• Maharaj to stay ‘under radar’

    The in-form Keshav Maharaj is looking forward to shouldering plenty of responsibility during the Proteas’ Test series in India next month.

    Maharaj recently returned from a prolific stint with Yorkshire in the County Championship Division One and clinched three important wickets during the Proteas’ rain-affected tour fixture against the Indian Board President’s XI last week.

    ‘You can only judge me on performances during this series, but it’s nice that people talk highly of you. I’m just trying to do my business and if I go under the radar doing my business, trying to contribute towards team victories and series victories, I’m on the right path,’ said Maharaj ahead of the series opener, starting in Visakhapatnam on Wednesday.

    The hosts will be without fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah, who has been sidelined by a back injury. Bumrah is currently the International Cricket Council’s No 1-ranked Test bowler.

    ‘Obviously it’s a big loss for India. Bumrah’s turned the whole Test side for India in terms of playing various conditions around the world. It is a big loss but let’s face it, India has enough quality in their bowling lineup to replace Bumrah,’ added Maharaj.

    The visitors’ squad does not feature fast bowler Dale Steyn or batsman Hashim Amla. The former’s Test career has ended, while the latter retired from all forms of international cricket after the 2019 World Cup.

    ‘We do have players who will fulfil that role. I think Temba Bavuma has taken the responsibility of ensuring that in the practice game and Lungi Ngidi has come through. We’ve got a world-class bowler in Vernon Philander and Kagiso Rabada,’ concluded Maharaj.

    ‘So as much as it would be a big loss in terms of the record they possess and bring to the party, we do have seasoned campaigners in domestic cricket and have played enough international cricket to fill those boots.’

    Photo: Gallo Images

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