'Gary Kirsten's presence in South Africa camp won't make much difference'
Even as South Africa plot India's downfall with the help of Gary Kirsten and Mike Hussey, cricketing greats Sunil Gavaskar and Ian Chappell on Wednesday felt their presence would not make much of a difference to the Proteas' chances in their World Cup game against the holders.
Melbourne: Even as South Africa plot India's downfall with the help of Gary Kirsten and Mike Hussey, cricketing greats Sunil Gavaskar and Ian Chappell on Wednesday felt their presence would not make much of a difference to the Proteas' chances in their World Cup game against the holders.
South Africa have hired the services of former India coach Kirsten and Hussey, who has got a fair knowledge about players like Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Suresh Raina and Ravindra Jadeja, having played in the IPL.
"It will help to an extent but then a lot depends on how they play on the field," Gavaskar told NDTV.
Chappell said, "Those guys will only help (South Africa) if India think too much about Kirsten and Hussey. These things are peripheral."
South Africa's record against India in the World Cup is an enviable 3-0, having won their matches in 92, 99 and 2011 editions. The two teams will square off at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Sunday.
"Kirsten knows how people react in the Indian dressing room. Hussey has also played in the IPL. They will try and tell how to play the Indian spinners, how to negotiate 20 overs of spin," the former captain said.
Calling the Proteas a better bowling unit, Gavaskar added: "India shouldn't take South African bowling attack lightly. India need to bat sensibly early on and score at least 260-270."
Chappell, who had led Australia in the past, felt India have good chance of beating South Africa.
"India have a good chance of beating South Africa if they play like they played versus Pakistan. If they get the same captaincy from Dhoni.
"I am not so worried about South Africa's pace attack.
Steyn is up there but Morkel is inconsistent, Philander is not quick and Imran Tahir was smashed around the park by the Australians. And the Indians play spin better than Australia.
It's a big opportunity for India as long as they go with the same approach," Chappell said, raising India's hopes of breaking the WC jinx against the Proteas.
He added, "I would rather play Axar Patel than Ravindra as he is better wicket-taking option in the middle overs."