Proteas now ‘convinced’ they can handle India’s spin threat

Farhaan Behardien says the Proteas now have the confidence to play India's spin effectively. (Photo by Lee Warren/Gallo Images/Getty Images)

Having tamed Yuzvendra Chahal in the T20 series, the hosts insist they’re licking their lips for Kuldeep Yadav too.

One down, one to go.

That’s how the Proteas will approach the challenge of facing India’s spin attack in Saturday’s third and deciding T20 battle at Newlands.

JP Duminy and his troops have managed to limit the influence of Yuzvendra Chahal in this series, with Heinrich Klaasen memorably smashing him for five sixes earlier this week in Centurion.

His figures of 0/64 from four overs was a far cry from the dominance he exerted over the Proteas in the ODI series.

As a result, there’s hope that the home side will now also have the confidence to handle left-arm wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadav – who’s expected to be selected – better.

“I’m 100% convinced we’ll play him better,” said middle-order stalwart Farhaan Behardien on Friday.

“We’ve seen what he can offer and I believe we’ve gone into this T2o series with a different mindset. Most of the top order is in form.”

That doesn’t mean he’s downplaying the threat of Yadav.

“I’m not if we’ve struggled to pick him before. I think it’s had more to do with the pace he bowls,” said Behardien.

“Not many of our local spinners bowl that slow. On the harder wickets up north, you bowl a lot flatter and don’t put a lot of revs on the ball.

“We’ve taken a few hints from video footage on how to play him.”

What perhaps also assists the Proteas batsmen in dealing with the wizardry of their opponents’ tweakers is the fact that they’ll probably will have to be more measured in their approach.

Even if Klaasen’s stunning assault on Chahal is the way South Africa would like to attack, the expected slower nature of the Newlands pitch means they don’t need to put themselves under undue pressure to smash the spinners.

“On the Higvheld you can hit the ball in the air and it will sail over the boundary for six,” said Behardien.

“We’re going to have to be slightly smarter here on the coast. The ball doesn’t travel as far. You’ll probably have to target a flatter trajectory when going for a big hit. Twos and threes will probably be more important here.”

Also, don’t expect the run fests that happened up north.

“The last T20 we played here, Sri Lanka did chase down 170 though we did drop a few catches,” said Berhadien.

“Nonetheless, between 160 and 180 could be enough. Given starting time at six, the ball might swing a bit and there might be shape.”


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