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by Sandeep Shivam Friday 25 September 2015
Legendary batsman Sachin Tendulkar warned the Indian team of the threat from South African leg-spinner Imran Tahir when the two teams take on each other in a 72-day tour.
The South African team will tour India between October and December to play three Twenty20 Internationals, five One-Day Internationals, and four Test matches.
In the International Cricket Council Test team rankings, South Africa are currently placed at the top while India are in the fifth position.
Tendulkar, who remains the only player in the history of the game to have played 200 Tests, opined that South Africa are a quality side with excellent players in both the bowling and the batting departments.
"AB de Villiers and Hashim Amla are strong players and don't forget Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel.
“When you talk about the googly, Imran Tahir is one of the best bowlers.
“We have to play against him properly and if possibly he can be one of the leading bowlers.”
For India it will be the first home Test series under the captaincy of Virat Kohli after MS Dhoni retired from the format in December last year.
Tendulkar expressed confidence in the current Indian team and lauded them for being a committed bunch of players.
"I think the Indian team is fantastic.
“They are extremely talented and committed.
“A lot of things are said about the players but I know them very closely, and when it comes to cricket there are no shortcuts.
“The guys are committed and I again say it is a fantastic team.”
South Africa’s current tour of India will witness the first four-match Test series on Indian soil between the two teams.
Tendulkar, who is the highest run scorer in International cricket, is eagerly looking forward to what he feels will be an extremely competitive series.
"It will be an exciting series be it Twenty20, One-Day International series and the Test series is something I am looking forward to.
“Great team balance both sides of the fence.
“The visiting South African team is a quality side, I never played against a South Africa side which I can say is an okay side.
“They are always a strong side and it is no different right now.”
Tendulkar was the part of the team that toured South Africa for the first time in 1992 after their readmission to international cricket.
Reliving those days, Tendulkar stated that it was an incredible reception bestowed upon the Indian team by South Africa in 1992.
"When South Africa first toured India in 1991, that was an incredible experience to play against them, because to see their faces they were shocked to see one lakh spectators at the Eden Gardens.
“I was extremely happy about that and thought when we were going to tour Africa.
"We did in 1992 end and it was an incredible reception there.
“In Durban, we were taken it those days those fancy cars, all the way to the hotel from the airport and which was about 30 km away.
“I was surprised to see people in (the) roads on both sides greeting us.
“So that was my first experience of South Africa.”
The South African tour of India kick starts with the three-match T20I series, which begins on 2nd October in Dharamsala.
© Cricket World 2015