Former India skipper Bishan Singh Bedi feels Virat Kohli's men went into the South Africa series without serious preparation and 'wasted time' playing against Sri Lanka. The 135-run defeat in Centurion on Wednesday ended India's nine-Test series winning run as South Africa took an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match rubber. India had hammered Sri Lanka in a full series at home before leaving for South Africa. The series was arranged within three months of the away assignment in Sri Lanka where India blanked the hosts. When asked about India's preparation for South Africa tour, Bedi came up with a stinging response.
"There was no preparation. We wasted our time with the Sri Lankans. There was no sense in playing a weak team for one-and-a half-months when we should be preparing for South Africa," Bedi told news agency PTI. "It was supposed to be a tough tour and it required intense preparation. You beat Sri Lanka in Sri Lanka and you then call them to India, for what? The Indian cricketers would have been better off playing domestic cricket or preparing themselves exclusively for the tour," said the spin great. India went into the series without playing a warm-up match.
However, Bedi said there is no need to press the panic button yet.
"India have been outplayed. It is not a cause of panic, it is a cause of concern. Bowlers have done a good job. The catching and batting has left a lot to be desired. It is a good trial by fire for this Indian team." India will travel to England and Australia later this year and with the performance against South Africa, they have certainly not increased the fans' expectations for future tours.
Bedi felt the ODI form was given preference over the five-day form when it came to selecting the playing XI. One example of that was picking Rohit Sharma over vice- captain Ajinkya Rahane in the first two Tests. Rohit ended with 78 runs in four innings, averaging 19.50. "It is not my job to pick the team. I can only say that vice captain, who is part of the decision-making, is not playing. I can't agree with that.
"Whether you like it or not, he is a human being. Rahane is not going to take this development positively. Why did you make him vice-captain if you had to drop him? "It looks like ODI form was preferred for picking the eleven, which is not the right thing. Test matches are a different ball game and this series has proved that," Bedi added.
Another baffling decision was to drop pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar after a six-wicket haul in the first Test in Cape Town, he said.
(With PTI Inputs)