India in SA

Rice favours India

2010-12-08 22:26
Clive Rice (Gallo Images)
Christo Buchner

Johannesburg - India have the bowling arsenal to take 20 wickets in a Test but he isn't sure that the South African bowlers will be able to reach this magical number.

This is the opinion of Clive Rice, the player who led South Africa on the field for the first time in a cricket match against India.

Rice believes there will be a lot of pressure on the opening partners of Dale Steyn and Morné Morkel, to break the Indian batting power.

"They can take several wickets between them, but it is too much to ask that they should take out India twice in a Test."

"The Indians have a well-balanced team, with their spinners and fast bowlers who can combine excellently and are a threat on any pitch."

"With the Indian spinners being so much better than South Africa's, I believe that could be the difference in the series," says Rice.

He also has much praise for the Indian coaching team of Gary Kirsten, Eric Simons and Paddy Upton.

"Their knowledge of local conditions will play a big role. India will be better prepared than they were before and with Gary's fantastic management style I believe they should be regarded as the favourites in this series," says Rice.

"Under Greg Chappell's coaching the Indians had much talent, but they were very erratic."

"Now that Gary is there, he has united them into a tight unit and all the players play to the full extent of their talents on the playing field."

He believes the series against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates has given South Africa a false impression of their powers and that the home team will be cut down to size against India.

Regarding the uncertainty about the captain, Graeme Smith's fitness, Rice says if he is not available, Johan Botha would be his choice for the captaincy.

In fact, Rice says he wants to see Botha as captain, even if Smith is available. "I believe he is much more dynamic as captain and under him South Africa will flourish more in all aspects of the game than is currently the case. He would also be my number one spinner."


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