The Indian team had a good chance of starting the overseas season with a win. But they lost the game by 72 runs despite a couple of shift in momentum towards them. India had played a long home season before traveling to South Africa.
Former India captain Sunil Gavaskar looked disappointed with no practice matches before this highly important series. However, Indian skipper Virat Kohli did not preferred practice games ahead of the series and opted for extra net sessions.
After the defeat, Virat said they had enough practice and didn't divert the discussion to lack of practice.
Contrary to Indian skipper, Gavaskar has lashed out at the Indian cricket team as they decided not to play practice games. He pointed out the problems that the Indian batsmen faced while facing the short balls on fast pitches was visible in the first Test.
“Dhawan has been troubled by the short ball in South Africa as well as Australia, and he perished again, this time attempting a half-fend, half-pull shot,” Gavaskar wrote in his column for TOI
“Pujara also got one that bounced more than he anticipated and was taken by Quinton de Kock. On the bouncier pitches, if a batsman does not use the back foot or the depth of the crease, he is not going to find it easy. That is the reason there should be practice games where batsmen will get the chance to get used to the ball bouncing towards the shoulders.
"No amount of practice against your quick bowlers, even if they are bowling from 18 yards, will give the same feeling as playing local bowlers who are more than 6 feet tall.”
However, the Indian bowlers especially the pace battery showed a great temperament as they wrapped the hosts at 286 and 130 in the first and second innings respectively.
“India's new ball bowlers have seldom bowled as splendidly as they did at the Newlands Cricket Ground in Cape Town. Sure, the conditions suited them perfectly as the covering of the pitch and rains throughout the third day's play meant that the grass wasn't mowed off as it is every morning before the start of play. There was also a bit of cloud cover which helped the ball to move a bit more and had the Proteas batsmen in trouble. Only the classy AB de Villiers looked in any sense of ease,” he added.
He also talked about the super display of Indian bowling and emergence of Hardik Pandya. The former Indian cricketer Gavaskar was impressed with Kohli's fielding placements too.
“India's catching also was superb and Kohli's field placements spot on. Shami was back to his best, bowling with speed and hostility, and with both Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar bowling tight line and lengths, there was no escape for the Proteas batsmen. Hardik Pandya is getting better every game and, most importantly, is recognizing situations and playing accordingly,” Gavaskar added.