Corrie van Zyl, South Africa's coach for the tour of India, has said his biggest challenge is making his side adapt to new conditions in the limited time available. South Africa only played a two-day warm-up game in the lead-up to the two-Test series, and van Zyl said he was satisfied with the preparation thus far.
"My biggest challenge is to prepare the players in such a congested time to these conditions from the bouncy wickets of South Africa," van Zyl said. "We have to get in as many practice sessions as possible and obviously the two-day game has helped tremendously. The key lies in making sure our mindset is right for the challenge in these difficult conditions."
van Zyl, 48, who took over after Mickey Arthur's resignation, expected the track in Nagpur, the venue for the first Test, to take some turn. South Africa have two spinners, Johan Botha and Paul Harris, in their squad but the pair were far from effective in the warm-up game. However, the visitors boast a strong pace attack, including Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel and Wayne Parnell, which, according to their coach, more than makes up for the weakness in the spin department.
"If you are a fine fast bowler, you should adapt to any kind of wicket," van Zyl said. "Having quality fast bowlers capable of bowling at 140 km-plus, and three of them at that, those guys are going to be effective on any kind of wicket. It's a question of getting the right line and length on surfaces like that and that's what we are working on. You need to assess what's the right length and control. We are working on the control issue."
The first Test in Nagpur gets underway on February 6, while the second will be played in Kolkata from February 14.