India v/s SA: Analyzing India's failure in 1st Test
09 Jan 2018
After a close fight in the first Test at Cape Town, India succumbed to a 72 run loss as South African bowlers tore apart the Indian batting line.
18 wickets fell on day 4 of the Test, with South Africa having the last laugh, despite losing Dale Steyn to injury.
Here are a few things that went wrong for India at Cape Town.
Dropping India's best overseas batsman
Bold selection decision
India's team selection was under question since day one when the country's best overseas batsman Ajinkya Rahane was excluded from the team sheet.
The Mumbai man might have had a poor series against Sri Lanka, scoring just 17 runs in 5 innings, but he boasts an average of 53.44 away from home.
Opting for Rahane instead of Rohit could have stabled the middle order.
Debutant Jasprit Bumrah over Ishant Sharma?
Youth over experience
The inclusion of Jasprit Bumrah over the experience of Ishant Sharma was also questionable.
Bumrah could not exploit the conditions at offer and bagged just 4 wickets on a pitch where seamers were running a riot.
Questions were also raised when KL Rahul was ignored for Shikhar Dhawan who tends to struggle overseas, especially with the moving ball.
Inability to pile pressure on South Africa
Inability to capitalize on the key moments also cost Kohli and company.
Bhuvi gave India a flying start by rattling the South African top order, leaving them struggling at 12/3.
While Bhuvi piled the pressure on one end, Shami and Bhumrah gave away runs with loose deliveries, thus letting Faf du Plessis and AB de Villiers set up the counter attack.
South Africa's tail-end was too much of a challenge
Failure to wrap up the tail end is one the main reasons for India's 72 run loss in the 1st Test.
In the first innings, South Africa were 202/6 after de Kock's dismissal.
Some toothless bowling and dropping catches ensured South Africa posted another 84 for their last 4 wickets. India toiled for 11 overs to claim the last 2 wickets.
Promoting Ashwin over Hardik Pandya
Promoting Ashwin ahead of Hardik Pandya also seems to be a questionable decision.
India had lost their top order and the need of the hour was to stabilize the innings.
But with Ashwin giving up his wicket as well, it added more pressure on Pandya who played a brilliant knock of 93 to spare India some blushes.
India's top order needs to put up a fight
India's batting struggled to cope with the South African conditions.
Poor shot selections and inability to read movement of the ball were the major reasons for India's batting collapse.
After having cancelled the practice game, India had to make adjustments during the game, but they failed to adapt.
Top order needs to stand up if India has to put up a fight.
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