SA bowling strategy ‘could backfire’

2010-12-10 00:00

CAPE TOWN — According to Rahul Dravid, South Africa could be making a big mistake if they intentionally prepare pitches beneficial to pace bowlers in the cricket series against India.

Rahul Dravid said India’s seam bowlers also have the ability to make the most of ideal fast-bowling conditions.

The first Test in the series between the world’s two top Test countries will begin next Thursday at Centurion.

The temptation will be big for South Africa’s cricket experts to ask groundsmen for green pitches.

The Proteas, after all, boast bowlers of the calibre of Dale Steyn and Morné Morkel.

In addition, the Proteas over the past four years (twice against England in both recent Tests against Pakistan) have struggled to deliver the final knockout. This makes such a proposition even more tempting.

But Dravid, at the age of 37, one of the statesmen of the Indian team, believes this kind of strategy could backfire.

“It will be a very competitive series, but I believe if our seam bowlers Zaheer (Khan) and Ishant (Sharma) and Sreesanth can remain fit throughout the series, we will do very well,” said Dravid this week at the Claremont Club in Constantia. The rest of India’s core group arrived on Wednesday night and held a complete training session yesterday morning.

The veteran did acknowledge that it won’t 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.”

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