India in SA

Warriors give special insight

2011-01-19 22:34

Henk Steenkamp

Port Elizabeth – Four Warriors in South Africa’s one-day squad will be able to provide valuable insight into the playing conditions at St George’s Park against India on Friday.

India will take the series if South Africa fail to win. The fifth and final match will be played at Centurion on Sunday.

The contributions off the field by Johan Botha, Lonwabo Tsotsobe, Colin Ingram and Wayne Parnell will therefore be very important. Former Warrior Robin Peterson also knows the field very well.

St George’s Park is not an easy field to take on without experience of having played a one-day match there. Visiting teams have often come to that realisation too late.

The contributions of the Warriors bowlers in team talks can be particularly important. It will be important to take the wind into consideration if it blows.

Field placing and when to use which bowler will then be of vital interest.

Botha, who has captained various teams, will be able to offer skipper Graeme Smith some advice.

Ingram can remind batsmen that strokeplay will not be easy on the anticipated slower wicket. The batsmen will also have to lift their concentration levels when the St George’s Park band gets going.

Interestingly, India have not been able to win one of their four previous one-day games at St George’s Park. It is a strange statistic considering that the wicket, which has less bounce than those on the Highveld, should actually suit the visitors.

However, the Proteas will not walk onto St George’s Park with a great deal of confidence. Apart from their recent successive defeats, they also lost their last match at the ground, in 2009 when England won by seven wickets.

However, South Africa have a good record in Port Elizabeth overall, having won their 16 times in 25 one-day matches.

The winning of the toss is not expected to be decisive, as the team that batted first won 16 of the 31 matches there that produced a result.


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