India will need a little bit of luck to win series in South African conditions, says Rahul Dravid | Cricket


New Delhi, Dec 26 (PTI) India head coach Rahul Dravid on Tuesday said his team would not mind a bit of “luck” going its way as it aims to win a maiden Test series in South Africa and breach its ‘final frontier’ after 31 years of attempting.

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Having first visited South Africa in 1992, India have made seven more tours and won four Tests but are yet to win a series, even though the Asian giants though have won Test series in England, Australia and New Zealand.

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“We (have) come close a couple of times and we have played some good cricket here… just a few critical moments we have not been able to, maybe, get over the line, get the 34-40-50 runs that you probably need to be able to… to compete here,” Dravid told Star Sports before the start of the opening Test at SuperSport Park.

The batting great said the team will take a lot of confidence from the manner in which it bowled on the last tour two years ago, when India squandered a 1-0 advantage to lose the three-match rubber.

“Having said that, we looked at a lot of stuff and the way we bowled, I thought we bowled really well in the last series which gives us a lot of confidence that we have the ability to take 20 wickets here with the kind of attack that we have.”

Dravid added, “You need a little bit of luck as well in these conditions, there are lot of plays and misses, you want to be the one playing and missing, and hopefully, the opposition edging those same ones. I think there is a little bit of luck involved.

“But, as long as you do your skills well and make sure that you are putting the ball in the right area, as batting with a certain level of discipline and patience when it is required, looking to capitalise when the ball gets a little bit softer and you are ahead of the game and recognising that you you are never ‘in’ in these kinds of conditions in South Africa…

“You might feel that you are in when batting on 34-40, but really, if you can convert that into a much more significant score that makes a big difference.

“So little things like that you need to get right against a really good team like South Africa, very strong team in these conditions, who know how to play well here. I hope that, over the course of the next two Test matches, we will be able to do that.”

Dravid was also asked about seamer Prasidh Krishna who made his Test debut on Tuesday. The head coach called him a “promising prospect”.

“Prasidh is a promising prospect, but we have to be realistic that this is his first Test match. He has not had a lot of first-class cricket to fall back on because of a number of reasons.

“But I am hoping he has a good game and enjoys himself. It is such a lovely moment when we give out a new cap to someone.”

The Rohit Sharma-led India are currently placed at the top spot of the points table for the World Test Championship 2023-25 cycle, following a win and a draw against the West Indies earlier this year in June.

On the other hand, hosts South Africa will be kicking off their campaign in this WTC cycle with this Test.

Since 1996, India have played 23 Tests in South Africa and won only four and never more than once in a series.

However, despite their failure to win a series in the Rainbow Nation, India remain the third-most successful team in South Africa behind Australia and England.

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