Johannesburg: India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni on Wednesday said that "getting used to the pace and bounce" in South African conditions will be the biggest challenge for his young team, which is here to play three ODIs and two Tests.
"One of the big challenges is to get used to the pace and bounce. If you are just new to the international circuit, then it becomes more of a challenge. The reason being, in India even on the best of wickets you don't get the same pace, or even bowlers who can generate similar pace and bounce.
"So it makes slightly more difficult for the players who have just made their debut in the international arena," Dhoni told reporters at the pre-match press conference.
He, though, also believed that there are some players who have had international experience. "But at the same time there are few players [in the side] who have been playing for the last few seasons and have had a decent outing all over the world. When you come to the same venue, you know how the situation or condition will be, and it gives an edge to adapt quickly. At the end of the day experience always counts."
Young they may be, but this Indian lot is also very enthusiastic about their cricket. And now, they will be raring to take on the challenge of facing against some of the best fast bowlers in world cricket.
The battle then essentially will be between Indian batsmen and South Africa bowlers, and how they cope up with the likes of Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel and Vernon Philander will be intriguing to say the least.
"Strategies have always been formed against batsmen. Batsmen form their own strategies to counter bowlers' plans. The real challenge is how you are able to change your game and adapt as per different conditions. More important than strategies is who scores more runs and takes more wickets," said Dhoni.
That, again, brings up the topic of the Indian bowling, the same deemed 'weak' by his counterpart.
"It is important how you exploit conditions," he replied, when pointed out.