Cricket

Five biggest positives for Kohli & co. in the series against Proteas

[caption id="attachment_62290" align="alignnone" width="580"]WhatsApp Image 2018-01-27 at 9.18.08 PM Indian players after their win at Wanderers on Saturday. Image Source: BCCI[/caption]

Debasis Sen, Johannesburg: Virat Kohli and his team arrived at the rainbow nation with a lot of expectation of perhaps winning their first test series against the Proteas. The visitors did lose the series 1-2 but Kohli and his men competed fiercely with their opponents in all the three tests. If the team management not erred with the selections and the catching was spot on, Kohli could have been the first Indian captain to win a test series from here. As the series unfolded the Indian team had five biggest positives ahead of the long overseas season ahead, where they will face even tougher tests in England, Australia and New Zealand.

Here are the five biggest positives for India is the recently concluded series against South Africa:

Impressive fast bowling unit: The current bowling attack comprising of Mohammed Shami, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ishant Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah and Hardik Pandya has to be the best in recent times. The bowling unit has taken 20 wickets in each of the three test matches and that too in overseas conditions, a testimony to their skill. For the first time in an overseas tour the bowlers gave no respite to the opponent batting line up. The Proteas batting line comprising of Amla, De Villiers, Faf du Plessis could manage to cross 300 runs only once in the series at their own backyard.

Kohli a class of his own: Kohli once again showed why he is now being regarded the world’s best batsman at the moment. The Indian captain apart from being the highest run scorer for his side in the series played two greatest knocks in the test matches at Centurion and Wanderers. On two different pitches, he adjusted to conditions brilliantly to make batting look so easier. He got close to the line of the delivery and never allowed any one Proteas bowler to get on top of him. The knocks of 52 & 43 on a difficult Wanderers wicket against the likes of Ngidi, Rabada, Philander and Morkel were a treat to watch for all.

Bumrah a revelation: The Indian team management was spot on in picking Bumrah ahead of Umesh Yadav in all the three test matches. All credit must be given to Virat Kohli and Ravi Shastri for identifying the red ball talent in Jasprit Bumrah. Possibly the first name in every Test, Bumrah pulled off a performance that has made the world take notice. He is quick, can surprise with the fuller deliveries and bouncers, and has clearly learnt a lot from the first innings blunders in Cape Town.

Rise of a seaming all-rounder in Kumar: Bhuvneshwar Kumar has come a long way in just being regarded as a swing bowler. The Uttar Pradesh medium pacer has been a revelation both with the bat and ball in the two test matches he played. He made useful contributions with the bat lower down the order, not to mention his lion hearted effort with the ball. Bhuvneshwar Kumar can be the perfect seaming all rounder who could definitely come handy especially in conditions in England in June.

Mental toughness of Rahane: On an overseas tour the mental toughness of a batsman is the key for getting success and Ajinkya Rahane gave enough evidence of it in Wanderers. Wonder why the team management preferred to play Rohit Sharma ahead of Rahane. The Mumbai batsman has now played a huge role in both the two test wins at Lords in 2014 series and here in Wanderers.

 

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