India head coach Rahul Dravid said it was disappointing to lose hard-earned due to slow ove-rates and it is an area his team has to work on.

India had been fined 20% of their match fee for maintaining a slow over-rate against South Africa in the first Test held in Centurion. In addition, as per Article 16.11 of the ICC Men’s World Test Championship Playing Conditions, a side is penalised one point for each over short. Consequently, India lost a point from their points tally (12 for a win) for this offence. Captain Virat Kohli pleaded guilty to the offence and accepted the proposed sanction, so there was no need for a formal hearing.

Here’s what Dravid had to say about the penalty that India received and what he thought in general about the ruling in place for the World Test Championship:

The rules are the same for everyone, we understand that. It’s hard, we are playing four seamers, conditions have been very hot when we bowled. We are trying, it’s an area we need to getter at, we discussed that. We have had a few chats around it, trying to look at areas where [we can get better]. We got docked one over [one point] in the last game, it is disappointing to lose points. Especially these hard-earned overseas points. We need to ensure we are not docked more points, in the end it’ll be very disappointing to miss out (on the final) because of over-rate points that were docked. We are aware of that. It’s trying to move the game forward, especially when we play four seamers as we are now consistently. It’s not a problem for us in India, but we need to get better away.

I think the ICC is trying something to speed up the game, obviously it does feel harsh as a coach. It does feel a bit tough at times. But it certainly gets us thinking, you know, wanting to quicken it up.  They’ve tried other things in the past like fines and other methodologies that didn’t work, so the ICC are trying this route which I am fine with. I don’t have a particular issue with it, it’s been clearly communicated to us that this is the case. 

As long as there is a bit of understanding and leeway depending on the situation. We had a few issues with injuries in the last match, of course we were given some leeway. But sometimes it is difficult to pin-point how many minutes you lose exactly... when you have Jasprit Bumrah roll over an ankle, the physio has to go in and spend a lot of time with him, there was an issue with the ball change. There were small areas that maybe we can get better at, but as a principle I am fine with it. We just need to react and respond better. 

— Press conference ahead of Johannesburg Test

Recently, England were docked eight ICC World Test Championship points – three more than originally stated – for maintaining a slow over-rate in the first Ashes Test against Australia. It was first announced that England would be docked five WTC points, one for each over they were found to initially have fallen short by. However, it has since emerged they were eight overs short, and will therefore lose three additional points. Joe Root’s men have been docked a total of 10 points in this cycle already while India have are the other team to cop the fine and penalties, with their total standing at three.

India are currently placed fourth on the standings, that is decided by percentage of points. In the last cycle, Australia effectively saw their dream of qualifying for the final end because of over-rate penalties and it is not a scenario that India would want to find themselves in, even if there is a long way to go.