|Player:||N Boje, PR Adams, JA Rudolph, SR Tendulkar, SC Ganguly|
DateLine: 20th December 2006
South Africa had done what they set out to achieve in the one-day series against India and would take the same attitude and aggression into the Test series, Proteas coach Mickey Arthur promised on Wednesday.
"We're very confident with where we are in one-day cricket. When we walk out onto the park, we can beat anyone," he said. "Our roles are clearly defined, and we know exactly what we're doing. In Test cricket we've still got a bit of a way to go. We've set ourselves goals for the series against India and Pakistan, who are both ranked higher than we are on the ICC test rankings. We want to start moving up the table." Arthur said he believed South Africa's bowling attack would enable to team to continue to dominate India as they had done in the one-day matches. "We've got enough fire power now to bowl the opposition out. I think the roles of the batsmen and the bowlers will be somewhat reversed in the Test series - in the one-day internationals (ODIs), the batters had the freedom to express themselves and the bowlers had to bowl to control the game. We now want the batsmen to exercise a lot of patience. They now have the opportunity to stay at the crease for a very long time, while the bowlers will have the opportunity to express themselves a bit more." Asked about the retirement of veteran spin bowler Nicky Boje, Arthur said he had been saddened by the news. "It's very disappointing," he said. "He's been a great servant of the game, and I'm glad he's not lost to cricket, but will continue to play for the Diamond Eagles." Arthur said the decision to recall Paul Adams to the Test squad was part of a long-term plan. "The selection of Paul didn't threaten Nicky in any way. We always said Nicky was our first-choice spinner, but we needed to develop another one as well as Nicky. 'Gogs' (Adams) has taken a lot of wickets for a spinner, and he does something different. We want to see what Paul can do, and whether we can revive what was once a very successful career." Adams and batsman Jacques Rudolph have been released to play for their franchises this weekend, but Arthur said both would rejoin the squad for the Christmas and New Year Tests, when there was no franchise cricket. He said he did not think South Africa would play a spin bowler until the New Year Test in Cape Town. "We have had meetings with the ground staff at the various grounds, and have asked for pace and bounce. We don't want too much lateral movement and we don't want too much grass, because if there is too much grass, it tends to be a bit damp and slow. And if we get what we want, probably Cape Town is the first place where we would need to use a spin bowler. Cape Town is normally pretty dry and you get a bit of turn as the match goes on," explained Arthur. He stressed that South Africa would not underestimate India. "They have some world-class players like Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly, and they are going to fire at some stage. But what we want to do is to dominate from the start, as we did in the ODIs."