India’s test series loss to South Africa has come as a shocker to many, for the way India has performed overseas in the last year or so. Also, given the fact that this South African team were relatively inexperienced compared to opponents faced by the Indian team in the near past Indians were expected to win the series.
Though a sensible cricket fan would understand that the result 2-1 in favour of South Africa was on the cards given the way Indian bowling had outperformed their batting counterparts in earlier encounters. Indian bowling was bailing out the team out of danger every time batting let them down.
The constant underperformers of the last few months or may be years though remain the much backed Indian experienced duo of Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara. The duo has been under the scanner now for a long time and many feel its high time they are dropped.
However, when Indian Test captain Virat Kohli was asked about their future he better stayed mum and he put the ball on selection committee's court.
"I cannot sit here and talk about what's gonna happen in the future. That's not for me to sit here and discuss. You probably have to speak to the selectors, what they have in mind. This is not my job," a jaded Kohli said when asked what message is being given to younger players waiting in the wings to replace Rahane and Pujara.
With Pujara and Rahane being his log-time teammates -- the former in fact made his Test debut before him -- it was difficult for Kohli to walk down the treacherous slope where he had to admit that these two are now past their sell by date.
"As I have said before, I will say again, we will continue to back Cheteshwar and Ajinkya because of the kind of players they are, what they have done in Test cricket for India over the years, playing crucial knock in the second innings (in Johannesburg) as well. These are kind of performances we recognise as a team," the skipper said but, unlike other times when Kohli forcefully drove home a point, here the words seemed like mere afterthought.