Former India cricketer turned commentator Sunil Gavaskar contends that the Indian team has experienced batters over Proteas bowlers who do not have that much of an edge for the two-match Test series starting from December 26 at the SuperSport Park in Centurion.
Coming after a 2-1 victory over Proteas in the ODI, the Indian team led by Rohit Sharma will play its first Test match of the series at the SuperSport Park in Centurion from December 26.
Sunil Gavaskar opined that after the comeback of many senior players in the squad (Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Jasprit Bumrah) Indian team has experienced batters over Proteas bowlers.
"They are experienced batters, who are coming after playing everywhere, so I expect them to score lots of runs in these two Test matches. Not only because they have got so much talent, but this time around, I think the South African attack does not have that edge,” Gavaskar told Star Sports.
Absence of Rabada and Nortje to hurt South Africa, says Gavaskar
He also added that the absence of star players like Anrich Nortje and the potential unavailability of Kagiso Rabada could come to hurt the hosts.
"With the absence of Nortje, with the likely absence of Rabada and Lungi Ngidi, the South African attack looks a little bit short on experience, I am not saying short of class. So I feel these two batters will score lots of runs and help the Indian team post a big score,” Gavaskar added.
South Africa's pace spearhead Kagiso Rabada is unlikely to be available for the 1st Test against India as he is yet to recover from heel injury, which suffered during the match in domestic tournament.
While, Nortje has not been added to the squad for the tour as he is not yet full fit.
Sunil Gavaskar suggests Rohit Sharma to play aggressive batting
Prior to the Test series, Gavaskar also discussed Rohit Sharma's mental state as captain. The former batsman suggested that Rohit might consider altering his aggressive style of play in Test matches. It is noteworthy that the Indian captain delivered outstanding performances to guarantee India's best start in the 2023 ODI World Cup.
"First and foremost, the challenge would be to get your mental state into a test match situation. He has been batting in the ODI format where he had decided that he was going to be playing the attacking role and try and score as many runs as possible in the first 10 overs of field restrictions,” Gavaskar said.
“He will have to change the approach completely for Test cricket because he will have to think in terms of batting the whole day. If he bats the whole day, then, clearly with the range of shots that he has got, he will be able to end up with 180 or 190 not out at the end of the day and India will be 300-plus,” he added.