‘Horses For Courses’ Went Wrong in South Africa

Horses for Courses‘ – The phrase which is famously used by the Indian National Cricket Team coach Ravi Shastri. Literally, it means ‘different people are suited to different situations’. The Indian cricket team is following this strategy heavily in the recent past and the chopping and changing of the team is constantly being done, which may be making the players insecure of their positions in the team!

We look at two of the decisions (which were made keeping this policy in mind) made by the Indian team in the ongoing tour of South Africa.

Inclusion of Ishant Sharma and dropping Bhuvneshwar Kumar for the second Test

Bhuvneshwar gave India a chance with three quick wickets at the very beginning of the first innings of the Cape Town Test. However, he was dropped for the second Test because the team management thought that he cannot extract the bounce out of the Centurion pitch!

Ishant Sharma who is much taller and much experienced compared to Bhuvi was selected for the second Test in Centurion to bounce the South Africans Out. And its up to you to decide if Ishant Sharma has led the bowling attack  in the second Test match or not.

Bhuvi certainly gave the perfect start in this tour and he was dropped. An act of making the players feel insecure even after putting up a great show.

Picking Rohit Sharma ahead of Ajinkya Rahane

This has become the much debated topic since the start of the first Test match in Cape Town. ‘Why Rohit Sharma? Why not Ajinkya Rahane?’ However, the Indian team management have clarified to the billions of their fans that the “current form” of the player has been taken into consideration while picking the playing XI.

Rohit Sharma: Before the ongoing tour of South Africa Rohit’s batting average is 85.44 in Home Tests and 26.33 in Away Tests. And with the scores of 11 & 10 in Cape Town and 10 & 47 in Centurion his Away average has come down to 25.35.

Ajinkya Rahane: The best Indian batsman in the Overseas conditions and more over he was selected as vice-captain for this Test team. If you are benching your vice-captain then that’s a problem either with the Indian National Selection Committee or the members who are involved in picking the playing XI! Rahane’s average of 53.44 in the Overseas conditions is the best for any player in the current Indian Test squad!

PlayerBatting Average (Home)Batting Average (Away)Batting Average (Overall)
Rohit Sharma85.4425.3539.97
Ajinkya Rahane33.6353.4444.15

Even if Ajinkya Rahane will be selected for the third Test match he might think at the back of his mind “What if I fail in this Test match? Is my career under threat?”.

We feel that this constant changing of the Team needs to be stopped at some point to make players comfortable which helps them play with a positive mindset.

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About Phaneendra Varma 146 Articles
Fan of Cricket. Devotee of Sachin. Follower of the Cricket game since 2003 World Cup!