~~We have to bowl well against strong Indian batting~~

Published: Tuesday, September 24, 2002, 23:28 [IST]
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Colombo: South African skipper Shaun Pollock said on Tuesday he hoped his bowlers would be able to contain a strong Indian batting line-up in the semi-final of the Champions Trophy tournament. "We have to bowl really well against India which batted impressively against England in its previous game," said Pollock ahead of Wednesday's day-night match at the Premadasa Stadium. Depth in batting was the key to India's One-day success in recent months as Saurav Ganguly's team surprised England in two successive high-scoring games. India defeated Nasser Hussain's Englishmen in the One-day final at Lord's in July by chasing a 326-run target and then in a crucial league match here by posting 271 for two to win with 10.3 overs to spare. India owed its victory against England to openers Virender Sehwag and Ganguly, who slammed rapid-fire centuries and shared a 192-run stand in the day-night match. "We saw that match a bit on television," said Pollock. "India has a strong batting line-up. We will have to take early wickets to put pressure on it, but are confident going into the game. It should be a great match." Ace South African fast bowler Allan Donald echoed the same sentiments, saying his team would require a skilful bowling effort against India. "They have quite a devastating batting line-up, but to reach the final you have got to beat a strong team. A skilful bowling effort is required to do that, but I think the teams are evenly balanced," said Donald. Donald, who missed the last match against Kenya due to an ankle-injury, said he was fit and looking forward to bowling against India. "I bowled in the nets on Monday and did not have any problems. I am looking forward to the challenge," he said. But fast bowler Alan Dawson (calf), who hit a winning boundary off the last ball against the West Indies, and left-arm spinner Nicky Boje (finger) have yet to recover from injuries. Boje suffered the injury while taking a return catch against the West Indies, missing his team's next game against Kenya. Fast bowler Steve Elworthy and spinner Robin Peterson have arrived as replacements, but South Africa will decide Wednesday morning whether Boje is fit to play the match. India skipper Saurav Ganguly said he was confident his batsmen would deliver against a formidable South African pace attack. "South Africa has a good bowling attack in Donald and Pollock," said Ganguly. "It is a big team and a great One-day unit, but we have also been playing competitive cricket in recent months." India has beaten Zimbabwe and shared a One-day series against England at home before defeating the West Indies in an away series and then England in the NatWest Trophy this year. "We have the batsmen to deliver in big matches," said Ganguly. "Sehwag is an attacking batsman and in good form. He hits the ball hard and clean in the opening 15 overs and that's an advantage for us."

It's a battle of wits between India, South Africa

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