After conceding the first Test by 72 runs in Cape Town, Team India are in a must win situation to stay alive in the series going into the second Test at SuperSport Park in Centurion. Ahead of the all-important second Test, batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar has come up with an advice or two for the visitors to bounce back in the series.
Tendulkar, who has aggregated 5 Test tons on South African soil during the course of his 24-year long career, urged the Indian batters to focus on the first 25 overs.
“Batsmen should concentrate in the first 25 overs and look to accelerate after 50; bowlers should bowl in the right areas, and more importantly, remain positive as a team,” Tendulkar said in an exclusive interview with Hindustan Times.
When asked what’s went wrong in the Cape Town Test as Kohli’s troops were looking in a commanding position at point in time, the Master Blaster said: “I would say India had their moments to turn the screws on South Africa. At 12 for three, the Proteas were in trouble and then Hardik Pandya got the team back. What we missed were partnerships. We had a good chance to win. All we needed to do was tire their bowlers out because with Dale Steyn out, South Africa were a bowler short. If we had played the first 25 overs better, the script could have been different.”
Given the nature of pitch in the first Test there have been plenty of talks whether Ravichandran Ashwin warrants a place in the tem, but Tendulkar reckons that the offie brings something different to the table.
“Of course, 110 per cent spinners have a role to play. Ashwin gives the team something different. You may not get rank turners in South Africa, but if the wicket is not rock hard, then a spinner has a role. As I said reading the conditions will be key. The conditions won’t change for us, we have to change according to the conditions there,” opined the batting legend.
Tendulkar concluded by commenting on on South Africa’s team composition, whether the hosts should bring the all-rounder Chris Morris in place of injured Dale Steyn.
“Steyn is a specialist and in a different league altogether. Morris is a dangerous batsman if he goes for his big shots but you don’t expect the No 8 player to score the runs in a Test match. Bulk of the runs must come from the top five,” Sachin signed-off.