SA vs IND: South Africa skipper Bavuma praises India’s bowling attack ahead of Test series at home


South Africa skipper Temba Bavuma has utmost respect for India’s talent pool and believes that the pacer who replaces injured Mohammed Shami can put home batters under pressure in Tests.

Shami, India’s craftiest pacer in recent times, has sustained a heel injury and has been ruled out of the two-match Test series starting here Tuesday.

One among rookie Prasidh Krishna or one-Test old Mukesh Kumar is expected to replace Shami in the playing eleven.

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“As cricketers you want to come up against the best and Mohammed Shami is one of the best going around and most of us would be looking forward to coming up against him.

But India being India, and with the depth that they have, you have to trust that whoever comes in will also put you under pressure,” Bavuma replied to a query from PTI during the media conference on Sunday.

The Proteas skipper sounded hopeful that his team has a better chance to adapt under overcast conditions with rain threatening to play spoilsport on Day 1.

“Being home conditions, we understand the advantage our side has, you will expect us to adapt a lot better and Indian bowling attack is quite a strong one and obviously Shami is not there but it’s still a strong one. The fact that they have been able to achieve so much success in Tests over the past 5-10 years period is because of that bowling attack,” he lavished praise.

South African men’s cricket team has remained unbeaten in a test series against India for 31 years on home soil and Bavuma is keen to keep that record intact.

He understands that playing India comes with its own set of challenges.

“We understand playing (against) India comes with challenges as there are more eyeballs involved.” South Africa recently played an attractive brand of ODI cricket during the World Cup.

But according to Bavuma, with youngsters in the side, SA are still figuring out their signature brand of cricket.

But one thing is non-negotiable for the skipper – it has to be a winning brand of cricket.

“In terms of brand, there has definitely been talk about it, not just now but also during the West Indies series. We are still trying to see how it looks like.

Looking at the Test team, it’s still in a discovery phase and still evolving as you see a lot more new faces, we are still trying to see what the final product will look like,” he said.

He did not want to put pressure on his team to play any particular brand of cricket.

“I don’t think there is any extra pressure on players to get a lot more eyes on Test cricket and the objective will be to play a winning brand of cricket. That’s what we will try to do.”



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