NEW DELHI: South Africa are bracing for a formidable bowling attack from an Indian side eager to prove themselves when their Twenty20 series begins under New Delhi’s scorching summer sun, skipper Temba Bavuma said Wednesday.
The touring side will play the first of five matches on Thursday as focus remains on the short format ahead of this year’s T20 World Cup.
India have traditionally relied on their spinners on home turf but up-and-coming pace bowlers Avesh Khan and uncapped Umran Malik have kept up the country’s fast bowling stocks.
“It has definitely changed our preparation,” Bavuma told reporters.
“They have got their quick bowlers and their spinners as well. In terms of preparation, the focus has not just been on spin but also to make sure that we cover our bases from a fast bowling point of view.”
Senior quicks Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami have been rested for the series which could see Malik, whose bowling consistently clocked over 150 kilometres per hour in the Indian Premier League, make his international debut.
All-format captain Rohit Sharma and superstar Virat Kohli have also taken a break after the gruelling two-month IPL tournament.
Bavuma said India’s new crop of talent will be a different challenge than their last encounter in South Africa at the start of the year, when the hosts won 2-1 in Tests and 3-0 in one-day internationals.
“It’s an exciting series for both India and South Africa. This is a different looking guys – lot of younger, fresher faces within their team,” said Bavuma.
“Guys who have a big point to prove, guys who want to stake a claim for their position within the Indian team,” he added.
“We won’t be expecting anything easy, we are not thinking that everything is going to happen the same way as it happened in South Africa.”
The series starts at the Feroz Shah Kotla ground in a week where Delhi’s outdoor temperatures have reached 43 degrees Celsius (109 degrees Fahrenheit).
Bavuma admitted the team did not have to labour under such intense heat back home but remain equipped to deal with it.
“Hydration, cramping and fatiguing are big things. You can only get used to it by playing in this type of heat,” he said.
“We have to hydrate ourselves and manage our energies as well as we can.”