It is known that Indian batsmen have struggled on South African wickets. Getting beaten regularly isn’t really a good sight to watch, especially when the Indian batsmen play at the ball that they should have left alone. Indian batsmen’s failure to adapt to the wicket is purely due to their lack of understanding of playing on these wickets, especially the measure of bounce and movement.
If India fails to perform well in this Test and the series, once again it will go down as the Indian batsmen’s inability to cope with South African wickets.
For a team to be world beaters, they should be able to play on any kind of wicket. Playing and missing, and riding on one’s luck should not be the path that batsmen must take. Cricket fans love to see batsmen score with elegance and authority.
For years it has been said that India should create fast wickets in order to get rid of this stigma of struggling abroad. However, to date India does not have a wicket that is really quick, with the result the batsmen play at balls that should be ideally left alone.
It is easy to look for excuses should India lose this Test. There is already a ready-made excuse that India is touring South Africa after four years. The question that fans must ask is that why hasn’t India toured South Africa since 2014? Only two victories out of the 17 Tests played in South Africa is indeed a serious matter.
If India fails to create fast wickets or get their A teams and youth teams to tour South Africa regularly, it will not be a surprise when one sees the Indian batsmen struggle at the crease. Indian fans may well say that South Africa and Australia, England and New Zealand struggle on India’s spinning wickets. But it is also known that instances of foreign batsmen failing to cope with the spin on Indian wickets have reduced over the years. The Indian Premier League has given the opportunity to many foreign batsmen to play on Indian wickets.
If South Africa stages their Global T20 League this year end, India must participate in it. In addition to their top batsmen, their youngsters too can get good experience and exposure. The fear that T20 leagues in other countries will help make cricket boards in those countries richer should end. It does not makes sense with Indian cricket board’s coffers swelling on one side and the Indian batsmen continue to hop, jump and skip at the crease due to their inexperience on foreign wickets.
Like Hardik Pandya fought his way to hit 93 runs, many youngsters must learn to adapt and score runs. Resisting from playing in countries where wickets are tough will continue to make good pacers look like demons.