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It's going to be extremely difficult for us, says Steyn

Ravichandran Ashwin during a training session

Calcutta: Even though South Africa have triumphed in the limited-overs series against India, the Test matches will be an entirely ball game altogether and the visitors would not be going into the contests as favourites, feels Dale Steyn.

"I don't think we are the favourites as we are playing at India's backyard. It's going to be extremely difficult for us.

"But yes, I think we are coming to this series with a lot of expectations after winning the T20s and the ODIs, so we've got confidence on our side and ideally, we would like to win because that's what we are here for," the paceman said in Mohali on Tuesday.

Asked if he would have preferred to play the Test series before the limited-overs matches, Steyn answered: "I tend to bowl better when I've had some bowling under my belt. I've often gone into a first Test a little bit undercooked when I haven't had a series before and then as the series goes on, I tend to get better and better."

Steyn said his team believes in making a clear strategy for each of the opposition players. "We do a lot of homework - who we are playing against and where players get out, especially in their last 10 innings. We look at how they have got out and if there is a pattern," he explained.

Steyn added: "It's not rocket science. Jacques Kallis always used to say top of off-stump with the odd bouncer to any batter in the world is really difficult and that's generally it. But if you get a guy like Sachin (Tendulkar) and when you bowl top of off-stump, he will hit you through point.

"And if you bowl top of off to Murali Vijay, he will probably hit you through covers. So, it's important to know where you want your fielder to be. The delivery stays the same, but the batsmen's shot-making will change..."

If you take Steyn's opinion about the current Indian batting line-up, he feels it's certainly a formidable one. But there's no one who can come close to being the nightmare Virender Sehwag was during his time, he believes.

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