3 positives for Team India from their 1-1 Test series draw vs South Africa

South Africa v India - 2nd Test
Jasprit Bumrah reiterated his case to be the world's best fast bowler

Team India ended their tour of South Africa without registering their first Test series win in the Rainbow Nation, but they still had plenty of things to be proud of.

No Asian team had ever won a Test at Cape Town before. Despite Aiden Markram's scintillating second-innings century and helpful bowling conditions, the visitors set that record straight with a seven-wicket victory in just over four sessions.

Overall, while there are still plenty of concerns for Rohit Sharma and Co. in the Test format, there were a few notable takeaways from the high-profile series, which was part of the World Test Championship.

Here are three positives for Team India from their 1-1 Test series draw against South Africa.


#3 After being hammered in Centurion, India bounced back well

Rohit Sharma and Dean Elgar pose with the trophy after the South Africa vs India - 2nd Test
Rohit Sharma and Dean Elgar pose with the trophy after the South Africa vs India - 2nd Test

India's performance in Centurion was nothing short of poor. The visitors were hammered by an innings and 32 runs, and things unraveled in all departments.

While Mohammed Siraj, Shardul Thakur and Prasidh Krishna didn't cover themselves in glory with the ball, Virat Kohli and KL Rahul were the only two batters to make an impact. The likes of Rohit Sharma and Yashasvi Jaiswal were hugely disappointing.

However, India turned in a distinctly improved performance in the second Test. Siraj came up with one of the best bowling displays of his career, while Rohit and Jaiswal contributed key knocks at the top of the order.

It wouldn't have been easy for the two-time World Test Championship finalists to turn their form around, but they did just that in challenging circumstances.


#2 India's key men, Virat Kohli and Jasprit Bumrah, were at their best

Virat Kohli countered every challenge thrown at him in South Africa.
Virat Kohli countered every challenge thrown at him in South Africa.

India's Test team is going through a period of transition right now. There are only a few pillars keeping the team upright, and two of the most important ones are Virat Kohli and Jasprit Bumrah.

Widely acknowledged as India's best Test batter and bowler respectively, Kohli and Bumrah were their world-class selves in Cape Town. While Kohli top-scored in the first innings, Bumrah picked up six wickets in the second essay and walked away with the Player of the Series award.

It's worth mentioning that the South Africa rubber was Bumrah's first Test series since returning from a long-standing back injury. Kohli, meanwhile, hadn't been anywhere close to his best in 2023 in red-ball cricket.

One of the biggest positives for India was that their two main men stepped up regularly.


#1 India's slip-catching was a welcome sight

Yashasvi Jaiswal, Shreryas Iyer and Shubman Gill were safe in the slips, off pace at least
Yashasvi Jaiswal, Shreryas Iyer and Shubman Gill were safe in the slips, off pace at least

This is not an aspect of cricket that's always totally visible, so it may have slipped under the radar. Slip catching has been India's bugbear on plenty of overseas tours in the past, so seeing them grab almost everything that came their way was a welcome sight for fans.

Shubman Gill did shell a chance off Ravichandran Ashwin in the first Test, but India were near-perfect against the quicks. Kohli, Gill, Jaiswal and Shreyas Iyer manned the slip cordon with efficiency, while Rohit put himself under the lid close-in to contribute too.

Gill, Jaiswal and Iyer are yet to nail down their spots in the Test XI. India will want that not just to beef up their batting lineup but also to have some reliable catchers in the slips.

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Edited by Sai Krishna
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