South Africa skipper Dean Elgar said that the hosts are slightly favourites in their upcoming three-match Test series against India. The red-ball matches are scheduled to get underway on Sunday, December 26 with the opening Test at the SuperSport Park in Centurion.
The series was about to start on December 17, but the COVID-19 pandemic led to its delay. Johannesburg and Cape Town will host the other two Tests of the series. Although Elgar backed the Proteas to win, he didn’t overlook the fact that India are one of the strongest Test teams.
“I think it’s pretty even-stevens. Us playing at home, obviously, gives us a little bit of an upper hand. They are ranked No. 1 in the world; we can’t not look at that. That’s something they have been for quite some time, in my opinion – just my being a cricket watcher and a cricket fan,” Elgar was quoted as saying.
Their strength at the moment lies in their bowling, says Dean Elgar
Back in 2018 when India played three Tests on South African soil, Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami made hay. It was also the series where Bumrah made his Test debut after playing limited-overs cricket for two years.
Over the last 12 months, India have beaten Australia and England in four overseas Tests on the back of their bowling performance. Elgar said that South Africa can’t afford to undermine India’s bowling by any stretch of the imagination.
“You can’t not give them the credit for what they have done over the last while. So, I am not going to sit here and say they are not the best side in the world because there’s a ranking system for a reason. But the mere fact that we’re playing in our backyard gives us still the upper hand going into the series,” he stated.
“Their strength at the moment lies in their bowling. We are extremely aware of that as well. They’ve had a lot of success as a bowling unit. They’ve got a lot of older spearhead bowlers that lead the attack and have got a good back-up set of bowlers as well,” Elgar added.
As far as pace bowling is concerned, the Proteas have been jolted with a blow as Anrich Nortje has been ruled out of the series due to an injury.