Sachin Tendulkar
Sachin Tendulkar is confident to see India shining in South Africa. Photo Credit: AP.

Last Update on: January 3rd, 2018 at 02:55 pm

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Legendary batsman Sachin Tendulkar is hopeful that his national side is in a good stead and won’t bog down – to set its name in the record books while adding the Team India has opted for a balanced squad for the away series.

“In my 24 years with the Indian Test team, we never had the balance this team has,” Tendulkar was quoted as saying by Hindustan Times.

While talking about the chances of the Virat Kohli-led India, the former Indian batsman also felt it would be a major challenge, as Ravi Shastri said.

“It will be a good challenge to play in seaming conditions in South Africa and England,” Tendulkar maintained.

South Africa Vs India 2018, Sachin Tendulkar, Hardik Pandya, Cape Town,

Sachin Tendulkar played 15 Tests in South Africa in which he scored 1,161 runs at an average of 46.44. He has registered five hundreds and three fifties in 28 innings. Photo Credit: Getty Images.

According to Tendulkar, the formidable side has been prepared for the maiden assignment of the year 2018 while relying on the firepower.

“It’s about the Indian team and not about any individual. As a team India is very well prepared,” Tendulkar added.

India will kick off their campaign with the first Test on Friday (January 5) at Newlands.

South Africa Vs India 2018, Sachin Tendulkar, Hardik Pandya, Cape Town,

Sachin Tendulkar lauds impressive Pandya, who featured in three Tests for India to score 95 runs and eventually bagged four wickets. Photo Credit: BCCI.

On the other side, Tendulkar has heaped praise on all-rounder Hardik Pandya while remarking the 23-year-old prospect could play a key role on the African soil.

“The man who brings in such versatility is Hardik Pandya,” Tendulkar further added.

The 44-year-old Mumbai-based batsman Tendulkar feels it’s all about team unit when it comes to the winning ways and believes the selection of Pandya is his all-round efforts.

“Simply because Pandya can do the job of the fourth seamer, bat like a good middle-order batsman and is a good fielder,” Tendulkar remarked.

India is supposed to play as a unit by putting up a good show, and every player is bound to contribute in a bid to make things pretty solid as visitors.

“The team should rally around him. India can only succeed if they can put up good totals. Runs will matter and not only Virat, but the entire team has to contribute,” Tendulkar added on.

South Africa Vs India 2018, Sachin Tendulkar, Hardik Pandya, Cape Town,
Sachin Tendulkar wants Kohli to stick to the plan. Photo Credit: AFP.

While setting the focus on India’s skipper Kohli, Tendulkar emphasised the natural game while reiterating the batting mainstay should work on his game owing to strength.

“Virat Kohli will succeed if the team succeeds. Virat should just play his normal game and stick to the basics,” Tendulkar said.

It is pertinent to point out that India has been dominating the home leg in Tests in past two years as Pandya has been termed as plus point for India and Kohli could rely on an available combination.

“This is going to be Pandya’s biggest series and Virat will be banking on him. A guy who can bowl 17-18 overs and is perfectly capable of scoring runs at No 7 or 8 is an asset,” Tendulkar further said.

South Africa Vs India 2018, Sachin Tendulkar, Hardik Pandya, Cape Town,
Sachin Tendulkar feels slip catching would become easy on African soil. Photo Credit: BCCI.

Concluding, Tendulkar further reflected the slip region fielding has an important role to play in South Africa, as he feels India would be in solid control if bowlers managed to remove AB de Villiers and Hashim Amla.

“Slip catching is extremely decisive. They [India] can stand back and wait for the ball to come,” Tendulkar concluded.

Tendulkar represented India exactly in 200 Tests. He amassed 15,921 runs at an average of 53.48. Tendulkar has smashed 51 hundreds and 68 fifties in the traditional format.

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Follow India’s tour to South Africa here: South Vs. India

Tahir Ibn Manzoor

Tahir Ibn Manzoor is a staffer at Cricket Addictor, who follows cricket like food and he has a great affection for the long-form journalism. He Tweets @TahirIbnManzoor