South Africa v India, 1st Test, Centurion December 16, 2010

Adapting to the local weather is key - Tendulkar

ESPNcricinfo staff

Sachin Tendulkar has singled out early acclimatisation to the South African weather as key to India's performance on the tour, ahead of the first Test in Centurion on Thursday.

"For me, one thing is very important and that is to get acclimatised to local weather conditions," Tendulkar told PTI. "Preparations have been spot on and the lengthy practice session has given us that opportunity (to get acclimatised). We have had good net sessions under the guidance of coach Gary (Kirsten)."

The high-altitude conditions around Johannesburg - Centurion is about an hour's drive away - posed a challenge, Tendulkar said. "While playing in Johannesburg you have to be extra-careful. It is a high-altitude area, so supply of oxygen is a bit of a problem.

"When the tour starts and we step on the cricket field for the first time, we normally start running. While completing the first lap, one can easily feel that the body is not getting enough oxygen. Once you get used to those conditions there is no problem."

Adaptability to the quicker pitches was as much a test for the hosts as it was for India, Tendulkar said. "In South Africa, players and critics always talk about getting used to the pace and bounce of wickets here. For them, this is going to be the start of the season, so wickets are going to be a lot fresher."