South Africa v India, 1st Test, Centurion December 13, 2010

IPL, CLT20 experience won't help India - van Zyl

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Corrie van Zyl, the South Africa coach, has said experience in Twenty20 events like the IPL and the Champions League is unlikely to help India's batsmen handle South African conditions during their three-Test series which starts on Thursday in Centurion.

"When you play here as an IPL team or in the Champions League, you play on wickets that are a lot slower and flatter," van Zyl said at a press conference in Johannesburg. "They might feel a lot more comfortable touring because of those experiences, but in terms of the conditions such as the pace and the bounce, I don't think they would have an advantage. It's not easy to get used to South African conditions if you haven't been playing in them for a while."

The Twenty20 tournaments - IPL 2009 and Champions League 2010 - were held in April-May and September respectively, times when South African pitches are traditionally known to be slower. It's only when summer fully strikes, from November to February, that pace and bounce becomes a factor and for that reason, van Zyl thinks the Indians will have a lot of adapting to do.

The South Africa media has been making threatening noises about the hosts' desire to exploit their home advantage and van Zyl confirmed that view. "We are hopefully going to play on wickets that will benefit our style of play. There's been a lot of talk about pace and bounce and yes, that's what we would like to see from our South African wickets." With a pace attack that's spearheaded by Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel, and an Indian line-up that's become known for its vulnerability to the short ball, it's clear what South Africa's strategy will be.

The home seamers, however, are not the only ones looking forward to responsive pitches. Zaheer Khan, Ishant Sharma and Sreesanth spend most of their time toiling in the subcontinent and will relish the chance to enjoy some assistance from the conditions. van Zyl believes the team that makes better use of the conditions will finish on top. "It's one thing to play in those conditions and another thing to execute. If we think that the Indians don't have bowlers that can bowl well on bouncy wickets then we are mistaken. It's about who handles the bounce and the pace the best."

South Africa are certain to include a fourth seamer in the starting XI, but van Zyl was "not comfortable" discussing whether that bowler will be Lonwabo Tsotsobe, Ryan McLaren or Wayne Parnell. Tsotsobe is the incumbent, having played in the West Indies in June, which was the the last time South Africa used four seamers - Steyn, Morkel and Jacques Kallis being the others. Tsotsobe was the leading bowler during the one-day series against Pakistan in the UAE and indications are that he will get the nod.

"Tsotsobe has grown tremendously as a bowler and a lot of that has to do with the fact that he has improved tremendously in terms of confidence," van Zyl said. "I don't think he is the bowler he used to be, purely from a confidence point of view. He has worked hard on his strength and conditioning and I think he has really come along recently."

Tsotsobe has only played one first-class game this season for his franchise, the Warriors, in which he took just one wicket. He is not the only South Africa player who may lack adequate practice, as wet weather continues to play havoc with the team's preparations. The squad assembled in Johannesburg on Sunday, and their first practice session on Monday was delayed by two hours. They had just managed to get onto the field at the Wanderers when rain interrupted again. van Zyl has "an eye on the weather, and the other eye on what we can do if it does rain for the whole week." Indoor nets are available if need be, but ideally, van Zyl will want his batsmen to practise outdoors.

Alviro Petersen, AB de Villiers, Morne Morkel, Ryan McLaren and Paul Harris had match time thanks to the MTN40. Players who were not involved in the domestic tournament have found other avenues to train, and some, like Tsotsobe, travelled to Cape Town where they were under assistant-coach Vincent Barnes' watch. Graeme Smith's fitness, however, remains a concern. He was cleared to play after fracturing the ring finger on his left hand against Pakistan, but is yet to face hard balls.

While India have never won a Test series in South Africa, and have only won one out of 12 Tests since 1992, they've got progressively got better at competing overseas. The current world leaders in Test cricket are also visiting South Africa for the first time under Gary Kirsten. That factor alone has increased tension ahead of the series.

"He's not playing, is he," van Zyl joked about Kirsten's involvement. Even though South Africa won't have to contend with Kirsten on the field, van Zyl is aware of the other challenges MS Dhoni's side will pose. "It's an excellent Indian team. If you are talking about a good team then you can't single out individuals, they are not No. 1 because of an individual, they are No. 1 because they are a very good unit and I think if we look at one or two individuals then we are going to miss the boat."

Many feel that if India fail to beat South Africa, the credibility of their ranking will be in doubt. van Zyl said he was not going to bother about the ratings until the series was over. "It's not really for me to say if the ranking would be right or wrong," he said. "I would just like to see us beat them in this Test series, then we can see about that."

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on December 16, 2010, 11:38 GMT

    Mr. Corrie van Zyl, By the end of the year, you will come to know who is more experienced in tackling the short and swinging balls. The Steyns n Morkels are licking their lips since you have a green top wicket, but don't forget the Perth Drama, Taits & Lee were biting dust against they had to eat their words which they bluffed before the test match was begin.

    If you Tell Green Wicket is a Competative Wicket than be a Sport to accept that Dust Bowls is also a Sport Wicket where your negative tactics bowler Mr. Paul 36+ Avg Harris was not able to spin the ball !!

  • diri on December 15, 2010, 8:08 GMT

    SA hold the edge in all departments....Batting because they have young superstars like Amla and AB who are hungry for runs , add in experience off Smith,kallis and boucher and they have a advantage over a old and fading Indian line up who struggle outside the subcontinent.....bowling, well here Steyn and Morkel are in a class of their own. NO COMPARISON!!!! at all!!! ..In the field and running between wickets SA are far better than India....And the last huge advantage SA hold over india is ONe MAN.....kING kallis....the most valuable cricketer in the world today...he can win matches with bat or ball. Anyway the excitement in SA is sky high....cant wait for tomorow

  • on December 14, 2010, 17:09 GMT

    i feel the only weak point in india's team is its bowling, and thts the only thing which can let them down.

  • JustOUT on December 14, 2010, 14:33 GMT

    Why India was not able to win a series against SA in last 2 years..

  • Gharo on December 14, 2010, 11:34 GMT

    too much noise by the Indians in here u forget that all ur middle order batsman averages less than 40 in SA so get ur facts right before u comment.

  • AKmAK on December 14, 2010, 11:04 GMT

    There are more discussion around but rarely seen thoghtful thoughts. This is the best ever IND team competing against SA. I don't now how this serious got more attention, might be India's No.1. The all host nations are preparing their own suitable pitches for their advantage and we can see now a days India gone back and made some fast tracks (against NZ series, does anyone dare to do so?). I am proud to be an Indian fan, that is good sign to show and taught other cricketing nations, how they don't.. well done India. Whether it Aus or ENG in highs no question being asked, becaue its all understood. So be aware sub-continent are not giving away their perstigeous title any hurry, as they want to keep it for the comming generation- without any hesitation India will lift the series 2-1. And end of story..

  • gmathew on December 14, 2010, 10:48 GMT

    Does the SA coach have some Aussie blood in him-because this is Aussie speciality to try to demoralize oppsoing teams thru the media. The Aussie even had large projections made on the Big Ben in London asking England to bring it. And the English whacked them. SA are advertising on NDTV in Delhi in a similar fashion. And they will be whacked just like the Ausssie were at Adelaide. You play mind games when you have nothing to fight with. Case is SA coach knows he will lose simply becuase of ONE reason: India are on a roll! Two years of winning is a state of mind that can steam roll anything in its path. Hence attempts to break that. Poor soul. Try to have an early Christmas because the Indians are going to spoil it Corrie! And these comments of yours have gone with the wind! Await the ineveitable thrashing. Pray its not a whitewash. Defeat is certain!

  • Joby_George on December 14, 2010, 10:12 GMT

    Sreesanth will shine in SA conditons, the swing will help him. Its gonna be a tough contest, will see who is the going to be the Kings of test cricket.

  • jd4ever on December 14, 2010, 9:55 GMT

    (1) S.A start favourites playing at home but too close to call. (2)Certainly, as its #1 against #2 as opposed to two middle ranked teams. Steyn Vs Sehwag is pay per view stuff, the best fast bowler against the most attacking batsman in Cricket right now. Nothing in the current Ashes series comes close. (3)India have played a lot of tests in the past year and have done well in those.

  • on December 14, 2010, 9:51 GMT

    @timohyj - If India can't SA twice in India, how can they beat SA in SA.. dreaming..:)

  • on December 16, 2010, 11:38 GMT

    Mr. Corrie van Zyl, By the end of the year, you will come to know who is more experienced in tackling the short and swinging balls. The Steyns n Morkels are licking their lips since you have a green top wicket, but don't forget the Perth Drama, Taits & Lee were biting dust against they had to eat their words which they bluffed before the test match was begin.

    If you Tell Green Wicket is a Competative Wicket than be a Sport to accept that Dust Bowls is also a Sport Wicket where your negative tactics bowler Mr. Paul 36+ Avg Harris was not able to spin the ball !!

  • diri on December 15, 2010, 8:08 GMT

    SA hold the edge in all departments....Batting because they have young superstars like Amla and AB who are hungry for runs , add in experience off Smith,kallis and boucher and they have a advantage over a old and fading Indian line up who struggle outside the subcontinent.....bowling, well here Steyn and Morkel are in a class of their own. NO COMPARISON!!!! at all!!! ..In the field and running between wickets SA are far better than India....And the last huge advantage SA hold over india is ONe MAN.....kING kallis....the most valuable cricketer in the world today...he can win matches with bat or ball. Anyway the excitement in SA is sky high....cant wait for tomorow

  • on December 14, 2010, 17:09 GMT

    i feel the only weak point in india's team is its bowling, and thts the only thing which can let them down.

  • JustOUT on December 14, 2010, 14:33 GMT

    Why India was not able to win a series against SA in last 2 years..

  • Gharo on December 14, 2010, 11:34 GMT

    too much noise by the Indians in here u forget that all ur middle order batsman averages less than 40 in SA so get ur facts right before u comment.

  • AKmAK on December 14, 2010, 11:04 GMT

    There are more discussion around but rarely seen thoghtful thoughts. This is the best ever IND team competing against SA. I don't now how this serious got more attention, might be India's No.1. The all host nations are preparing their own suitable pitches for their advantage and we can see now a days India gone back and made some fast tracks (against NZ series, does anyone dare to do so?). I am proud to be an Indian fan, that is good sign to show and taught other cricketing nations, how they don't.. well done India. Whether it Aus or ENG in highs no question being asked, becaue its all understood. So be aware sub-continent are not giving away their perstigeous title any hurry, as they want to keep it for the comming generation- without any hesitation India will lift the series 2-1. And end of story..

  • gmathew on December 14, 2010, 10:48 GMT

    Does the SA coach have some Aussie blood in him-because this is Aussie speciality to try to demoralize oppsoing teams thru the media. The Aussie even had large projections made on the Big Ben in London asking England to bring it. And the English whacked them. SA are advertising on NDTV in Delhi in a similar fashion. And they will be whacked just like the Ausssie were at Adelaide. You play mind games when you have nothing to fight with. Case is SA coach knows he will lose simply becuase of ONE reason: India are on a roll! Two years of winning is a state of mind that can steam roll anything in its path. Hence attempts to break that. Poor soul. Try to have an early Christmas because the Indians are going to spoil it Corrie! And these comments of yours have gone with the wind! Await the ineveitable thrashing. Pray its not a whitewash. Defeat is certain!

  • Joby_George on December 14, 2010, 10:12 GMT

    Sreesanth will shine in SA conditons, the swing will help him. Its gonna be a tough contest, will see who is the going to be the Kings of test cricket.

  • jd4ever on December 14, 2010, 9:55 GMT

    (1) S.A start favourites playing at home but too close to call. (2)Certainly, as its #1 against #2 as opposed to two middle ranked teams. Steyn Vs Sehwag is pay per view stuff, the best fast bowler against the most attacking batsman in Cricket right now. Nothing in the current Ashes series comes close. (3)India have played a lot of tests in the past year and have done well in those.

  • on December 14, 2010, 9:51 GMT

    @timohyj - If India can't SA twice in India, how can they beat SA in SA.. dreaming..:)

  • aussie83 on December 14, 2010, 9:47 GMT

    @DINESHCC:Mcgrath & Warne, two champion bowlers ,all agree that their retirement provoked Aussies downsilde were not part of Adelaide test in 2004 nor was brett lee.....

    http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/match/64060.html

    Moreover, it was an over-confident australian team trying to extract a result from a dull adelaide oval pitch by making an attempt to score fast and loosing their wikcets in the process ....it wasn't Agarkar seam or swing... check out on youtube how he got his six-for

  • jd4ever on December 14, 2010, 9:47 GMT

    forgot ashes........its the clash of titans between india vs SA....both have equal chances for series win.

  • moBlue on December 14, 2010, 9:10 GMT

    (continued)... the next series, even dinesh karthik made a hundred as opener, if i remember correctly. also, another precious memory from 2006. home-field advantage? really? a bouncy track? can SA handle it batting first? i watched sreesanth destroy SA (including india's usual nemesis kallis) with beautiful fast swing bowling with a mindblowingly well controlled seam! the ingracious SA commentators, who had harped pre-match about india's difficulties with bouncy tracks, were left speechless... and looked even more ingracious than usual. india cleaned up in that test match! the problem in 2002 and 2006 has been india's weak pace bowling. after that glorious fight-back by sachin and sehwag, the bowlers bled runs! hence the loss. if zaheer is healthy and sreesanth bowls at his best, and harbhajan stems the flow of runs from one end, we should at least draw. SA batsmen cannot be underestimated - smith, kallis, amla, deVilliers are all potentially deadly! but india can at least draw.

  • moBlue on December 14, 2010, 8:59 GMT

    well, let me dig into my memory... 2002... first test on a super-fast track in SA. india asked to bat first, i.e, the first day of the series... sure, we lost 4 wickets for 68... this included a magnificent 28 or so from vvs laxman who hooked a fast bouncer [from shaun pollock?] for a beautiful six! afraid of fast bouncers, my netherified donkey! after those 4 wickets, SA went on a nice leather hunt on their "bouncy homeground". i watched, far from my real home, and thoroughly enjoyed it! :) still have the tape... will keep it forever! you know why? 'cuz of the two indians who sent SA on a leather hunt the rest of that day, viru made his test debut at #6, and promptly made a hundred - on debut! the other hundred was predictably by sachin who played a mindblowing *chanceless* knock, replete with glides *over* a shocked slip cordon. we lost the test, but don't tell me india can't handle bouncy pitches... and i haven't even mentioned perth! the same fab 4 are still around... (continued)

  • anilnadaikkave on December 14, 2010, 8:43 GMT

    Lte's be frank.The contest is even.Unlike in the previous occasions,Indians are starting as ambitious challengers!South Africa,of course have plans for the Indian batsmen,but need to execute them if they mean what they say.Indians need to execute their batting plans as well.MOUTH WATERING CONTEST

  • timohyj on December 14, 2010, 7:48 GMT

    if SA can't beat England in home conditions how can they beat India?

  • sweetspot on December 14, 2010, 7:25 GMT

    By talking about conditions, conditions, conditions, what is the SA coach really saying? That his team is useless without favourable conditions? That may be true, but Test cricket is not about playing the conditions alone. As far as I can see, SA have four or five bowlers. Fast, Almost fast, Used to be Fast, would like to be Fast and a possible Slow Spin. Their batting doesn't look all that awesome either, barring two, maybe three. Bounce works well for spinners too, and if Harbhajan and Ojha decide to give the ball flight, SA batsmen will be cooked in their own fire. On the other hand, if India's middle order clicks, even two batsmen striking form will mean 400+.

  • DINESHCC on December 14, 2010, 7:01 GMT

    Natural Fan: I totally agree with you. The present Indian team can't be compared with 80's WI, 90's Pak and 2000's Aus. In fact no team can be compared with 80's WI. WI at their prime time, no series were lost by them either at home or away till 1995. Australia during their peak, suffered series loss at the hands of India and England. Pak during their prime time, even lost to Zimbabwe that too with wasim and waqar in the team. When no team could taste victory in Ausutralia for several years, India defeated them at Adelaide in 2004. The so called Hayden, Langer, Mcgrath, Warne, Gillsepie were part of the team. During Australia' s prime time Australia lost to India 9 times and won 9 times and their biggest nemesis was India. Similarly over a period of time India's nemesis is SA. But this series will decide who is superior. For the last two years, India has not lost a series either at home or away. Therefore it is ranking 1. Please don't question the rankings.

  • on December 14, 2010, 6:34 GMT

    Indian bowlers have always done better than they have been expected to, on foreign soil. It is our much acclaimed batting which has failed us time and time again. If Indians can bat for at least 150 overs in every Test, the series will be theirs.

  • Umamahesh_Srigiriraju on December 14, 2010, 6:30 GMT

    Continuing from where I left. I won't be surprised with a 3-0 in favour of India if Proteas have the guts to prepare result oriented pitches without chickening out after seeing the result of the first match. Kallis hasn't been the same bowler he once was. He is out of the equation. The spinner, who is that yes Paul Harris - I can only feel sorry for him. He better not come on to bowl when Sehwag, Gambhir, Dravid, Sachin, VVS, Pujara and Dhoni are at the crease. I mean, he better not bowl until the Indian batting is almost done. So, with two known bowlers SA expects to instill fear in the best batting line-up the world has ever seen in decades. Lol! Good sense of humor from the SA media and their Coach. Yes, it is going to be a cracker of a series. No doubt about it. But, India is going to win this series hands down.

  • Umamahesh_Srigiriraju on December 14, 2010, 6:20 GMT

    This trash talk is nothing new in cricket. If anything, this is just going to demoralise the Proteas when Sehwag starts clobbering good balls for boundaries with his unparalleled hand-eye coordination. If anything, this is only going to make Dravid even more determined to hang on to one end and provide the much needed sheet anchor role and unfurl at the right moment. If anything, this is only going to make The Master even more hungrier to set some more rare records. VVS is just awesome. Pound to pound, no batsman from the Proteas can match the class or experience of the Indians except Jacques Kallis. Amla has come of age of course. Barring these two, I don't see much into the Proteas' batting credentials. AB de Villiers is a very good talent but he has a long way to go before he can be taken seriously by us. All in all, the Proteas couldn't win against a struggling Pakistan. So, what's all this trash talk from their media and Coach? Dreaming? Wishful thinking? Insecurity? Most likely.

  • tinkertinker on December 14, 2010, 5:17 GMT

    Unfortunately in australia they give the indians flat pitches that suit them perfectly.

    South africa know that the Indians are terrible on anything but flat pitches and they play to their advantage.

    Just look at the carer records of the indian big guns in south africa they have been clearly exposed as flat track bullies.

  • cassiano on December 14, 2010, 5:01 GMT

    This series will really test the Indians , the test of resolve , mindset, and how they tackle the bounce. We have a team that can beat the south africans , provided the right 11 are on the park. The best way I feel and I may be wrong is to go with Pujara instead of Raina or else include and extra pace bowler for the batsman.India has to be positive in their approach and Harsha is very much right, they got to make things happen . They cannot allow the africans to dictate terms , we have the batting to attack when we can and we have the batting to defend when we need to. The bowling lineup looks good , it is more in the head then any anythign else , if we can control our heads and run when we need to run - walk when we need to walk - we can surely hold our own . This will be a good series , I am sure about that, we might just for the first time in history make SA struggle in their own conditions. Sehwag is the key , but India has key players to inflict serious injury to SA's pride

  • on December 14, 2010, 5:01 GMT

    According to me the main concern is bowling . I am sure the experienced players like Sachin,VVS,Dravid,Viru will be able to tackle the SA pacers well. But now there are reports of Zaheer being doubtful for the first Test and Zaheer is our no.1 strike bowler. Ishant and Sreesanth must step up to the plate and I feel India has made a mistake in selecting Jaydev Unadkat instead of Munaf Patel who can get the ball to swing and seam well. and of course Harbhajan must concentrate on bowling as much as on batting and flight the ball more often like he did to bamboozle Steve Waugh & Co. in the epic 2001 series

  • on December 14, 2010, 3:20 GMT

    With Indian team comprising on sehwag and vvs, there is a high chance that only these two will click, sehwag can score 170 in one inning out of 6 and overall may make 300 runs...

    the biggest success possible would be Ishant and Sreeshanth.. Not sure about if Raina or Yuvi will be in playing 11, but we need someone who can give back and is mentally strong..

    it is pity that India doesnot play any warmup whereas England can reach Oz 5-6 weeks early and gets to play warm up between test matches also...

    Indian board is overkilling the game..

  • on December 14, 2010, 2:37 GMT

    dhoni dhoni dhoni... will rock it.

    why do i say this because south african tour is going to be the one where our batsmen are going to be tested like never. at situation the trio sachin dravid lakshman looked as if they never played cricket (that made one of the successful captain to make a splendid comeback) there comes the dhoni man he is awesome in team management he will do it for you . also he is also undertest of his batsmanship he has been not delivering his best of goods if he comes with a fifty or hundred hey you south africans you are in big big trouble.

    talking about SA the got some tremdous batting line up AB kallis will be the pillors amla you made centuries and centuries in india let see about you in your conditions. darels speed is not going to matter when indian batesmen are in form. morkel never been a threat unless its swinging . kallis can give a hand but is he not aging wont it affect may be . so all the advantage is on indian side. make history be ruthless

  • on December 14, 2010, 2:16 GMT

    The SA couch should & must remember Virender Sehwag's innings of 195 against Australia in Australia on the opening day of the test match.

  • MasterClass on December 14, 2010, 1:12 GMT

    Notwithstanding the usual pre-series sledging and comments from the host (SA) the Ind batsment should do just fine as long as they play their natural game and don't have a collective brain freeze (which highly unlikely given the experience on tap in the Ind line-up). Actually the real point of concern is for the Ind pacers to quickly find the correct line & length on these bouncy tracks. If SA bat first this is even more important since Ind doesn't want to be playing catch-up for the rest of the match, based on the bowlers feeding runs to SA on day one.

  • Lakpj on December 14, 2010, 1:06 GMT

    SA might end up loosing this series or drawing with this rubbing talks. Talking will not lead to victories. SA is a team in most occasions that under performs (Other than last Aus tour). So they should concentrate on winning the series rather than these useless talks.

  • on December 13, 2010, 23:23 GMT

    This SA team does not capable to Retain the series against ENG and Weak Aussie team. How they are dreaming to Win against India. Half boiled Coach.

  • on December 13, 2010, 22:51 GMT

    Empty Vessels Make The Most Noise. I realized the meaning of this saying.

  • Rakesh_Sharma on December 13, 2010, 22:39 GMT

    Best way to defeat India is to create fast bouncy wickets where in bounce and pace lasts on all five days.This way the indian batsman will be really tested.I am pretty sure that if this is the case Sa will inflict atleast 2 innings defeat.This will also lead to end of carrers of Tendulkar ,Dravid and LAxman who has blocked spots for last one generation in Indian team. No one is indespensible in this world.Bored of this 3 players for so many years. No one must be allowed more than 100 tests in Indian team as oppurtunities are few for indians.Just as everybody retires after certai years cricketers must retire by playing at the most 100 Tests in India. Oppurtunities for all.

  • Runster1 on December 13, 2010, 22:31 GMT

    Stop doing so many before match taunts SA! thats wat the aussies do! and @ people who are mocking india's drawn test series in SL; we were literally using our B TEAM!!!! SO GET OVER IT AND FOCUS ON LOSING THE ASHES.

  • BravoBravo on December 13, 2010, 22:14 GMT

    I hope that this Test/ODI series will be a competitive one and fun to watch. Now the strengths of both teams seem pretty compatible if it is gauged through their recent achievements. SA has narrowly managed a win in recent ODI series against PAK, and sort of maintained the dignity against PAK in test series. Here is one interesting fact that Jacques Kallis of SA have taken more test wickets (267) and scored more test runs (11,400) than the entire PAK team which played in 2nd drawn Test against SA on a neutral ground. Now, on the other hand India demolished NZ (NZ came to them as an outplayed and whitewashed team from BD) and punished AUS (AUS came to them after getting drained out by PAK in England). AUS struggled against SL and still struggling against ENG in their own backyard. So, both teams (SA and IND) have equal strength but lack the aura and command of WI (in 80's) and AUS (who dominated for last two decades). Advantage: SA because of being host.

  • on December 13, 2010, 21:41 GMT

    The South African coach sounds as if it is the first time india is playing abroad. India has already been successful abroad, and that is really out of question. Seems the coach has got carried away with the media who knows nothing but sensationalism. He thinks the bouncers is going to fetch them the series. This enthusiasm will dry up in a hard and long day in sun, just wait. The current indian team has taught many a pace gods a lesson, some of whom even have started to find excuses to skip and indian tour, just wait, lets see who wins the battle. Now that India has been holding the number one spot more than a year there is no question about our qualification to be the number one team but the south african coach seems to be in a mood of sarcasm, saying that indian team is in the dilemma of having to prove its number one spot. Clearly this guy has ran out of ideas and blindly trusting the bounce.

  • on December 13, 2010, 21:37 GMT

    @ Venkat_Super_11, I appreciate your comment as I do think on those lines. On the other hand, I would say SA pitches favors Indian batting and bowling. I expect a tough competition in these series. :)

  • devalyagnik2003 on December 13, 2010, 20:44 GMT

    Zaheer should be out of injury before first match, other wise it would be difficult for Indian bowling attack to control the likes of kallis and smith. In case zaheer is in matches will be interesting. By the way for Corrie Van Zyl I would like to say he shouldn't be very much excited about the bouncy pitch because even his players like de villiers don't have impressive record in SA.. :P

  • on December 13, 2010, 20:43 GMT

    all talk of SA win is useless, till Sehwag is on the crease..plus Gambhir has regained his form, let's see how quickly SA bowlers make inroads into Indian openers, then we will talk abt SA victories. I personally cannot see even one batsman in Indian line-up who cannot face bounce, all of them are adept, Dhoni should pull up a surprise on SA by playing Pujara instead of Raina.. It is easier said than done at the moment for SA bowlers. I just hope Zaheer stays fit.

  • SnowSnake on December 13, 2010, 20:41 GMT

    This team can be compared with Australia at its best and WI at its best when it crosses 135 points in the ICC test ranking table. Australia at it best acheived maximum of 138 points (I think). So, India while #1, still falls short of the best Australian and WI team. If India wins SA series and Eng. series, it will most likely cross the 135 point threshold and leave no doubt. A lot depends on how India playes and how other teams play from this point on.

  • Nampally on December 13, 2010, 20:13 GMT

    Van Zyle appears to be talking double Dutch. On one hand he says India is an excellent team and they are not #1 because of one or 2 individuals but because of the entire unit. Then he goes on to say it will be tough for India to play on bouncy pitches. If it is tough for Indians to play on bouncy pitches, it should be equally tough for SA to play on this surface.There are 3 batsmen in the Indian team who have totalled nearly 10,000 runs in test Cricket. SA has NONE. India also has a top ranking bat in the world this year. What is Van Zyl thinking? When you cannot win on Paper, try to play mind games!.Anyway the 2 teams will take the field and we can judge for ourselves. Lets go India - Show SA bowlers that you can cope with bouncy pitch just as well as Van Zyl's mind games. Also many commenters state #1 ranking of India is flawed even though India got their via the same route as other #1 teams did in the past. Why question India not other #1 teams before them? India Lacks swagger?

  • on December 13, 2010, 20:02 GMT

    @shovwar, Hope u see some of the recent matches for SA team... Like the ones against Pak... It's a line-up with all fresh men and almost no one in good stable form... Do I remember correct that SA failed to win against that team and Pak stood-up against your so called No 1 team :)

  • on December 13, 2010, 19:50 GMT

    I think SA is doing a big mistake here. 1) They are charging the Indians up , 2) they are being too cocky and expecting the Indians to crumble on bouncy pitches. Indian players may pay on placid pitches most of the time but given the talent they got, there is no reason why tehy wouldnt be able to adapt, and the fact that they went early to SA and practicing on bouncy pitches means that they mean business. So if I was Van Zyl I would shut up and let performance do the talking.

  • india-the-worldchampions on December 13, 2010, 19:46 GMT

    Too much has been said about the pace and bounce and don't underestimate the indian batting line up on these sort of track.Average of top 4 batsman in Oz on bouncy and pacy track are:Viru-59.5 ,Dravid- 48.60,Sachin- 58.53 and VVS Laxman-54 barring Gambhir (who hasn't yet played in Oz) and these averages are of those period during which the Aussie were at their at lethal best.But as compared to the proteas none of their so called expert batsman(on bouncy and pacy tracks) averages more than 50 barring Amla who averages over 50 in 3 matches in 09 tour when Aussie were on decline & a weak Oz side. So their averages in Oz are: Smith- 37.92, Amla-51.80 Kallis-45, De villers-39.5.You can decide which side is the best on these bouncy and pacy track.Infact the Indian team would love to play on bouncy track for 2 reason it would be great for strokemaking and players like sehwag might get his 3rd Triple century and secondly bowlers like Ishant Sharma would be unplayable.India should win it 3-0.

  • Nampally on December 13, 2010, 19:38 GMT

    Van Zyl appears to be playing mind games to strike fear amongst Indian team. If the wicket gets fast both the teams have the same advantage or disadvantage. So unnecessary fear campaign launched by the SA media, coach and groundsman is a way to get a psychological advantage. Indians have played Morkel and Steyn before. On SA pitches the same bowlers may extract a bit more life but they also need length and direction to get the top Indian batsmen. India is #1 because of their batting. The top 5 in the line up are arguably the best top 5 in the world today. If Sehwag gets going then SA pacemen will go into hiding. Sehwag needs to be at his best to counter SA. He is one guy who has a golden chance to silence SA media. India should play their natural game and be not afraid to attack. Ishant & Sree also have a golden chance to be amongst wickets. If Harbhajan can reproduce his best form then India has a bowling attack even without Zaheer(injurd). India mustfield well - Jai Ho India.

  • sampreeth_crik on December 13, 2010, 19:30 GMT

    Its sampreeth from Bangalore Mr. van Zyl can you please stop Aussie style freelancing that yielding too much in ongoing ashes for Aussie. you speaking about bounce and pace of a wicket and directly asking curator for assurance what is all mess is this, dale steyn is also not an express pace now,your alone spinner will going to massacre by Indians. Morkel is not consistent,150kps speed not enough and matter of bounce is not much to test Indian test side its not our T20 squad that shake,pace and bounce is adjustable in tests.even your batsmen also expose if Indians pitch up the ball, i sure that no batsmen will feel good playing chest + height balls.our bowlers can ball 140+kps ball and also reverse a bit,and get support by world's present best test spinner harbhajan singh he likes the bounce from track,sachin,sehwag,laxman pull your short pitched deliveries beware. i predict 1-1 series(india' won)

  • on December 13, 2010, 19:16 GMT

    NEUTRAL FAN,

    Well said and Natarajan should know this fact. A home draw aginast the low ranked team like NZ will not help India,,infact they lost ratings. If India can win against all the teams away then as you said no one will even question about the tag they hold. Hope every fellow Indians understands this if not Natarajan..

  • CSreekumar on December 13, 2010, 19:06 GMT

    In batting, this Indian team can be counted par with great OZ & WI. Bowling is the concern and it was for years, still and will be for some more time. Fielding? I dont want to compare it with WI, let alone OZ

  • on December 13, 2010, 18:06 GMT

    Should be an interesting series, SA have a better bowling attack which I think could make the difference. Will be an interesting match up between the batmen, Indian have a longer batting line-up, with Dhoni being a far superior batsmen to Boucher and Harbajan in outstanding form. I am looking forwarded to the Smith - Sehwag, Dravid - Amla, Tedulkar - De Villus competitions

  • prasanna2929 on December 13, 2010, 18:02 GMT

    neither sa can take advantage of the bounce nor india be wary of dat til dey get viru out.....as long as he stays its not der home......

  • Analytical_Sathya on December 13, 2010, 17:46 GMT

    Munaf Patel would have been a wonderful addition to the Indian bowling lineup with his nagging line/length and movement bothways off the pitch on the helpful South african conditions. He's got a very good knack for getting the wickets.

  • on December 13, 2010, 17:06 GMT

    I bet anybody that India will beat SA! If they dont i wont post here again ever! P.S. I might get a new facebook id and post under some other name :D

  • havocsat on December 13, 2010, 16:53 GMT

    The series should be fascinating and its going to be tough for the indians... but if this outfit from India cant challenge the south africans then nobody else can...

  • asadkum on December 13, 2010, 16:53 GMT

    Mohammad Asad from USA ................................................................... IND is a very good & balanced team and don't forget #1 in ranking too.............. It would be a very good series to watch!!!!! AND CRICKET will win my dear cricket lovers !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • addiemanav on December 13, 2010, 16:03 GMT

    its funny the tone in which SA coach is talking..every idiot knows that ipl,CL20 or WC T-20,dont prepare u for a test series in SA..he thinks as if we r fools ignorant to this fact..oh,thank you Mr. van Zyl for letting us know!!i think SA is taking india too lightly..india has been talking abt the challenge that they will face and they r ready for it,whereas SA talking about indian weakness and nothing more..they r in store for a shocker!!

  • Mukundan.G.S. on December 13, 2010, 16:02 GMT

    This is one of the war tactics to try & demoralize the opposition team.In the past we have seen Australian team members try it on others. The more you speak out more you tend to loose.

  • on December 13, 2010, 16:02 GMT

    well mind games mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm Viru will reply with doube ton in first test,Sachin with 50th century Go INDIA Go.........................show them who's no.1

  • _NEUTRAL_Fan_ on December 13, 2010, 15:54 GMT

    @Natarajan. The problem is that guys like you DARE to compare this Ind team to the Aus team that dominated or the W.I. that dominated, they are nowhere close to these 2 teams. People aren't jealous, they're not stupid and there is no way they are going to be easily convinced that this Ind team is anywhere close to a standard they have associated with top teams of the past. You are the one who needs to be a good sport and respect people's views. Let the Ind team EARN its respect, don't go around whining and demanding it. They are a team in form and have proven to be almost impossible to beat at home but they still need to WIN, not draw but win series away from home vs sides other than NZ and W.I. They failed to beat Sri Lanka in Sri Lanka recently, next assignment is SA (who they haven't won a series against recently ANYWHERE) If they win in these countries and then Eng, the discussion will gradually fade, until then persons will see the #1 tag up for grabs by CLOSELY MATCHED TEAMS.

  • on December 13, 2010, 15:44 GMT

    So much noise.... Empty vessels.....

  • on December 13, 2010, 15:39 GMT

    india 2-1 am nt african fan but still india is better than Sa

  • shovwar on December 13, 2010, 15:38 GMT

    SA hav proved themselves worthy opponent in the Indian soil with denying series Victory Twice in the last 2 series in India...I know it hurts...lol lets look at the head to head in the recent years....Previous India V SA in SA: SA won 2-1, Previous 2 series in India are: 1-1 and 1-1...Where SA fast bowlers showed they dont need Wanderers pitch...Now lets add it up...SA 4-3 India....therefore supremacy goes to SA...and to beat that odd India have to beat SA 2-0 or 3-1...AUS hav done that when they were no.1...Lets see if India can do it. A draw would not convince me Cos SA hav done that in India as well. Anyway, i see 2-0 to SA, the best TEST team in the World....And it would be proven at the beginning of 2011.....Good Luck to India...My second fav team..

  • on December 13, 2010, 15:31 GMT

    Though the series is still some time away, the mind games have already begun. Van Zyl is right saying that IPL and CLT20 experience won't help India, but the key players like Tendulkar,Sehwag,Laxman,Dravid,Dhoni etc have had extra practice as they reached SA before the ODI series against NZ. And one cannot forget that India ran SA close in late 2006 despite the worst preparation possible.All the same, India have not played a Test match overseas since they reached the no.1 ranking. So if ever there was a time for India to show that they truly deserve this ranking, it is now. Anything less than a drawn series will mean that SA is more deserving of the no.1 ranking. Anyway, there is hope as this is the best Indian team to reach South African shores and their preparation also has been good.

  • shovwar on December 13, 2010, 15:28 GMT

    Brilliant....I see what SA is doing...and Indians are buying it....The biggest difference in the current Indian side is Gary Kirsten....And Van Zyl knows Kirsten would prepare Indians to face the bouncy pitch....U guys think Van Zyl is dumb? If so then u guys are dumber....lol...Who would give out the lay out plan in the media?? Dale Steyn is known more for his Speed with movement....Which the Indian Bowlers lack (except movement) U guys think he is the no.1 bowler for nothing? And he conquered in all conditions including Indian pitches. SA is the no.2 sides in the world playing less test matches than India and winning in different conditions. The last 2 home SA home series was not upto there expectations..that makes them more hungry to play better...1 home series win is knocking on the door and heavily due...lol. India on the other hand is my second best team. So they wouldn go down without a fight..But SA holds the key....continue................

  • sudhs_107 on December 13, 2010, 15:26 GMT

    SA is trying to what Aus were doing all these years (By press statements).. India have now answered Australia very well. Will wait and see whether they will give the same reply to South Africa.

  • Laxyvick on December 13, 2010, 15:23 GMT

    I wonder whether Kirsten will be a great secret weapon for India. Unfortunately, Wright was not exactly useful when India played in NZ during his time, but a lot of the Wright Ganguly partnership is overhyped because of regular series against Zimbabwe and Bangladesh. However, Gary might provide enough insights to help India to put up a good performance. The question remains if the pace attack can come close to matching the Dale Steyn brigade. I think, the last performance (1-2 loss due to a bad session in the third test) was also a pretty good show, but Indian fans being what they are nothing short of victory will satisfy them.

  • on December 13, 2010, 15:19 GMT

    Sehwag, Laxman, Sachin & Dravid love challenges. SOUTH AFRICA --> BRING IT ON. It's going to be 5-0 India 5 | South Africa 0 :))

  • JawaharChirimar on December 13, 2010, 15:17 GMT

    The team that is feeling insecure is the one who goes to the press to boast how they will beat the other team. This is cricket not pro-wrestling. Speaking trash does not translate into action on field.

    One has to play for 5 days - it is strategy and perseverance and will to win.

    As the entire world knows SA are famous for choking on key moments and all their current stars cave like a house of cards under stress unlike this Indian team. Of course, earlier Indian teams have been the worst chokers for sure. But then this the Indian team that is No 1 rated who they are playing not their earlier ones.

    So it is best to the let the bat, ball and fielding do the talking and maintain the dignity of the game.

  • on December 13, 2010, 15:16 GMT

    I am awaiting this test series more than ODI WC. T20 has overshadowed the charm of ODI WC. I am glad Indians are quite and not making any statement, let their action do all the talking. Indians are under dogs in this series, despite being no. 1 test side. India has never done good in SA because of carisma of Pollock, De Villers and Donald. However, this time India has to see off only one guy Dale Styn. This would be perhaps the last SA tour for Sachin, Dravid and Laxman. I am sure all three want to change the trend by either drawing this series of winning it. Two great test series are on, and I am looking for great turnaround both in SA and Aus. Cheers!

  • on December 13, 2010, 15:09 GMT

    Well to me, Sehwag and Dravid is the key

  • rshn on December 13, 2010, 15:06 GMT

    South Africa looks nervous with so much talk, We know that they have just Dale Steyn, Morkel is not always lethal, so taking 20 wickets is not easy for South Africa. While India have a complete attach to take 20 wickets. As far as batting goes, SA have Kallis, Amla and AB against India's Sachin, Sehwag, Gambir, Dravid, Laxman and Donny. Thats a powerful batting line up and all can play short pitch stuff pretty well if not better. It wont be easy for either teams, but will be an interesting series. First Test will hold key as its a short 3 match series cause India is traditionally a bad 1st test team, having said that.... this is a different team, they do things differently. This series will be different, a good one.

  • vatsap on December 13, 2010, 15:05 GMT

    Much as I hate the Indian pitches, it reeks of double standards when the SAFers prepare pitches to their strength and big talk about it. While most teams coming to the sub-continent used to whinge about under prepared wickets. Pretty much the same every place. Irony though is the Indian pitches for the last 2 SAF series have produced one South African pitch each to route the Indian batsmen on first day wickets before lunch. So much for hospitality.

    Even if India wins one test, it would be something to savour.

  • The_Professor on December 13, 2010, 15:02 GMT

    I think Corrie Van Zyl is trying to psych Team India by referring to past tours. India were not world#1 back then - that will make a HUGE DIFFERENCE cos SA WILL CHOKE since the top ranking is at stake. Look at what happened to SA when they challenged Aus for the world title...also in WC semi-final...also in every big tournment they go in a favourites - when are they ever number 1? SA will definitely choke - THEY ALWAYS CHOKE!!!

  • BellCurve on December 13, 2010, 14:56 GMT

    Always trust the odds. As proven recently, the betting sindicates know more than anyone else. They know the players, the officials; they have experts in the stadiums studying the pitch and weather conditions. So what is the markets telling us about the 1st Test between SA and India? They give SA a 34% chance of winning, India a 18% chance, and the draw a 48% chance. Why do the markets favour the draw? Well, for starters, the weather forecast is not looking great. I also suspect the pitch is going to be flatter than we are expecting. Much, much flatter. Why? Well I have a few theories but out of fear of getting sensored will keep them to myself for the moment.

  • avis1001 on December 13, 2010, 14:52 GMT

    Well - Everybody is predicting whitewash in favor of SA - let us see what happens

  • on December 13, 2010, 14:25 GMT

    SA does have the fire power to rollover the current Indian side however, so much hullabaloo leaves the impression that SA is indeed lacking a bit of confidence.

  • Lovetesh on December 13, 2010, 14:24 GMT

    If SA is waiting, so are we!! Bring it on.

  • bluebillion on December 13, 2010, 14:22 GMT

    Boy does he sound over confident! Lets just say 3 - 0 South Africa and get it over with. It doesnt seem that actually playing the 3 tests is required! India should concede and have a much needed break. "It's not really for me to say if the ranking would be right or wrong," he says. At least admit that India is number 1 and beat us and then say that you beat the number 1 side. Personally, I dont believe it is going to be as simple a walk in the park as Van Zyl , the SA media and Dale Steyn are making it out to be. Thats not to say that Indian batsmen will work miracles but historically India - SA tests in SA have been low scoring affairs and this time round India do have a good seam attack - atleast as good as Jonhnson and co. who beat SA in SA.

  • We_Win_All on December 13, 2010, 14:03 GMT

    Van Zyl is right, in saying Indians have a lot of adapting to do. But they are in the right earnest as they have the advantage of using Kirsten's academy facilities as well as his expertise. I don't think Indians will not struggle against short balls atleast in test series as we have a strong batting line up which includes the rare trio (Sachin, Dravid and VVS) who have a good technique against short balls. Even Raina who is most susceptible to short stuff in this lineup will come good as he has the freedom of leaving those deliveries in tests. Sehwag as usual holds the key to set up momentum for the visitors

  • mukundh1 on December 13, 2010, 14:03 GMT

    Stop the drivel and prove to us in action. The South Africans are going a little overboard with all this nonsense.

  • on December 13, 2010, 14:01 GMT

    The faster the ball is, the faster it will go to the boundary ... Sehwag will kill SA's bowlers ...

  • on December 13, 2010, 13:58 GMT

    I'll say 1-1 series with a draw game..

  • asthomas911 on December 13, 2010, 13:50 GMT

    Sometimes being silent is the best way to answer the critics. Gary Kirsten is doing exactly that. Perhaps this so called Corrie Van Zyl guy could learn one or two things from him. He talks a lot blah blah blah

  • on December 13, 2010, 13:45 GMT

    Why should the correctness of ranking be an issue that is raised so often now when India is on top while no such suspicion existed when the Aussies occupied the No.1 spot for so long ?

    It basically a refusal and jealousy of the other countries to accept tha India is actually the No. 1 team in the world in Tests.

    Be a sport and accept that India are the superior team. India, most definitely, has the best batting unit that has very often the reason that wins tests for India.

  • SnowSnake on December 13, 2010, 13:41 GMT

    Indians have learning to do in the first test and stand to lose the most. If SA cannot win the first test then they might as well say series win a goodbye. I think the mystery of this entire series will be over in first 3 days or first two days if India bats first. If I were to advise India, I would say that bounce in a pitch only matters if India were to play and win the first test because you will have to actually play the bouncers and not leave them. India should aim for a draw in the first test and leave as many bouncers as possible. This will result in low scoring rate and a draw. For SA, I would advise that use bouncers as a surprise and not norm. Line and length and pace is as important as bouncer, which should be used as a surprise and not norm to win first test. If Shewag bats for first twenty overs then SA should aim for a draw because India's winning changes will increase significantly.

  • amit1807kuwait on December 13, 2010, 13:41 GMT

    Two years ago in Australia, India was 0-2 down in the test series, and the third test was in Perth. Perth, arguably, is the quickest surface in Australia, and the media went to town on how their team would blow away India on a bouncy track. They went Ta-Too about Shaun Tait and told India to expect 170kmph deliveries. At the end of the test match, Australia was on the losing side, with Tait completely sidelined by his captain, not even being given a proper spell of bowling. Moral of the story - SA should not make too much noise about conditions, and should get on with the game. I dont think the Indian batsmen now bother too much about conditions. Put on a trampoline SA, lets see who wins.

  • shiblee on December 13, 2010, 13:38 GMT

    Proteas are trying to play the mind games here, but they don't know that Indian batting line up is not made up rookies. When you have players Tendulkar, Sehwag, Dravid, Laxman and Gambhir who have played across the world and in all sorts of condtions. This things will only strengthen the will to do well in SA.

  • Nealll on December 13, 2010, 13:35 GMT

    I think south Africa are more depend on the pitches not on there bowler to win.

  • Achillesofthisera on December 13, 2010, 13:27 GMT

    I must say all this talks, fuss and commotion about the bounce factor will actually affect the South Africans. Just relying on bounce won't help them to beat India and I am sure it will backfire. Historically when someone boasts too much about their strongest weapon to beat their opponent it never helps. Remember the perth test when India toured Australia last time. Aus played with four fast bowlers (as far as I remember) including Shaun Tait who happens to be the fastest bowler at present. Australia was planning to bounce out India in WACA. And what happened in the end? It backfired and they lost. India are preparing well and they will definitely do well, and all this big mouthed proteas will shut up once they realize bounce alone is not going to help them at all. Also India are not indulging themselves too much in this talks of pitch as they are more focused in their preparation, which is a good thing.

  • mits6 on December 13, 2010, 13:16 GMT

    Even we expect such wickets , becoz India will truely be tested there and if they prevail in such conditions they undoubtedly become no. 1 test side .

  • on December 13, 2010, 13:11 GMT

    The mind games have started and are on in full swing...a lot of talk from the SA camp, very clearly shows they are weary of the Indians. They'd rather be better off focusing on the preparations rather than talk so much in the media. Agreed indians aren't very good against the short ball, but thats what gary kirtsen has taken the indians in early for..to adjust their techniques to adapt to the SA conditions.

  • Gupta.Ankur on December 13, 2010, 13:04 GMT

    Probably Van Zyl has forgotten their just concluded series against Pakistan..........Van Zyl should worry more about their batting line-up than India's....

  • Sajjan... on December 13, 2010, 13:00 GMT

    this indian team dont need any help.....mr. van zyl

  • on December 13, 2010, 13:00 GMT

    THE TEAM COMPOSITION IS GOOD WITH MOST OF THE PLAYERS HAVING GOOD EXPERIENCE . THIS TEAM WILL ROCK .

  • on December 13, 2010, 12:56 GMT

    Yeah...Each month in SA will offer different pace in the pitch...you are kidding me right!!! If thats the case even SA batsmen will have tough time, coz it happens only once a year...Van Zyl, dream on, rather than focussing on your team why do you bother about India and their batsmen. It clearly shows that you are concerned about the opponents batting strenght...We indian fans welcome the pacy and bouncy wickets, becoz we don't want our team to be numero uno on sub-continent, but everywhere in the world. So may the best team win...

  • on December 13, 2010, 12:52 GMT

    SA coach is talking too much...if SA lose now,they will suffer embessesment....

  • hawkeye70 on December 13, 2010, 12:52 GMT

    SA pace bowling is obviously better than India. But if Zaheer gets good assistance from Ishant and Harbhajan, and Viru gets off to a good start followed by some solid knocks from Sachin and Dravid, then it can get vry interesting... I predict India win 1-0.

  • on December 13, 2010, 12:46 GMT

    So South Africa are planning to beat India on conditions that suit them, and claim to be world champions. That's very brave of them, don't you think?

  • on December 13, 2010, 12:39 GMT

    It looks SA team is started using Aus' strategy like mind games before actual game starts... As a cricket fan, I feel, this is the best team sent from India.. and hope they play better and win the series...

  • on December 13, 2010, 12:33 GMT

    It doesn't bother anyone now that south Africa dishing out wickets which suits their strength( READ PACE, BOUNCE) but the whole world cries when INDIA or any ASIAN country creates pitches that suits their style of playing(READ SPIN,BATSMEN FRIENDLY)...

  • shaileshrocks on December 13, 2010, 12:25 GMT

    ohh..now da mind games..anyways i believe it wouldnt be a whitewash but yes India would triumph..!!!

  • gannyboy on December 13, 2010, 12:15 GMT

    oh god this is fun this series is having some good build up I hope it lives upto i.

  • joseyesu on December 13, 2010, 12:14 GMT

    We will see who is going to struggle. depending only on Steyn and Morlel alone cannot do any impact. And india will be with ZAK, Sree, Ish, Har.

  • mvkk on December 13, 2010, 12:11 GMT

    SA should have in the previous series int heir minds, where they went for too much of bouncy track and ended up losing the match thanks to sreesanth's heroics...:P i believe their batsmen have come a long way from then, with AB,Amla, Kallis and guys rocking the batting line up. looking forward to a great display from SA

  • Sachin7 on December 13, 2010, 12:07 GMT

    I guess SA is talking a bit more than needed and at this point i really like and impressed the way Indians are going about their business. They aren't trying to indulge in this so called Mind games and do this loud big talks which their counterparts are doing right now. Within a week 3-4 such statements have comeout from SA's side. Maybe they are feeling some butterflies inside their stomach this time around

  • s.alvi on December 13, 2010, 12:05 GMT

    The words used by south african players and staff are a but on the rougher side i think, may be its their desperation to win against india or its coming out of fear that if they lose at home then they will surely not be considered in the same league...i dont know but something is odd i feel why is the coach so judgmental with words like "I don't think they would have an advantage. It's not easy to get used to South African conditions if you haven't been playing in them for a while." whats the big deal, every country has its own ground conditions, its own pace or bounce or turn its not easy for any touring side to get accustomed quickly...

  • vaidy on December 13, 2010, 12:05 GMT

    If India were serious about their number 1 ranking and preserving it whilst in SA, I am truly surprised as to why they would not have atleast a 2 day hitout against a local team?

    Look at the Ashes - not a single series in my living memory has gone on without a couple of 3 day matches before and during the series.

    This particular aspect of BCCI thought process invariably have cost India the first test and momentum in many a test series - when will we learn our lessons?

  • on December 13, 2010, 11:59 GMT

    "It's about who handles the bounce and the pace the best." So true lets see who handles it the best....bet indian bowlers could threaten the sa batting line up...same could happen against india but yeah u never know it's who does well on tht particular day go go india bet we can win it......

  • Don_Simon on December 13, 2010, 11:59 GMT

    This is going to be a true test of Dhonis' ability as a captain and a player. So far he has captained 21 tests won 13 and only 2 losses and never lost a series.But 19 of them are in the subcontinent and other two in NZ. Fair to say that this his first tough tour.

  • satzcrazy1 on December 13, 2010, 11:49 GMT

    Dear Mr.Van zyl, The match has not yet started and don't get excited too much. If you guyz have players like Hamla, Kallis & De villers, we too have players like Dravid, Sachin & Laxman. If you talk about smith, we have sehwag. If you have Steyn, we have Zaheer. Bhajji is anytime better than Harris. Don't always be in Imaginary world dude. I dont deny that India will have tough task, but India have a equal chance of winning the series. All the best for both the Teams.

  • Razor88 on December 13, 2010, 11:48 GMT

    Yes!! This is How test matches are to be played :).When ever the Countries have their Natural Pitch the 'Test' should be played.Hoping for Cloudy Skies through out the match :D.Indian Bowlers are Pretty Good in those Condition,who generally look to swing the Ball than Hitting the deck hard like SA.This is Probably the best Country to Prove the Batsmen's Technique and the Ability to play long Innings.I hope Dravid Turns out to be Key for India to Score a Series Victory.If that happens before he Retires.He is the Legend.The only place where he has to do justice to his Huge talent.All eyes on Sachin's 50th century and Sehwags Trademark Starts which has Proved a Head ache to Many.But Dravid has always been the Silent Assassin.He is the Wall For only reason - Which is Strong and Silent :D.Its going to be a Cracker of a Contest between them.And i'm hoping to See a History in the Making B).Nothing less!! It will also be Unfair,Because Only One will Turn out as the No.1 Team in the End!.

  • ScriptWriter on December 13, 2010, 11:45 GMT

    Umm, no talk of 'doctored' pitches when countries outside the sub-continent talk of using home advantage?

  • on December 13, 2010, 11:39 GMT

    People like Van Zyl are giving comment that india will not be able to survive on bouncy pitches I think they know its tough to beat india so they are playing mind games. But sir let me remind u this that sachin sehwag dravid laxman all like ball comings to them at a good height so situation can get opposite to u and can favour India.

  • Srini.M on December 13, 2010, 11:36 GMT

    I completely agree with Corrie van Zyl.... I am sure this Test series will going to be the answer for both India's bowling & batting strength... Best of Luck.. to Garry's Boys..

  • Cricketer2010 on December 13, 2010, 11:28 GMT

    its going to be very interesting contest between Worlds best teams......

    both of the teams are quite equal but Kallis is an edge for South Africa

  • gaithersburgman on December 13, 2010, 11:21 GMT

    Bounce and pace can help the Indian bowlers too. The difference is that the SA batsmen are used to it, while the Indians are not. It will be a battle of mind over matter.

  • on December 13, 2010, 11:18 GMT

    I Think This Is The Great Chance To India Win This Series Because It's India's Best Test XI So Far.....!

  • shri619 on December 13, 2010, 11:18 GMT

    we don't affraid to bat on sa wicket's that man srt and dravid scored almost 26000 runs in almost every country and on in every wicket. beware you have always taking about our batting but what's about our bowling our bowler's are also dangerous on sa wickets

  • Venkat_Super_11 on December 13, 2010, 11:13 GMT

    Normally empty vessels will make more noise. I am wondering why the mighty South Africans do it. Remember? Steyn was indirectly threatening England via media that England would not be able to tackle his pace when England toured SA. But what happened? Think SA must be quiet and modest as they are not only capable but also professional. Let's leave these simple noises back and get on to the business.

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  • Venkat_Super_11 on December 13, 2010, 11:13 GMT

    Normally empty vessels will make more noise. I am wondering why the mighty South Africans do it. Remember? Steyn was indirectly threatening England via media that England would not be able to tackle his pace when England toured SA. But what happened? Think SA must be quiet and modest as they are not only capable but also professional. Let's leave these simple noises back and get on to the business.

  • shri619 on December 13, 2010, 11:18 GMT

    we don't affraid to bat on sa wicket's that man srt and dravid scored almost 26000 runs in almost every country and on in every wicket. beware you have always taking about our batting but what's about our bowling our bowler's are also dangerous on sa wickets

  • on December 13, 2010, 11:18 GMT

    I Think This Is The Great Chance To India Win This Series Because It's India's Best Test XI So Far.....!

  • gaithersburgman on December 13, 2010, 11:21 GMT

    Bounce and pace can help the Indian bowlers too. The difference is that the SA batsmen are used to it, while the Indians are not. It will be a battle of mind over matter.

  • Cricketer2010 on December 13, 2010, 11:28 GMT

    its going to be very interesting contest between Worlds best teams......

    both of the teams are quite equal but Kallis is an edge for South Africa

  • Srini.M on December 13, 2010, 11:36 GMT

    I completely agree with Corrie van Zyl.... I am sure this Test series will going to be the answer for both India's bowling & batting strength... Best of Luck.. to Garry's Boys..

  • on December 13, 2010, 11:39 GMT

    People like Van Zyl are giving comment that india will not be able to survive on bouncy pitches I think they know its tough to beat india so they are playing mind games. But sir let me remind u this that sachin sehwag dravid laxman all like ball comings to them at a good height so situation can get opposite to u and can favour India.

  • ScriptWriter on December 13, 2010, 11:45 GMT

    Umm, no talk of 'doctored' pitches when countries outside the sub-continent talk of using home advantage?

  • Razor88 on December 13, 2010, 11:48 GMT

    Yes!! This is How test matches are to be played :).When ever the Countries have their Natural Pitch the 'Test' should be played.Hoping for Cloudy Skies through out the match :D.Indian Bowlers are Pretty Good in those Condition,who generally look to swing the Ball than Hitting the deck hard like SA.This is Probably the best Country to Prove the Batsmen's Technique and the Ability to play long Innings.I hope Dravid Turns out to be Key for India to Score a Series Victory.If that happens before he Retires.He is the Legend.The only place where he has to do justice to his Huge talent.All eyes on Sachin's 50th century and Sehwags Trademark Starts which has Proved a Head ache to Many.But Dravid has always been the Silent Assassin.He is the Wall For only reason - Which is Strong and Silent :D.Its going to be a Cracker of a Contest between them.And i'm hoping to See a History in the Making B).Nothing less!! It will also be Unfair,Because Only One will Turn out as the No.1 Team in the End!.

  • satzcrazy1 on December 13, 2010, 11:49 GMT

    Dear Mr.Van zyl, The match has not yet started and don't get excited too much. If you guyz have players like Hamla, Kallis & De villers, we too have players like Dravid, Sachin & Laxman. If you talk about smith, we have sehwag. If you have Steyn, we have Zaheer. Bhajji is anytime better than Harris. Don't always be in Imaginary world dude. I dont deny that India will have tough task, but India have a equal chance of winning the series. All the best for both the Teams.