India's reputation as world's best Test team took a big hit as the South Africa thrashed the visitors by what could be called a big if not massive 72-run margin in a chase of 208 to take a 1-0 lead in the three-match series.
India: Virat Kohli (capt), Murali Vijay, Shikhar Dhawan or Lokesh Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Rohit Sharma or Ajinkya Rahane, Hardik Pandya, Wriddhiman Saha, Ravichandran Ashwin, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammad Shami, Jasprit Bumrah.
On the other hand, in the first innings the situation of team India was more bad. "The players have been reminded about the Galle loss". We all know there will be tricky periods in South Africa. "I took it a bit personally up front, you are all obviously human, but you try to get over it as quickly as possible, get better, do some work behind the scenes and come back stronger". We have to fight.
Which brings us to the question once again - will India include Rahane in the team now?
On Wednesday, Virat Kohli had also posted a picture in which he and Pandya looked in buoyant spirits. "Grateful for all your wishes and support throughout the first Test".
According to a TOI report, Karnataka opener KL Rahul will return to the playing eleven at the centurion for second Test match starting on Saturday. "He is probably been our most consistent and solid player away from home", the skipper said. Ahead of the second Test, the batting combination debate has once again heated up. At least the coach had predicted this.
Speaking on the eve of the match, du Plessis said that his side are preparing for unknown Centurion pitch before revealing that they had asked for a pitch with pace and bounce. So looking back, did India field the right batsmen?
Du Plessis also said that the culture in the team meant everyone felt comfortable and were able to perform to optimum levels. "Well, we chose to go on current form". He did that similar thing in the past and Shikhar as well.
"Look, these things can always be looked at in hindsight - thinking what if or what if not".
If we are to take Kohli's word that current form is the criteria for selection, Ishant should have featured in the 1 Test match itself. Vengsarkar still positive Meanwhile, there was some support for the beleaguered side. They were in the game for 90% of the time. They must have got the feel of the atmosphere and wickets by now. Exhorting his batsmen to deliver in challenging conditions, he expressed hope that they will put in an improved performance.
Philander had to face criticism due to his lack of fitness during the four-match Test against England previous year and he said he initially took it "personally" before deciding to work on his fitness. Thanks to his 93-run knock, which was well decorated by a six and 14 boundaries, India made 209 runs amid challenging conditions. "It is up to the team and the think tank".