Ind vs SA – 1st Test – Rohit Sharma on India’s innings defeat: ‘We didn’t adapt well’

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India’s captain Rohit Sharma believes his side managed a decent enough first-innings total – 245 – in Centurion given the conditions, but then failed to bowl well. However, he said, he wasn’t going to be too harsh on his inexperienced bowlers. Prasidh Krishna, making his debut, and Shardul Thakur, in his 11th Test, went for 194 runs between them in 39 overs for just the two wickets. India ended up losing by an innings and 32 runs as South Africa bowled them out for 131 in similar conditions in the second innings.
“We were not good enough to win this Test match,” Rohit said at the post-match presentation. “Having been put in to bat, I thought we got decent runs on the board on that track. KL Rahul batted brilliantly to get us that score. But then, you know, we failed to exploit the conditions with the ball. And then again, didn’t show up with the bat today as well. Our batting was poor in the second innings. Virat Kohli was brilliant in the end there, but if you want to win Test matches, you’ve got to come together collectively. We failed to do that.”

Rohit said Rahul’s return as a middle-order batter and wicketkeeper was a positive, but there was not much else to take away from this game. “Obviously, when you play a game like that, there’s not a lot of positives, but the way KL batted in the first innings, it showed a lot of us what you need to do on that kind of pitch. And then, bowlers, obviously a lot of these guys haven’t been here before. They’re still learning, so I don’t want to be too critical of them as well.

“You know, it’s just a loss. We’ll regroup, we’ll fight back hard.”

Ahead of the series, India’s Test specialists played a three-day intra-squad match and didn’t have much else by way of preparation, but Rohit said the lack of a proper practice match did not make much of a difference. “Guys have come here before,” Rohit said of the batters. “We do understand what to expect from the conditions. And then obviously every individual has their own plan of [how to go] about [things] and how they want to go and get the job done.

“Again our batters were challenged at different times of the game. We didn’t adapt well. We saw this [is a] very boundary-scoring ground. A lot of runs were scored playing shots, but again, you’ve got to understand the opposition, their strength, what kind of lengths they hit and things like that, and bring everything into your game plan. And clearly, I mean, we didn’t bat well on both the occasions, which is why we stand here with this loss.”

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