‘One of the big challenges is to get used to the pace and bounce’, says Mahendra Singh Dhoni

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“In India even on the best of wickets you don’t get the same pace, or even bowlers who can generate similar pace and bounce”

India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni has admitted that “one of the big challenges” his side face in the upcoming series against South Africa is getting “used to the pace and bounce”.

Dhoni’s comments come after India have spent a lot of time playing on home soil, where conditions are much slower and more spin-friendly.

“One of the big challenges is to get used to the pace and bounce,” Dhoni said. “If you are just new to the international circuit, then it becomes more of a challenge. The reason being, in India even on the best of wickets you don’t get the same pace, or even bowlers who can generate similar pace and bounce.

“So it makes slightly more difficult for the players who have just made their debut in the international arena.”

While India have been known to struggle in foreign conditions, Dhoni is confident his side will rise to the challenge of retaining their number one ODI team ranking.

“But at the same time there are few players [in the side] who have been playing for the last few seasons and have had a decent outing all over the world,” he added. “When you come to the same venue, you know how the situation or condition will be, and it gives an edge to adapt quickly. At the end of the day experience always counts.”

In the upcoming series, it will essentially be a battle between South Africa’s pace trio of Dale Steyn, Vernon Philander and Morne Morkel against the in-form Indian batsmen.

However, Dhoni revealed that his side have already come up with “strategies” to deal with the South Africa’s fiery and lethal pace attack.

“Strategies have always been formed against batsmen,” he said. “Batsmen form their own strategies to counter bowlers’ plans. The real challenge is how you are able to change your game and adapt as per different conditions. More important than strategies is who scores more runs and takes more wickets.”

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