Ravi Shastri says India showed glimpses of a No 1-ranked side in the first and second Tests against the Proteas.
South Africa will take a 2-0 lead into the third Test at the Wanderers after two convincing victories – a 72-run win in Cape Town and a 135-run thumping in Centurion.
India’s coach focused on the positives from those defeats.
‘We had our moments in both Test matches, and we looked like the No 1 team when we bowled out South Africa for 130 [in the second innings in Cape Town],’ Shastri said.
‘When we closed the gap thanks to Virat’s [Kohli] brilliant innings [in Centurion], and had them two-down just 30 runs ahead, we looked like the No 1 team in overseas conditions. Not many teams look half that when they come to India.
‘When you take 20 wickets, you have a chance to win. If we had batted better, we might have won.’
India are currently ranked No 1 with a rating of 124, with South Africa second (111). If the Proteas win at the Wanderers, they will draw level on rating points with India on 118, although India will remain No 1 by a decimal point.