Former India all-rounder Irfan Pathan has highlighted the lack of planning while bowling to the South African batters in the first Test in Centurion last week. The Proteas defeated India by an innings and 32 runs in the first Test at the SuperSport Park, taking a 1-0 lead in the two-match series. Barring Jasprit Bumrah, who bagged four wickets in South Africa’s first innings, the Indian pacers struggled against the Proteas, with Dean Elgar smashing 185.
While analysing the match, Irfan said that India did not understand when to attack and when to defend against the South African batters.
“India did not have any sharpness in their bowling. The Indian bowling unit did not get the balance of attack vs defence right. When Elgar got set, even then India continued their attacking bowling as if they would get him out with one delivery,” Irfan said on Star Sports.
Irfan also suggested that the Indian bowlers did not bowl well against Elgar, who has had struggles against short ball early on his innings. He pointed out that the Indian batter started bowling short balls to him when Elgar was well set.
“Elgar is known to have problems with the short ball. You bowled short balls to him when he was batting at 60-70. In the next match, please bowl short balls to him early. He got out to short balls in 4 times in Australia and I talked about that too in the commentary. You have to bowl very well in the second match to level the series,” he added.
After the defeat, India captain Rohit Sharma admitted that Bumrah lacked support from other end as there was no reason to concede 400 plus runs on a bowling friendly track where South African speedsters showed how to go about the job.
“This was not a 400-run wicket and we gave too many runs. We sprayed the ball all around, but it happens. One can’t depend on one particular bowler (Bumrah), the other three pacers also needed to perform their roles, we could learn from how South Africa bowled,” Rohit said after the match.
He also said that although there wasn’t lack of effort but Bumrah couldn’t alone keep the pressure on Proteas batters.
“Bumrah bowled well and we all know his quality. All he wanted was a bit of support which he didn’t get. That happens. All three tried hard, bending their backs but didn’t happen the way we wanted to. But games like these teaches you a lot as to what you want to do as a bowling unit,” the skipper observed.
The second and final Test will be played in Cape Town from January 3.
(With PTI Inputs)
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