A LOT AT STAKE
It is the time that the Indian team stood up to the challenge of playing real fast bowlers on wickets that have pace and bounce.
South Africa has never been a delightful experience for the Indians with the exception of the T20 World Cup, the 2003 World Cup and sterling individual performances.
With the tag of No.1 the Indian cricket team has a lot to prove.The lacklustre showing against the New Zealand at home in the test series should be a cruel pointer.I do not want to sound like a pessimist or a Jaywant Lele, but something tells me that this series could be a make or break for the team and a lot of players.
The news of Zaheer Khan and Shreesanth being doubtful for the first test could not have come at a more inopportune time.The spinners, the less said the better for they could not answer the questions posed by the batsmen from New Zealand.Surely, the likes of Kallis and Co. are much more accomplished and have the entries in the record books to justify this.
In the batting department, everything comes down to the seniors led by the gentleman named Sachin Tendulkar. It would be a photographer’s delight to watch Raina face the fast bowlers.
Historically, India have not done well in the opening test of a series at home as well as on foreign soil.So a wrong foot in the first test could make things extremely complicated in the series.The sad losses in the first two test matches in the last tour of Australia could not prevent India from saving the series even with that famous win in Perth.
The captaincy of Dhoni and his famed ‘midas touch’-largely a myth will be put under tremendous pressure.