New Delhi, February 26: If Virat Kohli had a stupendous run with the bat, so did Jasprit Bumrah who showed he’s as good with red ball as with the white. Then there is the wrist-spinning duo of Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal who put in a splendid performance on the tour.= there are many positives which came out of India’s South Africa tour. With all that, there seems to be a recognition of the core group for the 2019 World Cup. Add Shubman Gill to the mix and you have deadly cricket players who can take on anyone – yes anyone they would have to in the World Cup 2019.
It’s after donkeys years the Indian team has lived up to the expectations of their fans outside the Subcontinent, winning two out of the three formats. Sadly though they yet again failed in their attempt to win their maiden Test series, a glorius 5-1 win in the ODI series, followed by a 2-1 victory in T20, the shortest format, made the India cricket team’s South Africa (SA) tour a rewarding one.
Bowlers have a ball
A rare achievement of this tour was the fact that India managed to dismiss South Africa in all six innings in three Tests. Mohammed Shami (15 wickets from 3 games), Jasprit Bumrah (14 from 3), Bhuvneshwar Kumar (10 from 2) and Ishant Sharma (8 from 2 games) accounted for 47 of the 60 wickets, a massive feat for the nation not known to throw up enough fast bowling talent.
Kohli’s fantastic run with the bat
558 runs, 3x100s
Although India’s batting wasn’t up to the mark in the Test series, skipper Kohli finished with 286 runs, 75 runs more than AB de Villiers’ next best of 211. Kohli did not change his aggressive brand of captaincy nor did he refrain from tinkering with the playing XI in different games. As a batsman, he put not a foot wrong. If he was good in the Test series, for his die-hard fans, he was simply breathtaking in the ODIs, scoring a staggering 558 runs with the help of three centuries.
Kohli – all praise for Jasprit Bumrah
“Bumrah fits perfectly into the ideal eleven for us. He is someone who has given us breakthroughs when wanted in the series and he has bowled his heart out,” the Indian captain had said after the end of the Test series.
“He really wanted to play Test cricket badly and has shown what a high-class bowler he is. He probably bowled with the experience of a guy who has played 40-50 games.”
World Cup – 2019
It seems India have got their core group for the World Cup next year on the tour.
The two young wrist-spinners, Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal, showed aple promise when they showed they could pick wickets outside the Subcontinent too. With Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar as the established new-ball bowlers and Hardik Pandya the all-rounder, the five-man bowling attack looks settled.
The batting squad:
It is clear MS Dhoni isn’t going anywhere and will play the 2019 World Cup. Then you have Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma and skipper Kohli as the automatic top-3 in the line-up. In the middle-order there are two slots up for grabs and India have at least six options for them.
Ajinkya Rahane, was successful at No. 4 during the 2015 World Cup in Australia
Manish Pandey has done good job in the limited chances he has got;
Kedar Jadhav is an attacking batsman;
Off-spinner, Shreyas Iyer has shown promise;
Suresh Raina, too, has proved that he’s not done yet; and
Shubhman Gill – the new find for India, although young, is ready with the bat and is pressing to be considered.
“In terms of World Cup preparations, the tour has been very good. We have learnt some good habits on this trip. This is a young side and they have got a lot of tough tours coming up,” said coach Ravi Shastri.
“I think they have conducted and handled themselves extremely well on this tour.”
33 Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal picked up 33 wickets between them to destroy South Africa in the ODI series. The Proteas looked absolutely clueless against the wrist-spinners as they sank to an embarrassing 5-1 loss.
871 Runs Virat Kohli scored across all formats on the tour with the help of four centuries and two fifties at a mindboggling average of 79.18. The tally is the second-highest ever by a skipper on an away tour.
14 Wickets Jasprit Bumrah picked up from three Test matches. He played a vital role in India dismissing South Africa in all six innings in three Tests.