Rahul Dravid: India have a great chance to win maiden series in South Africa
Former skipper Rahul Dravid insists current Virat Kohli-led India are well equipped to win their maiden Test series in South Africa; hails successful team's depth and versatility
Former India captain Rahul Dravid feels the Virat Kohli-led team has a "great chance" of winning a maiden Test series in South Africa next month given the depth of talent in the side. Dravid said the current Indian team has all bases covered for the three-match series in South Africa starting with the first Test in Cape Town from January 5. However, the number one Test team, which has won a record nine series in a row, has only one warm-up fixture before the series-opener. "I think we have a great chance this time looking at the depth of the current side," Dravid said.
The Virat Kohli-led India have won a record nine Test series in a row following their 1-0 series victory over Sri Lanka in the recently concluded series. India kick off their SA tour from January 5. Pic/PTI
"We have got some quality quicks, we have the opportunity of playing the all-rounder [Hardik Pandya] if we need to. We have got quality spinners in Jadeja and Ashwin. What also excites me is that all our batsmen have been to South Africa before and they have the experience of 40-50 Tests. "Having said that, you do need a bit of luck in those conditions, bit of rub of the green. If we get that, I am very confident about our chances," said Dravid, who is currently coaching the U-19 and India 'A' sides. India have been playing non-stop cricket since the Champions Trophy and none other than Kohli has complained of not getting enough time to prepare for the South Africa tour due to the ongoing full series against Sri Lanka getting over only on December 24.
Dravid said it will be good to take the extra load off the players' shoulders. "Some years are tough [schedule wise] for the team and some are not. There is a lot of pressure on players but that is same for all teams. But it will be nice if we can balance the schedule though it is not an easy job."
Virat's inspiring intensity
Kohli recently surpassed Dravid to be the second-highest century-maker for India across formats and is only behind the great Sachin Tendulkar. "The intensity that he brings on the field to inspire his teammates is what stands out for me," said Dravid when asked what separates Kohli from the others.