India in SA

Van Zyl confident before Test

2010-12-25 22:24

Durban - Proteas coach Corrie van Zyl said his team were confident ahead of the second Test against India, starting on Boxing Day at Kingsmead, and the mood was upbeat in the camp.

"There is a good spirit in the camp. We made practice optional today (Christmas Day) for those who felt they needed it but we have prepared really well," said Van Zyl.

"We had two really good sessions on Thursday and Friday and have made sure we are 100% ready for tomorrow."

The weather in Durban is unpredictable and has turned overcast after a couple of sunny days. The wicket is very green but the coach is prepared for all eventualities.

"Five days is quite long time and you never know what the weather is going to be like.

"Experience has told us that we will most probably have a spinner in the line up for a five-day Test match in Durban."

The toss for the first Test at Centurion was crucial to the outcome of the game, although the wicket did not do nearly as much as the first innings collapse by India indicated but, in Durban, it will not have the same significance or psychological effect.

"I don't think the toss is going to be the most important thing but, again, it depends on the weather," said Van Zyl.

"We are not hoping for a green seamer wicket here so what I'm saying is that the toss is not such a big factor in our minds."

The South Africans go into the match with the momentum of an emphatic victory under their belts but Van Zyl said that it did not count for much once you got into the middle.

"We are approaching this game as starting afresh but having the confidence of the previous win. Momentum is important but it's not going to make us win the Test match. We have to work hard to do that ourselves."

India, meanwhile, go into the match as the underdogs although they are ranked the number one Test team in the world.

Left-arm fast bowler Zaheer Khan is fit again but opening batsman Gautam Gambhir has injured his left hand and needed treatment after practice on Saturday.

"I haven't had a formal report yet, said Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, "but he injured his left hand in the first Test and there is still a bit of swelling".

Dhoni said they were obviously disappointed with their performance at Centurion but they were accustomed to bouncing back from a poor start.

"It's nothing new to us. We've put in good performances over the last year and we need to build on that now and play some good cricket."

He said he was aware of South Africa's recent record at Kingsmead where they lost to Australia and England in 2009 but it meant nothing to him.

"We can't rely on statistics as they don't win you matches. Every wicket is different and every bowler is different. We need to take 20 wickets to win the match and it doesn't matter what any team did before us.

"It's good news for us that Zaheer (Khan) is back but our batsmen still need to negotiate the South African seam attack. Only then can we put pressure on the opposition.

"Our bowling has been a concern but we know they have the talent. They just need to execute well and be patient," said Dhoni.

Read more on:    durban  |  cricket

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