Former Pakistan skipper Salman Butt feels Team India’s approach in the Test series against South Africa was completely wrong, especially in the batting department. He pointed out loopholes in India’s 5 batters theory, saying that three of them went into the series with questions being asked about their form.
Indian team backed their veteran batters, Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara, in all three Tests but the duo could only manage one fifty each in the series. Skipper Virat Kohli was also under pressure following an extended lean spell, but he managed to perform well, scoring 161 runs in two Tests.
Scrutinizing India’s shocking defeat to the inexperienced South African team, Butt stated that the tourists planned their batting horribly. “India need to rethink their approach. Both form and experience matter. But what we saw in South Africa was that Rahane and Pujara were preferred over in-form players. On seamer-friendly pitches, you are relying on experienced players who are out of form. In addition, you are going in with only five specialist batters. Of the five, there were question marks on the form of at least three players. This was going to make life very difficult, which is exactly what we saw,” Butt said on his YouTube channel.
According to Salman Butt, Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli led the Indian batting order in the past but the South Africa series revealed the weak links.
“When Rohit Sharma is in the team and when Kohli is in form, they bat so well that they dwarf the weaknesses of the Indian batting. However, here, Rohit was absent due to injury. Kohli is in decent form but is not getting big scores. There was thus greater responsibility on the other batters, but their response was not up to expected standards,” he added.
The two centuries scored in the series came from the Indian camp but still the South Africans proved to be on the upper hand, with Keegan Petersen and Dean Elgar giving crucial contributions in the team’s scores.
As per Butt, Indian bowlers did a decent job but lacked the venom due to lack of pace. “In the bowling as well, India got movement in friendly conditions. But pace is also a weapon. Once the ball was not doing too much, apart from Bumrah, the others lacked genuine pace. There was not enough venom in the attack. Shami was also effective only where there was movement. India missed Siraj as well (in the 3rd Test due to injury).”