Australia skipper Steve Smith has followed the most recently concluded six-match ODI series between India and South Africa that Virat Kohli and company won by 5-1.
It was India’s maiden bilateral ODI series victory on South African soil and it would be fair to say that the triumph couldn’t have been possible without the performances of two wrist spinners – Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal.
Kuldeep and Chahal have taken 33 wickets out of the 64 Proteas wickets that had fallen in the 6 ODIs. No wonder, Steve Smith wished for a leg-spinner in his armoury after landing in South Africa for the forthcoming Test series.
“Yeah, I think. Yeah,” Smith quoted by Hindustan Times as saying when asked whether a leggie would have been handy.
“I think (off-spinner) Nathan Lyon has been a good spinner and he has done well recently. No doubt he can play a big part in this series,” he added.
The Australian skipper, who had a wonderful time in the Ashes two months ago, also expected the four-match Test series against South Africa to be a battle between two top-class fast bowling sides.
“South Africa have good, young pace bowlers and also have (Vernon) Philander. The batters would love to take up the challenge. It will be a bit challenging for the batsmen. But it is going to be a fantastic series for the viewers. Both the fast bowling line-ups are good, it will be a nice, fiery series for the batters and a tough one too,” he said.
Smith also issued a warning for the Proteas camp, saying that they would like to take advantage of their low confidence.
“I have been watching the one-dayers in bits and pieces over the last few days. South Africa have not been at their best, although the Indians have been playing really well. For us, it is important to keep their confidence low and start really well in the first Test in Durban,” Smith asserted.
Prior to the last year’s Border-Gavaskar Trophy, some of the Aussie cricketers including their captain had arrived in India even though Australia were featuring in a T20I series against Sri Lanka at home. The Aussie T20I side is currently playing in the Trans-Tasman Tri-series and most of the Test cricketers have already landed in the rainbow nation in order to acclimatize to the conditions.
“In an ideal world, we would have liked no clashes. But in the Test team, everyone other than Davey (David Warner) is free. Sometimes, it is tough for the schedules. We have a few days of training before we get into the Test,” concluded Smith.
The much-anticipated four-match Test series between South Africa and Australia will commence on March 1.