The incipient talks of India’s tour to South Africa have already begun. While the Proteas are trying to demolish Pakistan, India have tried to break all possible records at their home.
On the other hand, whereas South Africa have toured England, Australia, Sri Lanka and UAE since 2012, India have toured Australia where they were completely outshone, toured England where they were lucky enough to find home – like conditions and toured Windies, which is never a hard nut to crack these days.
The only conclusion the above stats lead us to is that India have been lacking behind in foreign tours whereas the case for Smith and his men is different.
And this time, South Africa don’t even need to bother about the conditions as they are playing at home but it is the Men in Blue who should be in a spot of bother.
It’ll be pointless to talk about how Proteas will play because the answer to this question is very obvious - 'Exceptionally well'.
What needs to be discussed is how do India face this challenge. In the batting line-up, India have got plenty of talented batsmen but no one of them except for Dhoni, Vijay and Pujara have played on those fast South African pitches(in tests) which ensures that they are likely to struggle against Steyn, Philander and Morkel.
Though, almost everyone in the ODI team has played out there but no one did well except Kohli. The bowling too tells a similar story as India have nothing but inexperience.
Their strength is their spin bowlers which are likely to be at the whacking end throughout the tour in either format.
Zaheer Khan is the only dependable one that Dhoni can go to for getting wickets but the worry here too is that Zak as Zaheer is known is returning after a long span and it’ll take him quite some time to get into groove.
So, where India sit at the moment is the receiving end of yet another clean sweep overseas. The best that they can do to avoid something disastrous is to adapt to the South African conditions as quickly as possible but nothing else. Get ready India to face a “Stern” test in South Africa.
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