Salman Butt questions India’s approach to South Africa, says too many out-of-form hitters have been picked

Former Pakistan captain Salman Butt believes India got their approach completely wrong in South Africa, especially in the batting department. Butt poked holes in India’s five-hitter theory, pointing out that three out of five hitters entered the series with questions asked about their form.

India backed Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane in all three Tests but the duo only managed one fifty each. Skipper Virat Kohli was also under pressure following an extended lean season. He did reasonably well, scoring 161 points in two Tests, but could not break his streak of less than a century.

Analyzing India’s shock defeat at the hands of an inexperienced South African side, Butt said India got horribly wrong in their planning when it came to their stick. Speaking on his YouTube channel, he said:

“India needs to rethink its approach. Form and experience matter. But what we saw in South Africa was that Rahane and Pujara were preferred to in-form players. On seam-friendly pitches, you rely on experienced players who are out of shape. Plus, you come in with just five specialty hitters. Of the five, there were question marks over the form of at least three players. It was going to make life very difficult, that’s exactly what we saw.

According to Butt, the Indian stick was worn by Rohit Sharma and Kohli when he was fit. But the South African series rather poorly revealed the weak links of the team. He added:

“When Rohit Sharma is in the team and when Kohli is fit, they bat so well that they overshadow the weaknesses of the Indian bat. However, here Rohit was out due to injury. Kohli is in decent form but doesn’t get big scores, so there was more responsibility on the other hitters, but their response didn’t live up to expectations.

The two hundred scored in the Test series came from the Indian camp. However, South Africa proved to be the better batting team overall, with Keegan Petersen and skipper Dean Elgar making significant contributions.

‘There wasn’t enough venom in the attack’ – Salman Butt on Indian bowling

The former Pakistani fly-half admitted that while the bowlers did a decent job, most of them lacked venom due to lack of pace when the pitch had little to offer. He explained:

“In bowling too, India got movement on friendly terms. But rhythm is also a weapon. Once the ball didn’t overdo it, apart from Bumrah, the others lacked real pace. There wasn’t enough venom in the attack. Shami was also only effective where there was movement. India also missed Siraj (in 3rd Test due to injury).

Here are the players with the most wickets in the recently concluded test series between South Africa and India 🏏 Kagiso Rabada tops the list 💪#India #South Africa #SAvIND https://t.co/Ai9XvVBv4C

South Africa won the three-legged series 2-1, chasing 212 with seven wickets in hand on matchday four of the Cape Town Test on Friday.


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