AA Edit | Splendid show by Indian quicks

The Asian Age.

Opinion, Edit

Indian batsmen may have shone only in patches in the Tests, but they have the capacity to be a force to be reckoned with in all formats.

India’s bowler Mohammed Siraj celebrates the wicket of South Africa's batter Aiden Markram during the second day of the second Test match between India and South Africa, at the Newlands Cricket Ground, in Cape Town, South Africa, Thursday, Jan. 4, 2024. (PTI Photo/Atul Yadav)

In the shortest Test match in cricket history lasting just 107 overs, Team India emerged victorious and won all the plaudits. It is a matter of great credit that the Indian fast bowlers demolished South Africa at Newlands, a venue where they had no success in six previous attempts.

Newlands sported a brute of a fast pitch, allowing variable bounce while behaving differently at the two ends in terms of seam movement, on which fast bowlers shared all 20 wickets, only the third occasion in Indian Test cricket history, all of them having taken place in the last five years.

Team India, with its pace bowling strengths, thanks to the path-breaking careers of Kapil Dev and Javagal Srinath and the establishment of a pace bowling school that Dennis Lillee ran for decades, can continue to be a dominant force in Test cricket though the format itself could be in danger from falling attendance and drooping interest because of the insatiable in craze for instant cricket.

Pitches like the one in South Africa with undue pace, bounce and movement favouring fast bowlers and those in India that tilt the odds hugely in favour of the spinners could skew the Test cycle with a world championship at the end of it that the game runs in a bid to preserve what pundits would swear is the real test of cricketing skills.

It was a splendid show by the Indian quicks Mohammed Siraj, Jasprit Bumrah and Mukesh Kumar even if Team India batted so poorly as to lose the first one at the Centurion by an innings and so dropped the chance of conquering the last frontier that indeed is South Africa.

There were to be match-defining centuries by Dean Elgar and Aidan Markram, the latter using the ultra-attacking methods of modern players to prove that not all of today’s batters are short on technique to play Tests on difficult pitches.

Indian batsmen may have shone only in patches in the Tests, but they have the capacity to be a force to be reckoned with in all formats. It is just that they have not combined their acts together to win any worthwhile silverware.  A Test win in double quick time in early 2024 could signify the breakthrough Team India needed to drop the baggage of recent performances and become a Cup winning team againÌ£.