Jacques Kallis backs Virat Kohli to captain all three formats of the game and feels it’s time for the 27-year-old to take over the captaincy from MS Dhoni.

The veteran South African all-rounder also backed Ishant Sharma for showing aggression on the field. Kallis also said that touring India and coming back with a win is always tough and believes that the selectors have selected a strong side which is good enough to compete. In an exclusive conversation with SS, the Proteas superstar speaks on a variety of issues.

On South Africa’s team selection

Touring India and coming back with a win is always a tough task. I believe the selectors have chosen the best side, which has the ability to compete against India. This time, we have beefed up the spin options as well, so I think this squad has got everything covered. That’s what makes it a balanced one.

On India’s chances in the Test series

India is a good team, especially at home. I will not read much into their series win against Sri Lanka. But I am happy that we will be playing a full-length four-match Test series. And my experience says, in a four-game series, the side that plays the best brand of cricket, wins. So, it will be an interesting series for sure.

On South Africa’s chances against spin

I am sure we will be able to tackle Ravichandran Ashwin and Amit Mishra. We have tamed Indian spinners in the past, and we should be able to do it again. Let’s wait and watch.

On Kohli and his captaincy

I am sure Virat has the ability to lead India in all three formats. He will have to start somewhere, and take over from MS (Dhoni). Only time will tell whether this move will work or backfire, but he comes across as a player who thrives under pressure. So Virat is the right choice. 

On whether captaincy will affect his form

Not at all. Virat is a very strong batsman and knows how to tackle pressure. I think he is ready to handle every situation.

On Ishant’s aggression

I don’t think that way. I don’t have an issue with aggression. One should not forget that cricket, after all, is not a game for the softies. Here, aggression is the key to success.

On factors that could decide this series

If Dale Steyn and other bowlers perform, then this could be the deciding factor. I believe bowlers will have the final say.

On the unimpressive recent form of Steyn

Dale is hungry to play and pick up more wickets. In my eyes, he is one of the greatest fast bowlers to have played the game. Like always, he will be a handful for the Indian batsmen. It would be interesting to see how he tackles the opponents.

On which team has the edge in the series

It will be a really close fight, tough to take a call on the favourites, though. I hope the wickets are good, and they test everyone’s skill.

On whether South Africa will miss old guns like him

I don’t know. Time will answer that question. I will be watching the series closely.


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