Johannesburg, Dec 23 (IANS) Former South Africa pacer Allan Donald praised the Indian team, saying that they are a quality side. While expecting a close contest between India and South Africa, Donald also recalled Test captain Virat Kohli’s comments in terms of performing overseas, believing it worked in transforming his team into a formidable side.
“Kohli’s comments a few years ago were that you’ll never be classed as a great side if you don’t win away from home and that has been something he really worked towards. You saw them win in Australia and also reach the WTC (World Test Championship) Final,” said Donald on Cricket South Africa’s official website
“There is no doubt this is one of the marquee series in the world game and we can look forward to an incredible battle over the summer. This is a quality Indian team that is here. I’m looking forward to it,” added Donald, who played 72 Tests and took 330 wickets for South Africa.
The 55-year-old former pacer, who was a central figure in the 1992/93 series and also played against the Indians on home soil in 1996/97, pointed out that the performance of South Africa’s young and slightly inexperienced batting line-up will be critical in deciding the outcome of the series.
“For me that is where the series will be decided. In the last few seasons, we haven’t scored enough runs and that will be the challenge. If we can put the runs on the board, we undoubtedly have the bowlers who can take 20 wickets. There is a really good balance to our attack, and it will be interesting to watch.”
“Both teams line up really well, both have strong bowling line-ups and that will mean the batting on both sides will be tested. Our batting has lost some key players in the last couple of seasons. There’s no hiding from the fact that it’s a young line-up and they will be tested by the Indian attack.”
The first of the three-match Test series between India and South Africa will start from December 26 at SuperSport Park in Centurion. It will be followed by the second Test at Wanderers in Johannesburg from January 3 to 7 and third Test at Newlands in Cape Town from January 11 to 15.