Sunil Gavaskar feels this is India's best chance of winning a Test series in South Africa. Photograph:( AFP )
Former India captain Sunil Gavaskar has explained why he feels the Indian team has the best chance of winning the upcoming Test series in South Africa under Virat Kohli this time around.
Batting legend Sunil Gavaskar believes the upcoming Test series in South Africa is India's best chance at beating the Proteas in their own backyard and finally clinching a Test series win in the Rainbow nation. India have been a force to reckon with in Test cricket over the years and have proved their mettle both at home and overseas under captain Virat Kohli.
The Indian team will head into the South Africa series on a confident note having recently beaten New Zealand 1-0 in the two-match series at home. Gavaskar believes the absence of some of the key campaigners in South Africa presents India with a great chance at winning the upcoming Test series against the hosts.
India will play three Tests in South Africa as part of the ongoing World Test Championship (WTC) with the first Test in Centurion getting underway from December 26 (Sunday). South Africa will be without both AB de Villiers and Faf du Plessis, who have already retired while wicket-keeper batter Quinton de Kock is likely to miss a part of the series. De Kock might miss the second and third Tests having asked for paternity leave.
"Coming to India's tour of South Africa, the turmoil with the release of the SJN report indicting three former South African greats is certainly not going to help the home team," Gavaskar wrote in his column for Sportstar.
"There is also talk about Quinton de Kock, who loves Indian bowling, not being available to play the second and third Test. That weakens a fragile batting line-up even more and presents India with its best-ever chance of winning a Test series there," he added.
India lost their last Test series 2-1 against South Africa away from home when Du Plessis was in charge of the hosts. However, this time around India will start as favourites against the Dean Elgar-led side. Besides De Kock, South Africa are also set to miss the services of pacer Anrich Nortje, who has been ruled out of the Test series due to a persistent injury.
Gavaskar has backed India to clinch glory in South Africa this time around and script history by winning their maiden Test series in the country which will help them complete the cycle of winning a Test series in every Test-playing country.
"If they do that it will truly be the crowning glory and complete the circle of India winning a Test series in every Test-playing country. South Africa is the last hurdle and once that’s done then the sky is the limit for Indian cricket," said Gavaskar.