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My money is on South Africa

India and South Africa have been seeing a lot of each other and the contest has been fascinating. Steve Waugh writes.

india Updated: Mar 12, 2011 00:09 IST
Steve Waugh

India and South Africa have been seeing a lot of each other and the contest has been fascinating.

Steyn has often changed the game for South Africa and often Sehwag and Tendulkar have had the upper hand. On Saturday, I expect Sehwag to take Steyn on because that has been the strategy of the Indians so far. Steyn is not only a game-changer, he is one of the world's premier bowlers, so it would be a treat to see him bowling to Sehwag.

The other delicious battle in the offing is between India's spinners and South Africa's middle order. Harbhajan's doosra has been tying up one end but it is the unlikely Yuvraj who has been the game-changer with his innocuous left-armers.

It's not that South Africa are weak against spin - AB De Villiers and Jacques Kallis are among the best players of spin - it's just that a few players after them might find it hard to pick Harbhajan's doosra.

The loss against England will change South Africa's approach. I expect Steyn and Co to come hard at the Indians because the reversal was the first hiccup for the side. If I were Graeme Smith, I would feel it's a welcome break from South Africa's history at the World Cups. Very often, they have not put a foot wrong till the knockouts and have had a bad game. This time, they have got the bad game out of the way early.

I can understand Smith choking on the term 'choker' cropping up at press conferences. I have found the tag unfortunate because they play better than other teams to reach far in a tournament. If they lose it does not mean they are not a good team. In fact, India have an equally poor record. Looking ahead, we might see another exciting weekend game. It'd be hard to pick a winner but I might go with SA.