Confident South Africa eyes Asian trebleApril 10th, 2008 - 1:23 pm ICT by admin
Kanpur, Apr 10 (ANI): A confident South African cricket team will push to clinch an Asian treble by securing a series win against India during the third and final Test in Kanpur.
“I think we will recall the history. We have played in Bangladesh before coming here. We are an experienced squad. We are going through basics and getting ourselves sorted out for the coming game. So, I am looking forward to it,” said South African fast bowler Morne Morkel at a news conference here on Wednesday. The tourists lead the series 1-0 after an innings and 90-run victory in the second Test in Ahmedabad. South Africa has already defeated Pakistan and Bangladesh in the last six months.
“We came here with a game plan to counter everybody. We came here very prepared as a team. We believe, we have the ability to counter anybody. We are not taking anything for granted. We know Anil (Test captain Anil Kumble) is an unbelievable competitor. He wouldn’t want to lose this series at home.
He is under no one’s pressure and we expect him to bounce back,” said South African coach Mickey Arthur.
India, traditionally a major force at home, has big injury problems. Anil Kumble and teenage fast bowler Ishant Sharma face fitness tests while premier batsman Sachin Tendulkar has been ruled out.
The pendulum has swung sharply since the first Test in Chennai ended in a high-scoring draw.
Graeme Smith can become the most successful South African Test captain with a win after equaling the late Hansie Cronje’s record of 27 victories in Ahmedabad.
Despite Kanpurs Green Park having hosted 12 draws in 19 Tests, a lively pitch has left the Indian batsmen braced for South Africa’s pace attack with uncertainty over how their own slow bowlers will perform.
On an unusually green surface in Ahmedabad, India were routed for 76 runs in the first innings and fast bowlers Dale Steyn and Makhaya Ntini shared 14 wickets in the match.
The 24-year-old Steyn’s match haul of eight wickets has lifted him to number one in the Test bowling rankings alongside Sri Lankan spinner Muttiah Muralitharan.
While Indias confidence, since opener Virender Sehwag smashed the fastest test triple hundred in Chennai, has ebbed, South Africa have gone from strength to strength since Hashim Amla and Neil McKenzie notched centuries.
AB de Villiers struck his maiden test double century (217 not out) and Jacques Kallis his 30th hundred in Ahmedabad. (ANI)
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