Former Indian cricket team opener Aakash Chopra believes that Rohit Sharma and Co were not ready to “take body blows and stick around” during the heavy defeat against South Africa in the first Test match in Centurion. India were completely outplayed by the hosts as they lost by an innings and 32 runs. The defeat meant that India will have to wait even more to win their maiden Test series in South Africa. During his analysis on JioCinema, Chopra said there was little fightback from India on Day 3 and except KL Rahul and Virat Kohli, the Indian batters did not look convincing against the Proteas.
“When the third day’s play began, I felt there was a realistic chance of an Indian fightback. But that did not happen. An innings defeat is quite humbling. Except for (KL) Rahul in the first innings and (Virat) Kohli in the second, the others did not look convincing.”
“No one looked like willing to play ugly, take body blows and stick around. Rohit Sharma was out to (Kagiso) Rabada in both innings. Yashasvi Jaiswal is still far from figuring out these conditions. Shreyas Iyer didn’t look good. India needed to bat four-five sessions which did not happen,” he said.
Chopra also spoke about Shubman Gill who failed to score big in the match and said that he needs to start scoring runs in order to cement his position in the Test squad in spite of his white-ball cricket form.
“Gill was impressive in the series against Australia when India toured, and looked like a player for the future. He’s batted well in ODIs which is his favourite format and done modestly in T20s. But in Tests, against England, New Zealand, South Africa and West Indies, I don’t think he has performed well. So, there is a question mark. He started off as an opener.”
“Then he batted at No 3. Eventually he wants to bat at No. 4 is what I feel. But he needs to start scoring runs. There’s a slight technical deficiency in his batting, too. He’s a player who likes to play mostly with his hands and does not rely mainly on his feet. So, this approach may suit flat pitches and white ball cricket. But that does not work in Test cricket,” the former India opener explained.