CENTURION: South Africa are “wary” of India’s overseas success but home conditions provide the hosts the edge going into the three-Test series beginning on Sunday, said Proteas skipper Dean Elgar.
India had claimed a 2-1 win on Australian soil earlier this year to qualify for the World Test Championships final, which they lost to New Zealand.
Virat Kohli’s men also grabbed a 2-1 result in England before the fifth Test of the season was postponed to 2022 due to COVID-19.
“I think it’s pretty even-stevens. Us playing at home, obviously, gives us a little bit of an upper hand,” Elgar said ahead of the Boxing Day Test in Centurion.
“They are ranked No. 1 in the world; we can’t not look at that. That’s something they have been for quite some time, in my opinion – just my being a cricket watcher and a cricket fan.
“You can’t not give them the credit for what they have done over the last while. So, I am not going to sit here and say they are not the best side in the world because there’s a ranking system for a reason. But the mere fact that we’re playing in our backyard still gives us the upper hand going into the series.”
A major portion of India’s overseas success could be attributed to their fast bowling unit and Elgar said the visiting pacers will exploit the South African conditions which is known to offer pace and bounce.
“Their strength at the moment lies in their bowling. We are extremely aware of that as well. They’ve had a lot of success as a bowling unit. They’ve got a lot of older spearhead bowlers that lead the attack and have got a good back-up set of bowlers as well,” Elgar said.
“And being in South Africa, I’m pretty sure their bowling attack will exploit the conditions reasonably well. Just knowing that we have our seamers and we’ve got a little bit of pace and bounce and the wickets may be do a little bit more in South Africa than it does anywhere else around the world.” —PTI