Legendary cricketer Sachin Tendulkar believes front foot defence will be vital for the Indian batters in South Africa. India will take on the hosts in the three-match Test series, starting on December 26 in Centurion. The visitors are yet to win a series in the longest format in South Africa. Tendulkar, who has been on many tours to the country, knows a thing or two about batting in these tough and hostile conditions.
Tendulkar feels the team needs to be wary of the new ball, adding that the first 25 overs will be very crucial for the team. “I’ve always said, front foot defence is important. Upfront, front foot defence is important. And that front-foot defence is going to count here. The first 25 overs, front foot defence is going to be critical,” Tendulkar told veteran sports journalist Boria Majumdar on his show ‘Backstage with Boria’.
South Africa have Kagiso Rabada, Lungi Ngidi, and Duanne Oliver, who are lethal with the new ball. The trio has troubled the opposition teams with pace, bounce, and seam movement. Tendulkar wants the team to emulate Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul’s batting in England. The duo had success in the team’s five-match away tour of the United Kingdom earlier this year. Rohit and Rahul took their time and blunted the deliveries at the start of their innings. They were also very solid in their defence and were aware of their off-stump which helped them leave the ball with ease.
Tendulkar wants the rest of the batters to adapt the same method as the Indian openers. “That was what we got to see in England when Rohit and Rahul got those runs. They got beaten on occasion and that’s fine. Every batter gets beaten. Bowlers are there to pick wickets, so that’s okay. But when your hands start going away from your body, that is when you are likely to edge the ball,” he added.