Bowlers' fitness will be key, says Dravid
Rahul Dravid believes his team's pace attack, if the bowlers remain fit, will give the visitors a good chance of winning their maiden Test series on South African soil.cricket Updated: Dec 15, 2010 22:12 IST
Rahul Dravid believes his team's pace attack, if the bowlers remain fit, will give the visitors a good chance of winning their maiden Test series on South African soil. The battle between top-ranked India and No 2 South Africa kicks off with the first Test at the Centurion on December 16.
Dravid said the series against the Proteas would be closely contested, but if the India speedsters are able to stay fit, they will have the edge. "It will be a very competitive series, but I believe if our seam bowlers Zaheer (Khan), Ishant (Sharma) and Sreesanth can remain fit throughout the series, we will do very well," Dravid said. He arrived in South Africa with the second batch of players on Wednesday.
India have won a solitary Test in 12 attempts since 1992. The 37-year-old acknowledged it would not be an easy Test series. "South Africa are an excellent team, especially in South African conditions and we will have to play excellent cricket to beat them," he said.
Rice tips India to win Test series
Johannesburg: Former South Africa captain, Clive Rice, finds India a more balanced side than the current Proteas' team and has picked the visitors to win the series. Rice feels India's variety in bowling makes them favourites for the three Tests.
"The Indians have a well-balanced team, with their spinners and fast bowlers who can combine excellently and are a threat on any pitch," Rice said. "With the Indian spinners being much better than South Africa's, I believe that could be the difference in the series."
On the contrary, Rice believes there will be a lot of pressure on South African seamers Dale Steyn and Morné Morkel to take 20 wickets in the match. "They can take several wickets between them, but it is too much to ask that they should take out India twice in a Test."
He praised the India coaching team of Gary Kirsten, Eric Simons and Paddy Upton for contributing to India's rise to the top of Test cricket.
"Their knowledge of local conditions will play a big role. India will be better prepared than they were before and with Gary's fantastic management style I believe they should be regarded as the favourites in this series," Rice said.