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What went wrong for India in the second test against South Africa?

India lost the second test against South Africa on Thursday. South Africa beat India by 7 wickets which is a huge margin.

Before the Test, India had already played five Tests at Johannesburg. India had previously won two games and drew three. Virat Kohli‘s absence was also a major factor in why the team could not make it to the finals.

Let’s analyze the factors

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Virat Kohli’s absence

India’s best batter Virat Kohli wasn’t a part of the Second Test and KL Rahul was the captain in his absence. Kohli has been scoring 30s and 40s as a captain. He played well in challenging situations and guided the team which led the team’s victory over South Africa at Wanderers in 2018 and against England, last year.

Nobody could resist Dean Elgar’s fearless batting. After the hosts surpassed 200, India started to go through the motions.

Poor fielding

Pant dropped an important catch, Shardul Thakur also could not hold on to a catch of Temba Bavuma. Elgar and Bavuma’s catch proved to be of great cost to the Indian team. Still, at 180/3 and 240 to chase, both the teams had a 50% chance to win. Last season, India dropped 30 catches during the tour of Australia last season. They dropped a few catches in the first Test too!

Injured players

Rohit Sharma decided to not play due to her injury. Similarly, Mohammad Siraj had a hamstring strain so he was also dropped from the match. Siraj could have given Dean Elgar some tough balls and also got him out.

KL Rahul’s captaincy

KL Rahul didn’t get a lot of time to prepare for the second Test as Virat Kohli decided to opt-out due to his back injury. A lot of pressure was added to his shoulders due to South Africa’s run chase. For a newcomer captain, it was definitely a difficult task to perform against a strong team like South Africa.

Poor middle order

The middle-order implosion had cost India in the second test. Between Pujara, Rahane and Hanuma Vihara only 23 runs were scored. At one stage, the team slumped to 91/4 from 49/1 at one stage.

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