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India ‘not good enough to win’

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INDIA skipper Rohit Sharma had no qualms about admitting that his team was simply not good enough to challenge South Africa, putting the blame for the embarrassing innings and 32-run loss in the first Test on the lack of collective effort.

However, he fended off home criticism by pointing out previous success away from home.

“We might have put in this performance here, but don’t forget what we did in Australia and England,” Sharma said.

“We won the series in Australia on the back of our batting. We drew the series in England through our batting and bowling both. These performances can happen. It doesn’t mean we don’t know how to bat outside India. Sometimes the opposition performs better than us.”

In the first Test against South Africa, India put up a poor showing with bat and ball. They were bundled out for 131 in 34.1 overs in their second innings after they allowed South Africa to score 408 in 108.4 overs in response to their score of 245 after being put in to bat.

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“We were not good enough to win. KL (Rahul) batted well to get us that score but then we didn’t exploit the conditions with the ball and then again didn’t show up with the bat,” said Sharma during the post-match presentation last Thursday (28).

“If we have to win Test matches, we have to come together collectively and we didn’t do that. Guys have come here before, we know what to expect and everyone has their own plan.

“Our batters were challenged and we didn’t adapt well. This is a boundary-scoring ground, we saw them score many but we need to understand the opposition and their strengths as well.

“We didn’t bat well in both innings, that’s why we stand here.”

The India skipper struggled to find many positives, with the match ending inside three days.

“Not too many positives to finish the game within three days, but KL showed what we need to do on this sort of pitch,” he said.

Rahul had scored a century in the first innings.

“Our bowlers, a lot of these guys haven’t been here before so I don’t want to be too critical,” Sharma said.

“Important for us to regroup, we go through these times as sportsmen and we need to be ready for the next Test now.”

The second Test was scheduled to get underway at Newlands on Wednesday (3).

India will likely have allrounder Ravindra Jadeja returning after upper back spasms kept him out of the first Test. The visitors could make other changes among their underperforming seamers.

South Africa are unbeaten in six previous Tests at Newlands against India but face a tough examination despite being in a buoyant mood after their Boxing Day Test success.

“We’ve proven that we can produce players, but sometimes we are too humble as a group. We are so quick to talk up other players and we don’t give our players enough credit,” said South Africa coach Shukri Conrad.

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