Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

Though India managed to level the Test series against hosts South Africa 1-1 by winning the second and the final Test in Cape Town, the visitors faced a humiliating innings defeat in the first Test in Centurion.

As per former India cricketer Sanjay Manjrekar, India’s loss against the Proteas in Centurion was purely due to poor performance by their bowlers. However, the former star batsman went onto defend Shardul Thakur despite his disappointing performance in the first Test.

The pace bowling all-rounder was dropped from the playing XI for the second Test at Cape Town due to his poor performance in the first Test of the series where he was able to pick only one wicket in his spell of 19 overs where he conceded 101 runs.

Manjrekar feels that the entire Indian bowling team failed collectively in the first Test and that the think tank may have desired a better batter at No. 8, where Thakur excels.

“I understand why they wanted batting depth with Shardul, especially given that they have new players batting at 1,3 & 5 and also Shardul’s record in South Africa. I think it is unfair to blame everything on Shardul Thakur. I feel India generally didn’t bowl well in that Test match and that didn’t allow them a series win,” said Manjrekar during an interaction.

“I fear Shardul Thakur will have to wait a while to play his next Test match. They will have to look at his bowling. It is not that he scored 40-50 with the bat either. He might not play a Test match for a while now as India will find other ways of strengthening their batting,” he added.