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IND vs SA 3rd Test: South African Pitches Have Disturbed Their Thought Process – Salman Butt on Indian Openers’ Cheap Dismissals in 2nd Innings

While South Africa was able to restrict the Indian innings on Day 1 of the third Test in Cape Town at 223, in return the visitors had bowled out the hosts for 210. On Day 2, Team India concluded the day by putting up 57 runs on the scoreboard but also lost two wickets. The opening pair of KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal, once again, were not able to score big runs in the third and final Test in Cape Town. The two batters had started their first innings at Centurion, with Rahul scoring a century (123) and Mayank hitting out a stellar knock of 60 runs. However, post this innings, the two have struggled to keep fluency. Rahul did manage to get a fifty in Johannesburg but Mayank’s uncertainty outside the off-stump has been in the limelight time and again.

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Former Pakistan captain Salman Butt believes that playing on challenging batting surfaces in South Africa has negatively impacted the thought process of Indian openers. According to him, Rahul and Mayank’s issues are more mental than technical. Speaking on his YouTube channel, Butt explained that the Indian openers were in very good form when the series started, but when a cricketer plays on testing pitches consistently, at times, their thought process gets disturbed. Further drawing comparisons between Rahul, Mayank and Cheteshwar Pujara, skipper Virat Kohli, the former cricketer pointed out that the big difference is their footwork.

Talking about the openers’ cheap dismissals in the second innings in Cape Town, Butt opined that they got out due to the lack of footwork. “Both Rahul and Agarwal were stuck in the crease against full-length balls. They should have been forward but their feet are not moving,” he explained. According to Butt, the extra bounce is playing on their minds, hence it is not about the technique but the thought process.

India will open Day 3 with two batters, Pujara (9) and Kohli (14) on the crease and so far the visitors have a lead of 70 runs. In order to have an upper hand in the final test, a Kohli special is the need of the hour.

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