The much awaited series between South Africa and India, also named as Freedom Series has already begun with an exciting game at Capetown. Despite the rain and match getting finished in literally three days, cricket lovers got to see all the flavours of a test match which makes the game so beautiful. However, it wasn’t the result Team India and their fans had wanted but they can only blame themselves for not winning the game after coming so close. Nevertheless, they still have a couple of games in hands and they might still win them given that they do few things right. Here’s what some of the points are.
Pick the right combination
Over the last couple of years, Team India has been quite blessed to have a bunch of some potent players which can do well overseas. The team management had problem of plenty which is always better than having limited resources. However, it’s important to pick the right players to achieve better results. Indian team made some surprising decisions in both the tests which were hard to digest. Keeping Rahane out of the team has been a very debatable topic throughout and now India’s best fast bowler from first game was dropped from the second test. Team management must rethink their decision of not playing Rahane because it’s almost compulsory to play him overseas.
Have the positive intent while batting
Often during the first test, Indian batsmen were guilty of going into a shell and not looking to score. Certainly, that’s not the best way to approach when you look to win or even survive on tough pitches. Being too defensive slows down your reflexes and thus you often make some unforced errors. Being positive doesn’t mean one should throw his hands at every ball but batsmen should take calculative measured risks instead of just blocking especially on challenging wickets.
Big players taking up the responsibilities
That’s a huge factor to conquer any frontier. It’s impossible to win an away series with mediocre performances from big players which we already saw in recently concluded Ashes. Joe Root and Alastair Cook had to go big if England had to do well. In a match when Cook scored 200, they put some pressure on Australia. India is also in a similar situation and they would expect that players like Virat Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara deliver for them. They failed to capitalise on a winning opportunity in the first test and the failure of big players was one responsible factor behind it.
Catches win Matches
We’ve been hearing a very quote used in cricket – ” Catches Win Matches” since years. India dropped Keshav Maharaj in the first inning of the first test which was one under talked mistake of the game. The dropped catch cost India 30 odd runs which was crucial in the context of the game. Even in the second test, they dropped Amla twice which one can’t afford. Amla scored 82 although both the catches were very difficult compared to the catch dropped by Dhawan. Not just in slips, India will need to tighten their fielding everywhere to win the series.
Keep the WAGs at home
Last but not the least, even though it’s their personal issue and they’ve right to do anything off the field, players must be more focussed on the game and not on family when they’re on a tough tour and this can only be done by one way.