Former captain Ajit Wadekar, on Wednesday, blamed poor preparation and planing after India succumbed to a humbling series loss against South Africa.
The 135-run defeat in Centurion ended India’s nine-Test series winning run as the Proteas took an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match rubber. Wadekar, however, praised the captaincy of Kohli. “He [Kohli] is a good captain, but basically in South Africa it is very difficult to win, because the wickets are very fast. “Our team did not have enough time to get acclimatised to those conditions [in South Africa] and that may be the reason,” Wadekar said.
India had decided against playing the practice game going into the first Test at Cape Town, which they lost as the batsmen faltered. A similar collapse was witnessed on day five of the second Test too with the batsmen making a beeline to the pavilion and surrendering before the South African pace attack.
Asked whether lessons needed to be learnt by those who organise overseas tours, Wadekar quipped, “I hope they learn the lesson because, they never seem to be learning the lessons and that’s the problem with them. Most of the guys who are in the board [BCCI] haven’t handled a bat.”
India face the hosts in the third Test at Johannesburg next week and Wadekar feels the visitors should should play for pride. “We should try to fight it out. Generally, we play the same eleven and make one or two changes. Now those who are in reserve may be given a chance to see their potential at the highest level...that is very essential,” he said.
Credit to South Africa, says Rajput
Meanwhile, former India player Lalchand Rajput said that credit should be given to South Africa for the way they played in the second Test. “Give credit to South Africa – the way they bowled and batted in both the innings [in the second Test],” Rajput said.
“As usual, Virat Kohli was the key (for) batting in the first innings and when he bats, the pitch looks easy. We had our chances, but could not hold to it, but credit to South Africa for playing good cricket,” he added.