Going without practice game could harm India, believes Ajit Wadekar

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Going without practice game could harm India, believes Ajit Wadekar

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SportsCafe Desk

12/22/2017

Ajit Wadekar has voiced his concern about Team India starting their tour to South Africa, on January 5, without playing a practice game. However, the former Indian player did praise Virat Kohli’s captaincy and believes that the team will use their experience to play on the fast pitches.

After hosting Sri Lanka, Team India will fly to South Africa for a full-fledged tour starting with the first Test in the first week of January. Earlier, it was planned that Team India would play two practice games against South Africa Board President’s XI before the start of the all-important series. However, Cricket South Africa later announced that instead of practice matches, Team India had planned to hire a ground for the training session for more productive outputs. Wadekar is hopeful that Team India will continue their winning momentum on the tour but he made his concerns clear about canceling the practice matches.

"You need to get adjusted to those wickets because of the bounce. With no practice games, it is going to be a little bit hard on our players. Ours is a balanced team though," the 76- year-old veteran player told reporters as quoted by PTI.

"At the moment, the (Indian) team is doing really well, they are a very balanced team and they also have (enough) experience to play on any kind of tracks. Their past track record suggests that they seem to be in good form and they should be able to do well."

As per cricket pundits, the team will face a real challenge when they will visit South Africa as it is known fact that Indian players are not very good against pacers overseas. While their overseas record paints a bleak picture, their performance in South Africa is the worst. The Men in Blue have never won a single Test series in South Africa in six attempts. 

"South Africa is always a tough country to beat. They are tough guys and the wickets are a lot faster. India will have to go there well-prepared," Wadekar said.

Under the leadership of Virat Kohli, who was rested ahead of the SA series, Team India have been played some exceptional cricket in all formats of the game. In the last away series against Sri Lanka, India inflicted a 9-0 whitewash winning across all three formats which include three Tests, five ODIs, and one T20I. It was followed by success against Australia and New Zealand at home in the limited-overs format.

"Virat is made of a different mould entirely. He is a tremendously attacking cricketer. The present-day game requires that type of a cricketer because without that you won’t be able to attract crowds. Not only is he attacking, but he is a cricketer who can play for the team. He does not like losing. I suppose so. Aggression is essential; you can't play with inferiority complex all the time," the 76-year-old stated.

Another player who has come under heavy criticism recently despite an average of 44.15 in Test cricket is Ajinkya Rahane. In the recent past, he seems to be struggling for form with just 554 runs in 11 matches and just 17 runs in his last five innings. Wadekar backed Rahane and stated that the batsman would overcome the bad phase soon.

"There comes a time like this in every cricketer's career (when they go through such a phase). I have seen Sunil Gavaskar going through a bad patch, it can happen to any great cricketer.

"Rahane is one of the top cricketers India has produced and he will definitely come over the bad patch. But the sooner he gets over the bad form, the better it will be for Indian cricket. He should keep on playing because if he keeps playing, he does not lose confidence, I am sure he is going to get back in the runs," Wadekar added.

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