India v South Africa, 2nd Test, Kolkata, 5th day February 18, 2010

Grand theatre lights up Indian victory

S Aga
India's bowlers found their straps in an unrivalled atmosphere at the Eden Gardens to prevail in a thrilling encounter
105

As Amit Mishra bowled the 131st over of the innings, with South Africa a minimum of 18 balls from survival, the stands at the Eden Gardens resembled a cauldron about to bubble over. The only man impervious to it all was Hashim Amla. Leg break, googly, slider - it made no difference to him. As each ball was painstakingly kept out with no hint of fatigue, some fans became exasperated. A policeman stormed off in a huff to smoke in the stairwell, a young man stamped his feet and others just groaned.

Then, as though they were aware of how the collective mood might affect those on the field, the backdrop was transformed. By the time Harbhajan Singh had the ball in his hand at the High Court End, most people in the crowd were on their feet. Many clapped a staccato beat, others roared. A turbaned Sikh at the front of the stand above the clubhouse waved the Indian flag as Sourav Ganguly had once whirled his shirt at Lord's. It could have been the Rumble in the Jungle.

It was pure theatre. When the umpire's finger went up three balls later and Morne Morkel sank to his knees in despair, the Eden roar that once celebrated the halting of an Australian juggernaut could be heard again. In their infinite wisdom, India's cricket administrators had scheduled no Test cricket here since December 2007, giving games to undeserving venues where barely a couple of thousand bother to turn up. Here, the 12th-man factor was undeniable, and it only reasserted why this hallowed ground is the true cathedral of Indian cricket.

Every great amphitheatre needs its heroes though, and India found several on a day when fortunes ebbed and flowed as they can only in the most intriguing form of the game. The loss of Zaheer Khan, usually so effective with the old ball, would have been disheartening but MS Dhoni mixed and matched his resources to get the best possible results.

Predictably, Harbhajan was right in the thick of things. Back in 2001, he had taken 13 of the Australian wickets to fall. And in 2004, it was his 7 for 87 in the second innings that clinched a series victory against Graeme Smith's side. There's something about the buzz at this ground that appeals to his gladiatorial instincts, and he was magnificent on a final-day pitch that was as far from being a bunsen as you could imagine.

Extra flight and a more tempting line ended Ashwell Prince's morning of defiance, while JP Duminy made the mistake of trying to negotiate him from well within the crease. Dale Steyn was clueless about one looped beautifully from round the wicket and then Morkel, after a 126-ball partnership with Amla, was struck on the pad by one that beat his tentative push. After some of the rubbish aired on television in the past week, you could forgive him the angry gesticulations. He had more than proved his point.

As had Mishra. Wicketless in Nagpur and discarded for the second Test in Bangladesh, he has had the unenviable task of trying to fit into Anil Kumble's size 11s. And while Harbhajan will get the plaudits, it shouldn't be forgotten that it was Mishra who removed two South African batsmen capable of playing epic innings, Graeme Smith and Jacques Kallis. On the final day, he added the wicket of AB de Villiers, the hero of the Perth run-chase befuddled by a perfectly pitched googly.

Spare a thought too for Ishant Sharma, struggling for form and rhythm and entrusted with a man's job in Zaheer's absence. Some of the balls he bowled betrayed his problems, but he deserves immense credit for persevering. Wayne Parnell had annoyed the Indians for nearly 25 overs when Ishant induced a lazy stroke, and the wicket of Paul Harris, who played his part in the MCG heist of 2008, was just as vital.

And what of Dhoni? The purists will quibble at the fields he set, with the silly point missing for long periods and Amla given freedom to work the ball around, but he kept rotating the bowlers all day in conditions where you had to do far more than land the ball on a rough patch. The introduction of Sachin Tendulkar was almost an inspired move, with Morkel fortunate to survive a Warne-like delivery, and even when the game appeared to be slipping away, the mask of composure that he wears so well remained.

The victory against Australia at the Wankhede in 2004 had this edge-of-seat quality, albeit on a pitch that reduced batsmanship to roulette. But unlike that dead rubber, this was a match with plenty at stake. The media obsessed about the No.1 ranking, but for the players it was primarily about restoring pride after they had allowed South Africa to walk all over them in Nagpur.

Such tests of character and rites of passage are mandatory for any side aspiring for champion status. Over the past two years, India have passed several with flying colours. The greatest one awaits in South Africa at the end of the year. Given how this rivalry has grown in stature, that series can't come soon enough.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Vilander on February 19, 2010, 20:50 GMT

    wow Hasim Amla, man you are a freek. I am waiting to see when he gets out next.

  • Bollo on February 19, 2010, 16:20 GMT

    Yep demi-god. Agree with you that the gap between these teams is greatly reduced. After this win at the Eden Gardens India might just pip the other two, but plenty of arguments could be made either way.

    Fair point on the stats you mention, although excluding tests against Bang/Zim, they read like this, Aus 11/26, SAf 9/24, Ind 6/23. Hardly dominant stats by any team, but India still a way behind. Home tests for the same period are as follows Aus 24/30, SAf 15/29, Ind 12/26. Fair enough mrgupta (and plenty of others) enjoying India`s stay at the top of the rankings, for what they`re worth, and being excited about future prospects. Not fair enough making claims which aren`t supported by figures such as these. cheers all

  • M.KUMANAN on February 19, 2010, 13:36 GMT

    Hi to all, Though Amla has played his innings in this match and have the title of "Man of the Match" Harbhajan is the REAL MAN OF THE MATCH winner.

  • SebV on February 19, 2010, 13:26 GMT

    I completely agree with tsrajkumar. Eden & its crowd were a total disgrace in the 96 World Cup semi-final. Everything seems so wonderful and perfect while on a winning path. It's how you take the blow, that presents your true character.

    I'm happy India won. Also that Eden is Laxman's and Harbhajan's favorite venue. It's a good ground but don't dramatize it Mr. Author ... "cathedral" my foot. It was good to see Sourav Dada (Don as Shastri said) in attendance though.

  • Bobby_Talyarkhan on February 19, 2010, 12:55 GMT

    Totally agree with insanity of BCCI scheduling tests in empty stadiums in the middle of nowhere. incidentally, while we rejoice in test cricket at eden gardens, let us also not forget how lovely it was to see test cricket return to the Brabourne last year. Raising concerns about the future of Indian cricket is not 'soothsaying' - advance planning is part of any cricket superpower's agenda, unless of course there are short term factors interfering with the long term health of the game. Whether it is the scheduling of the tour (only 2 tests), the shameless pandering to regional interests by distributing tests to joke venues, the fiasco over the selection in the Nagpur test, or the sellout of test cricket to ODI and T20, it is the BCCI which stands behind all of this, sabotaging our sport and betraying the heritage of the passion we share. Institutional sreform is needed to reduce the clout of the BCCI, maybe a beefed up ICC with farsighted visionaries like Ian Chappell at the helm.

  • on February 19, 2010, 12:17 GMT

    Great..!! Once again India... lovely @ Eden. In 2001 Eden revived the Indian cricket n pave the way to these heights wht they holding now. Hope this Eden saaga may also bring some great changes!

  • on February 19, 2010, 12:16 GMT

    The match was a real feat to watch. matches of these caliber makes TEST MATCHES the most interesting part of cricket and I hope Test matches Regains it Glory back and always stay ahead.

  • gerardpereira20 on February 19, 2010, 11:57 GMT

    A draw would have been a travesty of justice. India were robbed of nearly a full days play due to bad weather and on the last day were down to only three front line bowlers so it can be considered a remarkable result. The worrying thing for India is who is going to replace Tendulkar, Dravid and Laxman and when and how are they going to beat Australia and South Africa away from home.

  • on February 19, 2010, 11:43 GMT

    amazing !!! cometh the hour, cometh the man !!! Full points to Dhoni for not employing the silly point for Amla, he was outstanding... and there was no way to prize out his wicket... what stood out was the way in which the Team wiped out all the rest 10 batters and that too with just 15 balls to go.. Truly it was a gladiator sort'a scene ...

  • demi-god on February 19, 2010, 11:30 GMT

    Mr Bollo,

    In the last 5 years, Australia have won 13 out of 28 away tests, S.Africa 11 out of 26 and India 11 out of 29...

    I don't really see a major difference between India and the other 2 major test playing countries...maybe that's why mrgupta is excited of the prospects ?

    Like it or not, the gap between these teams has reduced, and hopefully should get even closer in the near future...Consequently, we should get to experience some really competitive test cricket !!

  • Vilander on February 19, 2010, 20:50 GMT

    wow Hasim Amla, man you are a freek. I am waiting to see when he gets out next.

  • Bollo on February 19, 2010, 16:20 GMT

    Yep demi-god. Agree with you that the gap between these teams is greatly reduced. After this win at the Eden Gardens India might just pip the other two, but plenty of arguments could be made either way.

    Fair point on the stats you mention, although excluding tests against Bang/Zim, they read like this, Aus 11/26, SAf 9/24, Ind 6/23. Hardly dominant stats by any team, but India still a way behind. Home tests for the same period are as follows Aus 24/30, SAf 15/29, Ind 12/26. Fair enough mrgupta (and plenty of others) enjoying India`s stay at the top of the rankings, for what they`re worth, and being excited about future prospects. Not fair enough making claims which aren`t supported by figures such as these. cheers all

  • M.KUMANAN on February 19, 2010, 13:36 GMT

    Hi to all, Though Amla has played his innings in this match and have the title of "Man of the Match" Harbhajan is the REAL MAN OF THE MATCH winner.

  • SebV on February 19, 2010, 13:26 GMT

    I completely agree with tsrajkumar. Eden & its crowd were a total disgrace in the 96 World Cup semi-final. Everything seems so wonderful and perfect while on a winning path. It's how you take the blow, that presents your true character.

    I'm happy India won. Also that Eden is Laxman's and Harbhajan's favorite venue. It's a good ground but don't dramatize it Mr. Author ... "cathedral" my foot. It was good to see Sourav Dada (Don as Shastri said) in attendance though.

  • Bobby_Talyarkhan on February 19, 2010, 12:55 GMT

    Totally agree with insanity of BCCI scheduling tests in empty stadiums in the middle of nowhere. incidentally, while we rejoice in test cricket at eden gardens, let us also not forget how lovely it was to see test cricket return to the Brabourne last year. Raising concerns about the future of Indian cricket is not 'soothsaying' - advance planning is part of any cricket superpower's agenda, unless of course there are short term factors interfering with the long term health of the game. Whether it is the scheduling of the tour (only 2 tests), the shameless pandering to regional interests by distributing tests to joke venues, the fiasco over the selection in the Nagpur test, or the sellout of test cricket to ODI and T20, it is the BCCI which stands behind all of this, sabotaging our sport and betraying the heritage of the passion we share. Institutional sreform is needed to reduce the clout of the BCCI, maybe a beefed up ICC with farsighted visionaries like Ian Chappell at the helm.

  • on February 19, 2010, 12:17 GMT

    Great..!! Once again India... lovely @ Eden. In 2001 Eden revived the Indian cricket n pave the way to these heights wht they holding now. Hope this Eden saaga may also bring some great changes!

  • on February 19, 2010, 12:16 GMT

    The match was a real feat to watch. matches of these caliber makes TEST MATCHES the most interesting part of cricket and I hope Test matches Regains it Glory back and always stay ahead.

  • gerardpereira20 on February 19, 2010, 11:57 GMT

    A draw would have been a travesty of justice. India were robbed of nearly a full days play due to bad weather and on the last day were down to only three front line bowlers so it can be considered a remarkable result. The worrying thing for India is who is going to replace Tendulkar, Dravid and Laxman and when and how are they going to beat Australia and South Africa away from home.

  • on February 19, 2010, 11:43 GMT

    amazing !!! cometh the hour, cometh the man !!! Full points to Dhoni for not employing the silly point for Amla, he was outstanding... and there was no way to prize out his wicket... what stood out was the way in which the Team wiped out all the rest 10 batters and that too with just 15 balls to go.. Truly it was a gladiator sort'a scene ...

  • demi-god on February 19, 2010, 11:30 GMT

    Mr Bollo,

    In the last 5 years, Australia have won 13 out of 28 away tests, S.Africa 11 out of 26 and India 11 out of 29...

    I don't really see a major difference between India and the other 2 major test playing countries...maybe that's why mrgupta is excited of the prospects ?

    Like it or not, the gap between these teams has reduced, and hopefully should get even closer in the near future...Consequently, we should get to experience some really competitive test cricket !!

  • Bollo on February 19, 2010, 10:53 GMT

    Sorry mrgupta, India remain poor away from home, and I`m not sure how drawing a home series with South Africa disproves this fact. In the last decade, in which India more than doubled their total of test victories overseas, (excluding Bang/Zim) they won 12 of 47 tests outside India. In their history they`ve won 25 out of 200.Now why would people continue to talk about their away record I wonder?

  • on February 19, 2010, 10:44 GMT

    Wonderful match - Amla was a true warrior..

  • on February 19, 2010, 10:41 GMT

    It is kind of tit for tat - India's victory over SA in almost the same fashion it got defeated in the first test is indeed stupendous. All credit to Hashim Amla for making the match nail biting.

  • vaibhav.vashisht on February 19, 2010, 10:33 GMT

    Nice article !! It was truly an electrifying atmosphere at Eden Gardens, the Mecca of Indian Cricket !! The crowd even on the working days was awesome !! Thank you Kolkotta for being such a pain in the a** of South Africans !! Regarding India being the number one or not, they've climbed their way up the rankings tables though proper channel, beating top teams home and away, this is not decided based on this one match neither you can take it away from the innings defeat in the previous one, every team has ups and downs. As far as future of holding onto it is concerned, I strongly feel that our domestic circuit needs to produce young and fit pacers to support the formidable batting lineup, that is the immediate scope of improvement I can perceive. And that is what they are going to need in SA later this year [taking nothing away from our Super Hero Harbhajan !! way to go Bhajji bhai !!] 3 Cheers to India !!

  • mrgupta on February 19, 2010, 10:18 GMT

    The best thing about this Victory is that India has won despite of all the injuries and rain worries. If we can beat the 2nd best team (By Ranking ) which is in its full strength and we were missing somebody like Dravid and also Yuvi and also our Ace bowler on last day, we have proved a point. India has taken 10 SA wickets and beaten them by an innings despite missing our best bowler on a batsmen friendly pitch. For those who say that India only wins at home and can only beat lower level teams then what about the fact that though SA had the best bowlers and full strength batting they still cudnt stop India winning by innings despite India missing their top batsmen Dravid and their top bowler Zaheer.

  • Cybertox on February 19, 2010, 9:30 GMT

    rishi sharma: make that top 5 cuz england r currently 5th..... thats right, im sri lankan

  • atuljain1969 on February 19, 2010, 8:23 GMT

    Whosoever from foreign shores is reading these comments, would now have to accept that India has proven themselves to be the right No.1 position holder. World cricket media never accepted this, to them, only Australia and SA were the deserving No.1. But this point system is their baby, and India's consistent performance over a period has more then proven this. Resilience has been the hallmark, though everytime India loose, everybody offers that they lack this, or that. Cricket is a statistician delight, hence Indians No.1 position and the path to it will throw open the fact, that in recent past India is the only country which has consistently performed better against Aussies,SA, England, New Zeland at home and outside in Test Cricket.

  • Avid.Cricket.Watcher on February 19, 2010, 8:11 GMT

    This match showed WHY TEST CRICKET IS INCOMPARABLE! (given the right ingredients like 2 very good sides with plenty of class and character, a great venue, good pitch, great crowd and plenty to play for) What a classic! Credit to the toil and talent of both the sides.

  • Rishi_Sharma on February 19, 2010, 7:27 GMT

    Wow..what a match..Such matches will ensure Test matches regain their glory. Test Matches in India have to be played only in 5 / 6 venues and Eden is certainly one of those. Presence of VVS makes a lot of difference to the Indian line up. I wish BCCI had scheduled atleast 3 match series. The number of one dayers could have been reduced to 3 and two 20/20 contests. But the cash minded BCCI prefers more revenue from ads during one-dayers. I also wish we have a Test Championship between top 4 teams - India, SA, Aus and Eng.

  • ram5160 on February 19, 2010, 7:27 GMT

    In these stadia, big crowds will always come. Am sick and tired of hearing foreign cmmentators say that no one comes to watch tests in India. What do they expect from tests played in payed in places like Jamtha where the ground is 15 km from the city?Ah but we cant expect BCCI to do anything for the good of the game on purpose.

  • ram5160 on February 19, 2010, 7:22 GMT

    Yeah the no of test venues have to be limited. Maybe Kolkata, chennai , bangalore, mumbai(brabourne pls),Kanpur and Delhi. That should be enough for 2 home series every year. Rest of the venues can have ipl and odis. Maybe regular scheduling like in Australia could also be done eg:We had the pongal test in chennai earlier

  • lynds on February 19, 2010, 7:15 GMT

    What a great game. It showed why Test cricket can still be the best and most exciting form of the game. As for 'Popcorn', if you want to talk about cheating, you don't have to look further than Ricky Ponting and Andrew Symonds both being caught - and admitting it - and not walking in the 2008 SCG Test. I was embarrassed to be Australian after that. But straight afterwards, India flogged Australia in 4 days in Perth. At the WACA. Pulling this victory off with only 3 bowlers at his disposal shows what a great captain MS Dhoni is. The series also showed what a great player Hashim Amla is. It's a shame it wasn't a 3 match series, with both sides at full strength for all 3 games.

  • Aubmic on February 19, 2010, 7:01 GMT

    Proof that test cricket is alive and well, it's just a shame that there is not a 3rd test. I would have thought the interest would have been huge.

  • ahkhemka on February 19, 2010, 6:56 GMT

    To Mr Chennai_Voice

    Y do we always love to critise what our Indian Team achieve. Team India din went to ICC to modifiy the laws of ranking. They did the best they can and tht is playing hard cricket in which ever country they played. The lost some but won more. And now they are No 1

    I would sincerely request you to stop acting like a looser and be proud of what TEAM INDIA has achived.

  • Uchistha on February 19, 2010, 6:46 GMT

    Popcorn looks like you are not an Indian and can never be and you will not allowed to be because CRICKET is God in India.Its better of you go to a cheap movie theatre and eat popcorns that you can ill afford.

  • Uchistha on February 19, 2010, 6:44 GMT

    I live in a foreign country and one of the very rare indian cricket maniac in the organization.I take blows when india doesn't perform well but India has played damn good cricket over the five days fabulous game.This is what we want real test of character and not 20-20s.i am proud of india and thanks them for preserving my integrity and respect by staying on the top.And all those who think india only performs good at home and ICC ranking has a flaw ....Shame on you guys.You should not be watching cricket.leave it and go find yourself another sport.

  • on February 19, 2010, 6:44 GMT

    It's very true that Test Cricket should be played at the most elite venues in the country. Just as how generally Test cricket is played only on 5-6 select grounds in Australia/England/SA, the same way, Indian Test Cricket should only be played at 5 grounds in India - Bangalore, Chennai, Kolkata, Mumbai (Wankhede or Brabourne), and Mohali. Hopefully the crowds also should come to these games.

  • sri1ram on February 19, 2010, 6:41 GMT

    Hehhhh, juvenile comments by popcorn. Especially the, "India will do anything to win - including cheating and using cheap tactics" and "Sehwag's kicking the ball to the boundary". Sehwag kicking the ball into the boundary is pretty normal at this stage of the game - after all you are giving 4 more runs! And if you know what Bodyline kind of bowling is, you won't make this stupid statement. Keeping 9 fielders in the legside is not Bodyline, it is just normal part of the game now.

  • on February 19, 2010, 6:35 GMT

    BCCI shouldl just pick 4-5 good venues (Mohali, Eden, Mumbai, Banglore, Chennai) and make sure they all get atleast a test every year. there is no point in giving matches to crappy grounds like Kotla when you have great grounds with a good pitch and a lot of crowd.

  • sarthakz on February 19, 2010, 6:28 GMT

    To all those who are cribbing and whining about India winning and retaining the No.1 ranking - We are the World Champions of Test Cricket, and we don't give a donkey's sh*t to what you guys think. Team India will get richer by $175000. BCCI will keep on getting richer. We are all delighted to see you burn your a**es off out of jealousy. So, just keep crying.

  • SatyajitM on February 19, 2010, 6:27 GMT

    @victortrumpet, How many incidents of umpires being lynched in India have you seen? Please give us the count. Both umpires Gould and Davis did good umpiring including the last wicket. To people like popcorn and redneck, you seem to forget that the test match lost more than a day (96 overs I think) to rain and bad light, otherwise the match would have been over by fourth evening or early fifth day. Indian's have shown that they are the true champs of test cricket by coming back so strongly in a sporting track. Sehwag did a stupid thing (a small one) and I am happy it didn't work for him. We will see what happens in October, untill then India is no1. Finally, well played to Amla and tail, you showed the true fighting spirit!

  • on February 19, 2010, 5:55 GMT

    fully agree with jogesh, i hope BCCI and CAB take lessons from this. BCCI in its arrogance and greed have superimposed a gruesome commercial orgy called IPl on all,and have marginalized Ranji Trophy and even test cricket. please guys shed your hubris and start thinking about the one entity who has solely given you'll everything you have-the india cricket fan. have more tests and stop having these ridiculous conditions like making it mandatory for people to but a ticket worth all 5 days. (i hope shashank manohar has some sense left in him).

  • Chennai_Voice on February 19, 2010, 5:30 GMT

    Does India really deserve to be No 1? How many times India had toured overseas and won the series in the last 18 months? They had their share of success at home. They lost series in Sri Lanka. They just won series in NZ and Bangladesh(!) Its more important to have more away wins than home ones. I think ICC ranking system has a flaw.

  • Gunners on February 19, 2010, 5:30 GMT

    To that idiot called "popcorn"; do u even know that the cricketing law doesnt allow to keep a Jardinesque field any longer. The law modified after the 1932-33 series

  • JogeshPanda on February 19, 2010, 5:28 GMT

    Fantastic game of cricket over last 5 days and what a finish, but above all what stand tall is the love for the longer version of game in city of joy. It was really full filling to see such a large crowd turning up everyday in a stadia that deserves much more than one test in three years. The curator is also praiseworthy for preparing such a wonderful track which hold true for 5 days, that too after coming into media attention after Nagpur test. But crowd was playing there part, and it always great to see when it takes part in acute things like, Ian Gould calling wide for the balls of Harris straying down the leg side, Ishant bumbing short snooter. Even Eden loves Laxman's flick for a single, Sachin's backfoot punch for a two and sewhag's menacing cut to boundary. Certainly BCCI and CAB should resolve their matter and let Eden get is due of much more International games.

  • on February 19, 2010, 5:12 GMT

    GREAT TEST MATCH.IN A SPAN OF 6 MONTHS WE HAVE SEEN SOME OF GREAT GAMES & THIS MATCH IS ANOTHER BEAUTY @ EDEN GARDENS.BEST OF LUCK INDIA 4 ODIS.

  • kishor85 on February 19, 2010, 5:00 GMT

    well said Koushik_Biswas...100% agreed!

  • plsraju on February 19, 2010, 4:59 GMT

    The article is very good. Keep it up Aga!

  • sathishvaiju on February 19, 2010, 4:47 GMT

    @Mr.POPCORN , hello boss india won n they r no:1. No one cheated, this shows the india's confidence and temperment. SA doesn't deserve to be no:1 they won the first test because it's a team with out VVS , Dravid and yuvraj. See one man VVS changed everything in the second test.SA always lower than india, keep it in mind.

  • bat_bowl_field on February 19, 2010, 4:43 GMT

    popcorn are you really that stupid? if i rmb correctly you mentioned Dhoni's 8-1 field in another article and at that time you were corrected as well. it was an 8-1 offside field, not legside. its against the rules to have that many fielders on the leg side. maybe you should learn the rules of the game before you comment. you seem to be very ignorant and definately biased.. as for what Sehwag did, bad sportsmanship yes, but clever also. technically all it was was a very poor misfield.

  • Koushik_Biswas on February 19, 2010, 4:07 GMT

    Dear popcorn, imagine that South Africa had won the series (they were pretty close, so the imagination would not be far fetched). Do you think anybody had written such a comment as yours about the South Africans? If one combs the replays of all 5 days, I am sure moments will be found where some South African cricketer has shown his despair in an aggressive manner. It happens, because all of them are trying to win. I just remembered one - Dale Steyn was caught on camera on the 2nd day sledging. Your comment shows how badly you wanted India to lose, but that's okay - India will lose another day. It is a game that people play for distraction and good will. Why do players shake hands at the end? Why would Amla get a standing ovation if winning and losing were the most important aspects? May your restless soul find peace. India deserved to win this test. South Africa deserved to win the Nagpur test. At the end, nobody won, right? The series was drawn. So why the anger? Love for all, bro!

  • Bollo on February 19, 2010, 4:04 GMT

    popcorn, I think you`ve been corrected before on this. Dhoni set an 8-1 offside field and had his bowlers bowl wide of the off stump. I think the umpires should have started calling wides on that occasion as well, for what it`s worth.

    victortrumpet, Morne Morkel`s a leftie in case you didn`t notice. The ball pitched just outside off and was hitting middle and leg.

  • Farce-Follower on February 19, 2010, 4:03 GMT

    The best venues for Test cricket in India are Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore, Mumbai and Mohali. Why waste time in Nagpur (which seems to be a default venue for Mr. Shashank Manohar), Kanpur, Delhi or Ahmedabad. The brain dead administrators of BCCI will just about blow cricket in India pretty soon.

  • ruchinn on February 19, 2010, 3:40 GMT

    Before this series I had my doubts about India being no 1 & i had always believed that Australia, s Africa & India are more or less on the same levels & this was reinforced with the way we lost at Nagpur.

    But the true character of the team can only be judged when the chips are down & the odds are stacked against you. India showed its supremacy by fighting back very admirably & please do not forget that we had lost almost a complete day to rains.

    India triumphed when it mattered & S africa choked when it mattered the most to each of these teams.

    Period.no arguments, India is truly No 1, Hats off to them.

  • gopmenon on February 19, 2010, 3:21 GMT

    @victortrumpet: The ball pitched outside leg stump? Morne is a left handed batsman so that was his off stump the ball pitched outside (and not his leg stump). A perfecty legit delivery and out within the rules. If, on the other hand, Morne had been a right handed batsman, he could not have been given out to that ball as it would then have pitched outside his leg stump.

  • on February 19, 2010, 3:16 GMT

    To victortrumpet Go here to see where the ball pitched....right on middle stump http://tinyurl.com/ykl4oq5

  • compulsive_puller on February 19, 2010, 3:04 GMT

    Mr victortrumpet get your eyes checked because the replay showed clearly where the last ball pitched. May be you can get hold of the video and watch it over and over just to be sure. Don't let your r****t bias come out in the open keep it for your drawing room. As for India's long term chances neither you guys nor me can see the future so why be soothsayers, did any of us give Ishant a chance of unsettling amla or taking two wickets on the last day. If he wants to be a quick bowler we should encourage him not dissuade him we have enough slow medium spinners in our ranks like pathan, sudeep tyagi, praveen kumar etc

  • slappinjax on February 19, 2010, 2:47 GMT

    A two test series and both teams managed to get thrashed. There's no true world number 1 here. Two flawed teams that contain some incredible individual talent but also some gaping holes in the squad. Both teams need to work on ther team coherence and mental strength if they are ever going to truly step up to be considered the undisputed best.

  • popcorn on February 19, 2010, 2:41 GMT

    India will do anything to win - including cheating and using cheap tactics - Virendra Sehwag KICKING THE BALL INTO THE BOUNDARY SO THAT THE SOUTH AFRICAN BATSMAN INDIA DID NOT WANT ON STRIKE WOULD NOT FACE THE NEXT OVER.

    At Nagpur against Australia,the modern day Douglas Jardine,MS Dhoni employed an 8 -1 legside field and told his bowlers to bowl way outside the legstump.

    SIC!!

  • on February 19, 2010, 2:35 GMT

    victortrumpet, the ball did land on middle stump and straightened enough to hit middle and leg stump at comfortable low height to be given LBW. Denial is first stage, Acceptance will come later for some I guess.

  • Libs_Ben on February 19, 2010, 2:34 GMT

    I guess victortrumpet doesnt know where offstump and legstump are...hard luck mate...dont be ignorant...and keep in mind..ignorance is not an offence, it is just stupidity.

  • sray23 on February 19, 2010, 2:19 GMT

    It's an absolute joke that there is not an annual marquee Test match at Eden Gardens like there is at Lords or MCG, let alone the fact there's been no Tests there since 2007! Not sure who the cricket brains are at the BCCI but the facts are simple: this is a city with a genuine love and understanding for Test cricket where this venue attracts more test match crowds than any other in India by a country mile. To forgo this as a source of interest for Test cricket if not revenue is simply non-sensical whichever way you look at it. What Mohali and Nagpur have done to host so many Tests recently in front of empty stadiums beats me....

  • on February 19, 2010, 0:24 GMT

    grt effort by the Indians... Keep the head up for the future..

  • jamrith on February 18, 2010, 23:45 GMT

    A fantastic TEST match watched by an enthusiastic crowd. Soon, this will be but a memory as the T20 wallahs take over and we are subjected to continuous close-up shots of Lalit Modi, Bollywood celebs and politicians lounging in the corporate suites. I can't see the likes of Rainas, Kohlis or Pathan being interested or being capable of performing in Tests. Our stay at the top of the table may thus be short-lived. Still, let us enjoy it while it lasts, India is the only country that has reached the top of the Test table, and has also won the World Cup (1983) and the T20 WC(2007)

  • victortrumpet on February 18, 2010, 23:11 GMT

    What a fantastic game. Disappointing however, to see the final wicket coming to a ball that clearly pitched outside the leg stump. Still I guess the poor umpire had no option. Either give it out or get lynched.

  • redneck on February 18, 2010, 22:40 GMT

    would be nice to have a third test right about now!!! stupid planning!!! test series should never have an even amount of games! what an anti climax 1-1! i still dont think india can claim to be the legit no. 1 with that preformance! see what happens in south africa at years end?

  • LordEtron on February 18, 2010, 22:21 GMT

    Surely this should have been at least a 3 Test series, especiially with the top two ranked teams in the world. Imagine the excitement of having a decider - this is Test cricket at its best with big crowds creating a wonderful atmosphere.

  • on February 18, 2010, 22:06 GMT

    So test cricket is not dead afterall in India as some posters keep suggesting all the time.

  • crikkfan on February 18, 2010, 20:07 GMT

    "India's cricket administrators had scheduled no Test cricket here since December 2007, giving games to undeserving venues where barely a couple of thousand bother to turn up" - rightly said. Hopefully BCCI mends its ways after this and schedules enough test matches and at the correct venues - stick to the main 5 or 6 while the rest can be given the ODIs and T20s.

  • Namboory on February 18, 2010, 20:00 GMT

    AMLA is the man who amused me. True that Harbhajan and Indian batters did well. But this man HASHIM AMLA is special. Its a well known fact in cricket that batsmen in form will score freely and batsmen out of form will struggle.For Amla, he never looked like a batsman in form neither he looked like one out of form. More importantly he looked like a man, who has decent qualities as a batsman (Not like the ones who seem to have that 'natural gift' kind of touch to their batting), who is determined to make india EARN their win. A true character, which any team would like to have one of this kind !! For an opposition fan, there cannot be any more irritating signt than Amla defending each and cery ball irrespective of how hard the bowling is ! Kudos !!!! A good pitch and entertaining cricket. This match proves that Test cricket is always the best test for charater, batting abilities, bowling abilities, judgement, captiancy and what not ?

  • FMatt on February 18, 2010, 19:53 GMT

    I couldn't bear to watch toward the end although I did have an instinctive feeling that we would pull it off somehow. Here's why: SA had everything go their way in this 2 test series (except the injury to Boucher) - won both tosses; in the 1st test: we lost Dravid, Laxman, Yuvi, and then Rohit to injury, (SA should thank Bangladesh for Dravid and Laxman's absence because that definitely played a part in India's loss), 2 debutant players who have not convinced me yet of their place in the test side (yes, it is unfair to judge based on a test match or two), couple of very lucky breaks at the best possible times in the game (Dhoni's dismissal in the 1st inning, Sachin's in the 2nd); 2nd test: Laxman's back but we lose Zaheer when looking to bowl SA out, even the weather helps SA. It would have been grossly unfair to be denied that last wicket :-). So I am glad we drew level the way we did. Clutch players stepped up when needed. Keep it up in the ODI series now, India, congratulations!

  • Bobby_Talyarkhan on February 18, 2010, 19:52 GMT

    Fair enough - a great win for India. But can anyone see them staying at no:1 for long? Ian Chappell's point remains valid - India have not, Zaheer apart, got a bowling attack which an undisputed no:1 team oought to have. Harbhajan is fading despite his heroics here and Mishra is not the answer - he can spin the ball but he lacks control, therefore confidence, and his small stature means he does not get bounce like a Kumble or Warne. Chawla has been described by Sangakara as one of the best leggies in the world and by Yuvraj as the best leggie in India - he should be given a chance. Ishant seems to be under the illusion that he can be a terrifyingly intimidating fast bowler and should be told to concentrate on basics. Irfan should be looked at again as a bowling all rounder to give the side more balance and enable 5 bowlers to play. And where are the successors to the Fab 3? Not Vijay and Badrinath surely?! Kohli and Pandey should be tried immediately - even yuvraj's not test class yet

  • knowledge_eater on February 18, 2010, 19:29 GMT

    My Indian team grading analysis: Sehwag: 9 (one deduction for playing silly shot in first test, which started unstoppable fall of india) Ghambhir: 6 (one bonus for almost making good comeback in 2nd test) Vijay: 6 (good technique but 2 deduction for dropping few catches) Tendulkar: 8 (two deduction for not playing inning of his life time and getting out by harris' leggy) Badri: 6 (one addition for a catch, and one deduction for getting out in 2nd inning VVS: 10 (what a comeback, ppl. want this guy to perform, and he performs) Dhoni: 9 (two bonus for captaincy and his batting in 2nd innning) Bhajji (the blue boogyman + the turbanator): 9 (two bonus after coming back strong under pressure performance) Mishy: 9 (i think he bowled as well in first test, but a bonus after getting hurt delivering Sharma: 3 (one bonus for break through and steaming in both innings, but 5 minus for not performing as expected. Zaheer: 9 (one -ve point for getting injured) Substitute fielders: 8.Saha:6 no commnt

  • Rajesh. on February 18, 2010, 19:24 GMT

    Great advertisement for Test Match cricket !! It's matches like this that makes Test Matches what they are. A very creditable win for India indeed but spare a thought for Hashim Amla...... such a grand performer didn't deserve to end up on the losing side....

  • knowledge_eater on February 18, 2010, 19:08 GMT

    My analysis grading of whole series: South africa: Amla: 11 out of 10 (1 bonus we all know why) The Glue Man or should i say "the steel man" Smith: 3 out of 10, Kalis: 5 (got one point of deduction for that aggressive shot against Bhajji) AB: 3 ( 2 point deduction for not reading googly and being runout) Piterson : 7 (one point addition for debut inning) Morney: 7 (using his height perfectly, one point addition for staying that long to bat) Steyn: 8 (1st test bonus 2+) Prince: 3 (didn't bat like prince) Harris: 7 (one bonus for 1st inning leggy, but one deduction for getting disturb while batting) Parnell: 8 (2 bonus for getting Sehwag out in first test and batting well in 2nd) Dumminy: minus 10 (yes minus this kid needs a break for a while, atleast from test.) Boucher: 7 (well he got injured so not much comment) Thank you for an amazing test match Team SA, my 2nd fav. team if india fails :D

  • crazy4india on February 18, 2010, 18:41 GMT

    Well-written Mr. Aga. I completely agree with you that the Eden Gardens is the " true cathedral of Indian cricket". I hope the BCCI administrators exercise less of their "rotation policy wisdom" and allot at least one test match every alternate home series to the Eden Gardens. Not many teams have won against India in recent years against Eden Gardens; however, I am sure if a poll is conducted among international cricketers, a overwhelming majority of them would say that would prefer playing in the Eden Gardens. It is sad to think that a great bowler like M. Muralitharan has never played test cricket at the Eden Gardens, and it is unlikely that to do so before he retires.

  • Ilin on February 18, 2010, 18:31 GMT

    its not the win of india alone,but also a big win-win for TEST CRICKET.and well done kolkata crowd. u people just showed the world how to watch a TEST MATCH and also make it more interesting. hats off to your spirit of test cricket as u people not only came to watch the test match all the five days but also appreciated the efforts of south africa.but in the end,what a fabulous and famous win for india and what a great effort from hashim amla. amla has a long way to go.what a test player.and for bhajji and vvs,eden garden is like their own private turf.and sachin and viru....no answer for them.but its a shame that india will not play anymore test match almost for a year.BCCI and ICC are turning into corporates who just wanna earn from the poularity of players by holding as many as possible limited over matches.its our own loss of not watchin world class test cricket like kolkata test.matches like kolkata test is remaining test alive,otherwise odi's are only killing tests.

  • on February 18, 2010, 18:24 GMT

    Yeah its a fascinating and fabulous win...... No words to express my happiness. I am really proud to be an Indian and hats of Cool Headed Dhoni Guys..... We are always No.1. Dhoni, a kind suggestion, More all rounders like J Kallies, Duminy, Watson, Etc, will definitely make ourself ever no.1.

  • tsrajkumar on February 18, 2010, 17:41 GMT

    I disagree with the author in applauding the Eden Gardens as a great venue for cricket. I was a great venue today because India won but who would forget the embarassment the people in this ground bought to Indian cricket during the 96 WC semi final, during the Asia Cup test championship against Pakistan. Even during the Hero Cup, I remember Keith Arthurton getting injured due to a lighted paper from the crowd. If India had played the way they played in Nagpur, Eden Gardens would have been a whole lot different. I don't think the players need this kind of pressure while playing in this venue....

  • on February 18, 2010, 17:38 GMT

    Very Nice Article. Thanks to BCCI power politics, Eden Gardens not getting enough matches. For me that is one of the best venues in India for any form of cricket, especially test cricket. Excellent effort by Indian bowlers. It's worth all the late-nights I was awake watching this test match!

  • on February 18, 2010, 17:33 GMT

    While I largely agree with your views, I dont think bringing on Sachin was an 'inspired' move. On the contrary it was, if anything a delayed move. Sachin has a 'golden arm' and had, in the past, broken well set partnerships a few times. Probably it is anybody's guess an earlier intro of Sachin wd have ended the match much earlier and the penultimate over drama could have been avoided. All is well that ends well but with a bit of luck SA cd have got away just like England did against then twice recently.

  • Mamu_lee on February 18, 2010, 17:32 GMT

    Well done Harbhajani Bhai..................Kya kamal kida Tussi..............You performedextremely well when it required most for the team....................

  • sat09 on February 18, 2010, 17:30 GMT

    A well deserved victory for India after Chappel's comments that India does not have the bowlers capable of making them stay at the top of the rankings. They proved him wrong!

  • KumarBinu on February 18, 2010, 17:30 GMT

    Great TEAM INDIA !!!! DOnt ever give the number 1 spot to anybody. Prayers are behind you.

  • Sidhanta-Patnaik on February 18, 2010, 17:29 GMT

    One of those articles that makes your hair stand if you are an Indian.

  • on February 18, 2010, 17:16 GMT

    amazingly written article... Aga.. class apart..

  • anshul1234 on February 18, 2010, 17:15 GMT

    Hey aga nice article!! This win defenitly proves the character of Indian team. And hats off to MS..as he smartly preserved Bhajji for OTA(other then amla) part of SA!!

  • on February 18, 2010, 17:12 GMT

    amazingly written article... Aga.. class apart..

  • VairaPandi on February 18, 2010, 17:12 GMT

    First test India lost because of having a luxury of two keepers in Playing XI and we lost for which Selectors blamed. In the second test, despite injury to Boucher, SA started the tour and played without specialist keeper. Standby keeper missed stumping/catches gave byes and in particular fast bowlers at 140+ can't have the same understanding with standby keeper as the regular, that too World record holder. Now SA selectors to be blamed for the defeat. It is time for India to preserve quality fast bowlers not to play all unnecessary matches and get exhausted mentally like Ishant. We must preserve Ishant and Mithun to improve our Test record. Anyway today's win will give confidence for our future.

  • on February 18, 2010, 17:11 GMT

    amazingly written article... Aga.. class apart..

  • SyedMusharraf on February 18, 2010, 17:05 GMT

    I would suggest that except Hashim Amla and Darl Styen rest of this Great South African Cricket team should be thrown out of this planet for their wonderful performance in the second test match

  • Bollo on February 18, 2010, 17:02 GMT

    Probably slightly easier to watch as a neutral, but yee haa, how much fun was that!

  • ajee on February 18, 2010, 16:50 GMT

    Kudos team INDIA!!!, superb game of cricket... Very glad that we have given the proteas an INNINGS defeat.... Well played Amla, batted almost for a day in 2test... :) Looking forward to an even exciting one-dayers...

  • IPL_is_Thrash on February 18, 2010, 16:44 GMT

    Its funny you are talking about Test Future, which is at peril. Non-sense IPL is coming and it is going to take huge toll on players of Team India including bench strength. Until that non-sense IPL is not scrapped Team India cannot achieve heights in Test Cricket forget about No.1 status.

  • Quazar on February 18, 2010, 16:32 GMT

    Magnificent test match! Well played to SA for the series, though they lost here. Amla was incredible...the quintessential immovable object! And hats off to team India for a fantastic show of skill and character. No Dravid, no Zaheer for all of the last day, 90 overs lost to rain / bad light, massive pressure from all quarters at the start of the test, losing the toss...and still prevailing! A performance to savour!

  • Quazar on February 18, 2010, 16:31 GMT

    Magnificent test match! Well played to SA for the series, though they lost here. Amla was incredible...the quintessential immovable object! And hats off to team India for a fantastic show of skill and character. No Dravid, no Zaheer for all of the last day, 90 overs lost to rain / bad light, massive pressure from all quarters at the start of the test, losing the toss...and still prevailing! A performance to savour!

  • rustin on February 18, 2010, 16:20 GMT

    No offence to Amla or Dravid but the former reminds me strongly of the latter. Both of their faces remain blank throughout their innings and hardly any fanfare when they get to their milestones. Inhuman powers of concentration and a natural at building big innings. And of course the incredible defences. Regarding Bhajji, well it should be clear why he is so good at Eden Gardens. One factor is obviously the bounce, the other is the crowd. Bhajji needs to be constantly motivated as he gets into a rut quite easily.While the crowd at nagpur was a joke, here they know their test cricket. Not the drooling idiotic T20 fans. Irrespective of the rankings, the two teams are equals, with both having their strengths. The series was like a shooting star, as soon as I saw it I wished for another one equally enthralling.

  • dpkhbk on February 18, 2010, 16:20 GMT

    what is this ?harbhajan and the rest were being criticized for all the right reasons .he still hasnt proved anything .his test is in the first innings where if the batsmen take the attack to him he immediately starts bowling defensive.and dhoni too was critcised rightly for his defensive field settings.the first thing that came to my mind was after reading the article:are you some pr agent for dhoni and harbhajan

  • wanderer1 on February 18, 2010, 16:16 GMT

    India deserved the victory overall. Harbhajan's bowling was the difference, but I still think some of the SA middle order has to learn how to play top quality spin. They look clueless is an understatement. As for Amla he finished with an average of 490 in the series, yes you read that right, and that just about says it all. He almost single handedly kept SA alive.

  • ABP235 on February 18, 2010, 16:11 GMT

    Well written S. Aga in true theatre review style. Perfectly fits the drama. However, let us not be carried away with this win. A win is a win, yes I know that, as a cricketer myself and a keen follower of the game for last 3 decades. However, the struggle and toil of Indian spinners on a 5th day reasonably helpful pitch (may not be a square turner) was a big disappointment. Bhajji accounted for the woefully out of form Prince and Duminy in both innings, and had the lucky wicket of a surprisingly aggressive Kallis in one innings. Other than that, it has been a real hard work for him. His peak was indeed the years between 2001 to 2004 and after that, its a sad plight, striking once in every 6-7 tests (hardly enough to be called a strike bowler, right?) whether he was with Kumble or not. We can surely salute Mishra for being more venturous, but he was working on a solid lead set up by a splendid batting performance of Indian batsmen. More will be known soon, about our spin shortcomings.

  • on February 18, 2010, 16:04 GMT

    Many say we are struggling in bowling department. Many say Ishant lost his form. Many say Harbhajan has turned ordinary. many say its only Zaheer who is doing the job. But today was the PERFECT DISPLAY of "what spirit is" and "what confidence is" and "what the answer is"

    Also, one should not forget that India lost more than 1 day in the form of overs (94 overs) and yet won the game. This is possible only by one element of the team - Virendra Sehwag. He has turned into such a legend of Test Cricket.

    Cheers and Congrats Team India

  • XooX on February 18, 2010, 15:56 GMT

    What a match this was...Uh, I just couldn't work today..Great job India..But Amla...wow, what a super human he has been in this series..

  • chokkashokka on February 18, 2010, 15:53 GMT

    Great game - great advertisement for test cricket. Test cricket is alive and healthy - and with two teams likes these contesting, test cricket has never been in better shape. This short series had it all - the underdog contender catching the title-holder napping. The title-holder coming back - punch, counter punch - this is why they play the game. India have gone a long way in silencing their critics - no Dravid or Yuvraj, losing the toss, losing its lead strike bowler on the last day and coming from behind to take back what was their's. Its regretful this was only a 2 match series. There's enough room for test cricket, one-day and 20-20 to exist in perfect harmony. Those who complain & blame the 20-20 format for their misery, are just finding another convenient way to blame someone else for their own problems. Winners win and lets hope this Indian side can create its own special legacy as No. 1 for a long time to come. Can't wait for the IPL to start - go Daredevils!

  • Ramamunna on February 18, 2010, 15:43 GMT

    Now where is Mr. Ian Chapple to comment on India's win. He is a very wise and experienced man, but every time he has some thing to say about Indian cricket team or about Indian players. He once said that Sachin should retire because he has last his charm. He is continuing his magical knocks regularly. Now about Indian bowlers....Now "Bowlers" kept their nerve and won the match. One should give some time to prove oneself. Don't strike of the achievements of others.

  • viralpatel15 on February 18, 2010, 15:36 GMT

    Awesome Article. Loved It. I love Calcutta and Eden Gardens and Thats why There should be one test match every year in this ground.

  • donovancarragher on February 18, 2010, 15:31 GMT

    I was a neutral observer of this match (I support England) but I would have loved to watch this series between probably the two top teams in the world right now unfold over 4 or 5 tests. For me, there is no greater drama than seeing five days of play boil down to the action and tension of the last few overs. Yet the BCCI scheduled only 2 tests! Not even a third for things to be decided. I hope the ODIs will provide similar drama but I doubt it. I would have loved to see 1, 2 or 3 more tests in this series. I wonder how many Indian fans agree with me?

  • NairUSA on February 18, 2010, 15:27 GMT

    Time to savour the moment! Better side in this test was indeed India. There is definitely a champion mentality in the current set of Indian players that enables them to come through and produce almost impossible wins. Harbhajan deserves all the kudos for taking up the mantle to make India win. Dhoni once again has proven that he is a captain who thinks differently and accepts nothing short of excellence from his team.

    However, the win should not push aside the reality that the Indian bowling department lacks bench strength. Good, intelligent seamers should be given a chance when India goes to SA as wickets over there assist disciplined fast bowling.

    Even though SA had lost the chance to become No. 1, they deserve due credit for leveling their 'away from home' series. This series has again proven without a doubt that test cricket is the premier form of international cricket.

  • holywarrior007 on February 18, 2010, 15:26 GMT

    Congrats India on winning and retaining the No.1 ranking. Rightly said, I haven't understood that why BCCI organizes lots of matches at dead pitches like Nagpur, when they can have a true cricket pitch at places like Eden Garden. God knows what these BCCI officials are up to.

  • neanderthal on February 18, 2010, 15:10 GMT

    It's nothing but BCCI's cheap politics that keeps test matches away from Eden Gardens whereas non descript venues like Nagpur, Ahmedabaad etc keep getting matches. It was great to hear Daryl Cullinan ask Shastri during commentary in this test match about Eden(the best ground in India in his and in almost all cricket pundit's opinion) not getting the finals or semis in 2011 world cup. Shastri stammered and stammered and then replied that the final is happening in a renovated Wankhede. With all due respect, Eden, Lords, MCG - these are in different leagues altogether. A WC final in england will always be played in Lords. Likewise wankhede or any other ground can never match the spectacle that Eden is.

  • sadhu_baba on February 18, 2010, 15:03 GMT

    and a grand victory produces a great article

  • Awad on February 18, 2010, 15:00 GMT

    Great series. Pity it had just two games.

  • AnuragAcharya on February 18, 2010, 14:56 GMT

    Yup. We all can't wait for the India-SA series. This series was too short. But India played fabulously these five days............ love you Team India.... Definitely deserve to be the World No.1 !!

  • Niel1983 on February 18, 2010, 14:53 GMT

    Absolutely great Test cricket........ Now, the next thing to look forward to is not the IPL,not the t20WC, but India touring SA by the end of the year... Hope every one is fit in the Indian camp...

  • zak123kaif on February 18, 2010, 14:52 GMT

    A brilliant piece of article highlighting the indian victory.

  • The_other_side on February 18, 2010, 14:40 GMT

    Its a pity such a great series had only 2 tests. Each day was like one day international, only difference was the ... to be continued tag at the end of each day for the first 4 days.

    Who says test matches are boring!!

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • The_other_side on February 18, 2010, 14:40 GMT

    Its a pity such a great series had only 2 tests. Each day was like one day international, only difference was the ... to be continued tag at the end of each day for the first 4 days.

    Who says test matches are boring!!

  • zak123kaif on February 18, 2010, 14:52 GMT

    A brilliant piece of article highlighting the indian victory.

  • Niel1983 on February 18, 2010, 14:53 GMT

    Absolutely great Test cricket........ Now, the next thing to look forward to is not the IPL,not the t20WC, but India touring SA by the end of the year... Hope every one is fit in the Indian camp...

  • AnuragAcharya on February 18, 2010, 14:56 GMT

    Yup. We all can't wait for the India-SA series. This series was too short. But India played fabulously these five days............ love you Team India.... Definitely deserve to be the World No.1 !!

  • Awad on February 18, 2010, 15:00 GMT

    Great series. Pity it had just two games.

  • sadhu_baba on February 18, 2010, 15:03 GMT

    and a grand victory produces a great article

  • neanderthal on February 18, 2010, 15:10 GMT

    It's nothing but BCCI's cheap politics that keeps test matches away from Eden Gardens whereas non descript venues like Nagpur, Ahmedabaad etc keep getting matches. It was great to hear Daryl Cullinan ask Shastri during commentary in this test match about Eden(the best ground in India in his and in almost all cricket pundit's opinion) not getting the finals or semis in 2011 world cup. Shastri stammered and stammered and then replied that the final is happening in a renovated Wankhede. With all due respect, Eden, Lords, MCG - these are in different leagues altogether. A WC final in england will always be played in Lords. Likewise wankhede or any other ground can never match the spectacle that Eden is.

  • holywarrior007 on February 18, 2010, 15:26 GMT

    Congrats India on winning and retaining the No.1 ranking. Rightly said, I haven't understood that why BCCI organizes lots of matches at dead pitches like Nagpur, when they can have a true cricket pitch at places like Eden Garden. God knows what these BCCI officials are up to.

  • NairUSA on February 18, 2010, 15:27 GMT

    Time to savour the moment! Better side in this test was indeed India. There is definitely a champion mentality in the current set of Indian players that enables them to come through and produce almost impossible wins. Harbhajan deserves all the kudos for taking up the mantle to make India win. Dhoni once again has proven that he is a captain who thinks differently and accepts nothing short of excellence from his team.

    However, the win should not push aside the reality that the Indian bowling department lacks bench strength. Good, intelligent seamers should be given a chance when India goes to SA as wickets over there assist disciplined fast bowling.

    Even though SA had lost the chance to become No. 1, they deserve due credit for leveling their 'away from home' series. This series has again proven without a doubt that test cricket is the premier form of international cricket.

  • donovancarragher on February 18, 2010, 15:31 GMT

    I was a neutral observer of this match (I support England) but I would have loved to watch this series between probably the two top teams in the world right now unfold over 4 or 5 tests. For me, there is no greater drama than seeing five days of play boil down to the action and tension of the last few overs. Yet the BCCI scheduled only 2 tests! Not even a third for things to be decided. I hope the ODIs will provide similar drama but I doubt it. I would have loved to see 1, 2 or 3 more tests in this series. I wonder how many Indian fans agree with me?