Proteas coach Ottis Gibson says his troops are ready for a tough three-match Test series against India.
After an unbeaten start to his stint, with wins against Bangladesh and Zimbabwe, Gibson now has the tough task of stopping a dangerous India side, who have been in tremendous form.
The visitors have won nine series on the trot and India coach Ravi Shastri believes his side will make it 10 by beating the Proteas in their own backyard.
Shastri told the media on Saturday: ‘The beauty of this team is that it doesn’t matter which team we face. We respect all opposition. We look at the pitch and adapt to those conditions. It doesn’t matter who the opposition is.’
Gibson was not surprised by Shastri’s comments.
‘They come here ranked No 1 and he is their coach so you will expect him to say that,’ Gibson told the media on Tuesday. ‘They have a lot of world-class players and world-class players aren’t just world class in their own backyard.
‘I think they are a very good team and they will travel a lot better now and have a lot more experience. I think it’s going to be a very good series.
‘I’ve known Ravi for a long time and I know he will talk them [India] up,’ he continued. ‘But the result will definitely be taking place on that green grass [Newlands].’
While India have downplayed the conditions, Gibson says they will play a big part in his team selection and the outcome of the contest.
‘We are at home so we do understand the conditions a little bit better than the Indians, but we are not taking anything for granted with their team.
‘We know they have a very strong batting lineup, we know they have some good swing bowlers and two quality spinners as well. We are gearing up for a good battle all over, not just at Newlands but throughout the Test series.’
Gibson said the Proteas would field a ‘world-class’ bowling attack at Newlands.
‘We’ve got to come up with the best combination to win this match and then think about the next one,’ Gibson said. ‘But certainly, if all those guys are able to take the field then this attack will be up there with the best.’
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