SA legends Graeme Pollock and Procter back Dhoni's men to clinch maiden series Down Under
South African legends Graeme Pollock and Mike Procter have no doubt that India will achieve -- what has looked impossible so far -- a maiden Test series Down Under as MS Dhoni's team lock horns with Michael Clarke's men in the Boxing Day Test at the MCG today.
Rahul Dravid with VVS Laxman during a training session at the
Melbourne Cricket Ground yesterday. Pic/AFP
Pollock, 67, rated as one of the finest left-hand batsmen, said India will thrive on its batting experience. "I think they can conquer (the Aussies). There is no doubt about it. They have been playing together for a long time and have the experience of playing in Australian conditions. Aussie cricket is not all that bright. To beat the Aussies at home is never easy, but the Indian team looks in good position to do so," the Jo'burg-based Pollock told MiD DAY.
Procter, who was match referee during the Monkeygate incident in the 2008 Sydney Test, said India's batting is a big stand-out. "India have quality batsmen. The period in which they were unable to win away from home is history. I can't see Australia beating India. Between the two teams, India's batting is a big standout. What happened in England (losing 0-4 in Tests) was different. India was on the road since the World Cup and injuries dampened their chances," Procter said on the sidelines of an exhibition match against former India cricketers in the wild last month.
However, there have been some concerns over India's ageing batting line-up (Sachin Tendulkar (38), Rahul Dravid (38) and VVS Laxman (37)) doing well Down Under. The age factor does not bother Pollock, who scored a century in his last first-class innings at 43 against the rebel Australians in 1985. "If I could do it (at 43), why not these guys. I don't think these things (age factor) really matter to them. They have so much experience and maturity.
Way back in 1964, Pollock's 175 against the Australians at the Adelaide Oval paved the way for a 10-wicket win for the South Africans. He then became only the third player in the game to score two Test tons before his 20th birthday.
"Experience is a big thing. The guy may have been getting you a hundred in an hour when he's younger. Now, they will take two to three hours for a ton, but they will still get it. That's the only difference," Pollock signed off.