INDIA vs SOUTH AFRICA – TWO TEST SERIES, an EPILOGUE
By Sunil Sarpal
It was a very short series to judge who the real winner is. Generally when Team India visits Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and England, they take some time to acclimatize and take a stock of the pitch behaviour, weather conditions etc. etc. And in the process the first encounter is won by the host country, taking early advantage in the series.
Generally, in India for fast bowlers the rise of the ball is knee high, whereas, in Australia it is waist high. It therefore becomes a different ball game in India viz-a-viz Australia. In England and New Zealand, the swing imparted by fast bowlers is alarming in proportion. Life for a batsman becomes very difficult in such conditions. That is the reason, life for Indian batters becomes very difficult early on.
Every other batter is not Sachin Tendulkar who used to get adjusted with any condition quickly, be it swing, pace, spin, height imparted by the bowlers.
In South Africa, India had to face the ignominous defeat in the first test in trying conditions. Only KL Rahul could post a century from Indian side.
In the second test, India got the early advantage when SA captain after winning the toss elected to bat first. In a situation when Indian batters were low in confidence after facing first test defeat, they were somewhat relieved off SA fast bowling attack.
Indian pace attack, in particular, Mohd. Siraj bowled magnificently and took 6 SA wickets and India resultantly cleaned up SA with a paltry score of 55 runs on the board. The die had been cast by Mohd. Siraj in the second test and the pendulum shifted in favour of India. India took a lead of 100 odd runs in the first innings.
Bumrah did a Siraj in the second innings when he too scalped six SA wickets and India tasted SA defeat on their own soil.
Three Indian pacers from time to time have created havoc in the opposition camp, namely Bumrah, Siraj and Shami.
India is fortunate to have the services of veterans; Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli in it’s ranks. The other batters viz Gill, Iyer and Rahul take full advantage of their benign presence.
In a team where there is no room for the recuperating Rishab Pant, his replacement, KL Rahul, is doing a yoeman’s job for the team with both bat and gloves behind the stumps.
Team India at the moment is hard to challenge and put aside or be dislodged in most conditions.