After a dreadful loss in the second Test at Johannesburg, the visitors of India need to make some important changes to their side, especially from a tactical perspective. Let's have a look.
1) The Rahane-Pujara scenario
The duo have been under the scanner for quite some time and whenever it seems that they have run past their ultimate chance, they come up with a knock that seems satisfactory.
However, what people don't realize is the number of chances they are missing out on. Every extra chance given to them hurts even more after we saw how impactful Shreyas Iyer was in his debut series against New Zealand.
Hanuma Vihari has been phenomenal too but is usually compromised for other batsmen. This series could and should be their ultimate chance considering the way forward in Indian Test cricket.
Why is Pujara still in the team? Has been struggling for months now. Can't we give Rahane/Vihari a chance at no 3, and play Shreyas a 5? #INDvsSA— FPL Balor ⭐⭐ (@FPLBalor) December 26, 2021
Shreyas Iyer when roped in will consume some time to settle too and he rightly deserves it. What do you think?
2) Rishabh Pant and his shot selection
Pant has also faced scrutiny that he rightly deserves as his batting hasn't been up to his potential. Not just that Rahul Dravid also very correctly pointed out how Pant's shot selection has been a bigger issue.
"We know Rishabh plays positively and he plays in a particular manner and that has got him a little bit of success," Dravid said after India's seven-wicket defeat. "But yeah, of course, there are times when we're going to have some level of conversations with him around, just a little bit of maybe just selection of the time to play that."
"No one's ever going to tell Rishabh not to be a positive player, not to be an aggressive player, but sometimes it's just a question of picking and choosing the time to do that. I think when you just come in, maybe giving yourself a bit more time might be a little bit more advisable but look, in the end, we know what we're getting with Rishabh, he is a positive player, he's someone who can change the course of a game very quickly for us, so you naturally won't take that away from him and ask him to become something very different."
"Sometimes it's just about figuring out what is the right time to maybe attack or maybe play out a slightly difficult period that sets the game up for you or sets the innings up.
He's learning. He plays in a particular way, so it's always something that he's going to keep learning, he's going to keep improving and keep getting better."
Pretty much sums up Pant's scene, right?
Former Indian cricketer Sunil Gavaskar was also furious about the manner in which the No.6 threw away his wicket.
“You have got two new batsmen at the crease and then you saw that shot from Rishabh Pant. Forgettable, no excuses for that shot, no excuses. None of that nonsense about that being his natural game.“- Sunil Gavaskar said on air.
3) Ashwin needs more overs
None of the players may have said it but that's the statement coming from the fans. Ashwin was quite effective whenever he came on to bowl.
Ashwin bowled just 10 overs in the first innings and 11.4 in the second. Well, the first innings witnessed Shardul Thakur's performance but Ashwin could've bowled more overs when India were defending their total.
India's seam attack is one of the best at the moment but that shouldn't let you keep a world-class spinner with over 600 wickets bowls less than 25 overs.
4) Getting the line and length right
Mohammed Shami picked wickets but his line wasn't the best, especially in the second innings when India didn't have many runs to defend on the fourth day. There were too many bowls outside off that were struck for boundaries. Same with Jasprit Bumrah, but Bumrah didn't even pick wickets and that's something India will have to work on. He was leaking runs and failed to strike any dismissals.
In the third and final test, a lot is on the line and India will have to ensure that they don't repeat the mistakes of the second Test. Let us know your thoughts! Stay tuned with Cricwizz for more updates.
Cover Credits: BCCIofficial