After a spineless show in the ODI series against South Africa, the famed Indian batting line-up will have to adopt a patient approach to make a contest out of the two-match Test series, which starts at Johannesburg on Wednesday, feels former India skipper Sunil Gavaskar.
The visiting Indian team, ranked world number one in the 50-over format, were handed a humiliating 100-plus run defeats in the two ODIs by South Africa to pocket the three-match series 2-0, even as the third and final ODI was washed out.
When Gavaskar was asked what was the way forward, the legendary opening batsman tipped the Indians to come out with a bang in the Test series.
“What I am confident about is that India are a fast learning team. They can pick up things pretty quickly,” Gavaskar said.
“The conditions are undoubtedly tough and South Africa pace battery won’t be easy to face. But India have depth in their batting and they just need little bit of patience,” the cricketer-turned-commentator said from Johannesburg.
“The batting is going to be the key and if Indian batsmen can show some patience I think they should come good.”
Gavaskar welcomed veteran pacer Zaheer Khan’s comeback to the team.
“Great to see Zaheer back in the team. His experience will be of immense help for the young pacers. Bowlers like Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Mohammad Shami can go to him for advise when things are not working out,” he said.
Asked whether India should go into the match with an extra batsman in Ajinkya Rahane or an all-rounder in Ravindra Jadeja, Gavaskar said: “The first Test of the series on a bouncy pitch I will go with an extra batsman, especially after what happened in the ODI series.”