Published: Sat, January 13, 2018
Sport | By Wilson Duncan

Don't see India winning the Test series, says Lance Klusener

Don't see India winning the Test series, says Lance Klusener

Amidst all this noise generated by various talking heads, TOI can confirm that Karnataka opener Lokesh Rahul - who sat in the first Test - will return to the playing eleven at the Centurion for the second Test match starting Saturday.

Mumbai: The one silver lining in India's humiliating defeat by South Africa in Cape Town was the performance of India's fast bowling attack. "I will be honest with you".

India played their previous 31 tests in Asia and the Caribbean. Coming out after Tea I was a bit on the stiff side and I had to bowl two or three overs to get myself going.

Their partnership did frustrate South Africa, but it was yet another ploy of bringing the wicketkeeper up to the wickets that worked. While Dhawan managed to score 16, 16 in two innings, Rohit could only gather 11 and 10 runs."History of Rohit Sharma and history of Shikhar Dhawan in overseas conditions are not very good".

India have never won a Test series in the country and have only registered victories in 2 Tests out of 18 since 1992. The Cape Town Test, one that India lost to South Africa by 72 runs in nearly four days, with one of those days getting robbed by rain, led to one such build-up.

The team's logic over Sharma's inclusion is simple: By dropping him, what message do they convey to a batsman who scored an unbeaten century and two half-centuries (one unbeaten) in the only two Test matches he played in 2017. I have played in South Africa myself and I can tell you that it is a different ball game when there is pace, swing and movement at the same time.

With 208 to defend against India, Philander said he knew he had to quickly take the responsibility of spearheading the pace battery and put his team in a good position.

Agencies add: The Indians had a taste of what to expect at Centurion's SuperSport Park with the bounce and carry troubling the batsmen. "If India were touring in the sub-continent, then it wouldn't be the end-of-the-world if they didn't play a practice game before the tour". India were properly beaten at Newlands but for long stretches of the match they were on top‚ helped not a little by the fact that they had the better of the conditions throughout.

For the first time since the inaugural series in 1992-93, an Indian batsman did not score a hundred in a Cape Town Test. Hardik Pandya almost scored one on Day Two of the recently-concluded Test, but couldn't join Sachin Tendulkar (twice), Mohammed Azharuddin and Wasim Jaffer as Test centurions in Newlands. "All the signs are there that he (Pandya) is developing into a fantastic all-round prospect".

"We are not focusing on the result, because if we do, we lift away too far from our plans", said Bumrah.

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