India lost the ODI series 0-3 against South Africa© AFP
The Indian cricket team’s tour of South Africa ended in an embarrassing 0-3 whitewash at the hands of the home team in the one-day internationals. The defeat comes at the back of a demoralising 1-2 loss in the Test series. India got off to a great start to the series with a a victory in the first Test at Centurion, but things went pear shaped after that. The South African team was considered one of the weakest in its history since returning to the international cricket in the 1990s as it lacked big names. But the players put their entire might in the remaining two Test matches and chased down 200-run plus targets in the fourth innings at Johannesburg and Cape Town to upset a higher ranked Team India, who were looking to win their maiden Test series in the Rainbow nation.
The one-dayers were played on pitches that were spin friendly but India failed to make the most of the conditions. Stand-in captain KL Rahul’s leadership lacked spunk and imagination and India’s ODI template backfired as there was no zing in either batting or bowling.
The team was in good positions while bowling and during the chase in the first and third ODIs, but lost out at crucial moments. In the second ODI, the bowlers couldn’t defend a 280-plus total.
After a narrow loss in the third match, former India medium pacer and 1983-World Cup winner Madan Lal blamed the “casual approach” of the team and came down heavily on the shot selection of thebatters during the ODIs, which led to their downfall.
“They got out while attempting glory shots, otherwise this match could have easily been won. In international matches, batters must take more responsibility. If you go in with a casual approach, you are going to keep losing matches and series like this. Apart from the first Test, we haven’t played good cricket. We have gifted games, that we should have won, to South Africa,” Madan Lal said during a conversation on Sports Tak.
“They (the players) are just very casual and are playing casual shots. Rishabh Pant played a casual shot and he didn’t keep the wicket well either, dropping two caught behind chances. We didn’t see a century partnership. The players didn’t learn from their mistakes,” he added.
The ODI series was India’s first outing after Virat Kohli was removed as captain. He also stepped down from Test captaincy after India’s loss in the series.
Topics mentioned in this article