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Batters Hold Key To India Series, Says South Africa Captain Bavuma

  • 2 min read

South Africa is one of the most challenging places in the world for batters and the side which can adapt to the seamer friendly conditions quickest has the best chance of success in the first Test against India, according to home captain Temba Bavuma.

Both teams possess excellent fast bowling attacks and on a Centurion Park wicket likely to have pace and bounce from day one on Tuesday, it will be a real test for each side’s top six.

If India or South Africa can get 60-80 runs above the average first innings score in Pretoria of 329, it will likely put them in the driving seat.

“The fact that they (India) have been able to achieve such success is because of their bowling attack and that kind of nullifies the advantage we have (of home conditions). It’s more between the batters and how the batters take on that challenge,” Bavuma told reporters on Sunday.

“For me as a batter, the bowlers are going to put you under pressure and with their batting line-up as well, they (India) have got renowned Test players and guys who performed in all conditions.”

South Africa have not had a drawn Test at home in their last 32 matches dating back to a rain-affected game against New Zealand in 2016. They have won 24 of those.

But with inclement weather predicted for the first two days in Pretoria, this could be a shortened Test as India go in search of a first ever series win in South Africa.

“There’s a lot of pride attached to the fact we have been able to keep that record intact as a South African team, all of us as players also feel that,” Bavuma said.

“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. And the other, more obvious one, is the skill factor on the field.

“They are a determined team that want to be able to say that they have won a Test series here in South Africa. With that extra drive and motivation, it is a team against who we will have to be at our best.”