South Africa’s record against India in the World Cup has been an enviable 3-0, having convincingly won their matches in three editions (’92, ’99 and 2011), but the Proteas are leaving no stone unturned to make it 4-0 when the two teams square off at the MCG on Sunday.
To combat the defending champions, the South African team management has brought in experience worth 26,845 runs and 602 wickets at the international level.
The runs are combined of what Messrs Gary Kirsten and Mike Hussey have scored at the international level across formats, while the wickets are Allan Donald’s collection during his 12 years in international cricket.
The trio was seen keeping a hawk eye on the proceedings during South African team’s training session at the St Kilda’s Oval Junction ground.
In fact, Hussey, who would again be playing in the eighth edition of IPL for Chennai Super Kings, was keeping a close eye on the batsmen, especially the likes of JP Duminy and Quinton de Kock as they were playing the spinners at the nets.
A couple of left-arm spinners were seen bowling as Duminy and De Kock, along with Hashim Amla when they were batting in the nets.
One of the net bowlers of Indian origin was asked if there was any specific instruction from the coaches, he smiled and said, “I have been told to try and bowl exactly what Ravindra Jadeja bowls”.
Hussey was later seen having a long chat with Duminy as he was doing some shadows to show him a few particular shots of spinners.
Hussey has been roped in as a consultant, specifically for the World Cup but he won’t be travelling with AB de Villiers and Co after the India match.
“It’s been a nice experience so far. But I won’t be travelling with the team after this match. I am with them for this match,” Hussey told PTI.
India’s best ever national coach, Kirsten was overseeing the proceedings and also giving his customary throwdowns, while Donald was keeping an eye on the bowlers with a specific drill in mind.
Kirsten, in fact, arrived late on Tuesday after having attended the IPL auctions in Bangalore for Delhi Daredevils, a day before.
Three different sets of cones were placed on three different lengths for the South African pacers. While Morne Morkel was told to hit the short of length area, Wayne Parnell was instructed to bowl a bit on the fuller side. Morkel was occasionally also instructed to bowl at Yorker length just at the base of the stumps.