Daryll Cullinan PHOTO CREDIT: Mandar Deshpande
Daryll Cullinan PHOTO CREDIT: Mandar Deshpande

Daryll Cullinan, the former Proteas batter has come down harshly on South Africa’s batting unit after their abject performance in the first Test against India. After being bundled out for 197 and 191 in their respective innings, South Africa lost to India for the very first time at Centurion by a margin of 113 runs.

From losing four top-order batters for just 30 runs in the first innings to throwing six crucial wickets on Day 5 for 66 runs, the errors of the South African batting were there to be seen by everyone watching. While Mohammed Shami picked eight wickets in the Test, including a brilliant fifer in the first innings, Jasprit Bumrah made five crucial breakthroughs overall.

Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah (AP Photos)
Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah (AP Photos)

Daryll Cullinan: South African Batsmen Have Big Technical Issues

According to former middle-order batter Daryll Cullinan, South African batting possesses major technical issues.

During a conversation , the 54-year-old criticized the team’s approach to red-ball cricket and said: “South Africa twice batted poorly. I think they have big technical issues. I don’t think South Africa approaches Test cricket well as a batting unit. At this venue, a hundred can set you up (while referring to KL Rahul’s century).”

KL Rahul after his century in Centurion. Photo- AFP
KL Rahul after his century in Centurion. Photo- AFP

Daryll Cullinan recognizes that the basic principles of Test cricket aren’t being applied by South Africa.

Daryll Cullinan stated: “I don’t think South Africa is following the basic principles of red-ball cricket, i.e. a sideways game. This theory and South Africa believe in it that you bat on off-stump, bat outside of crease – I’ve watched it for years now and that theory is flawed. The problem with that is you lose sight of where your off-stump is. You can’t cut LBW because bowlers have DRS now.”

Daryll Cullinan, who has over 8,000 international runs to his name, feels the upheaval of white-ball cricket has greatly influenced Test match cricket. India wrapped the South Africa second innings on 191 and won the opening Test in Centurion by 113 runs. With this win, the visitors go 1-0 up in the three-match series. Ravichandran Ashwin scalped the final two wickets in consecutive deliveries to help India win their first Test in Centurion.

KL Rahul became only the second Indian opener to score a century in a Test in South Africa after Wasim Jaffer had amassed 116 in the 2007 series in Cape Town. Man of the Match opener KL Rahul scored 123 off 260 balls and was dismissed early on the 3rd day. His innings consisted of 16 fours and 1 six. KL Rahul remained unbeaten on 122 off 248 balls as India had ended Day 1 in a strong position at 272 for 3.

Daryll Cullinan Said That White Ball Cricket Influenced Test Camps As Nowadays Enough First Class Cricket Isn’t Being Played Much

While citing England who lost Ashes 2021/22 recently as an example of a team that has been affected by the shorter formats of the game, the Kimberly-born batter mentioned that first-class matches aren’t being played enough in the current era.

Daryll Cullinan played 70 Tests and 138 ODIs for South Africa cricket team.(Getty Images)
Daryll Cullinan played 70 Tests and 138 ODIs for the South Africa cricket team. (Getty Images)

He said: “We last played Test a few months ago. In between, there has been a lot of white-ball cricket. In our era, we had a lot of first-class cricket. That probably doesn’t seem to be the case now. Yes, white-ball cricket has influenced the test camps – look what happened to England in Australia.”

After losing the first Test against India, the hosts of South Africa find themselves in a must-win situation. The penultimate Test of the series will be played at the Wanderers Stadium on January 4.

To add to their woes, South African wicketkeeper-batter Quinton de Kock has retired from Test cricket with immediate effect. The 29-year old was supposed to miss the rest of the series against India on paternity leave but he decided to give up the longest format entirely.

India 327 (Rahul 123, Agarwal 60, Ngidi 6-71) and 174 (Pant 34, Rabada 4-42, Jansen 4-55) beat South Africa 197 (Bavuma 52, Shami 5-44) and 191 (Elgar 77, Bumrah 3-50, Shami 3-63) by 113 runs