Former India Test opener Wasim Jaffer reckons that South Africa’s fast bowlers will challenge India during the upcoming three-match Test series, beginning December 26 in Centurion. Jaffer also backed the all-round Indian bowling attack to challenge the hosts throughout the series.
India are scheduled to tour South Africa for three Tests and as many ODIs, beginning with the first red-ball fixture on December 26. Virat Kohli will lead the Test squad in the three-match Test series, while Rohit Sharma will captain the limited-overs side. India will be looking forward to scripting a maiden Test series win in South Africa. while the Proteas will try to make use of home conditions to their benefit.
Meanwhile, former India Test opener Wasim Jaffer reckoned that the South Africa pace bowling attack will definitely challenge the Virat Kohli-led side.
"South Africa has a decent fast bowling attack, there is no doubt (on Tuesday, CSA said that fast bowler Anrich Nortje has been ruled out of the series because of a recurring hit-related injury). Rabada is one of the best. He is going to challenge the Indian batters. They have sufficient quality. Their pace bowling will definitely challenge India. But their batting is not the same like it was before. Nonetheless, it will be a challenging tour for India," Jaffer told News18.com.
India pace bowlers have played a crucial role in their overseas success over the recent years. The fast bowling unit performed well in Australia and England. Jaffer opined that the experience of Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammad Shami will keep India in the game. The former Indian cricketer further added that the visitors can win the matches if they score 400-plus totals.
"India's bowlers will keep their team in the game. Indian fast bowling is very experienced now. Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammad Shami have a lot of experience. India has an all-round attack. I have been saying that if India scores 400 plus, it is more likely that it will win matches. Our bowling attack is first class. The challenge is for the batters to put scores on the board. That's been the problem," he stated.
Kohli ended the 2018 series as the highest run-getter with 286 runs from three matches. Jaffer stated that the Indian batsmen should bat around their skipper to set it up for the bowlers.
"In 2018, Virat was the only one who got the runs. The other batters need to step up. Now, India's batting is more balanced in the top six. Rishabh (Pant) can change the game if he bats for one or one and a half hours. There are good players in the team; they have to contribute around Virat," he concluded.