Former England captain Michael Vaughan reiterated his old remark calling India an “underachieving team” after the thrashing they received from South Africa in the opening Test match in Centurion on Thursday. The series was called India’s best chance to conquer the ‘final frontier’, which remains unticked by the Test team in 31 years of their rivalry. But the loss by an innings and 32 runs at the SuperSport Park kept the unwanted streak alive as South Africa took an unassailable lead in the two-match contest.
Speaking on Fox Sports on the result of the opening Test match of the South Africa-India series, which ended in just three days, Vaughan highlighted the lack of achievement by the Indian team despite having plenty of resources at their disposal.
Before the Centurion Test, India also lost the 2023 ODI World Cup final against Australia in Ahmedabad and were defeated by the Aussies again in the World Test Championship final earlier in June. The dual loss extended their ICC trophy drought, having last won back in 2013 under the leadership of MS Dhoni.
Vaughan asked former Australia cricketer Mark Waugh, also part of the panel in Fox Sports: “Do you think, in terms of cricket, India are one of the most underachieving sports teams in the world?”
The Aussie returned back the question instead and the veteran batter said: “They haven’t won much in recent times. I think they are [an underachieving side]. They don’t win anything. When was the last time they won something? With all the talent they have, all the skill-set.
“They’ve won in Australia twice [Test series in 2018/19 and 2020/21]. Magnificent, but the last few World Cups, been nowhere, in the last few T20 World Cups, been nowhere. They’re a good team, have got plenty of talent but with all the talent they have and the resource they have, I just don’t think they win.”
It was back in November 2022, after India lost their T20 World Cup semifinal against England by 10 wickets, when Vaughan had first labelled the Men in Blue as “underachievers”.
“Since winning the 50 over World Cup on home soil in 2011 what have they done? Nothing. India are playing a white-ball game that is dated and have done for years. How they have not maximised someone like Rishabh Pant is incredible. In this era, put him up the top to launch it,” he had written in the Telegraph.
As for the South Africa Test series, India will now aim to draw the contest in the second Test which begins from January 3 onwards in Newlands. India will also have a shot at ending their ICC drought in the 2024 T20 World Cup in June.