India are currently on one of their most successful foreign tours in recent history. Having been defeated comprehensively in the first 2 test matches, no one gave any India any chance. However, Virat Kohli and his boys came back in style, as they won the third and final test match before winning the ODI series 4-1 with 1 match to go. The Indian captain, in particular, has been one of the reasons for India’s excellent performances till now. He has received plaudits from across the world for not only his individual performances but also the manner in which he has led the team.
However, one former who is somewhat disappointed in India’s approach in the test series is South African bowling legend Shaun Pollock. He believes that India made an error in preparing for the test series, even though they have managed to triumph in the limited-over format. The 44-year-old said, as reported by Hindustan Times,
“I was a little bit surprised by their batting. When they came on this tour I thought it was going to be their strength. I was a bit disappointed by the way they went (in the Test series).”
Pollock was of the opinion that Indian wouldn’t be totally satisfied with the ODI series win at a time when they should have prioritised the test series.
“I suppose it goes down to what are the actual goals you want to achieve. If you want to win Test series away from home, then you have to give them more priority. And priority means more preparation.” he added.
Prior to start of the 1st test match, India were scheduled to play a practice game, however, on the team management’s request, CSA cancelled the match. Speaking about the importance of practice game Pollock said,
“We have seen they are now settled in ODIs. Probably they could have structured the tour better and had ODIs before Tests, and that could have been better preparation for India.”
“I think practice matters. You need to have two practice matches and have a guarantee that you are genuinely good opposition than just developing players. You have to set your goals.”
Pollock also took time to speak about Virat Kohli and his personal achievements on the tour. The Indian captain was the only player to hit a century in the test series and is also the leading run-scorer in the ongoing ODI series with 2 centuries and 1 fifty. The legendary bowler said,
“I saw an interview at the start of the tour and he was talking about backing himself in these conditions. That positivity and approach paid off for him.”
He wasn’t fearful of the conditions and he wanted to grind out performances. He obviously came here with the right mind set. I thought the rest of the batting group would have been similar, but there wasn’t anyone else who supported him particularly in the Tests.”
Pollock who took 421 test wickets in his 108 test match long career, was full of praise for the Indian bowling contingent which managed to take 60 wickets in the test matches and is doing a terrific job in the ODI series. “That’s fantastic. But you have to look at surfaces that they have played on. The hardest one to get wickets was Centurion, but on the other two, there was plenty of assistance,” he concluded.
India are currently preparing to take on South Africa in the 6th ODI at Centurian on Friday (16th February) before starting the 3 match T20 series.