India in South Africa 2013-14 December 12, 2013

Zaheer, Ashwin promise fight in Tests

178

Two of India's most experienced bowlers, Zaheer Khan and R Ashwin, have promised a better fight in the upcoming Tests after India were blanked 2-0 in the ODIs. Zaheer, one of the few in this Indian team not shy to have a word, has begun to stir up the opposition. Ashwin, meanwhile, has said he will not throw in the towel just yet.

When asked to respond to South Africa players' comments that they have scarred a few of the visitors, Zaheer made his feelings known. "You know, talk is talk," Zaheer said. "You can talk as much as you like outside. Once you go on to the field, it's all about doing. And I think this Indian team will do the needful. Whatever it's going to take to win this series."

Zaheer is a bowler who plays mind games well. Once he spots a weakness in a batsman, he goes all the way with it. He has done that to South Africa's Test captain, Graeme Smith, successfully in the past. This in itself, many Indian pundits felt, was reason enough to bring Zaheer to South Africa. And he is no mood to let Smith forget that he has dismissed him 13 times in 396 balls in all international cricket. Asked if he had any new plans to get Smith out, Zaheer said, "I just have to turn up."

Just so he didn't sound too obnoxious, though, Zaheer added, "Having said that, Graeme Smith has got a terrific record in Test matches. He's a good leader. It's good to have that advantage. When you go into a match and have that edge over someone who has been a good opener and [has] been scoring consistently at the highest level."

Ashwin is part of the ODI side that has taken a hammering in the recently concluded ODI series, which India lost 2-0. He is a combative and proud man too. It doesn't sit well with him that he has gone for 169 runs off 168 balls for a solitary wicket in the series thus far. He might, rightly, not agree that India's performance so far is a "disaster", but pride says he will have give it his all in the Tests.

"I am definitely here in terms of looking to fight and just go on fighting," Ashwin said. "I am prepared for a fight. I want to take it to the field and see what I can actually do. Be it with catching, be it with bowling or be it with batting. I am prepared for all. So I am just going to go out there and make sure that I at least give it 100% of what I can to try for a series win. It cannot get any better. It means the most to me in life."

Ashwin said that he started to work on his Test bowling during the last, inconsequential, ODI, although he did also, for some reason, mention that he had achieved what he wanted to achieve through his bowling in the ODIs. "In terms of what I wanted to achieve out of the ODI series, it's pretty much through," Ashwin, on his first tour to South Africa, said. "I wanted to test the conditions, see how much it responded to what I was delivering. Yesterday, pretty much, the Test match was more on my mind. I thought I can toss a lot more balls up and see where it goes. Definitely the ball was drifting much more.

"I think it's got to [do] much [with] the air in terms of what I'm planning to do here. [I just] try and set fields and bowl straighter lines. I've chatted to a few people who have been here and done well so that's going to help. I'd like to play the situation rather than anything else. I've prepared myself in terms of what I can deliver at the best of my abilities, and then I'll take the situation at hand and do what the situation demands."

Patience and accuracy, Ashwin said, were going to be key to performing well in the Test series. Asked if his mindset changes from being a wicket-taker to the one holding up one end when he goes out of Asia, he said, "Whatever I have heard and whatever tour I have gone on, I was always expected to take wickets. There's no two ways about it. I have my personal expectations, and I would like to do well anywhere I go.

"Nothing means more to me than an overseas victory. In terms of planning a spell or building up a scenario, it's going to be the key here. Need to be patient here, in terms of let[ting] things happen, rather than look to make things happen. The time will come when you can make things happen."

Ashwin said he will need to contribute not only as a bowler, but also as a batsman and fielder. "There are three facets of the game," Ashwin said. "I'll be standing at slips, I'll be bowling, I'll be batting. I would fight in every department. I am dead serious about it. I will definitely throw every bit. I will never throw the towel, and I'll try and see where I can go [from] here. There is nothing that will mean more to me than a victory overseas."

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • raghu_CF on December 13, 2013, 11:52 GMT

    Indian current crop of test team players is good hardworking and talented bunch. It would be good if these players can spend a season or two in county cricket( mother of first class cricket ). Not only will it help in technical growth of our players in testing swing conditions but also in overall personality development( as said by former players like Ravi Shastri, Tendulkar, Waqar Younis etc. ),

    Vijay can play long innings so as Pujara. But in international arena Vijay yet to prove that in foreign conditions. Shikar is aggressive and will be exciting how he would approach facing new ball. Virat and Rohit are exciting batsmen looking forward to see how they complement each other in the important number 4,5. one of Rahane/ Rayudu got the chance to cement their places in the test line up. Shami got the required pace, confidence joining with spearhead Zaheer. If Ishant can join the party with Ashwin bowling the contain role no reason why India can't put a fight ! All the best !!

  • Waves239 on December 12, 2013, 17:20 GMT

    I did watch star sports program named MASTERCLASS Wasim Akram episode last week. What Wasim mentioned is worth taking a note. He pointed that most of the bowlers seem to rush through in trying everything they got in a spell. It works if conditions favor seam, swing, spin respectively. Once you assess the conditions and corresponding strengths not working then try to contain the batsmen with tight line and lengths. That allows to build pressure on the batsmen.

    Anil Kumble another legend motivated young bowlers that spin, drift etc., are all our weapons but without building pressure everything is useless.

    We want you (Ashwin) keep your milestones away and contain the batsmen first, don't expect Johannesburg Wanderers to turn even one-tenth of Chennai Chepauk consistently. Use the bounce of the pitch, your own height factor and contain the batsmen. Any good amount of drift and spin is doubly bonus. Build pressure! Let Shamis, Khans capitalize and may even fetch you couple ..

  • crindex on December 17, 2013, 14:30 GMT

    If one were to go by what happened in the ODIs , SA is clear favourites winning the test series 2-0. India stands no chance at all. But there is a lesson to be learnt in the art of batting in fast surfaces , abroad. Hope Indian batsmen put their BIG egos aside and learn that.

  • Fijicricket on December 16, 2013, 11:07 GMT

    @ Solid_Snake on (December 13, 2013, 10:04 GMT) India will Fight as much as you want..and will ensure they dont get bowled out for 49 and tests that could have ended in 2 days that were deliberately lengthened by South Africa against Pakistan lolzzzzzz

  • Fijicricket on December 16, 2013, 11:03 GMT

    @TommytuckerSaffa on (December 14, 2013, 20:28 GMT) South Africa have never won a world cup in any country or any format!. This trend will continue.

  • crindex on December 16, 2013, 7:48 GMT

    Ashwin and other bowlers will have to work hard during this series. Its not going to be easy . Let them show that on the field...

  • on December 15, 2013, 18:42 GMT

    i would prefer umesh yadav over bhuvi because of his pace. Umesh is somewhat like sreesanth with less control over line/lenght but was successful in taking wickets with ocassional rippers. Umesh also did well in australia before getting injured. Australia & south africa pitches are somewhat the same.

  • Yogeshdg on December 15, 2013, 13:53 GMT

    One day is a different ball game compared to test cricket .We cant compare.We know all teams struggle with conditions when they go overseas. India has never won a series in SA or Australia. Even these teams struggle when they come to India but their performance in India is comparatively better than India's performance in those countries. To just compare SA and India since 1992 when they began playing. India played 16 tests in SA . They have won 2 , lost 8 and drawn 6.

    SA played 12 tests in India. They have won 5 , lost 5 and drawn 2. SA have won a series in India in 2000. India is yet to win a series in SA. If you check stats against Australia, it is worse. particularly since we need to go back to the 47s so there is more data:)

    But again Australia has won series in India on many occasions. India is yet to win one over there.

    India's success will depend on Zaheer and Ishant mainly (Pace) I think the Johannesburg pitch is good for spinners but Ashwin is no Anil kumble :)

  • Ocajian on December 15, 2013, 6:55 GMT

    Such a damn pity that this is not a 3 or 5 test series. I've always loved watching the titanic battles between Zaheer Khan and the South African batsman.

    Hopefully the Proteas end up destroying India as revenge for bullying us into a much shorter tour schedule.

  • on December 15, 2013, 2:31 GMT

    Best Indian XI. vijay, dhawan, pujara, kholi, rohit, rahanee, dhoni, ojha, zaheer, shami, bhuvi. U already have 6 batsman and bhuvi who has first class test centuries. So prefer going for the better spinner in ojha.

  • raghu_CF on December 13, 2013, 11:52 GMT

    Indian current crop of test team players is good hardworking and talented bunch. It would be good if these players can spend a season or two in county cricket( mother of first class cricket ). Not only will it help in technical growth of our players in testing swing conditions but also in overall personality development( as said by former players like Ravi Shastri, Tendulkar, Waqar Younis etc. ),

    Vijay can play long innings so as Pujara. But in international arena Vijay yet to prove that in foreign conditions. Shikar is aggressive and will be exciting how he would approach facing new ball. Virat and Rohit are exciting batsmen looking forward to see how they complement each other in the important number 4,5. one of Rahane/ Rayudu got the chance to cement their places in the test line up. Shami got the required pace, confidence joining with spearhead Zaheer. If Ishant can join the party with Ashwin bowling the contain role no reason why India can't put a fight ! All the best !!

  • Waves239 on December 12, 2013, 17:20 GMT

    I did watch star sports program named MASTERCLASS Wasim Akram episode last week. What Wasim mentioned is worth taking a note. He pointed that most of the bowlers seem to rush through in trying everything they got in a spell. It works if conditions favor seam, swing, spin respectively. Once you assess the conditions and corresponding strengths not working then try to contain the batsmen with tight line and lengths. That allows to build pressure on the batsmen.

    Anil Kumble another legend motivated young bowlers that spin, drift etc., are all our weapons but without building pressure everything is useless.

    We want you (Ashwin) keep your milestones away and contain the batsmen first, don't expect Johannesburg Wanderers to turn even one-tenth of Chennai Chepauk consistently. Use the bounce of the pitch, your own height factor and contain the batsmen. Any good amount of drift and spin is doubly bonus. Build pressure! Let Shamis, Khans capitalize and may even fetch you couple ..

  • crindex on December 17, 2013, 14:30 GMT

    If one were to go by what happened in the ODIs , SA is clear favourites winning the test series 2-0. India stands no chance at all. But there is a lesson to be learnt in the art of batting in fast surfaces , abroad. Hope Indian batsmen put their BIG egos aside and learn that.

  • Fijicricket on December 16, 2013, 11:07 GMT

    @ Solid_Snake on (December 13, 2013, 10:04 GMT) India will Fight as much as you want..and will ensure they dont get bowled out for 49 and tests that could have ended in 2 days that were deliberately lengthened by South Africa against Pakistan lolzzzzzz

  • Fijicricket on December 16, 2013, 11:03 GMT

    @TommytuckerSaffa on (December 14, 2013, 20:28 GMT) South Africa have never won a world cup in any country or any format!. This trend will continue.

  • crindex on December 16, 2013, 7:48 GMT

    Ashwin and other bowlers will have to work hard during this series. Its not going to be easy . Let them show that on the field...

  • on December 15, 2013, 18:42 GMT

    i would prefer umesh yadav over bhuvi because of his pace. Umesh is somewhat like sreesanth with less control over line/lenght but was successful in taking wickets with ocassional rippers. Umesh also did well in australia before getting injured. Australia & south africa pitches are somewhat the same.

  • Yogeshdg on December 15, 2013, 13:53 GMT

    One day is a different ball game compared to test cricket .We cant compare.We know all teams struggle with conditions when they go overseas. India has never won a series in SA or Australia. Even these teams struggle when they come to India but their performance in India is comparatively better than India's performance in those countries. To just compare SA and India since 1992 when they began playing. India played 16 tests in SA . They have won 2 , lost 8 and drawn 6.

    SA played 12 tests in India. They have won 5 , lost 5 and drawn 2. SA have won a series in India in 2000. India is yet to win a series in SA. If you check stats against Australia, it is worse. particularly since we need to go back to the 47s so there is more data:)

    But again Australia has won series in India on many occasions. India is yet to win one over there.

    India's success will depend on Zaheer and Ishant mainly (Pace) I think the Johannesburg pitch is good for spinners but Ashwin is no Anil kumble :)

  • Ocajian on December 15, 2013, 6:55 GMT

    Such a damn pity that this is not a 3 or 5 test series. I've always loved watching the titanic battles between Zaheer Khan and the South African batsman.

    Hopefully the Proteas end up destroying India as revenge for bullying us into a much shorter tour schedule.

  • on December 15, 2013, 2:31 GMT

    Best Indian XI. vijay, dhawan, pujara, kholi, rohit, rahanee, dhoni, ojha, zaheer, shami, bhuvi. U already have 6 batsman and bhuvi who has first class test centuries. So prefer going for the better spinner in ojha.

  • kbza86 on December 14, 2013, 23:00 GMT

    @ Vigneshwaran19 Do you know the difference between ODI cricket and test cricket???? obviously not...its no our fault that out of a billion people you battle to find 2 decent fast bowlers...in a country that has cricket as thier no 1 sport...we produce world class batsmen(that perform in all conditions consistently) we could find a pace bowler in the blitz bokke rugby team that would burst into your starting 11..

  • TommytuckerSaffa on December 14, 2013, 20:28 GMT

    India have never won a series in SA. This trend will continue.

  • Testcricketistop on December 14, 2013, 20:13 GMT

    Anand, wake up mate, this is ot the IPL, it isn't played in India, and definitely not played with a white ball,

    This is test cricket, different conditions, different field placements, different run ups and in South Africa.

    You are fooling yourself if you are going to compare an over in IPL with an over in SA.

  • Vigneshwaran19 on December 14, 2013, 20:07 GMT

    Dear SA fans, We do agree you have a well balanced pace attack. But just remember how sreeshanth demolished you in your own background by giving a bit of your own medicine. Zak may be old, but still he has the prowess of a tiger to haunt your side. Remember in the champions trophy, we did not even lose a single match even in the practice games and won the trophy this year with a new team. Our players will rise to the Occasion.

  • on December 14, 2013, 18:43 GMT

    Friends, why are you shouting so -vely for India ? It is but natural for every player a bit struggle in overseas condition. Evrybody is watching what Englad & WI are struggling the same way. WI won easily with the same opponents in their home series & same happened in last ashes in England. Can anybody predict De Cock will perform same in India againnst same Ashwin & Jadeja ? What happened to Steyn in last IPL when his countryman Devilliers hit 27 runs in one over for RCB ? So what India is having hard time is a just part of the game. I m sure, Our heros Shikhar, Virat & Rohit must be working hard for test series. In ODIs definately nobody among these 3, threw their wickets or scared of bouncers of SA bowlere. Its only lack of practice games which should have been there before ODIs. This is very important series for Rohit, Shikhar & Virat. They are the three young pillers of our Indian batting. We should support them instead of only critisism. In tests India will do better. Best wishes

  • Yogeshdg on December 14, 2013, 17:25 GMT

    India has never won a Test series in South Africa and Australia.I just hope I get to see a series win in both countries in my lifetime.In fact last series in South Africa was the first time they managed to draw the series over there.So I am keeping my fingers crossed they will win this one. But I do not think so it will happen.

  • Batmanindallas on December 14, 2013, 14:47 GMT

    Hopefully ashwin would warm the bench and Ojha would play. I have no faith he will do any better than singh abroad...

  • naren1983 on December 14, 2013, 14:33 GMT

    Definitely Zaheer and Ashwin are going to be key players in the coming test series. Ashwin not only just contribute with ball, he is going to help us in scores and catching at slips as well. Zaheer has good technique to take Smith wicket, he also has to find technique to take key players like AB, Amla & Kallis. Our bowlers should not allow SA batsmen to settle down, if we allow, they will take the away from us very quickly especially Amla, AB, Kallis.

  • IndianInnerEdge on December 14, 2013, 12:42 GMT

    Pathetic bowling attack which cannot take even 10 wickets in an innings, leave alone all 20, this bowling attack would struggle to bowl out SA provincial side or Aus State sides in their conditions. The biggest regression indian cricket has done is to go back to zaheer, whose contribution in recent tests has been to try somethin with the new ball, once its 20 overs old, just lay back on the third man boundary and hope something happens with the 2nd new ball.....pathetic......hope we hire Craig MC dermot as a coach else we will be wasting ishant, yadav and shami.....

  • on December 14, 2013, 7:40 GMT

    India can't do worse than a 0-2. Keep up the good work. I don't have much expectation from the Indian team, but there is no harm in showing that players can play everywhere.

  • Sheikasif on December 14, 2013, 1:46 GMT

    Wishing India all the best. India will win. From a Bangla tigers fan.

  • kbza86 on December 13, 2013, 23:49 GMT

    sorry Indian fans there will be no Tino best, Shannon Gabriel and Darren SamI!!! hehehe @ Shannon Gabriel...and also you won't be bowling to Gayle and who ever the rest of thier names are...south africa has the worst pitches in the world??? as supposed to the India pitches?? you guys kill me. I have no doubt kohli is going to put up a fight, so will dhoni..but pujara is a typical philander wkt for me..he hangs back a lot in the crease and will play into philanders hands...why was zak out of the team in the first place? because he was not bowling well or because he was unfit? I don't see him threatening, he is 35!!!

  • Al_Bundy1 on December 13, 2013, 22:23 GMT

    I guess people like @ dishant saingar and @GRVJPR don't think there's a world outside India. Where does it say that cricket should be played on turning tracks only?? Last month Ajmal had great success against the same South African teams on the same grounds. Why can't our own "pause and get smashed" Ashwin take wickets outside India? What about the one and only Sir Jadeja? He can score triple centuries at will in Ranji Trophy, but can't even cross 30 runs on lively wickets. And Virat Kohli - he wanted to crush Zimbabwe, so that he could be more "confident". Where has all that confidence disappeared??

  • on December 13, 2013, 21:40 GMT

    @ sixesandfours are you out of your darn mind?!! ashwin for starters did not play in eng vs england. he only played 3 of the tests vs aus in aus. where he took 9 wickets in 3 games @35 each, which is actually a pretty good record for a spinner on a first tour to aus. He was also indias second highest run scorer on that tour. His worst performance was against Eng at home. but since then he has been a changed bowler in tests. In the bouncy south african pitches, he can extract some very unnerving bounce due to his height. I did notice in the one dayers that he was bowling slow and loopy, of course that is an invitation to get smashed in a one day, but that is the way to bowl in tests! Jadeja will be tonked if he plays and thats a certainity. He can be only effective in picking up wickets with his bowling in home conditions or if the batsmen try to slog him. Neither will happen this series. The best indicator of performance is the attitude. Ash looks very determined and thats great for us

  • on December 13, 2013, 21:19 GMT

    I like ash's attitude going in to the tests. hopefully he backs it up!

  • TommytuckerSaffa on December 13, 2013, 20:38 GMT

    @GRVJPR The sooner you can remove yourself from denial, the better. India do not have a world dominating batting line up. India have a below average bowling line up. Please embrace these facts and look to improve it.

  • on December 13, 2013, 20:34 GMT

    For followers of cricket couple of facts must be clear. South Africa are justifiably the top test side, and the gap between them and 2nd placed India is huge, especially in their home conditions. Having said that, India as the top ODI side needn't be trashed just because they lost one series away. They have also won six on the bounce, (including three away, and a multi-nation ICC trophy), and with the same arsenal. The results of the test series would is surely going to be in favor of SA, simply because they're a better all-round team with better bowlers. That's no downer. For India, the big thing would be to see if Rohit, Pujara, Dhawan, Ashwin etc. find their groove in their first big tour after all the greats of previous two decades are gone. Remember back in 1999 a team with Dravid, Laxman, Ganguly, SRT and Kumble got blanked in Australia too. The important thing was they learned their lessons. The youngsters now need to show the same adaptability and hunger.

  • on December 13, 2013, 19:59 GMT

    Leaving apart pitches and conditions, there is an approach/strategy for every team. Coach or captain can plan and the ones that execute them on field must put some thought and let their game do the talking. We had people who can bowl more than 140+ this time in the squad. Mohammad Shami was stand out performer in the team, but there was run leaking from the other end, I did not understand Rohit's batting strategy in the first ODI, what I saw from the openers was completely the converse from the champions tropy or the previous australian series. No matter what the conditions are players make the team win or loose. Zaheer's inclusion in the team is very sensible, hope his comeback brings change in the dressing room. As far as Ashwin is concerned, its just a bad patch, when you got to adjust for the 3 forms of the game, as a spinner it demands more.

  • Testcricketistop on December 13, 2013, 18:33 GMT

    GRVJPR

    YOUR ANTI south Africa comments are about as ignorant as they come.

    You call our pitches the worst, simply because India lack quality bowlers.

    Muralitharan avarged 26 in South Africa Swann averages 31 in South Africa Shane Warne averaged 24 in South Africa

    If you send quality spinners they are successful.

    Now please stop talking rubbish.

  • on December 13, 2013, 17:55 GMT

    A lot of people are commenting here as to how the flat Indian pitches are killing fast bowling and how the bouncy tracks in South Africa are killing spin bowling without remembering one thing. However hard you may try, you cannot make a fast pitch in Indian conditions. There can be exceptions like Mohali, but in general the climatic conditions and the soil is such that you cannot expect similar wickets to those in South Africa or Australia on a consistent basis. The vice versa also holds good in the case of spinning tracks. Moreover, understand that it is not because of pitches that a particular type of bowling flourishes. Pakistan has even flatter pitches than India, but they are able to produce fast bowlers.

  • mohanram82 on December 13, 2013, 17:31 GMT

    @ dishant saingar... if its really early days for boys, then they should be play in domestic cricket till they ready for international arena like aus and england do.. remeber when dave hussy and george bailey debut in international arena.. and they are not new to cricket.. played lot of mathes in first class before... if its international arena.. its not about giving reasons.. its to win or atleast fight...

  • mohanram82 on December 13, 2013, 17:24 GMT

    @ dishant saingar... if south africa is killing spin den obviously indian pitches killing fast and swing bowling, thats the reason they lost in eng 4-0 and aus 4-0 and now strugling in S.A...we know the economy rate of a fast bowlers in last odi series happen in india against australia... that makes a bad impression on ishant.. but he was an really good bowler remember pointing struggle in australia and 2nd odi in south africa.. only indian piitches killing the fast bowling...

  • on December 13, 2013, 16:36 GMT

    The reason why you'll see Pujara do good in these 2 tests is because he is the only player in this squad who doesnt play for any IPL t20 teams. He is in RCB squad but they don't play him...and that is blessing in disguise for him.

  • on December 13, 2013, 16:33 GMT

    @ GRVJPR- If South African pitches are killing the spinners then how were Pakistani spin bowlers so successful in the recent ODI series???? The fact is a good spin bowler can employ his trade to good effect anywhere in the world including South Africa. And as far as doctored pitches are concerned India prepared one such in Kanpur in 2008 in order to avoid the humiliation of losing a home test series against SA. SA have never prepared such kind of pitches.When India lose there are some who are ready with all kinds of excuses like you.

  • on December 13, 2013, 15:44 GMT

    We need to play ojha and not jadeja. Ojha is our best bowler as far as southafrican conditions go. go blue

  • on December 13, 2013, 15:28 GMT

    I will be neutral in this comment. I have seen blaming of poor wickets, no spin options and India fast bowlers handling the conditions well. In India, good teams score 350+ scores on many occasions. In South Africa, that is not the case and only happens when faced with a poor bowling attack. The proof is when S.A. played both Pakistan and India on the same Pretoria ground, where S.A. didn't make 200 against Pakistan and when playing India, made 300+. S.A. prepare pitches which are fair, did no one hear of 438 game? The most runs ever scored in a one day international. As for turning, pitches turn on the day 4 or 5 Yes Zaheer has had Smiths number, but a lot has changed. Smith is at his peak, while Zaheer has gone past his.AB is one of the best players of spin in the world. Ask or look for comments made by Saeed Ajmal. Why are S.A. number one? The top spots are taken by AB and Amla with Smith also in the top ten best batsman in test cricket, while only Pujara in the top 10. Bowling also

  • strudi74 on December 13, 2013, 15:21 GMT

    GRVJPR going by your logic, India is killing seam bowling by preparing spinner friendly dust bowls to suit their own style. Variety is the glue that holds this great game together, and it is up to each visiting team to adapt to the conditions of the host country. India is now feeling the effects of only playing on those wickets at home - this tour to date has shown how much value the pitches in India bring when they have to tour overseas. It's like asking Australia to prepare a slow turner at the WACA. South African pitches have their own character and you cannot expect to be catered for everywhere you go.

  • on December 13, 2013, 14:56 GMT

    zaheer is best bowler for india when need breakthrough he did for india

  • on December 13, 2013, 14:19 GMT

    both the bowling spearhead look determined..while zaheer will be looking to announce himself onnce again aftr almost a year n do what he does best-take wickets. Ashwin on the other hand, fresh frm the ODI beating is raring to go..the fire is clearly felt in his words.. Cant w8 to see them in action

  • on December 13, 2013, 14:03 GMT

    Well, I agree with @GRVJPR that the South Africans are killing spin bowling. If playing against pacers is a skill then one also requires a skill to play the spinners. South Africans have certainly realised that Indian players are good players of spin and hence they prepared a pitch that completely assisted the pacers and almost killed the spinners. I remember that in 2nd ODI AB was stumped playing against Jadeja on that kinda pitch for spinners and one could certainly feel that he is not comfortable playing against the spinners. I agree that players of India are not comfortable playing against the pacers because these are still very early days for the boys. I read the comments of many fans when India lost the 2 ODI's badly and was really surprised that no one talked about spinners getting zero assistance from pitches prepared.

  • bornon22november on December 13, 2013, 13:56 GMT

    Zaheer has summed it up well and has also given an apt reply to the million dollar question which was asked to him at the press conference. There is a strong reason to believe that the itinerary of India's tour of South Africa wasn't well organized. What BCCI failed to acknowledge or comprehend is that the players need some time to get used to the conditions and bouncy tracks of South Africa. It's a known ploy of the South African team to scare the visitors with a green wicket which assists their fast bowlers. A poor performance in the three ODIs played so far doesn't leapfrog them to the bottom of table as far as the raking is concerned. Indian team does have the ability to bounce back and do that with vengeance. I feel that we are in for a cracker of a contest in next month when India and South Africa would be at it hammer and tongs. The team that would cope well with the pressure, would certainly emerge as the victorious side.

  • on December 13, 2013, 13:42 GMT

    both the bowling spearhead look determined..while zaheer will be looking to announce himself onnce again aftr almost a year n do what he does best-take wickets. Ashwin on the other hand, fresh frm the ODI beating is raring to go..the fire is clearly felt in his words.. Cant w8 to see them in action

  • on December 13, 2013, 12:35 GMT

    Include zaheer.varun aaron, umeshyadav. And also include SANJU SAMSON and give a break to yuvraj and raina sa we all know that they are out of form.These players should be included for the upcoming NewZealand ODIi 's and also give a chance to sehwag his performance in NZ is good..

  • GRVJPR on December 13, 2013, 12:21 GMT

    South African pitches are worst in world. Nothing for spinners where real test of footwork of batsmen lies. Shame on South Africa for killing spin bowling.

  • on December 13, 2013, 11:56 GMT

    if zaheer plays a full test without injury he can definitely take 6 to 8 wickets but he should not breakdown on second or third day.

  • on December 13, 2013, 11:34 GMT

    The entire series hinges on how well India bat. It is a given that India will bowl well. India has always done well in swinging and seaming conditions. Even in SA they have done well as a bowling unit in the last two series they have played there. This time around too it won't be any different, given that they have an added firepower ( the likes of Shami and Bhuvanesh). Plus they have a brilliant fielding side- a rarity from India till now. If they keep the pressure on the Proteas , they are bound to crack ( the whole world knows about it now). Choke them should be the buzzword and Choke the Proteas will.

  • on December 13, 2013, 11:31 GMT

    It is high time you walk the talk. Do this new set of batsmen have the guts to face Styn and co.? Moreover, India is at advantage from day 1, not having any warm-up matches, playing ODIs straight away. They did send A team and Dhawan made 280 odd, now that is a strategy by SA. They would feed placid tracks to mislead your potential. Now the only warm-up match looks like getting washed out. Be ready for some chin music.

  • samvarma on December 13, 2013, 11:22 GMT

    Please dont talk much, perform on the field.

  • Day3 on December 13, 2013, 10:37 GMT

    For the Indian team to have any chance of even extending the 2 test s to Day 4, they have to go in with Ishant, Shami and Zaheer, although I will be really surprised if Zaher comes anywhere close to how effective he used to be in the past. As far as the batters, they r in for some real tough series. Only Kohli n Sharma seem technically sound to try n combat Saf bowlers. No 6 spot is very weak due to lack of quality option, Rayadu should be given a chance.

    On top of that Dhoni for me is not qualified to be the captain of the Test Team due to his lack of understanding of the traditional format of the game. His overseas record as a batsman n capitain is dismal. I hope he doesn't resort to his defensive tactics when the opposition is under pressure as he did on last tour of saf where we could have won the third test n the series had he been less defensive.

  • Jalz007 on December 13, 2013, 10:37 GMT

    Although I do agree SA is not invincible, I disagree with Sa being vulnerable under chasing a target.

    ODI cricket has different pressures in chasing than tests. There you have a limited number of overs to chase, in tests there aren't the same pressure situations.

    The only ground Sa have lost batting last in the past four years was at Durban.

    So if the theory of making SA has any relevance it will be at Durban. However the failures in those three matches came in SA's first innings.

    They were bowled out by: Australia for 138 in 2009 India for 131 in 2010 Sri Lanka for 168 in 2012

  • Solid_Snake on December 13, 2013, 10:04 GMT

    Fight as much as you want..White wash is still coming up for India

  • brusselslion on December 13, 2013, 9:39 GMT

    @Karthik Krishnan: " India should go with ...Six batsmen and five bowlers." Personally, I'd always find room for a WK!

  • on December 13, 2013, 9:23 GMT

    @Parth Choksi you say that India are the real no No. 1 team. Firstly SA have won in England, Australia and have drawn in India the last time. Only loss was against sri lanka in 2006 in away tests. The only team that won SA in SA since 2006 was Australia.

    Lets take india. Lost against England at home. Lost against England away 4-0 lost against Australia 4-0. India only wins in India. You must be a special kind of person and can do mind control and make people believe india are the best even though the results does not back up your ideas.

    You should watch more than one series to talk cricket.

  • on December 13, 2013, 9:01 GMT

    its been done before we have won two tests in southafrica its not impossible its just up to ourbowlers getting the better of them and there will be thing to see myteam for both test matches dhawan vijay pujara r sharma kohli rahane/rayadu dhoni ashwin/jadeja s ahmed zaheer i sharma

  • ramli on December 13, 2013, 8:06 GMT

    11_WARRIOR ... good question ... but Ashwin should certainly play in the XI ... at test level, he is a better batsman than Jadeja and most others seen on view during ODIs

  • on December 13, 2013, 7:54 GMT

    lets see how he can compare..

  • Testcricketistop on December 13, 2013, 7:32 GMT

    Although I do agree SA is not invincible, I disagree with Sa being vulnerable under chasing a target.

    ODI cricket has different pressures in chasing than tests. There you have a limited number of overs to chase, in tests there aren't the same pressure situations.

    The only ground Sa have lost batting last in the past four years was at Durban.

    So if the theory of making SA has any relevance it will be at Durban. However the failures in those three matches came in SA's first innings.

    They were bowled out by: Australia for 138 in 2009 India for 131 in 2010 Sri Lanka for 168 in 2012

  • 11_Warrior on December 13, 2013, 7:17 GMT

    Promise fight ? Sound Good, but can Ashwin certain of make in to the playing eleven.

  • nishha77 on December 13, 2013, 6:48 GMT

    What ever be the composition of the team,dhoni should bat at 4.This will be the best position for him in test matches.

  • ShanNachimuthu on December 13, 2013, 6:39 GMT

    At the beginning of this SA tour the expectation on India was very high which inflicted lot of pressure on them. Now, after ODI 2-0 loss nobody expected India to turn the tables in Tests. As the expecting was low the fear of failure will also be low. This may work in favor of India to deliver much better performance in the longer version. Avoid statements which will induce unnecessary expectations among Indian cricket fans. Plan ahead. Have Plan A, B, & C for every opposition members. If it doesn't work then plan on the fly. Keep this in mind. SA is not invincible, they are highly vulnerable while chasing. As SA is talking about our weakness again and again in the press meetings and playing the mind game. Like that you should talk about their weakness and their recent failures and make them to feel to prove something. This is what you call playing fire with fire. Good luck India Team. Just put up a fight, that is enough.

  • on December 13, 2013, 6:31 GMT

    i agree to all of u.. definitely we are the underdogs in TEST owing to the ODI performance but i'm sure that Indians wont go down without a fight and with ZAK back get ready Smith cause u hve the worst record against his bowling... and SHAMI will come into play with his pace and swing... i hope ashwin can do wat he said... the key for him is to bowl stump to stump and contain with occasional tossed up delivery...

  • TSJ07 on December 13, 2013, 6:31 GMT

    I am staunch supporter of Indian team but I guess we have been let down by wrong selection of squad as well as final eleven. O/W how one would justify that SAME eleven which played its last ODI in India on very flat wicket will be playing next match at one of the quickest pitch? Just no cricketing sense!! And on the top of this not only we played two spinners but also bowled two part times spinners for few overs.In that process we missed the chance of getting wickets which only our fast bowler would have provided.In the end its not surprise that we conceded so many runs and our four spinners ended up taking just 2 wickets between them in three matches. I just hope our selection is spot on in tests, we just need one spinner and Jadeja would be better coz SA has so many R handed in middle order.He may dry up one end which Ashwin has failed to do for the last one yr against good teams.But knowing Dhoni I know he will not compromise on CSK players and will try to accommodate them at any ..

  • on December 13, 2013, 6:20 GMT

    Zaheer sometimes walks the talk, but Ashwin only talks. He talks as if he is a certain starter in the game. However I am decently optimistic regarding bowling . With Zaheers experience and the pace of Yadav and Shami, we can push teh South Africans. We ll also see how the Wall Pujara and the rest of flat track specialists does.

  • on December 13, 2013, 6:16 GMT

    I sincerely dont understand this ashwin bashing.. this guy has just played 3 test matches outside sub continent if im correct.. and someone mentioned he played in england in tests?? ppl writing him off writing him off and discarding.. sure we have pundits commenting all they can.. but unfortunately all i can see is that those ppl display loathing over their hero not in the squad cuz ashwin displaced them till the near future..or he belongs to CSK and their prediction that dhoni is forced to select..whn ppl credit sehwag..one of the wreckless batsmen .. whom i would definitely appreciate his efforts and his legacy. but yes tat guy was wreckless..was supported so much ..even rohit once branded a NOHIt..now being praised..why not say his record was only in the SUBC???. why is there an indifference?? regional bias?? at present.. he is doing much better job than Mr. H.Singh.. and ojha and his partnership with ASH is worth giving few more chances before considering a change..

  • on December 13, 2013, 5:56 GMT

    I would like us to be underdogs. With most of the opposition and even own Indian fans just wishing that only fight we can put is avoiding inning defeat. Underdogs tag have worked always well with us. Twice Aus were suppose to go on longest winning streak and both time we put it off when least expected. Then we were expected to win against Eng in Eng, we were routed 0-4. Then expectation rose that we could won a series in Aus first time. Result was again 0-4. Then Eng visited and we were expected to return the favour and then again we lost. We went to CT, young side, who could do just well, little expectations and we won without losing even a practice match. And then we won at home, as #1 ODI, we were expected to win against SA. And result? Now, SA are over-confident that they can just turn up and Indians will roll over. Some points they will ignore at their own perils: Shami keep on getting wickets even in SA, Zak is no mug either & Ishant, if he bowl the length he did in 3rd ODI....

  • on December 13, 2013, 5:55 GMT

    I hope India will do well in the Test Series ahead of return of Speedster Zaheer Khan..well its a real test for the Indian Batsmen as especially for inform Cheteshwar Pujara who had been scoring runs in the indian pitches.

  • greenluv on December 13, 2013, 5:38 GMT

    LOL at aswin ..he needs to pray for rain while Zaheer if he is fit he can be a good choice. go SA go.

  • Lakpj on December 13, 2013, 5:23 GMT

    After seing India bat in the ODIs, it hard to believe that they will post a big treat to SA quicks. I hope Pujara and Kohli can score some runs if not India might find them selves in big trouble.

  • on December 13, 2013, 5:17 GMT

    Zaheer holds the key to Indian campaign in S.A.. If he is able to provide the breakthroughs when needed, India will b on top.. I hope Vijay deals well with Steyn.. Pujara is going to do the bulk of scoring I suppose.. Slip catching must b spot-on.. ALL THE BEST TEAM INDIA.. BLEED BLUE..

  • santoshjohnsamuel on December 13, 2013, 5:15 GMT

    Zak and Ashwin have talked the talk; i say good. Now back it up with a spirited performance on the field. Do we have a team to beat SA in SA, assuming everybody -- that includes the the SA team -- turn it on 100%? Not quite. But could we make it hard for SA to beat us to pulp? Yes, very much. As a Test cricket lover, all i want is that is that we compete real hard. Vijay, Dhawan, Rohit and Kohli in batting; Zaheer, Ishant, Shami in bowling (no disrespect to Ashwin, but he might struggle); backed by top-class fielding. Give it your all guys, and we'll be more than happy.

  • on December 13, 2013, 4:50 GMT

    i think india will win this series,india have always been late starters,with a week left for the 1st test to start,india have enough time to aclimatise to the conditions,sa's opening pair is not the best in the world,smith is not his prime anymore,peterson is not a long innings player,the good thing for india is that zak is back,which i think is bad news for smith in particular,if india can get into amla,kallis and ab fast,they will have the upper hand,ashwin wii be better here than he was in australia,jadeja may not pick up many wkts,but he has the ability to keep things tight from one end,and the bowlers from the other side can reap the fruits,i do not know if you believe me,but my gut feeling is india will win this series.

  • on December 13, 2013, 4:47 GMT

    Given the fact that SA X1 consists of promising pacers like Hendricks,Viljoen and Dry ..we are going to get a pretty good game.It should serve well for Tests and aldo Benoni is one of the venues where we performed better in tha past.

  • sixesandfours on December 13, 2013, 4:19 GMT

    @Arun: In what basis Dhoni should select - a batting specialist or bowling specialist in playing 11? Steyn is very dangerous in coming to 7-11 batsman with his full length straight deliveries which drifts for bowled/lbws. So India focus on 6 batsman and anyone after that with the current young team tough to face SA speed guns. India had a spinner allrounder which can be a handy in Jadeja terms. What happened to AB in oneday's will repeat in tests as SA having 5 right hand batsman who are handy for Jadeja's striking capabilities is a plus sign for India. Follow the other teams examples - 4 pacers and 5th bowler can bat. Still favor with India's this line up. 1. Dhawan 2.Vijay 3.Pujara 4.Dhoni 5. Kohli 6. Rohit 7. Jadeja 8. Zaheer 9. Shami 10. Ishant 11. Yadav. Best wishes to India.

  • rajuramki on December 13, 2013, 4:16 GMT

    Some people have commented that Ashwin is a flop outside the subcontinent .I would like to ask such people how many tours Ashwin has made in his career outside the subcontinent for them to come to such conclusions . Further , Ohja has not also played outside the subcontinent and hence how can they conclude that he is better than Ashwin . Before condemning a player , let oppurtunities be given to them . One should know that Swann is not among the wickets in Australia and that does not make him a worthless bowler .Instead of supporting this new look Indian team , let no people brand them as subcontinent bullies . Fot all one knows , I'll not be surprised if Ashwin gets more wickets than any other Indian bowler in this series. Let us also not belittle his abilities with the bat. In tests , Ashwin is a better batsman than Jadeja and miles ahead of all other bowlers.

  • on December 13, 2013, 4:15 GMT

    I wish India will draw the series atlerast; winning is out of question. Ashwin cant be a match winner in South africa, comparing to Bhajji he is very average bowler but he can bat a bit. Winning the series is out of question for India atleast if we can draw both the Test it is equivalent to winning.Zaheer is fit and he has done lot of work. Let us hope he will turn the table for India.Instead of Ishant Sharma I prefer Mohamed shami to be partnered with Zaheer. We can try Ojha he can definitely turn the ball better.Hope the series goes well.

  • John_Mil on December 13, 2013, 3:57 GMT

    Another tough time is awaiting for India in the test match against the SA Good Pace attack.It would have been better for India to have gone with Shewag,Gambir,Irfan,Dinesh,washim Jaffer in test matches..looking at the conditions my best 11 in this conditions would be...Shewag,Gambir,Dhawan/Virat/Wasim Jaffer(any 2),Rohit/Badrinath,Pujara,Dhoni/Dinesh Karthik,Irfan,Zak,any two from sami/Aswin/Ishant/Buvanesh/Umesh/Ojha/Mishra and the Back Up keeper ..Dinesh Karthik ahead of Saha..may be Dinesh karthik can be also fit in playing 11 for test ahead of Dhoni giving the captancy to Gambir.No doubt Dhoni is exceptioanlly good for 20/20 and One day.But in the Test not up to the Mark yet I would say. Also players like Wasim Jaffer,Badrinath,Rahane,Abishek Nayar and emerging players in the list also can be tested and replaced with current players now and then..

  • Anil_Koshy on December 13, 2013, 3:55 GMT

    One should look at Ashwin's record outside India, don't think he has done enough justice to stake a claim in the side, he has taken 100 wickets but his record outside India is dismal, Ojha should be our first choice bowler. Ashwin can be there as an all rounder, his performance in Australia with the bat was better tan regular batsmen.

  • arun_padmanabhan on December 13, 2013, 3:30 GMT

    "Ashwin has always been a flop outside sub-continent"..Let me ask, how many tests has he played outside sub-continent? 3. Just 3. In a place where Swann, Murali, Bhajji have struggled. And people are quick to pass judgements. For god's sake, this guy is the fastest Indian to 100 wickets and deserves a long run in the team. So the next time you guys comment, please think and then write, it will atleast improve the quality of the discussions. Cricinfo, please publish.

  • pull_shot on December 13, 2013, 3:17 GMT

    @sixesandfours Truth z that Ashwin didn't play in England test series Amit mishra z d one who played but ashwin played in CT bowled beautifully with some help from d pitch though but one good thing about him z d ability to rise d game when necessary

  • Greatest_Game on December 13, 2013, 3:10 GMT

    India have little chance of escaping a loss by an innings. The only question is whether they become the 4th team to fold for under 50 against Steyn, Philander and Morkel.

  • on December 13, 2013, 2:58 GMT

    U cant underestimate Ashwin.He is going to shine in the test series.If not bowling,he can bat well like any other top order batsman.So,India needs him.

  • siddhartha87 on December 13, 2013, 2:54 GMT

    Zaheer is a class act.His strike rate is 51 in non sub continental pitches which is even better than the great AKram.Zaheer and SHami has the potential to disturb SOuth African batsmen. But Ashwin? Lol that guy is rank turner bully.Some will say there s no spin in SOuth Africa.But Murali and Warnes record are tremendous there. This series will expose how poor and pathetic Ashwin really is.

  • John_Mil on December 13, 2013, 2:46 GMT

    Another tough time is awaiting for India in the test match against the SA Good Pace attack.It would have been better for India to have gone with Shewag,Gambir,Irfan,Dinesh,washim Jaffer in test matches..looking at the conditions my best 11 in this conditions would be...Shewag,Gambir,Dhawan/Virat/Wasim Jaffer(any 2),Rohit/Badrinath,Pujara,Dhoni/Dinesh Karthik,Irfan,Zak,any two from sami/Aswin/Ishant/Buvanesh/Umesh/ and the Back Up keeper ..Dinesh Karthik ahead of Saha..may be Dinesh karthik can be also fit in playing 11 for test ahead of Dhoni giving the captancy to Gambir.No doubt Dhoni is exceptioanlly good for 20/20 and One day.But in the Test not up to the Mark yet I would say. Also players like Wasim Jaffer,Badrinath,Rahane,Abishek Nayar and emerging players in the list also can be tested and replaced with current players now and then..

  • on December 13, 2013, 1:48 GMT

    i agree with umang dhoni has half d side of csk in odis in test we need one extra batsmen ashwin on d other hand is not a gud fielder

  • gundapps on December 13, 2013, 1:36 GMT

    My prediction on absolute certain flops in this India-SA Test series: 1. Murali Vijay - certainly not good enough in these conditions against the SA fire power 2. Ashwin - No turn / no help from pitches / lack of ability to bowl a consistent line 3. Jadeja - His style of bowling will not be effective on SA pitches / less said of his current batting form the better

  • on December 13, 2013, 1:16 GMT

    I can't understand why people are being so harsh on ashwin. South africa will never even think of making a pitch that goes well for the spinners, because they know India's strength has been the spinners not pacers. They all average above 30 including bhuvi and zak. I would not be much disappointed even if we lose the series, let them come to india face ashwin, Dhawan, Kohli. They will realize who the world's no. 1 team is.

  • on December 13, 2013, 1:02 GMT

    I totally agree with all above comments that, Ashwin being frontline spinner in the team, India is going to very badly loose the test series like ODI series. Selectors why are you hesitating, giving one more chance to Bhajji or trying another spinner like Ojha.

  • TRAM on December 13, 2013, 0:56 GMT

    India's most experienced bowlers and all time world greatest fielders.

  • ashok16 on December 13, 2013, 0:44 GMT

    there seems to be a regional divide to people's opinion on Ashwin's ability

  • on December 13, 2013, 0:39 GMT

    @Posted by anvesh4444 on (December 12, 2013, 19:25 GMT): Repeating what you said. "Ashwin is a huge flop outside subcontinent, i think India must go with 4 fast bowlers or play Ozha instead of Ashwin"

    I fully agree, every bit of it. Play all the 4 pacers (Zak, Ahami. Ishant, & Yadav. If swing is available replace Yadav with Bhuvi) & Ojha.

  • AvidCricFan on December 13, 2013, 0:11 GMT

    I am surprised that few here think that Rohit Sharma has technique to cope with SA pacers. The way he was playing the away going ball away from his body, doesn't instill confidence that he can manage Steyn and Philander. If he gets past 15 overs, he may see some success. The entire batting line up will be challenged in SA tests.

  • on December 12, 2013, 23:54 GMT

    Has anyone here had a look at Ashwin's stats in test cricket. He has taken 104 wickets in 18 matches and averages 40 with the bat. This would actually mean that he is about as good as Philander and Duminy combined (Philander 95 wickets in 18 matches and Duminy averaging 35). To all those pointing to his overseas record, let me remind you he played only 3 games in Australia with barely 3 months experience. Can someone tell me one finger spinner who has had success in Australia? Even Harbhajan and the great Murali have struggled and we are currently witnessing Swann getting taken apart. Also when Ashwin played the dreadful batting collapses and lack of early wickets meant he had no pressure to work with. I am not stating that he is the best but surely he is one of the best test spinners in the world (on par with ajmal). Give the guy a break and let us see whether he has improved. Let us not make hasty negative judgments.

  • Fijicricket on December 12, 2013, 23:47 GMT

    @ Ahmedpakistan6 on (December 12, 2013, 15:40 GMT) If Pakistan bowlers were so good and skillful how come they cannot bowl out Afgahnistan, or Zimbabwe or Ireland? lol hahaha

  • Fijicricket on December 12, 2013, 23:43 GMT

    @Laly Gill on (December 12, 2013, 17:47 GMT)-India has won a world cup in South Africa, Champions trophy in England, and one day series in Australia in Perth! Better than teams that cant beat Zimbabwe or Afghanistan (Pakistan). Sorry to disturb you and spoil your day with facts.Thanks for interest in Team India.

  • on December 12, 2013, 23:27 GMT

    @sixesandfours - your comments on Graeme Swann in India are wrong. In the last series he took 20 wickets at just over 25; Monty took 16 wickets at 22 (though in one less match)

  • on December 12, 2013, 23:15 GMT

    enough of the promises and big talk . how about some action for a change

  • the_blue_android on December 12, 2013, 22:55 GMT

    Zaheer should remember that he got Smith out that many times before he turned into a spin bowler.

  • TommytuckerSaffa on December 12, 2013, 22:54 GMT

    I thought Zaheer retired? 35 years old, does he still have pace? I am glad Dhoni is picking Ashwin, Kallis, AB, Amla and Co will get stuck into him and put him to the sword.

  • orangtan on December 12, 2013, 22:47 GMT

    Agree, Ojha would be better than Ashwin, so the eleven should be : Rohit,Dhawan,Pujara,Kohli,Rahane,Dhoni,Zaheer,Shami,Yadav,Ishant and Ojha. Need to go in with aggressive intent.

  • NixNixon on December 12, 2013, 22:43 GMT

    Im not trying to be nasty , but I actually find it funny that the indians actually believe they can win and compete against sa in the tests. Cant wait for the excuses from their side when india loses

  • SnowSnake on December 12, 2013, 22:14 GMT

    Words don't mean much. India needs to back them up with actions before anyone would even listen. India may be a different team in tests and may not be subject to the run rate pressure of ODIs, but it still needs to take these games seriously.

  • Al_Bundy1 on December 12, 2013, 22:11 GMT

    Agree with Rumy1 - Wasim Jaffer should have been the first opener in the Test at Johannesburg. Steyn, Philander and Morkel will have the likes of Murali Vijay, Dhawan, and Kohli for breakfast. At the moment only Pujara and Rohit seem to have the technique and temperament to cope with them. Outside India Ashwin is useless as a bowler, but useful as a batsman. Hopefully Zak and Shami will be able to get wickets for India. About Ishant Sharma...don't expect anything more than flying hair.

  • legfinedeep on December 12, 2013, 22:05 GMT

    Zaheer says "talk is just talk", and then proceeds to say he just has to turn up to get Smith out. Well, nice to see the Indian confident ahead of the test match - if they draw or win their fans will be ecstatic, and if they lose, they can always make up new excuses about the "young and inexperienced team" playing in "alien conditions" :)

  • on December 12, 2013, 22:03 GMT

    i donno what selectors are doing??? we need Bhajji, Gambhir and Zak in all the departments...BhAjji is a bit better than Ashwin,,

  • Unomaas on December 12, 2013, 21:35 GMT

    Zak, that was a marvelous comment. LMFAO!!! You can be assured that there are a lot of saffa's who wish you would do just that to Smith.

    As for the Indian team, 3 ODI's have been played and if you have not been taking notes let me help in saying:

    1) Playing 2 spinners is useless in SA. 2) If you do play a spinner, don't go for an offie. Use stat guru and you will realise that all saffa batsmen have extra-ordinary records against offie's like Swann, Ajmal, Murali, etc. Only Smith has problem against offie but by the time offie comes on, Smith already on his way to a hundred. 3) Wrist spinners and slow left arm are more effective (Warne, Herath, Kumble, Afridi, etc), 4) Of all the batters in ODI, Ashwin was the only one getting in line and across and hitting ball straight in the V. All the others were playing cross bat shots away from body. Thats why the commentators and saffa's are rating Ashwin higher than Jadeja because he has the batting technique to survive the moving ball.

  • StaalBurgher on December 12, 2013, 21:04 GMT

    Lately I have noticed that the Indian players talk a lot.

  • Raki99 on December 12, 2013, 21:02 GMT

    No need to play Ashwin, Harbhajan is still better then him atleast he can contain the batsman. Also we have jadeja now, So go in with 4 or 3 qiuicks with jadeja. Ashwin just tries too many things and let's a lose ball every over.

  • kbza86 on December 12, 2013, 20:43 GMT

    I hear youguys going on about the impact that zak will have, granted..his a great bowler...umesh to me has pace and no real control, and so too is ishant Sharma..you most successful bowler on this tour will be bhuve....he has unbelievable swing and control...you cannot judge him on an ODI in SA...pace is a nice weapon to have here in SA, but not everything..putting the ball n the right areas is far more important than pace..that's why philander is so successful. he has no express pace but put 6/6 balls in the right areas...we have guys who bowl as fast or even faster than Steyn, but they don't break through the side...I say drop Umesh for bhuve, he will offer sooooo much more accuracy and swing!!!!!

  • Mike_Tyson on December 12, 2013, 20:42 GMT

    I like Zaheer, if he is in form, he will be a handful on these wickets. I have seen him bowl since he first came on the scene and at his best he is an extremely skillful bowler. he just needs to keep up his form and fitness. I also don't mind a bit of attitude from the indians, a lot of people who are criticising them fail to remember that this is a new young team and it will take them time to gel together. Like it or not (and I say this to my fellow Eng fans as well as SA and Aus fans) they are a talented bunch of lads and sooner or later will come good in both forms of the game both home and away.

    We are losing heavily at the moment in Aus with an experienced side playing against a decent but not great Aussie side, this indian team is young, I don't fancy them to win a test or even draw one but if a few of them can put in good performances, it will do them good for the rest of the overseas tours coming up.

  • on December 12, 2013, 20:22 GMT

    Ashwin has always been a flop on Non Indian pitches and I wonder if his selection to playing eleven is purely on merit...what is more surprising is that for an off spinner he bowls the classical off spinner very less...and tries variations one too many, and at times has this ridiculous pause before delivery which if anything only disturbs him coz he was hit for so many runs whenever he tried that.....since he hasnt been working at all, what stops dhoni to try ojha or even an attacking leg spinner like amit mishra.....come on dhoni, you dont need CSK guys only to be in the team, rise above your petty limitations..coz you are a great batsmen and a very good captain, so stop putting more pressure on you by wrong selections.

  • CricFanKrish on December 12, 2013, 19:58 GMT

    I do hope confidence does not give way to audacity. Zak definitely has worked hard and is coming back slimmer and fitter. Not only will he boost the attack with his probing line and length, he will also be a great mentor to the likes of Umesh and Shami. Ishant has shown that he hasn't learnt despite bowling a lot with Zak, and may not be in the 11.

    As far as Ashwin goes, I hope he takes a leaf out of the book of Bhaji. Bhaji was India's frontline spinner not so long ago, but is nowhere in the picture now. I hope Ashwin is going to walk the talk and becomes successful. Forget winning the series, even if we lose 1-0 instead of 2-0 I would consider it a success.

  • anvesh4444 on December 12, 2013, 19:25 GMT

    Ashwin is a huge flop outside subcontinent, i think India must go with 4 fast bowlers or play Ozha instead of Ashwin

  • sixesandfours on December 12, 2013, 19:17 GMT

    @CodandChips Graeme Swann - he is struggled even in India (Only Monty rescued them), Saeed Ajmal only spinner now a days can do little difference, but rest of the off spinners throughout pitches are struggling. Gone are the days for Off Spinners. Its time for Leggies and Left arm spinners. Ashwin is a mediocre in ENG, AUS and even unable to take 10 and 11th batsman wickets in Sydney. Ashwin says catching in slips make him cut, hom many he dropped and latched onto? Indian pacers, they get tired easily and having 4 with Jadeja, will give them enough breath with small spells and create lot of difference for Dhoni and captin smart enough if he had 4 pacers in his ammunition with Jadeja's canny left arm in bowling, fielding and batting.

  • Rumy1 on December 12, 2013, 19:16 GMT

    Sincerely believe that Ashwin will be a big flop in the Tests in SA. Likes of Amla, Devilliers and Kallis will dominate Ashwin's average skills and that too without the supporting dusty tracks of back home.

  • Rumy1 on December 12, 2013, 19:05 GMT

    Considering the requirements of lively tracks and the pace and bounce of South African pacers, skills and temperament of Wasim Jaffer was required there. Jaffer should have been the first opener in the Test at Johannesburg. Steyn, Philander and Morkel will eat Murali Vijay in the first session itself. Johannesburg is the fastest track there and not sure if even Kohli has the technique to survive the trio of Steyn, Philander and Morkel on that track. At the moment only Pujara and Rohit seem to have the technique and temperament to cope with them.

  • raghu_CF on December 12, 2013, 18:55 GMT

    Ravichandran Ashwin brings a lot to the stakes when it comes to test matches. Glad to see what it means an overseas win for him. He brings that much needed lower order stability in terms of batting with Dhoni. Always feels he got that extra time to play the shots against quicks and not much problem with pace and bounce. Sometimes Ashwin tends to carry away with varieties he got. Ashwin should really understand the conditions, should be able to bowl tight off spin bowling. Complementing with faster bowlers and drying up one end should be spinners primary role in these conditions.

    Zaheer is fantastic bowler. He is in good form, fittest ever and loads of experience. But what and how much( both quality and quantity )he can really offer at 35 against champion batting line up in international arena will be out soon by the end of this series. Shami is exciting new talent besides Zaheer and Ashwin, has some serious role to play to India stay in the battle.

    GO INDIA GO! Show some FIGHT!

  • anvesh4444 on December 12, 2013, 18:44 GMT

    i believe ozha is a better bowler than ashwin in overseas

  • cricpanther on December 12, 2013, 18:36 GMT

    On Test Match Cricket, specially in South African conditions, there is No Ashwin (not have got turn for him, better to keep him as a 12th man!) and also No Dhoni, only Zaheer and R. Jadeja able to take 20 wickets!! Also in Batting Cheteshwar Pujara, Rohit Sharma and Where is Gautam Gambhir ?? Selectors, why are you still sleeping?

  • dayada on December 12, 2013, 18:25 GMT

    @Hitendr Vasudeo.. No promblem mate...same thing should be aplly to other subcontinent teams but unfortunately u ppl talking differently when comes to PAK, SL& BAN in those conditions. anyway good luck...........

  • on December 12, 2013, 18:17 GMT

    To put it simply, bowlers have to win matches here. In the subcontinent, the batsmen got the back of bowlers every time a 300+ plus score was conceded. Now, the bowlers need to repay in kind. The frustrating thing is that our bowlers are 'talented' , but they seem to lack application. It is a crime to allow the opposition to score 300+ three times in a row in SA. Having said that, it is also sad that the players have to suffer from lack of practice games because of the cricket board. Hopefully, the test series lives up to the hype and the inclusion of Vijay and Pujara infuse some much needed stability in the batting order.

  • on December 12, 2013, 18:16 GMT

    So friends, just ODI series is compleated. In ODIs we can say about Indian batsmen looking at test series ahead, only Dhoni & Rohit showed some positive signs about their performances. In furst ODI Dhoni scored a fighting knock of 50+ and in both ODIs Rohit definately showed nice approach against Steyn & co. In first ODI he handled Steyn very carefully which is very important specially within no time from Wankhede Stadium he were facing Worlds fastest bowler on worlads one of the fastest wicket. But he kept his cool and didnt throw his wicket. Unfortunately he was run out in first. In secind ODI he played another confident inning of 19 runs and was caught out brillientely. We can say Shikhar & Virat still hasnt adjusted themselves in SA. But we can hope, as bith are brillient batsmen and come out with a brillent knock in tests. According to me India will do better in tests as they got suffucient prctice in ODIs now. Pujara and Zahir definately add flavour as both has played here before

  • on December 12, 2013, 18:14 GMT

    The momentum is with the SA team now. They have out-fought and out-played India so far. In order to compete in Aussie or SA conditions, you really need to have your main bowlers running through oppositions and the batsman's putting up defensible totals. At the moment, there is an uncertainty on both aspects. India is paying price for overindulging themselves on batsman friendly pitches. Hoping for a competitive test series.

  • CodandChips on December 12, 2013, 18:11 GMT

    @sixesandfours "Now a days offspinners are easily played across oversees pitches"-while that will probably apply to Ashwin, and applies to Sunil Narine, it certainly does not apply to Saeed Ajmal or Graeme Swann (although Swanny struggled in Brisbane). Personally however I'd prefer Jadeja to Ashwin, as Jadeja doesn't turn the ball, therefore won't need a spinning pitch.

  • dayada on December 12, 2013, 18:10 GMT

    Hmm...these two can talk well in outside too.......................

  • GrindAR on December 12, 2013, 18:09 GMT

    Guys, Indian team need to shrapen their insticnts on fielding. Remember how manyhalf chances not even tried. Thats going to cost dearly if they dont address that issue. pace bowling is mainly asisted with astute fielding. Which team India should team India should be good at SA & Aus. It will help in many ways... If that was the case, it would not have been run-away train for Q De Cock. It is in a way shame for team India to exhibit that on-field laziness. If the ball is not flying above the head, every ball hit can have a better fielder placements to stop runs.

  • on December 12, 2013, 18:07 GMT

    Indian swing bowlers have always done well overseas. This Indian team too has the potential to run through the South Africans as they have done in the past in the 2010 and 2006 series. Plus another major advantage that is going for them this time around is the fielding of this young side. With players like Virat Kohli, Murali Vijay, Ravidra Jadeja, Shikhar , in their ranks, they won't give away easy runs. The only thing is that they need to build sustained pressure. Plus they should be willing to fight it out while batting. A good way will be to constantly rotate the strike- since all the batsmen are young and run fast between wickets. This will disturb the rhythm of SA bowlers.

  • anupkeni on December 12, 2013, 18:07 GMT

    With the way Team India has played in the ODI series, it looks like only two days of torrential downpour in Johannesburg or Durban can save Team India from a certain 2-0 whitewash in the test series.

  • on December 12, 2013, 18:01 GMT

    indian team has defeated RSA at both wanderers and durban and i feel they can do it again. also RSA have lost their last 4 matches at durban in the past 4 years

  • on December 12, 2013, 18:01 GMT

    Just have to turn up..lol...that was good from Zak. I'm sure India can give a tougher fight in tests but just make sure u don't drop catches.

  • Kappa69 on December 12, 2013, 18:00 GMT

    No plans are gonna work for INDIA. They arent the best team in over sea conditions. They can only perform in sub continent. South africa deserves their number one spot. INDIA has to do miracle to win this series which is not gonna happen.

  • imJoheb on December 12, 2013, 17:56 GMT

    88 test matches and 295 wickets at an average of 33 just says it all how good bowler (mediocre) he is.

  • seantells on December 12, 2013, 17:55 GMT

    in the first place India has a serious bowling issue , specially when plays away. bringing Zaheer is a good move Ishant & Ashwin are two overated players who probly have favours from Dhoni , there are many talents out there time to bring them in

  • sixesandfours on December 12, 2013, 17:47 GMT

    India should not field Ashwin as he did not do well in England and in Australia. Now a days offspinners are easily played across oversees pitches. If India thinks Ashwin is a good slip fielder he dropped more catches than catched. Keep Dhawan at first slip. India selectors and Dhoni should keep Ashwin bench and focus on 4 seamers Zaheer, Ishant, Yadav and Shami along with left arm spinner Jadeja. Should be Play XI for India - 1. Dhawan 2.Vijay 3.Pujara 4.Dhoni 5. Kohli 6. Rohit 7. Jadeja 8. Zaheer 9. Shami 10. Ishant 11. Yadav. Best wishes to both the teams. God Bless!!!

  • on December 12, 2013, 17:47 GMT

    i hope india loses both of the tests as well they guys need to learn how to play in england,south africa and australia type of pitches

  • CodandChips on December 12, 2013, 17:40 GMT

    Let's hope we see more fight than just Kohli's aggressive behaviour. Fight with your cricket, by playing well.

  • on December 12, 2013, 17:37 GMT

    Indian team should be: Dhawan, Rohit, Pujara, Kohli, Rahane, Dhoni, Ashwin, Ojha, Zaheer, Ishant, Shami

  • on December 12, 2013, 17:34 GMT

    Let every country win in their home land- why discuss- SA also could not win in India. What is the problem.

  • AjaySridharan on December 12, 2013, 17:31 GMT

    We'll soon know who is just doing the talking and who is walking the talk. Zaheer might come down with a foot-in-mouth disease! I hope he does well, but he can't control how listless the rest of the squad is. If he can manage to survive 5 days, then'll he'll count for something

  • on December 12, 2013, 17:28 GMT

    Ashwin must bat at no 7.. India must field Zaheer, Kumar, Shami and Yadav.. In England and Australia instead of Kumar, we should play Mishra.. Now if this batting ia nit adequate, no amount of batting will ever be adequate..

  • csowmi7 on December 12, 2013, 17:25 GMT

    Yes Ashwin's ODI performances may be a bit lack lustre in the past few matches but as a Test cricketer he is probably one of India's best. I mean the guy is the fastest bowler to a hundred wickets in like a century not to mention that his batting average is 40(including 2 centuries) which is just a shade under Virat Kohli's test average. Yes his wickets came in home pitches which favour spin but his performance in Australia was not all that bad considering the records of great spin bowlers there. He took 9 wickets in 3 matches at an average around 35. Even the likes of Greame Swann and Monty Panesar who wreaked havoc against us in the recent series in India have proven ineffective in the recent Ashes tour. Not to mention that in Australia Ashwin was one of India's most successful batsman. This guy is a genuine match winner and will be an asset in the years to come. If he learns to keep things simple in foreign pitches and hold one end up he can be a very handy bowler for India.

  • Kappa69 on December 12, 2013, 17:18 GMT

    No plans are gonna work INDIA. There arent the best team in over seas. They can only perform in sub continent. South africa deserves there number one spot. INDIA has to do miracle to win this serties which is not gonna happen.

  • blthndr on December 12, 2013, 17:15 GMT

    1st test match of the series and lowest innings scored by visitors....AUS- 47,NZ- 45, PAK- 49.....IND-???????????????????????

  • on December 12, 2013, 17:12 GMT

    @Naveed Khan which planet are you living on to compare South Africa's decorated Test team to this current crop of half-baked Indians? Sure in time they might replicate the numbers and feats of Dravid, Ganguly, SRT, VVS & Sehwage but the Fab Four no longer resides in India; the new Fab Four is Graeme Smith, Hashim Amla, AB De Villiers & Jacques Kallis... the numbers and the feats speak for themselves. I'm not going to even touch the bowling front. Seriously, watch cricket more often :|

  • on December 12, 2013, 17:09 GMT

    will be tough for india.but i dont agree with the talks of scared batsmen etc. there is no such thing.

    zaheer khans return willbe very handy for india. he is somuch better than the fast bowlers india playing recently. problem will be batting though.

  • on December 12, 2013, 16:54 GMT

    its a great news that zaheer is back. im a big fan of him. he is definitely gona trouble the SA batsmen not sure about Amla though.

  • Adharsh612 on December 12, 2013, 16:34 GMT

    I can see people saying that Ashwin should not be in the test team. I sorta agree if people say this about his place in the ODI team,but in tests he walks into the squad.He is better than most Indian batsman in bouncy conditions,2nd highest scorer for India in the test series against AUS in Aus. Highest ranked all-rounder in the world. He hasnt played too many TEST matches abroad,so its too early to talk about his away performances. And remember Bhajji and even the grear Murali struggled in SA and AUS. So lets wait and watch

  • jerryman on December 12, 2013, 16:29 GMT

    not sure if Zaheer can last a 5 day test .. believe dravid, Tendulkar & laxman may have to be recalled to avoid a whitewash in the tests.. Good luck .. may the bounce be with you..

  • on December 12, 2013, 16:29 GMT

    @Sneh Pandey yes Very disimilar bowlers one a no.1 and the other a hyped bowler

  • on December 12, 2013, 16:24 GMT

    For me, Zaheer and Shami will be the key. Shami is riding high on confidence and Zaheer has done well against SA in the past. There is huge question mark on Ashwin and others though, because they don't look like wicket taking bowlers, especially in SA conditions. Can they out-think the batsman's and use variations to take wickets? Indian batsman's can say whatever they want, but the truth is they were physically and mentally battered after the first match. They believed media's hype and didn't expect SA to be this tough. They underestimated SA and paid for it. Anyway, it will be an interesting series. Good luck to India :)

  • viru-319-219 on December 12, 2013, 16:23 GMT

    @IAS2009 ... What pace does Philander bowl? He bowls same 130 you are talking about and has a better record compared to Steyn. Hoping for Zaheer at his best and if he gets into his zone forget all others he will win matches on his own if batsmen put up a decent display. @ Wacky Bonds ... Indian bowlers have been hammered for sure but did you forget Sachin hammering Steyn all around the ground when he scored 200. It is game mate and even the best will fail and cricket has proved it lot of times and this Indian team is still young and inexperienced on foreign soil. Please don't forget Sreesanth's and Zaheer's spell on last tour. This time Shami or Bhuvi or even Umesh may turn up with such spells. Most importantly Indians are swing bowlers and if you know even little about cricket you should know the difference in swing between red and white balls.

  • on December 12, 2013, 16:23 GMT

    Parvez rasool could have been selected as hes better bowler than Ashwin. rasool is a good batsman too. Also Munaf patel or irfan pathan in place of untidy umesh yadav might have given 2-0 verdict for india

  • on December 12, 2013, 16:21 GMT

    South Africans talk too much which will back fire them this time. Test cricket is a different ball game. I am sure South Africans will have a tough time to dismantle Indians in TESTS. Guys, you will surprised that India will be winning one test..

  • vivekjagan on December 12, 2013, 16:21 GMT

    i want the bowlers to put a good show..in helpful conditions they must do well. as far as aus wc 2015,bowling s important.batting definitely the guys can improve.

  • on December 12, 2013, 16:15 GMT

    If Talk is Talk, how come Zaheer is doing all the talking. Between him and Shami Ahmed, I believe India has a reasonable pace attack. Third Paceman should be Umesh Yadav and Ishant. I would rate India a class above SA in test Cricket because of batting.

  • kumarcoolbuddy on December 12, 2013, 16:14 GMT

    @Wacky Bonds, this is what I don't understand. What do you mean by lot of talk. When SA just after first ODI say that Indian batsmen are scared of bounce and pace then isn't that lot of talk? I lost respect on SA when it said that Indians are scared of pace and bounce. They are behaving like ENG and AUS by giving stupid statements. They clearly know that Indian team has no practice before ODI series. Zaheer and Ashwin are just responding to SA's rude statements without taking the credit of SA away.

  • on December 12, 2013, 16:14 GMT

    I m Damn sure dat zak ishant. Nd shami r capable of taking wickets... Bt if all 3. fails then it's difficult for team India to face a WHITEWASH. MY INDIAN TEAM Vijay, Dhawan,pujara, Kohli,rohit,Dhoni,Ashwin, zak, ishant, yadav, shami

  • JasonGray on December 12, 2013, 16:06 GMT

    India's bowling is weak. Ashwin can't take wicket overseas to save his life. His stats shows it. Most of the bowlers are useless. They play well in one match than have a go like ignorant chap; ishant sharma. The so called great Indian batsman's folded the first time they faced tough conditions. What happened to the 350 plus scores and double centuries?

  • on December 12, 2013, 16:05 GMT

    I don't know who was comparing Ashwin with Ajmal, for starters Ashwin has a cleaner action, Ajmal has much better record.Both are very dofferent, Ashwin is not the same force once outside the subcontinent, did look a good batter in fast OZ pitches. Very disimilar bowlers. Different strengths.

  • on December 12, 2013, 16:02 GMT

    India should not let the ODI batting woes decide their test lineup. Go with your best players for the pitch and trust them to deliver. Fight fire with fire. Much better for india to have low scoring game and focus on bowling SA out rather than try to shore up batting by playing extra batsman.Five speacialist bowlers is the way to go.

  • on December 12, 2013, 15:59 GMT

    Promises mean nothing; performance means everything. So, just walk the talk. And, then let others talk. But South Africans will give slippery path, so slippery that one may find it tough to walk. However, wish you two and the whole team with all the luck.

    Since I can't walk, let me do a bit of talk (contrary to my advise to the brave two).

    1. Get some solid opening stand going. (Dhawan & partner).

    2. Know, where the off-stump is. (While bowling and batting)

    3. Filed like tigers. (The entire team)

    4. Don't drop catches. (The entire team).

    See, so simple, to advise (like promises): so difficult to do (like performance), No?

  • on December 12, 2013, 15:53 GMT

    I dont know from where Ashwin has got this confidence. We all know what Zaheer was & what Zaheer is. I am not sure that our bowlers are capable of picking 20 wickets. IN AUS we had seen same bowlers struggling at perth. Zaheer has the ability but he is back after a long time & is not that young any more. In previous series we had dravid tendulkar laxman sehwag & gambhir who were better than that time SA batting time & we had kumble too which helped us in drawing test series. But i m sorry to say this batting line is not skillful enough to play the swinging bowling of steyn philander & morkel. A 2-0 on the card, just hoping few of them to play a life time inning even if India ends up loosing.

  • SurlyCynic on December 12, 2013, 15:53 GMT

    Good to see Zaheer back. I'm not being sarcastic as an SA fan, I think he is a good bowler and respect the work he's done to get into shape.

  • IAS2009 on December 12, 2013, 15:51 GMT

    i am not sure that the India bowlers can take 20 wickets in tests in SA, if you are bowling 130 kph u are not going to get wickets in tests especially with old ball. time will tell. Zaheer might get wickets with new ball and Yadav might take wickets with old ball also.

  • hardik1687 on December 12, 2013, 15:40 GMT

    Given the recent show in the one day team and the nature of south african pitch I would play 4 pace 1 spin or 4 pace only attack. My team for first test would be: 1) M Vijay 2) S Dhawan 3) C Puajara 4) V Kohli 5) R Sharma 6) MS Dhoni 7) Ashwin/Jadeja/Rahane 8) B Kumar/U Yadav 9) Z Khan 10) I Sharma 11) S Ahmad

    Tough call between Umesh and Bhuvi since one has pace but wavy line/length where other has good line/length but no pace. Ashwin and Jadeda are both equivilent in this condition since spin will not be affective but they will give that 5th full time bowler option with ability to bat. Rahane has outside chance of making it to 11 since dhoni will go for atleast one spin option if not 2 unless someone gets injured.

  • Ahmedpakistan6 on December 12, 2013, 15:40 GMT

    Now the people who were comparing Ashwin with Ajmal have got their answers in the last match after watch him being smashed for 3 big sixes by AB LOL HAHAHAHA. I predict Indian batsmans will do the same as Pakistani batsmans and Indian bowlers will do very bad because they are not as skillfull as Pakistani bowlers. Even the strong Pakistan Bowling conceded 300 runs because of the quality of South African batsman then imagine what will happen to Indian bowlers.

  • Smahuta on December 12, 2013, 15:37 GMT

    "You can talk as much as you like outside. Once you go on to the field, it's all about doing. "Now Zaheer has to do the same. Walk the talk he has made outside of the field. Cant wait for the Smith/Zaheer battle at the wanderers now!!!

  • citizenkc on December 12, 2013, 15:34 GMT

    Fundamentally, nothing has changed since India were drubbed 8-0 in the last two overseas series. If anything, since then we have lost our top class batsmen. There is no Dravid to fight singlehandedly, as he did in England, Our young batting lineup is no match for the likes of Steyn, Morkel, and Philander, and our bowling attack is one of the weakest in the world. SA, on the other hand, has it all. They really have no weaknesses, other than lacking a top class spinner, but then, against India, they don't need a spinner. Only rain can save India from losing both tests. The only good news is that this tour may give some precious overseas experience to the team before our England tour. Also, even if we lose, I hope we put up a good fight!

  • on December 12, 2013, 15:27 GMT

    4 fast bowlers bhuvi zaheer ishant shami and 1 spinner jadeja...need the fast bowlers to be given short spells and just keep attacking. .jadeja will be crucial..I want umesh as well but there is no place ...umesh and bhuvi should be played in practise matches and see who bowls better. .give rest to jadeja for practise matches...nice bowling line up we have got for tests...its batsman who have to do new things..chetesh and zaheer the two new entrant have changed things a bit...but kallis and amla 's wicket are most important to be taken early.

  • naadnat on December 12, 2013, 15:24 GMT

    ashwin should concentrate on his stock ball first rather than pausing and irritating everyone..i still remember when india got hammered in the 2006 sa tour.lost odi series 4-0.they cameback by winning the first test with sreesanth getting the man of the match award.that was the time when india won their 1st ever test in sa.but lost the remaining 2 test matches and lost the test series terribly 1-2.and 2010 was when they levelled the test series in sa for the first ever time.but this time we have got over rated players who can only perform at home and fail miserably outside subcontinent.rohit sharma has failed in all his 7 odi innings in sa.5 times in 2011 series which we lost 3-2. and 2 times now.even if our bowlers click i dont think our batsman will survive even 2 full sessions.hope indian batsman dont get allout like aus, pak for below 50 team score.

  • on December 12, 2013, 15:21 GMT

    That's a lot of talk by the Indian bowlers, who by the way, have been hammered all around the ground.

  • CricketMaan on December 12, 2013, 15:20 GMT

    I hope the 'pause and get smashed' in 3rd ODI was not part of the prepartion for Tests. Good Luck. Not many indian spinners have acheived success overseas so Ashwin will be under micro-micro scope

  • CricketMaan on December 12, 2013, 15:17 GMT

    Before the 'Indian batting so poor on bouncy tracks' starts, just to remind we did square the series 1-1 last time and sqander the oppurtunity to win with a Kallis-Boucher show. Although the batsmen and bolwer who played a role in that 1-1 will be missing this time from Indian XI

  • PMadhavarao on December 12, 2013, 15:13 GMT

    I've a feeling Zaheer will do good in Tests in SA as he is fresh from all that training in Europe and wanting to come back into the team as a spearhead bowler for India. Also, these bouncy pitches support his bowling. My advise to him is to bowl round the wicket so that ball is angling away from the batsmen, but w/o giving too much width, that would be lethal to the batsmen. Good luck Zaheer. Sorry but I am losing faith in Ashwin.

  • YogifromNY on December 12, 2013, 15:12 GMT

    Let us see if these words are nothing but bravado. I don't doubt their commitment or (in Zaheer's case) the skill, but I hope India won't get a 2-0 hiding in Tests also. The batting is a tad fragile, and the bowling - well, the results tell the whole story, don't they?!

    Why doesn't the BCCI, with its vast resources, get a proper bowling coach for this team? The pacers in particular could stand to benefit from a bowling great like Wasim Akram or Waqar Yunis or Glenn McGrath coaching them not just about where and how to pitch the ball, but also about the sometimes lonely life of a bowler in a batting-dominated game and how to deal with that.

  • on December 12, 2013, 15:08 GMT

    India should go wit five bowlers in order to win the test match in overseas conditions.. I m looking for the battle between south Africa seamers vs Indian young matters..My team should be Six batsmen and five bowlers. Ashwin can bat so we can have additional bowler...

  • on December 12, 2013, 15:07 GMT

    ya,i think that Ashwin bowled well in the 3rd ODI.he was flighting the ball more and getting some drift.And it will be great if India is able to win even a single test match...

  • pdsina on December 12, 2013, 15:05 GMT

    If ash bowls consistent off breaks with occasional carom ball then only he will be threatening in test. I believe zak, ash, shami and umesh should be my bowlers to take 20 wickets. Umesh has pace to bowl some nasty bouncers. zak we all know is very skillful if fit. Shami is a must as he is in form. Batting I will leave in god's hands.

  • on December 12, 2013, 14:56 GMT

    Ashwin promise could have been before the ODI's so we could have fight back and win the ODI series

  • on December 12, 2013, 14:56 GMT

    Ashwin promise could have been before the ODI's so we could have fight back and win the ODI series

  • pdsina on December 12, 2013, 15:05 GMT

    If ash bowls consistent off breaks with occasional carom ball then only he will be threatening in test. I believe zak, ash, shami and umesh should be my bowlers to take 20 wickets. Umesh has pace to bowl some nasty bouncers. zak we all know is very skillful if fit. Shami is a must as he is in form. Batting I will leave in god's hands.

  • on December 12, 2013, 15:07 GMT

    ya,i think that Ashwin bowled well in the 3rd ODI.he was flighting the ball more and getting some drift.And it will be great if India is able to win even a single test match...

  • on December 12, 2013, 15:08 GMT

    India should go wit five bowlers in order to win the test match in overseas conditions.. I m looking for the battle between south Africa seamers vs Indian young matters..My team should be Six batsmen and five bowlers. Ashwin can bat so we can have additional bowler...

  • YogifromNY on December 12, 2013, 15:12 GMT

    Let us see if these words are nothing but bravado. I don't doubt their commitment or (in Zaheer's case) the skill, but I hope India won't get a 2-0 hiding in Tests also. The batting is a tad fragile, and the bowling - well, the results tell the whole story, don't they?!

    Why doesn't the BCCI, with its vast resources, get a proper bowling coach for this team? The pacers in particular could stand to benefit from a bowling great like Wasim Akram or Waqar Yunis or Glenn McGrath coaching them not just about where and how to pitch the ball, but also about the sometimes lonely life of a bowler in a batting-dominated game and how to deal with that.

  • PMadhavarao on December 12, 2013, 15:13 GMT

    I've a feeling Zaheer will do good in Tests in SA as he is fresh from all that training in Europe and wanting to come back into the team as a spearhead bowler for India. Also, these bouncy pitches support his bowling. My advise to him is to bowl round the wicket so that ball is angling away from the batsmen, but w/o giving too much width, that would be lethal to the batsmen. Good luck Zaheer. Sorry but I am losing faith in Ashwin.

  • CricketMaan on December 12, 2013, 15:17 GMT

    Before the 'Indian batting so poor on bouncy tracks' starts, just to remind we did square the series 1-1 last time and sqander the oppurtunity to win with a Kallis-Boucher show. Although the batsmen and bolwer who played a role in that 1-1 will be missing this time from Indian XI

  • CricketMaan on December 12, 2013, 15:20 GMT

    I hope the 'pause and get smashed' in 3rd ODI was not part of the prepartion for Tests. Good Luck. Not many indian spinners have acheived success overseas so Ashwin will be under micro-micro scope

  • on December 12, 2013, 15:21 GMT

    That's a lot of talk by the Indian bowlers, who by the way, have been hammered all around the ground.

  • naadnat on December 12, 2013, 15:24 GMT

    ashwin should concentrate on his stock ball first rather than pausing and irritating everyone..i still remember when india got hammered in the 2006 sa tour.lost odi series 4-0.they cameback by winning the first test with sreesanth getting the man of the match award.that was the time when india won their 1st ever test in sa.but lost the remaining 2 test matches and lost the test series terribly 1-2.and 2010 was when they levelled the test series in sa for the first ever time.but this time we have got over rated players who can only perform at home and fail miserably outside subcontinent.rohit sharma has failed in all his 7 odi innings in sa.5 times in 2011 series which we lost 3-2. and 2 times now.even if our bowlers click i dont think our batsman will survive even 2 full sessions.hope indian batsman dont get allout like aus, pak for below 50 team score.