Young Indian team can win Test series in South Africa: Gavaskar

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Updated: Monday, December 16, 2013, 11:17 [IST]
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India can win SA Test series: Gavaskar

Johannesburg, Dec 16: Former captain Sunil Gavaskar is backing the young Indian team to win its first Test series in South Africa.

India will face South Africa in a two-Test series starting in Johannesburg from December 18. The visitors have never won a Test series in the Rainbow Nation.

"I truly believe this young Indian team has what it takes to give India their first Test series victory in the Rainbow Nation," Gavaskar told BCCI's website on Sunday (December 15).

This will be the first Test rubber for India without Sachin Tendulkar. The Master Blaster retired from international cricket last month. He was part of Team India for 24 years.

It will be interesting to see who will bat at the number four position vacated by Tendulkar.

Talking about India's batting, Gavaskar said it was important for openers Murali Vijay and Shikhar Dhawan to bat for 15 to 20 overs so that the middle order can capitalise.

"The opening pair of Dhawan and Murali Vijay will play a huge role because they will be up against the pace and swing of Dale Steyn and Vernon Philander with the new ball. It will be imperative for them to play off the first 15-20 overs for the likes of Virat, Rohits and Dhonis to come and capitalise," Gavaskar said.

Gavaskar praised left-arm paceman Zaheer Khan and according to him his presence in the dressing room will help young Indian bowlers.

"Zaheer Khan's return is a blessing for India. More than anything else, his sheer presence in the dressing room and on the field will help the bowlers who haven't bowled on the South African pitches.

"Even if he doesn't pick too many wickets, it will be a big plus for the likes of Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Umseh Yadav and Ishant Sharma to have Zaheer around because he will be the one to give them those little tips that can be so handy.

"In the pressure of a Test match, sometimes all you need is a little word and not a long lecture. Zaheer is capable of doing that very well," Gavaskar said.


Story first published:  Monday, December 16, 2013, 11:14 [IST]
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