Preparing seamer-friendly pitches at home is not enough for India, warns AB de Villiers

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Preparing seamer-friendly pitches at home is not enough for India, warns AB de Villiers

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SportsCafe Desk

12/01/2017

AB de Villiers believes that preparing seamer-friendly pitches at home is not a foolproof plan for India ahead of the South African tour as the home bowlers know the pitches better. He also added that in the current era of cricket, it seems unrealistic to have one month for preparation for a tour.

Virat Kohli is one match away from equalling Ricky Ponting’s record of nine Test series wins in a row after a successful home. The Indian skipper will have the chance to claim the record for his side when India visit South Africa to play three Tests. But it will not be as simple as that for the Indian side as no Men in Blue side has ever won a Test series in South Africa. India have visited South Africa six times for Test series playing 17 matches out of which they have managed to win just two. 

Ahead of the Sri Lanka series, Kohli and the team management had asked the curators to prepare seamer-friendly wickets for the series against Sri Lanka which would help the players get accustomed to the fast wickets available in South Africa. But de Villiers believes that the plan is not an effective one since the Proteas' bowlers have a massive advantage at home. 

Morne Morkel who played 34 Tests at home and has claimed 122 wickets at an average of 28.46. Vernon Philander averages just 18.95 at home while 22-year-old Rabada boasts of an incredible average of 18.09.

“It might help them but India have got to remember that they won’t face the same bowlers. They’ll face guys that come from here and know in which areas to bowl. It’s easy to overthink these situations. In the end, it’s just about getting onto the field and achieving results,” de Villiers added.

In recent times, Kohli has been adamant that the players need enough time for preparation ahead of the series since they are leaving for the African country just two days after their series against Sri Lanka ends. He has also approached the CoA to discuss a possible solution for the problem as back to back series could affect the team's performance. But de Villiers, who plays in the same IPL team (RCB) as Kohli, has rejected the idea stating that a one-month preparation for a tour was "unrealistic".

“Being in a country for a month before playing a series is ideal but it’s unrealistic, especially with our current schedules,” the Proteas star said on Monday as quoted by The Citizen.

“If you’re prepared to do that (come earlier), you won’t be at home for many days of the year. Virat is a disciplined and adaptable guy. If he believes that’s the best way for India to prepare for tours, they must investigate the possibility.

“I personally don’t believe in a full month of prep. Because you’re playing all of the time, I can’t even see the Indians having a month’s time to prepare for a tour. We don’t even have that amount of time.”

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