Graeme Smith predicts tough contest for South Africa against India
Former South African captain Graeme Smith believes that the Proteas' upcoming tour of India, which includes a four-match Test series, will be a tough challenge for the visitors.
Between October and early December, South Africa will play three Twenty20 Internationals and five One-Day Internationals during the tour as well as the Test series.
This tour marks the first time that South Africa will play India in a four-match Test series which is hosted away from home.
After South Africa are done with the India tour, they will head home to play England in four Test matches, five ODIs and two T20Is.
With such an important season ahead of the team, Smith is confident that South Africa will be able to pass both the challenges successfully.
"I'm a bit nervous,” said Smith.
“It's a tough tour for us and this is a big season for South African cricket with the Indian tour and the English tour later this year.
“This could be the defining period for this team.
"Four Test matches in India are not going to be easy, especially because it involves a lot of travelling, a lot of people and the conditions are going to spin.
"I'm holding thumbs that everything will go well.
“If we have a good Indian tour, I think we'll then do very well against the English.”
South Africa, who are currently ranked number one in Test cricket, have not lost an away series since losing to Sri Lanka in 2006.
In the last nine years, South Africa have managed to beat Pakistan, Bangladesh, England and Australia in their backyards, while they drew twice in India (in 2007-08 and 2009-10).
Smith is extremely proud of South Africa’s fine away record and is backing the current squad to keep the streak going.
"Our record of not losing a Test series away from home since 2006 has been incredible.
“Hopefully these guys will keep going and keep doing us proud.”
In their last 30 Test series, both home and away, South Africa have an impeccable record, having lost only twice, with both of those defeats coming against Australia at home (in 2008-09 and 2013-14).
© Cricket World 2015