As India eye a first Test series win in South Africa, earlier opening match Gautam Gambhir feel the pressure will be star dough Virat Kohli and captain Rohit Sharma. India have never won a Test series in South Africa but came close to doing so during their last tour. After winning the first Test, India conceded the series 2–1, with Kohli missing the second Test due to injury. Gambhir reckons it will be up to Rohit and Kohli to deliver the goods with the bat for India, adding that the star players can take the pressure off the Indian bowlers in difficult South African conditions.
“I think the pressure will be on Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli because they have that experience. Bowlers will definitely win you the series in South Africa, but if your batsmen don’t put runs on the board, you won’t be able to create pressure for your bowlers,” Gambhir said on Star Sports.
Gambhir further explained how the South African pacers can disrupt the Indian batters.
“Pace, bounce and seam. I think your batting will definitely be under pressure because South Africa probably don’t have the batting they had in 2011, but their bowling still has power – (Kagiso) Rabada, (Gerald) Coetzee , (Other) ) Burger and Marco Jansen,” he added.
Gambhir further pointed that out Mohammed Shami‘s absence due to injury could prove to be a huge blow to the team.
“So don’t just talk about batting, bowling will be under as much pressure because there will be expectations from bowling. If Mohammed Shami had been there, India would have been absolute favourites. Mohammed Siraj is still young. So I believe your bowling will be tested as much as your batting,” Gambhir concluded.
NDTV sources confirmed that it has returned to India due to a family emergency, but the senior batter is expected to be back in time for the first Test against South Africa.
Earlier this month, India drew the T20I series 1-1 and won the ODI series 2-1.
The first Test starts on Boxing Day (December 26) in Centurion.
India’s Test squad against South Africa:
Rohit Sharma (Captain), Shubman Gill, Yashasvi JaiswalVirat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, Ruturaj Gaikwad, KL Rahul, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul ThakurMohammed Siraj, Mukesh Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Prasidh Krishna, KS Bharat
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