Cape Town is India’s best chance to win, believes Ajay Jadeja

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Cape Town is India’s best chance to win, believes Ajay Jadeja

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SportsCafe Desk

01/05/2018

Ajay Jadeja has stated that India have their best chance to register a win in South Africa in Cape Town thanks to the friendly conditions that the Newlands has to offer. The former India batsman has also added that the Virat Kohli-led team are much better than the Indian teams of yesteryear.

The importance of the series can be understood from the fact that Team India have been preparing for the South African tour for over a month. Although the tight scheduling forced the team to leave for the tour just 10 days ahead of the Test series, they prepared pacer friendly pitches during the series against Sri Lanka, which was seen during the Kolkata Test. The Indian team even cancelled their warm-up matches and instead decided play more practice sessions so that they get the idea of the track and adjust to the atmosphere. 

Former Indian cricketer Jadeja said that the first Test, that will be played in Cape Town, will provide India the best chance to open the series on a winning note. The former player claimed that the Cape Town’s conditions will be helpful for India and then the series will head to more seam-friendly venues like Centurion and Johannesburg for the remaining two matches.

“It will be a great challenge. Lot of people expect us to win easily there but I don’t think it would be that easy. Yes, we are a better side than what we used to be in the past. But overseas is always a different ballgame. You see that when other teams come here it is the same for them,” Jadeja said as quoted by PTI.

“The first Test match is probably going to be the most important and India are lucky to play in Cape Town this time. Normally we play in Cape Town at the end of the series and by that time we are beaten mentally. Luckily we will be playing on a pitch that gives us the best chance to win because that’s the one that turns, that’s the one that gives a little help. It’s very hot out there and I believe it might turn. So, hopefully, we will start well and have a better tour this time.”

In 2017, Indian cricket teamhave played 53 matches across all formats registering wins in 37 games, ending the year successfully with 69.8% winning percentage. Under Kohli’s captaincy, the Indian cricket team has had a brilliant home season where they managed to create and break many records including equalling Australia's record of nine consecutive Test series win. The former Indian cricketer also believes that this is the right time for the team to create history by winning their first ever series on South African soil.

“If you win nobody will remember what Virat Kohli had said but if you don’t end up winning then people will remind Kohli that the day before he left he was still getting married and wasn’t on the cricket field,” Jadeja said sarcastically. 

“I just hope for his sake India has a good series or otherwise people will say ‘you weren’t preparing either, forget about what BCCI has done. What were you doing?”

One of the main reasons behind the hope that India will do better in South Africa is their strong pace attack. Their current bowling unit comprises of pacers, who have been quite consistent in the recent past. The pace department includes the likes of Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav, Bhuveshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, and Jasprit Bumrah which is a balance of young and experienced players.

“This time they have great expectations. India are thinking of winning the series on the back of their bowling prowess. But it remains to be seen who they play because in the last one, one and a half year I have not seen same five boys play together,” he said.

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