The buzz concerning the forthcoming Test series between India and South Africa has already gripped the ardent cricket fans and now to make the contest all the more thrilling, veteran India opener Gautam Gambhir has said that the next one year will decide the legacy of this current Indian Test team.
Team India under the leadership of Virat Kohli have performed exceptionally well in the longest format of cricket in the last few seasons. However, they are now lined up to play in overseas conditions of South Africa, England, Australia and New Zealand. No wonder, Gambhir reckons that the litmus test of world’s number one Test side is still awaiting.
“In the past two and a half years, Team India has done well, though the biggest challenge will arise when they travel to South Africa, England and Australia. The next one year will be crucial for the Indian side. The progress has been evident in the home season, but they have to perform the same outside as well. Every Indian captain and player will do well at home; the biggest challenge is to perform well away. Now it’s time to deliver and the players have the experience to face the South African team. It’s more about the results than the process,” Gautam Gambhir quoted as per India TV.
The 36-year-old Delhi opener also highlighted the importance of having an attacking mindset. Gambhir pointed out that it’s better to enter in a series being bold and brave rather than with a circumspect approach.
“The players should go with the mindset that they can win the series. If you enter with a scared attitude, then you’ll end up playing safe cricket and that will not hand you a win. If you’re scared of losing, then you will never win. Even if we lose it wouldn’t be that Kohli will be the first captain to lose in SA, many others have lost. By playing safe cricket, one would never win but by going in with an attacking mindset will offer you results,” opined Gambhir.
“Sometimes, a defensive mindset can result into a negative outcome, but aggressiveness can win you matches away from home. I am sure that Kohli knows how an aggressive mindset can help in the series. Taking four batsmen, one all-rounder and four bowlers can contribute to an attacking and aggressive mindset that can help you take 20 wickets,” he further asserted.
Gambhir, who himself had a very good time for Delhi as an opening batsman in the Ranji Trophy season 2017-18, reckons that Murali Vijay and Shikhar Dhawan are best suited to open in South Africa.
The southpaw justified his call by saying: “The pair of Shikhar Dhawan and Murali Vijay will be good to open with. Dhawan has the experience of playing in the South African conditions. You must start with experienced players who are in a good form at the moment.”
Gambhir also believes that India should field two all-rounders Hardik Pandya and Ravindra Jadeja in their playing XI in the rainbow nation.
“Sometimes, the wickets are flat. You may have to go with three seamers and two spinners. Even Jadeja is an all-rounder other than Hardik Pandya. They have to take a gamble by playing five bowlers who can bowl 15 overs a day. And even if we drop a batsman out, it’s important to go in with an attacking mindset before playing six batsmen and four bowlers,” concluded Gautam Gambhir.