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IND vs SA | India are the firm favourites to win the series, says Monty Panesar

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Virat Kohli will lead India in a three match Test series against South Africa


IND vs SA | India are the firm favourites to win the series, says Monty Panesar

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SportsCafe Desk


Former England cricketer, Monty Panesar has opined that India are firm favourites to win the three match Test series in South Africa ahead of the series starting from December 26. Panesar further added that this team is motivated to fight any situation and have the best chance for the series win.

India recently won a Test series at home against New Zealand and are scheduled to tour South Africa for a three match Test series and the same number of ODIs. This will be the first red-ball series for Rahul Dravid as head coach away from home. Former head coach Ravi Shastri resigned from the post after the T20 World Cup 2021 but the team performed brilliantly in Tests during his coaching. 

India won against Australia in a four match series earlier this year. They were also leading by 2-1 in the Test series against England before the last Test was postponed due to Covid outbreak. Former England cricketer Monty Panesar opined that India are the firm favourites to win the series. 

"I think India have got a great chance. They seem like a favourite to win that series. They know how to win now away from India and that is to do with Ravi Shastri's coaching philosophy. He really instilled that belief, the motivation to say guys any situation we are going to fight and if you are in a dominant position then we are going to keep our foot on the throat,” Panesar said to ANI.

“So, I think it is still there within this Indian team and this will be historic for Indian cricket for them to win their first series in South Africa and this is their best chance. They have got a stronger team. Their team is much stronger than the South Africans. I think India are firm favourites to win the series.”

Along with the form of some of the senior batsmen, Virat Kohli’s form is also an issue of concern for the team. He is waiting for his Test ton since November 2019. Panesar opined that Kohli will be motivated to perform as he will be under pressure in terms of his captaincy and batting too. 

“I think he will be very motivated because he knows that if he does not score a lot of runs in Test cricket then that position could be up for grabs as well. So, he is under pressure to perform but he needs to do well and actually get some wins and even India are winning and he does not score the runs that still is a positive for Virat Kohli because he knows how to get the best out of an individual,” he stated.

“So, he needs to put that aside now and think about how to win in South Africa which is far more important and that is what I think BCCI wants from him. He wants to get the best eleven out there to win this Test series.”

BCCI recently appointed Rohit Sharma as full time ODI captain replacing Virat Kohli for the South Africa series. The red-ball team will be led by Kohli while Rohit will be the white-ball captain. Reflecting on the decision by the Board, Panesar said that splitting captaincy was the right decision by the board. 

"I think the board made the right decision because in the past you need one captain for ODI and T20 cricket and Sourav Ganguly made the right decision because he was one of the first cricketers who actually brought in that that fight for beating other oppositions away from India and especially in white-ball cricket he very much knows from the leadership point of view that one captain is already better and since Virat Kohli wanted to step away from T20 captaincy and I think he gave him the opportunity for Rohit Sharma to actually captain both teams because two big tournaments are coming up with the T20 World Cup and also the World Cup in India is the best time to have a white-ball captain for white-ball and let Virat Kohli focus on Test duties," he concluded. 

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