South Africa won the three-match Test series against India 2-1 on Friday. India started the Test series quite well after winning their first Test match in Centurion but tasted defeat in Johannesburg and Cape Town. Former South African skipper Shaun Pollock reckons Team India’s batting let them down and that they lost both Tests in the third innings.
The inconsistency of Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane, as well as the poor form of the middle order, has been under fire. Pollock, in a chat with Cricbuzz, said the failure of the middle order will lead to some changes by the Indian management in the future, particularly the replacement of Pujara and Rahane.
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India lost their last five wickets for 82 runs in the second Test. Similarly, in the third Test, they lost the last six wickets for 46 runs which Pollock cited as a cause for concern. He said, “I think where India lost it in the series twice [second and third match], is in the third innings.”
Hanuma Vihari, Shreyas Iyer, and Shubman Gill are waiting in the wings and are the likely front-runners to replace the experienced middle-order combination. Pollock believes the next Test series against Sri Lanka is the ideal moment to implement those adjustments because it creates a little of a honeymoon period for players to settle in.
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“India might have to make those calls. I think the timing is the key. If you’ve got two Tests against Sri Lanka, followed by two Tests against someone else who’s not ranked in the top three or four,” Pollock added.
During the press conference after the end of the series in Cape Town, India captain Virat Kohli’s defence of Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane lacked conviction, putting the ball in the court of the selection committee in terms of the future of the two out-of-form senior batsmen.
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