India should play SA on turning tracks: Kapil Dev

India should play South Africa on turning tracks in the forthcoming two-match home Test series, feels Kapil Dev.

updated: January 31, 2010 08:17 IST
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New Delhi:

India should play South Africa on turning tracks in the forthcoming two-match home Test series rather than playing on pace-friendly pitches, feels former captain Kapil Dev.

Observing that Mahendra Singh Dhoni's men don't possess a formidable fast bowling line-up, except for left-arm paceman Zaheer Khan, Kapil said India should rely on their spin department in the home series.

"Our strength is spin bowling and the wickets for the upcoming two Tests have to be prepared accordingly. Also, we don't have a quality pacer other than Zaheer Khan right now who can make an impact," Kapil said.

"There is no point in having a pitch, which assists fast bowlers more than the spinners since South Africa has a much better pace attack in comparison to the hosts," Kapil said.

Nagpur will host the first Test commencing from February 6, followed by the second Test in Kolkata from February 14. Kapil was also worried with lanky pacer Ishant Sharma's recent loss of form.

"Ishant's strength is his in-swinging delivery and if you lose your natural ability, then definitely, it is a cause for concern. Maybe batsmen have started reading him better now but he has to find ways to outwit them," Kapil observed.

Meanwhile, New Zealand pace legend Richard Hadlee, who also took part in the discussion, said Indian fast bowlers should focus on Test cricket rather than playing all the three formats.

"My observation of the Indian pace attack is that they are certainly quality bowlers and have it in them to take wickets and win games. However, they have to get out of this rut very quickly. It is actually very tough for pace bowlers to play all the three formats and deliver goods consistently," Hadlee said.

"They will be a little bit tired, injured or jaded and there will be a loss of form. They need to be better managed, perhaps miss a few games to freshen up and be fired up for Test cricket," he added.

"Some pacers perform exceptionally well in their debut year and then fade away. However, some of them stay in like Zaheer Khan and Glenn McGrath. Those who fade can also blame the amount of cricket that they play these days. They have to perform day in and day out, which is certainly not an easy task," said another fast bowling great Denis Lillee of Australia.