‘We are going there as the world’s no.1 side, we don’t need to fear”- Kohli
‘We are quite prepared to face the South African Bowlers” – Rohit Sharma
‘Looking at our current form where we are winning consistently, there are few chances we may underperform’ – Coach Ravi Shastri
If we just look at these statements by the Indian team which were done in pre-series press conference in Mumbai, it clearly showed that our whole team was in a zone where they thought they were invincibles and untouchable. There was a sense of over confidence and a pride running over their heads as nothing could defeat them. But it was in India where they developed flat track pitches according to their requirement ideal for batting and supporting ashwin and jadeja. All the matches they played in India was against side strung teams consisting of school level bowling attacks. Especially our win against Sri lanka where Kohli and Sharma were notching up tons on flat beds against C Grade depleted Sri lankan bowlers who were earlier defeated even by Zimbabwe in 2017. These wins are nothing Indian should feel proud about.
The real test was about to come, on wickets where a bowler zooms past deliveries across your shouders, 140-150 is the average speed, the quality of the bowling attack- Steyn, Rabada, Morkel, Vernon, Lungi which is considered the most dreaded bowling quartet of this century. Infact, it was so lethal that it was compared to the West Indies bowling attack of the 70’ & 80’s.
And what India kept on living and feeding on was their laurels & medals back at home. One of the best overseas skipper Ganguly had even warned Kohli not to take his home form and enter into the South Africa series but everything went for a deaf ear. Kohli-the overconfident egoistic brash that he is continued to act childlike and got a taste of real cricket after 3-4years which was actually needed. There were many errors that resulted in our loss but these 4 mistakes are something which even a blind can spot-
Before even coming to Africa, Kohli and his team were on cloud nine taking their home laurels there. Ganguly had warned them not to rest on your form and enter the series, but Kohli hardly changed his plans and did what he wanted. The teams you played against Mr.Kohli on your tailormade wickets is quite different than what you were going to face on tough wickets of Africa against world class bowlers.
Imagine if India is facing Australia at Melbourne or England at Lords and your captain decides to sack Dravid and Laxman. Yes we know what your reaction is right now if you are a genuine cricket love!! Similarly, that was something which Kohli did, he dropped the rock solid Ajinkya Rahane who is considered to be in the same mould as Laxman and Dravid just because of a few bad innings. That was not all, despite knowing that Ashwin is hardly useful on foreign pitches, he gave him a chance while skipped on Kuldeep Yadav-a genuine chinaman who could have given the SA batsman a run for their money. That is still not over if you think that was it, in 2nd test, Bhuvaneshwar Kumar, the only bowler who bowls with consistency, right line and length, swings the ball and bats at an average of 30+ was dropped in the 2nd test, still no one knows the reason though!! It was not even like Bhuvi did not bowl well in the 1st test, he had taken 4wkts.
Kohli abusing mouthful of expletives, celebrating his personal milestone of hundred like as if he has won the match on 1st innings were all negative indicators of what a test captain should be like. In fact his attitude was so downright unacceptable, that Morkel stated in a press conference ‘We are not even focusing on Kohli’s antics, we are just focusing on our game’ which was a statement like a slap on his face showing his class. The amount of personal aggression which Kohli displayed in SA, had he channelized that much on his team building and overall perfomance, things could have been really different for India. Even SA’s most successful skipper Smith said the same thing a few days ago “Kohli is definitely not a long term option to lead India in tests”
Lack of Practice-
It has been reported twice by now that India skipped on practice matches & sessions. If you don’t practice hard on the wickets where you are not even able to bat, how are you going to win matches? And what is the sort of approach and attitude we are keeping, does all this attributes make us the world’s no.1?