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Its better to play on SA pitches than India

Durban: Dubbed challenging at the start of the tour, Indian cricketers have taken a liking to the fast and bouncy pitches of South Africa with star spinner Harbhajan Singh wondering why such tracks are not prepared for them back home.

Harbhajan, who took 15 wickets in the recently concluded drawn three-Test series here, said he enjoyed bowling on South African wickets.

"It is better to play in conditions like this where ball is doing something," said the feisty off-spinner.

"In India, there is nothing for the bowlers. People like me bat at number seven and score back to back centuries. I really wonder why we cannot produce sporting wickets back home in India. If there is no bounce or turn in the wicket what can the bowler do?" he asked.

"I think for touring side we have to prepare wickets that suit our plus points. If they give us fast and bouncy pitch every time, what is wrong in putting them in on turning track."

Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni echoed Harbhajan`s views.

"If you track score books you will realise that whenever we are playing at home more often than not we have bowled more than 100 overs in the first inning," said the Indian Captain.

"Our bowlers are mainly swing bowlers. They do not bowl at 140km/hour speed on continuous basis. If there is absolutely no help from the wicket they tend to struggle. In addition to this in last few games we were not having any part time bowler in the team.

"There was no Yuvraj (Singh) or (Suresh) Raina or (Virender) Sehwag to bowl down few overs. That makes life difficult for a captain. Neither I can speed up over rate nor can I rest my tired bowlers," he explained.

Dhoni felt the fast bowling pool of the Indian team should be widened to ensure there is no burnout.

"The Indian team is going to play lot of international cricket in 2011. That is why we should have pool of fast bowlers who can play in rotation and that can save our bowlers from burn out and possible danger of nursing an injury," Dhoni said.

A senior player said Indian pitches should offer more assistance to fast bowlers.

"Recently we played against New Zealand on absolutely flat tracks. We should have prepared wickets which were helping to our spinners. We should have beaten them 3-0 and could have added valuable points to our ranking tally. When we tour South Africa, every time they give us fast and bouncy pitches," he said.

"On the other hand we have given them flat pitches where one can just complete one innings. Or we have gifted them with green top at one of the match where we were all out in tow and half hours. I don`t know when are we going to learn this," added the disappointed senior player.

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