'A good team but...': Kallis's warning for India in quest for historic Test win | Cricket - Hindustan Times

'A good Indian team but...': Jacques Kallis's warning for Rohit Sharma and Co. ahead of quest for historic Test success

Dec 07, 2023 12:17 AM IST

South Africa is the only country in which India have never been able to win a Test series.

India are gearing up for their upcoming tour of South Africa. The tour begins on Sunday with a three-match T20I series, followed by an ODI series of as many matches. It then ends with a two-match Test series. The Tests will be India's first since they faced West Indies away from home earlier this year.

India have never won a Test series in South Africa(Getty Images)
India have never won a Test series in South Africa(Getty Images)

There is a considerable amount of focus on the T20I series as it will mark probably the first major test for a number of the young Indian players vying for a spot in the side that will travel to the Caribbean Islands next year for the T20 World Cup. However, there is also a lot of excitement for the Test series as it is another chance for India to record for their first-ever win away from home against South Africa.

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India played two close series the last two times they toured South Africa in red ball cricket, losing both 2-1. However, a number of their key players are in far better form than they were in the last series and a few former players have said that this could be India's best chance to gun for a first-ever Test series win in South Africa. However, legendary Proteas all-rounder Jacques Kallis has warned that South Africa remain a very difficult team to beat at home.

"This is a good Indian team but South Africa is tough to beat in South Africa. Centurion will probably suit South Africa and Newlands will probably suit India. It will be a good series and it will come down to one or two sessions that one team might play better than the other. It would be a closely-fought contest," said Kallis. The first Test will start on Boxing Day in Centurion after which the second Test is scheduled to start on January 3 in Cape Town.

'Too much cricket affecting all-rounders'

Kallis, one of the last multi-skilled legends, says quality all-rounders have become a scarcity in modern-day cricket, especially in Test cricket, because of "too much cricket across formats". While Sir Garfield Sobers (8032 runs and 235 wickets) is considered 'greatest of 'em all' across generations, Kallis (25,000-plus runs and nearly 600 wickets in three formats) is inarguably one of the legendary all-rounders the modern era has seen.

In the 1980s, there were four great all-rounders in Imran Khan, Richard Hadlee, Ian Botham and Kapil Dev while the new millennium saw emergence of Kallis and Andrew Flintoff. But with advent of T20 cricket and mushrooming leagues across the globe with new rules have actually discouraged development of multi-skilled cricketers.

"It is a tough question to answer, all-rounders don't come around every day. There aren't many throughout the history. Lot of things, amount of cricket that is played certainly plays a role," Kallis told PTI during an exclusive interview.

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