India's opening pair of KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal failed to give a solid start in the third Test match against South Africa. Virat Kohli decided to bat first after winning the toss in the series decider and India lost both their openers inside 13 overs.
Rahul was dismissed by Duanne Olivier on 12 runs off 35 balls, while Agarwal got out to Kagiso Rabada after scoring 15 runs in 35 deliveries. Even in the second Test, they had an opening partnership of 36 and 24 runs.
India cricket great Sunil Gavaskar spoke on Agarwal's dismissal and questioned his shot selection. He analyzed his wicket and felt that the India opener shouldn't have pushed at the ball.
"Agarwal is a very good player when the ball is hitting the middle of the bat, for the simple reason that he’s got that lovely little push but when the ball moves a little bit, that bat speed gets him into trouble. We have seen that edge when he was on 0, that would have been a terrific catch. Look at that… see how hard he has pushed at the ball," Gavaskar told Star Sports.
"Really if the bat and pad were together, he would have played and missed it. But because he went for it… he has gone for the ball… and in Test cricket, there is an aspect of leaving the ball. Leave it as much as you can in the first hour. Just look where the bat has gone. Had it been close to the pad, he would have been fine," he further added.
Gavaskar admitted that Rahul got out to a good delivery, but he pointed fault in his batting which put him in trouble. He said the modern-day batters find it difficult to make use of the crease as they get onto the front foot very soon.
"I think he got a good delivery. Look, today I think every batsman is getting onto the front foot. If you have a look at the slow motion replays. Look how he is a tall man, he has already gone onto the front foot to a ball before it was bowled.
"So, then when you have a situation where you have to go on the back foot, you are not being able to use your crease. You are only thinking of front foot, not the back foot back. That can expose you just that little bit and that's what happened," Gavaskar said.
India got bowled out on 223 runs in the first innings and Kohli was the top scorer with 79 runs. No other Indian batter could score a half-century and only Cheteshwar Pujara added 43 runs.
(With Star Sports Inputs)