New Delhi [India], January 22 (ANI): Former Team India selector Sarandeep Singh feels that the Men in Blue are missing the spark and aggression which they had under Virat Kohli's captaincy.
Sarandeep's remarks came after South Africa defeated India by seven wickets in the second ODI to gain an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series on Friday.
"India were favourites from day one not only in Test matches but even in the ODIs. The way they lost the Test matches. In the second Test India lost badly but only thing is it is not about the players. It is about captaincy too the way we thought KL Rahul will be very cool and calm but if you see Virat's captaincy then he was very energetic and pumped up. In the same way the team used to play as all the players were pumped up but now what I feel sitting from outside is somehow Indian team is missing that spark. They don't have that spark and that energy is not there," Sarandeep told ANI.
"They scored big runs as 287 is a big total. SA team played like champions. They played disciplined cricket, they played for win. If you talk about Venkatesh Iyer he is not that quick and he is an opener. He did well in T20s and he is a big hitter. Now he is batting at number six. He can't hit because the field is not open. He is struggling over there with the bat as well as failed to take wickets," he added.
Sarandeep also said that pacer Prasidh Krishna should be included in the Playing XI and Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami both should be rested, in order to avoid a 3-0 defeat.
"Mohammed Siraj is still injured but I am in huge favour of Prasidh Krishna. The young tall fast bowler should be given a chance. Jasprit Bumrah or Mohammed Shami both should not be rested because you don't want to be 3-0. So, you need one experienced bowler over there. So, Prasidh Krishna should be tried and you should pick Axar Patel ahead of Ravichandran Ashwin. You need someone to contribute with both bat, ball and fielding also," said Sarandeep.
"I think India's fielding was also very poor the way we dropped catches. You can see how easily singles were given away. There was no fielding in the circles and surprisingly Virat Kohli is not seen in the field all the time as somehow he seems to be lost in the scenes. He is fielding in the boundaries and is not seen in the circles. So, there are few things which are missing," he added.
The former selector further said that Team India was doing really well under the leadership of Ravi Shastri and Kohli, as they brought aggression into the game.
"You see what Ravi Shastri did with the team. How Ravi Shastri pumped up the team. This team was doing so well for the last seven years under Ravi Shastri and Virat Kohli and they both were aggressive and modern day cricket needs something like that. They have to be aggressive. Look at the way SA played. They were aggressive and look at the way they have won," said the former selector.
Quinton de Kock (78) and Janneman Malan (91) rose to the occasion with the bat as South Africa defeated India by seven wickets in the second ODI. For South Africa, Rassie van der Dussen and Aiden Markram remained unbeaten on 37 each.
Earlier, Rishabh Pant and KL Rahul played knocks of 85 and 55 respectively as India posted 287/6 in the allotted twenty overs. Shardul Thakur and Ravichandran Ashwin also played handy unbeaten innings of 40 and 25 respectively. For the Proteas, Tabraiz Shamsi returned with two wickets.
The third and final ODI will be played on Sunday in Cape Town. (ANI)