On the eve of the first of the two Tests between India and South Africa, former Indian skipper and NDTV expert Sunil Gavaskar vouched for the inclusion of Ajinkya Rahane as an extra batsman in place of all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja to combat the pace and bounce that will be on offer at the Wanderers in Johannesburg. (South Africa vs India, 1st Test Preview)
"After the batting failure in the ODIs, I will go with an extra batsman with Rahane in the first Test," Gavaskar said on Tuesday. He feels, India's batting needs the "extra cushion." (Indian batsmen will face tough challenge: Graeme Smith)
Despite its poor showing in the three-match One-Day International series, which South Africa won 2-0, Gavaskar backed Mahendra Singh Dhoni's team and said that they have the depth in batting and will be quick to learn from their follies. Gavaskar also emphasized on the key role that comeback man Zaheer Khan will play. (India will miss Sachin Tendulkar: Morne Morkel)
"This Indian team learns fast. They have the batting depth, just needs a bit of patience. Zaheer's inclusion will help," Gavaskar told NDTV. (Lessons learnt from ODIs, time to move on from Sachin era: MS Dhoni)
Taking about the Wanderers wicket, where the Indian batsmen struggled against the South African pacers in the first ODI, Gavaskar felt it will be no different in the first Test. "The pitch at Wanderers will be hard with even bounce," Gavaskar said.