Rahul Dravid has voiced his confidence about India doing well in South Africa stating that based on the current form of the team they have India a great chance. He also claimed that the team could trust Hardik Pandya’s skills while adding Ravindra Jadeja and R Ashwin could play crucial roles.
Virat Kohli's team has a chance to create a new record of ten consecutive Test series win and surpass Australia when India visit South Africa to play three Tests. But it will not be as simple as that for the Indian side as they have never won a single Test series in South Africa in history. India have visited South Africa six times for Test series where they played 17 matches out of which they have managed to win just two. But Dravid believed that current Team India side has a great chance of winning their maiden Test series in South Africa.
"I think we have a great chance this time looking at the depth of the current side," Dravid said as quoted by PTI.
Pandya, who made his debut this year in the Sri Lanka tour, has been included in the squad that will travel to South Africa for a full-fledged tour. In his first Test series, he played three Tests in which he scored 178 runs including a century and a half-century. Dravid thinks the all-rounder can perform well if he gets a place in the playing XI.
India will visit South Africa with their best spinners Jadeja and Ashwin, who spotted on the third and fourth places respectively of the ICC bowlers ranking list. Jadeja has played 10 Test in 2017 claiming 54 wickets while adding 328 runs as well. Ashwin, who has played 55 Tests in his career, featured in 11 Tests in 2017 where he grabbed 56 wickets.
"We have got some quality quicks, we have the opportunity of playing the all-rounder (Hardik Pandya) if we need to. We have got quality spinners in Jadeja and Ashwin.
"What also excites me is that all our batsmen have been to South Africa before and they have the experience of 40-50 Tests. Having said that, you do need a bit of luck in those conditions, a bit of rub of the green. If we get that, I am very confident about our chances," said Dravid.
This year Kohli has not only led his team brilliantly in the all formats of the game but also individually has been exceptional too. Recently, he scored his sixth double century in Test cricket and also played a career-best knock of 243 runs. Dravid said that he had been with Kohli's purple patch and the way he has led the team.
"The intensity that he brings on the field to inspire his teammates is what stands out for me," the 44-year-old stated.
Indian cricketers have been playing non-stop cricket for well over a year. After a home season which included Tests against New Zealand, England, Bangladesh, and Australia, the players took part in the two months long IPL. The league was followed by ICC Champions Trophy where India reached in the finals and after that, they visited West Indies which was followed with a tour to Sri Lanka. Returning back home, they hosted Australia and New Zealand for limited over series before starting the ongoing series against Sri Lanka. Earlier, overloaded matches forced the Indian skipper to raised questions over BCCI’s series scheduling decision. Now, Dravid also backed Kohli’s demand and believed the load will be better if the board schedule the matches in a balanced way.
"Some years are tough (schedule wise) for the team and some are not. There is a lot of pressure on players but that is same for all teams. But it will be nice if we can balance the schedule though it is not an easy job."