Wednesday, January 19, 2022

#SAvInd – 5 Reasons Why India Lost the Second Test Match Against South Africa at Johannesburg

The second Test match between #SAvInd was played at the Wanders Stadium in Johannesburg. India went to their favorite venue in South Africa after winning the first Test match at Super Sports Park in Centurion. India had taken the lead in the three-match Test series by a 1-0 margin, and they had a golden missed opportunity to seal their first-ever Test series at Johannesburg.

For the first time, India had taken the lead in the Test series in the Proteas Nation. In the second Test match, India was not with their regular captain Virat Kohli. Just before the second between #SAvInd started, India’s regular Test skipper was ruled out of the Test match because of a back spasm injury. KL Rahul, the team’s vice-captain, was promoted as the captain in that Test match.

South Africa had never won a Test match against India at The Wanders Stadium in Johannesburg. The Wanders Stadium was the fortress for India in South Africa. But due to the exceptional bowling from Jansen, Rabada, and Ngidi. India was on the backfoot, and Dean Elgar’s gusty 96 unbeaten runs in the fourth innings allowed South Africa to level the series to one all.

The final Test match of this three-match Test series between #SAvInd will start on Tuesday, 11th January 2022, at Newlands in Cape Town. India will have Virat Kohli back as the premier batsman and skipper. Today we shall tell our fans and readers why India lost the second Test match at the Wanders Stadium in Johannesburg.

1. India needed a substantial 1st innings score

India won the first Test match at Centurion mainly because they had a good 1st innings total. KL Rahul had scored a magnificent 123 runs and guided India to a score above three hundred runs. Ajinkya Rahane and Virat Kohli also contributed in the 1st innings of the first test match.

But in the absence of Virat, the other Indian batters couldn’t repeat their heroics of the 1st innings, and that is why the visitors couldn’t score heavily in the 1st innings at Johannesburg. The pace bowlers of South Africa ripped the in-form batters of India apart with classy bowling. Despite KL Rahul’s half-century on his captaincy debut and Ravi Ashwin’s 46 runs, the Indian innings were folded for just 202 runs in the 1st innings at the Wanders Stadium, which wasn’t enough. 

2. Indian openers failed in both the innings at Johannesburg –

KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal had decimated the South African pace bowling attack with shire gustiness and patience. India didn’t lose any wickets in the first session at Centurion. That’s what allowed them to put the pressure on the Proteas pace attack. The Indian openers had shared their first century stand in South Africa.

KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal had put 117 runs for the first wicket and laid a solid foundation for the good 1st innings score. But in the second Test, the same openers couldn’t negotiate the same new ball attack of South Africa. India started their innings carefully, and the openers got carried away. Agarwal was the first one to depart, which helped South Africa trigger a collapse, which they couldn’t do in the Centurion test match. This was also why India couldn’t manage a healthy 1st innings score in the second Test match.

The openers again failed to make an impact in the second innings. South Africa was ahead by 29 runs. Despite that, KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal fell even before taking the lead in their second innings. A century stand by Rahane and Pujara allowed India to get some respectability.

3. The inconsistent middle order and lower order

Virat Kohli was missed dearly by the Indian team. This shows how important is the Indian captain is in the challenging conditions of South Arica. Hauma Vihari had replaced the Indian skipper in the second Test match. But he failed in the first innings, and the form of Rahane and Pujara wasn’t that appealing either, which is the third reason why India couldn’t get a good score in the first innings.

When India lost their openers quickly in the second innings, Rahane and Pujara got some runs under their belt, and they also played to cement their places in the final Test match at Cape Town. Rahane was the vice-captain of the Test side earlier, but due to his lack of runs, KL Rahul was promoted as the deputy.

Pujara has been solid as India’s number three. He played decently in Australia. His form in the first Test match and first innings of the second match had worried the Indian camp. But now he has some runs under his belt which could help India at Cape Town. Pujara scored 53 runs, and Rahane scored 58 runs. Still, they could have batted for more hours to keep India in the hunt because Pant, Ashwin, and Shardul haven’t been in good batting form.

4. Pant, Ashwin, and Shardul’s batting failures

Ravi Ashwin scored a vital 46 runs in the first innings that allowed India to score 202 in the first innings. But Pant and Shardul haven’t been the batsmen we spoke about before the start of the Test series.

Pant played well in Australia, and he helped India chase down a mammoth score at the Gabba. Shardul Thakur had impressed with the ball. But before that, he failed with the bat. He was also instrumental in the Gabba Test match. His half-century in the first innings allowed India to be in the game.

In the second test match, India needed lower order to add runs just like South African lower order did. Ashwin Pant and Shardul need to be consistent as the lower-order batsmen. With Virat Kohi back for the final Test match, the middle order has to get some runs to keep India going at a venue where they never won a test match. India can repeat their Centurion heroics in Cape Town if the batters do their job.

5. Bumrah went wicketless in the second innings

The Indian bowling has been spot on in this Test series, and that is why 240 runs looked defendable because the South African batters also were not in good nick. But no one knew that Dean Elgar would play an innings like that, and he was also supported well by Markram, Bavuma, and Dussen.

Jasprit Bumrah has been India’s strike bowler in all three formats, and he went wicketless in the South African second innings has hurt India. That was also the main reason why India had lost that Test match. India also needed to pick a pace bowler instead of Ashwin or Vihari. Ishant Sharma would have been an ideal candidate to provide a breakthrough. A wicket of Elgar or Bavuma could have turned the game in favor of the visitors. In the next Test match, India should go with all pace attack.

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