India v South Africa, World T20, semi-final April 2, 2014

Duminy braces for India spin test


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'We are humble in our winnings' - de Kock

The thought may not be comforting to their supporters but South Africa are getting themselves into a spin ahead of their WorldT20 semi-final against India. They had Shane Warne in the nets offering advice to Imran Tahir, as he has done at Hampshire in the past, and the batsmen are getting their dancing shoes in preparation for India's spinners.

"We know it's going to be a big challenge for us. We want to put up a big performance against their spinners," JP Duminy said. "We know that their spinners will be a key component to their team."

India will have at least a trio of frontline tweakers taking on South Africa, with Amit Mishra an obvious threat. "He has been on top form for India in this tournament and we definitely not going to take him lightly," Duminy said. "The guys have played against him and we kind of know what to expect."

As a team, South Africa have only come up against Mishra twice and that was more than 10 years ago in two ODIs in 2003. But individually, many of them have faced him in the IPL and they will draw on that knowledge when they meet him again. They will also have to dig into the archives to remind themselves of how to approach batting in conditions which suit spin, which is what the Dhaka surface promises to do.

South Africa have come from Chittagong where Hashim Amla admitted, "the wickets had a bit more pace and bounce in it," and minimal turn. He has spotted a "bit of a difference," in tracks in Dhaka but even if he didn't, the evidence is clear.

Mishra has made merry there, being named Man of the Match in two of India's four games. He is third on the list of wicket-takers of all teams who did not have to qualify for the Super Ten and his nine scalps have come at an average of 8.77. Samuel Badree has taken 10 wickets in Dhaka at an average of 9. The returns of those two legspinners will have Imran Tahir drooling.

Despite playing the first four matches in Chittagong, he is still the leading wicket-taker of the teams that did not play in the qualifying stage - his 11 wickets have come at an average of 9.18.

Before South Africa bank on him, they have to blunt the opposition's aces and that seems to be on their minds more than their own advantage for now. There's good reason for that because they have, often incorrectly, been labelled a line-up that can be outspun so the focus is on preventing that.

Although South Africa have some of the best players of spin around in their squad - Amla wristiness works wonders, AB de Villiers' and Duminy's quick feet do the same - there are some concerns. Quinton de Kock and David Miller have sometimes struggled against players who turn the ball and India will see weak links in both but Amla does not think they will find one, at least not in de Kock. "He is a fearless cricketer and is working very hard to put in a big performance," Amla said.

Not only will Amla have to lead the resistance against spin but he will also have to lead by example in approach. His calmness is something every member of the South African squad will want to emulate in a crunch situation. They are at their own crossroads because this is the stage at which they have knocked out of every ICC event they have played in the last 16 years - the knockouts.

This time South Africa have advanced towards them in uncharacteristic fashion. The banged down the back door in three matches and scrapped their way to victory. Other teams would be nervous given that history. South Africa are optimistic. "We will be taking a lot of confidence from those games that we came on top of because in two of those games, we were not meant to win," Duminy said.

Against both New Zealand and Netherlands, South Africa's bowlers engineered unlikely triumphs after the opposition batsmen were on course to overhaul them. South Africa found a way and they hope to find another one against India.

"The ways to win a game out of nothing is definitely something we will take a confidence from," Duminy said. "But this is a new game It's a big game - the semi-final of a World Cup. It doesn't get bigger than this." It actually does. There is a final after that.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Android on April 4, 2014, 12:46 GMT

    @ashok......dude.. don't be jealous india is nt the only team in the world... u guys don't respect more then deserving other country players .. Quinton dekcock scored runs in UAE suited conditions for spin... against much better spin attack then India with likes of ajmal,afridi,hafeez,etc... he is the best under 25 batsman in the world at the moment(kohli is 25) if u don't accept it, u have not forgotten his back to back hundreds against ur team & it haunts u.... & he has only 3 IPL games & it was a year ago. . he is improved player nw..& watch out for him

  • Bashir on April 4, 2014, 5:43 GMT

    Although its good to be patriotic nevertheless its better to be realistic as far as cricket is concerned. I am a cricket lover - love to see cricket regardless of who playing against whom. All I need to see - whether the team winning has done it convincingly or it was just a luck. A hard fought encounter entertains me and I expect to see such an encounter today, hope it does not go one-sided. Both the teams are well placed, based on the available potentials. Its yet to be seen how they utilise their potentials in such a big event - World T20 Semi Final. Let us say - if the openers from either side click to provide a platform for the batsmen to follow will consequently register a sizeable total - then one need to watch as to how patiently yet professionally the target is chased by other side. Both the teams are having world class batsmen and bowlers - if they play to their potentials I am sure a wonderful match is on the cards. I wish both the teams GOOD LUCK.

  • raj on April 4, 2014, 4:48 GMT

    SA have been a very consistent side over the last few years. The secret to SA's success is their planning and organisation - They tend to be the most organised side along with Aus & NZ (although NZ do not have the same success as Aus & SA because they are a small nation where they do not have the same wealth of talent). When it comes to the WC, however, other teams suddenly become well organised too. Suddenly, SA lose their advantage and it becomes a battle of nerves. Furthermore, the expectation to win becomes an added burden! In this respect, SA has faltered. In saying that the situation is a bit different here - SA is not expected to win the coming encounter and this may well help them.

  • udendra on April 4, 2014, 3:43 GMT

    The tournament format is unfair. India gets to play all group stage matches in Dhaka, while SA had to play in Chittagong.

  • ashok on April 3, 2014, 14:18 GMT

    @Posted by on (April 3, 2014, 14:03 GMT) sure mate but you dare compare Tahir wwith SIR jadeja and Ashwin?? ha ha!!They fail 1 out 10times and you thump your chest!!How many matches have your QDK played on SC tracks. Surely almost 15-20 ipl matches .And he is still simply LOL!!can't even score on spinning tracks!!How many times Jadeja and Ashwin went to SA. lOL this was their first tour ever!!So watch out where you are!!

  • Android on April 3, 2014, 14:03 GMT

    if u can say tahir is bad bowler after smashing him in sa pitch.... y can't to u claim ashwin & jadeja r not good enough to after getting smashed in sa particularly by. QDK.. & remember ab took both jadeja & ashwin to the cleaners in the match between titans & csk in a turning track without due effect bcz titans batted first. .. wat u have to say???

  • rajesh on April 3, 2014, 13:54 GMT

    @ Ashokdmightyindian, why man ,why in sc , philender did not show his class vs india in sa too , why cant we wait ( sa main weapon take wkts in 1st session of inngs they failed vs indias 4 inngs )

  • Rashmi on April 3, 2014, 13:53 GMT

    Every now & then U will find people like "Protears" who just want to create tension among people... SA may have upper hand against India in Bilateral series... But this is ICC tournaments... Here the pitches are more balanced than any bilateral series... Here techniques against Both Pace & Spin will come into play... & that is why INDIA has won so many ICC trophies in away series... The best team emerges from these ICC tournaments & NOT from Bilateral series where they are tailor made by the Home Side to Suit themselves... BUT this is a T20 Match... Anything is possible... So, It is not necessary that the best team will win...

  • rajesh on April 3, 2014, 13:48 GMT

    @ Protears, i meant we lost nz in overseas,, but i meant ur team lost vs aussys in test & t20 in ur home , & i meant present t20 world cup did u understood