The Indian Team’s loss did not come as a surprise to a lot of critics, as they felt that India did not come in with the right kind of preparation, having played a lot of cricket in home conditions.
While the curators tried to prepare seaming tracks for the India vs Sri Lanka series, ideally India should have gone to South Africa a month before the series, to acclimatise to the conditions, and train on the pitches in South Africa.
And while the team management can criticise BCCI’s scheduling of the Sri Lanka series, it has itself to blame for not sending its Test specialists to South Africa right after the Sri Lanka Test series.
According to Indian Express’ report, BCCI had offered to send the Test specialists to South Africa right after the Sri Lanka Test series, but the team management declined.
“The BCCI had offered Indian team management that the core group of Test team can be sent to South Africa early. Players like Murali Vijay, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane are not part of limited overs cricket and were playing local cricket here. The BCCI was ready to bear the cost but team management showed no interest and declined the offer. We were even ready to let top players skip ODI and T20 legs of the series against Sri Lanka,” said the BCCI official.
The Indian players were finding it tough to adapt to the conditions, especially the batsmen, as they kept fishing around the off stump, despite the ball seaming and swinging around.
In 2009 too, the Indian Test specialists went to New Zealand a month earlier and also featured in their local teams before the start of their Test series.
The BCCI acted on it’s poor scheduling by giving the Test specialists a chance but the team management’s poor call meant that the Indian batsmen(Vijay and Pujara) couldn’t get used to the South African conditions.
India lost the first test by 72 runs, despite a stellar performance by the bowlers.
The Second Test starts on the 13th January in Centurion.