‘Big tactical blunder’: VVS Laxman, Graeme Smith question South Africa’s bowling changes

‘Big tactical blunder’: VVS Laxman, Graeme Smith question South Africa’s bowling changes

South Africa's use - or underuse - of Kagiso Rabada was criticized by VVS Laxman and Graeme Smith in the analysis of the day's play at the end of Day 1 of the 2nd Test between India and South Africa in Pune on Thursday.

Three wickets fell on the first day, with all three going to Rabada. However, experts feel that skipper Faf du Plessis could have thrown the ball to him more frequently or earlier than he did on Thursday. Rabada, surprisingly, was not given the ball for the majority of the second session. When he was finally introduced, he struck immediately to get Cheteshwar Pujara out.

"Faf always comes across as a very intelligent and clever cricketer. Since the Vizag Test, he has been disappointing as captain,” Laxman said.

“Your main bowler who did well and took wickets in the first session, you would want to give him the ball straightaway after Lunch. And I think he got the ball just half an hour before the Tea break.

Laxman added, “Ultimately he bowled 18 overs and those 18 overs should have been bowled in situations when the batsmen aren’t set. Even then, he took the wickets of Pujara and Agarwal. This shows there was a big tactical blunder from Faf du Plessis.”

Graeme Smith, Laxman's South African counterpart on the analysis show, said, “In general, I thought South Africa were quite negative today. Rabada I think bowled just three overs in Lunch to Tea session. All of us were pulling our hair out that the guy, who is in-form and getting something going, is not bowling enough."

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