Proteas

Biff: 'Powerful' SA pace attack will trouble India

Graeme Smith (Gallo Images)
Graeme Smith (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Former Proteas skipper Graeme Smith has backed South Africa's pace attack to put India's batting line-up under pressure in their upcoming three-Test series.

The Proteas will face the world's No 1-ranked Test team in the first Test at Newlands, starting on Friday, January 5.

Smith believes the Proteas will be "too powerful" for Virat Kohli's charges in their own backyard.

"I think South Africa will be very strong. With AB de Villiers coming back, their batting looks a lot stronger. The bowling too is really powerful. They have got four really outstanding experienced pacers to choose from and couple of young pacers as well," Smith told PTI.

The Proteas have a number of bowlers currently making their way back from injury, including Dale Steyn, Vernon Philander, Morne Morkel and Chris Morris.

Smith, who captained the Proteas in 117 Tests, reckons that Newlands will provide the best opportunity for India to win a Test.

"I think Cape Town will be India's best chance. Cape Town has experienced a drought. I expect the wicket to not do too much and have slow bounce and take a little bit of spin as the game goes on," he said.

"I think the big challenge for India will be scoring runs. If they can post big totals, they have a good batting line-up, then they will be able to put South Africa under pressure.

"I think it is going to be a cracking series... I think world cricket needs an exciting Test series and it is shaping up to be one of those," said Smith.

Leading up to the series, former and current India players have been vocal over India's chances to topple the South Africans.

Indian fast bowler Umesh Yadav stated that he was confident his side will be able to take all 20 Proteas wickets (in a Test), while former Indian coach Anil Kumble predicted India will "create history".

The Indians have never won a Test series in South Africa having lost five times and drawn one.

India's Test squad for South Africa:

Virat Kohli (captain), Murali Vijay, K. L. Rahul, Shikhar Dhawan, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Rohit Sharma, Wriddhiman Saha, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Parthiv Patel, Hardik Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammad Shami, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah

India's tour fixtures in South Africa:

January 5-9 - 1st Test, Newlands

January 13-17 - 2nd Test, Centurion

January 24-28 - 3rd Test, Wanderers

February 1 - 1st ODI, Kingsmead (D/N)

February 4 - 2nd ODI, Centurion

February 7 - 3rd ODI, Newlands (D/N)

February 10 - 4th ODI, Wanderers (D/N)

February 13 - 5th ODI, St. George's Park (D/N)

February 16 - 6th ODI, Centurion (D/N)

February 18 - 1st T20I, Wanderers

February 21 - 2nd T20I, Centurion (D/N)

February 24 - 3rd T20I, Newlands (D/N)

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