Bangalore: With so many youngsters in Team India, Ajit Agarkar (a veteran of the class of 1998) is actually a senior pro. He holds no position in the hierarchy, but what he says needs to be heard.
And, in Agarkar’s opinion, too much ought not to be read into the five-wicket defeat at the hands of South Africa in Hyderabad.
“This is a five-match affair and while taking a 1-0 lead would have been nice, I don’t see why anybody should get despondent. There are enough opportunities to fight back and, hopefully, win the series,” he told The Telegraph.
Agarkar, whose contribution in the 6-1 win over Sri Lanka had been significant, added: “The South Africans do have batsmen with class, but they also have players with little experience of Indian conditions... We’ve got to quickly capitalise on that.”
Speaking at the team hotel on Thursday evening, Agarkar said he wouldn’t be targeting Jacques Kallis alone. “Justin Kemp can be dangerous and Ashwell Prince showed his potential... Then, there’s the captain (Graeme Smith) himself...”
He agreed that dew could be a factor in all the remaining ODIs, but felt there was “no point” worrying about the extent to which it may come into play. Basically, that we look to control what can be controlled.
The Indians, who arrived in the morning, had a day off. The South Africans, who went to Saharanpur and New Delhi (on a trip arranged by sponsors Sahara Computers) from Hyderabad itself, were expected late at night.
The second match comes off here on Saturday.