India's triumph © AFP
India’s triumph was well-deserved, but there is still a long way to go © AFP

India would be extremely proud of the 3-0 score-line after beating the world’s top-ranked Test side, South Africa in the four-Test Gandhi-Mandela Series 2015. Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja were unplayable, while Amit Mishra, Umesh Yadav, Ishant Sharma, and Varun Aaron all played parts in India’s triumphs as well. With the bat, Ajinkya Rahane’s twin centuries in the final Test at Delhi meant that he ended the series on a high, but barring him none of India’s other batsmen got a big score. Murali Vijay, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, and Shikhar Dhawan all looked good at various points of time as well. And yet, there is no mistaking the fact that the Indian Test team still has its chinks. Full Cricket Scorecard: India vs South Africa 2015 4th Test at Delhi

Batting: India’s series win was set up by the bowlers, but the worrying aspect is that barring the fourth Test at Feroz Shah Kotla, the batsmen failed collectively. The first Test at Mohali saw Vijay and Pujara putting up some resistance, but the others failed to get going. Vijay and Dhawan looked good in the few overs they batted in the second Test at Bengaluru, but the rain washed out what might have been a fruitful partnership. India’s batting fell apart again in the third Test at Nagpur, where Vijay’s 40 was the highest score of the match. READ: Top 5 knocks in the India-South Africa Test series 2015-16

It has been a trend for the last year or two that Indian batsmen perform well in patches. There has yet to be a collective firing from a majority of the top six batsmen. As a result, one or two batsmen usually do well but the others fail to give them adequate support. India need to learn how to bat well as a unit. Another thing India need to sort out quickly is their No. 6 dilemma. Rohit Sharma continued to disappoint in the longest format despite being a massive success in ODIs over the last couple of years. Unless he finds the consistency he shows in ODIs Kohli’s patience with him will eventually run out. READ: 5 deserving batsmen who could replace Rohit Sharma in India’s Test team

Captaincy tactics: As far as leadership is concerned, Kohli has shown that he is well and truly the man to lead India. He has a clear vision, he enjoys the success of his teammates, and he seems focused on results. There are no complaints with Kohli as far as leading the side goes. However, some of his tactics did seem slightly strange. The inclusion of Stuart Binny in the second Test at Bengaluru was a fair call, but having him open bowling was a surprise. To his credit, Binny bowled well in the three overs he was given, but it seems unlikely that Binny would ever run through a side with the new ball in Test cricket (that said, we must not forget his 6 for 4 against Bangladesh). READ: India vs South Africa 2015, Test series: Marks out of 10 for the hosts

Another strange call from Kohli was getting Murali Vijay, Shikhar Dhawan, Cheteshwar Pujara, and himself to bowl to a well-set Hashim Amla and AB de Villiers in the fourth innings at Delhi. Bringing on a part-time bowler to try and induce an error is completely understandable, but when wickets are the need of the hour having part-timers bowl in tandem in a Test match does not make a lot of sense. Kohli seemed to get just a bit too impatient while Amla and de Villiers were stonewalling. Luckily for India, that did not prevent them from pulling off a huge win. READ: Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja: How good have they been against South Africa, and in their careers?

India have historically been a good side at home, but one cannot help but feel hopeful that this current batch of players are a bit different from their predecessors in that they have the belief that they can also win overseas. In Kohli they have a leader who is fearless and far-sighted. India look unbeatable at home as long as there is something in the pitches for the bowlers. That does not make them a great side; not yet. If the chinks in the armour are ironed out, though, one can expect big things from Kohli’s boys. The next overseas tour ought to be interesting. READ: Ajinkya Rahane’s homecoming marked by India vs South Africa 2015, 4th Test at Delhi

 (Shiamak Unwalla, a reporter with CricketCountry, is a self-confessed Sci-Fi geek who loves cricket more than cricketers. His Twitter handle is @ShiamakUnwalla)