After Sourav Ganguly recently warned the Indian cricket team against the potential threat from South African spinner Imran Tahir, legendary batsman Sachin Tendulkar too felt the leg-spinner could be one of the bowlers to watch out for in the upcoming series against the Proteas.
Sachin Tendulkar during a promotional event at a city hotel yesterday. Pic/Atul Kamble
“We (the Indian team) will have to play properly against Tahir. He is going to be one of the leading bowlers in the series. It will be an exciting series. Both teams are well-balanced. I have never played an okay South African side ever in my career. Same is the case this time,” Tendulkar said during the launch of Oxigen wallet for which he is the brand ambassador.
This will be Tahir’s first bilateral series in India. The last time he played here, he wrecked havoc with his googlies and variations, claiming 14 wickets in five matches during the 2011 World Cup.
There is no doubt about Tahir’s abilities in limited overs cricket, but there is a question mark over him being able to replicate the same success in Test cricket. In the two Tests he played in Sri Lanka in 2014, Tahir managed to claim only four wickets whereas the Sri Lankan spinners made full use of the home conditions.
SA spinner Imran Tahir. Pic/Getty Images
Tahir is also making a comeback in the South African Test team after nearly a year.
With an already established pace attack, South Africa have beefed up their spin department. Spinners Tahir, Dane Piedt, who claimed 11 wickets in the two ‘Tests’ against India ‘A’ recently, and Simon Harmer can make most of the Indian conditions if Virat Kohli & Co dish out rank turners to the visiting team in the four-Test series.
Sachin Tendulkar recalled how technology changed the way team meetings were conducted. “In the 1990s, the coach and a few senior players would discuss strategy during team meetings. It was left to the players’ imagination of how the inswinger or the outswinger would be like. Then in 2003-04, for the first time, a computer entered our dressing room. A video analyst was introduced. At first, we thought how will a computer teach us cricket. That overnight change was difficult to accept for the players. However, we realised the difference it made to our team meetings. Just at the press of a button, we could see videos and statistics. It was amazing.
The team meetings became smoother and precise,” said Tendulkar.