In the opening Test, India faced a defeat within three days, managing scores of 245 and 131 across two innings.However, the turning point of the game revolved around South Africa’s remarkable innings, where they amassed 408 runs.
While Bumrah stood out by claiming four wickets, Mohammed Siraj showcased some resilience. However, Shardul Thakur and Prasidh Krishna encountered substantial challenges, enduring a tough time on the field.
“This was not a 400-run wicket and we gave too many runs. We sprayed the ball all around, but it happens. One can’t depend on one particular bowler (Bumrah), the other three pacers also needed to perform their roles, we could learn from how South Africa bowled,” Rohit said after the match.
He admitted that although there wasn’t lack of effort but Bumrah couldn’t alone keep the pressure on Proteas batters.
“Bumrah bowled well and we all know his quality. All he wanted was a bit of support which he didn’t get. That happens. All three tried hard, bending their backs but didn’t happen the way we wanted to. But games like these teaches you a lot as to what you want to do as a bowling unit,” the skipper observed.
Young Prasidh, who has just had 12 first-class matches under his belt, couldn’t get the measure of bounce and carry at Supersport Park and went for 93 runs in 20 overs on Test debut.
The skipper conceded Prasidh is a bit under-cooked but also insisted that his team would show faith in him.
“Of course, he is a little bit inexperienced. He has got the tools to come out here and play the game. Obviously, if I look at the bowlers that we have back in India, some of them are injured, some not available, so we tried picking guys who are available, based on conditions,” he reasoned.
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“I completely agree that he (Krishna) hasn’t played a lot of (red ball) cricket but there are three guys in their team also, who haven’t played a lot of (red ball cricket) but they showed what is required.
“More than what’s there in the legs, I think it’s in the mind. How you treat your mind and how you play the game is more important. If you think that oh, I haven’t played, lot of Tests or FC cricket, then it’s not going to help,” the skipper was clear.
“When you get an opportunity, you should be grateful and come out and do the job for the team. Obviously, it didn’t work out well for him and playing your first game, we all would have been nervous, he would have been nervous as well.
“These things happen, the guy has game to excel but we will back him and has a great attitude about his game which holds us in good stead going forward.”
BATTERS NEED TO DEVISE OWN GAMEPLAN
Each and every batter has unique technique and it is imperative when they come for challenging assignments like South Africa, they have a customised game plan, Rohit said, citing KL Rahul’s example.
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“Look at what KL Rahul did in the first innings. It is a perfect example of showing intent as well as respecting the conditions. At end of the day, he scored at a strike-rate of 70 and he put the bad balls away. That is what we talk about intent.”
While he didn’t take names but he certainly wasn’t amused in the manner Shreyas Iyer and Shubman Gill tackled conditions.
“We can’t just go and swing our bats. That’s not the conditions to do that. You got to understand that there is a thin line between showing that intent and discipline as well,” Rohit said.
“Every individual is different and we try talking to every individual in the way they want to play and keeping conditions in mind, what they can do. It’s a mixture of everything, intent, little bit of discipline and you can’t just go with one mindset in these conditions.”
(With inputs from PTI)