In a disappointing turn of events at Centurion, Team India faced a humbling defeat by an innings and 32 runs in the opening Test against South Africa. The Indian batting lineup struggled, managing only 131 runs in the second innings, with Virat Kohli’s resilient 76 off 82 deliveries standing out on an otherwise challenging day. The loss has handed South Africa a decisive 1-0 lead in the two-match series, dashing India’s hopes of securing a Test series victory on South African soil.
Rohit Sharma, making a comeback to the squad since the World Cup final loss, endured a forgettable performance in the Test, posting scores of 5 and 0 across both innings. Despite India’s prowess in the longest format, the manner of their defeat in the first Test raised eyebrows. Rohit acknowledged the disappointment but emphasized the distinct nature of different competitions.
Addressing the media in the post-match press conference, Rohit expressed, “I can’t compare the World Cup to the Test series. Obviously, winning the Test series here would be awesome, and it is going to be an extraordinary feat for us. But the World Cup is the World Cup. In my books, both are separate.”
While acknowledging the weight of losses, Rohit highlighted the contrasting significance of the World Cup and Test series. “A loss is a loss. Losses are quite disappointing, whether it is a World Cup loss or a loss like that (against South Africa). But the weightage both tournaments have is quite different. So, it is hard for me to compare World Cup loss to this.”
Looking ahead, Rohit urged the team to move on and focus on the upcoming opportunity in Cape Town. He expressed optimism about turning things around if India plays to their potential in the second Test, scheduled to begin on January 3. Post the South Africa tour, India will return to their home season, commencing with a T20I series against Afghanistan, followed by a challenging five-Test series against England.