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WT20: India will have the advantage against South Africa today

Having played all their league games at the Sher-e-Bangla Stadium, spinner Ravichandran Ashwin is confident that the Men in Blue will succeed in today's semi-final against SA here

Mirpur (Bangladesh): Off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin feels that winning all four-matches in the group stage at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium will give India some edge but admits that the semi-final against South Africa can be anybody's game.

Ravichandran Ashwin celebrates with teammates the wicket of David Warner during the match against Australia on Sunday. Pic/Getty Images
Ravichandran Ashwin celebrates with teammates the wicket of David Warner during the match against Australia on Sunday. Pic/Getty Images 

On the eve of today's semi-final here, Ashwin, Man of the Match in the last two Indian wins, said whoever plays well will win the match.

"We know what to expect from this ground and the pitch but, of course, when it comes down to the semi-final, it's anybody's game.

But yes, we do hold an edge, having played so many games here. We know what to expect," said Ashwin, adding that the the reason behind his and leggie Amit Mishra's success in the Twenty20 league is because they are not afraid of giving enough air to the ball.

"Once you've planned what you're going to do at the top of your mark, it's very hard to change unless you pause at the end. In terms of variation of pace, you need a lot of guts.

If you're at the top of your game, you can land the ball exactly where you want it to land. But apart from that, to actually slow the ball down when the batsman's going after you is a key component of this particular game, for which you need quite a lot of guts," he emphasised.

South Africa pacer Dale Steyn gestures during the training session at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in Dhaka yesterday. Pic/AFP
South Africa pacer Dale Steyn gestures during the training session at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in Dhaka yesterday. Pic/AFP 

Ashwin felt the pressure's on the Proteas. "Most of these guys (in this Indian team) were involved in the Champions Trophy, so that's one experience everybody can draw from.

Apart from that, another thing that this young side will have an advantage over the other teams, is that we don't carry any baggage (of failures). We've not lost big competitions, there will be no scars with us. We have nothing to lose," he said.

'I know Faf Du Plessis' strengths'
Ashwin sounded confident of sorting out opposition captain Faf du Plessis, who's been his Chennai Super Kings teammate. "I know Faf pretty well, I know the way he bats, I know his strengths. So, I can prepare what I'm going to do against Faf," he said.

Head-to-head

India vs South Africa In T20Is...
Played: 7, India won: 5
SA won: 2, Tied: 0
No Result: 0

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