Oz still the favourites to beat Proteas: Cullinan

December 14th, 2008 - 3:02 pm ICT by ANI  

Melbourne, Dec.14 (ANI): Former South African star Daryll Cullinan says Australia ‘’should still be favoured to beat South Africa in the forthcoming home series.
Cullinan has predicted that Proteas will lose its seventh consecutive series to Australia - even in the absence of his nemesis, Shane Warne.
Cullinan said that even without Warne’’s wizardry - and despite coming off a 2-0 series defeat in India - Australia remained cricket’’s world leader.
“I think they”re a highly competitive side and at home they”re going to be tough to beat. They”re still right up there as world champions. Australia is still the team that everyone wants to beat, whether you play them at home or away, Fox Sports quoted him, as saying.
“They”ve had some tough cricket against India and New Zealand, it’’s been tougher cricket than South Africa (has faced). So, in terms of being battle-hardened, Australia has the edge there, he added.
“They have good batting depth and on the bowling side of things, they look fairly strong. I would still consider Australia to be the favourites at home,” Cullinan, who played 70 Tests and 138 ODIs for South Africa, said.
He also said that he did not believe spin bowling would play a major part in the six-Test, home-and-away series this summer, starting in Perth on Wednesday.
“The battle is going to be about the top six (batsmen) and the new ball. I can”t see the spinners impacting on this series, especially in South Africa, he said.
Australia this week is likely to take in off-spinner Jason Krejza, who was branded “nothing too special” by Proteas batsman A.B. de Villiers, despite taking 12 wickets on debut.
South Africa’’s best tweaking option is left-arm finger-spinner Paul Harris. With 47 wickets at 32.6, in 18 Tests, Harris, 30, has never faced Australia’’s batsmen. He is racing against time to recover from a broken thumb sustained in last month’’s series against Bangladesh.
Cullinan said it was disappointing neither side offered a dominant spinner, but warned critics against living in the past. (ANI)

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