India opener and vice-captain KL Rahul has stated that the team is better prepared than their last tour of South Africa in 2018. He added that coming in early has helped in making a good preparation.
India will begin their tour of South Africa with the first Test at SuperSport Park in Centurion from Sunday.
“We are slightly better prepared than the last time. Hopefully, Mayank (Agarwal) and I will go off to a good start and give the team a good platform. The pace and bounce here are different from all other places in the country. That is why we came here early and are practising with intensity. We had a great week of preparation. Hopefully, we will have a great series,” said Rahul in the virtual press conference.
This is the second time Rahul has come to South Africa after 2018 and the right-handed batter believes that the pitches in the country will pose a challenge.
“I haven’t played a lot of games in South Africa but my experience is that the pitches could be challenging. Here, the pitch could be spongy. That is the main difference compared to the fast and bouncy pitches of Australia.”
Asked about his personal preparation ahead of the series, Rahul said, “I try to play close to my body. That has been the preparation. My focus has been really to play tight and not give away wickets in the first 30-35 overs of the new ball.”
The 29-year-old insisted India will take confidence from wins in Australia and England while taking the field against South Africa.
“It’s a huge series for us as a team. We always take away series as a challenge. We have worked really hard on this. Winning in Australia and in England has given us good confidence.”