SA series a tough test for Bhajji: Bacher

first_imgIt will be a challenge for off-spinner Harbhajan Singh to excel against South Africa in the ongoing Test series that is going to be dominated by batsmen, predicts former Springbok captain Ali Bacher.Bacher, who was here for a World Cricket Summit, said that speedsters of both sides will find it difficult to bowl the other side out twice in the three- Test series, and felt that the present Indian batting line- up is the best one in the country’s history.”If you look at world cricket from a Test match point of view, the top three teams are India, South Africa and England.Australia have lost their dominance, which is good for the health of world cricket.Both India and South Africa are strong in batting, in quality and depth,” Bacher told Mail Today.”I would suggest that India is the strongest batting lineup of all time. There are some formidable players there with great track records. Can the bowlers get these two good teams out twice in a Test match? Unlikely. They are pretty strong and competitive teams and I would suggest that in a three- Test series you may very well be in for a drawn series. I would be very surprised if either team dominates this particular series,” he felt.Bacher, especially admired the depth in Indian batting.”There were times before when South Africa had one or two great batsmen. Similarly, India too had some. If you look at the Indian line- up, there is someone like Mahendra Dhoni batting at No. 7.advertisementThey are tremendous in batting, but also from a quality point of view,” he emphasised.The 68- year- old cricketerturned administrator said that spinners would also make their presence felt while the hype has been built around pacers.”South African pitches are like in Australia; generally, there’s some bounce, and unlikely to provide seam movement. The talk is always about fast bowlers, which is not 100 per cent right. Good spin bowlers have done well there,” he pointed out.”The last time England came to South Africa, their best bowler was Graeme Swann. So, I think it will be a great test for Harbhajan. He has been a formidable bowler in India. Can he do the same away from home, in South Africa? Time will tell. It’s a misnomer to say that a spin bowler cannot do well in South Africa. That’s not true.” A former chief executive of the South African board, Bacher said that even the One- day International series, following the Tests, would be ” important and very competitive” as the World Cup is just about two months away.Bacher hopes that Sachin Tendulkar leads India to a World Cup triumph, thus breaking the jinx of a home team never having won the title.”But history is also there to be changed and, may be, destiny is that Tendulkar, after such a glittering career, be part of an Indian team that wins the World Cup in India. Time will tell,” he said.Bacher feels the Indian team, comprising several experienced players, can tackle the expectations of millions of home fans and turn in a new chapter in the annals of the World Cup.”The Indian team is very strong. So many players have played for so many years. Collectively, they can handle pressure in India better than previous teams. So I don’t see this as a negative factor,” he averred.Bacher praised Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag effusively.”Sachin, for me, remains a strong ambassador, not only for Indian cricket but also for world cricket. What staggers and amazes me is that for 21 years the pressure has been on him, day in and day out, to perform well for a billion people in India. The way he handles it is quite extraordinary,” he gushed.”Sehwag is a brilliant opening batsman. At times, I have seen him bat, on television, and open in a Test match as if he’s playing a Twenty20 game. He’s outstanding. He is very innovative and positive. He has been very refreshing for Test cricket.”last_img

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