South Africa won the series after victory over the visitors. They defeated India by a whopping 135 runs margin. Indian team though looked strong at some junctures of the game but in the end, they fell significantly short of victory.
Here are 5 reasons we feel were responsible for India’s defeat.
Ngidi’s Dream Debut
Lungisani Ngidi was the standout performer as he claimed match-winning figures of 6-39 in the second innings which included important wickets of KL Rahul, Virat Kohli and Hardik Pandya. In the first he innings he took a single wicket, he dismissed Parthiv Patel who was looking well set.
He was hugely impressive in the field as he impacted direct hit in the 10th over of the innings to get rid of Cheteshwar Pujara.
Over-Reliance on Virat Kohli
No Indian Batsman except Virat Kohli looked comfortable against the strong South African bowling lineup. As the Captain said the batting let Indian team down once again and probably was the reason that Team India was not able to chase 286 in the last innings of the match. To justify the number 1 tag it is important for the Indian team to play as a unit.
Fielding was the biggest difference between the two sides as South African fielders capitalized brilliantly on some of the tougher chances while the Indian team dropped some of the simpler chances.
Parthiv Patel, who replaced injured Wriddhiman Saha was particularly sloppy and let go a couple of chances which otherwise should have been grabbed at the professional level. Parthiv Patel dropped a catch down the leg side when Hashim Amla was new to the crease and then he went to score 81 and helped South Africa to get into a strong position. In the Second innings, Parthiv let go a catch of Dean Elgar which should have been taken by him.
Indian Batsmen ran themselves out
Indian team got off to a poor start in the game as they lost KL Rahul early in the first innings. Pujara the new batsman tucked the ball in the 10th over and tried to take on the South African debutant Ngidi as he called for a quick single. In the end, Ngidi’s brilliant direct hit meant curtains for the Indian Batsman as he was short of the crease.
Hardik Pandya who was looking comfortable and was stitching a good partnership with the Indian Captain threw his wicket away with his careless running at a crucial juncture. His dismissal hurt India’s chances of securing a healthy first innings lead as Indian team ended 28 short of the visitors after the first innings. India was at the score of 210 at the loss of 5 wickets before Pandya’s dismissal.
After India was set up a target of 286, Virat Kohli’s dismissal had left Pujara as the only Indian hope. Pujara ran himself out again in the second innings early on the fifth day’s morning as Indian team found themselves struggling at 49-4 and could not make a comeback after that.
Indian Openers fail to fire yet again
Indian team management replaced Shikhar Dhawan with KL Rahul for the second game. KL Rahul could not impress as he fell for the scores of 10 and 4 in the first and second innings respectively. Murali Vijay, the other opener looked fluent in the first innings as he scored 46 but got out cheaply in the second innings.