Batsmen will have to adjust to pitches: Dravid
Nov 13, 2006, 16:05 GMT
Mumbai, Nov 13 (IANS) India captain Rahul Dravid said Monday that batsmen would have to adjust to the lively pitches on the tour of South Africa starting Wednesday.
'We have to adjust to the bouncing ball in South Africa. Adjusting to bounce is going to be critical,' Dravid said at the departure press conference here.
'As a batsman you've got to show patience, and show a bit of courage. One's character is going to be tested on the tour,' he said, emphasising the need to quickly adapt to the changed nature of pitches.
Dravid, 33, said the batsmen would have to be patient. 'I think the courage and character of the team will be tested. It is a great opportunity to learn about yourself and your game.'
India will play five one-day international, three Test matches and one Twenty20 International during the 52-day tour. The team leaves Monday night.
Drvaid, who has 9,049 runs in 104 Tests and 9681 in 300 one-day internationals, pointed out that the bouncy pitches give more options to indulge in shot making.
'There are good wickets in South Africa. The pitches give you a chance to play your shots -- the sort of shots you can't play on low and slow wickets. You can trust the bounce,' he said.
'On slow, low tracks your back-foot game is completely ruled out. Here you have more scoring options.'
Dravid himself has a decent record on the South African pitches, as he has scored 379 runs at 42.11 in five Tests, with one century and two half-centuries. In ODIs, he has made 431 runs in nine matches at 53.88 with six half-centuries.
The Karnataka batsman pointed out that the tour would be important, as it will also serve as a preparation for the 2007 World Cup in the West Indies.
Coach Greg Chappell said that most teams in the world struggle when they play on surfaces that they are not used to.
'It will be a challenge for us. We have given it quite a bit of consideration. It's an opportune time to have a challenge such as this, given the development of the players,' he said.
'Having said that, most of the senior guys know the conditions particularly well and had good success during the World Cup in 2003.'
This will be India's first tour to South Africa after 2003 when they reached the World Cup final before going down to Australia.
Despite the bouncy pitches, Dravid hoped that spinners Anil Kumble and Harbhajan Singh would play a prominent part in alien conditions.
'From experience I know that we're not going to get square turners in South Africa. Having said that there's always a bit of bounce in the wickets and this helps both Kumble and Harbhajan, given the kind of bowlers they are,' he said.
'They're both quality spinners and can play a role on any kind of wickets.'
Dravid also said that would miss left-handed batsman Yuvraj Singh, who tore a ligament tissue in his left knee and has been ruled out of the tour.
Squad: Rahul Dravid (captain), Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag (vice captain), Wasim Jaffer, Mohammed Kaif, Suresh Raina, Dinesh Mongia, Munaf Patel, Sreesanth, Irfan Pathan, Zaheer Khan, Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Dinesh Karthik (wicket-keepers), Harbhajjan Singh, Ajit Agarkar and Anil Kumble
Support staff: Greg Chappell (coach), John Gloster (physiotherapist), Greg King (physical trainer), Ian Frazer (biomechanics expert), S. Ramakrishnan (computer analyst), Ramesh Mane (masseur), Prakash Dixit (manager), Rajan Nair (media manager)
Nov 16: vs. South Africa 'A', Willowmoore Park, Benoni (D/N)
Nov 19: 1st ODI, Liberty Life Wanderers, Johannesburg
Nov 22: 2nd ODI, Sahara Stadium, Kingsmead, Durban (D/N)
Nov 26: 3rd ODI, Sahara Park, Newlands Cape Town
Nov 29: 4th ODI, Sahara Oval, St. George's, Port Elizabeth (D/N)
Dec 1: Twenty20 International, Liberty Life Wanderers, Johannesburg
Dec 3: 5th ODI, SuperSport Park, Centurion
Dec 7-10: vs. South Africa 'A', Sedgars Park, Potchefstroom
Dec 15-19: 1st Test, Liberty Life Wanderers, Johannesburg
Dec 26-30: 2nd Test, Sahara Stadium, Kingsmead, Durban
Jan 2-6: 3rd Test, Sahara Park, Newlands, Cape Town
© 2006 Indo-Asian News Service