Tendulkar said the seaming conditions will be different from India's fast tracks © IANS
Tendulkar said the seaming conditions will be different from India’s fast tracks © IANS

Of the upcoming Test assignments that Team India has in hand, the South Africa tour is being considered as the most challenging. Sachin Tendulkar has a piece of suggestion for the current team — to play the initial spell carefully. Tendulkar has mentioned the importance of playing the new ball properly and also pointed out that even though there were pitches that favoured fast bowlers in India, conditions in South Africa will always be pretty different towards the initial few overs and middle overs.

“The first spell is going to be very critical,” Tendulkar told Times of India. “A lot depends on how we tackle the new ball. If we handle the new ball well then we can actually set the pace for the innings. Getting runs on the board is the key. Regardless of it all, it all depends on how you do on Day One”

But the seaming conditions throughout a day will change differently from that in India, believes Tendulkar.

“In India, the new ball is important but the crucial phase for a batsman begins from the 18th to the 20th over, if it’s an SG ball, and until the 40th to 50th over it’s a very dangerous phase. If the wicket is flat, the ball reverse swings during these overs. The ball will swing later too, but it is likely to swing at a different pace. It’ll also reverse swing at 70 overs, but the batsman can adjust because you get the time. Now, what happens when you play abroad? Away from our conditions, the first 25 overs get critical. The new ball and the movement it gets, that’s the crucial phase for a sub-continent batsman touring oversea,” says Tendulkar.

However, India’s practice on Eden Gardens’ pitch might help them in South Africa.

“The Kolkata pitch India played on in the (recent) Test was a different one (against Sri Lanka). There was movement. Even the ODI Mohali track was different. Playing the new ball was the key. But again, one has to wait and watch what kind of tracks are laid out and the factors that revolve around it on that given day. I remember the 2011 Cape Town wicket when I played, had a lot of off-the-pitch movement. It’s been a long time but I remember it was good to bat on. So you see, conditions make a lot of difference,” Tendulkar said.