Former India all-rounder Mohinder Amarnath –who was part of the 1983 World Cup-winning Team, on Tuesday, said that it will be very interesting to see how Virat Kohli and the team management will plan for the Wednesday’s dead rubber final Test in Johannesburg after going down 0-2 in the Freedom Series.
He went to further admitted that the South African track seems to be like a sub-continent track, but the Indian batsmen need to move early to handle the Proteas pace attack on faster tracks like SA, as well as, they have to show more aggression like Virat Kohli to win matches here.
In his column for Times for India, Amarnath wrote, “The batsmen are not handling the South Africa fast bowlers with the best of techniques at least where their footwork is concerned. When playing on a faster track, you need to move early, but most of the batsmen are moving the same way they would on a sub-continent track. It works at home but on faster tracks, you have to move early and get into position: you should be on the move when playing against fast bowlers on faster tracks.”
He further added that India has done a lot of changes in the last two Tests in South Africa but unfortunately it has not worked out there, advising make a slight change in the batting order.
Amarnath further said, “The dilemma for the team now, as they go into the third and final Test, is how to go about it. They have tried a lot of combinations and permutations which have unfortunately not worked out, so how they will plan for this match will be interesting. There has been too much chopping and changing, and while that may work at home, it's different when playing abroad on a different kind of soil and attack.
They have to do something different to compete with South Africa. Perhaps a slight change in the batting order might work. We all remember the famous India-Australia Test at Kolkata when Laxman came in at No. 3 in the second innings, and look what happened! All it took was one change and India made a dramatic turnaround in the match. It just might work again, who knows?”
The cricket analyst also said that Shikhar Dhawan should open with Murali Vijay for India, adding, “I would like to see Shikhar Dhawan back in the side, opening with Murali, with KL Rahul or Rohit Sharma (who, despite having a rough time of it, may be kept in the XI) at No. 3, and Pujara or Rahane at Nos. 5/6. Pujara is a fantastic player and but at the moment I think the player at the crucial No. 3 spot should be scoring briskly and playing his shots from the beginning.”
Amarnath signed off by saying, “India have a lot of thinking to do where the combination is concerned. There are a lot of ifs and buts, and I feel they should go with just four bowlers to accommodate an extra batsman who will bolster the line-up. The batsmen have to show more aggression; something that has been totally lacking from them apart from Virat Kohli.”