on papers. India, in last some years, performing extraordinarily in every home series and was winning peacefully. But playing in South Africa is definitely not a bed of full roses for the team India. They not only have to learn from these easy defeats in these test matches but also work on many other things. We will talk about the most important places where team India really needs to work on.
World’s strongest batting line, but not used appropriately
There’s no question on the world-class batting line of team India. Actually, it’s the strongest part of our team. But it sounds unimaginable when we witness team India losing because of poor performances of Indian batsmen. Players like Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Ravi Pujara and many more, again and again, failed to perform in the test matches against South Africa. The inconsistency in the performances of Indian players needs to be focused and analyzed on.
Indian Captain Virat Kohli’s inexperienced decisions
There is no doubt in the ability of Virat Kohli as a batsman. He’s the world’s best batsman and we believe in it. But he still needs to work on his captaincy skills. An ace Test match player like Ajinkya Rahane was being ignored by Kohli in the first two test matches and this decision of the Indian captain needs to be evaluated. Rahane is unarguably one of the finest test match player and his records convey the same. Even dropping India’s best current lot bowler Bhuvneshwar Kumar in the second Test match was unexpected and shocking for all. The Indian captain has to look again at his decisions.
And the hunt for good Wicketkeeper/Batsman still goes on
The biggest setback team India is suffering from is a good wicketkeeper/batsman. There was a time when Indian team had Dhoni, who was not just a good wicketkeeper but also a great batsman and captain. Team India has to compromise on both now – a great wicketkeeper and a great captain. Parthiv Patel’s performance as a wicketkeeper in second test match showed how blessed team India was when MS Dhoni was the wicketkeeper. There’s no one who seems to even fit 20% of the place in the team as a wicketkeeper like MS Dhoni. The search for a good wicketkeeper still continues.
On Tuesday, Indian cricket captain Virat Kohli was fined 25 percent of his match fee and got one demerit point for expressing disagreement on Day 3 of the second Test against South Africa in Centurion. The Indian skipper breached Article 2.1.1 of the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) Code of Conduct for Players and Player Support Personnel, which describes to “conduct that is contrary to the spirit of the game”.
The ICC said in a statement, “The incident took place in the 25th over of South Africa’s second innings when Kohli continued to complain to umpire Micheal Gough about the ball being affected by a damp outfield following a rain delay, before throwing the ball into the ground in an aggressive manner.” “After the day’s play, Kohli pleaded guilty to the offense and accepted the sanction proposed by Chris Broad of the Elite Panel of ICC Match Referees and, as such, there was no need for a formal hearing,” the statement added. The charge was pointed by on-field umpires Michael Gough and Paul Reiffel, third umpire Richard Kettleborough and fourth umpire Allahudien Palekar.
The level 1 violations carry a minimum penalty of an official reprimand, a maximum penalty of 50 percent of a player’s match fee, and one or two demerit points. The Indian captain Kohli has been very honest about his feelings, aggressively celebrating every fall of the wicket and even his own gutsy century. The South Africa pacer Morne Morkel, however, made it less important by saying that they are not getting too worked up seeing Kohli’s reactions that nearly border on being inflammatory at times. “Virat is very competitive. They are over here to compete and they’ve got a team that could potentially beat South Africa for the first time here. That’s his nature. It gets him strong and keeps him going. We’re well aware of that don’t take any notice of it,” Morkel said following the end of day’s play on Monday.
The former Indian captain and skipper Sourav Ganguly advised India captain Virat Kohli to keep on his faith in the current batting line-up and refrain toying with team combination. After India’s defeat in the first Test in Cape Town, the team management’s decision to stick with Rohit Sharma while not selecting Ajinkya Rahane has come under huge criticism as Rahane has an extraordinary overseas record. Rohit Sharma, on the other hand, just made 21 runs across the two innings in Cape Town Test as India lost to a 72-run defeat on the fourth day of the test.
The openers came under questions due to poor performances, especially Shikhar Dhawan who was out in both innings in the same manner, and there are inside stories going that he might get replaced by KL Rahul in the second Test. Ganguly suggested in his column for TOI that Indian team should not make any changes for the second Test which begins from Saturday in Centurion. “Virat Kohli should not worry about such things [team combination]. Although KL Rahul and Ajinkya Rahane have a good history of scoring runs away from the sub-continent and have better records as batsmen, India can’t just chop-and-change in every game. They have shown faith in the current batting and that should continue to the next Test as well. They still have two more Tests to play and I feel all the matches will produce results,” Ganguly said.
The former captain also appreciated the five-bowler strategy, adding that the reason India came close to securing a win in Newlands was that of their ability to take 20 wickets which will carry on to do the same in the upcoming matches. The former captain observed that “There has been a lot of talk about the combination. India did the right thing by going in with five bowlers. As much as scoring runs is important in a bid to win Test matches, getting wickets is also key. The reason why we were thinking of an Indian win at some point is because the bowlers got 20 wickets and that will continue to be important criteria over the next two Tests”.
Ganguly also had some great words for Hardik Pandya as he was impressed with the 24-year-old’s performance. He also added that India’s batting performance as a unit needs to be improved. “Hardik Pandya came good with the bat and India should persist with him. The problem lies with the overall batting performance, and this has to be fixed soon. There will be lot of talk about players who were not in the playing eleven. That’s always the case when you lose,” Ganguly said. The former Indian skipper also praised the tough contest in the first Test produced saying it was an equal battle between the bat and ball.
“The first match between South Africa and India was a great exhibition of Test cricket where the ball dominated the bat. The great part about the surface was that even on the fourth day the bowlers were in the game. I have played on the Newland pitch and at some stage of the game the conditions always got better for batting. This, however, was not the case in the first Test,” he added.
The T20 series against Sri Lanka shows the ease for India as the hosts are well-prepared because of IPL. This series is going to work as an opportunity for the young Indian bench players to prove their capability to perform and enlighten a hope to get selected for the future young Indian team. We will talk about main aspects of the T20 series, which is going to play an important for the Indian team.
Big chance for the IPL players
This T20 series against Sri Lanka is going to be a big opportunity for all the young IPL-era players to perform for the Indian team and make their chances to be part of Indian team like senior players. The Sri Lanka skipper Thisara Perera said that “We have good death bowlers, power hitters, and players who can do the basics right. It is about flushing out all negatives and taking the positives from the first ODI”. “Coming into the India set-up, they are not as perturbed as players before them because they have played a lot of IPL games,” Karthik added.
The 3-match T20 series is going to be a great chance for the young players to make an impact and show their caliber, such as Jaydev Unadkat. In the last five T20Is against Sri Lanka, India has won four of it. “This time has reached a stage where no matter whom we are playing; we are a very strong side,” said Karthik.
Karthik encourages fast bowler Basil Thampi
On Tuesday, Indian skipper Dinesh Karthik said some good words for Basil Thampi, saying that the young Kerala pacer has the “ammunition” to achieve success in T20I. The West Indian all-rounder Dwayne Bravo was highly impressed with his bowling in the IPL for Gujarat Lions. “He’s a very, very good talent. He’s sharp, he bowls quick and is somebody who can execute yorkers very consistently, and that’s probably one of his biggest strengths. He has a good slower ball as well. He has all the ammunition required to play the T20 format and I’m sure he will do really well,” said Karthik.
Thampi bowled Yorkers candidly and Bravo was quick to notice his talent. “I would say he will get the opportunity to play for Team India in a year or so. He has the talent, obviously, but he also has a lot of heart, pace, and the skill. He’s always willing to learn,” Bravo had said. The 24-year-old cricketer was seen bowling to Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Rohit Sharma during India’s training session for the three-T20I series. He has been trained under Glenn McGrath and M Senthilnathan at the MRF Pace Foundation.
Rohit Sharma’s spectacular innings of 208 unbeaten against Sri Lanka created world record as it’s his third double century in ODIs. He’s the ‘Double Century Man’. His extraordinary 208 not out helped India reach 392/4 against Sri Lanka. By witnessing Sharma’s 208 run innings in a match against Sri Lanka, all we can say is that the future of Indian cricket is in right hands. The 30-year-old cricketer has touched the double century mark twice in the past, 209 (2013) against Australia and 264 (2014) against Sri Lanka.
Following Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma is precisely the finest cricketer in the Indian team. Yes, Sharma is yet to achieve momentum to play good cricket persistently and make some good runs but it doesn’t take the fact away that he’s one player in the team without whom Indian team may look quite a weak side. Rohit’s outstanding champion innings of 208 in just 153 balls is going to be a classical inning, which would be remembered for many comings years. Let’s analysis the underrated Sharma’s unbeaten 208 innings in a brief way. The 30-year-old cricketer made first 100 runs in 115 balls, and it took just 36 balls for Sharma to make another 100 runs. All it defines is how dangerous player Rohit Sharma is. The cricketer just needs to settle himself down on the crease for some time and the rest is as always – History.
Rohit Sharma’s third double century in ODIs is not just another thing. We all know that it is not easy to touch the mark of 200 runs in ODIs but the 30-year-old cricketer has done it not for once or twice but for thrice. This record enlightens the abilities of Rohit Sharma as a cricketer. We believe that there’s no more cricketer dangerous than Rohit Sharma if he settles down on the cricket ground for once. The future years are going to play a crucial role for the cricketer as that are going to play a major role in making Sharma’s career as legendary and as big as ex-legendary cricketers like Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, Rahul Dravid, VVS Laxman and more.
This article is a very small tribute by a true follower of gentleman’s game to ‘The Double Century Man’ Rohit Sharma.
We’ve been witnessing so many articles and TV debates on various platforms criticizing the Indian team for its bad performance against Sri Lanka in first ODI match at Dharamshala. Yes, we know that they performed disaster in the first match in a Virat-less Indian team but it doesn’t mean that we start degrading our cricketers just because of the poor performance in one match. Such kind of performance wasn’t expected from an ace batting line team like India but it was just not our day.
Media needs to calm down a bit and supporters should support Indian team at its bad as well
Probably every media platform is criticizing Indian cricket team for its poor performance in the 1st ODI against Sri Lanka but is its worth to criticize team just after watching the performance in one match. The Indian media should understand the fact that we can’t expect Indian team to perform exceptionally well in every single match and win that too. It never happened. Criticizing Indian cricket team so badly just because they performed poorly in one match is not going to take the fact that Indian team is playing amazingly good from last some years. The ongoing debates on the performance of Indian cricket team, doing a postmortem on their prime time shows and various sites, are only describing us the immature behavior of Indian media.
Coming to the true Indian cricket lovers, you are the real reason why cricket is loved and celebrated like religion in our country and we should love our religion at its weak point as well. We just request all the cricket lovers to not lose hope and condemn the team and players as it has happened many times in the past as well when Indian cricket team plays bad cricket once in a while. That performance was definitely not expected from such a world-class team but we also can’t expect Indian team performing best and winning every match. All our team need is support from its supporters as that will not only benefit its morale but also encourage them to perform better in the upcoming matches.
Time to learn: The Rohit Sharma team and his young team
The young experimented team of Rohit Sharma without its most consistent player Virat Kohli got a reality check in Dharamshala through its performance. The younger players like Manish Pandey, Kedar Jadhav, and Shreyas Iyer will get the chance to perform and show their skills in the ongoing series as the captain Rohit Sharma mentioned earlier. From the imbalance selection of the team to poor performance of Indian batting line, the Indian team has many reasons in their hands now to recognize why they miserably failed at Dharamshala match. But it’s the time to look forward and learn from these mistakes for the Indian team. Such experiences will help only the Indian team in playing various conditions. The Sri Lanka series can be seen as preparation for the Indian team to brace themselves for the South Africa tour.
Is there anyone who is not a fan of Virat Kohli? I don’t think so. We all love Indian skipper Kohli like anything. There are umpteen reasons why Indians love Kohli so much. We are not going to talk about the records of the Indian cricket team captain here but we will talk about the new discussion in which we believe in. The 29-year-old cricketer is performing so amazingly good and improving himself so rapidly that we won’t mind calling him the “Legend”.
Wholly a complete cricketer Virat Kohli is that he has become an inspiration for all the future cricketers. With the speed this 29-year-old cricketer is going, we can sense that he’s the only cricketer in Indian team who has the chances to break the records of master blaster Sachin Tendulkar. We won’t compare Kohli with any other legendary cricketer because the Indian captain is a legend himself. Praising Kohli is not the motive of this article but to accept the fact, not so common yet, Kohli is already a legend. We are not pressurizing any kind of extra burden on the cricketer but valuing his achievement at so early stage of his life. In history, we haven’t witnessed too many cricketers who performed so well from this early age of their careers but Kohli definitely comes on the list of those rare cricketers including Sachin Tendulkar.
As we said earlier in this article that the motive is not to talk about the achievements of the Indian skipper Virat Kohli but to give him recognition in every such way we can because our generation has one cricketer about whom we are going to talk with upcoming generation in some years. From his sincerity for his game to his abilities to cope up with any situation, Kohli defined at every given moment that he’s not just a cricketer but a legend. Being a true cricket fan, I feel our Indian cricket is in purely safe hands because there is one guy named as “KOHLI” in it. He is the undisputed legend of our cricket. The whole world follows him so do we! We are proud to call ourselves “The Virat Kohli Fans”.
This article is a very small effort by a true Virat Kohli fan to give him tribute for making India proud and making cricket famous than ever before. You are truly a legend.