‘That’s Been the Story of All Three Tests’: Former SA Batter Lashes Out at ‘Inconsistent’ Team India

A plethora of cricket experts predicted that Team India would easily conquer South Africa this time around. Following some remarkable performances in Australia and England, the first-ever Test series in the Rainbow Nation looked almost ensured.

Even the tour began with the same energy as Virat Kohli & Co won the series opener by 113 runs, taking a 1-0 lead. However, it turned out to be India’s last laugh in Test. South Africa made a stern comeback and registered back-to-back victories – in Johannesburg and Cape Town – by 7 wickets (in both games) to deny India script history.

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Former South Africa batter Daryll Cullinan feels that India’s win in Centurion – their first-ever at the SuperSport Park – probably gave the tourists a false sense of security. In a conversation with ESPN Cricinfo, he termed the victory the ‘worst thing that happened’ to Kohli & Co.

“South African bowlers changed their lengths (after the 1st Test) and asked India to playback more. Indian batters were found wanting. You cannot change that in a Test match. These guys look good at home. They batted well in Australia but with movement and inconsistent bounce, they were found wanting, going back – technically squaring up, playing from the crease. There is a technical issue. No matter how long you’ve batted, you won’t have a long career if you are playing from the crease,” Cullinan told Cricinfo.

“The worst thing that happened, probably, for India from a batting perspective, was they won the first Test. You almost thought they had arrived. But South Africa came back really well,” he added.

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Cullinan further highlighted the failure of Indian bowlers. He opined that home bowlers were way more consistent in comparison to their Indian counterparts.

“India’s bowlers were inconsistent. Probably the most consistent was Shami. We saw Bumrah go wicketless (2nd innings at Wanderers) on a pitch where he was expected to bowl well. That’s been the story of all three Test matches – inconsistency.”

“I think where India missed the trick is with (not playing) Ishant Sharma. The balance wasn’t quite there. Ashwin, in the end, neither did Maharaj, play a role in the series in any sort of manner, not even holding one end up. India desperately need to have thought about their fourth seamer. India were winning successfully over the last couple of years because of their bowling. Sadly, they just weren’t there this series,” Cullinan concluded.

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