Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here

Home > Features >

South Africa vs India 2013: Criticism against Indian batsmen is harsh and unfair

India should not be counted out of the series yet © Getty Images
India should not be counted out of the series yet © Getty Images

 

Aayush Puthran explains why the criticism Team India is facing after just one defeat in South Africa is harsh and unjustified.

 

Bubblegum —a form of pure South African pop — can’t be too pleasing to the Indian ears as of now. Their welcome to the country, purely in cricketing terms, hasn’t been very pleasant. The visitors were made to smell the leather a little too closely for their comfort in the first One-Day International (ODI) at Johannesburg. The Indian batsmen looked as graceful as a cat on a hot tin roof. On a track that seemed flat and easy, just one innings before Indians went out to bat, suddenly seemed to have demons creeping out of terra firma. But all said and done, the avalanche of criticism the team has been copping with after just one match is unjustified and unfair.

 

It wouldn’t need statistics to question the difference in performance by Indians at home and abroad. Yet, their rise to the top of the One-Day International (ODI) rankings is not simply because they have mastered home conditions. They come to South Africa on the back of seven One-Day International (ODI) tournament wins of the last eight they have played, out of which three were won at home and four away.

 

India didn’t play even a practice game to familiarise themselves with the conditions. And since the tour to Australia, nearly two years back in 2011-12, India haven’t played in favourable conditions for fast bowlers, except in England during the ICC Champions Trophy.

 

The home side is well aware of the threat that the Indian batting line-up can pose and have ensured that their weakness is fully exploited. To call Indian batsmen flat-track bullies at home just because in one match they looked out of sorts against bounce and swing of six fast bowlers would be unfair. I really wonder if something similar would be said about touring batsmen if India prepare rank turners and deploy six spinners against them. That time the questions won’t be raised against the ability of batsmen to play spin, but about the ‘unsporting pitches’ that India prepares.

 

Unlike the usual warm-up matches, India would be going into the Test series with just the experience of having been acclimatised to the conditions during the 50-over series.

 

Dale Steyn put the Indian threat across well when he said in the pre-match press conference on Saturday, “They are not the No 1 side in ODIs for no reason. Like MS Dhoni said pre-match, they have been to South Africa a few times, and they have played all over the world. So give them a few matches, they should be able to play well and perhaps get ready before the Test matches begin.”

 

How well do they come out of the litmus test of playing on tracks with pace and bounce should be judged at the end of the series. Commenting now is too premature.

 

The journey might have a few tough turns, but the MS Dhoni-led side would know well that it is all about ‘finishing off in style’.

 

(Aayush Puthran is a reporter with CricketCountry. Mercurially jovial, pseudo pompous, perpetually curious and occasionally confused, he is always up for a light-hearted chat over a few cups of filter kaapi!)

Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 24, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Sharjah

Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 25, 2014 (16:00 IST)   at Dubai

Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 25, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Dubai

Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 26, 2014 (16:00 IST)   at Abu Dhabi

Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 26, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Abu Dhabi

More

Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 23, 2014  at Dubai

Chennai Super Kings won by 7 runs

Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 22, 2014  at Sharjah

Kings XI Punjab won by 72 runs

Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 21, 2014  at Abu Dhabi

Chennai Super Kings won by 93 runs

Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 20, 2014  at Sharjah

Kings XI Punjab won by 7 wkts

Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 19, 2014  at Dubai

Delhi Daredevils won by 4 wkts

Photos

CSK vs DD, IPL 2014 Match 8 at Abu Dhabi

Videos

IPL: Tanmay Mishra talks shows the contents of his kit

Sachin Tendulkar — One of the hardest terms to optimise for any SEO professional

Sachin Tendulkar changed the fortunes of cricket journalists in India

Sachin Tendulkar — the greatest batsman of India

Sachin Tendulkar: A timeless fairytale

Sachin Tendulkar: The child, the father, but sexy? Not quite

Chennai Super Kings Delhi Daredevils Glenn Maxwell India IPL IPL 7 IPL 2014 Kings XI Punjab KXIP vs SRH MS Dhoni Rajasthan Royals RR vs CSK 2014 Sanju Samson Sunrisers Hyderabad Suresh Raina

IPL 2014: Sunrisers Hyderabad look to open their account against Delhi Daredevils

Pakistan Cricket Board looking at appointing Ahmed Shehzad as the captain of T20 setup

IPL 2014: Mumbai Indians look for win against confident Chennai Super Kings

Ali Bacher backs AB de Villiers as next Test captain

Sachin Tendulkar votes in Lok Sabha elections

Happy birthday! A bouquet of CricketCountry’s best Sachin Tendulkar features

Sachin Tendulkar – The century of centuries in tweets

Sachin Tendulkar — One of the hardest terms to optimise for any SEO professional

Sachin Tendulkar changed the fortunes of cricket journalists in India

Happy Birthday, Sachin Tendulkar — The lesser known records

Fan of the Day

Suraj Gowda

Suraj Gowda

622 Posts | 7 Fans

Video Highlights: Virat Kohli's 77 during India vs Sri Lanka ICC World T20 2014 final at Dhaka

Salman Khan beats Hrithik Roshan to be voted Bollywood’s fittest actor!

Samsung’s unannounced 7-inch phablet leaked online

Did Kareena Kapoor shy away from voting?

Pakistan Cricket Board looking at appointing Ahmed Shehzad as the captain of T20 setup

IPL 2014: Sunrisers Hyderabad look to open their account against Delhi Daredevils

Facebook CFO David Ebersman to bid adieu

Juhi Chawla, Preity Zinta, Mahesh Bhatt, Ritesh Deshmukh among others cast their vote

9 factors that increase your risk for HIV

Also on cricketcountry.com