South Africa spinner Keshav Maharaj will have key roles to play when they begin the three-match Test series against India on October 2 (Wednesday). As the Proteas gear up for the ICC World Test Championship, Maharaj is trying to emulate his counterparts – Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin.
The visiting team will have tough challenges in their hand in the upcoming series but Maharaj hopes to use his County experiences to unsettle the Indian batsman. The hosts are a dominant force in these wickets and it is difficult to get rid of them.
But Keshav Maharaj, who has 94 wickets from 25 Tests is the senior spinner in the side and will have to shoulder a lot of responsibilities in the sub-continent wickets. And he wishes to use the antics from Jadeja and Ashwin to make the Indian top-order uncomfortable.
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“It is nice that people speak highly of you. Look at Jadeja and Ashwin. Ashwin has got a lot of variations and Jadeja keeps it simple but the key is consistency and that make it uncomfortable for the batsmen. I can (want to) emulate that going forward and do my job from one end,” Maharaj said.
Furthermore, Keshav Maharaj feels it will be an acid test for him in the upcoming series. If he manages to succeed in these pitches against world-class Indian batters, Maharaja believes he can make a mark for himself in international cricket.
“You got to expect the ball to turn in the sub-continent and that is why people carry an extra spinner here. As far as bowling to Indian batsmen goes, you can only Test yourself against the best. The series will tell me how good I am and if I belong here in international cricket,” Maharaj continues.
Along with spin, reverse swing will also play a key in these wickets, remarked Keshav Maharaj. While India have Mohammed Shami to exploit the conditions, Vernon Philander of South Africa is also one of the greatest exponents of the reverse swing of the modern generation.
“Besides spin, reverse swing will be key. Every bowling unit everywhere in the world likes to utilise if reverse swing is available. India have got strong bowlers including Mohammad Shami, who is unplayable at times. If it starts to reverse, then we have also got amazing bowlers, who can utilise the conditions,” Maharaj concluded.