Theunis de Bruyn uncertain on pitches Proteas should expect in India
Titans top-order batsman Theunis de Bruyn is an aggressive cricketer and knows the Proteas can’t afford to let India dictate terms in next month’s Test series.
De Bruyn will know all about how destructive passive cricket can be.
In last year’s 2-0 series loss to Sri Lanka‚ albeit on spiteful surfaces that the home side used smartly on winning the toss in both games‚ SA’s batting was meek and contributed to the two heavy defeats.
India have better batting and bowling resources‚ so less need to rely on manufactured surfaces to glean a result.
However‚ they were faced with difficult pitches at Newlands‚ SuperSport Park and the Wanderers when they went down 2-1 to South Africa.
India played their best cricket on the spicier Cape Town and Johannesburg tracks; with the latter game resoundingly won even though the series was lost in the previous Test on a pitch that suited them.
“If we go there and we want to play cricket with them‚ we’re going to get a spanking. We need to have the mentality that we South Africans have when we’re up against the wall and having to fight back.
"We have go into this tour with a mentality of belief and not hope‚” De Bruyn said.
“We can’t sit back and look at how they play cricket. Let’s go there and stamp our authority from the first session of the first Test.
“Even in the T20s‚ we have to do the same because the T20 World Cup is around the corner and there’s guys wanting opportunities. Everything is fresh now and I believe change is good.”
The grounds were South Africa will be playing the three Tests (Visakhapatnam‚ Pune and Ranchi) aren’t frontline venues‚ which raises the issue of the quality of the surfaces.
In 2015‚ SA were presented with square turners in Mohali and Nagpur in the first and the third Tests.
They lost those games by wide margins but De Bruyn’s previous experience of India tours with the South Africa “A” side have him seeing things from a different perspective.
With India possessing a world class fast bowling unit‚ they actually don’t have to serve up turning pitches to beat touring teams.
“We’ll see when we get there because we’re not sure about the conditions we’re going to play in‚” De Bruyn said.
“It’s not venues that we normally play cricket at. Remember‚ they’ve also got a very good seam attack so they may prepare tracks that may move around a bit on day one.
“It may only start spinning at the back of the series so you can never know. Also‚ when we’ve been there on South Africa ‘A’ tours‚ [and] we didn’t play in spin friendly conditions.
“They’ve prepared green wickets. You go there thinking you’re going to work on your spin game but you get there and the pitches are green.
“They play four seamers and a batsman who can spin the ball. They want to get their cricket to a level where they want to compete overseas.
“We’re going to be naïve to think we’ll be going to a place like Sri Lanka and pick three spinners.”