The Indian team faced a heavy seven-wicket defeat in the series-deciding third Test in Cape Town on Friday. Virat Kohli’s men, who had taken a 1-0 lead in the three-match series, conceded losses in the remaining two games at Johannesburg and Cape Town respectively, as the side’s aim to end a winless Test series streak in South Africa crushed again.
India’s performances with the bat came under intense scrutiny with captain Virat Kohli insisting that the players lacked “application,” and former Pakistan captain Salman Butt was also critical of the batting lineup. On his official YouTube channel, But said that India need to “rethink” on their approach in the longest format and said that the side relied on players who are out of form.
“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.
The former Pakistan captain also said that the presence of Rohit Sharma, coupled with an in-form Kohli has often shielded the other batters who are otherwise the “weak” links in the team.
“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,” said Butt.