Van Zyl hails Proteas' zeal

Paceman Steyn singled out for extra praise

Last Updated: 10/02/10 3:49pm

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Steyn: ran riot on flat pitch

Steyn: ran riot on flat pitch

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Interim coach Corrie van Zyl insists South Africa's biggest challenge on their tour of India has been adapting to local conditions rather than dealing with the recent management upheaval.

"To run in and bowl at that pace and swing the ball away is a special gift and then his ability to reverse the ball as he did in the Test makes him even more special."
Corrie van Zyl Quotes of the week

The Proteas are 1-0 up in the two-match series after claiming victory by an innings and six runs in the first Test in Nagpur.

The win came just two weeks after the resignation of Mickey Arthur as coach and the sacking of the national selection committee.

Van Zyl, a former national assistant and the current director of the high performance centre, was handed the reins on an temporary basis.

"My main concern was not the sudden change in the senior team management as I knew most of the players and management well but rather to adapt to Indian conditions in the limited amount of time we had to do so," he said.

"Mentally the team is prepared. That is the important part.

"I have been very impressed with the level of professionalism both from the players and the team management."

The three stand-out performers in Nagpur were man-of-the-match Hashim Amla, who made 253 not out, Jacques Kallis for his 173 and Dale Steyn for his match figures of 10-108.

Special gift

Van Zyl was pleased with everyone, but singled out paceman Steyn, whose performance came on a batsmen-friendly pitch, for special praise.

He continued: "Dale is number one (in the world) at the moment and he is there for obvious reasons.

"To run in and bowl at that pace and swing the ball away is a special gift and then his ability to reverse the ball as he did in the Test makes him even more special."

The tourists are just a draw away from winning the series and overhauling their hosts at the top of the ICC rankings.

And van Zyl is expecting a backlash from India when the second Test begins in Kolkata on Sunday.

"We now need to be just as well prepared for the second Test match," he added.

"The first Test was a challenge. The second Test is going to be an even bigger challenge.

"I am expecting conditions that will assist the Indian team."

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