Proteas prepare for Indian spinners

2 April 2014

South Africa face India in the semi-finals of the ICC World Twenty20 in Dhaka, Bangladesh on Friday knowing that the contest will likely be decided by how well they cope with the Indians’ spin-dominated bowling attack.

‘It’s going to be a big challenge’

“We know it’s going to be a big challenge for us,” all-rounder JP Duminy said at a media session on Tuesday.

“Their spinners have been doing exceptionally well in this tournament, but I think we have the armoury to put in a big performance against their spinners.

“We know what to expect. We have played against them a number of times and we have had good success against them.

“We know its semi-final time in a World Cup, it doesn’t get bigger than this; so we are going to have to produce something good.”

Star performer

The Proteas go into the game with leg-spinner Imran Tahir having been one of their star performers thus far. With 11 wickets to his name, he is the second-highest wicket-taker of the tournament, closely followed by India’s Amit Mishra, with nine.

The dew hasn’t been a factor in the matches played in Dhaka, but the wickets have been conducive to spin, compared to the more seam-friendly environment in Chittagong, where South Africa played their pool matches.

Conditions

“The conditions here are different,” said Duminy. “There isn’t much dew around and the wicket takes a bit more turn. We are going to have to prepare accordingly. We know we are predominately going to face spin against India.”

The Proteas are coming off an impressive performance against England in their last pool game, which included posting a tournament high 196 for 5 in their 20 overs.

‘Whatever has happened is in the past’

Previous performances counted for nothing, however, said Duminy: “It’s a new game, whatever has happened is in the past. We are up for the challenge and hopefully we will come up on top.

“The highs you have gone through during the tournament count for nothing now,” he added. “Yes, you will take confidence from a lot of performances, but in the end it comes down to putting in the performance on the day.”

SA vs India T20 record

South Africa and India have met seven times previously in T20 internationals, with the Indians winning five of those matches. Most recently, the teams played each other twice in 2012, with the Proteas winning by 11 runs in Johannesburg and losing by one run in Colombo.

The statistics perhaps reflect India’s greater focus on the shortest form of the game as the Proteas enjoy a comfortable edge over India in one-day internationals and test results, with 42 wins to India’s 25 in ODIs, and 13 victories to seven in tests.

SAinfo reporter and Cricket South Africa