Cape of no hope

India have looked all at sea against South Africa's pacers. Blame the lack of preparation?

Lonwabo Tsotsobe gets Virat Kohli in the second ODI.

Going into the ODI series in South Africa, a lot of hopes were pinned on the top three Indian batsmen — Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli.

While openers Shikhar and Rohit have managed to score just 12 and 37 runs respectively the two ODIs so far, Kohli’s tally reads a meager 31.

Speaking to Mail Today, both Rajkumar Sharma — Kohli’s coach — and Madan Sharma — Shikhar’s coach — blamed the BCCI’s poor planning for the batsmen looking mediocre on the fast bouncy South African wickets.

"The boys just didn’t get enough time prepare for the series. Having played a couple of tri- series in India, where the doesn’t generally rise above the knee- level, you can’t expect them to succeed on the wickets in South Africa. Ideally, they should have gone in early and played a couple of tour games so that would get enough time to prepare the series. It was more like the South Africans waiting to catch the Indian batsmen off- guard," Rajkumar said.

Madan echoed the sentiments.

"Shikhar did come for practice one day after the West Indies series and trained with the plastic ball to get used to the bounce. But to be honest, that can’t be enough when you have to play the likes of Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel on South African wickets. A few tour games would have definitely helped," he said.

 Rajkumar said just as one needs time to change gears from ODIs to Test cricket, same holds true when has been playing on slow low pitches in India and then faced with the challenge of playing on bouncy wickets.

"You boys to playing India adapt Sadly, adequate prepare to rely and you they have early a few that time the — You must realise that the boys have been accustomed playing on slow tracks in India and it takes time to adapt to the wickets abroad.

Sadly, we don’t have the adequate wickets in India to prepare the boys and they have rely on bowling machines and astroturfs. But for that, need time," he said.

Madan also feels that the lack of experienced players in the unit is also one of the reasons for the current team failing to rise to the challenge.

"Earlier we have always had players like Rahul Dravid or Sachin Tendulkar to help the boys and guide them. But the current team is full of youngsters," he lamented.

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—Cricket Photos of the Week

England's Stuart Broad reacts as he is hit by a ball from Australia's Mitchell Johnson during the fourth day's play in the second Ashes cricket test at the Adelaide Oval December 8, 2013. ... more 
England's Stuart Broad reacts as he is hit by a ball from Australia's Mitchell Johnson during the fourth day's play in the second Ashes cricket test at the Adelaide Oval December 8, 2013. REUTERS/David Gray (AUSTRALIA - Tags: SPORT CRICKET) less 
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Reuters | Photo by DAVID GRAY / REUTERS
Sun 8 Dec, 2013 1:11 PM IST

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