The Indian team lost the first Test match against South Africa and one of the main reasons for the team’s downfall is considered to be the lack of preparation in the South African conditions. There was a hectic schedule as usual organized by the Board of Control for Cricket in India.
The Indian team also pulled out of the warm-up match as the Indian skipper made it clear they wanted to use that time while practicing on their own and there would be a day-night difference between the pitch of the warm-up and the first Test. It is also reported that the Indian team management declined the BCCI offer to send the Test specialists early to South Africa.
The Indian team missed a trick.
A BCCI official said that the Indian board had given the option of sending the Test specialists to South Africa so that they get acclimatized to the conditions. They were also keen that the main players can also skip the limited overs series against Sri Lanka. The Indian team arrived in the Rainbow nation barely a week before the opening Test.
A BCCI official said while talking to Indian Express, “The BCCI had offered Indian team management that the core group of Test team can be sent to South Africa early. Players like Murali Vijay, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane are not part of limited overs cricket and were playing local cricket here. The BCCI was ready to bear the cost but team management showed no interest and declined the offer. We were even ready to let top players skip ODI and T20 legs of the series against Sri Lanka”.
The Indian team seemed to have missed a trick as they should have landed in South Africa at least 15 days before the first Test. The team really lacked the practice in the South African conditions and it can be now said in the hindsight that they could have done better with scheduling of the tour.