Albie Morkel understands the dynamics of Indian cricket well. A key component of Chennai Super Kings in six IPL seasons, he is not a part of South Africa's squad anymore, but he has enough experience of playing with and against all the Indian players.

And he feels that a lot will depend on skipper MS Dhoni to hold the Indian team together against a hostile South African attack. "He is a strong leader who leads by example. He will be the driving force in a team full of young players. It will be up to Dhoni to have a calming effect on them," Albie told TOI on Thursday. The experience of touring South Africa will be a key factor for the first-timers and Albie reckons that Dhoni's knowledge of South African conditions that will stand the team in good stead.

"He has toured South Africa a few times, so his experience in these conditions will be invaluable," the all-rounder added. The two areas of concern for this Indian team on tour will be "their bowling attack and the lack of a pace bowling allrounder".

"This Indian team has been playing good cricket in their own backyard. But the bowling attack is a bit inexperienced and will have to do really well if India are to win the series," Albie opined. The 33-year-old is also keen to see how India handle the lack of a genuine pace-bowling all-rounder. "That's one area where they seem to struggle to strike a balance. You can get away with it in (sub-continent) conditions because part- timers can bowl a few overs. It will be interesting to see how they balance their side on the pitches here."

Asked who, among Indian batsmen, should fill the void at No. 4 after Sachin Tendulkar's retirement, Albie was quick to point at Virat Kohli. "I would pick Virat. He has shown incredible skills in ODIs and has now cemented his place in the Test team," Albie said, adding: "But it's important not to compare other players with Sachin. Just let them be."

And how important will the familiarity factor be, courtesy IPL? "I think it works both ways. Players of both teams know each other's games much better now, but execution on the day will be the key," he said. Albie is also eager to see how his CSK teammates Suresh Raina, Ravindra Jadeja and R Ashwin fare on South African tracks. "It's very different to what they get in India. But these guys have also done well in the Champions League when it was played in South Africa. I am hoping they will adapt well."

The one thing that will work in India's favour is the fact that the ODI series precedes the two Test matches.

"That's how they would have preferred things to go. It allows them extra time to adapt," he added.

Albie, of course, feels South Africa will be the favourites to win the ODI as well as the Test series because of their superior attack. "It's important for South Africa to win a series at home after their ODI series losses to New Zealand and Pakistan. The old warhorses are there, and then there's Dale Steyn. He is an excellent leader of a quality attack and I am looking forward to the contests."

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