Centurion: Former South African captain and administrator Ali Bacher feels India will start as favourites in the three-match Test series against the home team as the tourists have the “best pace attack” he has seen in the past 30 years.

South Africa remains one of the very few places where India have not won a Test series, and the Virat Kohli-led side is determined to end the wait this time around.

“The first two Tests are to be played in Centurion, which is nearly 5000 feet above sea level and the Wanderers, Johannesburg which is nearly 6000 feet above sea level. “The rarefied atmosphere at these two Test grounds plus the fast bouncy pitches at the Wanderers and Super Sport Park generally favour fast bowlers.

“The current Indian team has the best pace attack I have seen in the past thirty years. Therefore, India will start as favourites for the first two Test matches,” Bacher told News 18.

Besides being a former cricketer, the 79-year-old Bacher also played a key role in the country’s successful conduct of the 2003 ICC World Cup. The Indian pace attack comprises Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Mohammad Siraj, Ishant Sharma and Umesh Yadav.

Heading into the first Test, India will be full of confidence having won a second consecutive Test series in Australia earlier this year and taken an unassailable 2-1 lead in England before the fifth and final Test had to be postponed to 2022 because of a coronavirus outbreak.

The last time India had toured South Africa, in 2018, the Proteas had won the three-match Test series 2-1.