India have a bad record in South Africa: AB de Villiers

South African cricket captain AB de Villiers Wednesday reminded India of its poor track record in South Africa as the three-match series starts Thursday with the first ODI at the Wanderers here.

AB de Villiers and MS Dhoni
Rival captains AB de Villiers (left) and MS Dhoni pose with the trophy for the three-ODI series in Johannesburg yesterday

De Villiers is very much aware of India's poor record in South Africa. The Indians have won only five of the 25 matches they have played against the home team in their own backyard.

"We need to remember we're playing against a sub-continent team coming here who've had a very bad record here and there's no need for us to stand back," he said.

"They're certainly not the best bowling attack in the world, there's no doubt about it. They've got a decent bowling attack that batters sometimes feel they can get on top of and then they seem to get wickets.

"We won't be underestimating them, but we do feel we can get on top of them if we do the hard yards and have wickets in hand at the end of the innings," he said.

Notwithstanding the 1-2 ODI series loss against Pakistan, De Villiers said that the Proteas are not underdogs against India.

"Some of the really knowledgeable guys will say we're underdogs, but there is no way we are going to stand back and allow that to happen," De Villiers said here Wednesday.

"There's no chance against anyone in South Africa that we can afford to be called the underdogs. I know if we play anywhere near our full potential, there's no one in the world that can stop us here in our conditions," he added.

While the Indians are chasing and setting a target of 300 with ease in each and every ODI over the last couple of months, De Villiers feel that it would be different when the World No.1 ODI side play in South African conditions.

De Villiers said fast bowler Vernon Philander, who injured his shoulder during Tuesday's training, has a 50-50 chance of playing.

"He did have a bit of an accident yesterday, he fell on his shoulder, so there's a bit of a 50/50 call tomorrow when it comes to Vern. Vern is a very skilful bowler, especially when the conditions allow him to show off his skills.

He's not a huge swing bowler, but he gets it to talk off the deck, so he needs a bit of assistance, especially in the shorter version," he said.

Figure trigger

The number of matches India and South Africa have played against each other at the Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg, the venue of the first ODI. India lost the first two matches by six wickets in 1992 and 2001 respectively, before posting a one-run win in the last game in 2011.

The number of wickets India pacer Ishant Sharma needs to reach 100 international scalps. Ishant has 96 wickets from 68 ODIs at an expensive average of 31.36 and an equally expensive economy rate of 5.70. He is yet to take a five-wicket haul, with with 4-38 against Australia in 2008 being his best effort.

The number of ODIs played by India in South Africa this far. Of this, India have 17 wins and 24 losses with one tie and two no-result games. However, if matches in the African continent are taken into consideration, India have an impressive win-loss record of 40-34.

The number of unbeaten runs scored by Virat Kohli at Port Elizabeth on January 21, 2011. This is the highest score among all the Indians players currently on this tour to South Africa. Kohli faced 92 deliveries, hit seven fours and two sixes even as India lost by 48 runs. 

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