The Freedom Series between India and Proteas was one cracker of a series in the history of Test cricket. Each of the Tests ended as a tightly-fought contest. Unfortunately, Virat Kohli and his troops faced another debacle in the rainbow nation after their mission to conquer South Africa ended in a 1-2 defeat.
India started off well in the series. They became the first Asian Team to breach the fortress of Centurion and went 1-0 up in the series. But the hosts staged an epic comeback in the remaining two matches, defeating the Indian side comprehensively in Wanderers and Newlands.
Batting setbacks a big worry for future
Team India were letdown largely because of their batting woes. Except for their 1st innings in Centurion, not for once could the batting unit cross the 300 run mark in the rest of the games. The Proteas pace attack despite being young and inexperienced troubled most of the Indian batters.
The attack succeeded to pull off a batting collapse in each of the innings. The Indian bowling attack bowled as per its reputation. But the lack of support from the batting core burdened them with a lot more pressure.
Proteas showed character, begin a new phase in their cricketing journey
Prior to the series, experts claimed the Indian side to be the firm favorites of the series courtesy of their heroics in Australia and England in their past tours. The hosts missed the services of pacer Anrich Nortje. Experienced wicket-keeper batter Quinton de Kock too bid adieu to Tests after Centurion Test.
The South African side bounced back strong after the 1st Test. They proved to the world that they still are unbeatable at their home. Their new captain Dean Elgar led the squad from the front, and the rise of players like Marco Jansen and Keegan Petersen showcased that Proteas cricket are on their way to being the world-beaters.
Virat Kohli would definitely be disappointed watching the scoreline in the last 2 Tests. The inconsistency of the middle-order, the lack of big opening partnerships, and the multiple batting collapses will definitely worry the Test captain for the upcoming Tests.
“I think it’s a great spectacle of Test cricket for all to see. We played well in the first game to win but South Africa bounced back well in the second and carried on the momentum in the third as well. There was some lapse of concentration from us as well in key moments. I thought South Africa performed better in those key moments and totally deserved the win. One of the challenges that we have faced touring abroad is to capitalise on momentum when it is on our side. Whenever we have done that, we’ve won games.
But on other hand, when we haven’t done so, we have lost matches due to 30-45 minutes of cricket where we have batted badly.
The opposition bowlers bowled well this series but generally, we haven’t been consistent. We have had too many batting collapses. Of course, it (batting) has been the reason, no doubt about that. Their bowlers were just better in terms of their execution and applying pressure. Batting is certainly something to be looked at. No excuses there.
It’s really disappointing for sure. We did well in Australia and England but that doesn’t guarantee us success in South Africa. The reality is that we haven’t won here in South Africa and we have to deal with it. KL’s batting as an opener. Mayank getting stuck in and then Rishabh’s innings this game, these are some positives that we can take home. Also obviously, our win at Centurion was special.” Kohli said at the presentation ceremony.
Looking back at the WTC Points Table
India presently sits at 5th position in the WTC points table after South Africa nudged past them to be placed at 4th. India will next clash against the Proteas in a 3 match ODI series and will aim for redemption with the white ball.
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