Former South African batsman Peter Kirsten –who is the elder brother of former India coach Gary Kirsten, is currently involved in a CSA programme for coaching schoolboys, criticized the Indian batting display in the first Test at Newlands. He further said that if the tourists want to win in South Africa, then the Indian batters need to put their hands up in the remaining matches of the Test series.
Kirsten told Sportstar, “The last time the Indians came here, they were ‘leaving’ a lot more deliveries. This time they weren’t doing so and I am surprised. The Indians waved and poked at deliveries outside the off-stump as if they wanted to nick it. You just cannot do that.”
He further added, “If you decide to play a shot, you should go at the ball forcefully, through the line if it is possible, so that even if you edge the ball, it flies over the slip. Otherwise, just leave the ball.”
The 62-year-old Kirsten is highly disappointed at the Indian shot-making, saying, “Kohli in the first innings, he just poked at the ball outside off. And on pitches with the bounce here, Dhawan should realize that the hook and the pull shots are extremely dangerous options against the new ball. You need to be sure with your footwork. If you want to go forward, go fully forward. Do not do so half-heartedly and get caught out at the crease. The Indian batsmen have to get their feet moving, either forward or back.”
There was only one in the Indian line-up who succeeded to impress Kirsten and he is Hardik Pandya. Kirsten further added, “Only Hardik Pandya showed the way. There were no half measures in his batting. He went for the ball hard. He was not in two minds.”
On being asked about South African pace attack in Cape Town, Kirsten said, “They are making pitches for Philander. He is very difficult to play in these conditions. Morne Morkel and Kagiso Rabada are testing bowlers who can get a bounce. In fact, I have never seen such quick bounce at Newlands before.”
Kirsten concluded by saying, “They bowled well in the second innings. They bowled the right length. But I thought their length was too short in the first innings, especially when they bowled at the tail.”