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08 December 2017, 08:18 | Lena Norman
Graeme Smith believes Indian pacers will hold the key for the side’s success in South Africa
Mumbai: The Indian cricket team will face Sri Lanka in the forthcoming one-day internationals (ODIs) and T20 matches without its star batsman and captain, Virat Kohli, who has been rested after he complained of a cricketing overload.
"We took a decision, a right decision that the boys who are playing Ranji Trophy should be allowed to play that".
India's prolific No 3 Cheteshwar Pujara defended his bowlers and said it was the nature of the Kotla pitch that was responsible for the team not achieving victory. "We are looking forward to the World Cup now and the three-week camp ahead of that starts in Bengaluru tomorrow", Dravid spoke on cricket at U-19 level. "I do agree that we haven't taken enough catches, we are working hard".
All-rounder Angelo Mathews has moved up seven places to 23rd position after scoring 111 in the first innings while Dhananjaya de Silva's match-saving 119 in the second innings has lifted him nine places to 47th position.
"Overall we have really bowled well in this Test match especially looking at the wicket".
"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.
The batsmen have been in great form, though, with Pujara finishing as the highest run-getter in Tests in 2017, and Kohli racking up the runs on a regular basis.
"When we're talking about defining a fielding position, Ajinkya [Rahane] has been fielding at gully for quite a long time", Pujara said. "We will discuss when we reach SA but we are already talking about that", he added. There is a lot of pressure on players but that is same for all teams. So that experience will definitely help us. "Any batsman will go through a phase where he will not score many runs".
This included his heroic 136 against Pakistan in the 1999 Chennai Test which India ultimately lost, and back-to-back centuries in Sharjah to win against Australia in the 1998 ODI series.
"I think we (India) will be very well prepared before heading to South Africa", the Saurashtra batsman told reporters during the post-match press conference.
Jasprit Bumrah earned his maiden call-up in Tests as the selectors announced the India squad for the South Africa tour on Monday. I feel that at one point South African batting what it used to be and what it is now, there is a difference. India did not have enough time to prepare against South Africa and therefore opted for green tracks during the home series against Sri Lanka.
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