The top-order including skipper Virat Kohli and Shikhar Dhawan have been good with the bat, while almost all the bowlers have impressed. But one grey area that needs to be addressed is India’s middle-order. In his column for Times of India, former India skipper Kris Srikkanth wrote that there is some scope of improvement in that area, and that the middle-order has not been consistent.
Apart from the that he praised Team India for making a comeback in the third Test. "Summing it up, I would term it is a successful tour for India in South Africa. If I was the captain, I would be pleased with the way the team bounced back in Johannesburg and never looked back," he wrote.
For the former World Cup winner, skipper Kohli and bowlers were the standout performers on the tour. "Overall, there are quite a few positives from this trip. Kohli has been amazing with the bat and in leading the troops from the front. The bowling unit has been exceptional. Pacers Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami have been on the ball throughout the Test series. The wrist spinners, Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav joined the party during the ODIs, baffling the hosts with their guile."
He also highlighted on the form of openers in Test matches. "One of the key areas of concern is the consistency factor with the middle-order and to an extent the form of the opening batsmen in red-ball cricket. The first Test at Cape Town was in our pocket and we should have won it easily. The defeat was due to the batting debacle and it hurt us badly. The openers didn’t fire in all the Tests and it has to be addressed going forward," Srikkanth wrote.
"While the openers turned things around in the shorter formats, the middle-order, apart from Kohli, has been very inconsistent across all formats. Yes, there have been a couple of sparkling performances here and there from a few middle-order batsmen. However, consistency is lacking and it is vital to have a solid middle-order, which is the backbone of any side. It’s a worrying sign and it has to be looked into so that we can notch up more victories abroad."
He also believes that India could have won the Test series, but is happy with the way things have gone for the team on this tour.
"Things still look bright though and it’s a good sign for the Indian team heading into the overseas tours later this year."
Bhuvneshwar KumarIndia vs South Africajasprit bumrahkris srikkanthSouth Africa vs India 2018virat kohli
First Published: February 24, 2018, 11:05 AM IST