De Villiers Targets Early Wickets

Dale Steyn
AB de Villiers is backing his bowlers to make inroads into the Indian batting line-up
©REUTERS / Action Images

South Africa captain AB de Villiers says that his side will be targeting early wickets to keep the free-scoring Indian batting line-up in check when the One-Day Internationals get underway this week in Johannesburg.

India, with Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli in outstanding form, arrive in South Africa for a three-match series having recently beaten Australia and the West Indies at home, as well as winning the ICC Champions Trophy in England.

However, de Villiers believes that in home conditions, the Proteas are good enough to challenge the number one ranked side.

"I think their strength lies in their batting," de Villiers said. "The kind of scores they have posted in the last while have been big. All the batters seem to be in good form so that is their strength.
"I feel that we have the skill in our home country to counter that. Our plan will be to get wickets upfront," he added.

South Africa's line-up will be confirmed after de Villiers and head coach Russell Domingo take a look at the wicket before Thursday's opening game (5th December).

"I had a look at the wicket, there is a lot of grass on, I don’t think it has seen a lot of sun yet," he said.

"I think it will play the same throughout the 100 overs.
"We are still playing around with a combination that I wouldn’t like to mention here,” he added.

"Other than that it will be more or less the same side that played against Pakistan, maybe one change after we have had a look at the wicket."

The average ODI score at The Wanderers is 222 and de Villiers said he wasn't concerned that South Africa had not managed to pass 300 since March.

"It's important for us to keep playing good cricket. Our record has been alright, we have won five out of the last eight matches.
"It’s not a worry that we haven’t gone past 300 recently. I honestly believe that we haven’t played on those type of wickets that allow you to do so, our opposition was also unable to do that.

"We will get our opportunity when there is a good ground and wicket to play on.  We have the players and the skill to do so."

© Cricket World 2013

Fixtures & Results

5th December: 1st ODI, Johannesburg
RSA 358-4 beat IND 217 by 141 runs
8th December: 2nd ODI, Durban
RSA 280-6 beat IND 146 by 134 runs
11th December: 3rd ODI, Centurion
RSA 301-8 v IND - no result, rain
18th-22nd December: 1st Test, Johannesburg
IND 280 & 421 drew with RSA 244 & 450-7
26th-30th December: 2nd Test, Durban
RSA 500 & 59-0 beat IND 334 & 223 by 10 wickets