Johannesburg: South African cricket captain AB de Villiers Wednesday reminded India of its poor track record in South Africa as the three-match series starts Thursday with the first ODI at the Wanderers here.
De Villiers is very much aware of India’s poor record in South Africa. The Indians have won only five of the 25 matches they have played against the home team in their own backyard.
“We need to remember we’re playing against a sub-continent team coming here who’ve had a very bad record here and there’s no need for us to stand back,” he said.
“They’re certainly not the best bowling attack in the world, there’s no doubt about it. They’ve got a decent bowling attack that batters sometimes feel they can get on top of and then they seem to get wickets.
“We won’t be underestimating them, but we do feel we can get on top of them if we do the hard yards and have wickets in hand at the end of the innings,” he said.
Notwithstanding the 1-2 ODI series loss against Pakistan, De Villiers said that the Proteas are not underdogs against India.
“Some of the really knowledgeable guys will say we’re underdogs, but there is no way we are going to stand back and allow that to happen,” De Villiers said here Wednesday.
“There’s no chance against anyone in South Africa that we can afford to be called the underdogs. I know if we play anywhere near our full potential, there’s no one in the world that can stop us here in our conditions,” he added.
While the Indians are chasing and setting a target of 300 with ease in each and every ODI over the last couple of months, De Villiers feel that it would be different when the World No.1 ODI side play in South African conditions.
De Villiers said fast bowler Vernon Philander, who injured his shoulder during Tuesday’s training, has a 50-50 chance of playing.
“He did have a bit of an accident yesterday, he fell on his shoulder, so there’s a bit of a 50/50 call tomorrow when it comes to Vern. Vern is a very skilful bowler, especially when the conditions allow him to show off his skills. He’s not a huge swing bowler, but he gets it to talk off the deck, so he needs a bit of assistance, especially in the shorter version,” he said.