After their 1-0 win over New Zealand in the two-match Test series earlier this month, Team India’s focus now shifts to a three-match Test series against South Africa, starting December 26. After the first Test in Kanpur ended in a draw, India thrashed New Zealand in the second Test by 372 runs in the second Test at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. While the Indian bowlers were too hot to handle during the series, there were a lot of concern regarding India’s inconsistent top and middle-order batters.
While the likes of Shreyas Iyer and Mayank Agarwal starred with the bat in the first and second Test, respectively, the likes of Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane once again failed to make a mark in the series against the Kiwis. Young opening batter Shubman Gill was also criticised for throwing away his wicket on a few occasions.
Speaking on the topic, former India batter VVS Laxman warned the Indian batters, including Pujara, Rahane and Gill, ahead of three-match Test series against the Proteas.
“It’s very important not to repeat the same mistakes. If you see the way Ajinkya Rahane got out in Kanpur, Pujara got out in Kanpur as well as in Mumbai, it’s almost like a pattern, which is developing. Even Shubman Gill after settling down, throwing away his wicket. So, I just believe that it is about converting that start into a big score, which is very critical and as it is India plays with five genuine batsmen then you have your all-rounder in the form of Jadeja, you then have a wicket-keeper batsman,” said VVS Laxman on Star Sports show ‘Follow The Blues’.
Laxman added that the Indian batters are repeating the same mistakes which might affect their chances of winning a Test series in South Africa for the first time.
“So, the top five batsmen need to make it count once they spend time on the crease. Somewhere or the other I feel that the mistakes are being repeated and after getting set they are losing their wicket easily, which you cannot do because if you want to perform well against good teams and especially if you want to win against South Africa then as a batting unit you need to fire,” he explained.
The first Test will be played at the Centurion Park from December 26.
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