India has enough quality to cover for Jasprit Bumrah, says Maharaj

South African spinner Keshav Maharaj heaped praised on Indian spin duo of Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin ahead of his first Test against India at Visakhapatnam.

Keshav Maharaj has a good outing in the practice game against India Board President's XI taking three wickets.   -  Getty Images

South Africa's spinner Keshav Maharaj wants to replicate the consistency of India's spin duo - Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin - as he gears up for his maiden Test tour of India, beginning on Wednesday at Visakhapatnam.

The orthodox left-arm spinner with 94 wickets from 25 Tests had a successful county stint with Yorkshire recently and is hoping to make life “uncomfortable” for the Indian top-order.

“It is nice that people speak highly of you. Look at Jadeja and Ashwin. Ashwin has got a lot of variations and Jadeja keeps it simple but the key is consistency and that make it uncomfortable for the batsmen. I can (want to) emulate that going forward and do my job from one end,” said Maharaj.

Spin will hold key but reverse swing can also play a huge role in the series, he said.

“You got to expect the ball to turn in the sub-continent and that is why people carry an extra spinner here. As far as bowling to Indian batsmen goes, you can only Test yourself against the best. The series will tell me how good I am and if I belong here in international cricket,” Maharaj said.

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“Besides spin, reverse swing will be key. Every bowling unit everywhere in the world likes to utilise if reverse swing is available. India have got strong bowlers including Mohammad Shami, who is unplayable at times. If it starts to reverse, then we have also got amazing bowlers, who can utilise the conditions.”

The South Africa pace attack comprises Vernon Philander, Kagiso Rabada and Lungi Ngidi.

India will be without the the services of its lethal weapon Jasprit Bumrah, who was ruled out of the series due to a stress fracture in the lower back. Maharaj said India will miss him badly.

“It is a big loss for India. He has turned the whole Test side for India in terms of playing in various conditions. But lets face it, India have enough quality to replace him. Umesh Yadav is another world-class bowler.”

There were positives for South Africa in the one-off practice game. Despite the rain, Aiden Markram (100), Temba Bavuma (87) and Philander (47) were among runs while Maharaj himself had a good outing with the ball by scalping three wickets.

“It was important that our batters got some time in the middle. They have been working on how to tackle Indian conditions and it is nice to get a hit,” the 29-year old said.

Four years ago, South Africa lost a four-match Test series 3-0 in India. Maharaj insists that his team is not dwelling over the past.

“If you look at the freshness in the side, there is a hell lot of a new faces and that can work for us. There is no point looking back and things may not got our way. But we are here to compete,” Maharaj said.

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