Cricket

Van Zyl expects India to be ready for Test challenge

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In spite of winning both the T20 and One-Day International series, South Africa don’t hold any significant psychological advantage going into the four-Test rubber against hosts India, said visiting team opener Stiaan Van Zyl in Mumbai on Thursday.

“The (South African) boys are confident after playing well in ODIs and T20s, but Test match is a different ball game. I think India will be up for the challenge,” said the five-Test-old opener after the squad’s practise session ahead of the two-day game against Board President’s XI from Friday.

“Coming here and playing against the quality players — the (Virat) Kohlis of the world — is a great challenge. They (Indians) know what to do in their backyard,” said the 28-year-old cricketer who scored a century on his Test debut against the West Indies last year after having made his first class debut in 2006.

He expects spin bowling to pose a significant challenge to him and other teammates and said he had a decent stint earlier this year with the South Africa A squad.

“Yes, definitely. Coming here it is obvious wickets are different, a lot slower and spin a lot,” said the converted left landed batsman who is a natural right hander in most other walks of life, including right arm medium pace bowling.

“I had a decent outing in Kerala (at Wayanad with the A team against India A where he even made a 96), got a bit of confidence going into the big (four-Test) series. I did okay in subcontinent (including two Tests in Bangladesh), but obviously it’s a different kind of challenge.”

“It’s about spending batting time in the middle against the spinners and backing my skills,” he said about his knock of 96.

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Printable version | Jan 26, 2020 11:57:44 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/cricket/south-africa-tour-of-india-india-versus-south-africa-test-series-van-zyl-expects-india-to-be-ready-for-test-challenge/article7818461.ece

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