The Indian Cricket Team’s tour to South Africa fetched mixed fortunes for India. In a 3 -Test series, India lost to South Africa by a margin of 2-1. The batting faltered to a great degree in the first two matches. The Chief-in-wreaker from S.A. was Philander who troubled the Indian batsmen with his movement both ways. He was rightly judged Man-of-the-Series in Tests.

India should land foreign shores at least 15 days in advance for test matches

On foreign surfaces, Indians always bite time to adjust to the awkward bounce, pace and venomous movement of the ball and by the time they acclimatize, it is too late and loses the early initiative in the series.

In Indian camp, nobody has Gavaskar-like work ethics while grafting. These days Indian batting promises big but delivers little of significance in test matches abroad. The pressure built-up by bowlers has no answer to the application of batsman. They are often found in a dilemma whether to attack or remain defensive. In the bargain, they commit errors aplenty and succumb to it.

Indian side should land on foreign shore at least 15 days in advance from the first real encounter so that they get sufficient time to acclimatize to the conditions.

The corridor on off stump and outside off stump generally creates problems aplenty for batsmen. If the batsman is in two minds whether to play or leave the ball, he puts himself in great trouble. A resolute decision is always a healthy sign for batsmanship.

India outclassed SA in ODIs

In One Day Internationals, India fared exceptionally well and won with a convincing margin of 5-1. Particularly, Indian bowlers played like champs. In Bhuvi and Bumrah, India found both restrictive and wicket-taking seamers. Bhuvi is a real threat to the opposition on helpful tracks. In Chahal and Kuldeep, India has tweakers with variations to dislodge the batsmen. They both proved heart-breaking for SA batsmen in ODIs.

Indian top order, particularly Dhawan and Kohli, batted like champions in most of ODIs. The team which gets a good start at the top end up on a winning note.

Indian fielding has become very smart and agile ever since the introduction of fitness regimen. Those not able to fulfill the fitness test have no place in the Indian side.

Team India had a close shave in 3 T-20s played but finally won the contest by a 2-1 margin.

Status of Hardik Pandya and MS Dhoni

This tour was the real test of mettle for Hardik Pandya who is invariably compared with the legendary Kapil Dev as the next all-rounder for India.

Pandya certainly has to potential with both ball and bat but lacks consistency. He looks like a man in a hurry before planting his feet on the wicket. The grooming process is on with Pandya and let us hope he settles down in the groove with maturity. The hallmark of his longevity largely depends on being patience and perseverance.

The case of Dhoni is a contentious one. He certainly is not the Dhoni of the past. His performance with bat looks patchy and is vulnerable to the amount of confidence bestowed on him by the selectors. He has been given a long rope but looked pale and is no more result-oriented that he once was. It is time up to groom his replacement, and he should not be dragged unnecessarily in cricket at this level.

Selectors should judiciously examine the performance at SA and reassemble the team composition accordingly.