Team India's T20 squad has embarked on the tour of South Africa ahead of the multi-format assignment, the last one for 2023 for the Men in Blue. It is one territory where the Indian team is yet to achieve success in, especially in Test cricket and the two matches in Centurion and Johannesburg will provide another opportunity for the Rohit Sharma-led side to win a series against the Proteas in their own backyard.
The bounce and the assistance the fast bowlers get in South Africa are unparalleled and the batters' technique and skills are challenged. India came close to winning it there in 2018 but the series was drawn and the last time in 2022, they lost 1-2 after which Kohli gave up Test captaincy. Now, head coach Rahul Dravid has admitted that it will be a challenge for the batters and that everyone won't play the same way and might not succeed but wants them to commit to a plan and follow it to the hilt.
"So, it is a challenging place to bat; the statistics will tell you that. It is one of the more difficult places to bat in, especially up here in Centurion and Johannesburg. The wickets do tend to do a bit, and they tend to get up and down as well," Dravid said in an interview with Star Sports on 'Follow the Blues.'
"Every one of the batsmen will have a game plan as to how they want to go, as long as they are clear about it and they commit to it and are practising towards that, that’s fine. We don’t expect everyone to play in the same way. We want them to be very clear about what works for them, and then be able to execute that. The boys, once they get out there, a lot of it is mental, and I guess, you know, we try and stress on the fact that if we do get going if we get the opportunity to get set, they try to make it a match-winning contribution," Dravid said.
The likes of Yashasvi Jaiswal, Shubman Gill and Shreyas Iyer will be playing a Test match in South Africa for the first time and will need to be on the money facing South African pace attack on those fast surfaces. It will be a challenge but if this Test team has shown anything in the last few years is that they like embracing the toughest of them all.