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India, SA in race for top spot: Ian
South Africa’s JP Duminy in action against Australia during the first Test in Perth. (Picture courtesy CSA)

Perth: India and South Africa are in the race to dethrone “the ageing and wounded” Australia as the world’s No. 1 cricket team, commentators said Monday after the Proteas walloped the Aussies by successfully chasing 414 runs to win the first Test.

The Australian media put Ricky Ponting and his team on the mat by calling some of the key players “over-rated, lacking form or too arrogant for their own good.”

Former Australian skipper Ian Chappell took a look at the credentials of two of Australia’s nearest rivals and said that in the race to unseat the kangaroos “there are differences that favour India over South Africa”.

He went on to say that India has a well-balanced attack that has experienced a good deal of success against Australia, while South Africa’s pace attack has still only displayed the potential to rattle Ponting and Co.

Chappell said another big difference was the captaincy of Mahendra Singh Dhoni. “Dhoni is a good aggressive captain who challenges the Australians, while Graeme Smith relies on a conservative approach rah-rah speeches.

“South Africa is a very determined team and they field as though their life depends on it but they play a conservative brand of cricket that was never going to beat the Australia of old. This is a lesson India learned a while ago and they are even better equipped for toe-to-toe combat with Australia now that Dhoni has ascended to the Test captaincy,” he said.

Chappell said it was creditable for India to beat Australia when they were in their prime. “In India’s favour, they challenged and beat Australia when they were in their prime, while South Africa is challenging Ponting’s ageing and wounded team. (PTI)

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