South Africa vs India 2018: 5 areas of concern for India ahead of 2nd Test
India need to plug in quite a few holes in their set-up before they travel to Centurion.
Despite packing everything necessary for their tricky hike in South Africa, the Indian team were found wanting, yet again, on the slippery overseas terrain: the past laurels of home wins so joyfully sitting inside their backpacks failing to help them shrug off the nasty tag of being poor travellers. They slipped off the cliff and fell, badly crushing their dreams of somehow winning a series in the rainbow nation.
Before they carry their tattered baggage to Centurion, the Indian team need to fix the following problems, five issues that are deterrent to their success on the gruelling tour:
Questionable slip catching
Slip catching has been a veritable plague in the Indian team, more so when the red ball is in action. In 2017, the Indian team dropped as many as 33 catches out of the 116 catches that came their way. The problem stems from the fact that the Indian team's slip cordon changes its looks like a rustic revolving door, and has the catching ability of, well, a revolving door.
Gone are the days when Rahul Dravid used to pouch catches out of thin air: one doesn't need athleticism when standing next to the wicket-keeper, but oodles of concentration and the right balance to let the ball reach you, instead of going for it.
In overseas conditions, India might have the disadvantage of batting on tricky tracks, but need to grab every opportunity that comes to them on the field.
Shikhar Dhawan dropped a sitter at third slip in the first innings, letting Keshav Maharaj collect some crucial runs towards the end of the first innings. It brought back haunting memories of how India's slip catching has consistently been dubious despite the brilliant form in whites.