Harbhajan Singh believes that Dale Steyn will face trouble against India’s strong batting line-up in the upcoming Test series between the two sides. The former India off-spinner has also opined that for the No. 6 spot, Rohit Sharma is the best viable option in comparison to Hardik Pandya.
Ahead of the South Africa tour, critics stated that the Indian batsmen will face the real challenge on the South Africa tour as the hosts' pace attack will be led by none other than Dale Steyn. But Harbhajan feels that this series is not going to be an easy one for Steyn, who is making a comeback to the team after prolonged shoulder injury problems.
"Dale Steyn is unarguably the best fast bowler of the last 10 years but coming back into international cricket is not easy. A Test match against Zimbabwe will not exactly be an indicator of what he can do against India," Harbhajan told PTI during an interview ahead of the much-awaited South Africa series.
"Look at the Indian batting line up. We have so much quality. Murali Vijay, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, Rohit Sharma. This is perhaps among the best line-up in world cricket. For both Steyn and Morkel, it will be a challenge to stop this line-up especially when they themselves will need to get into the groove."
Pandya, who played three Tests in the Sri Lanka tour in July and August, scored 178 runs in three innings at an average of 59.33 and his name has been considered for the No. 6 spot considering his
"Rohit is a fabulous player. Someone who plays the pull shot well and also plays the cut shot well. Rohit is my pick at No.6. He can ride the bounce and play his strokes," he further explained.
"Hardik is a talented boy but Rohit for me is a complete batsman."
Team India is on the verge of creating a history of winning ten consecutive Test series after equalling Australia's record of nine consecutive Test series wins. To prove themselves on the foreign soil, it is important that team India pick a perfect combination. India is expected to include a single spinner in the three-Test match series and they have to pick between Ravichandran Ashwin, who seemed working on a new variation leg-spin, and Ravindra Jadeja. Harbhajan didn’t think too much on the matter and suggested to go ahead with Ashwin claiming that there is no need to have any sort of debate on the issue.
"If Ashwin is still not an automatic pick after 300 wickets then when?" questioned Harbhajan.
"The South African pitches will test
Under Virat Kohli’s captaincy, Indian cricket team performed exceptionally well throughout the year and the Indian off-spinner believed that the team will continue the momentum in the upcoming series as well which will start from January 5. It will be a good opportunity for Team India to register their first Test series win in South Africa.
"It's a confident team and it's always good to win matches before any overseas tour. Any team that travels overseas loves to believe that it is going there to win the series. The Indian team is no different. We have a good batting line-up and a quality pace attack," he signed off.