Virat Kohli-led India's attitude of crushing opponents could lead to historic win in South Africa, believes Lalchand Rajput

Former Team India manager Lalchand Rajput feels that Virat Kohli and his men play with a crush-the-opponents approach and that itself would be enough for them to eke out an unprecedented Test triumph in South Africa next month.

PTI, Dec,18 2017

Mumbai: Former Team India manager Lalchand Rajput feels that Virat Kohli and his men play with a crush-the-opponents approach and that itself would be enough for them to eke out an unprecedented Test triumph in South Africa next month.

India will tour South Africa for a three-Test, six-ODI and three-Twenty20 series starting 5 January and it is being touted as the most challenging assignment so far for Kohli as captain.

Speaking to PTI, Rajput, who was the head coach of the Afghanistan cricket team and now coaches the Assam Ranji team, rated India's chances quite highly.

Virat Kohli will aim to become the first Indian captain to win a Test series in South Africa. Reuters

Virat Kohli will aim to become the first Indian captain to win a Test series in South Africa. Reuters

"The way the Indian team is playing, they are playing tough cricket. With Virat Kohli being the leader, the aggression which he shows, seems to be imbibed in other players too and they want to win at any cost. They want to crush the opponents," the 56-year-old former Mumbai opener said.

Asked for a prediction, Rajput replied "2-1 in India's favour", quite promptly. India have not won any Test series in South Africa thus far.

"This is the team that would do wonders and I am hopeful that they will do really well in South Africa," Rajput said.

According to Rajput, the Indian bowlers have the ability to pick up 20 South African wickets, which would be a must to forcing a result in their team's favour.

"To win a Test match, we need to take 20 wickets. We have the bowlers who can take 20 (South African) wickets. Bhuvneshwar Kumar is in peak form, Umesh Yadav has done exceptionally well, (Mohammed) Shami, after injury, is bowling superbly.

"If they get a little bit of help from the wickets then these bowlers are dangerous," said Rajput.

Rajput also described all-rounder Hardik Pandya, who has been picked in the squad for South Africa, as a "game-changer".

"Because if you have to take 20 wickets, you have got to have five bowlers, it might be three medium-pacers, an all-rounder and one spinner or it can be two medium-pacers, an all-rounder and two spinners, depending on the pitch conditions," explained Rajput.

India's Test vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane, who had a poor outing against Sri Lanka, has not been among the runs, but Rajput has just one advice for the Mumbai batsman and that is to spend time at the crease.

"For any batsman, who has done so well on foreign soil, it is just one step away from a big score. He had a very bad series in last couple of months,"

"But he is such a good player, if he spends time in the middle, I want him to spend more time in the middle, forget about scoring runs.

"He has to be there (at the crease) for an hour, once he is there for an hour, automatically his batting form will come. He just has to spend time and the first game will be crucial for him," Rajput signed off.

Published Date: Dec 18, 2017 | Updated Date: Dec 18, 2017




Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 4969 124
2 South Africa 3888 111
3 Australia 4174 104
4 New Zealand 3489 100
5 England 4829 99
6 Sri Lanka 4058 94
Rank Team Points Rating
1 South Africa 6386 120
2 India 6680 119
3 New Zealand 6650 117
4 England 6483 116
5 Australia 6077 113
6 Pakistan 4875 96
Rank Team Points Rating
1 New Zealand 2262 126
2 Pakistan 2843 124
3 India 3385 121
4 England 2029 119
5 West Indies 2538 115
6 South Africa 2238 112