With just a few days to go until India’s first test match against South Africa, pundits and former players alike are making their predictions for the eagerly awaited tour.
Many people believe that the current Indian side is the best group of players to travel to the ‘Rainbow nation’. The biggest cause of optimism is the crop of bowlers that India have their disposal, as the likes of Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma, R Ashwin and R Jadeja can cause any side in the world problems.
Indian batting great, Virender Sehwag is quite confident of India’s success in South Africa, as he feels that India will ride on Virat Kohli’s runs and Ashwin’s wickets.
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“I am sure Virat Kohli will lead from the front. He will score a lot of runs. The year 2018 is starting with a big challenge. The tour of South Africa will be India and Virat Kohli’s biggest challenge this year. If Virat manages to win the series, he will be the first Indian captain to do so.”
“As a captain, you need to have a clear strategy in place in South Africa… how to get rid of their batsmen, how to handle their fast bowlers. It is important to implement them on the field. This team has the ability to implement the strategies well.
All the individuals are capable of handling their responsibilities. I think if the bowlers are able to implement their plans against the South African batsmen, India will win the series.”
“The form of the batsmen will be very important in South Africa. If your batsmen can match the South African batsmen in first innings then the pressure will be on them because they are playing at home. So, Kohli and the boys have to match South Africa’s first innings total.
The biggest challenge for Team India this year will be Down Under. Australia have recently won the Ashes and they have the best bowling attack. Australia is also a challenging place to play cricket.”
“As a batsman, Virat will face his biggest challenge in England and I think he is also looking forward to it. I am sure he will perform better this time. 2014 was his first tour to England and he was very young that time… he might not have been completely aware of the conditions there.
But this time, he will go there as a player and as a captain. He will have that confidence in himself this time around. Before touring England, he will play in South Africa and in the IPL, so he will be more confident.”