Hindu – The Indian team has a strong bunch of cricketers who have feasted on a lot of homegrown success lately.
- After the high of being crowned the one-day world champions months earlier, followed by a lengthy IPL season and a tour of the West Indies, India began the first Test at Lord’s with just one three-day game as preparation in very different conditions.
- With India scheduled to leave for South Africa just three days after the final T20 against Sri Lanka on December 24, leaving a very short window before the Cape Town Test, you can’t fault Shastri or the management for making that request.
- A cramped home season, and the BCCI’s commitment to play a clump of limited-overs matches (there are nine in South Africa, followed by the T20 tri-series) seems to have come in the way of preparing for the Test matches.
- The then coach Gary Kirsten had requested the BCCI to reschedule the home series against New Zealand (prior to South Africa) and cut the Test series down to two matches instead of three.
- If the BCCI was serious about attempting to win a Test series in South Africa for the first time ever, making adjustments to the schedule in December would have given players the breathing space the players needed.