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Fever pitch build-up for India- South Africa Test series

Virat Kohli & Hashim Amla play down concerns over rank turners for Test series

Mohali: Indian captain Virat Kohli and his South African counterpart Hashim Amla yesterday attempted to douse the fire over dry, turning wickets that are likely to be prepared for the Test series.

Virat Kohli (Pic/PTI) and Hashim Amla
Virat Kohli (Pic/PTI) and Hashim Amla

The build-up to the four-match series, which opens in Mohali today, has centred around India's preference to play on rank turners to defeat the world's number one Test side.

Kohli said too much was being made of the wicket, while Amla said the tourists expected nothing less than a pitch that would help spinners when playing a Test in India.

"Pitches are never the focus when we tour abroad," said Kohli, who will go out to toss today on his 27th birthday. He said the issue of pitch quality "seems to come into focus only when we play in India."

Satisfaction factor
"If you win in difficult conditions, you will get more satisfaction. If pitches need to be similar then they should be so all around the world," he added. He said only the International Cricket Council could establish a uniform rule about pitch quality.

SA spinner Imran Tahir inspects the pitch at Mohali yesterday. Pic/AFP
SA spinner Imran Tahir inspects the pitch at Mohali yesterday. Pic/AFP

"If certain conditions are expected, you prepare for that, just like we do. That's why teams which are at the top are the ones that play well away from home," Kohli said.

Amla said he was proud of South Africa's record of not having lost a series abroad since 2006. The top-order batsman, who captains only in Test matches even though he is a key member of the limited-overs squad, said it was only fair for home nations to prepare wickets that suit them.

"If you come to South Africa, you will get South African type of wickets," he said. "As a player wherever I go in the world, I expect conditions to suit the home team.

"It doesn't really matter to us what sort of wicket we get. Playing India in India is one of the tougher challenges for any team and we relish the thought of coming out on top."

Figure trigger

2000
The year since South Africa last won a Test series in India. The Proteas have drawn 1-1 on its last two visits in 2007-08 and 2009-10

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