'No doubt it is a big challenge and big responsibility but I am really looking forward to it. Playing India in India is always a huge challenge.'
Mumbai stalwart Amol Muzumdar was on Monday appointed batting coach of the visiting South African team for the Test series against India, starting on October 2.
The 44-year-old, who made 11,167 first-class runs at an average of 48.13 but never got to play for India, confirmed the appointment.
"I was approached last week and I have accepted the challenge. It is a great opportunity for me. To be associated with an international side, that too a team like South Africa, is a huge honour," Muzumdar, who played most of his cricket for Mumbai, before moving to Assam and subsequently Andhra, said.
Besides a mountain of first-class runs, Muzumdar also scored 3286 runs in List A cricket. He has also been the batting coach of IPL franchise Rajasthan Royals and the Netherlands national team.
Appointed only for the India series, Muzumdar has a tough task at hand as he joins a team in transition for the three-Test series beginning in Visakhapatnam followed by matches in Pune (October 10-14) and Ranchi (October 19-23).
The touring South Africa side had won the ODI and T20I series against India in 2015 but was hammered in the four Test series 0-3.
"No doubt it is a big challenge and big responsibility but I am really looking forward to it. Playing India in India is always a huge challenge," said Muzumdar.
South African batsmen were all at sea against the Indian spin duo of Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja on turning tracks laid out four years ago.
Muzumdar, who tackled spinners really well in his playing days, said there is no point looking back at South African team's performance in 2015.
"It is a team in transition with the retirement of some senior players and the presence of youngsters. That brings new challenges and fresh ideas to the side."
Asked how he plans to prepare the South African batsmen for the spin challenge in India, Muzumdar added: "I am yet to speak to the players but there would be some work to do. What happened last time was four years ago and this is a fresh start. Every game is a new game and I believe in that."
CSA Acting Director of Cricket, Corrie van Zyl, said Muzumdar is a perfect fit for the side.
"He brings an intimate knowledge of Indian playing conditions and the challenges our batsmen are likely to face. He also assisted us at the spin bowling camp we held recently in India and thus has already built up a good working relationship with Aiden Markram, Temba Bavuma and Zubayr Hamza," he said.
Photograph: Amol Muzumdar/Twitter