Zee Media Bureau/Chaitan Papnai
New Delhi: Before taking a flight to the rainbow nation, everything was colourful for the Indian team. They were on a winning spree, as they had won six ODI tournaments this year, preceding the SA tour. But the Indian team is suddenly looking off-colour as they suffered two back-to-back ODI losses in South Africa.
The major reason behind the success of Team India in the recent past had been their robust batting line-up, especially the top order consisting – Virat Kohli, Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma. But few armchair critics were still waiting for the tour of South Africa, before putting a stamp on them as successors of Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid. And the first two ODIs against South Africa at their home soil proved these critics right – at least for now.
In fact, few cricket pundits are of the view that Indian team is missing the experience of out of favour players like Gautam Gambhir, Virender Sehwag and Zaheer Khan.
In the first ODI at Johannesburg if pace, swing and bounce had forced Indian batsmen to surrender in front of Steyn & Co, then in the second, it was their poor shot selection that gave India another humiliating defeat by 134 runs.
After the second ODI, Indian skipper MS Dhoni also stated, “Indian batsmen played too many shots. I think the shot selection was not right.”
After losing two consecutive matches, India have already lost the three-match series, but if they really want to start of their Test campaign against the home side with some confidence, the batsmen have to score runs, otherwise the Test series would also be lopsided.