Kagiso Rabada
South Africa's Kagiso Rabada Image Credit: AFP

Former cricketer Wasim Jaffer feels the South African pace bowlers, especially Kagiso Rabada, will challenge India in the three-Test series beginning at SuperSport Park on Boxing Day, adding that the tourists will have to overcome their scoring “problem” early on during the tour to make an impact.

Jaffer, who scored a century in the third Test at Newlands, Cape Town during the 2006/07 tour of South Africa facing the likes of Dale Styen, Makhaya Ntini, Shaun Pollock, Jacques Kallis and Paul Harris, also feels that the home team batting line-up is not the same it used to be, which India could exploit.

“South Africa has a decent fast bowling attack, there is no doubt. Rabada is one of the best. He is going to challenge the Indian batters. They have sufficient quality. Their pace bowling will definitely challenge India. But their batting is not the same it was before. Nonetheless, it will be a challenging tour for India,” Jaffer said on Wednesday.

Jaffer said that the first Test will be crucial and Indian bowlers, especially Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammad Shami with their experience, should keep the tourists in the game.

“India’s bowlers will keep their team in the game. The Indian fast bowling is very experienced now. Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammad Shami have a lot of experience. India has an all-round attack. I have been saying that if India scores 400-plus, it is more likely that it will win matches. Our bowling attack is first class. The challenge is for the batters to put scores on the board. That’s been the problem,” he added.

“In 2018, Virat was the only one who got the runs. The other batters need to step up. Now, India’s batting is more balanced in the top six. Rishabh (Pant) can change the game if he bats for one or one-and-a-half hours. There are good players in the team; they have to contribute around Virat.”