South Africa's pacers are not letting off on the verbal assault. If Dale Steyn said he had scared off the Indian batsmen, his pace partner Morne Morkel stated on Monday how India lacked middle-order batsmen who could hold the innings together.

"They don't have guys like (Rahul) Dravid and (Sachin) Tendulkar who can build the innings. These are players who come out and play attacking shots and we are ready for that," Morkel said, settling down for a chat ahead of practice. He knows Virat Kohli is the key in the lineup and didn't mind putting a bit of pressure. "Sachin was a guy who could bat time and put you under pressure. Virat is obviously going to slot into that role and he's got some big boots to fill. He is a quality player but there's going to be testing times ahead of him in South Africa," Morkel said, adding how Sachin used to be the rock of the Indian team.

The paceman, though, feels Cheteshwar Pujara is one guy who has the mindset to bat long. "He is a good player at No. 3, trying to dig in and play long. Ashwin has been scoring some runs in the back-end. We have to be careful that we don't get too excited polishing off the top-order and then struggle with the tail."

Morne also felt that the lack of practice games would hurt India ahead of a difficult series. "When I heard the news that the Benoni game was cancelled, I knew it was an advantage for us. The Benoni pitch can be a bit tricky at times and I think it would have been good practice for them. It's a bonus for us that India were stuck with indoors or net practice."

Even though the lanky paceman is one of the top bowlers for South Africa, he doesn't consider Wanderers to be one of his favourite venues. He feels restricted because there's too much bounce and the only dismissal that he is aiming at is caught behind. "I don't swing the ball, so my role here is different than at other grounds across the country. If I manage to get a couple wickets, that's great. But the most important thing for me is to stick to my strengths and my gameplan," he said.

Morne has a lot of respect for Zaheer Khan and he feels Zaheer's experience can make a difference.

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