It was a forgettable outing for the Indian cricket team in their last international match of 2023. Against South Africa, India were expected to deliver a great show in what has been called the ‘Final Frontier’ of the team. However, what resulted on the ground can be called a listless show. After India’s first innings ended on 245, South Africa notched a huge 408-run total, courtesy Dean Elgar’s 185. In the second innings, Virat Kohli (76) waged a lone battle, as Indians were all out for just 131. India lost the match by an innings and 32 runs.

Only Kohli and Shubman Gill (26) reached double-digit figures in the second innings. Four Indian batters could not even score a run. India great Sachin Tendulkar took to social media to voice his opinion on the show.

“Well played South Africa! While I initially felt the South African team would’ve been unhappy after the 1st innings, their pace attack surpassed expectations and showcased remarkable skill in the 2nd innings, in spite of the pitch becoming more favourable for batting as the match progressed,” Sachin Tendulkar wrote in a long post on X.

“From whatever I watched, India’s shot selection left much to be desired. Throughout the Test, only a few batters, namely Elgar, Jansen, Bedingham, @imVkohli and @klrahul truly seemed at ease with the bat, navigating the conditions with technique and poise. #SAvIND”

South Africa thus took an unassailable 1-0 lead in the two-match series and India’s dreams of winning a Test series in Rainbow Nation for the first time in 31 years lay in tatters.

Only redemption now could be 1-1 draw if they managed to square the series during the New Year’s Test in Cape Town.

Indian team put up a shoddy batting show, which signified its cluelessness and singular lack of preparedness for a tough assignment like this.

It has been a horrible last six to seven weeks for skipper Rohit Sharma, who lost World Cup final, was removed from Mumbai Indians captaincy two weeks back and now didn’t look like a leader that made him an instant favourite during the World Cup.

The team also looked a bit like its skipper, dishevelled and without any plan B for course correction.

As Bob Marley’s iconic “Don’t worry, Everything Gonna be Alright” blared from loudspeakers, the Indian team must be wondering how nothing went alright through entire course of the match.

With PTI inputs

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