Reasons Behind India's Defeat in First Cricket Test Against South Africa


This article mentions some points which had played a huge role in India's defeat against South Africa in 1st cricket test

ICC no. 1 team in Tests India had been handed over a crushing defeat by no. 2 South Africa in the first test played in Centurion. The tour was being looked upon at by not only the die hard fans of cricket but also retired players of not only India and South Africa, but players of other cricketing nations also. The successful tour of Africa would have been the testimony of India as a true heir to the no. 1 crown in cricket. Unfortunately, the beginning of the tour has been pretty disastrous as India slumped to an innings defeat. Immediately Indian cricket team's no. 1 ranking in tests has come under question. South African tour was always supposed to be difficult but the thrashing received by the Indian team was something bolt out of the blue. Before the beginning of he second test it is important to know what led to such a humongous defeat for India?

Absence of Zaheer Khan



Can one player make any difference to the team? Yes, to an extent, if the player not only is the leader of your attack but is the motivator for the young guns of the team as well. Zaheer Khan was sorely missed in the test as Indian bowling lacked teeth and the bowlers were hammered all across the ground by the proteas. It is not necessary that had Zaheer been there, team wouldn't have faced such a humiliation. But looking at his record in the past two years it can be said that his presence in the test would have definitely yielded some positives for the country. Indian pace battery was completely clueless in his absence and that was one major difference between Africans and Indians.

Young Bowlers Failed to Use Their Experience



Unlike Jaidev Unadkat, who was making his debut, both Sreesanth and Ishant Sharma have experience of more than two years against the best teams of the world. Sreesanth has even played in the last tour of South Africa. But the way they bowled in centurion, it looked as if two novice bowlers straight from Ranji trophy matches have landed into the international matches. These bowlers didn't have swing, pace and variety. These three factors are crucial for the success in test cricket where you have to force a batsman to make a mistake since he has a lot of time to adjust unlike one day cricket. Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel made full use of these three things as apart from swinging and delivering the balls at raw pace, they also produced special deliveries in between which got them crucial breakthroughs. Even in Zaheer's absence, these young bowlers were expected to use some of their experience but they failed to make any use of it.

First innings Debacle



Even after the mauling the bowlers received, the major reason behind our defeat was the utterly shocking batting display by the batmen in the first innings. It is understandable that pitch was conducive for the pace duo of South Africa, even then the docile attitude shown by the Indian batsmen was something very hard to digest considering that they belong to no. 1 side in the world. All the frontline batsmen, except for Sachin and Dhoni, struggled against the swing and pace of Morkel and Steyn. Though the batting display in second innings was loads better than the first, but by then it was too late. Indian team should take an important lesson from this test. You can't stage a comeback every time after a dismal first innings performance. The feat of Eden gardens is repeated once in a blue moon.

Harbhajan and Raina's Flop Show



The weakest links of Indian teams were the two players on whom everyone was relying a lot but who couldn't do justice to it. Suresh Raina and Harbhajan Singh were spectacular failures for Indian team since both are established names and a lot was depended upon them. Raina has made a sensational debut against Srilanka and it seemed that someone had finally came to fill up the shoes vacated by Sourav Ganguly after Yuvraj had failed to make use of chances thrown to him. Unfortunately Raina failed to deliver at the stage when he was needed the most. After a dismal show against New Zealand team, this tour was an opportunity for him to redeem himself and cement is place in the team but he grassed them with both hands.

Harbhajan is primarily a bowler and not a batsman and we expect wickets from him, not sixes. It is true that his two innings in the series against New Zealand proved very much crucial for India, but that series has long been gone and now his responsibility is to take wickets for India as the only spinner of the team. There were huge expectations from him to fill up the shoes of Anil Kumble but he has showed only few sparks of brilliance so far after Kumble's retirement. His failure added to the woes of Dhoni after Indian pace attack had failed to subdue the African batsmen.

Too Much Cricket on Flat Pitches



India's last tour outside subcontinent was the one in New Zealand in early quarter of 2009. Since then India hadn't played on bouncy, fast pitches before South Africa tour. The team had clearly become habitual of playing on the flat tracks and in the familiar conditions. A major point, as put forward by many eminent cricketers, was the lack of practice match before the first test. According to them, a practice match would have helped Indians in gauging their preparation and get hint of their weaknesses. It seems right as the major factor in India's defeat was its dismal first innings performance. The improved show in second innings indicates that technically Indians are better than what they used to be on earlier tours of Africa. But the 1st innings cost them the whole match. Such a performance in a practice match would have raised the alarm and team would have prepared much better against the fiery pace duo of South Africa. Alas! It was realized a touch late when the team got bundled out on 136.

As Sachin pointed out on 4th day, it was not all negative for India in the first test. It was a warning bell for India to safeguard their crown which they had got after a lot of hard work. With Zaheer back in the side, the bowling had definitely got a huge boost. What the team needs now is a positive attitude and lessons learn from first test. The series hasn't ended yet and we can do what South Africa had done last time i.e. bouncing back and winning the series.


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Comments

Author: rahul tripathi29 Dec 2010 Member Level: Silver   Points : 1

there are so many reasons Behind in ICC top ranked team India's Defeat in First Cricket Test Against no. 2 team South Africa.

* flop show of top & middle order batsman in 1st innings.
* lack of sharpness in Bowling
* bad performance in fielding



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