India in SA

Dravid warns Proteas

2010-12-08 22:26
Rahul Dravid (Gallo Images)
Altus Momberg

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 on Wednesday 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 on Wednesday at the Claremont club in Constantia.

Dravid was the only member of India's probable starter team for the first Test to be training at the Claremont club in Constantia on

Wednesday. The rest of the group arrived on Wednesday night and would hold a complete training session on Thursday morning.

The veteran did acknowledge, however, that it wouldn't be an easy Test series.

"South Africa is an excellent team, especially in South African conditions – and we will have to play excellent cricket to beat them."

But India's seam attack these days contains certain abilities; one of the reasons why the Indian team plays Test cricket with such confidence, says Dravid.

This stylish batsman was evasive, however, when he was asked whether a series defeat would mean that South Africa is the world's top Test-playing nation.

"No, we have shown in the last four or five years that we can play everywhere. We did well in Australia and England and have even won a Test here in South Africa on the last tour."

Dravid is well aware though that batsmen like Suresh Raina and Gautam Gambhir have never played Test cricket in South Africa.

They will have to survive a pace attack by the Proteas if India wants to be crowned the winner.

But Dravid believes the new generation of batsmen like Raina, Murali Vijay and Cheteshwar Pujara are much more prepared to achieve success in South African than when he was a young player on his first tour in South Africa in the 1996-97 season.

"Today's guys play much more outside India. Most of them were in South Africa either on A-team or U/19 tours and some of them have even played in the IPL (Indian Premier League) or the Champion's League," says Dravid.

Read more on:    rahul dravid  |  proteas  |  india

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