The second Test match between India and South Africa at Johannesburg is tantalizingly poised heading into the fourth and what promises to be the final day. South Africa are 122 runs away from levelling the series 1-1, while India need eight wickets from taking an unassailable 2-0 lead and registering their maiden Test series win in the country.
With South Africa chasing a target of 240, one that needs them to put up their best batting display of the series, they will be up for a stiff challenge against a fiercely-determined Indian bowling unit. And while at present, it seems likely that South Africa would emerge victorious, the legendary Sunil Gavaskar has urged the Indian team to win the Johannesburg for the country’s ‘greatest cricketer’.
“India have never won a series here. In fact, India have won very few Test matches here. The last time India came here in 2018, they won the one-day series but they lost the Test series 2-1. So this is going to be huge for India,” Gavaskar said during the lunch interval of Day 3 on SuperSport.
“And the way I look at it is, I mean, weather permitting… tomorrow happens to be the birthday in my view of India’s greatest cricketer – Kapil Dev. So I think it will be wonderful gift for Kapil from this Indian team. There are many admirers of Kapil Dev in this team. So from this team to Kapil Dev, that will be a fantastic present.”
Like Gavaskar rightly mentioned, today, January 6 is the great Kapil Dev’s birthday. The legendary all-rounder, who is the country’s first-ever World Cup winning captain turns 63. In the year 2000, Wisden named Kapil as the country’s greatest cricketer, beating the likes of Gavaskar and Sachin Tendulkar to the distinction. Kapil led the Indian cricket team to a historic World Cup win in 1983, an achievement that was recently captured in the recently-released Bollywood Blockbuster ‘83’.