India v South Africa, 2nd Test, Kolkata, 1st day February 14, 2010

Kirsten praises bowlers for resilience

S Aga
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Just what is it with the Eden Gardens and dramatic collapses? Nearly a decade ago, in the match that few in this part of the world will ever forget, Australia were in complete command at tea on the opening day. Matthew Hayden had biffed his way to 97 in typically muscular fashion and the scoreboard showed 193 for 1. Four balls after the interval, he went to hit Harbhajan Singh against the turn and found Hemang Badani at deep midwicket. Six more wickets fell in the final session, with Harbhajan taking a hat-trick, as Australia closed on 291 for 8.

On the final day of the same game, Waugh's side plummeted from a relatively secure 161 for 3 at tea to 212 all out. That collapse changed the course of an enthralling series, but what we witnessed in 25 overs after tea today was an even more drastic reversal of fortune.

Alviro Petersen's debut innings had ended shortly before tea, but there'd have been few alarms in the dressing room with the score a rudely healthy 228 for 2. But two indiscreet shots, from the two men who were the foundation of the victory in Nagpur, and everything changed. Hashim Amla misjudged a pull off Zaheer Khan, and Jacques Kallis top-edged a slog-sweep off Harbhajan that VVS Laxman took brilliantly over his shoulder while running towards fine leg.

"When you looked at it at tea, we were in trouble," said Gary Kirsten, India's coach. "Let's be honest about that. All credit to the bowlers for turning it around. They showed tremendous resilience. They have bowled pretty well this series without the rewards. When you're picking four bowlers every Test, it's an enormous workload on them. We've got to give them credit for the way they run in Test after Test. This is our fourth on the trot."

Perhaps the key passage of play had come just before the tea break, when Ishant Sharma gave a glimpse of what he can do when the rhythm is right. He went wicketless in a four-over spell that cost 12 runs, but Amla, who had eased to a hundred with few alarms, suddenly appeared troubled. Zaheer, who replaced Ishant, continued the good work, putting together an outstanding spell either side of the interval - 6-3-11-2.

"We've felt that he's just on the edge of doing some good stuff again," said Kirsten of Ishant's spell. "We know that he's an exceptionally talented bowler and he's just coming back to some really nice form. He bowled a nice aggressive spell. He wanted to get his pace up closer to the 140s where he wants to be. He was letting the ball go beautifully today. It was a very important spell because more than getting wickets, it set the tone for what we wanted to achieve after tea."

Suddenly, the same attack that had looked largely innocuous for the first two sessions found its bite. More importantly, chances were grabbed, and the stumps hit to catch the dangerous AB de Villiers out of his ground. "If you're not getting wickets because the ball's doing a bit, you've got to build pressure," said Kirsten. "And there's no better way of building pressure than getting a few wickets.

"It happened to us in the first Test. We were going nicely with the bat, we lost a wicket and pressure was created. We did that in this game. We mustn't always be looking for assistance to get wickets. When you can create pressure by doing some creative things on the field, which I thought we did today, batsmen play very differently."

For two sessions, with both spinners seemingly incapable of bowling a maiden, the decision to go in with two slow bowlers and leave Sreesanth out had looked decidedly dubious. Amit Mishra was unlucky with a couple of leg-before shouts, and Harbhajan far from amused after Laxman dropped a straightforward chance at slip when Amla had made just 60. But there were too many four balls, and too little pressure, especially with a debutant at the crease.

"We'd always like to have a third seamer, and two spinners," said Kirsten, explaining the omission of Sreesanth. "But the balance of our team doesn't work that way. We either have to opt for three seamers and one spinner or two and two. We felt that an extra spinner on this wicket is going to be important."

And after the criticism that Harbhajan Singh has received in recent times, Kirsten was understandably delighted with his efforts after tea, with both Ashwell Prince and JP Duminy quickly joining Kallis in the pavilion in a passage of play that utterly changed the complexion of the game. "I thought Harbhajan bowled really well in the last game, and I thought the South Africans played him very well," he said. "Even though he was in good rhythm, he needed to come up with ways to get wickets. I've been very confident that his rhythm has got better and better as the series has gone along. When the confidence is going and the rhythm's good, he's going to get wickets."

The [Dale] Steyn menace looms large on day two, but Kirsten was quietly confident that there was nothing in the conditions to worry his batsmen. "We didn't feel it took too much turn," he said. "We didn't feel that it offered that much assistance to the seamers. There's a long way to go in the Test, but it looks a fairly good wicket at the moment. There was a lot less grass on the wicket today than there was yesterday, otherwise we would have gone for three seamers."

There was little encouragement in the Nagpur pitch either, but Steyn still ended up with a 10-wicket haul. It's advantage India for the moment, but on a pitch where there's been enough bounce for those willing to hit the deck hard, it would be foolhardy in the extreme to discount South Africa. Back in 2001, India were dismissed for 171 after Waugh had stretched Australia's innings to 445 all out. If Monday sees that kind of drama, the roof might just come off a stadium that's already half rubble.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY Ilin on | February 16, 2010, 12:02 GMT

    and facebook users lack of cricketing sense n knowledge shows by his statement that ishant toils africans by 140 kmph speed.lol.go buddy,and learn cricket.

  • POSTED BY Ilin on | February 16, 2010, 11:58 GMT

    facebook user.hahahahaha.lol.ishant rattle SAF with his pace?joke of the century.hey facebook,listen whoever u r.i think u need to go to a cricket understandin school.for ur kinda info.i'd like to remind u that there are bowlers like mcgrath and jhonson who makes any batsman unluckiest.even in ipl or clt20 or any form of game.and for ur useless bowler ishant i give him an advice as well as u too,that since post australia sereies in 2008,what ishant has done?what are his highlights?on the other hand you can compare him with other bowlers like ZK,sreesanth or even nehra and praveen kumar.all are amongst wickets and good performances.growing hairs and wearin gold doesnt get u any wicket.wake up facebook and smell the coffee.(n 140kmph is pace?)lol

  • POSTED BY devilsxi14 on | February 15, 2010, 3:39 GMT

    i think the key is sehwag and how he handles dale steyn.In the first test ,to be frank,steyn was feeding on the pressure that was created by the hype which was more than enough to contain the great indian line up,though the balls which got out tendulkar and vijay were briliiant.but wat abt the rest of them???.it looked our batsmen were more tentative than anything else.so its our turn now to put the pressure back on steyn and in the current batting line up only sehwag can do it, one feels.Paul harris is playing mind games on our batsmen.by bowling a consistent negative line all he says is,if u want to get some runs try to take a few risks,so its important that our batsmen be more positive and this is where the use of feet becomes more instrumental.and This is where the importance of gauti comes into play,being a naturally aggressive player against spin and being a left hander,he can make harris alter the line..in short,i think we wil be ina strong position at the end of the second day

  • POSTED BY on | February 15, 2010, 2:20 GMT

    Its been a dramatic 25 overs post tea. But, hope men in blue negotiate Steyn & co atleast for 180 overs to pull the cards. Go India Go.

  • POSTED BY lynds on | February 15, 2010, 2:18 GMT

    Don't count chickens before they're hatched. If India had a full-strength batting line-up, particularly Dravid, I'd be much more confident, but in the first Test they were pretty much one out, all out. India has the better batsmen, but South Africa has by far the better bowlers. Hopefully in this Test, the world's number one batsman will win out over the number one bowler. Having said that - Go India!

  • POSTED BY on | February 15, 2010, 0:15 GMT

    Hopefully our long batting order will do justice to our bowling performance

  • POSTED BY knowledge_eater on | February 14, 2010, 22:21 GMT

    Few weeks ago there was an article about "india peek in to future" or something and i gave comment about it, but the whole article seems to have been removed so my comment never appeared. I hope it did. However, I will post what did i say at that time if India wins this test. Anyway, all I will say right now is, I smell GHOST of Kolkata. It looks like GHOST is not dead yet. Its knocking doors to SA dressing room, and knocking is getting harder and harder. Let's see if SA get out of there by saying hey there is no Boogyman, and show they can defeat the immortal or something doesn't exist. Or India proves that there is BLue Boogyman who steals lollipop and ice-cream in hot India. haha good one. Peace.

  • POSTED BY jayrkay on | February 14, 2010, 22:13 GMT

    Not the time for indians to celebrate. Intensify the pressure and Batters to perform. The key is pile up runs, hoping the wicket will crumble. A patient knock and two days

  • POSTED BY sray23 on | February 14, 2010, 22:09 GMT

    This is what Test cricket is all about - Harbhajan bouncing in, his favourite stadium Eden Gardens packed to the rafters....tell me which IPL match or ODI match generates such sustained drama!! Shame on BCCI for not hosting a marquee test match here every year! This is clearly the Lords or MCG of India. Shows a lot about India's cricket culture too. In Mumbai, Chennai, B'lore and Kolkata Test matches are still held in very high regard and why BCCI doesn't stage Tests in at least one of these venues every year, and instead gives matches to wate-of-time centres like Nagpur and Mohali, I will never know...

  • POSTED BY on | February 14, 2010, 21:41 GMT

    Hope india show some character in batting as well.waiting for sachin to hit century.on bowling its an overall good performance . india should look for other young bowlers. in so much of population india could nt find a star fast bowler like steyn or lee...its disappointing.

  • POSTED BY Ilin on | February 16, 2010, 12:02 GMT

    and facebook users lack of cricketing sense n knowledge shows by his statement that ishant toils africans by 140 kmph speed.lol.go buddy,and learn cricket.

  • POSTED BY Ilin on | February 16, 2010, 11:58 GMT

    facebook user.hahahahaha.lol.ishant rattle SAF with his pace?joke of the century.hey facebook,listen whoever u r.i think u need to go to a cricket understandin school.for ur kinda info.i'd like to remind u that there are bowlers like mcgrath and jhonson who makes any batsman unluckiest.even in ipl or clt20 or any form of game.and for ur useless bowler ishant i give him an advice as well as u too,that since post australia sereies in 2008,what ishant has done?what are his highlights?on the other hand you can compare him with other bowlers like ZK,sreesanth or even nehra and praveen kumar.all are amongst wickets and good performances.growing hairs and wearin gold doesnt get u any wicket.wake up facebook and smell the coffee.(n 140kmph is pace?)lol

  • POSTED BY devilsxi14 on | February 15, 2010, 3:39 GMT

    i think the key is sehwag and how he handles dale steyn.In the first test ,to be frank,steyn was feeding on the pressure that was created by the hype which was more than enough to contain the great indian line up,though the balls which got out tendulkar and vijay were briliiant.but wat abt the rest of them???.it looked our batsmen were more tentative than anything else.so its our turn now to put the pressure back on steyn and in the current batting line up only sehwag can do it, one feels.Paul harris is playing mind games on our batsmen.by bowling a consistent negative line all he says is,if u want to get some runs try to take a few risks,so its important that our batsmen be more positive and this is where the use of feet becomes more instrumental.and This is where the importance of gauti comes into play,being a naturally aggressive player against spin and being a left hander,he can make harris alter the line..in short,i think we wil be ina strong position at the end of the second day

  • POSTED BY on | February 15, 2010, 2:20 GMT

    Its been a dramatic 25 overs post tea. But, hope men in blue negotiate Steyn & co atleast for 180 overs to pull the cards. Go India Go.

  • POSTED BY lynds on | February 15, 2010, 2:18 GMT

    Don't count chickens before they're hatched. If India had a full-strength batting line-up, particularly Dravid, I'd be much more confident, but in the first Test they were pretty much one out, all out. India has the better batsmen, but South Africa has by far the better bowlers. Hopefully in this Test, the world's number one batsman will win out over the number one bowler. Having said that - Go India!

  • POSTED BY on | February 15, 2010, 0:15 GMT

    Hopefully our long batting order will do justice to our bowling performance

  • POSTED BY knowledge_eater on | February 14, 2010, 22:21 GMT

    Few weeks ago there was an article about "india peek in to future" or something and i gave comment about it, but the whole article seems to have been removed so my comment never appeared. I hope it did. However, I will post what did i say at that time if India wins this test. Anyway, all I will say right now is, I smell GHOST of Kolkata. It looks like GHOST is not dead yet. Its knocking doors to SA dressing room, and knocking is getting harder and harder. Let's see if SA get out of there by saying hey there is no Boogyman, and show they can defeat the immortal or something doesn't exist. Or India proves that there is BLue Boogyman who steals lollipop and ice-cream in hot India. haha good one. Peace.

  • POSTED BY jayrkay on | February 14, 2010, 22:13 GMT

    Not the time for indians to celebrate. Intensify the pressure and Batters to perform. The key is pile up runs, hoping the wicket will crumble. A patient knock and two days

  • POSTED BY sray23 on | February 14, 2010, 22:09 GMT

    This is what Test cricket is all about - Harbhajan bouncing in, his favourite stadium Eden Gardens packed to the rafters....tell me which IPL match or ODI match generates such sustained drama!! Shame on BCCI for not hosting a marquee test match here every year! This is clearly the Lords or MCG of India. Shows a lot about India's cricket culture too. In Mumbai, Chennai, B'lore and Kolkata Test matches are still held in very high regard and why BCCI doesn't stage Tests in at least one of these venues every year, and instead gives matches to wate-of-time centres like Nagpur and Mohali, I will never know...

  • POSTED BY on | February 14, 2010, 21:41 GMT

    Hope india show some character in batting as well.waiting for sachin to hit century.on bowling its an overall good performance . india should look for other young bowlers. in so much of population india could nt find a star fast bowler like steyn or lee...its disappointing.

  • POSTED BY starsagitarian on | February 14, 2010, 20:03 GMT

    now thats what u call an indianism... always bollywood style masala, drama, emotion, fight back and at the end an earned victory!! u can be down on the mat but u cannot be counted out... cause its in our true spirit to dramatize the situation, give undue importance and chances to the opposition and then when all chips are down, a typical bollywood style rise to victory... !! what remains to be seen is what the other eden hero does on day two... I would rather like to see him comin in at number 3 just to remind the saffers the magic that our very very special Laxman had weaved when India were on the mat just over a decade ago... seems like just yesterday... !! if its laxman's day tomorrow, the drama would be a complete sell out and millions of Indian fans will have another diety to worship along with tendulkar, dravid and ganguly... !! time for famedom VVS... !!

  • POSTED BY kenchaz on | February 14, 2010, 20:03 GMT

    I don't understand the adulation gven to bowlers. Everybody except Zaheer bowled very average. The SA batsmen gave away the wickets. Once again, Bhajji escapes the rut! He is less than a great bowler that the media has made him to be.

    Let's see how India performs. I wouldn't reach for the bottle yet ;-)

  • POSTED BY durai86 on | February 14, 2010, 19:47 GMT

    @Nampally: I think the seectors have not replaced the team especially the batsmen except SAHA for the probable reasons that the current batsmen have already faced the pace attack of SA ,so they would have a fair idea of how to counter them and it would be difficult for a new person to set in and they dont want to risk themselves by introducing another new man into the squad.

  • POSTED BY durai86 on | February 14, 2010, 19:37 GMT

    I personally feel that we missed sreesanth .Any way past is past .They have done fairly a good job.Tomorrow Indians have to drag the last wicket with maidens for10 to 15 overs(approximately 1 hour) to negotiate the initial dew on the pitch that would set in the morning and then bat comfortably without loosing much wickets.This is my strategy.

  • POSTED BY on | February 14, 2010, 18:53 GMT

    Ilin,

    I think You do have very small understanding of the game of Test Cricket. Bowlers are the unluckiest fellow In the Universe. If you have sense of Cricket , you should realize what Ishant Sharma is for Indian cricket. Ishant is the one who unsettled south Africa by his 140 km Speed.Problem is that once any pacer is going in lean patch , all Tom, Dick and Harry started to be expert commentators in sub continent.Too much 20-20 and Lalit Modi circus had made Ishant burn out.But he is getting is rhythm back from Bangladesh Tour. Indian team should allow him to play besides Zaheer Continuously. Just Don't care of all those stupid comments.

  • POSTED BY JogeshPanda on | February 14, 2010, 18:26 GMT

    After a dull in 1st test match and similar insipid two session, Indian bowling attack deserve pat in the back for a remarkable comeback in the last session.Its freshen up scenes of 2001 eden test. The atmosphere at eden was electric, it definitely deserve more test match then once in two years. Still feel Mishra and faster bowler were way off mark. Onus is upto batter to so some resolve and bat out next two days. There are few who have done it before and we can bank upon them to perform once again.

  • POSTED BY on | February 14, 2010, 18:13 GMT

    What a comeback! The Indian batting has to hold it's own given this opportunity created by it's bowlers & the S. African batting.Time for Gambhir & Sehwag to string a strong opening partnership. Sehwag will have to reign in his impulsive strokeplay. Sachin & the rest will have to bat solidly to give India a decisive edge at the end of the first innings.I personally thought Dhoni had run out of ideas while S.Africa batted.This wicket will assist the spinners and I'm curious about how the Indian batting will deal with Harris & Duminy.Good luck team India! Do us proud.

  • POSTED BY on | February 14, 2010, 18:05 GMT

    Dramatic end to the first day's play! Indians are in the driver's seat now. If India lose this test match from here on, it'd be shame!

  • POSTED BY TRUECRICKETER on | February 14, 2010, 18:03 GMT

    good show by bowlers(bhaji & zaheer),now its batsmen turn.beware of morkel he is hungry for wickets.Two good tons by amla & petersen shows that there is no evil in the pitch.evening wind is not having any effect in bowling because of bad light.ishanth has being bowling more short length which was sweatly pulled even for six.south africa was eager to dominate fist days play they changed their game plan first test they made around 80 runs in first session but today they made 120.amla who was calm killer in last match looked to dominate bowling which is not his style.run out of ab devillers was crucial because it destroyed hope of rescue act. india had to first shave the remanig tail & bat well to win .................

  • POSTED BY Ilin on | February 14, 2010, 17:55 GMT

    its been terrible performance from africans.it was not like "going to be no.1"performance.smith is a bunny of zaheer since last 5years.he is been always dismissed by ZK like in this very similar passion.india played like no.1 in last session only.if they have to retain this spot for long,then they should need to play best in all the sessions in test matches.and what is ishant doing in the team...i dont know?whats his use?he is really an one series wonder. although no doubt that india will win this match quite convincingly,but then too india will feel the gaps of rahul dravid and somewhat ganguly in middle order.i think saurav should make a comeback for the sake of weak middle order.dada think over it.good luck india.

  • POSTED BY preeshcode on | February 14, 2010, 17:33 GMT

    Again, the statistics says it all. One stone dont make a mountain. I can accept India's bowlers as a decent bowling unit only when at least a couple of them have averages in the mid-20s and not when all of them are in the 30s as they are now.

  • POSTED BY ADSONU on | February 14, 2010, 17:26 GMT

    The bowlers have put in a tremendous effort, hopefully they should be able to keep SA down below 380. But now, all depends on our beloved destroyers Veeru-Gauti to nullify Steyn & Co. If the last wicket fells early, which is more likely, then the pair will have to taste Steyn "Bullets" on a relatively fresh pitch in the morning. It could fun to watch if India can survive the first session without any hassle, which surely will be far from easier sais than done because of the movement the Eden pitch generatesalong with the wind in the mornign session everyday. Good Luck India....

  • POSTED BY manasvi_lingam on | February 14, 2010, 17:04 GMT

    It's a fairly ordinary effort from the Indian bowlers allied to some very poor batting from the Proteas. And the flurry of wickets came too late since Dale Steyn is probably going to blow India away for 150 or so.

  • POSTED BY abilashkct on | February 14, 2010, 16:57 GMT

    Hi Guys,,,,

    the match is b/w india and South africa.... but it shows that australia and india...

    then Our bowlers proved once more...

    that we are the best.....

  • POSTED BY NEUTRAL_FAN on | February 14, 2010, 16:47 GMT

    Still people must not loose sight of the fact the Zaheer Khan took the first several wickets to fall! The rest of the attack still looked pretty avg. until wickets fell and the Saffers choked (Hashim how could u throw u'r wicket like that and Kallis? come on). All in all it is good to see Ind fight back. Singh (as I said in a previous post) seems to rise to the big occasion but I'll be shocked if he doesn't send Zaheer Khan a thank you card. I see Ind building a lead unless Steyn has other plans but can he pull off another great performance so soon? We'll have to wait and see.

  • POSTED BY Nampally on | February 14, 2010, 16:05 GMT

    Well done India after a poor first half of the day.Had Laxman taken Amla at 60, India would have been in much stionger position. But fro 228 for 2 to 268 for 9 is great. Now finish the last man quickly and Sehwag & Gambhir give a good start to set the table. Kirsten said India cannot affort 3 seamers & 2 spinners. Of course they can by replacing a batsman with an all rounder like Irfan Pathan who is a forgotten man. Alternately replace Mishra with Jadeja and include Irfan. Raina & or Karthik should also have been in the team instead of either Vijay or Badri. Raina is a second left hander to counter Harris's leg stump attack on right handers.. Both the Squad & the final 11 selection left lot to be desired.Sehwag, Gambhir, Laxman, Sachin, Dhoni, Zaheer & may be Harbhajan are fine but other 4 need more focus.If Dravid & Yuvraj are fit they come in with one paceman & an all rounder but their absence is not suitably substituted. I would pick Irfan, Ishant, Jadeja & Raina for last 4.

  • POSTED BY on | February 14, 2010, 15:52 GMT

    IT is really a stunning effort by Indian bowlers

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  • POSTED BY on | February 14, 2010, 15:52 GMT

    IT is really a stunning effort by Indian bowlers

  • POSTED BY Nampally on | February 14, 2010, 16:05 GMT

    Well done India after a poor first half of the day.Had Laxman taken Amla at 60, India would have been in much stionger position. But fro 228 for 2 to 268 for 9 is great. Now finish the last man quickly and Sehwag & Gambhir give a good start to set the table. Kirsten said India cannot affort 3 seamers & 2 spinners. Of course they can by replacing a batsman with an all rounder like Irfan Pathan who is a forgotten man. Alternately replace Mishra with Jadeja and include Irfan. Raina & or Karthik should also have been in the team instead of either Vijay or Badri. Raina is a second left hander to counter Harris's leg stump attack on right handers.. Both the Squad & the final 11 selection left lot to be desired.Sehwag, Gambhir, Laxman, Sachin, Dhoni, Zaheer & may be Harbhajan are fine but other 4 need more focus.If Dravid & Yuvraj are fit they come in with one paceman & an all rounder but their absence is not suitably substituted. I would pick Irfan, Ishant, Jadeja & Raina for last 4.

  • POSTED BY NEUTRAL_FAN on | February 14, 2010, 16:47 GMT

    Still people must not loose sight of the fact the Zaheer Khan took the first several wickets to fall! The rest of the attack still looked pretty avg. until wickets fell and the Saffers choked (Hashim how could u throw u'r wicket like that and Kallis? come on). All in all it is good to see Ind fight back. Singh (as I said in a previous post) seems to rise to the big occasion but I'll be shocked if he doesn't send Zaheer Khan a thank you card. I see Ind building a lead unless Steyn has other plans but can he pull off another great performance so soon? We'll have to wait and see.

  • POSTED BY abilashkct on | February 14, 2010, 16:57 GMT

    Hi Guys,,,,

    the match is b/w india and South africa.... but it shows that australia and india...

    then Our bowlers proved once more...

    that we are the best.....

  • POSTED BY manasvi_lingam on | February 14, 2010, 17:04 GMT

    It's a fairly ordinary effort from the Indian bowlers allied to some very poor batting from the Proteas. And the flurry of wickets came too late since Dale Steyn is probably going to blow India away for 150 or so.

  • POSTED BY ADSONU on | February 14, 2010, 17:26 GMT

    The bowlers have put in a tremendous effort, hopefully they should be able to keep SA down below 380. But now, all depends on our beloved destroyers Veeru-Gauti to nullify Steyn & Co. If the last wicket fells early, which is more likely, then the pair will have to taste Steyn "Bullets" on a relatively fresh pitch in the morning. It could fun to watch if India can survive the first session without any hassle, which surely will be far from easier sais than done because of the movement the Eden pitch generatesalong with the wind in the mornign session everyday. Good Luck India....

  • POSTED BY preeshcode on | February 14, 2010, 17:33 GMT

    Again, the statistics says it all. One stone dont make a mountain. I can accept India's bowlers as a decent bowling unit only when at least a couple of them have averages in the mid-20s and not when all of them are in the 30s as they are now.

  • POSTED BY Ilin on | February 14, 2010, 17:55 GMT

    its been terrible performance from africans.it was not like "going to be no.1"performance.smith is a bunny of zaheer since last 5years.he is been always dismissed by ZK like in this very similar passion.india played like no.1 in last session only.if they have to retain this spot for long,then they should need to play best in all the sessions in test matches.and what is ishant doing in the team...i dont know?whats his use?he is really an one series wonder. although no doubt that india will win this match quite convincingly,but then too india will feel the gaps of rahul dravid and somewhat ganguly in middle order.i think saurav should make a comeback for the sake of weak middle order.dada think over it.good luck india.

  • POSTED BY TRUECRICKETER on | February 14, 2010, 18:03 GMT

    good show by bowlers(bhaji & zaheer),now its batsmen turn.beware of morkel he is hungry for wickets.Two good tons by amla & petersen shows that there is no evil in the pitch.evening wind is not having any effect in bowling because of bad light.ishanth has being bowling more short length which was sweatly pulled even for six.south africa was eager to dominate fist days play they changed their game plan first test they made around 80 runs in first session but today they made 120.amla who was calm killer in last match looked to dominate bowling which is not his style.run out of ab devillers was crucial because it destroyed hope of rescue act. india had to first shave the remanig tail & bat well to win .................

  • POSTED BY on | February 14, 2010, 18:05 GMT

    Dramatic end to the first day's play! Indians are in the driver's seat now. If India lose this test match from here on, it'd be shame!