Johannesburg, Dec 23 (IANS) Former South Africa pacer Makhaya Ntini believes that the hosts’ players know the pitches very well, which gives them the edge over India. He added that South Africa has a settled bowling unit which can put the Indian batters under pressure. The three-match Test series between India and South Africa begins on December 26 at SuperSport Park in Centurion.
“India have a very good bowling attack this time around, but the Proteas know the South African conditions better. This for me will be key. We have to back ourselves because we have that home advantage. Our players know the wickets very well and that will give us the edge,” said Ntini on Cricket South Africa’s official website.
The 44-year-old former pacer, who played 101 Tests and claimed 390 wickets, thinks the batters, led by captain Dean Elgar, have to get the big runs against India. “We have the likes of (captain) Dean Elgar and Temba Bavuma, who have the ability to dig in and score big runs and I also like the way that Rassie (van der Dussen) has come in and grown in that team. Then we also have a guy like Quinny (de Kock), who we know will not hold back. He will play his natural game.”
India have never won a Test series in South Africa and Ntini, who featured in the 2001 and 2006/07 home series against them, isn’t expecting the script to change this time. “Then when it comes to our bowling attack, we have a settled unit and one that can definitely put India under pressure. We still have that stranglehold over them because they’ve never won here and I don’t think that will change.”
“It will mean a lot if we can win, but I’m hoping to see some good cricket. There’s nothing better than playing at home in familiar surroundings, especially against a very good India team.”