India look to bounce back against South Africa

Friday, January 14, 2011

JOHANNESBURG - India will look to bounce back here at the Wanderers after their 135-run humiliation in the first of the five-match One-day series against South Africa.

Indian batsmen had to blame themselves for the Durban loss as they threw away their wickets playing rash strokes. Even the fast bowlers disappointed and it was left to the part-time spinners to restrict South Africa to 289.

Skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni is hopeful of India staging a come-back in the series as they did in the Tests. He will expect a good start from openers Sachin Tendulkar and Murali Vijay. India’s regular openers Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir are out of the series with injuries.

And with Wanderers being a high-scoring venue, Dhoni won’t bother too much even if he loses the toss again. Winning the toss and batting first will not make any difference as eight of the 18 day-night matches here have been won by the team chasing targets.

But still, Dhoni has some worries as the middle-order lacks experience and Yuvraj Singh is going through a lean patch. With the World Cup squad to be announced January 17, he would expect Yuvraj regained form.

On a pacy track at the Bullring, India will have to get their act together and Dhoni promised to do that.

“We can bounce back, we can play better than this, and the good thing is every match you start afresh. We have to click as a unit to win matches,” Dhoni said.

Shantakumaran Sreesanth could come in for Ashish Nehra, who had figures of 1/61 from six overs in the last match. Sreesanth had to sit out in Durban with a sore elbow.

Dhoni knows that playing with four specialist bowlers is a gamble, and he will be pinning his hopes on part-time spinners Rohit Sharma, Suresh Raina and Yuvraj Singh.

When you are playing with four bowlers, you are under a bit of pressure, that if one of the bowlers does not bowl well then you have to make up those overs with the part-timers, he said.

South Africa, however, would not like to change their winning combination. If any, Faf du Plessis could come in for Dave Miller.

Skipper Graeme Smith warned his teammates not to take the visitors lightly.

I expect them to bounce back. India are a good team and they also have the potential to play well at the Wanderers, Smith said.

The teams (from):

India: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (captain-wicketkeeper), Sachin Tendulkar, Murali Vijay, Yuvraj Singh, Ravichandran Ashwin, Piyush Chawla, Harbhajan Singh, Zaheer Khan, Virat Kohli, Praveen Kumar, Ashish Nehra, Munaf Patel, Yusuf Pathan, Suresh Raina, Rohit Sharma, Shantakumaran Sreesanth.

South Africa: Graeme Smith (captain), Hashim Amla, Johan Botha, AB de Villiers (wicketkeeper), Jean-Paul Duminy, Faf du Plessis, Imran Tahir, Colin Ingram, David Miller, Morne Morkel, Wayne Parnell, Robin Peterson, Dale Steyn, Lonwabo Tsotsobe

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