Team India under the leadership of Virat Kohli have performed exceptionally well in the longest format of cricket in the last few seasons, but former Proteas skipper Graeme Smith believes that the litmus test of world’s number one Test side is still awaiting.
In particular, Smith issued warning for the Indian batters by saying that it will be a real challenge for the visiting batsmen to cope up with the South African bowling attack which has pace and skills to dent any batting line-up in the world.
"The pace and skills of our bowlers here will be the real test for them. It will be really interesting," Sport24 quoted Smith as saying.
Team India recently registered their 9th consecutive Test series victories under Kohli and thereby equalled Australia’s legendary skipper Ricky Ponting’s feat of most consecutive Test series win as a captain. India now have a chance to make 10 in a row, however, what sounds difficult is – no Indian side has ever won a Test series on the South African soil. No wonder, Graeme Smith’s remarks hold significance.
The former opening batsman though feels that Indian pace attack can turn things around.
"India's own pace attack will also have to do well in order for them to have success here," Smith opined.
On the other hand, former India captain Sourav Ganguly has backed Virat Kohli’s men by saying that the current lot of players have it in them to rewrite the history books in their overseas assignments next year.
"I believe they have got the capability under Virat's leadership, who I think is a fantastic cricketer and a good leader. Under his leadership, they have got the capability but they haven't gone to England, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand under his leadership so I think it's not even close to being judged on their capabilities. I wish them all the best when they travel to South Africa and as I said, I believe they can win there and they can put up a good performance,” Ganguly told India Today.
"I just get a feeling that the captain wants a team who can win abroad. Virat Kohli's legacy will be what he does in the next 12 months in South Africa, England and Australia and then in the World Cup in 2019,” Dada further added.
India will face South Africa in three-match Test series from January 13 at Newlands, Cape Town. The series will be followed by six ODIs and three T20Is.