Ravichandran Ashwin (left) and Ravindra Jadeja have been phenomenal for India at home    AFP
Ravichandran Ashwin (left) and Ravindra Jadeja have been phenomenal for India at home AFP

Ajinkya Rahane believes senior spinners Ravichandra Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja will be able to alter their usual style according to the conditions that South Africa will present. India will play the first Test at Cape Town, starting January 5. Ashwin and Jadeja were the wreckers-in-chief in 2015 when India downed South Africa 3-0 at home ending their 9-year unbeaten overseas run. However, the spinners have not enjoyed fruitful results in overseas conditions. Rahane backs the experienced duo who will be touring South Africa for the second time in their career.

“I feel Ashwin and Jadeja, they both have it in them to deliver abroad and not only in India. See when you play in India you have to bowl in a certain way and if you see the likes of Moeen Ali, Nathan Lyon if they are playing in England, Australia they have to bowl in a different style,” Rahane told India Today.

India vs South Africa: Ashish Nehra backs Jasprit Bumrah to play Cape Town Test
India vs South Africa: Ashish Nehra backs Jasprit Bumrah to play Cape Town Test

“So, Ashwin and Jadeja, they are doing really well at the moment but I am sure they are capable of doing well abroad as well. Yes, they have to change their style a bit, skills a bit, have to bowl at a different pace but I completely believe that and I am confident that whoever plays or even if both of them play, they will do well in abroad,” the Indian Test vice-captain further added.

Ravi Shastri’s positivity and Virat Kohli’s backing

Rahane heaped praises on the coach-captain combo. On Ravi Shastri, Rahane said, “When you have Ravi-bhai on the side, you are thinking positively. He always tells us ‘back yourself and just enjoy your game’. The guy who is not doing well, he (Shastri) is there to support him and he always backs him and give him positive vibes….that’s a good thing about him.”

Captains backing can elevate great players into being greats. Virender Sehwag is a classic example on how he flourished under the backing of Sourav Ganguly and later Anil Kumble. Kohli seems to carry the same attributes.

“About Virat, as I already mentioned. Virat is a guy, who backs each and every player, he supports everyone. A word from him is always like, go and play yourself, bat yourself, I am there to support you all, don’t you worry about your performances, results…everything will be take care,” Rahane further added.

India are yet to win a Test series in South Africa. They have toured the nation 6 times since 1992-93 and have lost 5 series, managing to draw level once, in 2010-11.