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Aug 24, 2010

India have missing home advantage: SA Coach van Zyl

South Africa coach Corrie van Zyl felt India have lost World Cup home advantage due to the IPL, largely because of the experience of playing conditions that the world's top players have gained and their dealing with the strength of the most zealous crowds in the cricketing world.

"India has traditionally been a difficult place to tour but more recently teams have learnt to win in Indian and sub-continent conditions," he said.

"India in particular, where most of our preliminary matches will be played, is a wonderful place to play cricket as the people love the game and the support is phenomenal. Teams have learnt to embrace the atmosphere rather than be wary of it and we are looking forward to playing in these packed stadiums," he said.

"This is also the 1st major ICC event in the subcontinent since the IPL was launched. Players from around the world have now played lots of limited over cricket in India. This may reduce India's home ground advantage. Delhi, for example, is like a 2nd home to AB de Villiers."

South Africa will set up for the tournament with ODI series against Zimbabwe, Pakistan and India and van Zyl said he wants his wards to win those series and then carry that form into the World Cup 2011.

"We will prepare and uses the upcoming series that we have to play on the ICC calendar as preparation but at the same time not lose the focus on taking each series as a campaign on its own," he said.

The Protease first match will be against the West Indies, and van Zyl stressed the importance of getting off to a winning start.

"Playing the West Indies in Delhi means that we have to do our home work regarding the ground and its history and how this will affect our play against the West Indies. We obviously need to see how Delhi suits them and how we need to use our strengths to have the advantage in these conditions," he said.

Aug 10, 2010

Sri Lanka Tri-series, good training for World Cup: Taylor

New Zealand skipper Ross Taylor said the tri-series in Sri Lanka would make Black Caps some valuable practice of playing in sub-continent conditions before the 2011 World Cup, which India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh will co-host.

"Definitely, ideal preparation. Obviously, coming from New Zealand, the pitches are going to play differently but the conditions that we have here and in India and in Bangladesh will be similar to what we are going to experience in the World Cup," said Taylor.

"So this experience is going to be valuable for the team and for the youngsters leading in to the selection for the World Cup," he added.

Taylor, asked to lead the side in absence of Daniel Vettori, feels the series will also be a good chance for the players to prove their worth in sub-continent conditions and impress the selectors.

"I think it's good, it gives some other players an opportunity and some youngsters the chance to play in the sub-continent as well. If we can have a squad of 20-odd to pick from and push each other, I think it will augur well for the upcoming months and for the World Cup," he said.

Having played a few practice games, Taylor said his team is in a good shape for the series.

"Every time you play cricket, you obviously play to win. We have come here to win, we won warm-up games and probably have got an edge over them in playing the competition.

Tri-series in Sri Lanka 2010