Former Proteas skipper Graeme Smith has heaped praises on the Indian cricket team saying that the current lot of players possess the ability to do well in overseas conditions. In particular, Smith lauded the consistent top order of Indian batting line-up.
The 36-year-old elaborated how the likes of Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan have grown as a batsman in the last few years.
“The top three are winning a lot of cricket games. Not only are they consistent, prolific run-getters, they also get it at pace. Each of them has a strike rate of 90 and above. It’s exciting to watch them. This top three will go to South Africa as better players. Since the last tour, they have all grown in stature,” Graeme Smith was quoted as saying by IBTimes.
"Virat had a decent tour [in 2013]. He has got even better. He has gone to the next level. Rohit, I think, is a better player than what he was when he came to South Africa [last time]. Shikhar has improved,” he further explained.
Smith, who has captained South Africa in 109 Tests, also noted that these three Indian batters not only developed their game physically but have evolved mentally as well.
“They all go with more experience, they are better players not only mentally, but also technically. If they [India] are to be successful, their top three, both in the Test format and in the one-day format, need to have big tours,” he concluded.
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