Kolkata: Former India skipper Mohammad Azharuddin on Tuesday said the Indian cricket team's real test will be the two-month long tour of South Africa.
India are currently hosting Sri Lanka, who were beaten across all formats in their own den earlier this year.
"The Sri Lanka series will be challenging but India's real test will be against South Africa," he told reporters on the sidelines of the inaugural Jagmohan Dalmiya Conclave in Kolkata.
The low-profile Sri Lanka series is seen as a prelude to the gruelling tour to South Africa, where they will play three Tests, six ODIs and three T20Is in January-February next year.
Azharuddin also showered praise on India skipper Virat Kohli.
"He is outstanding. The way he is leading from the front is good to see."
Azhar had a love affair with the Eden Gardens and whenever he batted in Kolkata he seemed to be possessed by an urge to do well.
"Whatever I have, when you talk of memories at the Eden, they are only happy ones. I like this ground a lot," he said.
Azharuddin was part of the invitees as he had captained India in the CAB jubilee year Hero Cup in 1993.