Centurion, Dec 25: South Africa skipper Temba Bavuma believes India’s bowling attack has ample strength and ability to nullify the advantage the hosts’ have ahead of the start of two-match Test series at SuperSport Park on Tuesday.
Despite losing Mohammed Shami to injury, India have the services of Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj, Prasidh Krishna and Mukesh Kumar in the fast-bowling department, apart from world-class spinners in Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja.
“We understand conditions a lot better so you’d expect us to adapt a lot better but their bowling is quite strong. The fact that they’ve been able to achieve such success is because of their bowling attack and that kind of nullifies the advantage we have. It’s more between the batters and how the batters take on that challenge.”
“Being home conditions, we understand the advantage it has and we expect us to adapt a lot better and Indian bowling attack is quite a strong one. Obviously Shami is not there but it’s still a strong one. The fact that they have been able to achieve so much success in Tests over the past five-ten years is because of their bowling attack,” said Bavuma to reporters.
He also thinks veteran opener Dean Elgar’s decision to retire from international cricket at the conclusion of the two-game series also adds the extra motivation for South Africa to excel against a formidable India.
“Where Dean is in his career, just adds to the sentiment of the series. Dean will be celebrated as much as we can within our team. We hope that he’s celebrated accordingly by South African cricket and the public. He’s been an integral part of this team over the years. For us as players, we’d like to make the series a special send off for him.”
South Africa have an unbeaten home record against India and Bavuma believes the Proteas will be at their best to maintain that perfect record. “There’s a lot of pride attached to that – that we’ve been able to keep that record intact as a South African team… all of us as players also feel that.”
“But we understand playing against India comes with certain challenges and it’s those types of challenges we would like to focus on. Playing against India comes with a lot more eyes and a lot more scrutiny in terms of everything we do. So it’s accepting that. The other, more obvious one, is the skill factor on the field.”