India lost the ODI series 0-3 against South Africa© AFP
The Indian cricket team’s tour of South Africa ended in an embarrassing 0-3 money laundering at the hands of the home side in the one-day internationals. The defeat comes at the back of a demoralizing 1-2 loss in the Test series. India got off to a great start to the series with a first Test victory over Centurion, but then things went awry. The South African team has been regarded as one of the weakest in its history since its return to international cricket in the 1990s, as it lacked any big names. But the players put their full power into the remaining two Test games, chasing 200-run plus goals in the fourth innings in Johannesburg and Cape Town to upset a higher-ranked Team India, which was looking for their first Test series in the rainbow nation.
The one-day games were played on pitches that were spider-friendly, but India failed to make the most of the conditions. Stand-in captain KL Rahul’s leadership lacked grit and imagination and India’s ODI template backfired as there was no sense in batting or bowling.
The team was in good positions during bowling and chasing in the first and third ODIs, but lost at crucial moments. In the second ODI, the bowlers failed to defend a total of over 280.
After a narrow loss in the third match, Madan Lal, former medium pacer from India and winner of the 1983 World Cup, blamed the team’s “casual approach” and came under heavy pressure with the selection of the batters during the ODIs, leading to their downfall.
“They came out on an attempt at glory shots, otherwise this game could have easily been won. In international games, batters have to take more responsibility. If you go into it casually, you keep losing games and series like this. Having separate from the first test we didn’t play good cricket. We have gifted games, which we should have won, to South Africa,” Madan Lal said during a talk on Sports Tak.
“They (the players) are just very casual and play casual shots. Rishabh Pant played a casual shot and he didn’t hold the wicket well either, causing him to drop two back chances. We haven’t seen a century of partnership. The players didn’t learn from their mistakes,” he added.
The ODI series was India’s first outing after Virat Kohli was removed as captain. He also resigned from Test captaincy following India’s loss in the series.
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