India have lost WC home advantage due to IPL: Van Zyl
Dubai: South Africa coach Corrie van Zyl feels India will not have much of a home advantage at next year`s World cup as foreign players have adapted themselves to the conditions there, courtesy the Indian Premier League.
Van Zyl thinks that the experience the world`s top players have gained in terms of getting used to the playing conditions and dealing with the intensity of crowds, means that India`s home advantage has been negated.
"India has traditionally been a difficult place to tour but more recently teams have learnt to win in Indian and sub-continent conditions," he said.
"India in particular, where most of our preliminary matches will be played, is a wonderful place to play cricket as the people love the game and the support is phenomenal. Teams have learnt to embrace the atmosphere rather than be wary of it and we are looking forward to playing in these packed stadiums," he said.
"This is also the first major ICC event in the subcontinent since the IPL was launched. Players from around the world have now played a lot of limited overs cricket in India. This may reduce India`s home ground advantage. Delhi, for example, is like a second home to AB de Villiers."
South Africa will prepare for the tournament with ODI series against Zimbabwe, Pakistan and India and van Zyl wants his side to carry the winning form from these matches into the event.
"We will prepare and use the upcoming series that we have to play on the ICC calendar as preparation but at the same time not lose the focus on taking each series as a campaign on its own," he said.
South Africa will begin their World Cup campaign against the West Indies and speaking six months ahead of the match on February 24, van Zyl said it was vital that his team get off to a winning start.
"Playing the West Indies in Delhi means that we have to do our home work regarding the ground and its history and how this will affect our play against the West Indies. We obviously need to see how Delhi suits them and how we need to use our strengths to have the advantage in these conditions," he said.
The 50-overs cricket World Cup will be co-hosted by India, Sri lanka and Bangladesh in February- March next year.