Despite the widespread belief that India’s pace attack will be a huge differentiator in their South African tour, Ravi Shastri believes that it will eventually boil down to India’ batting. Discussing Ajinkya Rahane’s current dilemma, he stated that little fine-tuning would get Rahane back on track.
One of the main reasons for the wide belief that India could churn out a win in South Africa this time, where they haven’t won a single series in 25 years, is India’s fierce pace attack. The Men in Blue has never been known for its lethal bowling before, a perception that the likes of Mohammad Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, and Umesh Yadav are changing.
While Yadav and Shami have proved their unparalleled mileage in the longest format of the game, Bhuvneshwar and Bumrah are now stated by many as one of best death-bowling duos in world cricket. Apart from them, the
"This team has the opportunity and I believe have got the goods to compete really well… because you have got bench strength in your bowling attack, in your pace bowling attack… what you need overseas
However, despite bowlers giving India a dangerous look, Shastri believes it will eventually be a batting duel between the two nations. Like bowling, Indian batsmen like Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan and
“I think it will be about Indian batting v South African batting," he said. "Both sides have very good bowling attacks. I think our bowlers will do a pretty good job, [but] it will boil down to how our batsmen fare. If our batsmen stand up and put the runs on the board you could have a very competitive and entertaining series," said Shastri.
Ajinkya Rahane’s current form definitely remains a huge dilemma for India, however, when it comes to batting. The middle-order batsman, who boasts of an away average of 69.66 in South Africa and 53.44 overall, has just finished a terrible series against Sri Lanka. While India won the series 1-0, Rahane could muster only 17 runs in three-match Test series.
“At this level, I don't believe there is coaching involved. It's fine-tuning. It's not that he is shattered mentally or things like that. There is a little bit of fine-tuning as far as technique goes, how he has to actually use that footwork. I am talking about going towards the ball. Little things we have discussed and he knows,” said Shastri.