Ready for a spin fest

2014-04-02 00:00

FRIDAY’S World Twenty20 semi-final clash between the Proteas and India in Dhaka is a difficult one to call and is expected to be a match where spin plays a vital role.

Having played all their matches in Chittagong, the Proteas headed for Dhaka, having their first training session in the capital yesterday afternoon.

Conditions will be different for Faf du Plessis and his men, with the dew factor and spin the two major focus points.

The Chittagong dew provided a fierce challenge for the Proteas, especially in the late match against England where, for the television viewer, the dew lay thick on the turf, looking more like the aftermath of a good downpour.

While Dhaka offers some respite from this, the wicket for the semi-final is set to take more spin than the Chittagong track, but Protea batsman JP Duminy believes the Proteas have the armour to deal with the threat.

“This match is huge. It’s the semi-

final and it’s a big challenge for us,” he said. “India’s spinners have done well so far in the tournament but I believe we have what it takes to deal with that and deliver a big performance against them.”

Having played India in South Africa at the end of last year, Duminy was confident the Proteas could pull through and produce what was required when the situation demanded it. “We have had good success against the Indian spinners in the past and it’s not as though there is anything new there,” he said. “Obviously we are not taking the Indian spinners lightly and we will have to do our homework. We have our gameplan and strategies to deal with that.”

Speaking on his own form in the tournament, highlighted with an undefeated 84 against New Zealand, Duminy said the nature of T20 cricket kept players on their toes as they kept looking for innovative ways to improve and score.

“Some things have worked so far for us and others have not. Whatever has been successful doesn’t mean it will always be to our benefit and this is a whole new game,” he said. “Whatever has happened in the tournament and how we scraped through two of our games remains in the past. We are up for the challenge and a place in the final beckons.”

Looking at previous T20 meeting between the two sides, the odds favour India, but with the Proteas seeming to peak at the right time and India yet to have a bad match in the competition, this is a hard match to call.

While the Indian spinners are expected to prove crucial, the Proteas’ trump card is leg spinner Imran Tahir who, with 11 scalps to his name, is the second highest wicket-taker in the tournament, with India’s Amit Mishra fourth with nine.

South Africa v India (T20)

Played 7

India won 5

Proteas won 2

India highest total 186-5 (St Lucia)

Proteas highest total 219-4 (JHB)

India lowest total 18-8 (Nottingham)

Proteas lowest total 116-9 (Durban)

India largest victory 27 runs (Durban)

Proteas largest victory 12 runs


India highest score

Suresh Raina (St Lucia) 101

Proteas highest score Colin Ingram 78

India most sixes Suresh Raina 8

Proteas most sixes Albie Morkel 8

India most runs (current players)

Suresh Raina 193

Protea most runs (current players)

AB de Villiers 128

India best bowling

RP Singh 4-13 (Durban)

Proteas best bowling

Johan Botha 3-16 (Nottingham)

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