Bowlers’ fitness will be key to our success, says DravidBy IANS
Thursday, December 9, 2010
CAPE TOWN - India’s premier batsman Rahul Dravid believes his team’s pace attack, provided they remain fit, will give the visitors a good chance of winning its maiden Test series on South Africa soil.
The battle between top-ranked India and number two South Africa kicks off with the first Test at the Centurion Dec 16.
Dravid said the series against the Proteas will be closely contested, but if Indian speedsters are able to maintain fitness, they will have the edge.
“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,” Dravid was quoted as saying by Sport24 Wednesday.
Dravid arrived in South Africa with the second batch of players Wednesday.
India in South Africa have won a solitary Test in 12 attempts since 1992 and Dravid is wary of that fact. Ten 37-year-old acknowledged that it would not be an easy Test series this time around as well.
“South Africa is an excellent team, especially in South African conditions - and we will have to play excellent cricket to beat them.”
“But our seam attack these days contains certain abilities, one of the reasons why the team has been playing Test cricket with such confidence,” he said.
The likes of Suresh Raina and Gautam Gambhir have never played Test cricket in South Africa and playing against the side which boasts of number one Test bowler in Dale Steyn will certainly be a challenge for them.
But Dravid believes the younger batsmen like Raina, Murali Vijay and Cheteshwar Pujara are better prepared for the South Africa tour than his maiden visit 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,” said Dravid.