Two centuries versus seven. Not bowling the opposition out in any of the Tests. Only 25 wickets taken by South Africa in comparison to 60 by the Indian team. Dropping Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli and Mayank Agarwal at key intervals. Not even winning the toss in all the three games. That has been the story of South Africa's horror show against India in the three-Test series against India. This was South Africa's sixth loss in seven Tests in India and their winless streak in Asia has now extended ever since the Bangladesh tour of 2014. Faf du Plessis, the South Africa skipper, offered a blunt assessment of what went wrong for the Proteas in the series.
"Be it in the batting, bowling or even fielding, we were dominated across the series. Starting the first innings at Vizag, there were good signs for us. But we went the other way and kept making more mistakes as the series went on. You got to give credit to the Indian team. This is a really tough Indian team under Virat," Du Plessis stated.
South Africa had arrived in India on the back of the lessons learnt in 2015 when the spin duo of Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja had wrecked havoc in their 0-3 loss. However, in 2019, they were undone by the likes of Umesh Yadav and Mohammed Shami. Du Plessis said the pitches were good and the sustained aggression of the Indian pacers was in stark contrast to the Proteas pacers who could not maintain momentum after 30-40 minutes.
"The mindset coming here, especially after 2015, was to be prepared for the spin attack. But the pitches were fantastic. India's seamers were outstanding through the series. Our seamers were good for 30-40 minutes but their's were able to do that throughout the day. I think it's the nature of the skill of the bowler. If you look at those who succeeded this series, it's their skiddy nature that's key but they're also in the right areas most of the time," Du Plessis remarked.
The Proteas skipper admitted that India was one of the toughest places to tour and said players who are now in the set-up will take about 3-4 years before they are experienced enough to tackle these conditions. "Been a really tough series for us but we need to ensure that when we tour again, we are better equipped. This is the toughest place to tour, the statistics say that. They've won, 11 or 12 series in a row? So, it's been a very tough place to tour and it should only get better for us from here," Du Plessis said.