|HOME | SPORTS | SOUTH AFRICA'S TOUR OF INDIA | COLUMNS | HANSIE CRONJE|
|March 1, 2000||
Looking to clinch the seriesHansie Cronje
After successfully accomplishing 50 per cent of our mission in India by winning the first Test match, the Proteas have had two days' break before practising on Tuesday in Bangalore (what an amazing city it is).
Sometimes a good break is the best thing with all the players looking fresh at practise and hungry for success again.
The stadium itself is the perfect setting for a tough battle and reminds me a lot of the old Wanderers stadium in South Africa before all the new stands were completed. It is commonly referred to as the bull ring and I'm sure the atmosphere in Bangalore will be pretty similar.
The Indian public have been very kind and hospitable. Often when travelling that can make or break a tour.
Back to the cricket. We had a little scare today when Klusener went down with a sore ankle at practise, but seems to be moving okay in the evenings, and will be almost back to full fitness come Thursday. Selection may well prove to be a headache with all the players showing good form in the nets. Dippenaar, in particular, looks like striking the ball well and Hayward showed great pace in the nets. It has also been interesting to see the way Gary Kirsten has been going about his batting here. He still looks as hungry as ever and without any doubt set his sights on getting the magical three figures.
In the Indian side, Anil Kumble has already proved that he is a high quality bowler and combining with the batting of the little Indian captain, Sachin, they certainly make them a tough side to beat at home. Azhar's return will no doubt increase their depth in the batting. But we have played against him in the President's XI match and had a brief look at his technique, which will be handy come Thursday.
All members of the touring party actually believe that we can be the first team to beat India in a series at home for 14 years. That is what we worked for and this will remain the focus for the next five days.
It all boils down to a wonderful climax and the pitch and outfield seems to be in tip top condition with the Proteas looking forward to the bullfight in this magnificent arena.
Mail Prem Panicker
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