South Africa v India, 1st ODI, Johannesburg December 4, 2013

'No way we are underdogs at home' - De Villiers

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AB de Villiers' most explosive expressions are usually seen when he is at the crease. The cheeky lap shot, the powerful smack down the ground, and the crisp drive are his way of composing lyrics, scribbling sentences, and doodling dreams.

It's rare for de Villiers to use the spoken word with the same kind of fierceness, more so in his role as South Africa's one-day captain. Usually his public statements are motivational, complimentary and courteous. But on the eve of his team's biggest ODI assignment since the Champions Trophy, that changed.

De Villiers launched an unusually aggressive attack against the visitors, warning them that South Africa will not be taken lightly despite the difference in rankings between the two teams.

"Some of the knowledgeable people will say we are underdogs but there is no way we are going to stand back and allow that to happen in home conditions," de Villiers said. "If we play to our full potential, there is no one in the world who can stop us here. We must remember we are playing against a subcontinental team in our conditions and they have a very bad record here."

He has a point. India have won only five matches out of the 25 they have played against South Africa in this country, and they have never won a bilateral series here. Although Pakistan last week became the first team from the subcontinent to beat South Africa in an ODI series at home, de Villiers still considers it their fortress. South Africa have won 68% of matches they played at home.

De Villiers believes they can extend that record over the World Cup and Champions Trophy winners, even though the current South African ODI squad has struggled to dominate any opposition in the last two years. "We are under pressure here in our own country," he said. "We just lost a series so confidence is not hugely high but I still have confidence in the guys that we can beat the No.1 team."

Conditions are being prepared to allow South Africa to show off their strongest suit - fast bowling - with what de Villiers called "a lot of grass" on the pitch the day before the match. That strategy has backfired on South Africa in the past, with the opposition quicks enjoying the surfaces as well, but de Villiers does not think it will happen this time because of the lack of strength in India's pack.

"They are certainly not the best bowling attack in the world," he said. "It's an area where we feel we can get on top of them." Numbers back de Villiers up on that. India's bowlers conceded over 300 in five of their last eight ODIs, and over 260 twice. They failed to defend 303 against Australia, and 288 against West Indies. Their seamers in particular, took a beating.

But the other side of that argument is that the Indian batsmen have been consistently excellent this year, so much so that they have often made up for their bowlers being hit for big scores. Their totals have soared as high as 383, with their powerful line-up proving that almost anything is chaseable. De Villiers, however, predicted that there will be no such overflow of runs in the upcoming series owing to South African conditions, in which even the hosts have struggled sometimes.

South Africa have not crossed the 300-mark in their last 16 ODIs as they have grappled with trying to get combinations in the top-order right. That's not a statistic that concerns Villiers. "It's not a worry that we haven't gone over 300 because I don't believe we have played on the grounds that have allowed us to do so."

South Africa have played on slow surfaces in the UAE and Sri Lanka most recently and at home, where de Villiers has repeatedly pointed out that the size of the grounds makes big totals more difficult to rack up. While that may be the reality, it does not paper over South Africa's problems when posting totals, especially when chasing. Their penchant for losing wickets, just when they are getting going, as well as their struggle for sizeable partnerships are issues that need immediate sorting.

When the series against Pakistan ended, de Villiers blamed a "lack of care" for those shortcomings, and he expects South Africa to put that right this time around. Hashim Amla and Jacques Kallis are the likely anchors, while Quinton de Kock, JP Duminy, David Miller and de Villiers himself are the big hitters in the side.

"We've got a couple of guys who know their roles really well. One or two need to bat for as long as possible and the rest of us are attacking," he said. "The balance is there, we just have to get it right. We showed we can be very dangerous as a team, when we have wickets in hand."

India have done the same, but on surfaces with good bounce and carry, de Villiers seems to think they will come off second best and in saying that, he has laid down the gauntlet for what could be a short, but hotly contested series.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • DeckChairand6pack on December 5, 2013, 15:46 GMT

    Agreed Harmony, sounds like he is trying to convince himself. But I cannot see India improving on their 25% win record.

  • Harmony111 on December 5, 2013, 9:40 GMT

    I would say that ABD's words actually convey his nervousness. He is trying to appear tougher by talking in a blustery manner cos he knows the truth. Take ABD out and SA are left with a batting unit that will really really struggle in any condition, flat or not. I would even say that in terms of being brittle, even with ABD, SA are right there with Pak at the moment & I have the stats to back this claim, not that I think anyone would challenge me on that one.

    SA have a strong bowling unit but to be honest, there too without Steyn, SA's bowling is not really any killer unit. I hope most people will agree with me there too. India faced Steyn, Morkel etc in WC & even an aging Sachin scored a fab 100 vs them. Without Steyn, SA looked mostly harmless in the CT13 when India scored 334.

    So it is between:

    A Weak Indian Bowling vs a Brittle SA Batting

    AND

    A Strong Indian Batting vs a Strong SA Bowling.

    India's weakness is that they are not yet acclimatized else they were firm favorites.

  • on December 5, 2013, 9:08 GMT

    Bring on Green tops who cares for ODIs........ Our Guys will practice well for Test on these !!!!!

  • on December 5, 2013, 8:41 GMT

    I guess ABD has just stepped on a landmine by such an aggressive attack on an outfit that is young and raring to go... Remember, the last time India visited SA, only SRT and to an extent, Dhoni and Gambhir were in form... This time we have a formidable top 3 with dhoni also in excellent nick... I only hope that Yuvraj or Raina contribute in some way.... Bowling is not too bad with bhuvi, shami, ashwin, jadeja and the part timers trying to improve with each game... let's see if your own team sets the world on fire AB! You have taken up a big responsibilty by saying what you did...

  • sachin_vvsfan on December 5, 2013, 8:07 GMT

    @MaruthuDelft You seem to have some personal vendatta against India. Suggest you to restrict the discussion to cricket

  • on December 5, 2013, 7:53 GMT

    look who is saying, cpt of under 9 batting lineup

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on December 5, 2013, 7:46 GMT

    Rule # 18 It is not disgraceful for an SA captain to ask for green pitch with grass and for CSA+Curators to grant the wish on a platter. But it is disgraceful for an Indian Captain to ask for a turning pitch.

    No, these are not double standards. These are the normal 'fair' standards we have been seeing for decades. Take a bow MSD, for your attitude of couldn't care less for the established 'fair' standards.

  • on December 5, 2013, 7:41 GMT

    pandu tem no 1 @ than why srilanka and pakistan cant be no 1 even playing in the subcontinent in their home, they are so medilore that they cant even win at home let alone outside asia. crickinfo please publish.

  • crick_sucks on December 5, 2013, 7:02 GMT

    It is funny AB terms Indian bowlers as weak. Your bowlers conceded the first double hundred in an ODI, conceded 331 against India recently and also conceded 434 against Australia. At the end of the day, Indian have nothing to lose. A series win will be great but if they lose it was expected. But if SA lose then serious questions will be raised on AB's captaincy, Kallis placein the ODI team. Not to forget they lost to Pak, NZ and SL recently. In this back drop AB is talking up his team. It sounds like he is trying to convince himself that they are a better team than India.

  • Naresh28 on December 5, 2013, 6:46 GMT

    This is going to be a learning curve for our youngsters. Now that India has completed the exercise to remove the old guard, they needed to give a chance to someone like PUJARA in an ODI. This will not happen as he is not part of the odi squad. He could have come in to stabilize the middle order. Then again the current lot has played together and are riding high on confidence. Another aspect is that they have found a better balance in the bowling lineup. Gone are guys like Vinay, Unadkat and probably Ishant will not get a chance until he proves that he has made strides in correcting his problems. Shami is the one who has given respite to our bowling lineup.

  • DeckChairand6pack on December 5, 2013, 15:46 GMT

    Agreed Harmony, sounds like he is trying to convince himself. But I cannot see India improving on their 25% win record.

  • Harmony111 on December 5, 2013, 9:40 GMT

    I would say that ABD's words actually convey his nervousness. He is trying to appear tougher by talking in a blustery manner cos he knows the truth. Take ABD out and SA are left with a batting unit that will really really struggle in any condition, flat or not. I would even say that in terms of being brittle, even with ABD, SA are right there with Pak at the moment & I have the stats to back this claim, not that I think anyone would challenge me on that one.

    SA have a strong bowling unit but to be honest, there too without Steyn, SA's bowling is not really any killer unit. I hope most people will agree with me there too. India faced Steyn, Morkel etc in WC & even an aging Sachin scored a fab 100 vs them. Without Steyn, SA looked mostly harmless in the CT13 when India scored 334.

    So it is between:

    A Weak Indian Bowling vs a Brittle SA Batting

    AND

    A Strong Indian Batting vs a Strong SA Bowling.

    India's weakness is that they are not yet acclimatized else they were firm favorites.

  • on December 5, 2013, 9:08 GMT

    Bring on Green tops who cares for ODIs........ Our Guys will practice well for Test on these !!!!!

  • on December 5, 2013, 8:41 GMT

    I guess ABD has just stepped on a landmine by such an aggressive attack on an outfit that is young and raring to go... Remember, the last time India visited SA, only SRT and to an extent, Dhoni and Gambhir were in form... This time we have a formidable top 3 with dhoni also in excellent nick... I only hope that Yuvraj or Raina contribute in some way.... Bowling is not too bad with bhuvi, shami, ashwin, jadeja and the part timers trying to improve with each game... let's see if your own team sets the world on fire AB! You have taken up a big responsibilty by saying what you did...

  • sachin_vvsfan on December 5, 2013, 8:07 GMT

    @MaruthuDelft You seem to have some personal vendatta against India. Suggest you to restrict the discussion to cricket

  • on December 5, 2013, 7:53 GMT

    look who is saying, cpt of under 9 batting lineup

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on December 5, 2013, 7:46 GMT

    Rule # 18 It is not disgraceful for an SA captain to ask for green pitch with grass and for CSA+Curators to grant the wish on a platter. But it is disgraceful for an Indian Captain to ask for a turning pitch.

    No, these are not double standards. These are the normal 'fair' standards we have been seeing for decades. Take a bow MSD, for your attitude of couldn't care less for the established 'fair' standards.

  • on December 5, 2013, 7:41 GMT

    pandu tem no 1 @ than why srilanka and pakistan cant be no 1 even playing in the subcontinent in their home, they are so medilore that they cant even win at home let alone outside asia. crickinfo please publish.

  • crick_sucks on December 5, 2013, 7:02 GMT

    It is funny AB terms Indian bowlers as weak. Your bowlers conceded the first double hundred in an ODI, conceded 331 against India recently and also conceded 434 against Australia. At the end of the day, Indian have nothing to lose. A series win will be great but if they lose it was expected. But if SA lose then serious questions will be raised on AB's captaincy, Kallis placein the ODI team. Not to forget they lost to Pak, NZ and SL recently. In this back drop AB is talking up his team. It sounds like he is trying to convince himself that they are a better team than India.

  • Naresh28 on December 5, 2013, 6:46 GMT

    This is going to be a learning curve for our youngsters. Now that India has completed the exercise to remove the old guard, they needed to give a chance to someone like PUJARA in an ODI. This will not happen as he is not part of the odi squad. He could have come in to stabilize the middle order. Then again the current lot has played together and are riding high on confidence. Another aspect is that they have found a better balance in the bowling lineup. Gone are guys like Vinay, Unadkat and probably Ishant will not get a chance until he proves that he has made strides in correcting his problems. Shami is the one who has given respite to our bowling lineup.

  • cric_gates on December 5, 2013, 6:21 GMT

    Yes definitely we are not the best bowling attack in the world.I consider SA to be the best. No2 Pakistan, No 3 England and definitely No 4 is India in terms of Bowling attack.AB pointed out that Indian bowling conceded 5 300+ total in 8 games. What he will say about AUS bowling( Aus conceded 360 in just 43 over during run chase).Aus do conceded 4 time 300+ in 5 matches they played here in India.Indian bowling played a huge role in winning us Champions trophy this year.AB consider his team to be best but still his team ODI performance is at per below average and they are sliding in Ranking.AB and Dhoni are current best ODI player but there is huge difference in both.AB leaves his team to lose from winning to losing scenario by going to pavilion just before finishing the match( what we saw in 2nd ODI against Pak). Dhoni leaves for pavilion only by bringing his team from losing to winning position( there are countless examples).

  • on December 5, 2013, 5:53 GMT

    I dont think whatever ABD told is wrong. He is just telling the past stats and is trying to motivate his team. I think people here are exaggerating. It happens everywhere and even in India also. As an Indian, i would like to cheer up SA to give their best, but still want India to win. ComeOn India. Come on SA.

  • kayveea on December 5, 2013, 4:59 GMT

    Like Dhoni said, it's all about exploiting the available resources to its fullest potential. ABD conveniently forgets that is this same SA conditions, India reached WC2003 finals and won 20-20WC2007. But what SAF did in both those tournaments? Not even reached elimination rounds! In Subcontinent conditions, same Indian team won 2011 World cup.. What SAF did? not even reached elimination round... Please ABD grow up. Yes, you've good team but its all about utilizing them effectively. Just having good players can't get you wins. If that's the case, India should've been awarded many tournaments in the past decade.

  • Prateek65900 on December 5, 2013, 4:22 GMT

    While talking about Indian batting Devilliers remembers that they batted on sub-continent pitches and will not make such an impact.....however, while criticising Indian bowling he forgets that the Indian bowling has been bowling on those same pitches where they get nothing from the pitch....if they make green tracks....it may well work in favour of Indians as they will get help from the pitches and also the Indian Batsman are in such terrific form and they have played in South Africa before which will help....besides making green tops will only help Indian in getting valuabhle practice for the tests....

  • MaruthuDelft on December 5, 2013, 4:21 GMT

    AB never says things this way. Obviously AB is not happy with the attitude of BCCI and India. So do the rest of the world. But unfortunately he can only beat India in cricket. He can't stop India propagating bad culture because they are 1.2b. But again it could be a start. Go SA; thrash India.

  • himanshu.team on December 5, 2013, 3:08 GMT

    All those who want to show past stats to India are in for a big shock. De Villiers has spoken big but forgot that this Indian side has a couple of seamers who can consistently hit 140+ and yet bowl in the areas they want and extract movement from there. There is Bhuvi who swings the ball even in Indian conditions at will. None of them have played in international matches in SA and therefore, SA may feel preparing a green top is a good bet. Truth is that they know pretty well that if the conditions don't suit fast bowlers, India would either post 300+ totals, or will chase down targets in 40 overs or less. It is the fear of Indian batsmen, that drives this line of thinking. They are ignoring the fact that even in seam friendly conditions, India are a much better batting side than SA.

  • on December 5, 2013, 1:07 GMT

    I don't know what so controversial about his statements he is right they are very good at home, India are away from home and they have never won a series in South Africa, his comments were not particularly out of context here.

  • on December 5, 2013, 0:35 GMT

    I don't know why South Africans are behaving like Australians and fighting are sledging. They lost to Pakistan and now it their turn to to loose against India. Any team which involves in sledging are having a fear and they want make most out of their little infrastructural advantage which in their case is the pitch conditions. I am sure they are following the Australian ways. India never tortures the host team like Australians and South Africans do when they come to India. They should learn that they are there to play and not talk to media. Behave properly and mannerly like the English team does. I feel media also should behave properly in South Africa and do not cover anything which tends to harm the host team confidence.

  • on December 4, 2013, 22:50 GMT

    I think what ab should say is...we're a great test team and a pretty poor odi side..I fully expect India to win the odi series

    Why he comes out with comments like this I dont know...very embarrassing if it doesn't go to plan...

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on December 4, 2013, 21:53 GMT

    India is just going to walk all over the Proteas. SA batting is appalling. Trundler tsotsobe will have nightmares after this ODI series.

  • InsideHedge on December 4, 2013, 21:18 GMT

    Agree with those that recommend Umesh Yadav, I've always liked this guy and IMO a far better bowler (long term) than Bhuvi and Shami.

    DeVilliers seems to be in an unusually aggressive mood, it may be a dictum to his troops who failed against Pak when they seemed to have both the 1st two games in the bag. Pak bowled very well against SA and AvB probably feels that India will always give up more runs to his teams esp against batters who have enjoyed Indian bowling incl the skipper himself.

    It should be noted that AvB has now good experience of how the Indian players think, their psychological makeup. His pre match aggression should make this series good viewing.

    For India, the ODIs scheduled before the Tests is a godsend, in the past the BCCI has never understood the importance. I'm not sure if it was planned or just a coincidence.

  • Fogu on December 4, 2013, 21:10 GMT

    This will be a good contest but in my opinion, SA has the advantage. People comparing SA's struggle in UAE are forgetting that the pitches in UAE were not flat by any stretch of the imagination and PK bowling attack is one of the best in the world. Real question is, can SA overcome their tendency of losing wickets at inopprortune time. We know IN can bat but can they handle the hostilities in the first 15 overs? Neutral fan's perspective.

  • on December 4, 2013, 20:47 GMT

    I am loving the way how a lot of biased Indian Fans are shouting here, and some also believe they are going to win a Test Series in SA, hilarious at times. I don't even consider India to be among the top 3 test teams, ICC Rankings may tell a different story though. But do believe India has a very good chance of winning the ODI series as SA ODI team is unsettled and even though they have good bunch of players in the squad they end up chosing a wrong team again and again. But please don't say that India has any chance of winning a Test Match over there, there's a huge gulf there. Players to watch out for : SA - AB De Villiers, Hashim Amla, David Miller, Dale Steyn and INDIA - Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli, Mohammed Shami

  • CricketFanIndUS on December 4, 2013, 20:45 GMT

    AB is one of my favorite players among the overseas lot. What he says here is fair and professional, except for the bit about "the lack of care South Africa displayed against Pakistan". Every series loss can be written off saying we did not care enough for it. It happens in reality, with the packed schedules these two teams have, but it cannot be used an an excuse. It is not fair to Pakistan nor to the fans. Regarding the Indian bowlers, they may end up performing better than their batsmen brothers, as most of the batsmen have little overseas experience. It will be interesting to see how our bowlers and batsmen adapt and learn in the drastically different wickets they will face in the 4 tours scheduled.

  • viru-319-219 on December 4, 2013, 20:39 GMT

    @Greatest_Game ... Don't speak about stats to Indians mate we are far far above the world in terms of stats. Do you know total aggregate and number of centuries made by fab 5 of Indian lineup( Sehwag,Dravid,Sachin,Laxman and Ganguly). Where do your batsman stand. Kallis is the only batsman who can compete that group. Cricket is never about stats or past it is all about present and Now Kallis is not in form also he's got few grey hair,Smith is not in form,DeKock still not matured and Duminy lost his art of finishing the games. And in the same PRESENT 3 Indian top 3 scored over thousand this year let it be on Indian tracks. We Indians feel honored with the kind of batsmen we produce. If you complain about flat tracks,opposition also plays on same flat tracks and why no one among them got 200 in ODIs while Indians got 3. Just grow up mate criticizing India doesn't take anything away from their success and the heights this team will reach... finally you are very bad at analyzing cricket

  • on December 4, 2013, 20:37 GMT

    I think de villiers is forgetting that he is a part of the chokers team who when under pressure have lost a lot of games in the past{Never won any major world title} and everyone knows that this great team lost badly to No 8 ranked New Zealand at home not so long ago..And a No 5 team is always an under dog vs No 1.South africa also has never won a series in india.

  • on December 4, 2013, 20:02 GMT

    I personally am waiting for India to post those freakish 350 plus totals in foreign conditions. Lets see how good their batting really is.

  • pull_shot on December 4, 2013, 19:50 GMT

    what z with size of d ground? yuvaraj hit 6 6's in Saf and anybody forget epic 438 chase and first match in t20 wc 2007 saf vs wi these show saf grounds r high scoring some times. I remembered ABD say same things before champions trophy

  • Greatest_Game on December 4, 2013, 19:45 GMT

    @ Cpt.Meanster. Your concluding line of your post sums it all up very very well: "The no.1 ODI team vs. a very good team that plays well at home."

    There is nothing that can be taken for granted here, except for the fact that we are in for some good cricket. The Indian batting could blow SA away; the SA bowling could blow India away; the SA batting could click & again be the power that kept SA on top of the ODI heap for 4 years; the Indian pace bowlers could suddenly feast on surfaces that aid them, and prove to be a potent force.

    I don't think we will see a run fest, nor any batting collapses. I think we will see hard fought battles between bat and ball, and tough, fighting cricket. However, I make no predictions - I'm guaranteed to be wrong, just as are all of us.

    Two good teams - a lot of question marks. This should be worth watching every minute. Good luck to both, and may the games be played in the best spirit of cricket, as games between India & SA have always been played.

  • Greatest_Game on December 4, 2013, 19:28 GMT

    @ BigINDFan - I forgot to include that Kallis' average against India, in SA, is 64, Amla 62, Duminy 61….

    Read the series stats analysis preview here: http://www.espncricinfo.com/south-africa-v-india-2013-14/content/story/697045.html

  • Unmesh_cric on December 4, 2013, 19:18 GMT

    If South Africa prepares green pitches for the ODI matches, that would be great for the Indian team! Even if India goes on to lose the ODI series, who cares? Everybody knows that SA are going to CHOKE when it really matters...like in World Cup matches. So go ahead and prepare the green pitches for ODIs. By the time the Test series comes up, the Indian batsmen will be well acclimatize with green pitches. So we will beat them in the Test series which actually matters. And all this talk of India not doing well in SA is without much basis. Last time India visited SA, the Test series was shared 1-1. Before that series the 2006-2007 series was 2-1 in favor of SA..not exactly overwhelming. I am afraid SA are shooting themselves in foot by preparing green pitches for the ODIs.

  • Cpt.Meanster on December 4, 2013, 18:50 GMT

    AB is a very level headed guy. You need guys like MS and AB to captain teams. They bring a free flowing spirit to the game. IMO, SA are not underdogs. Nobody is an underdog in their own conditions. I am sure the Indian team respect and agree to that. That's why they have been preparing so hard for this tour. They are looking to beat SA in SA for the first time in many years. To beat ANY team, you have to work hard and SA are a good team. India are surely the better team but SA have better bowlers. It will be a mouth watering prospect no doubt. The no.1 ODI team vs. a very good team that plays well at home.

  • yuvi_gladiator on December 4, 2013, 18:48 GMT

    win the toss, bowl first as there will be dew

  • on December 4, 2013, 18:45 GMT

    If history was the sole criteria to decide the outcome of a series England would not have won the series in India.. I just get the feeling that India might surprise SA in a few games!! AB seems to be doing a Gambhir here. Bragging about India's weakness against genuine quick bowling and bouncy pitches is eerily similar to Gambhir pin pointing England's weakness against spin just before their home series against England. It wont be a mere surrender by team India like in England and Australia and I expect the young guns to fight. Good luck to MSD and his boys!! Wanderers .. Bring it on!!

  • Greatest_Game on December 4, 2013, 18:31 GMT

    @ BigINDFan writes "Definitely the SA batting apart from AB and Amla are not capable of posting big scores."

    Not capable, he says. Not capable. Have you ever seen the record of that fellow JH Kallis? 11 554 ODI runs - 17 tons, 86 50s. (and 272 wickets) Young Q de Kock has been exceptionally good - in fact the best - at racking up high scores in the domestic competitions - on these very pitches, against SA's bowling.

    SA in the most difficult country in which to score runs. S Rajesh, cricinfo stats editor, has shown this several times. The difficulty will not be posting big scores - but just posting some scores - and the team that has been feasting on tired bowling on dead flat roads will be well tested to see who is "capable."

  • on December 4, 2013, 18:15 GMT

    India should think about picking Umesh as the third seamer in these conditions. Mohit Sharma is not much faster than Bhubi , neither possesses the prodigious swing which Bhubi uses to make up for his lack of pace. Umesh may go for a few runs, but can also pose some question to the SA batters in their homeground. Shami should be the key.

  • BigINDFan on December 4, 2013, 17:58 GMT

    While AB is right about the stats he needs to realized that SA struggled to post or chase good scores in the UAE which is quite close to the Indian conditions. So calling the Ind bowlers as lacking depth based on 300+ scores is valid given Vinay Kumar and Ishant Sharma being the major culprits. However Mitch Johnson went for runs too. I wonder how the SA bowlers would have fared barring Steyn in those conditions. Definitely the SA batting apart from AB and Amla are not capable of posting big scores. It is their bowling that wins matches for them.

    It will be a good contest since the Ind quicks can enjoy the lot of grass just like the SA bowlers experienced or not.

    Steyn will be the difference in bowling and Amla in batting. For Ind it will be Bhuvi and Kohli.

  • on December 4, 2013, 17:27 GMT

    I am rooting for RSA with the hope that they put on a spectacular show.

  • gsingh7 on December 4, 2013, 17:00 GMT

    hoping from indian side to give a good response now. india are world champions , champions trophy winners and best odi ranked team not without reason. unbeaten in ct2013 and won 6 back to back odi series in this year alone. i am predicting 2-1 win for india considering there is big gap between these two sides on official icc rankings. even pakistan who are going through transition phase and 6th in odis defeated sa in sa 2-1 just few weeks backs. may the best team win.

  • on December 4, 2013, 16:40 GMT

    India definitely a better side here but problem with India is that their bad habit of slow acclimatization. They can easily lose a couple of games in the process, still I hope this is a much better Indian team compare to what he had in past tours. India should play with ishant ahead of mohit in these condition as he has much experience & enough pace to exploit these conditions. Yadav too will be perfect as a 3rd bowler, but he needs to learn how to contain runs. Yuvi although not in the best form but can play his role if our first 3 give a perfect start.

  • panduteam1 on December 4, 2013, 16:27 GMT

    ABD has got this right. India has been no. 1 ODI team for a while now team, however, they have struggled to win series abroad. India's Batting may have carried them to the no.1 spot but if they have to retain the tag longer their bowlers will have start showing up for matches. With SA conditions in mind I think SA shd comfortably win this series (3-0 or 2-1). Once again its going to be Indian batsman vs SA bowlers. Its going to be a test for rohit, virat and dhawan. Raina is a beneficiary anyways so not much expected of him. Yuvi struggles with short bowling. MSD though can make a difference. Ashwin and Jadeja will continue to put mediocre performances. B kumar will again threaten to run through opposition without actually doing it. Shami is good right now but I fear he is soon going to board the wagon "line and length more important than pace" and will reduce his pace.

  • Dev_Sachinfan on December 4, 2013, 16:20 GMT

    I Wish my team to do well and create new history...! All the best Guys...!

  • on December 4, 2013, 16:18 GMT

    The series will be over before we know it.Before you settle down in your comfy chair with some snacks the action is nearing to a close!Seems meaningless,just like the West Indies tour was.5 odis or tri-nations should be the norm.And three matches when it comes to tests.

  • Electric_L0ser_Wacko on December 4, 2013, 16:03 GMT

    Hoping for a good contest..talk about doctoring the pitch...I hope AB's statement should silence some of the usual india haters here.. atleast we don't use the lame old excuse of how unsportive the pitch is...watch out SA..it might work against your team as well..good luck n let the games begin!

  • MJ-Sid on December 4, 2013, 16:03 GMT

    Building up to what I hope is going to be a cracker of a series.

  • LegSpinBowlr on December 4, 2013, 15:59 GMT

    Good luck to both teams. When the article says indian bowlers conceded 300+ in in their previous innings they should consider the nature of pitch, which is sub continental. If there is a green top then they might not have conceded so much, maybe. So is the case with the batting order of india. Most of the indian players are familiar with the pitches in SA as they played champions league with MI winning the tournament. Like the article says if SA prepare green top bhuvi,shami and zak can exploit the surface as much as SA can. It comes down to which bowling line up bowls a better length on that day.

  • on December 4, 2013, 15:48 GMT

    I think its India who are the underdogs....I would like the Indian team to think that way and not get carried away by their success in the subcontinent. The proteas have been defeated in their den by the Pakistanis and they would be coming hard at the Indians.

  • crick_sucks on December 4, 2013, 15:46 GMT

    AB is sounding over confident despite the fact that his side just lost to Pak. Is it a strategy one has to wait and see. And also if he can walk the talk.

  • viru-319-219 on December 4, 2013, 15:45 GMT

    I don't really understand the logic in blaming Indian bowlers when the opposition bowlers are conceding more than them. Indian bowling lineup is very under rated and we will see their real potential in SA. Indian bowlers are capable of utilizing any help they have (because they rarely have it). SA beware if you are underestimating Indian bowling that might be the biggest mistake you are making.

  • on December 4, 2013, 15:38 GMT

    Only two Indian batsmen that I know who can perform really well outside their home grounds are Kohli and Dhoni. They have to perform really good if they have to give a good total to Proteas bowlers.

  • on December 4, 2013, 15:32 GMT

    Its going to be one fantastic series of cricket..

  • SnowSnake on December 4, 2013, 15:29 GMT

    If SA's bowling does not deliver then it is all over for SA. Steyn alone may not be enough for SA in ODIs.

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  • SnowSnake on December 4, 2013, 15:29 GMT

    If SA's bowling does not deliver then it is all over for SA. Steyn alone may not be enough for SA in ODIs.

  • on December 4, 2013, 15:32 GMT

    Its going to be one fantastic series of cricket..

  • on December 4, 2013, 15:38 GMT

    Only two Indian batsmen that I know who can perform really well outside their home grounds are Kohli and Dhoni. They have to perform really good if they have to give a good total to Proteas bowlers.

  • viru-319-219 on December 4, 2013, 15:45 GMT

    I don't really understand the logic in blaming Indian bowlers when the opposition bowlers are conceding more than them. Indian bowling lineup is very under rated and we will see their real potential in SA. Indian bowlers are capable of utilizing any help they have (because they rarely have it). SA beware if you are underestimating Indian bowling that might be the biggest mistake you are making.

  • crick_sucks on December 4, 2013, 15:46 GMT

    AB is sounding over confident despite the fact that his side just lost to Pak. Is it a strategy one has to wait and see. And also if he can walk the talk.

  • on December 4, 2013, 15:48 GMT

    I think its India who are the underdogs....I would like the Indian team to think that way and not get carried away by their success in the subcontinent. The proteas have been defeated in their den by the Pakistanis and they would be coming hard at the Indians.

  • LegSpinBowlr on December 4, 2013, 15:59 GMT

    Good luck to both teams. When the article says indian bowlers conceded 300+ in in their previous innings they should consider the nature of pitch, which is sub continental. If there is a green top then they might not have conceded so much, maybe. So is the case with the batting order of india. Most of the indian players are familiar with the pitches in SA as they played champions league with MI winning the tournament. Like the article says if SA prepare green top bhuvi,shami and zak can exploit the surface as much as SA can. It comes down to which bowling line up bowls a better length on that day.

  • MJ-Sid on December 4, 2013, 16:03 GMT

    Building up to what I hope is going to be a cracker of a series.

  • Electric_L0ser_Wacko on December 4, 2013, 16:03 GMT

    Hoping for a good contest..talk about doctoring the pitch...I hope AB's statement should silence some of the usual india haters here.. atleast we don't use the lame old excuse of how unsportive the pitch is...watch out SA..it might work against your team as well..good luck n let the games begin!

  • on December 4, 2013, 16:18 GMT

    The series will be over before we know it.Before you settle down in your comfy chair with some snacks the action is nearing to a close!Seems meaningless,just like the West Indies tour was.5 odis or tri-nations should be the norm.And three matches when it comes to tests.