South Africa will not have it easy against India - Sourav Ganguly
South Africa are currently touring India for a campaign which includes three Twenty20 Internationals and five One-Day Internationals apart from the four Tests.
India remains the only country where South Africa have not won an away Test series in the last nine years, having drawn the two times in 2008 and 2010.
Ganguly opined that South Africa will have to be at their best to win the four-match Test series against India.
"It's a long series and I don't think India can play badly in all the four Tests.
“South Africa will really have to do well to beat India.”
Ganguly has cautioned India against preparing rank turning pitches against South Africa as Imran Tahir’s presence in the opposition will cause such a move to backfire.
"Tahir is a quality spinner and he'll be a threat in Indian conditions.
“I want India to make sporting wickets and not square turners.
“If they make a square turner then Tahir will be a match winner."
Pushing for preparation of sporting wickets for the series, Ganguly believed that India needs to put a big total on the board every time they go on to bat.
"I want a hard wicket which will have bounce and start turning from fourth day.
“In Indian conditions, a match usually takes shape fourth day onwards when wickets fall in a heap.
“The key to success for India is to bat well and put 500-plus run on board up front.”
This four-match Test series against South Africa will also be Virat Kohli’s first assignment as the Test captain in home conditions.
In August, India under the leadership of Kohli, managed to win a Test series for the first time in 22 years on Sri Lankan soil.
Ganguly is confident that Kohli is the right man to take Indian cricket into the future, as he always looks for a win in every situation.
"He's one captain who always looks win, winning is everything for him.
“At times, his body language may be over aggressive and he may cross the line but I like his mindset.
“It was an exceptional achievement to win in Sri Lanka.
“He's an outstanding batsman, he's a much needed personality to take Indian cricket forward."
A stark contrast to Kohli’s personality is South Africa’s Test captain, Hashim Amla, who is a cool and a calculated person when it comes to playing the game.
Amla boasts of an average of 102.87 in India, having scored 823 runs from six Test matches, with four hundreds and two fifties to his name, including a double century.
Amla’s previous three innings on Indian soil read 253 not out, 114 and 123 not out, making for outstanding batting figures.
While Ganguly admitted that he has not seen much of Amla’s captaincy, he feels that the 32-year-old’s performance with the bat will be crucial for South Africa in the sub-continent conditions.
“I have not seen his captaincy, he's cool and composed, his batting will be key in these conditions.”
South Africa's tour of India gets underway with the first of the three T20Is, which will be played on 2nd October in Dharamsala.
© Cricket World 2015