The trauma continues for the Indian cricket team as they lost their second test match - and with it the test series - against the Proteas. Dropping to an implausible 2-0 deficit, even an overwhelming Indian victory in the third and final match would serve no purpose except to soothe Kohli and company's wounded pride.
India lost by 72 runs and 135 runs in their first and second test matches, respectively. There were some good performances from the Indian side, but most of their players, specifically their batsmen, didn't live up to anyone's expectations.
So, let's take a look at the 5 players who've let us down hardest during this travesty of a series.
5. K.L. Rahul
He was given a place on the team ahead of Shikhar Dhawan because of his proven technical skills and great potential; this choice has been well-validated by many of his away performances: 6 Matches, 9 Innings, 380 Runs with an average of 42.22. But he failed to deliver as expected at SuperSport Park, Centurion. While it's true that we shouldn't dismiss someone out of hand for a bad showing during a single game, the ways he got out in both innings were so abominable that he makes our list notheless. Let's hope he proves his worth in the next game.
4. Shikhar Dhawan
2017 was the greatest test cricket year of his entire career. He scored 550 runs in just 8 innings during the 5 games he played last year. But, the subsequent year hasn't continues int he same spectacular fashion. The South African pace batteries managed to trouble him in the first game at Newlands, Capetown, with Dhawan going out on with a personal score of only 16 runs over both innings.
3. Rohit Sharma
Virat Kohli has endured much criticism over his decision to play Rohit Sharma in Rahane's stead. Kohli's decision was, however, justified, based on Rohit's truly magnificent form recently, in all three formats of the game. Last year, he played two test matches where he scored 217 runs in the three innings he batted, and remained 'not out' in two of the innings. But, in these two most recent test matches, he has seemed to have lost much of his confidence, only scoring 78 runs over four innings. He's allowed some glimpses of his former self to be shown during the second inning of the second test match, so let's hope that he continues to recover and regains his confidence and form.
2. Murali Vijay
Murali Vijay is considered to be one of the most reliable openers when it comes to test cricket. But, he has managed to score only 69 runs during the four innings of the current test series. He looked to be in a really good touch in the first inning of the second match, but then he practically gift-wrapped his wicket for Maharaj at 46, shifting all momentum to the South African side. With Rahane not being in the side, Pujara, Kohli, and Vijay are the only batsman left to strengthen the Indian batting lineup during the test match. But Vijay didn't rise up to meet the challenge.
1. Cheteshwar Pujara
Pujara is currently one of the best test batsmen in the world. India is really blessed to have him. Pujara has played 56 test matches for India and has made 4445 runs, with an average of 51.09. Also, last year he was in a sublime form: 11 matches, 18 innings, 1140 runs and an average of 67.05! But, in 4 innings of the ongoing test series, he has only made 49 runs. The worst part was that he ran himself out in both innings of the second match. Who knows? If he wouldn't have made such patently silly calls, he may have actually have pushed the game in India's favor.