That can create doubts in batsmen’s minds, which is why they are effective.
Cape Town: Opener Shikhar Dhawan believes the Indian ODI team now has the right balance and X-factor to succeed anywhere, holding the number one side in good stead ahead of the 2019 World Cup in England.
“We have a lot of experience. For instance this is my second tour to South Africa, so I was better equipped for this tour, mentally and skill-wise. That plays a big role,” said Dhawan ahead of the third ODI against South Africa.
“The good thing is there’s experience and youth, but the younger players are also playing like they have had a lot of experience. That is a big strength of ours.”
And Hardik Pandya gives the team the extra edge. “With an all-rounder coming in, the balance overseas is set. We have the option of not introducing spinners early, depending on the situation. So we have a lot of flexibility. If the game goes a certain way, we know that we can bring on spinners later than normal, and Hardik can bowl at that time. That is certainly an X-factor,” he added.
South Africa have struggled against the wrist spinners and injury to key players like Ab de Villiers, Faf du Plessis and Quinton de Kock has compounded their woes.
However, Dhawan promised that India will not take their foot off the pedal.
“I don’t think we guys are going to get complacent. It’s a big series for us. And of course South Africa played very well in the Test series. So we’d like to go as hard as possible and try to win whatever games come our way.”
Besides the injuries costing them, South Africa have been blown away by wrist spinners Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav.
“It is difficult to play wrist-spinners because they can turn the ball on flat tracks also. And when the ball starts turning, the overseas players especially aren’t very used to it. That can create doubts in batsmen’s minds, which is why they are effective.
“If I speak of Kuldeep and Chahal, I personally find Kuldeep harder to read, and easier to read the leg spinners. There are many who can’t read the leg spinner’s googly, so Chahal’s googly will surely fool batsmen. But speaking for myself only, I find Kuldeep tougher to read,” said Dhawan.