Former India wicketkeeper Saba Karim pointed out the biggest challenge for head coach Rahul Dravid as ‘eradicating the graph of ups and downs’. He added that Dravid has to maintain the Indian team’s intensity levels in going from one Test to another.
India, after winning the first Test in Centurion by 113 runs, lost the second match in Johannesburg by seven wickets. South Africa captain Dean Elgar spearheaded a record chase of 240, ending India’s record of not losing a Test match to hosts’ at the Wanderers.
“The biggest challenge for Rahul Dravid will be to eradicate this graph of ups and downs. The main reason for this inconsistency is that, the one Test match that we play, we play with all our energy and intensity but for the next match we lack that very energy and unity,” said Karim in an episode of ‘Khelneeti’ podcast on YouTube.
Karim went on to explain the up and down movement in the graph of the Indian team. “If we analyze carefully, we can see that all our players together are a superpower for a particular Test match. But to win a series you much show the same intensity and Test match throughout. We show the intensity the entire 15 sessions but the force and preparation we need across the 15 sessions of the next match goes missing and that’s the reason behind this graph.”
Karim, a former national selector, has urged team management, including Dravid, to take a call on keeping the seniors or introducing fresh faces in the batting order. “Rahul Dravid, the captain and the selection committee should be deciding if this team and the batting order they are playing with is working or not. They should be deciding whether to keep these players or bring in young players who have a lot of experience in the domestic circuit and are going through good form. They need to see if these new players will add value to the team.”
The 54-year-old signed off by saying India should have shown more application in both innings of the second Test at Johannesburg. “The upcoming Test, it will be a thrilling contest. But it has happened quite often that our performances have been full of ups and downs. If we are the number 1 or 2 ranked team, we can’t afford so many ups and downs. The kind of team we are, we need to dominate. This is the reason I believe we should have won 3-0. The kind of position we were in the second Test match as well, this was in our hands if we had batted with more application.”
With the three-match series standing at 1-1, the third and final match will be a winner-takes-it-all affair at Newlands in Cape Town, starting from January 11.