South Africa captain Dean Elgar felt that his team has the home advantage against world no.1 India in the upcoming Test series beginning on Boxing Day at Centurion. While admitting that Virat Kohli's men are the best Test side in the world, Elgar felt that knowing the conditions augurs well for the Proteas.
"I think it's pretty even-stevens. Us playing at home, obviously, gives us a little bit of an upper hand. They are ranked No. 1 in the world; we can't not look at that. That's something they have been for quite some time, in my opinion - just my being a cricket watcher and a cricket fan," Elgar said.
"You can't not give them the credit for what they have done over the last while. So, I am not going to sit here and say they are not the best side in the world because there's a ranking system for a reason. But the mere fact that we're playing in our backyard gives us still the upper hand going into the series," he added.
Elgar pointed out to India's pace attack which has been crucial for their recent overseas successes in Australia and England as he said South Africa have the firepower to match the visitors.
"Their strength at the moment lies in their bowling. We are extremely aware of that as well. They've had a lot of successes as a bowling unit. They've got a lot of older spearhead bowlers that lead the attack and have got a good back-up set of bowlers as well," the opener said.
South Africa are without key pacer Anrich Nortje who is sidelined due to a recurring hip injury. Elgar felt it will be an interesting contest between the bowling units.
"And being in South Africa, I'm pretty sure their bowling attack will exploit the conditions reasonably well. Just knowing that we have our seamers and we've got a little bit of pace and bounce and the wickets may be do a little bit more in South Africa than it does anywhere else around the world."
Elgar said he is aware of Virat Kohli's vision to make India a strong travelling side and vowed to stop that from happening in South Africa where India are yet to win a Test series.
"I know Virat Kohli has emphasised on that kind of point - that they wanted to improve their record on the road. [We are] Extremely mindful of that; they have set themselves that standard. And I'm sure they're going to try and fulfill it within this series.
"And as much as I have the power of being the leader of this team, I'm going to try and prevent them from fulfilling that role or that dream of theirs. That makes an exciting and challenging series coming up for both teams. We know they're going to come out firing; we're extremely mindful of that as well. I'm pretty sure they know we're also going to come out firing. Either way it's going to be an extremely exciting Test series."