Kallis puts crucial precondition for India to conquer ‘final frontier’ SA | Cricket - Hindustan Times

'If they have to win Test series in SA...': Kallis puts crucial precondition for India to conquer ‘final frontier’

Dec 11, 2023 06:38 AM IST

Jacques Kallis spoke about India's long wait to clinch a win over South Africa in an away Test series.

Team India's opening T20I against South Africa was called off due to incessant rain in Durban on Sunday. The match was set to be the curtain-raiser for the series that also includes three ODIs and two Tests; however, rains ensured the game was abandoned without toss at the Kingsmead. Two T20Is remain in the series before the action moves to the fifty-over format; India's two batting stalwarts, Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma will miss the white-ball leg of the series but will return to international action in the Tests, that began on December 26.

India's captain Rohit Sharma and head coach Rahul Dravid(PTI)
India's captain Rohit Sharma and head coach Rahul Dravid(PTI)

And South Africa's legendary former all-rounder Jacques Kallis emphasized that Kohli will hold the key for India to clinch their inaugural Test series victory in South Africa. The 35-year-old Kohli produced stellar performances in the ICC World Cup 2023, etching his name in the tournament's history with a record-breaking 765 runs across 11 innings. During the semi-final of the tournament, Kohli also became the first batter in the game to smash 50 ODI centuries.

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The batter further boasts an outstanding record in Test matches played in South Africa, further elevating his significance in the upcoming series. Across 14 innings, the Indian batting maestro has amassed 719 runs at an impressive average of 51.36. During this period, Kohli notched up two centuries and three half-centuries.

"He's a massive player, no matter where it is. Having played here quite a bit and had a fair amount of success, he'll be able to pass that knowledge on to the other guys, especially the younger guys and give them ideas on how to manage these conditions and then what to expect," Kallis said on Star Sports during the pre-match show ahead of the 1st T20I.

"I am sure he will want to have a big series here in South Africa. He has been in good form. I think he will play a major role in helping India. If they are to win here, he will have to have a good series," said Kallis.

Touted as the ‘final frontier’ for India, South Africa remains the only country where the Indian team is yet to clinch a Test series win. Two years ago, a Virat Kohli-led side had taken a 1-0 lead over the Proteas with a win in Centurion, but eventually conceded a 1-2 loss.

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