BEING a proven performer on South African tracks offering lateral movement to the pace bowlers, India’s middle-order mainstay Cheteshwar Pujara has exuded confidence of tackling the challenge in the forthcoming series,too, like India did in the last tour. Though India could not win the Test series in the Protean land, they managed to draw the series which was a highly respectable result during the last visit. Pujara’s confidence stems from the excellent showing of the team in the last few overseas tours.
After last South Africa series, India managed to beat Australia twice on two tours and also held upper hand in the English conditions. The team will have to replicate the same performance while facing the Proteans which is easier said than done. India’s middle-order is quite brittle which was evident during the home series against New Zealand. That puts additional pressure on Pujara and skipper Virat Kohli to hold one end intact. Basking in past glory would be perilous for the Indian batters as the new South African bowlers are quality performers in their own backyard. Handling the pace challenge will determine India’s success in the Rainbow Nation.