This is a quality Indian team: Allan Donald recalls Virat Kohli's words from 2018 ahead of Centurion Test

WION Web Team
New Delhi, India Published: Dec 23, 2021, 06:28 PM(IST)

Allan Donald recalls Virat Kohli's words from 2018 ahead of Centurion Test Photograph:( AFP )

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Ahead of India's Test series opener versus South Africa in Centurion, former SA pacer Allan Donald has lavished praise on Virat Kohli's Team India.

Team India are set to commence their tour of South Africa with the first Test to get underway on December 26 in Centurion. Ahead of the three-match Test series, former SA speedster Allan Donald has lavished praise on Kohli-led Indian team and expects a bumper contest between both sides in the forthcoming series in the African nation. 

Despite not having the likes of Rohit Sharma, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel and Shubman Gill, Indian team is strong enough to challenge the Dean Elgar-led side in their own backyard. The No. 1 ranked Indian team will also be eager to win their first-ever series in whites in South Africa, after losing closely (2-1) during the 2018 tour.

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Donald believes India have been very good while being on the road and can pose a serious threat to the Proteas. "There is no doubt this is one of the marquee series in the world game and we can look forward to an incredible battle over the summer," Donald was quoted as saying by cricket.co.za.

He added, "Kohli's comments a few years ago were that you'll never be classed as a great side if you don't win away from home and that has been something he really worked towards. You saw them win in Australia and also reach the WTC (World Test Championship) Final. This is a quality Indian team that is here. I'm looking forward to it."

Donald pointed out, "Both teams line up really well, both have strong bowling line-ups and that will mean the batting on both sides will be tested. Our batting has lost some key players in the last couple of seasons. There's no hiding from the fact that it’s a young line-up and they will be tested by the Indian attack."

"For me that is where the series will be decided. In the last few seasons, we haven't scored enough runs and that will be the challenge. If we can put the runs on the board, we undoubtedly have the bowlers who can take 20 wickets. There is a really good balance to our attack, and it will be interesting to watch."

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Recently, Kohli had recalled India's 2018 Tests versus SA and said, "South Africa was really the start for us as a team, travelling and starting to belief we can win series overseas. We built it up nicely in England, and Australia was an accumulation of all those efforts."

It will be interesting to see if India can achieve their first-ever Test series in South Africa. They are coming to the African nation on the back of two historic series wins in Australia, reaching the inaugural WTC final and taking an unassailable 2-1 lead over England in the incomplete five Tests held in the United Kingdom early this year. 

For India to do well, the likes of Kohli, Jasprit Bumrah, R Ashwin, Cheteshwar Pujara and Mohammed Shami will have to be on their toes and perform in all cylinders.

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