Pujara rates India's chances

Cheteshwar Pujara (AFP)
Cheteshwar Pujara (AFP)

Durban - South Africa's negative batting tactics at the end of the first Test showed a lack of confidence in their lower batting order and was something the visitors could draw confidence from, Indian batsman Cheteshwar Pujara said on Tuesday.

"The kind of batting line up they have (means) we have got a very good chance to bowl them out," Pujara said in Durban.

"Just AB De Villiers and Faf Du Plessis were able to score big runs.

"Apart from them no one got big totals. So it’s a positive sign for us.

"We believe we can get them out. If you look at the last session, they were cautious about not going for the target so they are worried about their tail-enders."

The two countries drew the opening clash of the two-Test series, although the match in Johannesburg could have gone either way with the Proteas falling just eight runs short of a world record fourth-innings chase of 458.

India needed three more wickets to win the Test, but Pujara believes Dale Steyn and Vernon Philander batting out the last 3.1 overs was a weakness the tourists could exploit when the series decider got under way at Kingsmead in Durban on Thursday.

The right-hander, who scored an aggregate of 178 runs at the Wanderers, also felt the potential loss of Morne Morkel, who injured his ankle during the first Test, would be a huge blow for the home side.

"It will make huge difference for them because the kind of bounce he gets from the wicket makes it difficult to score runs against him," Pujara said.

"Whoever comes in will be a new guy and now they have to think about their bowling line up. Steyn and Morkel are used to bowling in partnership, so that will also make a huge difference."

Pujara felt India dealt well with the threat of spinner Imran Tahir, whose place in the XI for Durban is not assured after an off-colour outing in the opening game.

"I think Tahir didn’t bowl well... so we took the advantage and wanted to capitalise.

"On that wicket, there wasn’t much help for the spinners so I don’t want to rate anybody but I think we batted well. Indians are known to bat well against spinners."

Voting Booth
What is your favourite sport to watch on TV?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
42% - 7896 votes
11% - 1977 votes
19% - 3609 votes
2% - 464 votes
1% - 172 votes
2% - 444 votes
5% - 922 votes
8% - 1568 votes
3% - 627 votes
Water sports
1% - 168 votes
American sports
1% - 220 votes
3% - 573 votes