Neither team could practice on the ground yesterday owing to heavy rains and resorted to honing their skills in the indoor facility, on a day South Africa was glued to Nelson Mandela’s memorial service.
However, the Indian team that arrived at the venue at about 2 pm, underwent a strenuous practice session with the bowlers in full throttle. Some plastic cones were placed on the good length spot and the bowlers were seen attempting to swing it from around that mark.
India’s batting line-up’s difficulty to cope with both pace and bounce on these tracks was thoroughly exposed in the first two games as they were beaten
comprehensively — by 141 runs at the Wanderers in Johannesburg and 134 runs at Kingsmead in Durban on Sunday.
India coach Duncan Fletcher, meanwhile, has told the players to relax and play their natural game. India have played South Africa on four occasions and both teams have won two games each here, but what fans here remember to this day is Sachin Tendulkar’s memorable knock of 98 in 75 balls against archrivals Pakistan in a 2003 World Cup match that India won by six wickets.