I’ll be watching every ball of the game | india | Hindustan Times
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I’ll be watching every ball of the game

It has been a very, very strange week but an enjoyable one, too, watching the preparations for the first Test from the comfort of my study. On one hand I am missing the buzz and excitement that a Test series always provides, but on the other I am realising how much my life has been consumed by the job. Micky Arthur comments.

india Updated: Feb 05, 2010 23:19 IST

It has been a very, very strange week but an enjoyable one, too, watching the preparations for the first Test from the comfort of my study. On one hand I am missing the buzz and excitement that a Test series always provides, but on the other I am realising how much my life has been consumed by the job.

I'm not afraid to discuss the reasons behind my resignation but, for now, you will have to wait. The last thing in the world I would risk is a distraction for Graeme and his team on the first day of an important Test. I will talk later.

I've spoken to many of the team members and have been in regular touch with Graeme and my feeling is that they are all in very good physical and emotional condition.

South African teams have always regarded it as honour and privilege to play in and against the biggest cricket nation on earth. Perhaps that's why our Test record in India is so impressive.

Graeme and I targeted the first five days of the tour as being crucial to our potential success and the intensity of the training and preparation in the build-up to the Test match heeded to be as high as ever. The team have managed to do exactly that under the guidance of Corrie van Zyl and Kepler Wessels.

For five years Graeme and I had a belief that if you started a Test stronger than the opposition, you had more chance of finishing it strongly. We always felt that the first hour set the tone for the match, we believed it was easier to win a Test by taking the lead early rather than having to come from behind.

I expect Steyn, Morkel and Parnell to be ultra-aggressive against Sehwag. They will bowl at full pace at his body in an attempt to cramp him for room. We know from painful experience that he is not a man to give any room to!

I'll be interested to see how effective Gambhir will be against South Africa's pace attack. He has only limited experience against the Proteas and very few players make an immediate impact against the South African style of play.

Even the great Sachin averages under 30 against SA on home soil.

I will be up at 5:30am to watch the build-up and I will probably watch every ball. I support the team every bit as much now as I did 10 days ago when I was still coach.