The Indian cricket team suffered one of its most humiliating defeats in a Test match in recent times, going down to South Africa by an innings and 32 runs in the series opener at Centurion. In the second innings, Virat Kohli emerged as the only batter who managed to fit the rampant Proteas pace attack, scoring 76 runs from 82 balls before being dismissed by Marco Jansen. While Kohli’s valiant effort wasn’t enough for India to even get South Africa to bat for the second time, what’s astonishing is that the sum total of all other batters in the second innings was 47.
For India, Virat was the top-scoring batter at 76 while Shubman Gill came in next with a score of 26. No other Indian batter even managed to get into the double-digit score, with the next highest score being ‘extras’ with 8.
Virat Kohli – 76 runs.
Extras – 8
Rest of the Indian batters – 47 runs. pic.twitter.com/Rc20RShNXg
— Johns. (@CricCrazyJohns) December 28, 2023
Without the likes of Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara in the team, India were truly beaten and bruised by a terrific pace attack. With domestic stars like Rajat Patidar and
With opening batsman Dean Elgar, who will retire after the two-Test series, scoring 185 and Marco Jansen making a career-best 84 not out, South Africa took their first innings score to 408 for a 163-run lead on the third day.
Their pacemen then bundled India out for just 131 in 34.1 overs, with only Virat Kohli (76) resisting their surge to victory.
Left-arm quick Nandre Burger took four for 33, giving him seven wickets on his debut, while fellow left-armer Marco Jansen took three for 36 and first-innings hero Kagiso Rabada grabbed two for 32 to add to his five first-day wickets.
India captain Rohit Sharma described the defeat as “a very upsetting loss” and said it was the mentality of the players that separated the wheat from the chaff at Test level.
“Obviously there was a lot we did not do right. We have some inexperienced players and it is all about mental preparation and your plans.
“Even in terms of technique, it comes down to players’ individual plans against certain bowlers.
“KL Rahul was the perfect example in his first-innings hundred of showing intent and respecting the conditions. He had a strike-rate of 70-odd and he put the bad balls away.
“But we cannot just come in and swing our bats, it was not the conditions for that. There is a thin line between intent and discipline, and the players need to show that extra bit of temperament too.
“You cannot just have one mindset of ‘this is how I bat’, you must adapt.
“Jasprit Bumrah bowled well, but all he wanted was a bit of support at the other end, which he did not get.
“Hopefully this will teach us a lot about what we need to do as a bowling group,” Rohit said.
With AFP inputs
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