Dale Steyn says the fourth One-Day International against India in Chennai on Thursday is not only an opportunity to seal the series, but also a platform for the ODI squad to build their credentials as good travellers.
The Test side has been unbeaten away from home for nearly 10 years and an ODI series win against India, one of the most successful teams at home, will be a good starting point.
‘There are no guarantees in cricket,’ Steyn said at the pre-match press conference on Wednesday.
‘We could come out tomorrow and India can play extremely well, and we could go to Mumbai at 2-2. The only thing that we can control is to commit 100 percent to what we do with the bat, ball and in the field. It would be nice to go to Mumbai with the series and to make it 4-1, we have spoken long and hard about going overseas and dominating the opposition and I think we stand a big chance of being able to do that.’
South Africa has only played one ODI match at the MA Chidambaram Stadium, a six-run loss to England in a Cricket World Cup group match in 2011. A look at the pitch on Wednesday afternoon suggests it will be another slow and turning deck, conditions which the Proteas’ pace attack has dealt with effectively throughout the series.
Steyn believes the key to having success on the sub-continent as a seam bowler has been the pace factor, which the trio of Steyn, Morne Morkel and Kagiso Rabada have in abundance.
‘The major thing about our quick bowlers is that everyone bowls over 140km,’ he said of their advantage.
‘When the guys are steaming in and bowling really quickly it’s difficult to play. Pace on the ball makes it really tough, especially in these conditions when it gets to the 25th or 30th over where the ball gets really soft and the wicket starts to crumble. It becomes difficult to get the quicker bowlers away, guys that bowl under 140 are slightly easier to face. Pace is the main weapon, even if the wickets are slow.’
Morkel remains doubtful after complaining of a tight quad during the third ODI on Sunday. He will be monitored overnight before a decision on his availability is made on Thursday. Dean Elgar arrived on Wednesday morning and practised with the squad in Chennai.