South Africa completed a seven-wicket victory in the third and final Test at Newlands on Friday to take the series win, having come into the contest against number one ranked India as underdogs given their relative level of inexperience. Only Kohli himself averaged above 40 with the bat among the India players who featured in more than one Test, putting into context the batting struggles of the side during the series.
Former South Africa batter Daryll Cullinan spoke in detail about India’s performance with the bat in the three-Test series, and pointed out a technical issue in the batters.
“South African bowlers changed their lengths (after the 1st Test) and asked India to play back more. Indian batters they were found wanting. You cannot change that in a Test match. These guys look good at home. They batted well in Australia but with movement and inconsistent bounce, they were found wanting, going back – technically squaring up, playing from the crease. There is a technical issue. No matter how long you’ve batted, you won’t have a long career if you are playing from the crease,” said Cullinan.
The former South Africa batter also added that the win in Centurion was the “worst thing that happened” to India.
“The worst thing that happened, probably, for India from a batting perspective, was they won the first Test. You almost thought they had arrived. But South Africa came back really well,” said Cullinan.
Earlier, Indian captain Virat Kohli insisted that his side could have showed better application with the bat.
“One of the challenges we have faced touring abroad is to make sure we capitalise on the momentum when it is on our side. When we do that we have won tests, but when we haven’t it has cost us the match,” Kohli told reporters.
“It (the reason for the series defeat) is batting, we can’t pinpoint any other aspect of our game as a team. The batting has to be looked into, there is no running away from that.