The Indian cricket team suffered an embarrassing innings and 32-run loss to South Africa in the first Test match in Centurion. The Proteas put an all-round performance to outwit India within three days and took a 1-0 unassailable lead in the two-match series. While all the batters, barring Virat Kohli, flopped in India’s second innings, the bowlers too failed to impress in their only chance as South Africa were not needed to bat for a second time in the game. In their only innings, the hosts scored 408 despite Jasprit Bumrah’s four-wicket haul.

After India’s loss to South Africa, former Pakistan batter Salman Butt said that India should have given a chance to Arshdeep Singh instead of going with Shardul Thakur and Prasidh Krishna.

Mohammed Siraj was decent with the ball in the game as he picked two wickets while Ashwin scalped only one wicket but remained economical (2.20).

Shardul Thakur and Prasidh, however, failed to impress as they claimed one wicket each and conceded runs at an economy of 5.30 and 4.70, respectively.

“Instead of playing Prasidh Krishna or Shardul Thakur, it would have been better if India picked Arshdeep Singh in the squad. He bowls over 135 kph and also swings the ball both ways. He might have been effective in the Test. Prasidh Krishna and Shardul Thakur gave a lot of easy boundary balls. It doesn’t seem that the two can challenge batters,” said Butt on his YouTube channel.

A day after their embarrassing defeat to hosts South Africa in the first Test, India called up right-arm fast bowler Avesh Khan on Friday in a bid to bolster their pace attack for the second and final Test at Cape Town.

The right-arm fast bowler was named as a replacement for Mohammed Shami, who was ruled out of the two Tests as he did not get the necessary clearance from the BCCI medical team.

The 27-year-old Avesh, who has so far claimed 149 wickets in 38 first-class games at 22.65, was a part of India’s victorious campaign in the three-match ODI series against South Africa before the Tests in which he took six wickets.

Avesh is currently busy representing the India A side in their four-day tour match against South Africa A at Benoni, where he returned 23.3-5-54-5 to help bowl out the hosts for 263 in the first innings.

India captain Rohit Sharma lamented the poor support given by other bowlers to pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah after the visitors suffered one of their worst defeats in South Africa.

(With PTI Inputs)

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