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Rohit Sharma
Rohit Sharma. Image Credits: AFP
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Rohit Sharma Should Lead India Across All Formats: Gautam Gambhir

Gautam Gambhir is of the firm view that the Indian cricket team should have one captain across formats and in his view, Rohit Sharma should lead India across all formats.

Rohit Sharma took over the T20I captaincy from Virat Kohli following India’s T20I World Cup 2021 unceremonious exit and later replaced him as captain in the 50-over format as well. KL Rahul led India in the second South Africa Test after Virat Kohli missed the match due to injury. KL Rahul is also leading India in the three one-day matches in South Africa after Rohit Sharma failed to recover from an injury, missing both Test and ODI series.

Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma
Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma  — Twitter

Gautam Gambhir: Rohit Sharma Should Lead India Across All Formats As One Captain Will Ensure Consistency

Rohit Sharma, India’s white-ball captain is recovering well from his left hamstring injury and has a bright chance of making a comeback for the six-match home limited-overs series against the West Indies next month. Rohit Sharma, who was also the designated Test vice-captain for the tour of South Africa, sustained a left hamstring strain during a net session just prior to the team’s departure for the tour and had to pull out from both Test and ODI matches.

In his column, Gautam Gambhir wrote, “In my book, Rohit Sharma should lead India across all formats with Rahul as his deputy. One captain across formats will ensure consistency in style and approach of the Indian team especially considering that we have another T20 World Cup later this year.”

On Saturday, Virat Kohli stepped down as India captain following the team’s 1-2 series loss in South Africa. With 40 wins and 17 losses in 68 Tests as captain, Virat Kohli is India’s most successful Test leader.

Gautam Gambhir AFP
Gautam Gambhir AFP

“Between the last Test and ODI series, the news space has been hogged by Virat resigning from Test captaincy. I think it is an individual’s call and that is how it should be treated. I think Virat left the Indian Test team is good health but I can’t say the same about white-ball cricket,” Gautam Gambhir added.

“Our bowling resources in Test matches are a neighbour’s envy and owner’s pride. They have showed time and again that they are the engine room for a team’s performance. In limited overs cricket, I’d have liked to see a more settled middle-order, which Virat could not create,” Gautam Gambhir added.

Rohit Sharma, who was named ODI captain earlier this month replacing Virat Kohli, was to travel to South Africa as vice-captain for the Test series which began on December 26 but a hamstring injury during training ruled him out. He had taken charge as T20I captain against New Zealand last month.

Gautam Gambhir Hopes Shikhar Dhawan Is Included In The ODI XI Against Proteas

On the ODI series starting on Wednesday 19th January, Gautam Gambhir hoped that opener Shikhar Dhawan is not left out from India playing XI.

“Shikhar Dhawan is a sensation on social media. He has close to 10 million followers on Instagram alone, which is almost ten times more than the population of Gurugram where he now lives. I’d recommend that there is something for everyone on his Insta handle. There are fitness videos, dancing videos with his mother, dubsmash videos and there is also a video where Shikhar is playing the flute with perhaps his Guru,” Gautam Gambhir observed.

Not in the scheme of things in any other format, this series may be the last chance for Shikhar Dhawan to salvage his ODI career. Shikhar Dhawan has been an enigma. Over 6000 ODI runs with 17 centuries at an average of 45. 55 while striking at 93. 79 are enviable numbers.  He has not played in India colours since leading a second-string team on a white-ball tour of Sri Lanka in July last year.

“Trust me, it’s an absolute delight, all notes are in proper place just like a perfectly struck left-hander’s cover drive with the bat finishing on his right shoulder. How good it will be to see him translate his social media form on the playing field. It is a grand opportunity for him in South Africa. I am not a great believer in age and all that,” Gautam Gambhir added.

“His critics are saying that at 36, Indian cricket should look beyond Shikhar. My worry is the lack of runs in the Vijay Hazare Trophy. I hope he can put it all behind him and put his best foot forward. There is a school of thought that Shikhar should not be played in the final eleven. I think that will be a disaster. Why would you take Shikhar to South Africa and then leave him on the bench? It will make no sense at all,” Gautam Gambhir opined.

Shikhar Dhawan Image Source : AP
Shikhar Dhawan Image Source: AP

Calling for the inclusion of both Ravichandran Ashwin and Yuzvendra Chahal in the playing XI, Gautam Gambhir wrote that he would be looking forward to the performance of Prasidh Krishna on the bouncy pitches of South Africa in the ODI series.

“After KL Rahul, Shikhar, and Virat Kohli, India should continue to play Surya Kumar Yadav at No. 4, Shreyas Iyer at No. 5, Rishabh Pant at 6. I am extremely inclined to use the experience of R Ashwin in my bowling department with Chahal being the other spinner.”

“Fast bowling duties need to be performed by Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Prasidh Krishna, and Jasprit Bumrah. I’d be keen to see how Prasidh goes on the bouncy tracks of South Africa. He has conditions in his favour, let’s see if he can translate promise into performance,” Gautam Gambhir signed off.

Prasidh Krishna has impressed one and all in his short international career with his ability to regularly touch 140 kmph. Prasidh Krishna made his ODI debut against England and picked up 4 wickets on debut. He ended with figures of 4/54 in 8 overs and broke the Indian record for most wickets in an ODI debut.

Dilip Vengsarkar, Rohit Sharma celebrates his century during the fourth Test against England. (Twitter/BCCI)
Rohit Sharma celebrates his century during the fourth Test against England. (Twitter/BCCI)
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“I Would Appoint Rohit Sharma Or Ravichandran Ashwin As A Stop-Gap Captain”- Dilip Vengsarkar

“I Would Appoint Rohit Sharma Or Ravichandran Ashwin As A Stop-Gap Captain”- Dilip Vengsarkar: Former India batter Dilip Vengsarkar has opined his views regarding India’s new Test captain as Virat Kohli stepped down from the role after the series against South Africa. So the question of the hour- who should take over from India’s most successful test captain?

There is no clear frontrunner for the job as every candidate has their own pros and cons. Two names who are hot favorites- are Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul. Rohit Sharma has already been appointed as white-ball skipper for India so giving him the responsibility of test captaincy might be too much on the plate for him. He also missed quite a few test matches in the last year or so due to injury.

Ajinkya Rahane, Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli (Image Credit: Twitter)
Ajinkya Rahane, Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli (Image Credit: Twitter)

Rohit Sharma has already been appointed as the white-ball captain for India

Another candidate would be KL Rahul who captained India in the second test match against South Africa in absence of Virat Kohli. But will it be too early for him as he wasn’t even part of playing XI in India Test set-up 8 months back?

Dilip Vengsarkar believes that India should take a conservation call to appoint Rohit Sharma or R Ashwin as test captain for the short-term as KL Rahul or Rishabh Pant is too young for the job.

“I would appoint Rohit or Ashwin as a stop-gap captain and groom the future captain. Right now, you need somebody with captaincy experience and an assured place in the Test side. Rohit and Ashwin have established themselves in Test cricket,” Vengsarkar spoke to TOI.

Dhoni and Ashwin
Photo Credit: Getty Images.

“Pant, Rahul, or Shreyas need another Shreyas (Iyer) need another year before they will be ready for the job. Pant had proved his mettle, but needs to work on his shot selection. Till then, either of them can be asked to captain India in the white-ball format, and be the vice-captain in Tests. That ways, they will get to observe and learn how to lead the Indian team,” he added.

He gave an example of his own experience as a BCCI selector when he appointed Anil Kumble as a Test captain in 2007 to give another year to MS Dhoni. Dhoni was already leading India in limited-overs cricket then.

“We wanted to give some time to Dhoni before he took the Test captaincy. He was already the white ball captain, and we wanted him to learn a few things by following Kumble closely. Kumble led India superbly in that period,” he recalled.

Dhoni took over the job in 2008 as Kumble had called it a day from international cricket midway in a series against Australia as he suffered a finger injury.

Also read Virat Kohli Pushes Himself To The Maximum- Simon Katich

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Aakash Chopra
Aakash Chopra. (Photo Source: Twitter)
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Aakash Chopra Picks 3 Candidates To Take Up Test Captaincy From Virat Kohli

Aakash Chopra has suggested the three best options who could take over the reins of the Indian Test side from Virat Kohli. Virat Kohli decided to step down as Team India’s Test skipper after the 2-1 series loss to South Africa.

With no heir apparent in front of them, the Indian selectors might have a tough task to choose his successor. Former India player turned veteran commentator Aakash Chopra has said that Virat Kohli’s decision to step down as Team India Test captain has indicated the process of transition, which was not planned as well.

Aakash Chopra
Aakash Chopra. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Aakash Chopra: Rohit Sharma Most Obvious Choice As Test Skipper While KL Rahul Is Another Option

While raising question marks over Rohit Sharma’s fitness, Aakash Chopra highlighted that the Mumbaikar is probably the favored option as he is also the new limited-overs skipper.

“Rohit Sharma seems to be the most obvious choice because he is the ODI and T20I captain at the moment and the last one year was a watershed event for him in Tests. But there are serious questions about his fitness because the hamstring is troubling him since 2020. In theory, it seems alright but will he be able to remain fit?”

KL Rahul And Rohit Sharma (Image Credit: Twitter)
KL Rahul And Rohit Sharma (Image Credit: Twitter)

The former India cricketer feels KL Rahul is the other most likely candidate for the role. KL Rahul will led the Indian ODI team in the next 3 ODIs against hosts South Africa in absence of injured Rohit Sharma.

Aakash Chopra elaborated: “KL Rahul also seems to be an obvious choice. His stature has grown in Test cricket over the last one year. But it is also true that it has happened only after August. He was made to open and has not looked back since. But does he come across as your natural leader?”

However, Aakash Chopra did add that he has not been able to make up his mind on KL Rahul based on what he has seen him captain the Punjab Kings and the odd match for Team India.

Aakash Chopra: Rishabh Pant’s Captaincy Credentials Hasn’t Ben Tested Yet

Aakash Chopra pointed out that Rishabh Pant could also be an option, which has been suggested by the former skipper and batsman Sunil Gavaskar as well.

The former explained: “Can we make Rishabh Pant the captain? Sunny bhai has also asked him to be made the Test captain. Not a bad choice but Rishabh Pant goes too much up and down. He is young and his place is certain in the Test side but is he your leader? His captaincy credentials have not been tested yet.”

Rishabh Pant. (Photo Source: BCCI)
Rishabh Pant. (Photo Source: BCCI)

The reputed commentator also shared his order of preference among the three best candidates for the role.

Aakash Chopra observed: “My vote is for Rohit Sharma as of now, short-term. Second is KL Rahul – you can go with him. Rishabh Pant is the third, it is a slightly left-field or out-of-the-box selection, you can also look towards him.”

Aakash Chopra all but ruled out the chances of Ajinkya Rahane, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ravichandran Ashwin, and Jasprit Bumrah becoming the next Team India Test captain. He reasoned that Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara have not cemented their place in the Indian Test side as they are struggling with their form as was evident in the preceding South Africa Tests.

While Ravichandran Ashwin might not figure in the playing XI in overseas conditions, Jasprit Bumrah could be given a break for the Tests played in India. Aakash Chopra named Virat Kohli the best-ever Indian Test skipper. Virat Kohli led India in 68 Tests in which they won 40 games as well.

Aakash Chopra further highlighted that Virat Kohli was appointed as the skipper of the Test team when India was at the No.7 spot in the ICC rankings and when he stepped down as skipper India is ranked No.1.

Shreyas Iyer. (Photo Source: Twitter)
Shreyas Iyer. (Photo Source: Twitter)
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Shreyas Iyer Is On The Radar Of RCB, KKR, And PBKS As All Of The 3 Franchises Are Targeting Him As Their Next Skipper

Shreyas Iyer, India’s limited-overs batter is on the radar of Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), who’s eyeing him as their next captain, revealed a source tracking the developments closely.

Despite scoring a century on his Test debut, Shreyas Iyer could not get a place in Indian Test XI in South Africa. But all that disappointment will soon be a thing of the past as a big opportunity is knocking on Shreyas Iyer’s doors. He is set to be in great demand before IPL 2022 auctions. Not one but 3 franchises are eyeing Indian limited over batsman as their new skipper.

Shreyas Iyer of Delhi Capitals in action during an IPL match for Delhi ©BCCI
Shreyas Iyer of Delhi Capitals in action during an IPL match for Delhi ©BCCI

Shreyas Iyer Is On The Radar Of RCB, KKR, And PBKS As Their Next Skipper

According to the available information, Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), Punjab Kings (PBKS) – all 3 are ready to break the bank for Shreyas Iyer.

“Post Virat Kohli quitting the RCB captaincy, RCB are really interested in having Iyer as their next captain. Expect them to bid aggressively for the Mumbaikar in next month’s auction in Bangalore,” informed the source.

Rishabh Pant of Delhi Capitals
Rishabh Pant of Delhi Capitals (Image Credit: Twitter)
“The Kolkata Knight Riders and Punjab Kings are also expected to eye him in the auction,” he said.

Shreyas Iyer, as is evident now, wants to be named as the captain of whichever franchise he plays for. The middle-order batter quit the Delhi Capitals after they appointed Rishabh Pant as their skipper. Post that, he didn’t join Lucknow or Ahmedabad as both franchises weren’t offering him the captaincy.

Shreyas Iyer Has Played 87 IPL Matches For Delhi Capitals From 2015-2021

Shreyas Iyer has earned 35.8 Cr in IPL Salaries to date. His last drawn salary from Delhi Capitals was 7 Cr. Overall he has played 7 IPL Seasons so far & has managed to earn 35.8 Cr in total salary. In 87 matches during this period, Shreyas Iyer has scored 2375 Runs at a Strike Rate of 124 averaging 31.67, playing all seasons from 2015-2021 for Delhi Capitals.

Delhi Capitals
Delhi Capitals (Image Credit: Twitter)

Ever since Delhi Daredevils became Delhi Capitals, the performance of the team on the points table also changed. In the last three years, the Delhi Capitals have qualified for the playoffs on all three occasions and came out as runner-up during the 2020 season.

Rishabh Pant, Axar Patel, Prithvi Shaw, and Anrich Nortje are the 4 players that Delhi Capitals have retained for IPL 2022. Now, they have a purse of Rs. 47.50 crore which is available for the IPL 2022 auction. Apart from Shreyas Iyer, the likes of Shikhar Dhawan, Ravichandran Ashwin, Avesh Khan, Kagiso Rabada, and Shimron Hetmyer were also released by the franchise.

Well Done Virat Kohli On The “Headache You Have Left Behind For Your Successor” – Ravichandran Ashwin

India off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin penned down an emotional tribute to his captain Virat Kohli as the latter decided to step down from the captaincy, following India’s defeat against South Africa in the Cape Town test match and conceded the series by 1-2.

So Virat Kohli decided to call off his captaincy tenure of more than 6 years. In this time period, Kohli captained India in 68 Test matches with 40 wins and 17 losses.

Virat Kohli, Ravichandran Ashwin, India Photo: © Reuters (Main Image)
Virat Kohli, Ravichandran Ashwin Photo: © Reuters (Main Image)

Ashwin played 55 Test matches under the captaincy of Virat Kohli:

Ashwin who played an integral part in his successful stint as captain has written an emotional note for him.

“Cricket captains will always be spoken about with respect to their records and the kind of triumphs they managed, but your legacy as a captain will stand for the kind of benchmarks you have set. There will be people who will talk about wins in Australia, England, Sl etc etc,” Ashwin tweeted on Sunday.

“Wins are just a result and the seeds are always sown well before the harvest! The seeds you managed to sow is the kind of standard you set for yourself and hence set the expectations straight with the rest of us. Well done @imVkohli on the headache you have left behind for your successor and that’s my biggest takeaway from your stint as captain. “We must leave a place at such an altitude that the future can only take it higher from there on,” he concluded.

Ashwin played 55 Test matches under Virat Kohli and picked 293 wickets with an average of 22.13. Out of his 30 fifers, 21 came under the captaincy of Virat Kohli.

Notable that in the space of 6 months, Virat Kohli has stepped down from each captaincy position. First as RCB captain at the conclusion of IPL 2021, then as India’s T20I at the conclusion of T20 World Cup.

However, in December, he was sacked from the position of ODI captain as the selectors gave him a reason that they wanted the same captain in both white-ball formats and a month later he decided to leave red ball captaincy as well.

India’s next assignment in Tests will be 2-match series against Sri Lanka at home as Virat Kohli will play his 100th Test match at Bengaluru.

Also read Overseas Defeats Are Not Taken Kindly By BCCI – Sunil Gavaskar Isn’t Surprised With Virat Kohli’s Decision

South Africa's Dean Elgar celebrates with teammates and the trophy after winning the match and the series, Third Test - South Africa v India - Newlands Cricket Ground, Cape Town, South Africa - January 14, 2022 | Photo Credit: Reuters
South Africa's Dean Elgar celebrates with teammates and the trophy after winning the match and the series, Third Test - South Africa v India - Newlands Cricket Ground, Cape Town, South Africa - January 14, 2022 | Photo Credit: Reuters
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Ali Bacher Reckons Test Series Win Against India Is One Of The Gutsiest Ever Performances By A South African Team

Ali Bacher reckons the series win against India was one of the gutsiest ever performances by a South African team, considering before the series started, very few would have put their money on the home team winning the series.

Ali Bacher, the former South African captain, saw the first two Test matches at the Centurion and the Wanderers, Johannesburg, and the third at Newlands, Cape Town from his home at Johannesburg.

Ali Bacher Photo Credit: (Twitter)
Ali Bacher Photo Credit: (Twitter)

Ali Bacher: Series Win Against India One Of The Gutsiest Ever Performances By A South African Team

India lost the series 2-1 after winning the opening Test in Centurion. What followed was the stepping down of Virat Kohli as India’s Test captain and several doubts as to what might have led him to do that. Virat Kohli still remains an important part of the Indian team across formats for the next four to five years.

“I have never seen a three-Test series in South Africa when the ball has deviated so much. All three pitches were the batsmen’s nightmare and the fast bowlers’ paradise. I have never seen a more gutsy and determined South African team. They have made the country proud,” said Ali Bacher.

“India came to South Africa after beating Australia twice in Australia and England in England once, and with four good fast bowlers. I think, before the series started, very few South Africans would have put their money on the home team winning the series. In these circumstances, this has been one of the gutsiest ever performances by a South African team.”

“Man-for-man this South African team, the batters in particular, cannot compare with the likes of Graeme Smith, Jacques Kallis, Faf du Plessis and AB de Villiers. Yet this inexperienced South African batter showed guts and determination that I have never seen before from any South African team in the past.”

Ali Backer also had a word of praise for the South African batsmen in the series. He said that they were without their experienced batsmen like AB De Villiers, Faf Du Plessis, Graeme Smith, and Jacques Kallis but still showed great guts and determination which he did not see before from any South African side.

“All the three pitches — the Centurion, The Wanderers and Newlands — aided the fast bowlers. There was a lot of rain at the Centurion and Johannesburg. So I understand that the pitches there aided the fast bowlers. I don’t know why the pitch became difficult for batting at Cape Town. Batting was difficult on all three pitches.”

Keegan Petersen scored at a brisk pace Getty Images
Keegan Petersen scored at a brisk pace Getty Images

“The hero of South Africa’s batting performance was Keegan Petersen. His technique is superb, his head is over the ball all the time.To me, he is the find of the series for South Africa and man of the series. He appeared like he has played for ten years and scored thousands of Test runs,” said Ali Bacher.

“South African cricket off the field has been in turmoil on the administrative side. But the team showed extraordinary guts and determination facing one of the best fast bowling groups in the world, and on different pitches that aided fast bowling. This must rank as South Africa’s one of the best Test series win,” said Ali Bacher.

“Nortje is quick, and he bowls at around 150 kmph. He is a very good bowler, and it was a big blow that he was ruled out before the start of the series. He was a big loss. And Quinton (de Kock); retired from Test cricket after Centurion. So South Africa had a great Test series without two of its key players. I cannot praise this team any less,” said Ali Bacher.

Keegan Petersen, who has played only 5 Tests was deservingly the Man of the Match for the 3rd Test with scores of 72 and 82. He was Man of the Series too for being the top scorer with 276 runs. At just 29 years of age and having played 54 Tests, Quinton de Kock announced his retirement from the traditional format at the end of the opening Test against India, which the Proteas lost by 113 runs at SuperSport Park and didn’t feature in the last 2 Tests.

The 28-year-old Anrich Nortje had been in good form in Tests this year, picking up 25 wickets in five matches at an average of 20.76 and a respectable economy rate of 3.30. He missed Proteas three-match Test series against India after failing to recover from “a persistent injury”.

Ali Bacher: Indian Pacers Were Unlucky At Newlands, Cape Town

Ali Bacher said that the Indian bowlers were unfortunate not to extract the maximum benefit from the pitches. Ali Bacher said that all three pitches favoured the pacers but he was surprised to see the uneven bounce in the Cape Town track. He also acknowledged the fact that batting was difficult on all the tracks. India’s first innings score of 327 in Centurion remained the highest score in the series.

“On Friday (Jan 14) India’s fast bowlers were unlucky at Newlands. They were outstanding. So many times they beat the bat by half an inch, a quarter of an inch. Those half inches or quarter-inch misses would have probably taken the outside edge. To be honest, fortune was on South Africa’s side on the fourth day morning. India’s bowlers were superb,” said Ali Bacher.

“Look, all the three pitches this time were very unlike normal South African pitches. They favoured the fast bowlers, in deviation of the seam, particularly in Johannesburg. Even in Cape Town. It was a batsmen’s nightmare this time in South Africa. There was always movement of the seam and variable bounce,” said Ali Bacher.

Keshav Maharaj prepares to send one down AFP
Keshav Maharaj prepares to send one down AFP

Ravichandran Ashwin picked up just three wickets in the series. His rival spinning partner Keshav Maharaj picked just one wicket to show for his efforts. The former South African spinner said that he was surprised by how little the spinners bowled in the series. Ali Bacher also praised Rishabh Pant who scored his 4th Test ton.

“Rishabh’s century was a special one. It was a pleasure to watch him bat; the left-hander is a special talent. Ashwin hardly bowled. I have never seen a Test series in South Africa when the spinners had had such little impact. The two spinners hardly bowled,” said Ali Bacher On Rishabh Pant and Ravichandran Ashwin

Both teams now will play a three-match ODI series between January 19-23. The first two games (January 19, 21) will be played in Paarl while the third and final game will be played in Cape Town.

Virat Kohli’s stump-mic comments have attracted plenty of criticism | Screengrab
Virat Kohli’s stump-mic comments have attracted plenty of criticism | Screengrab
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Adam Gilchrist And Shane Warne React To Virat Kohli’s Stump Microphone Comments

Adam Gilchrist weighed in on the episode of Virat Kohli speaking on the stump microphone, saying that Virat Kohli’s frustration was ‘brewing’ until it reached a point of no return, while former legendary spinner Shane Warne condemned the India captain’s jibe.

Virat Kohli letting it rip on the stump microphone following the DRS episode that gave Dean Elgar a lifeline continues to receive a plethora of reactions. While Michael Vaughan said Virat Kohli needs to be fined or suspended for his outburst, former South Africa batsman Daryll Cullinan feels that the India captain has been getting away for his actions for far too long and wants him ‘severely punished’.

Adam Gilchrist and Shane Warne spoke about Virat Kohli's antics. (Getty/Reuters)
Adam Gilchrist and Shane Warne spoke about Virat Kohli’s antics. (Getty/Reuters)

Adam Gilchrist: Indian Skipper’s Frustration Was Building Or Brewing And Got To Breaking Point

Reactions continue to pour in from across the globe, most notably Down Under(Australia), where two of Australia’s greatest former cricketers and legends Shane Warner and Adam Gilchrist have given their take in the matter. Former Australia wicketkeeper-batsman Adam Gilchrist weighed in on the episode, saying that the Indian skipper’s frustration was ‘brewing’ until it reached a point of no return.

Adam Gilchrist (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)
Adam Gilchrist (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)

“That accusation there I am interested in Warnie; this seems a bit premeditated. This has been building or brewing and it has got to a breaking point. That accusation about filming teams shining the ball I am assuming it goes all the way back to that very ground when the Australians were caught out on camera,” said Adam Gilchrist.

South Africa skipper Dean Elgar was adjudged LBW on the field by the umpire Marais Erasmus, however, the left-hander decided to review it. The ball was hitting him in the line of the stumps, but it was going over the stumps which surprised everyone, including Marais Erasmus who shockingly looked at the replays and mouthed, “That is impossible.”

Shane Warne: Sometimes Frustration Overflows And One Can’t Take It Anymore

Shane Warne admitted that the delivery looked like hitting the stumps saying that is going on to smash halfway up middle though, there is no way that’s going over. The former leg-spinner, especially given the fact that he is the ‘captain of an international team’, followed it up by pointing out the frustration element which increased with time.

Shane Warne - Getty Images
Shane Warne – Getty Images

“Look it is an interesting one, I am not sure that should be happening from a captain of an international team. But sometimes frustration overflows, you just get so frustrated and that’s why I said I wonder if that has happened three or four times through the series, and that was like okay that is enough now we can’t have it anymore,” said Warne.

Frustrated by the same, Virat Kohli went up to the stumps and shouted, “Focus on your team as well when they shine the ball eh, not just the opposition. Trying to catch people all the time.” KL Rahul joined and was heard in the background saying, “It’s the whole country against 11 guys.” While the bowler off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin returning to his bowling mark said, “You should find better ways to win, SuperSport.”

Virat Kohli asking the host broadcaster to roll cameras on the home team while shining the ball reminded many of the ball-tampering scandal (2018 Sandpaper Gate) that hit Australian cricket in 2018 on the South Africa tour itself. Virat Kohli is an international skipper and venting out frustrations of that kind was unacceptable, according to Shane Warne who also added that it was a one-off incident and revealed he won’t take more accusations.

The likes of Gautam Gambhir, Shreevats Goswami, and Morne Morkel slammed the Indian cricket captain for his behaviour. India lost the third Test match by seven wickets.

Dean Elgar file photo (Photo by Dianne Manson/Getty Images)
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Dean Elgar Survived An LBW Review As Hawkeye Showed Ball Missing The Stumps; Human Error Possible But Can’t Be Manipulated Says Veteran Broadcaster

Dean Elgar was the batter who survived a review late on the third day when he was given out lbw off Ravichandran Ashwin by Marais Erasmus to a delivery that drifted in from around the stumps and struck in front of the middle stump, below the knee roll. Dean Elgar sent the decision upstairs and ball-tracking showed the ball would have gone over the stumps.

Hemant Buch, a professional with experience of working on more than 100 Tests, feels chances of foul play are remote even though some technicians at work may differ in skill level, in light of the controversy around Dean Elgar’s ‘non-dismissal’. During the final session of the third day of the deciding Test in Cape Town, led by captain Virat Kohli, the Indian players fired a barrage of opinions at host broadcasters SuperSport.

Virat Kohli And Dean Elgar DRS (Photo: Twitter)
Virat Kohli And Dean Elgar DRS (Photo: Twitter)

Dean Elgar Reviewed The LBW Decision Correctly As The Ball Went Over The Stumps Which Enraged Indians

The players let their displeasure known over three key issues: the use of technology, in particular, the ball-tracking system that they alleged was manipulated; the use of stump-mics; and the conduct of the SuperSport crew.

Virat Kohli said: “Don’t hit them on the pads, boys. Either stumps or caught behind, that’s it. Real experts sitting in the DRS column, boys… couldn’t believe they gave me out in the first match. Different ball been shown for tracking, lads.”

Ravichandran Ashwin believed he had trapped Dean Elgar in front of the stumps and umpire Marais Erasmus, too, raised his finger. However, after the South African skipper Dean Elgar reviewed the decision, the tracking system showed the ball was going over the stumps.

The decision of turning down LBW of Dean Elgar enraged the Indians and even Marais Erasmus was caught muttering, ‘that is impossible.’ India dismissed Dean Elgar nine overs later, at the close of play.

Virat Kohli’s stump-mic comments have attracted plenty of criticism | Screengrab
Virat Kohli’s stump-mic comments have attracted plenty of criticism | Screengrab

Hemant Buch said while a human error is possible, it is highly unlikely that the ball-tracking visuals could be manipulated, as implied by the India captain. The ball-tracking technology is supplied by Hawk-Eye, one of the two vendors approved by the ICC. Six cameras are used for this system and there are five people employed by Hawk-Eye to work on the broadcast.

“There are people of varying skill levels and varying degrees of experience working for the company. Sometimes, you find it is taking more time in bringing up the track, sometimes it happens very quickly. Skill levels differ,” Buch said.

Because of the human intervention involved in the tracking system, there is scope for errors. All the data collected is provided to the ICC after the match.

“But you have to remember that you are talking about one or two decisions in the entire series which are wrong with Hawk-Eye. There are so many checks and balances that if it (manipulation) happens, they’ll be caught out,” Buch added.

Virat Kohli said: “I wonder if the stump mic catches all this chatter here, huh?”

For the second time in the match, Virat Kohli spoke angrily about stump mics. Even on Day 2 of the Test, Virat Kohli was heard saying, ‘stump mics are way too loud’ when India was bowling, implying selective broadcast done by SuperSport, to put increased attention on what the visitors say on the field.

The increasing use of stump mics has been a widely debated topic, especially among current and former cricketers who feel it could lead to players getting fined for saying things in the heat of the moment. Usually, audio engineers turn the faders up when a ball is bowled to capture the sound effects of the game: the bowler’s run-up, the batsman taking guard, the ball hitting the bat, or an appeal.

During the period between deliveries and overs, the fader is turned down. In South Africa, however, they are often kept on for longer durations. In 2018, Australia had requested SuperSport and match officials to turn down the mics when the ball was dead although it was ignored by the broadcasters.

Virat Kohli Urged Teammates To Focus While Shining The Ball Referring To 2018 Sandpaper Gate Ball-Tampering Scandal During Australia’s Tour To South Africa

Hemant Buch, too, felt that compared to the Ashes, being played simultaneously, ‘you hear everything that’s happening’ on the field in South Africa. ICC rules allow stump mics to be broadcast at all times, but Hemant Buch said the volume can be increased only at certain times when the ball is dead because you don’t want anything abusive to go out.

A director, who can listen to everything that’s said on the field, can increase the volume if he comes across interesting banter – as Hemant Buch did recently when West Indies wicketkeeper Joshua da Silva tried to sledge Sri Lanka’s Charith Asalanka during the second Test last month.

“I think the Indians feel that stump mics are deliberately kept high when they are bowling,” Buch said. “I am not sure if that’s 100 percent accurate, but it is apparently what they feel.”

Virat Kohli said: “Focus on your team as well when they shine the ball. Not just the opposition, trying to catch people all the time.”

Cameron Bancroft and Steve Smith with the two umpires During 2018 Ball tampering Scandal [Image-Getty]
Cameron Bancroft and Steve Smith with the two umpires During 2018 Ball-tampering Scandal [Image-Getty]
It was a clear reference to the 2018 Sandpaper-gate scandal when Australian players were caught tampering with the ball by the cameras that constantly followed them. Virat Kohli’s comments showed he felt his team, too, was being put under constant scrutiny and were placed by the broadcasters under the microphone – to throw them off guard.

During Australia’s tour to South Africa in 2018, there were suggestions that SuperSport was ‘targeting the Australians, looking for ways the tourists were possibly manipulating the ball’. Indian cricketers felt they were targeted with the use of stump mics and that the technology was being used against them.

“Find better ways to win SuperSport,” Ravichandran Ashwin was heard saying.

The anger over the review of Dean Elgar, however, was misplaced. SuperSport, as they clarified in a statement, isn’t responsible for the technology.

The broadcaster said: “SuperSport notes comments made by certain members of the Indian cricket team. Hawk-Eye is an independent service provider, approved by the ICC and their technology has been accepted for many years as an integral part of DRS.”

Dean Elgar being given not out led to tempers fraying in the Indian camp with skipper Virat Kohli along with his deputy KL Rahul and senior offspinner Ravichandran Ashwin mocking the South African broadcasters ‘SuperSport’ on the stump microphone.

Dean Elgar file photo (Photo by Dianne Manson/Getty Images)
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Dean Elgar Reckons India’s Displeasure With DRS Worked In South Africa’s Favour

Dean Elgar, South African skipper reckons India’s displeasure with the DRS system worked in South Africa’s favour.
Dean Elgar was the batter who survived a review late on the third day when he was given out lbw off Ravichandran Ashwin by Marais Erasmus to a delivery that drifted in from around the stumps and struck in front of the middle stump, below the knee roll.
Dean Elgar sent the decision upstairs and ball-tracking showed the ball would have gone over the stumps. India went on to question the decision vocally on-field as well as insinuate the host broadcasters were biased in favour of the home team, but only dismissed Dean Elgar nine overs later, at the close of play.
Dean Elgar - South Africa Test captain (Twitter)
Dean Elgar – South Africa Test captain (Twitter)

Dean Elgar Reckons DRS Chatter Gave South Africa Advantage As For A Brief Period India Forgot The Game

By that stage, Dean Elgar and Rassie van der Dussen had put on 41 runs, at a scoring rate of 4.5 and brought the target down to 111 on the final day. Asked what he thought of India’s chatter, Dean Elgar said that he “loved it” because of the advantage it gave to South Africa.
“It was maybe a team under a bit of pressure and things weren’t going their way, which they are quite used to of late [getting things to go their way],” he said.
Rassie van der Dussen and Dean Elgar
Rassie van der Dussen and Dean Elgar. (Photo by CHRISTIAAN KOTZE/AFP via Getty Images)
“It was a bit of Test match cricket pressure which gave us a little bit of a window period to score freer and chip away at the target. It played nicely into our hands that for a period of time, they forgot about the game and they were channelling a bit more of the emotional side of what Test cricket has to offer. I am extremely happy it happened that way.”
South Africa went on to deny arguably the best Indian side that has toured here a first series win in this country and stood tall against quality fast bowling and lots of banter. Dean Elgar scored an unbeaten 96 in the 2nd innings of the 2nd Test while Keegan Petersen was deservingly the Man of the Match for scores of 72 and 82 in the 3rd Test. He was Man of the Series too for being the top scorer with 276 runs.

Dean Elgar Said The Proteas Players Need To Understand That He Isn’t There To Manipulate Them

South Africa did have their fair share to say in the field and Dean Elgar has confirmed he is not shy to use his words, although he only spoke in reference to his own team. After the second Test, Dean Elgar revealed how he had a conversation with Kagiso Rabada that fired him for the rest of the series.
He has since shared that he has similar chats with all the members of his squad, as he tries to get the best out of them, but stressed that the chats are underpinned by an ethos of care.
“You’ve got to have mutual respect with every individual player and that’s a two-way street. That enables you to have the conversations we’ve had in the last few weeks,” he said.
“The players need to understand that I am not there to manipulate them.I’d like to think I’ve got a pretty good relationship with everyone – from the oldest player to the youngest player. I’d like to think I connect with them in a pretty good way; a special way. The guys know Dean is doing this for the right reasons.”
Virat Kohli’s stump-mic comments have attracted plenty of criticism | Screengrab
Virat Kohli’s stump-mic comments have attracted plenty of criticism | Screengrab
Dean Elgar said he is “not going to reveal everything (about the motivational chats) because what happens in the team stays in the team”, but essentially his mantra is around putting the collective first.
“We all want to influence things in our own way but the team’s way is the only way going forward. It sounds a little bit harsh but if you want to be the best, you need to have that skill, which is a unique skill. I would like to think I am not offending anyone by the language I use or the words I speak. I am there to motivate and influence this group.”
Dean Elgar does not immediately come across as a player who controls things so carefully behind the scenes. For most of his now-decade-long international career, he was not seen as a natural leader and even now that he has taken over the captaincy, he does not play to the gallery like his opposite number, Virat Kohli.
“My skin is pretty thick when it comes to on-field matters and matters that value the team in a big way. Now, being a lot more experienced, I’ve gained the kind of people skills that I lacked. I’d like to think it’s something I am still going to work on and grow as a human. The pressure situations are tough. Especially when you don’t have a bat in hand.”
“You can’t control anything that’s happening out there. That’s something I kind of manage pretty well. You don’t want to show your emotions on camera. From that point of view, it’s something I have learnt a lot and I’ve had to learn it quite quickly. From a captaincy point of view, it’s helped me be calmer and not panicking too soon.”

Hawkeye showed the ball trajectory going over the stumps. It led to tempers fraying in the Indian camp with skipper Virat Kohli along with his deputy KL Rahul and senior offspinner Ravichandran Ashwin mocking the South African broadcasters ‘SuperSport’ on the stump microphone.

Virat Kohli’s stump-mic comments have attracted plenty of criticism | Screengrab
Virat Kohli’s stump-mic comments have attracted plenty of criticism | Screengrab
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Virat Kohli Expressed Himself On The Microphone And Was Criticised By Aakash Chopra As “Kids Are Watching The Game”

Virat Kohli as usual didn’t stop from expressing himself on the field, however, his actions were not appreciated by several ex-cricketers. Many felt the India Test captain went a step ahead while slamming a DRS decision on Day 3 of the third and final Test against South Africa at Cape Town.

The incident involved South Africa captain Dean Elgar, who was trapped LBW by Ravichandran Ashwin before DRS came to the batter’s rescue. It happened when Dean Elgar was batting on 22 as Ravichandran Ashwin hit his pads with a tossed-up delivery, which looked plumb to naked eyes.

Virat Kohli, Ravichandran Ashwin, India Photo: © Reuters (Main Image)
Virat Kohli, Ravichandran Ashwin Photo: © Reuters (Main Image)

Virat Kohli Has A Right To Voice Decision But Has To Keep In Mind That Kids Are Watching The Game: Aakash Chopra

However, ball tracking showed an uncharacteristic bounce and reflected that it was passing above the stumps. Soon after the decision the Indian fielders were left puzzled and questioned the scrutiny of the technology.  Virat Kohli too was furious about the decision and in order to express his displeasure the India captain went right at the stumps and said: “Focus on your team as well and not just the opposition.”

Sharing his views on Virat Kohli’s on-field antics, former Indian Test opener and commentator Aakash Chopra said that the outburst could have been due to the heat of the moment but he cautioned the India captain that it was not the right thing to do.

“Of course at the heat of the moment, you are agitated, you’re frustrated because even while looking at the screen I was bewildered ‘how did it actually miss’ because it looked like crashing onto the stump.”

Aakash Chopra
Aakash Chopra. (Photo Source: Twitter)

“If you look at Dean Elgar’s face expression after he was told he is not-out, there was a sheepish smile. ‘Okay, did I just get out of jail because even I thought I was out.’ Because the DRS was taken more in hope and less in believe,” said Chopra on Star Sports. 

However, the former India player was quick to point out that it was not the appropriate thing to do as it could set perceptions about the umpires or the technology among the kids who were watching the match.

“You have a right to perhaps voice your decision but is that the right manner. I’m not 100 percent certain because as Morne Morkel (co-panelist) pointed there are lots and lots of kids watching the game and they may actually form an opinion about the DRS, umpires,” added Chopra. 

Meanwhile, South Africa ended Day 3 of the Cape Town Test at 101 for 2. On Day 3, Virat Kohli kicked the ground in disgust after the DRS went against them and then spoke to the stump microphone. Another Indian player was heard saying, “Whole country is against eleven players.” and another cricketer added, “broadcasters are here to make money boys”. Before Virat Kohli, a frustrated Ravichandran Ashwin was also seen speaking to the stump mic.

Keegan Petersen Scores 82 As South Africa Needs Only 41 More Runs To Win Test And Series

Chasing the target of 212 against India in the third Test, Rassie van der Dussen and Temba Bavuma seem to have hit their strides after they went into a shell following the big wicket of Keegan Petersen(82). They have put on 16 runs in 8.4 overs to take their side 41 runs away from victory at Lunch.

Keegan Petersen scored at a brisk pace Getty Images
Keegan Petersen scored at a brisk pace Getty Images

Keegan Petersen and Rassie van der Dussen’s 54-run partnership put the Proteas in front in the first session but Shardul Thakur got India back in the game by dismissing the former who scored a vital 82.

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