India's batsmen need to show grit: Gibbs

“It is a young group of batters. They have their work cut out."

Centurion: Indian batsmen are finding the going tough in the one-day series in South Africa, and things may get even tougher by the time the Test series starts.

Herschelle Gibbs has played throughout his career in these conditions and believes the visitors will have to go out of their comfort zone to flourish in the Two-Test series.

“It is a young group of batters. They have their work cut out. It’s going to be difficult for them. But this is what they will have to cope with it if they want to be the next generation of Dravid, Tendulkar, Laxman."South Africa will come hard at India, says Gibbs. (Getty Images)

“They will have to find ways to make runs all around the world. They will find out soon how difficult it is in Test match cricket in this country,” Gibbs told MAIL TODAY.

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Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s team has lost the three-match one-day series, which does not augur well for their prospects in the two Tests that follow.

“(India coach Duncan) Fletcher will know that South Africa will come hard at them. They will have to earn runs and put some shots aside. They have come with a lot of reputation. They need to put up and show what their mental strengths are and try to play some uncharacteristic innings. It will be a big learning curve,” Gibbs, who played 90 Tests and 248 ODIs for the Proteas, said.

Rohit Sharma, with whom Gibbs has played in the Indian Premier League, and Virat Kohli will have to shoulder a major part of the burden in unfamiliar conditions.

“Rohit’s always a special player. It’s been great to see him grow from season to season. He’s been working on his temperament. He will need more experience to bat in these conditions."

“It’s not easy here. There’s more lateral movement. But Rohit has the technique. He has to get more experience and he’s good enough to work out to see what it takes to score runs here.”

As for Kohli, Gibbs is not prepared to announce his verdict.

“Virat is certainly the best ODI Indian player today but he has to replicate it in Tests,” the 39-year-old said.

He, however, feels that Shikhar Dhawan’s heroics in 2013 have virtually ruled out a return to the side for Virender Sehwag.

Reproduced from Mail Today. Copyright 2013. MTNPL. All rights reserved.


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