We’ve learnt to play spin better than India have tackled pace | cricket | Hindustan Times
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We’ve learnt to play spin better than India have tackled pace

cricket Updated: Dec 27, 2010 00:15 IST
Subhash Rajta
Subhash Rajta
Hindustan Times
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Lance Klusener was part of a fearsome South African pace attack that routed India for 100 and 66 at Kingsmead in 1996. The former all-rounder feels India haven't been able to handle bounce as well as South Africa have learnt to tackle spin. And therefore it is still a big ask for India to succeed in South African conditions. .

Were the conditions in 1996 as tough as they are this time in Durban?
Well, I don't think the wicket this time has as much lateral movement as it had then. The ball did swing a bit today, but that wasn't too bad. A total of 250 to 300 would be good for India on this wicket.

There has been questions about India's preparations for the tour. What's your view?
I am sure they must have prepared well. But it's more of a mental battle when you come and play in difficult conditions. You have to buy into the fact that you will need to play differently to score runs here. It's a challenge for every team playing in alien conditions. It's tough for South Africa to go and play on turners in India, but I think South Africa has learnt to play spin far better than India have learnt to play bounce.

How do you rate the influence of Gary Kirsten and Paddy Upton for the India team?
Gary and Upton have the knowledge of local conditions, but planning is one thing, execution a totally different story. The Indian batsmen have toured and should have some idea of playing pace and bounce. It's however a big ask to play against the quality attack we had back in 1996 and now against Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel.

How is it that South Africa keep producing quality all-rounders all the time?
We have good wickets here and we encourage bowlers to bat and bowl. Being an all rounder always keeps you in the game. In India, however, apart from the conditions, one just bowls spin or just bats, perhaps that's encouraged a bit too much. Here youngsters are encouraged to bat, bowl and field.

How do you rate Jacques Kallis as an all rounder?
He's fantastic. He's up there with the very best. He's one of those players who don't come very often. South Africa are very lucky to have him.

Does that mix-up with Allan Donald in the 1999 World Cup still rankle?
Not really. What I prefer to think is that I have had a good career and rejoice in that. In hindsight, it would have been nice if I could have gone that extra mile but there's no point in thinking what could have been.