Former skipper Bishan Singh Bedi believes it will be "testing times" for the India cricket team in South Africa but said it would be "unfair" to judge the young outfit so early. (Read: Indian batsmen will face a tough task, says Graeme Smith)
The Indian team started their bilateral series against South Africa with a thumping 2-0 win in the ODI series and Bedi said this tour will test the faith and determination of the players. (Read: Time to move on from Sachin era, says MS Dhoni)
"Playing in South Africa is different then playing for an IPL team. It is testing times for India in South Africa but they can make it," Bedi said on the sidelines of a TERI program, where Nobel Laureate RK Pachauri, TERI director-general, was felicitated for taking 600 wickets in corporate cricket. (Read: India should play an extra batsman, says Sunil Gavaskar)
"It is important to have self-belief and faith on themselves. They need to have the will and determination to do it."
Bedi was not happy with the curtailed bilateral series against South Africa and said it should have been planned better as the players didn't get enough time to prepare and acclimatise to the conditions. (Read: New Indian players must take leaf out of Sachin's book: Kapil Dev tells NDTV)
"When this tour was organised why there was no talk about it. It should have been a five ODI and four Test series. The players should have got the time to practice. Even in Australia and England, we didn't prepare well, now also we have no preparation," said the legendary spinner, who took 266 wickets from 67 Tests.
"The cricketers have no time to breath, to enjoy cricket, how will they play?
The 67-year-old Bedi, who captained India in 22 Tests, said it would be unfair to judge the players so early.
"But it would be unfair to judge the players in such a short time. They needed to be given a longer lease. Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli, they all have talent."
Asked about Kohli, the former left-arm spinner said: "It was wrong to judge Kohli so early after just two matches. He has the capability. In all fairness, he can fill in the number four spot for India."
Bedi has recently announced his candidature against Arun Jaitley for the post of the Delhi & Districts Cricket Association (DDCA) president in the upcoming association elections scheduled for December 30.
Asked about his decision to fight the DDCA elections, he said: "I believe there is room for improvement in every aspect, whether it is financial dealings, quality of cricket, selection or communication. DDCA needs total overhauling.
"My decision is not a sudden one, it has been brewing for some time. I feel I must be the change to bring the change," he added.
Former India batsman Kirti Azad, who was also present in the program, said for Mahendra Singh Dhoni's men, facing quality bowling in foreign conditions has been a problem.
"We are not able to face pacy, bouncy and moving balls in Australia and England. This is a genuine problem. The players are capable but we have to work on our reflexes. If they could have got 5-6 matches, they could have played better," he said.
Asked if India has replacement for just-retired Sachin Tendulkar, Azad said: "Nobody is indispensable. We have players to fill in but they have to sustain themselves over the years. We can't compare players as there is a difference in time and situation."