‘They had decided that they are not going to win this’ – Sunil Gavaskar on India’s approach on fourth day in Cape Town
India lost the third Test against South Africa by seven wickets and thus, lost their golden opportunity to win a Test series in South Africa. Former Indian captain Sunil Gavaskar was disappointed with the Indian team’s tactics on day four of the third Test. He felt that the team had already accepted their defeat.
India had posted a target of 211 runs for South Africa to win the Cape Town Test. The Proteas batters were able to make 101 runs at the end of day three and lost two wickets in the process. On day four, Indian bowlers were able to pick one wicket but the game had slipped out of their reach by that time.
Keegan Petersen made 82 runs off 113 balls before getting dismissed and winning the match for his country single-handedly. Petersen won the player of the match award for his performance, while he was also adjudged player of the series because of being the highest scorer in the three-match series.
“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 while talking to Star Sports.
India’s field placement was poor: Sunil Gavaskar
Gavaskar was not impressed with the field placements on day four particularly when Ravichandran Ashwin was bowling. He felt that the Indian team failed to create pressure on the South African batters and gave away easy runs.
“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,” he added.
Gavaskar praised the way Proteas batters batted in the last two games despite the pitch offering the least support to the batters.
“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.”