Kolkata, Sep 18: Former India captain Sourav Ganguly sees South African leg-spinner Imran Tahir as a threat in Indian conditions and has warned the hosts against preparing square turners for the four-Test series beginning in Mohali on November 5.
"Tahir is a quality spinner and he'll be a threat in Indian conditions. I want India to make sporting wickets and not square turners. If they make a square turner then Tahir will be a matchwinner," Ganguly told a TV channel here today.
The Proteas have picked three specialist spinners for their Test series in India, recalling Tahir and off-spinner Dane Piedt to join Simon Harmer, another off break bowler in the Test squad led by Hashim Amla.
The top ranked team has lost just two Test series in the last nine years, both at home to Australia and the last time South Africa lost away was in Sri Lanka in 2006. But Ganguly still believes that it would be tough for the Amla-side to beat India.
"It's a long series and I don't think India can play badly in all the four Tests. South Africa will really have to do well to beat India," Ganguly said.
"I want a hard wicket which will have bounce and start turning from fourth day. In Indian conditions, a match usually takes shape fourth day onwards when wickets fall in a heap."
"The key to success for India is to bat well and put 500-plus run on board up front." Ganguly further heaped praise on Virat Kohli, who led India to a series win in Sri Lanka recently.
"He's one captain who always looks win, winning is everything for him... At times, his body language may be over aggressive and he may cross the line but I like his mindset. It was an exceptional achievement to win in Sri Lanka."
"He's an outstanding batsman, he's a much needed personality to take Indian cricket forward."
On Amla's captaincy, Ganguly said: "I have not seen his captaincy... He's cool and composed, his batting will be key in these conditions."