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Maharaj: New Look Proteas could shock some people

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Lynn Butler – Sport24

Cape Town – Proteas spinner Keshav Maharaj believes that South Africa could shock some people ahead of the opening Test against India at Visakhapatnam.

The Proteas have not played a Test match since February this year where they lost to Sri Lanka in Port Elizabeth.

India have lost only two of their last seven Tests against South Africa (W4, D1), including a 63-run Test victory when they last met in January 2018 and a 337-run victory when they last met in India (December 2015).

Maharaj believes that the Proteas are here to compete and will not be letting their poor history get the better of them.

"People talk about freshness and if you look at our squad, it's a helluva lot of new faces from the last time and that could work in our favor in terms of the brand of cricket we could play and the positivity," said Maharaj on Monday .

"Yes, it may not go our way but we here to compete. We're not going to lie down and back down with the sort of our woes from the last tour. Like I said, with new faces it brings along new energy.

"And who knows? It could be our time over the next three Tests matches to sort of shock some people."

This will be the first stern Test for the Proteas without recently retired stalwarts Hashim Amla and Dale Steyn.

Maharaj believes that the Proteas have depth within the squad to fulfill those vacant roles.

"They (Amla and Steyn) are two greats of the game. I think in terms of depth in our squad, we have players who will fulfill the role," said Maharaj.

"I think Temba (Bavuma) has taken the responsibility for that and has shown that in the practice game. Obviously, Lungi has come through as a world class bowler along with Vernon (Philander) and KG (Oxtail).

"Just as much as it would be a big loss in terms of the records that they possessed to the party, we do have season campaigners in domestic cricket and have fairly enough international experience to fill in those boots."

Play gets underway on Wednesday at 06:00 SA time.

Proteas Test squad:

Faf du Plessis (captain), Temba Bavuma, Bruyn's Theunis, Kock Quinton, Dean Elgar, Zubayr Hamza, Keshav Maharaj, Mark Aiden, Senuran Muthusamy, Anung Nortje, Vernon Philander, Dane Piedt, Kagiso Rabadaas, Heinrich

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