Criticism for India’s performance in the two Tests in South Africa has been pouring in after the 135-run defeat at Centurion, which handed Virat Kohli his first Test series defeat as India’s full-time captain.
Chasing 287, Indian batting put in another mediocre display, folding for 151, with debutant Lungi Ngidi returning a six-wicket haul.
With bowlers taking 20 wickets in both the matches, the criticism has especially been severe on the batsmen, who seemed under-prepared to face a pace attack of the quality that South Africa possess. India chose to skip the practice match ahead of the first Test, and, instead opted for intense practice sessions on a match-wicket.
Speaking to ESPNCricinfo after the series defeat, former South Africa cricketer Daryll Cullinan slammed India’s perception that they were “well-prepared” for this series.
“You make comments that you are well prepared. I am sorry, Mr Kohli. You did not prepare well enough,” Cullinan said. “You also said you have nothing to prove. You arrived as the world’s No 1 team, you are probably going to go away as the only Indian side never to win or draw a Test match in South Africa. You are staring at a three-zip (3-0) in the face.”
Cullinan also criticised India’s decision to skip the optional practice session after the first Test ended in less than four days in Cape Town.
“I expected it to be a given that after the Test match at Newlands, India would be back the next day, at that pitch having a net session. I believe they took the day off. I think it was an “optional” practice. If I was Ravi Shastri, I would have said, ‘come guys, it’s not like we have played too much cricket lately,” Cullinan said.