South Africa will be tougher than India: Mashrafe

Dhaka, June 26 (IANS) No one can blame Bangladesh if they dream of beating South Africa now. They are riding high after the World Cup quarter-finals appearance and sealing the series against Asian giants India and Pakistan.

But captain Mashrafe Bin Mortaza told bdnews24.com that the Proteas will be tougher opponents than India were.

India are second in One-Day International (ODI) rankings while South Africa are fourth. The World Cup semi-finalists are not so familiar with the conditions and wickets of the subcontinent. Their weakness against spin is no secret and they will be playing in the scorching heat in Bangladesh.

Still, Mashrafe feels South Africa are a more balanced side than India.

“India are strong in batting, but not with the ball. I had said before the series that we would win if our bowlers could stop their batsmen and it happened so. But we’ll have to do well in every area if we want to beat South Africa because they do not have any weaknesses,” Mortaza said.

He also believes South Africa have a better bowling attack.

“We can think of victory if India set a target of 270 runs, but it will be difficult to chase 270 against South Africa,” he said.

Though world’s premium fast bowler Dale Steyn is not coming, Mashrafe reckons the South African pace attack will be strong with spinner Imran Tahir adding variation. He warned Bangladesh about the South African batting.

“Quinton de Kock, Hashim Amla, Faf du Plessis, AB de Villiers, JP Duminy, David Miller, Rilee Rossouw – all are match winners. De Villiers alone is enough to thrash any team,” Mortaza said.

South Africa’s tour of Bangladesh is scheduled to start next month.

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