Sunil Gavaskar, Dilip Vengsarkar back India to do well in South Africa, England

The Virat Kohli-led Indian cricket team will tour South Africa early next year, where it will play three Tests, six One-Day Internationals and three Twenty20s

cricket Updated: Dec 01, 2017 20:56 IST
Sarthak Bal
Sarthak Bal
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
Indian cricket team,Dilip Vengsarkar,South Africa cricket team
India currently sit atop the ICC Test rankings.(AFP)

Indian cricket greats Sunil Gavaskar and Dilip Vengsarkar have backed the Indian cricket team to do well in their upcoming tours of South Africa and England starting 2018.

“India is No 1 in the ICC rankings at the moment and they have beaten every team in the world for that matter. I am sure they will do very well in South Africa and in England because we have some outstanding players,” Vengsarkar told the media following the inauguration of an exhibition highlighting India-England cricket relations over the years.

“And of course, India is led by a world class cricketer – Virat Kohli, who is also in great form at the same time. The attack (bowling) also looks very good indeed, so I am confident that we will do well,” added the former Indian captain and right-handed batsman.

Gavaskar too agreed with Vengsarkar’s sentiments, saying, “The way we beat them last year and hopefully the coming year (2018), will probably be able to tell the British that the students are better than the teachers.”

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Virat Kohli & Co are set to begin their tour of South Africa in Cape Town with the first Test commencing on January 5, 2018. They will play a total of three Tests, six ODIs and three T20s.

The team will then travel to England in June, where they play three T20s, three ODIs and five Test matches.

India last went up against the South Africans when they hosted them in 2015. The tour ended with visitors clinching the five-match ODI series 3-2, as well as the T20s 2-0. The home team, however, managed to win the four-match Test series 3-0.

India’s last match-up against the English, in 2016, was far more successful. The Indian team came away with a resounding 4-0 triumph in the five-match Test series, following it up with 2-1 victories in the ODI and T20 formats.

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Gavaskar further spoke of the time he spent playing in England as a learning curve in his career.

“I have lot of fond memories of England, despite the fact that I did not get too many runs in England. It’s a place where you learn so much. I had one very good season playing county cricket for Somerset, and it was really a memorable one.

“A couple of hours ago, I had visitors from England, club cricketers who have come to play cricket over here and I was telling them about how that particular experience changed my perspective on the game to a great extent, because till then I was not a professional cricketer. But having played one season of county cricket, it gave me an insight, sort of take on how professional cricketers played and how they relaxed at the end of day’s play, so that was a wonderful perspective (and) that helped me in rest of my cricketing career,” recalled Gavaskar.

First Published: Dec 01, 2017 20:56 IST