Sanjay Manjrekar | Sportzpics
Sanjay Manjrekar | Sportzpics

Former India player Sanjay Manjrekar believes that India’s pace bowling unit let them down in the fourth innings as Bumrah & Co. made a tactical error to bowl too straight which played to the hands of Dean Elgar & Co.

South Africa chased down the target of 240 with a loss of only 3 wickets as Dean Elgar led from the front with an unbeaten 96 as the hosts levelled the series by 1-1 with one test to go.

The Ball Was Coming Onto The Stumps, All They Had To Do Was Put Bat To Ball - Sanjay Manjrekar Criticises India's Bowling Strategy 1

“Challenge was taken away” – Sanjay Manjrekar

Manjrekar believes that Indian pacers were not patient enough to bowl consistently outside off. As they started chasing wickets with bowling straight lines which made life easier for South African batters as all they had to do, was to put on the ball.

“If you noticed today, every ball was on the stumps. There’s a line that you can bowl on South African pitches, especially when you’ve got only 240 runs to defend which is outside the off-stump. That creates a different challenge to the batter because he’s then thinking, ‘Should I play this one or leave that one?’ Now that challenge was taken away because everything was coming into the stumps, and if the ball didn’t do much, there were runs to be had,” Manjrekar spoke to ESPNcricinfo.

He further pointed out that barring Shardul Thakur Indian seamers didn’t get any movement whether it’s in the air or off the surface which made things easier for Dean Elgar & Co.

The Ball Was Coming Onto The Stumps, All They Had To Do Was Put Bat To Ball - Sanjay Manjrekar Criticises India's Bowling Strategy 2
Photo Credit: Getty Images.

“Look at the economy rates of all the seam bowlers. So when the ball didn’t kick or jag around – Bumrah’s ball didn’t jag around at all in this Test match, Shami not as much only, Shardul was getting the ball to deviate off the pitch – so that meant. the ball was coming onto the stumps, all they had to do was put bat to ball,” he added.

However, Manjrekar is quite satisfied with KL Rahul’s first audition as test captain. Manjrejar believes that he did things that most new captains would do and didn’t make any outrageous calls. Notable that KL Rahul captained India in this test as Virat Kohli was ruled out due to an upper back spasm.

“Tactically, I think, Rahul did what most new captains would do. He would go with bowlers who have the pedigree, so there was a lot of Bumrah, Shami; there was a bit of Shardul. The big story as well (is) about what this team thinks of Ravichandran Ashwin, the way he was used. So tactically, with bowling changes, I don’t have any issues,” Manjrekar stated.

The third and final test will begin on January 11 at Cape Town, Virat Kohli will likely be available for this test.

Also read Rahul Dravid Hopeful To See Virat Kohli Return For 3rd And Final Test