Ajit Wadekar

Who is Ajit Wadekar's bet in South Africa ?

[caption id="attachment_60160" align="aligncenter" width="580"]25497279_1730403123645318_395444359_n India to face South Africa in the first Test in Cape Town. File Pic[/caption]

Sabyasachi Bagchi, Kolkata: Former Indian cricketer Ajit Wadekar never played against South Africa as the Proteas was banned from world cricket during his era for racism. But whenever India tours abroad his name always comes in everyone’s mind. Under his leadership in 1971 India won Test series against West Indies an England at their own backyard for the very first time. While talking to www.xtratime.in the ‘Aggressive Captain’ answered all the questions regarding India’s upcoming tour South Africa. Here goes the conversation:

XT: India is in red hot form against Sri Lanka. They have been playing like this in all formats of the game. Your views on it?

Wadekar: There is no credit of beating this Sri Lanka side. This is the poorest Sri Lankan side that I have ever seen. India’s Tour of South Africa would be their acid-test as the pitches will be a lot different from here.

XT: Who would be your best bet on the bouncy pitches in South Africa?

Wadekar: Virat Kohli is in form of of his life, but I am counting on Murali Vijay, Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane. If these three players perform well our team has great chance of winning the Test series in South Africa.

XT: So you think India can win a Test series in South Africa?

Wadekar: If Virat continue his aggressive captaincy like this, I believe our nation can win a Test series in South Africa. Beside that we have a lot of match winners in all the departments. But I think we should have played a practice match ahead of the series.

XT: You are praising Virat, but he has some weakness with the deliveries which goes outside off-stump. Do you think it will affect him as well as the team?

Wadekar: Do you think Virat is dull headed? We all know that he is very much passionate of cricket and if I am not wrong he has already rectified that error. If you closely look at his career, he has become a complete batsman after getting the captaincy. My mind says he will just destroy all the bowlers in South Africa.

XT: legendary Sunil Gavaskar made his debut under your captaincy. During the rise of Sachin Tendulkar, you were the team manager. Now you are seeing Virat too. Do you think he is different from them?

Wadekar: See, Sachin and Gavaskar both performed brilliantly as a batsman in their era, now in the modern day cricket, Virat is leading the pack. But please don’t compare him with Sunny and Sachin. They became the savior of the team when no one was there to save the side, but in this team there are a lot more match winners except Virat.

XT: Are you hopeful with the Indian pace-attack?

Wadekar: I am very much hopefull with this Indian pace attack. All the pacers in this team are match winners. Earlier we had won two Test matches in South Africa, but there was a lack of consistency in the team. But these bowlers have that hunger to bowl well on this track. Beside that Hardik Pandya and Jasprit Bumrah too are in this squad, which is a great decision by the selectors.

XT: India’s ace off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin hasn’t performed well in abroad. Do you think this would be a matter of concern?

Wadekar: This is the main concern for the team management as he you have to go at least with a spinner in South Africa. If India wants to do well, Ashwin has to deliver this time. Both Anil Kumble and Harbhajan Singh have a great record in abroad. I think Ashwin’s county stint will help him in South Africa.

XT: Last question. Can the pair of Ravi Shastri and Virat Kohli be successful in South Africa?

Wadekar: I know Ravi from when he started playing junior cricket in Mumbai. He has the fighting spirit in him and he always thinks of winning a game. Virat has the same thing in him and that’s the reason why their chemistry is that strong. I think they will continue their dominating show in Sout Africa too.

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