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 36-year-old also stressed on the fact that the Proteas batting line-up will be bolstered by the return of certain AB de Villiers.
“I think South Africa will be very strong. With AB de Villiers coming back, their batting looks a lot stronger. The bowling too is really powerful. They have got four really outstanding experienced pacers to choose from and couple of young pacers as well,” Smith was quoted by News24 as saying.
On the other hand, former India captain Sourav Ganguly had 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 had 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 5 at Newlands, Cape Town. The series will be followed by six ODIs and three T20Is.
India Test squad for South Africa series:
Virat Kohli(c), Murali Vijay, Shikhar Dhawan, Lokesh Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Rohit Sharma, Hardik Pandya, Wriddhiman Saha, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav, Parthiv Patel, Jasprit Bumrah