Tuesday, February 2, 2010


South Africa started their campaign in India with a practice match today against the Board President's XI Team at the home city of the Board's President (yes, that's Nagpur). This match is being played in the old VCA Stadium in Nagpur, the stadium that hosted the match when Australia conquered the final frontier under Gilchrist's leadership on a green top (Sourav Ganguly infamously pulled out of the match just before the toss).

The first Test is to be played at the new VCA Stadium (Jamtha). And if the last few matches on this venue are any indication, this pitch will be a batting beauty, though a little on the slower side. Despite this shortcoming, India comprehensively beat Australia in the only Test match held on this ground. I do not think South Africa will be easy to counter.

Morne Morkel (the biggest threat in my opinion) and Wayne Parnell (3 wickets each) have gotten their chance to get accustomed to the conditions in Nagpur. They have showed that they can be big threats. Dale Steyn does not need to show it, he has proved it in the past (remember Ahmedabad?) that he is dangerous. India's middle order will have one debutant and another playing just his fourth Test. The only concern for South Africa will be their batting, which has not been very inspiring in the England series. I do not count their spin department as a concern for the simple reason that they have never depended on it.

The batters will have their chance to get a bit of match practice in on Wednesday against Board President's XI's attack. Ashwell Prince and JP Duminy would like to have a few runs in their kitty and a boost to their confidence. And by the way, Dhoni is yet to lose a Test as a captain. An intriguing battle is on cards.

1 comment:

thecricfanclub said...

Not morne morkel all south African player are very good and India need good bowling and good betting agains the south african team