We are targetting whole Indian team, not individuals: SA Coach
Johannesburg: South Africa coach Corrie van Zyl on Monday said that his side would not be targeting individual players but the whole Indian team during the Test series, starting at SuperSport Park at Centurion on Thursday.
"As far as individuals are concerned, when you are talking about a very good Indian team you can`t single out individuals. They aren`t a very good team because of one individual but because they are a very good unit," van Zyl told reporters here.
"Therefore, if we are going to focus on one or two individuals, then we are going to miss the boat here. We are preparing for the whole Indian team," he said.
The home side coach admitted that this Indian team was an extremely good unit but refused to comment on whether it was the best ever side to tour South Africa.
"This is an excellent Indian team but whether it is the best one ever to tour here is not for me to say. I can`t really tell you."
Talking about the build-up to the Test series that has focused much on India`s strategy in adjusting to conditions here, van Zyl said coach Kirsten`s understanding of South African conditions will help India.
"Gary knows the conditions in South Africa well and that is a benefit to the Indians. But that is not a worry for us. We leave that to India to acclimatise and we need to worry about what we need to do," said Van Zyl.
He rued the Umpire Decision Referral System would not be used in the Test series and said that the technology must be used in all Test matches.
"To be very honest, I would have loved to had the referral system (during the India-SA series). I feel the technology needs to be used throughout all Tests. It is tough to see the system used in one Test series and not in another, so on a personal note I`d like to see UDRS being throughout," he said.
The referral system will not be used during the Test series with Indian Cricket Board saying it is still not convinced by the system. And the rule says both teams must agree to it being used.
Van Zyl warned his players that India have been playing some good cricket and they would come hard on them even in South African conditions.
"This Indian team is not ranked number one in the world for no reason. They are a really good team who have played good cricket over the past couple of years and that is why they are number one.”
"Playing in South Africa in different conditions obviously worries them a bit and that is the reason why they arrived here a bit early to work on South African conditions and get used to them. It isn`t the easiest thing to do when you haven`t been playing them for quite a while," said van Zyl.
The coach said that he was hopeful that there would be enough pace and bounce in the home pitches to bother the Indian batsmen.
"We are certainly hoping to have pitches with good pace and bounce but it is one thing to play on them and another to execute your plans well. Short stuff is good as long as it is part of a plan," said van Zyl
He added that lessons had been learnt by his players in the series against Pakistan on flat wickets and that the bowling attack spearheaded by world`s top-ranked Dale Steyn was well equipped to win matches against India.
"We hope to have more responsive wickets than we had against Pakistan. The pitches weren`t very responsive and I don`t want to go into the reasons for that now. We had our opportunities in the first Test. You never know what might have happened had we held on to our catches. I felt that we improved our lengths after the first Test and we executed much better in the Abu Dhabi Test," van Zyl said.
"The wicket was just too good and both Vincent Barnes and myself were happy with the execution of our lengths and plans on the last day. If we can repeat that in this Test series we will put those thoughts to rest about our ability to take 20 wickets to bowl the opposition out twice."