India lost the third Test to South Africa by 7 wickets© AFP
Legendary Indian cricketer Sunil Gavaskar was not happy with India’s tactics after Lunch on Day 4 of the third Test against South Africa at the Newlands in Cape Town. India’s dreams of achieving a historic first-ever Test series win in South Africa went up in smoke as the visitors chased down the 212-run target to win the decider on Friday and clinch the three-match series 2-1. South Africa had gone into lunch needing only 41 runs to win with seven wickets still in the bank. In the second session, the hosts took just 8.3 overs to score the remaining runs. India’s tactics of not using Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami or Shardul Thakur surprised Gavaskar.
“It was a mystery to me why Shardul Thakur and Jasprit Bumrah did not bowl after Lunch. It was almost as if India had decided that they are not going to win this,” Gavaskar said on commentary.
Umesh Yadav and Ravichandran Ashwin were the bowlers used by Virat Kohli in the second session as Temba Bavuma and Rassie van der Dussen took South Africa home without much difficulty.
Gavaskar also pointed the defensive field placement when Ashwin was bowling.
“The field placements there were for Ashwin (was not right)… There were singles available easily. Five fielders were in the deep. Let the batters take a chance that is your only opportunity to get them out,” said the former India captain.
Gavaskar, however, did not forget to credit the South African batters for their effort. This was the second time in a row when they chased down a 200-plus score in the fourth innings without breaking a sweat.
“The pitches weren’t the best for batting but the application shown by the South Africans in Johannesburg, the application shown by them in this Test as well has been praiseworthy. That showed the character of the team,” he said.
Keegan Petersen was the star of the match for South Africa. The young right-hander scored important fifties in both innings of the match but his 82-run knock in the second innings was perhaps the best one in his short career so far. The right-hander got a standing ovation when was returning back to the pavilion in the first session on Friday.
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