Team India faced a heavy defeat in the third and final Test of the series against South Africa by 1-2 in Cape Town. With this, India’s hope to register their maiden win in South Africa lost too. And, former captain Sunil Gavaskar was surprised with the tactics of Virat Kohli.
Virat Kohli’s team came as favourites to win the series considering their strength in respect to a relatively inexperienced South African side as well. Moreover, the hosts didn’t have the service of fast bowler Anrich Nortje and also Quinton de Kock, who only played the first Test.
And, despite having several setbacks, South Africa bounced back well. While Virat Kohli admitted that it was a “disappointing” loss in the post-match presentation, Sunil Gavaskar said that the series “has turned into a nightmare” for India.
“India’s cricket after lunch has just baffled me. One would’ve thought that you would make one last-ditch effort, bring Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami on to bowl. Because after an interval, batsmen have to reset. India’s dream of winning a series for the first time in South Africa has turned into a nightmare,” Gavaskar said on-air after the hosts registered a win in the Cape Town Test.
“What can one say? Both of these victories are comprehensive for South Africa, winning by seven wickets again. India hasn’t even got close. India had a big victory in first Test and I really thought that is going to be a template for the next two Tests as well. It didn’t happen,” he further added.
“I was thinking in terms of 3-0 series win” – Sunil Gavaskar on India
Sunil Gavaskar, who was in South Africa for the commentary assignments, further shared that Team India’s performance with the bat was disappointing as well.
“That is something which is terrific for South Africa. But hard to understand as far as India are concerned. The way they dominated that first Test, I really thought they would be able to win the series. I was thinking in terms of 3-0 series win, because of the fragility of South African batting, the fact that Nortje wasn’t playing.. that was a huge plus once again for India,” Gavaskar added.
“You have two inexperienced bowlers, they had Olivier who was making a comeback. Rabada was the only threat really and I thought the Indian batting would come good. Yes, the pitch had been testing but I thought the Indian batting wouldn’t have too many worries. The application showed by South Africans in Johannesburg and here is praise-worthy. That tells the character of the team,” concluded Sunil Gavaskar.