India vs South Africa: Five things that we learnt from the ODI series defeat

dhonileads1So India lost the T20 as well as the ODI series to the South Africans. While the T20 series was like a one-sided affair, the ODI series was a closely fought contest. All the matches, except the final and 5th ODI, can be qualified as thrillers. But unfortunately, India came out as the losing side on both the occasions. So what did we learn?

Here are the five things which we learnt from the ODI series defeat:

1) Lack of strike bowlers

Apart from Ravi Ashwin, India lacks quality strike bowlers. Both Harbhajan SIngh and Amit Mishra are not sure of a position in the team and the quality of our fast bowlers is degrading after every match. Death over bowling was always a concern for the Indian team and after the last match, it has been magnified intensely. The pacers are conceding a lot of runs, especially in the slog overs and their inability to restrict runs or take wickets proved costly for India.

2) Lack of a good all-rounder

India has Stuart Binny as a pace-bowling all-rounder and Akshar Patel as a spinning all-rounder, while the latter got more chances in the series. Patel may be a good spinning option but his batting abilities are below average. Most of the times, it seemed as if India is playing with six batsmen and five bowlers. Binny might be a better batsman than Patel but since the latter is a spinner, he is being chosen ahead of Binny. 

3) Dhoni's dwindling captaincy

Well MSD is no doubt one of the best skippers who have played the game and has given a lot to the country, but it was evident that he is not in his best possible captaincy mode. His leadership skills are not good and effective as it used to be on the field. His magical touch seemed to be missing in the series, especially in the last match where he looked completely helpless.

4) Suresh Raina and Shikhar Dhawan's off-form

Dhawan is expected to provide solidarity at the start of the innings as an opener, while Raina is supposed to provide solidarity to the middle order. In the series, both of them failed to do their job, which made things tougher for India. Both of the batsmen looked low in confidence while batting which is not a good sign for the team. The team management need to take some ‘tough calls’.

5) Rahane factor

The only silver lining in this defeat for India is definitely Ajinkya Rahane. Promoted to the Number 3 position proved to be a game-changer for Rahane. He scored lots of runs by playing on that position and propelled both his and India's innings. Rahane has definitely cemented himself in that coveted position, which is going to come handy in future.