South Africa news November 25, 2010

South Africa hope for lively home pitches

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South African's drawn Test series against Pakistan on placid pitches in the United Arab Emirates left their bowlers craving livelier surfaces. Their cravings for responsive tracks are set to be soothed soon. The three-Test series against India gets underway in exactly three weeks time and India's batsmen should start bracing themselves for more bounce and pace than they are comfortable with.

"We've got to take our strengths into consideration, and hopefully we have wickets that will play to those strengths and help us rather than the opposition," South Africa coach Corrie van Zyl said at the team's arrival press conference in Johannesburg on Thursday. "We will hope for conditions that suit our type of players and our type of bowling should come into it."

With that reliance comes with the danger that South Africa could be lulled into complacency, safe in the knowledge that their own conditions could be their 12th man on the field, but van Zyl insisted they wouldn't be over-reliant on familiar, pace-friendly pitches. "To do that is bit of a Russian roulette approach, and I wouldn't go that far. We don't want to make it a lottery and we don't want the outcome of the series to rest on how the wickets play."

Part of the reason for South African's new sense of wariness is that in the last two years Indian batsmen have had the opportunity to play on bouncier South African tracks during tournaments such as the IPL, Champions League and Champions Trophy. "They've obviously had a lot more exposure on our wickets, but the proof of the pudding is in the eating. We'll have to see how well-adapted they are," van Zyl said.

Despite the practice India's batsmen have had, van Zyl still believes their biggest weakness when playing away from home may come back to haunt them. "When you've played on a certain type of wicket for a long time, and all of a sudden you come and play on a bouncy wicket it's still going to be a handful."

South Africa want to maximise their advantage on seamer-friendly pitches. They will add a pace bowler to their starting XI to work with Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel and Jacques Kallis. "The fourth seamer is definitely going to play a role in SA," confirmed van Zyl. Who that extra pace man will be is a mystery. Lonwabo Tsotsobe and Wayne Parnell were both part of the touring party against Pakistan, but did not feature in either of the two Tests.

The fourth seamer means that South Africa is likely to use only one spinner against India. Johan Botha, who played as the second spinner in the Tests against Pakistan, doesn't think it will be him. "Paul [Harris] has done a good job, and he's done it for a few years now. I think he's still number one against India. I doubt we'll play two spinners, but hopefully I've done enough that if there's a gap I would take it."

South Africa's Achilles' heel has been the lack of an attacking spinner and the series against Pakistan gave the slow bowlers an opportunity to stake their claim as part of the wicket-taking clan. For the most part they failed to do so - barring a three-wicket burst from Harris and Botha after lunch on day five of the second Test. Van Zyl wasn't concerned with the lack of penetration, however. "We felt that two spinners would do the job," he said. "But the pitch turned out not to deteriorate the way we wanted."

With the Indian batsmen's level of comfort against spin, particularly of the mediocre kind, South Africa may want to cast their net out for a wicket-taking turner. They'd have to look no further than Pakistani-born Imran Tahir, who has claimed 30 wickets in four first-class games this season at an average of 22.00. Tahir was selected in January this year to play against England but was ineligible to play for South Africa because he did not have the necessary documentation. There is a strong feeling that he will be picked as soon as his papers are in order and he he becomes available.

"When?", is the question even van Zyl is asking, as no-one seems to have a date for Tahir's status as a South African citizen to be rubber stamped. "The authorities are assisting him", said South African team manager Mohammed Moosajee. "But he will have to tell us when he receives his papers". Tahir is expected to be eligible from December, but the exact day is anyone's guess.

South Africa have plenty to think about on the bowling front and almost as much on their minds about batting. Graeme Smith suffered a fractured finger during the series against Pakistan and is likely to miss at least the first Test against India. "I'm hopeful that he will be ready for the first Test. But to say I'm not nervous that he won't be wouldn't be honest," said van Zyl.

Hashim Amla also has an arm injury after being painfully hit by a Misbah-ul-Haq pull shot while fielding at short leg, which means van Zyl could be without both two of his top three. "The blow he took yesterday caused a contusion to his left forearm," Moosajee said, but added that the on-form Amla "should be fine" in time for the first Test on December 16 in Centurion.

The three Tests will be followed by a Twenty20 and five ODIs. Van Zyl said he will use the last outing before the World Cup to fine tune his combinations. "By this Indian series we want to be as close to the World Cup 15 as can be." South Africa beat Pakistan 3-2 in the ODI series in the UAE and, according to van Zyl, gained valuable experience from the close contest. "This tour has given us a lot of answers. To play in what amounted to a final and to win that has given the guys a lot of confidence."

Botha believes India will present an ideal challenge ahead of the team's quest for ICC silverware in February. "The one-day series will be good preparation for the World Cup. You want to bowl against quality players, and you know the Indian team is a world class unit. If you do well against them you are going to have a lot of confidence going into the World Cup."

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Vilander on November 30, 2010, 18:17 GMT

    Guys sorry for repeating, But after saying all this, you guys better have a very good plan to get Sehwag early.

  • Fast_Track_Bully on November 30, 2010, 12:01 GMT

    @ diri . So what happened in the last tour? just wait and see, no need to argue..

  • diri on November 30, 2010, 6:11 GMT

    Man007 its just that India cannot beat SA in India....how are they going to to it away from home??????? I just do not see it happening. Sorry

  • Fast_Track_Bully on November 29, 2010, 12:53 GMT

    @diri I never argued that, isn't it? ...but from your comments it seems that there were only one winner in all games. You have to check the last 2 series results ..there was no 2-0 or 3-0 for SA. So it won't be a easy walkover for them as you said. And they can't relay on pitches only. Indian bowlers may be more dangerous in bowling pitches like the last match in previous tour...it happened ... and still it can happen.

  • on November 29, 2010, 12:02 GMT

    SA has won more matches in India than India has won in SA.....Sa has the best record against India in the last couple of years.

  • Fast_Track_Bully on November 29, 2010, 10:14 GMT

    @diri I never argued that, isn't it? ...but from your comments it seems that there were only one winner in all games. You have to check the last 2 series results ..there was no 2-0 or 3-0 for SA. So it won't be a easy walkover for them as you said. And they can't relay on pitches only. Indian bowlers may be more dangerous in bowling pitches like the last match in previous tour...it happened ... and still it can happen.

  • sonjjay on November 29, 2010, 6:46 GMT

    One thing is for sure this series will be more exciting than the ashes played which is played on lifeless gabba pitch,517/1 i havent seen such a score even on placid wickets of India.So hopefully this series offer some quality cricket and good sporting wickets,what say SA and Indian fans ?? Ofcourse India alone offers more viewers than Aus and Eng fans put together so even the tv ratings would reflect that.

  • Proteas123 on November 29, 2010, 6:34 GMT

    @ grvdubey - Fair point, we can all look forward to a great series. @ harsh_vardhan2002 - You don't know anything about cricket, especially SA. Keep blabing on and drawing attention to yourself with your capslock, you obviously need it.

  • diri on November 29, 2010, 5:46 GMT

    Man007 SA has won more matches in India than India has won in SA.....Sa has the best record against India in the last couple of years....

  • Fast_Track_Bully on November 29, 2010, 4:42 GMT

    Some of our SA supporters do not know that SA lost to India not only in India but also in SA too. They will count only India's defeats. pitty

  • Vilander on November 30, 2010, 18:17 GMT

    Guys sorry for repeating, But after saying all this, you guys better have a very good plan to get Sehwag early.

  • Fast_Track_Bully on November 30, 2010, 12:01 GMT

    @ diri . So what happened in the last tour? just wait and see, no need to argue..

  • diri on November 30, 2010, 6:11 GMT

    Man007 its just that India cannot beat SA in India....how are they going to to it away from home??????? I just do not see it happening. Sorry

  • Fast_Track_Bully on November 29, 2010, 12:53 GMT

    @diri I never argued that, isn't it? ...but from your comments it seems that there were only one winner in all games. You have to check the last 2 series results ..there was no 2-0 or 3-0 for SA. So it won't be a easy walkover for them as you said. And they can't relay on pitches only. Indian bowlers may be more dangerous in bowling pitches like the last match in previous tour...it happened ... and still it can happen.

  • on November 29, 2010, 12:02 GMT

    SA has won more matches in India than India has won in SA.....Sa has the best record against India in the last couple of years.

  • Fast_Track_Bully on November 29, 2010, 10:14 GMT

    @diri I never argued that, isn't it? ...but from your comments it seems that there were only one winner in all games. You have to check the last 2 series results ..there was no 2-0 or 3-0 for SA. So it won't be a easy walkover for them as you said. And they can't relay on pitches only. Indian bowlers may be more dangerous in bowling pitches like the last match in previous tour...it happened ... and still it can happen.

  • sonjjay on November 29, 2010, 6:46 GMT

    One thing is for sure this series will be more exciting than the ashes played which is played on lifeless gabba pitch,517/1 i havent seen such a score even on placid wickets of India.So hopefully this series offer some quality cricket and good sporting wickets,what say SA and Indian fans ?? Ofcourse India alone offers more viewers than Aus and Eng fans put together so even the tv ratings would reflect that.

  • Proteas123 on November 29, 2010, 6:34 GMT

    @ grvdubey - Fair point, we can all look forward to a great series. @ harsh_vardhan2002 - You don't know anything about cricket, especially SA. Keep blabing on and drawing attention to yourself with your capslock, you obviously need it.

  • diri on November 29, 2010, 5:46 GMT

    Man007 SA has won more matches in India than India has won in SA.....Sa has the best record against India in the last couple of years....

  • Fast_Track_Bully on November 29, 2010, 4:42 GMT

    Some of our SA supporters do not know that SA lost to India not only in India but also in SA too. They will count only India's defeats. pitty

  • DesiCricketfan on November 29, 2010, 2:53 GMT

    @SFGoldenGate.. I think you wrote exactly the same, what i was saying. Steyn is a good bowler but it also depends upon the Team. We just concluded a cricket tournament in Nevada,USA and In my team we have two Great Bowlers who bowls Yorkers at will but the irony is the highest wicket taker was pur average bowler. The reason was that our opponents were more careful when they were bowling and were careles when he was bowling. My point is, most of the time average bowlers take wickets and good bowler don't. This is exactly what happened in the last game between Ind/NZ where Yuvi got wickets but Munaf & Nehra did'nt, it is not that Yuvi is a better bowler than Nehra and Munaf.My point is we have said so much on Bhajji not taking wickets, GUYS, Teams know who is the best bowler and that is why they play them carefully and attack weak bowlers. This is what is going to happen in SA, India will be playing Steyn carefully and that will be a big difference. India will be fighting hard..Go India.

  • Vilander on November 28, 2010, 21:26 GMT

    At hind sight, after all this talk. SA better have a good plan to get Sehwag early..

  • SFGoldenGate on November 28, 2010, 19:34 GMT

    @DesiCricketfan, I am not saying Tendulkar is bar or something. But Hey, Kallis also has tons of runs. And he is playing in his home. Both of them are great but you can not guarantee which one will play better. And Viru's record is swinging condition is very very very poor. Its not the flatbeds we are talking about. In India and sub-continent, yeah, I agree with you, both Viru and Sachin wins. But anyway, all will be proved in the field. Your analysis says that apart from the Fast bowlers India is stronger in every department. Even the fast bowlers together will also bowl better than Steyn and CO. Then , there is really no hope for SA. Lets see.

  • SnowSnake on November 28, 2010, 19:31 GMT

    From pure mathematical point of view here is my advice to India and SA. First, India does not have to win to stay #1 and SA must win to stay #2. So, my advice to India is play at a strike rate of less than 3.0rpo and don't make mistakes and wait for SA to make mistakes as SA must play aggressively to win. For SA get Shewag out in first 10 overs. If that does not work then it is best to expect a draw for the new ball shine will be gone and if Shewag lasts more than 10 overs, India will score over 350 runs in 1.5 days. Also, beware of Gambhir because when he is in form, he can play fast bowling really well.

  • SnowSnake on November 28, 2010, 16:31 GMT

    I just cruncked the numbers. Pretty interesting. India will go into the series as #1 team and will come out as #1 team. SA will go in as either #2 team or #3 team and come out as either #2, #3, #4 or #5 team. SA ranking is sensitive to outcome of SL-WI and the Ashes. India not so much. The 16 point lead over current #2 team and liklihood of Ashes 1st test draw, keeps India strong in the ICC rankings.

  • DesiCricketfan on November 28, 2010, 16:30 GMT

    @SFGolden gate.. I partially agree with your analysis except Viru/Tendulkar comparison. Kallis and Tendulkar can not be compared and both of them are genuis. So no stalemate. Viru is an excellent player. Bhajji Wins. Steyn is better so no comparison between him and Zaheer but on another note Zak,Ishant & sreesanth altogether will play better than Steyn & Co. Advantage India... We only wish that the series will be very interesting and will be much better than OVERHYPED ASHES.. Let us Enjoy cricket.GO INDIA GO... GO INDIA GO... GO INDIA GO... GO INDIA GO...

  • on November 28, 2010, 16:23 GMT

    India will prove they are number 1. India also now has a good record performing in all pitches. They are the team which beat australia in pacy track in perth. Zaheer khan is in the form of his life. He has an exceptional bowling average of 25.5 in last 5-10 tests in sub continent itself. Smith is going to get injured again,but this time he is going 2 get injured from zaheer. Sehwag is going to make steyn totally wondering. Dravid with such a solid technique will be loved to watched in south african pitches. Sachin always consistent. VVS no need to say abt him,the world know bout him.Raina is d only worry for india. Ishanth n srisanth r showing signs of good rhytm. India is a team to watch out for.Murali vijay as a back up opener is ready to come into the team at any time.

  • Deepkar on November 28, 2010, 14:39 GMT

    Mostly ind lost bcoz our bowlers didnt match to oposition bowling. But now it is not case zak bowling deadly on dead pitches what will he do on live pitches & on live pitches ishant alrady made ponting dance shree also bowls well when pitch offers help. So SA lively pitches can backfire if u get us out for 200 we also can do same or better. smith is fit to play guess who is happy to know this yes u r right its ZAK.

  • on November 28, 2010, 13:48 GMT

    Finally a challenge!! All the best to both teams. Hope India beat SA and silence the jealous ppl here also known as critics

  • SnowSnake on November 28, 2010, 13:01 GMT

    @Rafey: You cannot analyze India's #1 ranking by analyzing India alone. Rankings are relative, so you have to analyze other teams as well. All of the teams together. Besides playing 7 series out of 11 in India is to be expected. Any major team will play at least minimum of 50% home games, unless of course you are talking Pak., which has to play 100% of the games away. Your conclusions are wrong. The fact is India is #1 because they played well whereas others did not play well. Fast bowling of other teams is pretty bad. Look as the Ashes and recent series between SA-Pak. Indian pitches may not support fast bowling, but today's fast bolwers have to prove that they can take 20 wickets on pitches outside India. This does not seeming to be happening right now.

  • on November 28, 2010, 11:41 GMT

    Finally I got the time to do the analyses that i wanted to do to unveal the mystery of India's number 1 test status. Since 2008, India has played 11 test series. Out of which 7 are Home Series (startling, not when u know who got the money!). Not surprisingly India won 5 out of them and drew 2. The only 4 that series India played Away were 2 against SL, and 1 each against lowly ranked NZ and BD.The other 2 (as u must have guessed by now) against SL yet again, winning 1 and losing 1. So to cut the long story short, on realising that India only wins at hime, they started playing at home only with strong teams, and a few away series with weaker teams. A convenient route to be no.1 and explains why their is so much anxiety in India for SA trip!

  • safwan_Umair on November 28, 2010, 11:13 GMT

    eventually a series where India's number one status will be seriously challenged! No doubt they have an exceptional batting line up. But playing on flat Indian wickets bares no comparison to facing steyn, morkel, langveldt etc on fast/bouncy tracks. averaging 60 on subcontinental tracks is equivalent to an English Batsmen's average of 40. Its sickening to witness batsmen making hay on absolutely docile tracks. A recent example being Gayle's 333 on a Srilankan belter! No wonder Sangakkara averages 57, samaraveera 54 n Mahela 53. keep playing in colombo and Galle, the average will go up automatically. Lets just hope SA stay true to their word and prepare sporting wickets.

  • gr8_sachin_fan on November 28, 2010, 5:45 GMT

    @kiwirocker: Tendulkar averages a mighty 38.24 runs against South Africa with or without Donald in 22 matches. And the more fearsome fact for the Safs is that he averages more against them in South Africa than at home. He has scored 835 runs in South Africa at the Bradmanesque avg of 39.76 in 12 matches. You cannot imagine the fearful state of mind that the south africans bowlers will be in, knowing that they have to face the best batsman ever who has dominated so heavily on South African pitches. Beware South Africa, Sachin is coming....

  • SFGoldenGate on November 27, 2010, 23:41 GMT

    @harsh_vardhan2002, I was lokking at your player to player analysis. Viru and Smith has almost similar record overall. But in SA Sehwag's average is only 26.44. And he is overall very bad second innings player. In comparison Smith has more than two 3rd innings and 4 th innings vital match-winning/saving innings. And I bet that SA pitch will take both team 4th innings for result. So Smith wins. Gambhir is good but never played test in SA. Also his form is shaking. But lets give him benefit of doubt. Gambhir beats Petersen. Due to lack of form Dravid is not 100%. due to injury Amla is not 100%. So, lets say stalemate here. How are you saying Tendular will perform better than Kallis. You are just writing Kallis off. LOL. Hey Kallis also have average like 56 overall. Stalamte here. Laxman is better than AB. Prince/Duminy is better than Raina. Bhajji wins. Zaheer is good but Steyn is better. Lets say Ishant wins agains Morkel. But Parnell is better than Sree-shant. Its my opinion only.

  • diri on November 27, 2010, 19:11 GMT

    The truth of the matter is that India are weaker than SA in all departments except spin…So my point is India couldn't beat SA on spinning wickets in india ( The last two tours that SA have been to india) so now how they going to beat SA on fast bouncy wickets???? SA are truly the number 1 team and they will prove it soon

  • SFGoldenGate on November 27, 2010, 16:06 GMT

    @Razor88, Right now you are thinking correctly and I like you. I think that this Indian team has better potential. Not only that, Most of them are in good nick. What I meant in earlier post is that, the probability of getting these kind of class player in the same era is good luck and getting all of them in form at the same time is also better luck. For example, getting McGrath and Warne in the same team along with Hayden, Ponting, Langer, Gilchrist and others is almost a miracle. How often have you seen such players in same team. Now you can see the value of those player in AUS team of course. After their retirement its been 3 years and their mediocre replacement is letting the team down. Even if they can find replacement it will take time. Indian ODI team sure won in AUS but remember the 2 all crucial final was won by Sachin almost single-handedly. Who played 200* in ODI? You see my point? I know you can win without SRT but he is still winning matches single-handedly for India.

  • The_Dynamite_Kid on November 27, 2010, 15:36 GMT

    @ NorthernTerritorian You better worry about your team which currently boasts of the worst batting line up in the world. As for Indian batsmen, it's funny that their averages somehow remain exactly the same whenever they play outside India or outside the subcontinent. What's even more funny is that there are only 3 batsmen from Asia in the history of the game, who manages an average of more than 50 outside the sub-continent - Dravid, Tendulkar and Gavaskar, each one being an Indian.

  • CharlieAlanJakeHarperFamily on November 27, 2010, 14:53 GMT

    CONSIDERING ONE ON ONE ANALYSIS THE WE HAVE PETERSON VS GAMBHIR WHERE GAMBHIR SCORES,VIRU VS SMITH VIRU WILL CLAIM OPENING SLOT IN THE WORLD ANYDAY,DRAVID VS AMLA AMLA IN FORM BUT HAS INJURED HIS LEFT WRIST HIS TOP HAND AND SCORING AFTER INJURY IS DIFFERENT PROPOSITION SACHIN VS KALLIS NO NEED TO SAY VVS VS AB THEN ITS VVS WHO IS TECHNICALLY SOUND FOR MOVING CHERRY RAINA VS PRINCE/DUMINY HERE ITS THE SA,MSD VS BOUCHER ITS MSD FOR BATTING MAY BE NOT KEEPING BHAJJI VS HARRIS AGAIN NO NEED,ITS SA QUICKS BETTER

  • South_Indian on November 27, 2010, 14:34 GMT

    Lively pitches, that means BOUNCE ! OMG !! the great batsmen who take pride in playing in the dust bowls of India gonna be exposed badly :( even in ordinary SA pitches the Indians would not stand a chance, now BOUNCY wickets! HAHAHAHA SA gonna hand out a hammering to India :) INDIA was all out for 66 (yes 66, less than 100 runs) in Durban in 1996, SHAME :P

  • The_Dynamite_Kid on November 27, 2010, 12:01 GMT

    @KiwiRocker Unfortunately for you, whenever an All Time World XI is prepared, Tendulkar will always feature in it. Just like he featured in the recent All Time World XI prepared by Cricinfo, just like he featured in Richie Benaud's Dream team, just like he featured in Don Bradman's Dream Team. Also, whenever a list of all time greatest cricketers is produced, he will always make it to top 10, much ahead of that overrated Imran Khan. Just like he was rated at the #7 th spot in ESPN's Top 25 Greatest Cricketers of All Time prepared in 2001 ahead of that overrated Imran Khan, just like he was rated at the #9th spot in Christopher Martin Jenkings's list of Top 100 Greatest Cricketers of All Time prepared in 2009, much ahead of the overrated Imran Khan. You can keep moaning for the rest of your life, but that's the way things have been so far, and that's the way things are going to be in the future. Unfortunately, there is nothing you can do to change it, so better learn to live with it.

  • The_Dynamite_Kid on November 27, 2010, 11:53 GMT

    Things were very different in India's last tour to S.A. Sehwag was completely out of touch for about 1.5 years, and the tour to S.A. took place in between those years. Dravid was miserably out of touch for about 2.5 years, and once again the tour to S.A. fell in between those years. Tendulkar was making his return after a major shoulder surgery and he wasn't in nick either. I'm not making excuses, India were beaten black & blue, and I admit it. But things are very different now. Sehwag and Tendulkar have been enjoying the form of their life. Dravid too is in good touch, so is Laxman. India didn't unearth Gautam Gambhir during that 2006 tour to S.A, thankfully India has his services as well this time around. Zaheer Khan has been really good since the last 3 years or so, and he too will be a crucial factor. Over all I can guarantee it won't be a cakewalk for S.A, they'll have to fight really hard to get positive results.

  • suday on November 27, 2010, 8:19 GMT

    facts are facts the last time India played South Africa in India. South Africa won the second test on a bowler friendly wicket. So what do u think is going to happen???? India has not won a series in SA for one reason and for one reason only. Kirsten will help but i won't bet on India.

    Razor88 call us what u want but who is the Indian COACH!!!!!!!

  • on November 27, 2010, 7:43 GMT

    @SnowSnake Your memory is not serving you correctly here.Rahul Dravid was the captain of the Indian team in the SA tour during 2006-2007.It was the comeback tour for Sourav Ganguly after 11 months.But yeah no one remembers much about Dravid's captaincy and people just can't have a verdict on his tenure as a captain like it happens for a Ganguly or Sachin.

  • muski on November 27, 2010, 6:42 GMT

    @Rajesh- You are right about that- However Iam keeping my fingers crossed if our our 4 batting greats can handle Styen and co better than what Smith and co will handle Zak and co. Sreesanth will certainly be the dark horse of the series. If he keeps his head on his shoulders ( for a change) and concentrates on his bowling, it will be a different ball game. All in all a time of judgment for the world no1 Test team- its a series that will reveal if India is really a tiger or a paper tiger of Test Cricket.

  • Razor88 on November 27, 2010, 5:25 GMT

    StaalBurgher - They are the True Indian Wickets,Don't say it finishes in 3 days or so :|,the only point i find is India have been having better spinners Baring Warne and Murali(But are the Lone warriors for their team).Plz don't argue guys its a Fact Murali and warne where the best Spinners for the last 2 decades,after that comes Anil.In India,most Teams Lose Because of the Turn,Its a Natural In India,Like how Bounce is Natural in SA.The Players Before 1990 had Far better Technique and Defense Compared to Modern Day Players,Barring Sachin, Rahul, VVS, Kallis, Hussey.Its a Fact that Modern Day Players are a Suspect to Good Spinners and Short stuffs :|Actually in Every team.I really don't know Y india is always under the Radar for not negotiating short stuffs :|. Every player across the world will be a Suspect for Raising balls.Good Example,Punter has been Getting out to Short stuffs than Most of the indian batsmen.We all know how well he plays them.but dose not mean he is not a suspect.

  • on November 27, 2010, 3:36 GMT

    Just by making pace and bouncy track the proteas cannot think they can win the series.. the indian pace trio of zak, sree and ishant will be as lethal as the SA pacers.. the SA batsmen shouldn't forget hw they were troubled by the english seamers last summer.....

  • DesiCricketfan on November 27, 2010, 2:39 GMT

    WOW... WOW... WOW... It is really amazing how people are writting off players like Zaheer,Ishant & Sreesanth. As far as fast Bouncy and Juicy pitches here is what i have to say. When you give food to a hungry man, he will definbitely going to eat that. my point is we all know capabillities of Zaheer, Ishant & Sreesanth as they can swing the bowl, people who play cricket know that it is not pace that gets wickets, it is the accuracy ans swing that gets wickets, If speed gets wickets than Shoaib Akhtar, Shaun Tait, Brett Lee will be bowling only 2 overs to get the teams OUT. A good experience bowler only need One or two overs to judge the pitch and bowl good areas & Indian bowlers have good experience to face the challenge. I do not understand Why people can not digest that no matter how much we write against #1 status of India, India is #1. For all Indian fans "LET US STOP REACTING ON THESE KIND OF COMMENTS","we know we are #1, let us enjoy & let the haters hate India's status. GO INDIA

  • SnowSnake on November 26, 2010, 22:30 GMT

    @SA fans. Don't underestimate India. They will be a handful. If my memory serves me correctly, last time India played in SA it was under S. Ganguly. As much as Indian fans would like to hail him as the best Indian captain, he was the most insecure and partisian captain I have ever seen. Now that he is gone, things will be different. Also, Indian coach is probably best in the business. Since he is from SA, he probably knows what to expect. This will turn out to be excellent series. I hope SA pitches are bouncy and support pace for I am more interested in this series than the Ashes. May the best team win. A draw would be a bummer.

  • SFGoldenGate on November 26, 2010, 19:27 GMT

    @Razor88, No my friend I am not assuming that India can not produce good cricketers. But you see, Tendulakr, Dravid, Laxman, Shehwag all of them are good and they are together from 2000. In this ten years they could not win in SA. So, it must be tough for them too. And it is very tough for Vijay, Pujara, Raina etc to truly fill the shoes of those people. I am not telling that is impossible but it takes time. Show some respect to SA, ok. And if any nation outside wins in India then it is because of the sporting pitch, right ? LOL. Dont you think when Inida wins overseas that is also sporting pitch? At least you proved and agreed that, in sporting pitch India losses by inning on their own soil. LOL.

  • CandidIndian on November 26, 2010, 19:21 GMT

    @Wolver- My comments were directed to only those South African fans who write stuff like India will be blown away by Steyn and Morkel, India wont even last 30 overs etc not all SA fans.I accept that SA always gave India tough time in the field and they are favorites to win this series also.My point is India are much better team than what it used to be.India may go on to lose the series i am not denying that ,but i am sure Indians will play much better cricket than they did last time in SA.After losing 2-1 in their last visit to SA , India has done well overseas including series win in England and NZ also victory at Perth against Aussies.

  • SnowSnake on November 26, 2010, 18:32 GMT

    @KiwiRocker. The burden of proof is on you to prove your numbers. Just because you write them here does not mean that these numbers are correct-- especially when you seem to have an axe to grind against Tendulkar (#1 ICC Test Ranking Batsman). I can pull recent statistics on D. Steyn against SA-Pak. series and say that he is not good enough as SA could not take 20 wickets in last two tests. However, I would not do that as Steyn is a great bowler-- perhaps the best in the world today; certainly the best by ICC test ranking. Selective performances do not prove anything. People go through bad patches, health issues etc. Generally, pulling statistics beyond last 2 years is useless as only recent history matters in making any predictions for forthcoming tests.

  • Razor88 on November 26, 2010, 17:38 GMT

    (SFGoldenGate : Stop being Dumb with your Assumption of "when Big guns Go".. yea We might Not be able to Produce a Tendulkar or a Laxman.who are you To decide that we Can't produce players who can Take on good teams like SA?? Its not like Cricket is Over after this :|.There were Lot of ppl Yapping abt how India will play when the Big Guns leave in ODIs.Now,We don't play Big Guns in ODI and we won in AUS and SA is the only place left, we are still Above SA and it won't take Long for test.Abt your wins,It was not a true Indian Pitch,It was a Sporting wicket.were everyone can Contribute.Can you make Pitches of that Sort.Or Did you in the Past ??:| No!! Wish the Idiotic Curators Produce Dead Square Turners from now on!!) Every Team will Go home with Heads down So low like an Ostrich .Who cares if no one Comes Again to play us :| Atleast we might Shut ppls mouth who think they have done Good in India :| SA are Chokers to begin with :P.SA Chocked in India in Both the series(test):P

  • Vilander on November 26, 2010, 17:26 GMT

    Sachin did not make his 50th in the NZ series, it is so not an anticlimax. Now if you were the only man on the planet to reach that summit, you would want to do that against worthy opponents wouldn't you ?

  • Vilander on November 26, 2010, 17:23 GMT

    Thanks for the respect SA we respect you too!. Preparing fast tracks might backfire, but if india wins i would be surprised. No Smith in first test :) i see some pain because of that for SA, go ahead prepare bouncy tracks.

  • SFGoldenGate on November 26, 2010, 17:02 GMT

    Its amusing when Indian fans are flaunting Johannesburg '06 and writing of SA in their own soil LOL. Showing, Johannesburg has become such a cliche already. Please show other example, its already getting boring. Oh, you can not show other examples because that's the only Indian win against SA in SA. Even in 2006, they own the first test , lost the last two. They could not even draw the series. In two recent series against India in India , SA drew the series. They actually won two tests in Indian soil by innings. That means they can bat on Indian spin-friendly pitches. These two wins also happened in recent 2 years.

  • Kishore_11 on November 26, 2010, 16:59 GMT

    @StaalBurgher: How many matches in Ind have ended in 3 days and where even Ind couldn't score well? I know only one match where Ind also failed to score runs was vs AUS in Mumbai in the last 10 years. So, just dont throw statements without any proof.

    Here's link and go through that and tell how many matches both teams couldn't bat properly in Ind and match finished in 3days:

    http://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/team/6.html?class=1;filter=advanced;home_or_away=1;host=6;opposition=1;opposition=2;opposition=3;opposition=4;opposition=5;opposition=7;opposition=8;orderby=start;result=1;result=2;spanmax2=26+Nov+2010;spanmin2=26+Nov+2000;spanval2=span;template=results;type=team;view=results

  • spiritwithin on November 26, 2010, 16:36 GMT

    @StaalBurgher..in the last 15 test matches in india 9 produced results and all went till the 5th days except one (finished in 4th day against nz recently and nobody struggled)..so where is the question on test matches not lasting the distance???i can remember only two match where it finished early(against SA in 2008 & against aus in 2004 )..if i have to give example of SA pitches i remember many matches when matches finished inside three days...

  • sonofchennai on November 26, 2010, 16:24 GMT

    Could everyone stop cribbing about the ICC rankings and India being No1. Ofcourse it is debatable...India cannot be a No 1 team but there are not tohers who are fighting for...

    @StaalBurgher: SA lost to Aus at home and drawn Eng..atleast India won both the series agnst Aus and eng...We all ll have a better clarity on rankings when India tours SA, ENG and Aus next year...this ll please all those cynics complaining India doesn play away..give a break..dats d way it is scheduled....Not necessarily the pitch shld last five full days...its better for a match to end in 3 days rather to have a borng draw in 5 days...if its a mine field, the batsman should have the skill to play...

  • gr8_sachin_fan on November 26, 2010, 15:15 GMT

    @kiwirocker: Tendulkar averages a mighty 38.24 runs against South Africa with or without Donald in 22 matches. And the more fearsome fact for the Safs is that he averages more against them in South Africa than at home. He has scored 835 runs in South Africa at the Bradmanesque avg of 39.76 in 12 matches. You cannot imagine the fearful state of mind that the south africans bowlers will be in, knowing that they have to face the best batsman ever who has dominated so heavily on South African pitches. Beware South Africa, Sachin is coming....

  • mits6 on November 26, 2010, 14:52 GMT

    Not too bothered of who wins ,but eager to see hard fought matches with results (bored of following matches ending in draw ) . and definitely the team which PLAYS BETTER will win (hoping no umpiring blunders , and no interference from weather god )

  • Quazar on November 26, 2010, 14:39 GMT

    This should be a great contest! Was pretty competitve last time too that India visited in 2007 (with RSA winning 2-1). SA will start as favourites for sure being at home, but if Zaheer, Ishant and Sreesanth all remain fit through the series, India can make life tough for the SA team too...just as Ishant and Zaheer did to Oz down under in 2008. Importantly, having beaten AUS at Perth in 2008 and SA at Joburg in 2007, this Indian team certainly has the self-belief that it can win a Test match no matter what the conditions. We'll just have to wait and see if they can rise to the challenge once again.

  • StaalBurgher on November 26, 2010, 14:38 GMT

    Regarding the pitches; the issue has never been about spinning wickets or home advantage. The issue is that sometimes India prepare wickets that make it impossible for the game to last much longer than 3 days so as to ensure a result if they are trying to draw a series. On those wickets even the Indian batsmen struggle to survive because the pitch is not an even contest between bat and ball. If one team is bowled out for 150 and the opposition score 300+ that is a completely different story. Then it is the one team that can't cope with the circumstances. That is not what happens in India though, as both teams struggle to survive. A Test match wicket must be a contest between bat and ball and the pitch should aim for the game to have a result on Day 5. Pitch creation is not an exact science but if the game ends on Day 3 or 4 because the batsmen from both teams just can't survive then it is not up to standard. That is what the complaint is about, and it always happens in India.

  • on November 26, 2010, 14:34 GMT

    I think the BCCI is not helping the matters by ending the current NZ series not even a week away from the SA tour.Are we sending the test specialists a bit early?We haven't heard about this of late.I don't see India winning the first test considering the trend set by the team in their recent outings.I think no one should underestimate the Indian attack.There is variety in this attack but they need to be up for the challenge.South Africa also has a problem with their third seamer.Both the top orders have the same pedigree but SA edges past because of their recent form.Smith's absence will also be another factor.So eager to watch the series unfold.

  • Hindh on November 26, 2010, 14:29 GMT

    @ 2006 indian tour of SA sreesanth tore apart SA batting for 76 all out on a green oitch, so beware SA . If it is a green pitch it will help indian bowling as well who are lot good than their stats show since they play in unhelpful conditions.

  • StaalBurgher on November 26, 2010, 14:05 GMT

    I don't understand how anyone can suggest South Africa is overrated because of performance in the subcontinent. We have the best record there of England and Australia. Compare this to India who last played outside the subcontinent in March 2009 against New Zealand. Before that it was in January 2008 against Australia. Whereas the other big 3 teams have all played each other and India AWAY in that period. India ont he other hand have been pounding New Zealand, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh in series after series, with only a few 2 Test series against major opposition at home. I am not saying India shouldn't be no.1, because South Africa have failed to act ruthlessly enough to finish off opponents at times, but this current 10 point gap between positions 1 and 2 is a farce. South Africa have proven their mettle AWAY from home. It is India that have recently completely avoided it.

  • CharlieAlanJakeHarperFamily on November 26, 2010, 13:59 GMT

    @wolver OH COMMON WOLVERINE WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME KALLIS TOUCHED 145 EVEN BOYCOTT'S CAN EASILY TELL THAT KALLIS NEVER TOUCHED 140S IN HIS CAREER THIS REFLECTS UR NOT ONLY NOVICE BUT IGNORANT MIND U I AM NOT DEMEANING KALLIS HE IS THE BEST ALL ROUNDER IN WORLD TODAY BUT MORKEL AND STEYN TOUCHED MAX 145 NOT BEYOND THAT REMEMBER TAIT FASTEST IS 161 IN AUS THIS YEAR IN T20 AND LEE IS 158 IN WORLD CUP '03 LOOK STEYN IS WONDERFUL SWING BOWLER IN HELPFUL CONDITIONS OTHER WISE WHAT HE DOES IS THE UAE TOUR RESULT

  • on November 26, 2010, 13:26 GMT

    @KiwiRocker: King Viv is a legend in his own. His average against Aussies when Alderman played is a mere 18.00. He averages above 50 only against India and England. His average against Jeff Thompson, Kapil Dev, Chandrasekhar, Imran Khan are poor. Does that mean the legendary Richards is a mean player? His average against Dennis Lillee is a healthy 61. Does that mean Lillee is a mean player? Sachin averages poor against certain bowlers. He has a pretty healthy average 105 against Walsh. He has a very poor 16 against Donald. Does this signify Walsh is way too bad and Donal is miles ahead of him? Great players are always great players. Hansie cronje took Sachin more than anyone else. Will you be able to argue that Hansie Cronje should be the highest wicket taker as he was able to dismantle the highest run scorer the most? There will be always few battles they had lost, but that doesnt mean they are not great.

  • testcricketforever on November 26, 2010, 13:00 GMT

    Ha ha , SA seem to have forgot Johansburg 2006 and ofcourse that boy called Sreesanth !!!!

  • on November 26, 2010, 12:45 GMT

    The contest is between two very evenly matched teams , both having better quality than the two teams currently playing the Ashes. I want cricinfo to start hyping up this series. Similarly, I want to see the grounds full when the matches are played, just like Brisbane is full now. What better prospect than to watch quality bowling against quality batting on sporting pitches! Just add a full stadium with some well-mannered buzz and you have days and days of excitement to look forward to. My SA starting XI - Smith, Peterson, Amla, Kallis, DeVilliers, Duminy, Boucher, Morkel, Steyn, Tahir, Parnell. My Ind XI- Sehwag, Gambhir , Dravid , Tendulkar, Laxman , Pujara , Harbhajan , Dhoni , Sharma, Khan , Sreesanth. SA slighly in favour of bowling. Ind slightly in favour of batting. WOW!

  • vigneshenoy on November 26, 2010, 12:30 GMT

    If average is only of your concern,then please challenge my stats when it comes to some of Sachin Tendulkar's valuable knocks against the same Mcgrath and Donald,111 at the age of 19 at Jo'burg,169(thanks to adam bacher,else it wud have been a sure 200 for Sachin) at CapeTown in 1997,97 at Mumbai in 2000, 148 and 114 at SCG and Perth respectively against the fearsome McDermott,Whitney and Merv Hughes at the age of 17,116 at MCG against Lee & Mcgrath when the other Indian batters din hav any clue of what aussies were bowling,126 at Chennai at a crucial juncture of the match and series in 2001 against the aussies When it comes to playing against Akram and Waqar,due to political reasons India never got to play more than 3 tests against Pakistan in the 90's but Tendulkar scored a 136 which almost won the match for India at Chennai,and ya that was his first test against Pak 9 years almost 10 years after his debut against the same team.

  • SachinIsTheGreatest on November 26, 2010, 11:49 GMT

    Andrew Simoes, I agree with you that the challenge of test cricket is in playing and performing in away conditions. However, as an Indian fan what puzzles me is the perception that when India wins a game as in Kanpur '08 the wicket is supposed to be unfit for test cricket but when India gets knocked over for 100 and 66 like Durban '96 it is because the batsmen couldn't handle the pace and the bounce but the wicket was fine. These are double standards. Even as recently as after the Nagpur test victory, Smith "jokingly" asked if India will put a rake to the Kolkata wicket. That India won without needing to is a different matter. The question is why shouldn't a team do what they like to the wicket if it helps the home team? Just return the favour when those guys come visiting and that's that.

  • Ian_SA on November 26, 2010, 11:19 GMT

    An eagerly anticipated series indeed. India need to win a series like this to be taken seriously as a dominant World No. 1 team, as Australia were before. They currently are not. I can't actually think of an Indian away series win against a tough opponent outside the subcontinent recently. South Africa's record in India is far superior to India's in South Africa. In fact, South Africa are India's nemesis in the same way that India have been Australia's nemesis recently. India do have some quality fast bowlers now. India's batsmen will have to handle the conditions consistently well. The Perth test in Aus does not count - that pitch was fastish but with no venom at all - a pretty flat track. Sehwag does not have a great record in SA. His wonderful 300 against SA in India a while ago also does not factor here - it was unfortunately an inconsequential effort on another dead pitch (like ABs recent one in UAE), and he will need a great deal of luck to be so fearless on SA pitches.

  • logicricket on November 26, 2010, 11:19 GMT

    @KAMP24 only in ur dreams that ur dream team going to be a world No.1 for a long time leave alone becoming one... JP Duminy is no equal to A Prince who is a far better and technically accomplishes player... Tahir has not played any international matches and he has taken wickets of players who are not that much used to play ordinary spin bowling... Morne has not improved a wee bit since making his debut....

  • diri on November 26, 2010, 11:09 GMT

    The truth of the matter is that India are weaker than SA in all departments except spin…So my point is India couldn't beat SA on spinning wickets in india ( The last two tours that SA have been to india) so now how they going to beat SA on fast bouncy wickets???? SA are truly the number 1 team and they will prove it soon

  • Proteas123 on November 26, 2010, 11:08 GMT

    @ harsh_vardhan2002 - You appear to be the novice and obviously do not follow SA cricket. SA has always had better quick bowling conditions. Steyn and Morkel regularly break 150km and Kallis 145km. The bowlers you have mentioned only Tait is quicker and Lee in his early twenties not in 2008. Add to this that the aus bowlers not near the quality of these guys, especially Steyn. Check out Steyn's record in SA before you question his caliber at home. All the batsman you have mentioned have a poor to average record in SA, which is due to the pace friendly conditions. If Aus was more pace friendly why would this be the case. Sachin was very poor against Donald, it won't be easy against our pace battery. If the wickets are green, then 3 nil to SA. @ grvdubey - We are not being arrogant, just backing our team. We are well aware that this is India's best chance ever but there is a reason why only Aus and Eng have ever won a series in SA.SA has won in India and are generally india's boggy team

  • jackyboy10 on November 26, 2010, 11:01 GMT

    India does not have very good records against SA in SA.They have lost all the test series in SA in last 15 years. So this time also nothing is going to be different. India will lose at least in two tests definitely. But also I would like to add every team savors the advantage in home series and only Australia have managed to win in away series almost consistently till 2009. And Tendulkar is obviously the greatest batsman of this era. If he has failed to score in SA that may be because of some bad luck. I would like to remind of Sachin's performance in WC2003 which was held in SA. Whoever has told Sachin was failed against Allan Donald I would suggest him to read Donald's article 'The best batsman I've bowled to'

  • Balacric06 on November 26, 2010, 10:54 GMT

    The so called SA best bowling were not able dismiss the Pakistan team in 2 matches.... Where r they going to take Indian wickets... But this test series s going to be great.... Eagerly awaiting for it!!!!

  • on November 26, 2010, 10:45 GMT

    Both teams r good n equally matched. If points r disregarded, I wud put both teams as no. 1. I'll give SA a slight edge jus coz of home advantage.India has the capacity 2 win but they have 2 perform as per their capabilities. As an Indian, I believe, it'll be a tough test 4 India. Bowling is comparable - SA has execellent (steyn, morkel and parnell) pace attack as compared to india's decent(zak, Sree n Ishant) while SA spin is really bad (harris and peterson) compared 2 India's good (Bhajji, sehwag n raina - I am assuming ojha wont get a chance). Batting is almost equally good. India's saching, sehwag, laxman r in excellent touch. Dravid and Gambhir are coming back to form.Dhoni just score 98. SA's Amla, ABD and kallis are in good touch while other are doing good too. India's tail batting is better with Bhajji, zak and ishant all being able to contribute. In SA, only dale steyn can contribute ( I am assuming both will not play)! it'll be a good match btw the best two teams currently

  • KiwiRocker- on November 26, 2010, 10:18 GMT

    Challenge my stats:: I am tired of people calling a mortal human as God and someone with an unknown IQ as Genius. Here is some hard cold facts about the most over rated batsman of world Tendulkar: In tests against Australia; Sachin averages a modest 36.77 against Australia when McGrath played. In test against SA; Sachin averages a pathetic 32 against South Africa whenever Allan Donald has played.Tendulkar was a failure against Wasim and Waqar and hardly played against them. He anyway averaged 32 runs against them. Interestingly he still averages around 40 against Pakistan. Against the 3 greatest fast bowlers of his era, whom he faced in more than one Test series, McGrath, Donald and Akram, Sachin has scored 1719 Test runs at a modest average of 34.3 (compared to his career average of 56). This is the very definition of being over-rated. You can not become best by scoring against Shane Warne. You need to score against the best to become the best. Just like Sir Viv Richards!

  • on November 26, 2010, 10:06 GMT

    What a contest! Titillating . Now someone here said that England AUS and SA protest when they get turning tracks in India , but have no issues in preparing fast, bouncy or seaming tracks for the poor Indians when they come. The answer is , that is far from the truth. The fact that pitches in every country are different is great for the game. It provides the variation that makes Test Cricket unarguably the greatest sport in the world. What is not appreciated , is when flat tracks are prepared . Featherbeads and placid tracks are bad wherever they are encountered because thez make the game boring and they are encountered mostly in Sri Lanka and India. The track at Nagpur against New Zealand for example would be appreciated as a challenge by any touring team

  • fkauser on November 26, 2010, 10:01 GMT

    I think India should play with Zaheer , Nehra & Munaf Patel for southafria which will help zaheer is in for and with good experience ....nehra with good swing and pace and munaf with excellent line length and also with decent pace which will help.....sresaanth and Ishanth shoudl be resteed coz i feel bad for them but they throw the ball here and there loll....so go with this three pace and harbhajan for spin

  • hraghava on November 26, 2010, 9:53 GMT

    While I believe the Proteas will back themselves to win at home, wouldn't be surprised if India won the series. Zaheer, Ishant and Sreesanth (if all stay fit) can run through good line-ups, and have proven their ability to exploit swinging / seaming / bouncing decks away from home to win matches for India (Jo'burg, Nottingham, Kingston, Perth, Hamilton). As a spinner, Harbhajan thrives on bounce rather than outright turn - so there is some hope he will thrive in South Africa (though history doesn't suggest so). The Indian batting needs to consistently run up 300+ scores at least in the 1st innings to give the bowlers a chance.

  • Match_Ref on November 26, 2010, 9:52 GMT

    All said... Its gonna be a cracker of a series !

  • CharlieAlanJakeHarperFamily on November 26, 2010, 9:40 GMT

    @wolver well x-men WOLVERine STEYN AND MORKEL NOT IN THE WILDEST OF THE DREAMS ARE AS QUICK AS LEE,TAIT,JOHNSON,SIDDLE AND I GUESS UR A NOVICE CRICKET FOLLOWER AUS CONDITIONS ARE ANYDAY MORE CONDUCIVE TO QUICK BOWLING DIDN'T YOU SEE THE BIG LIFTERS AT THE GABBA ITS THE BOUNCE IN AUS AND IN SA ITS THE SWING THIN AIR DOWN THE HILL STEYN IS 140-145 CANT BOUNCE OUT AS HIS POTENT WEAPON IS SWING UNLIKE AUSSIE BLOKES AND VIRU,SACHIN,VVS,RAHUL HAVE PLAYED MUCH BETTER QUICKS OVER DECADES NO WAY U CAN BULLY US DUDE

  • on November 26, 2010, 9:39 GMT

    This will test series will be crucial for guys like Suresh Raina, M S Dhoni who have not played on bouncy tracks except for Dhoni who has played for one series in Australia. The Key will be the opening Patnership between Sehwag and Gambhir and the stand out performer will be "THE WALL - RAHUL DRAVID" two centuries in last five innings he along with sehwag, sachin and Laxs will be the Key

  • CandidIndian on November 26, 2010, 9:28 GMT

    Well even after being an Indian fan i would say SA will start the series as firm favorites but too much is being said and written by South Africans especially SA fans .I wonder if such arrogance is really necessary .Last time i read such comments were before world cup in SA 2004 , that India will be blown away and they went on to play the final and second time same comments when India was playing SA in Kingsmead,T20 world cup 2008 .Such arrogance has cost the teams big time ,Wasim akram from Pak in1999 world cup said that match against India willl be a good practice , they lost it, India took Bangladesh lightly in 2007 world cup , they lost it, Aussies said after controversial Sydney test that India will be blown away by LEE and TAIT at Perth , they lost it and very recently mission domination of India on NZ was not so dominating because of same reason.So i would say that this arrogance by South Africans will only benefit India who wouldn't mind if SA considers them weak opponents.

  • KAMP24 on November 26, 2010, 9:26 GMT

    Steyn, Morkel, Parnell, Kallis and Tahir..... That should be the attack!!!! Quality pace, quality spin, A great batting order although Boucher must be dropped. He is redundant. We have De Villiers who averages 47 and who can play keeper. The new Adam ghilchrist!!!! :) and Duminy in for prince.... What a team!!! They can be no. 1 for a long time :)

  • soorajiyer on November 26, 2010, 9:21 GMT

    Its two way guys - India have always won overseas in helpful conditions. If the pitches just have bounce, we would lose badly. But if there is seam movement, then zaheer becomes almost as dangerous as morkel. Steyn is class on his own so no comparisons :)

    If you give the ex of ahmedabad, Johannesburg 76 All out against sreesanth is also an ex! Lets wait another 15 days guys :)

  • on November 26, 2010, 8:47 GMT

    South Africa is going to humble India's batting line you bet.. the over rated Indian batsmen like Gambhir and Raina will get a reall bashing from Steyn and Morkel!

  • PClementLloyd on November 26, 2010, 8:42 GMT

    It is going to be a really tough series - but the real test for the africans would be to bowl against sehwag and laxman.And as for the Indians - They should smack steyn all around and be aggressive against him..

  • SFGoldenGate on November 26, 2010, 8:36 GMT

    @Karthi.D, Thank you for your cautious approach. It looks like Indian fans are writing off SA on SA soil, LOL. Zaheer and co are good bowler but SA batsmen are also good. Nonetheless , it will be fascinating fight.

  • anantskc on November 26, 2010, 8:34 GMT

    Is this a joke!!!!! no way can Indian batsmen stand against the quality of the S. African fast balling. Mr. Steyn & co. will simply blow the Indian battling order, its absolutely going to be nightmare for the indian batting order.

  • on November 26, 2010, 8:32 GMT

    It would be a cracker of a contest between the No.1 Test team and the South Africans in their home conditions. The Proteas will be gearing to have a go at the India's top-class batsmen. Of course, blouncy and juicy wickets should favour them more as they are adept in that condition. Indians have been playing in the sub-continent for the last two years and suddenly to get adjsuted to those conditions may be little difficult. But one should not forget that the quality abtsmen in Dravid, Sehwag, Tendulkar and Laxman all have huge international exposure with tons of runs under their belt and they have succeeded in various pitches outside the sub-continent. What happend in Australia - they had prepared a pacy one but it suited Ishant Sharma more than their pace bowlers. Of course, one is not discounting Stayne & Co., who are champion bowlers. Here is wishign both the teams the best of luck and looking forward to the contest eagerly.

  • ashish_soni on November 26, 2010, 8:30 GMT

    oh.......... i think indian bowlers would do well after bowling on flat indian tracks, they will be so excited to bowl on the southafrican pitches, if it happens than india should do well in south africa after most of the players recently been there for champions league

  • avkris on November 26, 2010, 8:26 GMT

    @diri jus go bak n check what happened d last time india were in SA. The new guy sreesanth then tore apart SA in d first test with them getting bowled for 70 odd and India taking a 1-0 lead. With bit more luck in the succeeding Tests, they might have taken the series too. SA can prepare lively pitches at their own peril. Sreesanth is in good rhythm, Ishant is back in form and Zak is always at his best. And of course, the Indian batting is at its best too. I just can't wait for the series to start and watch my hero Viru tearing apart Steyn & Co into pieces. Time to show that the No.1 tag is here to stay.

  • Fast_Track_Bully on November 26, 2010, 8:22 GMT

    @ diri -- http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/match/249215.html -----------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Do not underestimate our bowlers. ZAK is considered as one of the

    best bowlers in the world. And SA batsmen are infamous for

    inability against spin. But I don't think SA will prepare a pitch in

    which there is something for the spinners. But if anything, they

    will be in trouble.

  • Rameshn007 on November 26, 2010, 8:21 GMT

    @diri: yeah don get too excited n make personal attacks now ....we are discussing cricket...wait for the series to unfold...

  • SachinIsTheGreatest on November 26, 2010, 8:16 GMT

    diri, is that the same Steyn and Morkel who couldn't buy themselves a wicket against Pakistan or the same Zaheer who was able to take 12 in 2 against Australia in India? I don't mean to put down the South African pace attack - we all know Steyn's 21 average and 5 wickets per match is no joke but I don't see the need to dismiss Zaheer's class to prove the South African pace superiority. Ironically as India has shown at Nottingham, Perth and Johannesburg their best chance is when the wicket is lively and helps the bowlers. I think everyone is so sure of India getting blown away in those seaming-swinging-bouncing conditions that it actually makes it easier for them to go out and perform to their potential.

  • on November 26, 2010, 7:55 GMT

    First real challenge to India's Test ranking. If they draw this series with at least one Test win, I think it will be a favorable result. One thing I am sure of though- India will not go down without a darn tough fight, which couldn't always be said of the same team in the past. Most people just harp on how No.1 = Australia/WI Domination. That needs time and a little bit of luck. If India go on to win the series it will be a bit of a welcome surprise and there will be a shower of vindictive comments, to be sure. Whether they are warranted or not, only time will tell.

  • chokkashokka on November 26, 2010, 7:40 GMT

    ummm...just one question for this van Winkle guy - are the SA authorities going to tie the Indian seamers' hands behind their backs? SA doesn't have quality spinners but Indian seamers are not as bad as SA spinners. And last time I checked, the SA bats are not better than the Indian bats on any day. Actually I think it is great that this van winkle dude - who is stated as some sort of a coach for the bushmen, keeps thinking like this - I'd love the Indian seamers to cause plenty of contusions on the remaining SA bats. And BTW, the ICC world cup is being in the subcontinent not in SA - so ideal prep for whom Mr. van winkle. I think the Indian bats should be in SA right now - playing every day till the series start to put it across these guys once and for all. Its about time that this issue was settled. The quality of this Indian team is in unparalleled - I think this series will be close. India will have to play out of their skins - its a series with much more potential than the ashes.

  • Karthi.D on November 26, 2010, 7:39 GMT

    I m from india and i have 2 points.. first @diri- styen is the current best seamer in the world and morkel also bowls well , but dont underestimate khan & co., wait and watch how they rock South African top order, they play a lot on sub - continental conditions and thats why their figures are not good . 2) @all over hyping indian fans - indian batting is for more bad than dreamed (on bouncy wickets) , aged dravid is no longer a guardian (4 me 2 hundreds against mediocre kiwis prove nothing), raina and gauti will be proved their worth on bouncy wickets..its up-to VVS , viru and SRT (3 players whose record in SA is not half good as in other parts of world) to do all the work with bat ... so , SA will finally win the series even though i belive a lot indian bowlers.....

  • rahulomfs on November 26, 2010, 7:33 GMT

    @ diri .. i agree wid u that steyn is a class apart ... but MORKEL ,i havnt seen him tear apart any team .... n u must remember how sehwag made mockery of all ur bowlers ....

  • Alexk400 on November 26, 2010, 7:25 GMT

    Results will be different. The main difference between that team this team is DHONI as captain. He has the knack of timing. It will be either draw or India win. SA pitch will assist India. Zaheer khan will do also good. Ishant will knock out amla with bounce.

    Steyn can also make big damage. It will be good tough fight.In another 20 days, real ASHES begins in South africa.

  • SFGoldenGate on November 26, 2010, 7:04 GMT

    @Razor88, SA did play well in India. In 2008 they won Ahmedabad by innings and in 2010 they won Nagpur by an innings. SA played 2 test series and drew both in Indian soil and you are not impressed? Lets see when India last time drew a series in SA, let alone winning a series. But as I say , this team is really good. If any Indian team wins this team can. Few years later many of the big boys will be gone, so this is the best chance. Best of luck.

  • SFGoldenGate on November 26, 2010, 7:03 GMT

    @Razor88, SA did play well in India. In 2008 they won Ahmedabad by innings and in 2010 they won Nagpur by an innings. SA played 2 test series and drew both in Indian soil and you are not impressed? Lets see when India last time drew a series in SA, let alone winning a series. But as I say , this team is really good. If any Indian team wins this team can. Few years later many of the big boys will be gone, so this is the best chance. Best of luck.

  • Proteas123 on November 26, 2010, 7:03 GMT

    The pitches were very batting friendly last time india toured SA, especially newlands. Yet when SA tour that get the worst tracks. Hope SA prepares green pitches that suite the quicks. @ Razor88 - SA has more than proved them selves as number one. They don't need to win in India, a draw in India and wins against the rest is enough. India have not won in SA or Aus. Once SA has more home games the rankings will adjust accordingly. @ harsh_vardhan2002 - What better aus quicks? Aus conditions are not as pace friendly as SA. If we prepare pitches like the last one against england, India won't have a chance, if the pitches are batman friendly like the ones on last india tour and first three in eng series, which is likely despite this article, then the contest should be about even.

  • stormy16 on November 26, 2010, 7:03 GMT

    The SA fast men against the Indian batting order will be one of the great match ups in recent times. There is no question about that the Indian batting order but against quality pace in unfamilia conditions is the ultimate test. Its amazing how everyone goes on about the "home" record of a palyer or team but the reality is its always been like that.

  • anver777 on November 26, 2010, 6:57 GMT

    No doubt Dhoni & co will face stiff challenges in South African fast pitches..... but i think the past IPL experiences & conditions in SA may help Indian cricketers to some extent..... anyway its gonna be a ding dong battle !!!!!!!! Can we expect a STERN performances from STEYN ??????

  • CharlieAlanJakeHarperFamily on November 26, 2010, 6:56 GMT

    @diri yeah like ur sl bowlers cant take 20 wi wickets shame on u guys

  • Codenames on November 26, 2010, 6:44 GMT

    I will cheering from the stadium when once again, the indian batsmen get decapitated in our backyard. raina, ghambir & sehwag will be walking wickets our our tracks

  • Hindh on November 26, 2010, 6:39 GMT

    If india needs to win on green tops then SA to be truly No 1 they have win in raging turners like kanpur 2008 to be truly NO 1 and try and win a world cup. Steyn and morkel struggled to get wickets on flat tracks in UAE but India won in nagpur without zaheer. SA wud be beaten badly if they underestimate indian bowling.

  • on November 26, 2010, 6:33 GMT

    Producing a juicy,seaming wicket might backfire totally on south africa . remember what happened to Australia at Perth and England at Headingly. Ricky Ponting complacently predicted that India will be rolled out by end of 4th day play, only to be bundled out cheaply.

  • diri on November 26, 2010, 6:21 GMT

    Some of the comments here are a joke!! for all of you who think that the Indian bowlers are going to out bowl steyn and morkel you need to have your head examined lol....Steyn and morkel are in a class of their own ....Khan doesnt come close! Remember how steyn tore the Indian batting appart in Indias own back yard??? imagine whats going to happen on the SA pitches

  • SFGoldenGate on November 26, 2010, 6:12 GMT

    @Shan_Karthic, you are slightly wrong when saying that SA actually played 5 tests in sub-continent from 2007 june to present. They actually play 7 tests (2 in Pak and 5 in India). They won 1, drew 1 in Pak and won the series. They came to India in 2008 won 1, lost 1 and drew 1. And again they came in 2010 1-1. So, 7 games in unfriendly condition 3 win, 2 loss, 2 draw. Anyway, it does not really matters who won in the past. India is playing better than anyone at the time and deserved to be no 1. Only thing is they are playing most game in home. After AUS series in 2007 they toured only NZ. Nontheless, they have the best batting lineup and there batsmen should cope up with anything. Eberything will be proved in the field, lets see.

  • Razor88 on November 26, 2010, 5:56 GMT

    @SFGoldenGate - Yup!! They indeed Played well in the Sub - continent and thats y They were NO.1 back then,its foolish to say Australia Doesn't Deserve to be Number.Aus Dominated Cricket,But they Couldn't Do well Consistently Against Ind and SA(Both were Strong)The reason Y i'm Against SA being NO.1 - to save my time i think i should be Rooting to (Shan_Karthic : Cheers!!) he has the exact thing which in in my mind.Untill and unless SA win's In Indian SOIL With PERFECT INDIAN PITCHES.They are not to be considered NO.1.Y should Ind Alone Prove their Worth ???Let SA Win in INDIA then lets see to it :|.If you Indian Bashers Still Go on Yap abt it,Plz Indian Fans Lets Ignore them,WE HAVE PROVED OUR WORTH.To all SA fans,It will be stupid to Write of a team before a series,I thing Kiwi's and the Indians Learnt it in the Hard way. Kiwi Getting Bangla washed and Indians not able to Dominate Courtesy Good Cricket and Bad Pitches.SA Should learn or commit the same Mistake as the Former Teams :|

  • on November 26, 2010, 5:24 GMT

    The series against south africa will b d ideal test for d indian cricketers and doing well in south africa will give dhoni & co. a lot of confidence ahead of the WC........Lets hope india win all d games dere......it will b a stern test for d indian batsmen and a perfect chance for d bowlers lyk ishant,sreesanth 2 do very well!!

  • QingdaoXI on November 26, 2010, 5:11 GMT

    Come of India dikhado, South africa ko hilado. It is nice to hear that South Africa are gonna to produce juicy and bouncy wicket for the test series vs India. But remember, what happen in Australia with Australia when India included Ishant, Johan'berg and rest of the tour for Sreesanth and U are all aware about Zaheer. I hope this wicket will help lot to Indian bowlers too, All of u say indian bowlers doesnt deserved to get 20 wickets of South Africa in a match, u will just see practically what happens. Batsmen will score come runs but they will have to show resistance, Gambhir and Sehwag will give a good start for india , dravid, tendulkar and laxman the stability and again raina and dhoni should be playing attackingly. guys this team may failed once but not twice. So, beware of Indians. But my best wishes to South africa, becuse they are my 2 favourite team after India, because i always supports them when they play vs Aus, Eng.

  • DINESHCC on November 26, 2010, 5:09 GMT

    I remember in 2008 Aus prepared a bouncy track and selected 4 pacers to rattle India and to go up 3-0. Shaun Tait was the 4th pacer. The result was different. Thereafter Tait could not play any test cricket and immediately announced his retirement from test cricket. In 2009 Newzealand too prepared bouncy tracks but lost the series. It is a fact that the 90s team was not able to perform on the bouncy tracks. The present team is able to perform on any tracks. Wait till 16th December.

  • ahamedirshad123 on November 26, 2010, 5:05 GMT

    waiting to see how raina will play against steyn.We RCB missd him in the semi finals.He is under pressure.Yuvi will get a chance soon

  • ruchinn on November 26, 2010, 4:46 GMT

    The tour to South Africa can be a milestone in India's stay at the top. If India wins it will stop people from questioning their ranking. India is the best team among the current lot. However they do not dominate other teams like their predecessors & so people may question their standing. Although India need not prove anything to the world but I suppose even the Indian team must be dying to prove themselves one more time & in conditions where fans expect them to not do well. My money is on India. Key players are already in recharging mode for this series & the their coach very well knows the importance of this series.

  • on November 26, 2010, 4:19 GMT

    Don't make the pitches too bouncy though as India has good enough pacers - remember SA getting all out to 84 against India 3 years ago & losing the series opener. Only because of 2 days of idiotic play did SA come back and win the series. This team is far stronger than the one visited SA in 2007 and has guys from Chennai Super Kings who just recently took the trophy in SA. It would be an awesome contest between the titans.

  • ram_indian on November 26, 2010, 4:18 GMT

    Hi all, Home advantage is fine. All the teams do it. pitches are a result of climate, soil etc., It is perfectly fine for host team to choose grounds favorable to its strength v any opposition. However, when you play at home, choose a ground and THEN tweak it to suit you, that is where it gets a bit clouded. All of us have seen Mumbai wicket v Australia in '06, and v SA at Kanpur when India was under pressure to at least draw the series. Can anyone say that those wickets are typical in those cities..? India does not need to do that, it now has a team good enough in these conditions to overcome most opposition. Folks here talk about Australia, Eng and SA pitches, and are they not favorable to the host teams..?YES, true, but if you recall the pitches and conditions are known and WILL not change based on opposition. Brisbane and Perth, even when Australia played WI at their peak and got PASTED, no change to wkt.Adelaide and Sydney are more friendly to sub continent teams..but, remain so.

  • pranabashish on November 26, 2010, 3:32 GMT

    It just warms my heart that the Indian is being given this kind of respect even before the series has started. This has been the hallmark of this new team, the foundation of which started in the 2003-04 tour of Australia.

  • sankar800 on November 26, 2010, 1:19 GMT

    @ akshay4india Well you are going to see Viru blasting S.A bowlers! He had modified a lot of his approach in the past 3yrs!

  • Shan_Karthic on November 26, 2010, 1:17 GMT

    @SFGolden, in the current period since Jun 1, 2007, India has played 7 matches in Aus, SA & Eng. They won 2 and lost 2. Aus has played 6 matches in India and SL. They won 0 and lost 4. SA has played 5 matches in India and SL. They won 2 and lost 2. Eng has played 5 matches in India and SL. They won 0 and lost 2. That is India has played more away games in unfriendly conditions than any of other contenders and has the best W/L ratio matched only by SA who played the least number of games in unfriendly conditions.

  • on November 26, 2010, 1:09 GMT

    best thing to happen wold be India win the series dravid scores couple of hundreds and decides to retire..... its not tat dravid should retire but just in case he wants to there wont be a better occasion if he leads the side to a victory at the final frontier....

  • Shan_Karthic on November 26, 2010, 0:50 GMT

    @SFGoldenGate, I am talking about spin friendly tracks in India, like the ones faced at Kanpur and Bombay by SA and Aus.

  • kriskini on November 26, 2010, 0:24 GMT

    People are wating to see SA winning the series so that they can comment on India's top ranking. But remember they have played quality cricket for 10 years. They are not as good as Pontings team with Warne & McGrath. But relatively they deserve to be #1. I have a strong feeling that India will go on and win their first series ever in SA.

  • Maui3 on November 25, 2010, 23:54 GMT

    Be careful what you ask for. Perth 2008 with Shaun Tait and Brett Lee was meant to bully india into Submission. You dont get to be #1 and sustain it and have 4 batsman averaging 50 away from home with weakness on lively pitches on foreign soil. Not to say it would be easy for India to win, but it is certainly not a gimme to make lively pitches and expect a weak performance by India. 1-1 tie series is my prediction!

  • SFGoldenGate on November 25, 2010, 23:39 GMT

    @ Shan_Karthic, Aus did win a series in India 2-1 in 2004. The other results are 1-2 in 1997, 1-2 in 2001, 0-2 in 2008. But they did fairly well with Sri Lanka and Pakistan. So, not bad performance in sub-continent. SA actually won few tests in India. Dale Steyn won them two. In 2008, India were all out against SA for 76 (Stey 5-23) in Ahmedabad and lost the match by innings and 6 runs. Again same Dale Steyn caused trouble in Nagpur 2010 taking 7 wickets in first innigs anbd SA winning by Innings. So, by considering they are playing in their uncomfortable condition they did pretty good. But apart from the recent 5-6 years India struggle outside sub-continent. But taking home advantage is fairly ok.

  • Shan_Karthic on November 25, 2010, 22:57 GMT

    One thing I never understand is why it is OK for Aus, Eng and SA to prepare fast bowler friendly pitches and claim home advantage without any complaints but it is not OK for Ind and SL to prepare slow/spin bowler friendly pitches and claim home advantage? I have no problems with SA doing it as you have to use your home advantage, why else you are playing at home.

    Certainly India has to perform in away conditions before rankings can be firmed up but Aus did not perform well in subcontinent under spinning conditions either. Rather than have sour gripes, India bashers and India apologetics have to accept that at present India has the best team. If India winning in pace friendly pitches is going to be an uncompromisable condition for being considered the best team, SA/Aus winning in raging turners have to be an uncompromisable condition for they being considered the best teams.

  • on November 25, 2010, 22:29 GMT

    Shaheryar Khan While you are at it? Dont you think the Indian team also needs to climb bound everest before being the real number one team?

    Real and unreal I dont get it. They are ranked number one team period

  • Nampally on November 25, 2010, 22:01 GMT

    India has hidden and unexplored talent in the youngsters Unadkat and Yadev. . If Sreesanth can reproduce his form from his last tour of SA, it would be good. Zaheer, Ishant and Sree are all in 135 KPH level whild the 2 youngsters are quicker - 140 KPH. But consitency in length and direction matter more. India need to play 3 pacemen in view of unknown nature of Zaheer's fitness. I expect Ishant and Sree may be the other 2. This leaves a choice of either Harbhajan or Ojha for spin or India play just 5 batsmen + Dhoni and 5 bowlers. Dhoni has a lot to do his permutations depending upon the form, fitness and adaptabolity of the players to the local conditions.SA will not have an easy time whether they play 4 seamers or not. Thay still have to face the top 5 batsmen in the line up.If these batsmen can adapt to the pitches then India will be well off. In any case it is looking to be a closely fought series. Good Luck India - Jai Ho.

  • _NEUTRAL_Fan_ on November 25, 2010, 21:46 GMT

    @Yobro. I think you r the 1 being a bit ignorant. Look at Steyn's record and performances, especially the performances he put in vs Eng when they toured SA and you will notice he alone has more pace and swing than any of the Ind quicks and yes that includes Khan. Khan relies more on reverse swing and he hence wasn't a big factor EARLY in the inning vs Aus. It doesn't reverse much in SA from what I understand and that is when he will be forced to swing it and seam it 1st up. @mrgupta You too should realise that Ind quicks rely heavily on reverse swing. Reverse swing occurs on drier, scruffier grounds when the ball gets bruised more, not likely to happen in SA. If you followed the Aus series closely, they struggled mainly when the ball reversed. The pitch in the 1st test also had lots of invariable bounce later on,in addition to reverse swing and thats why 19 wkts fell in that match.

  • SanjivAwesome on November 25, 2010, 21:43 GMT

    SA versus India on a green, juicy wicket. This is the pinnacle. A must watch series. Lets get ready to rummmbbbblllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllle

  • akshay4india on November 25, 2010, 20:51 GMT

    My prediction for the Indian batsman are: Sehwag is going to do poorly. He probably will not have the patience to see off the new ball and will be out going for too many shots. Gambhir: Will do average, maybe a couple of fifties Dravid: Will do pretty well, a century and a fifty. Tendulkar: Will complete his 50th century, maybe 2 fifties as well. Laxman: Good performance, probably won't score a century but will score 3/4 50's. Dhoni: Better than recent performance, 2 50's probably. Raina: Might get 1 50, but will fail apart from that.

    This is just my prediction, what do you think?

  • on_the_level on November 25, 2010, 20:36 GMT

    The Indian batsmen like the ball to come on to the bat, the 3 man pace attack will relish any swing and bounce, and Harbhajan needs bounce to be most effective. Raina should be dropped, and Pujara brought in. Look forward to a great contest.

  • MohsinMalik on November 25, 2010, 20:24 GMT

    Rude Awakening Waits! It's a given that on pacy wickets, fast bowlers would wreck havoc yet again but more so from the South African side. Zaheer Khan is just about the only one who has shown consistency and character in the past and can be regarded as an all weather performer. Talking of weather, the sudden change in climate i.e. shifts from the traditional dust bowls to spongy and rather bouncier tracks would hardly suit the Indian batting line-up there. This became abundantly clear as the tour progressed during India's previous visit to the Protease land some years ago. Followers of the game would vividly recall then, as to how the batting greats stood their grounds taking body blows while the openers and notably Sehwag took the easier route on almost every occasion. The revered "Hand-Eye" coordination appears to part ways with relevant ease when there is lateral movement to go with the lifting deliveries. It would be interesting to hear that mantra repeated from R. Shastri.

  • YoBro on November 25, 2010, 19:59 GMT

    Lot of ignorance on display here. For pure seam and swing bowling, Ind are better than SA. If they go all the way and prepare such a track SA will play right into Ind's hands. Sreesanth will be licking his lips for another Jo'sburg.

  • on November 25, 2010, 19:25 GMT

    THE BEST PITCHES ARE ONLY IN AUSTRALIA,ENGLAND, AND SOUTH AFRICA. IF INDIA WINS HERE THAN THAT DOES NOT MEAN THEY ARE NO. 1

    NEXT YEAR IN JULY THEY ARE GOING TO GO PLAY IN ENGLAND WHERE THERE IS OVERCAST CONDITIONS AND FULL SWING AND THEN IN DECEMBER THEY ARE GOING TO GO PLAY 4 TEST AGAINST AUSTRALIA. INDIA NEEDS TO WIN IN SOUTH AFRICA AND ENGLAND TO SAY THEY ARE NO. 1 AND MAYBE ALSO WIN THE WORLD CUP.

  • mrgupta on November 25, 2010, 19:24 GMT

    @Suresh Babu: I think you are being too harsh on Indian bowlers and little extra gentle on Steyn. Dont forget on unhelpful pitches in ABu Dhabi Steyn cudnt get Pakistan out to even win a Single test for SA and now they have started cribbing abt making faster and bouncy pitches. When the same thing is done by India (Spin pitches) then the whole world cries fowl! And dont forget on the same 'dead' pitches Aussies found it extra difficult to handle Zaheer who ended up as the highest wicket taker in the series. I remember a similar talk of Aussies blowing away the Indians in the last series which they lost 2-0 and were clueless against Zaheer Khan. One big mistake which SA is likely to commit is to take Indian bowling lightly just the way Aussies and SL did.

  • arvindthiru on November 25, 2010, 18:51 GMT

    I wonder if India would play 3 pace bowlers and ask raina n viru to bowl some part time spin..and ojha should play as the spinner than bajji..cuz most SA batsmen are right handers..so the angle that ojha creates will be a problem, though bajji had a good test match at eden gardens..but tht was a spinning track. If India want 2 spinners..then better to drop raina..cuz anyway he will fail against short ball..so pick bajji as the all rounde..n ojha as the spinner and our 3 pacers..should be a handful attack to take 20 SA wickets..moreover Indian batsmen are in good shape..so going in with 6 batsmen wouldn't hurt india's chances of posting good totals..but dhoni doesn't make such aggressive decisions these days..so don't expect anything different than a 2 fast n 2 spin combination..my advise would be to play vijay or pujara in place or raina..cuz raina cannot play short balls..or if raina gets sick...India mite get lucky !!!!

  • sonjjay on November 25, 2010, 18:24 GMT

    i really wish you south africans make nice juicy green and hard wickets. If we lose we lose no qualms about it. But if our batsmen score we will be atleast able to shut up those bitterly moaning aussies and pakistanis. Really want to see good and bowler friendly and hostile batting conditions. Its shame we dont have a warm up game there though.

  • ricardowill on November 25, 2010, 18:00 GMT

    Test cricket is dying because of dead pitches. Test cricket should be a 6day event since the pitches are so dead. But then the game will be even more boring. Someone should step in and demand better livelier pitches.

  • _NEUTRAL_Fan_ on November 25, 2010, 17:45 GMT

    The ONLY Ind pacer almost guaranteed to bowl well on bowler friendly pitches is Khan. @hars_vardhan2002. The enthusiasm you have for your team is all good BUT if you think Sharma and Sreesanth will come anywhere close to Steyn and Morkel, I dare say you've developed a bit of blind optimism lol. Ind's chances once again rest with their experienced batsmen. Their bowlers will not out bowl SA, unless the SA get overexcited or something. SA have also had a decent test vs better Pak bowlers albeit on flat decks so I can't see Ind bowlers restricting SA for less than 300 too often. I also don't see Ind getting rolled over the way Eng were at times when they visited SA recently. Dravid and SRT have great techniques and Sehwag will enjoy the quicker pitches. Should be a close fought series. Should have been a 4 test series though.

  • on November 25, 2010, 17:21 GMT

    @Raghvendra, harsh - The same pace battery cannot dismantle SA in Ahmedabad'2008 & Nagpur'2009. Even in 2006, Sachin,Rahul, Sehwag & Laxman has loads and loads and loads of experience, but they were unloaded against the SA bowling w/o current world no.1 Steyn & lanky morkel.. Its been a long time Steyn took 10 for in a match. He will increase his wkts tally to 235 by the end of the series..

  • on November 25, 2010, 17:16 GMT

    hahahahaha @raghvendra india's pace attack is a joke, they'l be lucky if they bowl out SA even once!!

  • on November 25, 2010, 16:57 GMT

    Green top Pitch Gonna help South Africa.. other wise India has batsman to cope with...

  • CharlieAlanJakeHarperFamily on November 25, 2010, 16:21 GMT

    look the more spiteful the pitch the better it is even for indian quickies zaheer khan is no joke ishant 6'5 140 kmphs is more than handful and sreesanth did what everyone remembers last time look its youngsters in ODI team who can be peppered with short stuff not viru,sachin,rahul,laxman dont even think about it they have loads and loads and loads of experience and they have faced much better australian quicks in aus conditions so i tell u what ur plan is gonna with smith not in 1st test u guys r vulnerabl

  • on November 25, 2010, 16:17 GMT

    undoubtedly this series between the two world class teams is going to be a riveting one and am really looking forward to watching it , besides the ongoing Ashes .Good luck India .

  • on November 25, 2010, 16:08 GMT

    Watch out.. this time around India has th pace battery to dismantle SA

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • on November 25, 2010, 16:08 GMT

    Watch out.. this time around India has th pace battery to dismantle SA

  • on November 25, 2010, 16:17 GMT

    undoubtedly this series between the two world class teams is going to be a riveting one and am really looking forward to watching it , besides the ongoing Ashes .Good luck India .

  • CharlieAlanJakeHarperFamily on November 25, 2010, 16:21 GMT

    look the more spiteful the pitch the better it is even for indian quickies zaheer khan is no joke ishant 6'5 140 kmphs is more than handful and sreesanth did what everyone remembers last time look its youngsters in ODI team who can be peppered with short stuff not viru,sachin,rahul,laxman dont even think about it they have loads and loads and loads of experience and they have faced much better australian quicks in aus conditions so i tell u what ur plan is gonna with smith not in 1st test u guys r vulnerabl

  • on November 25, 2010, 16:57 GMT

    Green top Pitch Gonna help South Africa.. other wise India has batsman to cope with...

  • on November 25, 2010, 17:16 GMT

    hahahahaha @raghvendra india's pace attack is a joke, they'l be lucky if they bowl out SA even once!!

  • on November 25, 2010, 17:21 GMT

    @Raghvendra, harsh - The same pace battery cannot dismantle SA in Ahmedabad'2008 & Nagpur'2009. Even in 2006, Sachin,Rahul, Sehwag & Laxman has loads and loads and loads of experience, but they were unloaded against the SA bowling w/o current world no.1 Steyn & lanky morkel.. Its been a long time Steyn took 10 for in a match. He will increase his wkts tally to 235 by the end of the series..

  • _NEUTRAL_Fan_ on November 25, 2010, 17:45 GMT

    The ONLY Ind pacer almost guaranteed to bowl well on bowler friendly pitches is Khan. @hars_vardhan2002. The enthusiasm you have for your team is all good BUT if you think Sharma and Sreesanth will come anywhere close to Steyn and Morkel, I dare say you've developed a bit of blind optimism lol. Ind's chances once again rest with their experienced batsmen. Their bowlers will not out bowl SA, unless the SA get overexcited or something. SA have also had a decent test vs better Pak bowlers albeit on flat decks so I can't see Ind bowlers restricting SA for less than 300 too often. I also don't see Ind getting rolled over the way Eng were at times when they visited SA recently. Dravid and SRT have great techniques and Sehwag will enjoy the quicker pitches. Should be a close fought series. Should have been a 4 test series though.

  • ricardowill on November 25, 2010, 18:00 GMT

    Test cricket is dying because of dead pitches. Test cricket should be a 6day event since the pitches are so dead. But then the game will be even more boring. Someone should step in and demand better livelier pitches.

  • sonjjay on November 25, 2010, 18:24 GMT

    i really wish you south africans make nice juicy green and hard wickets. If we lose we lose no qualms about it. But if our batsmen score we will be atleast able to shut up those bitterly moaning aussies and pakistanis. Really want to see good and bowler friendly and hostile batting conditions. Its shame we dont have a warm up game there though.

  • arvindthiru on November 25, 2010, 18:51 GMT

    I wonder if India would play 3 pace bowlers and ask raina n viru to bowl some part time spin..and ojha should play as the spinner than bajji..cuz most SA batsmen are right handers..so the angle that ojha creates will be a problem, though bajji had a good test match at eden gardens..but tht was a spinning track. If India want 2 spinners..then better to drop raina..cuz anyway he will fail against short ball..so pick bajji as the all rounde..n ojha as the spinner and our 3 pacers..should be a handful attack to take 20 SA wickets..moreover Indian batsmen are in good shape..so going in with 6 batsmen wouldn't hurt india's chances of posting good totals..but dhoni doesn't make such aggressive decisions these days..so don't expect anything different than a 2 fast n 2 spin combination..my advise would be to play vijay or pujara in place or raina..cuz raina cannot play short balls..or if raina gets sick...India mite get lucky !!!!