South Africa v India, 1st Test, Centurion December 14, 2010

Morkel awaits duel with 'dangerous' openers

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The three-Test series between South Africa and India starting in Centurion on Thursday has been dubbed a contest between South African bowling and Indian batting. For Morne Morkel, the crux of that battle will be between the openers on both sides of that equation.

"Gautam [Gambhir] and [Virender] Sehwag upfront are very dangerous. Not long ago Gautam was No. 1 in the world and we all know how destructive Virender can be against the new ball," Morkel said at a press conference in Centurion on Tuesday. "It's a contest we are looking forward to especially here on South African wickets where you don't just have five overs where the new ball is vital - it tends to bounce for a bit longer."

Morkel knows the Centurion pitch very well. He plies his domestic trade at SuperSport Park for the Titans and has observed a few changes in the strip he has bowled on for so many years. "They've changed the square a little bit and there is a little more life in the wicket," he said. Being on national duty has meant that Morkel has not played many franchise games, but in the one first-class match he managed to fit in this season he was impressed with the deck. "We asked for a nice quick wicket then and we bowled out the Warriors for 70-odd. The pace and bounce was very good."

With wet weather hanging over the Highveld, the bowlers are likely to benefit from a pitch more lively than a Jack Russell puppy. "If there are overcast conditions like we've had, who wouldn't put his hand up to bowl first?" Morkel asked and enthusiastically almost raised his hand as well. Before he could do that, he stopped himself and reminded the audience that the South African seamers were going to be bowling to a very competent Indian line-up.

Even though coach Corrie van Zyl didn't think the time India's batsmen spent in South Africa during the IPL and Champions League would benefit them much, Morkel disagreed. "The way they have been playing in the IPL and the CLT20, they have definitely improved their game on South African conditions." Morkel also thinks India's coach, Gary Kirsten, would have passed on a few vital tips for his troops. "Gary Kirsten has got all the insides and knows how to play on SA wickets, so the he would have been a big help for them for how to play on a bouncy wicket."

While the focus has been on one side of the contest, Ashwell Prince thinks that the other side could be just as important especially because Indian pace attack will also enjoy responsive pitches. "We respect the Indian seam attack. They normally do very well in subcontinent conditions which don't support the fast bowlers much and they must be looking forward to having assistance from our wickets."

Although the wickets are being prepared for seamers, Prince did not negate the role Harbhajan Singh will play for India. "He will be a threat as he is one of the best in the world. I'm sure he is looking forward to the series as well. Graeme Swann had good series in SA last year and at moment Swann is rated the best spin bowler in the world. Maybe Harbhajan would like to have his say about that and look to make an impact."

Prince expects "some movement off the seam," but doesn't think the bowlers will be the only ones enjoying some time in the sun. "If it's 34 degrees and the pitch bakes, it will be a good wicket to bat on."

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY on | December 19, 2010, 9:05 GMT

    I don't agree with the Sharma decision that was reversed. While it might have been the right thing in terms of rules, a 'referral' such as this, for me, is part of the referral system, which is not used in this series. What I don't understand is why exactly was this decision referred to the third umpire? Not any of the previous SA or Indian wickets was referred, why then specifically this one? I know that it was a line decision and that the umpires can request that the 3rd umpire review the line, but this is inconsistent application of the rules. I have no problem with it, but then every wicket need to be referred in order to verify the legality of the ball that was bowled. This is the very centre of the referral system, but it is not in play, so when, at the time when the umpire ruled the batsmen out, that particular decision should have stood as he did not rule a no-ball at the time of the delivery.

  • POSTED BY Tsotsi on | December 17, 2010, 17:39 GMT

    Kallis is way better than Kapil Dev, not even a contest.

  • POSTED BY braindead_rocker on | December 16, 2010, 23:42 GMT

    Maqbool, its not right to compare players from different generations. Kallis is great but to say he is better than Kapil is wrong. Kapil led India to the WC victory beating West Indies for the first time...Kapil is a living legend.

  • POSTED BY on | December 16, 2010, 8:39 GMT

    dont bring kallis in ur conversation. any allrounder hadtook 260wicktets with 11000thousands? no neither kapal dev did it nor flinttoff.kallis is all in all.260 wicktes more than 11000 runs and more than hundred catches in both form of games. if tendulkar is batting genuine than kallis is allrouder genuine.

  • POSTED BY RanjithShettyJordan on | December 15, 2010, 22:46 GMT

    @shawn issac- Even lara agreed that sachin is the greatest batsman in his time.You have to go through all aspects of his life.Technic,Balance,Power,Shot selection,evolution to succeed with new generation, years the person played,social life.These characters makes him not only greatest cricketer also greatest sports person of the century.All sports persons have to learn from him, how to behave with public,how to run the life.He can't walk in the streets freely from last 20 years, he can't enjoy in his loved city for last 20 years.He even cannot take his children for shopping.Can you compare him with Lara or Warne at any point of time.The perfect man in sport.(Even tiger woods failed to maintain a peaceful family life without controversy being a player of individual game) .Sachin is the greatest sports person in this century, because of his all-round clean image being a most celebrated sports person.India loves him for the same.He is the greatest gentleman of gentleman's game.

  • POSTED BY RanjithShettyJordan on | December 15, 2010, 22:27 GMT

    Morkel is not dreaming like other SA team.He knows who is who in the indian team after playing in IPL.SA also have a very good batting lineup, but pressure is clearly on SA,because india is not going to loose anything by loosing this series.they will even not loose their no.1 ranking.they will try to go all out against SA.this is the last tour for most of the senior players in SA and they are determined to make their contribution count and they have the mental toughness to succeed in SA.One more thing SA forgot is, if they make seamer friendly wicket, that also helps indian past bowlers, who are more talented than SA bowlers in helpful conditions.

  • POSTED BY RanjithShettyJordan on | December 15, 2010, 22:17 GMT

    Indians are not bothered about the pace attach of styne and morkel.In india styne not made any impact as a front line bowler for royal challengers.Even he is dropped and replaced by praveen.Unkown players played him with confidence.Also bajji is not bothered about his batting.He like the bounce in the south african wickets and he will bowl wirh more confidence and it makes him the most dangerous bowler from both sides.I am requesting hethesh modi to keep quit till the end of first test and make some publicity for himself.

  • POSTED BY sugumarrising on | December 15, 2010, 17:50 GMT

    some people always asks the questions but at the same time we (indian team) always have the answers, am going to give you guys some unbelievable stats about south africa, south africa have not won a single test series at home against australia for the last 40 years, i think this is the mother OF all worst records in tests, if a home team can't beat a foreign team in the last 40 years (in home conditions) that says all, south africa last won a test series against australia at home was way back in 1969-70 season, in current form even bangladesh would have won atleast 2 series in 40 years(ha ha), don't make us (indians) dig deeper it will be a humiliation for you, first look at your face in the mirror afterwards you can talk about india, if south africa have good bowling we have the best batting lineup in world cricket, we will show how ordinary the south african bowlers are, and our bowlers will also prove their worth by blowing away the south african batting lineup.

  • POSTED BY Dr.K.H.Iyer on | December 15, 2010, 17:35 GMT

    Everyone knows that neither Ponting nor Kallis made All Time XI on any team: Neither Richie Benaud's Team nor the Cricinfo AllTime XI! Sachin made it to both!The great Don said Sachin played like him! Allan Donald called Sachin (& not Kallis/Ponting) the greatest! Well that is enough said! who is this kurtisMcgurtis? A troll by all means!!!

  • POSTED BY on | December 15, 2010, 17:05 GMT

    @kvkrrish The ICC is trying to reduced the bad decisions and what did India do they said no to the 3rd umpire. Every one wants to see the right decision made at the end of the day. Tendulkar made the 200 against us in India and since then the 2 teams have not played in SA SO GET YOUR FACTS STRAIGHT. Second the SA team has done better in India WON 5 lost 5 drew 2 and what is the record of India in SA WON 1 LOST 11 DREW 1. So don't say that SA can't play on turning wickets. Lastly ONE man does not made a team. Sudayvan

  • POSTED BY on | December 19, 2010, 9:05 GMT

    I don't agree with the Sharma decision that was reversed. While it might have been the right thing in terms of rules, a 'referral' such as this, for me, is part of the referral system, which is not used in this series. What I don't understand is why exactly was this decision referred to the third umpire? Not any of the previous SA or Indian wickets was referred, why then specifically this one? I know that it was a line decision and that the umpires can request that the 3rd umpire review the line, but this is inconsistent application of the rules. I have no problem with it, but then every wicket need to be referred in order to verify the legality of the ball that was bowled. This is the very centre of the referral system, but it is not in play, so when, at the time when the umpire ruled the batsmen out, that particular decision should have stood as he did not rule a no-ball at the time of the delivery.

  • POSTED BY Tsotsi on | December 17, 2010, 17:39 GMT

    Kallis is way better than Kapil Dev, not even a contest.

  • POSTED BY braindead_rocker on | December 16, 2010, 23:42 GMT

    Maqbool, its not right to compare players from different generations. Kallis is great but to say he is better than Kapil is wrong. Kapil led India to the WC victory beating West Indies for the first time...Kapil is a living legend.

  • POSTED BY on | December 16, 2010, 8:39 GMT

    dont bring kallis in ur conversation. any allrounder hadtook 260wicktets with 11000thousands? no neither kapal dev did it nor flinttoff.kallis is all in all.260 wicktes more than 11000 runs and more than hundred catches in both form of games. if tendulkar is batting genuine than kallis is allrouder genuine.

  • POSTED BY RanjithShettyJordan on | December 15, 2010, 22:46 GMT

    @shawn issac- Even lara agreed that sachin is the greatest batsman in his time.You have to go through all aspects of his life.Technic,Balance,Power,Shot selection,evolution to succeed with new generation, years the person played,social life.These characters makes him not only greatest cricketer also greatest sports person of the century.All sports persons have to learn from him, how to behave with public,how to run the life.He can't walk in the streets freely from last 20 years, he can't enjoy in his loved city for last 20 years.He even cannot take his children for shopping.Can you compare him with Lara or Warne at any point of time.The perfect man in sport.(Even tiger woods failed to maintain a peaceful family life without controversy being a player of individual game) .Sachin is the greatest sports person in this century, because of his all-round clean image being a most celebrated sports person.India loves him for the same.He is the greatest gentleman of gentleman's game.

  • POSTED BY RanjithShettyJordan on | December 15, 2010, 22:27 GMT

    Morkel is not dreaming like other SA team.He knows who is who in the indian team after playing in IPL.SA also have a very good batting lineup, but pressure is clearly on SA,because india is not going to loose anything by loosing this series.they will even not loose their no.1 ranking.they will try to go all out against SA.this is the last tour for most of the senior players in SA and they are determined to make their contribution count and they have the mental toughness to succeed in SA.One more thing SA forgot is, if they make seamer friendly wicket, that also helps indian past bowlers, who are more talented than SA bowlers in helpful conditions.

  • POSTED BY RanjithShettyJordan on | December 15, 2010, 22:17 GMT

    Indians are not bothered about the pace attach of styne and morkel.In india styne not made any impact as a front line bowler for royal challengers.Even he is dropped and replaced by praveen.Unkown players played him with confidence.Also bajji is not bothered about his batting.He like the bounce in the south african wickets and he will bowl wirh more confidence and it makes him the most dangerous bowler from both sides.I am requesting hethesh modi to keep quit till the end of first test and make some publicity for himself.

  • POSTED BY sugumarrising on | December 15, 2010, 17:50 GMT

    some people always asks the questions but at the same time we (indian team) always have the answers, am going to give you guys some unbelievable stats about south africa, south africa have not won a single test series at home against australia for the last 40 years, i think this is the mother OF all worst records in tests, if a home team can't beat a foreign team in the last 40 years (in home conditions) that says all, south africa last won a test series against australia at home was way back in 1969-70 season, in current form even bangladesh would have won atleast 2 series in 40 years(ha ha), don't make us (indians) dig deeper it will be a humiliation for you, first look at your face in the mirror afterwards you can talk about india, if south africa have good bowling we have the best batting lineup in world cricket, we will show how ordinary the south african bowlers are, and our bowlers will also prove their worth by blowing away the south african batting lineup.

  • POSTED BY Dr.K.H.Iyer on | December 15, 2010, 17:35 GMT

    Everyone knows that neither Ponting nor Kallis made All Time XI on any team: Neither Richie Benaud's Team nor the Cricinfo AllTime XI! Sachin made it to both!The great Don said Sachin played like him! Allan Donald called Sachin (& not Kallis/Ponting) the greatest! Well that is enough said! who is this kurtisMcgurtis? A troll by all means!!!

  • POSTED BY on | December 15, 2010, 17:05 GMT

    @kvkrrish The ICC is trying to reduced the bad decisions and what did India do they said no to the 3rd umpire. Every one wants to see the right decision made at the end of the day. Tendulkar made the 200 against us in India and since then the 2 teams have not played in SA SO GET YOUR FACTS STRAIGHT. Second the SA team has done better in India WON 5 lost 5 drew 2 and what is the record of India in SA WON 1 LOST 11 DREW 1. So don't say that SA can't play on turning wickets. Lastly ONE man does not made a team. Sudayvan

  • POSTED BY sugumarrising on | December 15, 2010, 16:56 GMT

    some people always asks the questions but at the same time we (indian team) always have the answers, AM GOING TO GIVE YOU GUYS SOME UNBELIEVABLE STATS ABOUT SOUTH AFRICA, SOUTH AFRICA HAVE NOT WON A SINGLE TEST SERIES AT HOME AGAINST AUSTRALIA FOR THE PAST 40 YEARS, I THINK THIS IS THE MOTHER OF ALL WORST RECORDS IN TESTS, IF A HOME TEAM CAN'T BEAT A FOREIGN TEAM IN THE LAST 40 YEARS THAT SAYS ALL, SOUTH AFRICA LAST WON A TEST SERIES AGAINST AUSTRALIA AT HOME WAS WAY BACK IN 1969-70 SEASON, IN CURRENT FORM EVEN BANGLADESH WOULD HAVE WON ATLEAST 2 SERIES IN 40 YEARS, don't make us (indians) dig deeper it will be a humiliation for you guys, first take the monkey form your back afterwards you can speak about india, if south africa have good bowling we have the best batting lineup in world cricket, we will show how ordinary the south african bowlers are, and our bowlers will also prove their worth by blowing away the south african batting lineup.

  • POSTED BY on | December 15, 2010, 16:41 GMT

    Sachin is as elegant as any iconic player; even best ever, seizing alomost every record under his arm, you jst cant compare him with Lara. During the time of Lara, Sachin has then supassed him, and now he has moved on for better 3 years; Lara cant get even closer. Ponting s already losing against him; let him guard again, sachin getting still better.

  • POSTED BY kiron0407 on | December 15, 2010, 16:29 GMT

    @kurtisMcgurtis: You are funny! go get a life!lol

  • POSTED BY Mahesh.R on | December 15, 2010, 13:45 GMT

    Expanding what Mr. Pappachan said, Tendulkar has another record. He is the batsman who got the most number of wrong, unfavourable decisions against him. I am not joking. Of course, he played the most number of test matches and naturally there will be some wrong decisions. But, umpires make faults when Sachin is at crease, and they will rule gainst him lest they will be deemed fearful of his iconic status. I strongly believe his average would have otherwise been 60

  • POSTED BY on | December 15, 2010, 13:31 GMT

    @kurtisMcgurtis...I feel this poor chap has gone mad....ok ok ok...we can understand ur feelings dear...u r sooo scared of Sachin and Co and really loses the plot of wats happening around....don't worry...Pray to God...u wil be alright soon.

  • POSTED BY on | December 15, 2010, 13:19 GMT

    Sanchin averages less than 40 in SA. Dravid averages 35 in SA. India have won one test in SA in 12. Since 2000 only Steyn, Lee and Aktar have bowled consistently over 145km an hour at test level. It's not the conditions it's the PACE. SA have done very well in India simply because we always have one genuine fast bowler. The fact that Indian batsmen put every conceivable pad on reinforces SA's view that they are afraid. It sends the wrong message.

    Dravid and Tendulkar average quite high away from home. Sometimes in advantageous conditions for fast bowlers but very few teams have the most important ingredient: a truly quick accurate bowler is missing. In the 80's they were falling off trees. And for that farce of a vote. If SA had a 1 billion population Graeme Pollock would have won the vote not the other way round. Don't get me wrong Tendulkar and Dravid are good, very good in fact. But I have never seen in them the genius of Viv Richards, Lara or a Pollock.

  • POSTED BY on | December 15, 2010, 12:46 GMT

    And Finally Sehwag is the best batsmen in the world today. His strike rate over a long period is Bradmanesque in statistical terms. I would choose him ahead of any Batsmen ever to play for SA or India.

  • POSTED BY triassicpark1 on | December 15, 2010, 12:44 GMT

    @ Werner, Enough said and argued abt your earthly comments. By the way humour form is somewhere else. I would like to see your face after India beats SA this series. I agree its not a walk in the park for India and would like to emphasise the converse also holds true. Thanks for the joke of the day. cricinfo can do only so much to moderate comments.

  • POSTED BY on | December 15, 2010, 12:40 GMT

    Sanchin averages less than 40 in SA. Dravid averages 35 in SA. India have won one test in SA in 12. Since 2000 only Steyn, Lee and Aktar have bowled consistently over 145km an hour at test level. It's not the conditions it's the PACE. SA have done very well in India simply because we always have one genuine fast bowler. The fact that Indian batsmen put every conceivable pad on reinforces SA's view that they are afraid.

    Dravid and Tendulkar average quite high away from home. Sometimes in advantageous conditions for fast bowlers but very few teams have the most important ingredient: a truly quick accurate bowler is missing. In the 80's they were falling off trees. And for that farce of a vote. If SA had a 1 billion population Graeme Pollock would have won the vote not the other way round. Don't get me wrong Tendulkar and Dravid are good, very good infact. But I have never seen in them the genius of Viv Richards, Lara or a Pollock.

  • POSTED BY on | December 15, 2010, 12:17 GMT

    The Centurion track will be tailor made for Morkel & Steyn, I can not see the Indian openers lasting the first 10 overs. Tendulkar has been victim to Kallis many times over at this venue & I can see Kallis getting his man again. VVS is a nervous starter and he will battle against a hostile attack. I predict a SA victory as India will crumble in their batting. Mr Harbjan Singh forget your 2 tons against the Kiwis as you will battle against this class attack led by Dale Steyn.

  • POSTED BY on | December 15, 2010, 12:11 GMT

    Lara is the greatest of modern day batsmen.........watching him bat is beyond comparison wirh anyother, including Sachen

  • POSTED BY on | December 15, 2010, 12:05 GMT

    Dear Curtis, if ever tendulkar had benefited from umpiring decision, then the records would have read differently. Just chek out the records and you will notice that he is the one to be at the wrong end of rough decisions the maximum times. Regarding greatness of tendulkar,who are you to judge him. All the great players listed by you all have voted tendulkar as one of the greatest player to take the field. So stop be envious of what you don't have and admire what we have..........

  • POSTED BY UNIVERSAL_CRICKETER on | December 15, 2010, 12:03 GMT

    @@kurtismcgurtis & all other doubting thomases-------- the punter Ponting avgs. 26 in India....what a shame , he can't play sissy spin....even an Indian tail Harbhajan have century in successive test against mighty Australians where punter Ponting avgs. kingly 26....ha..ha..ha..... his avg. in England is 41.....can't play even swinging balls....what a shame.....away avg. is 48....great.!!........the other great Kallis avgs. 31 in Bangladesh......oops....29 in Englad.....can't see the swinging balls......35 in Sri Lanka....maybe Murli was lenient.......45 in Australia....& all his so called runs scored on dead pitches of India & Pakistan !!!!!!.........Lillee/Thomson/Holding/Garner/Marshal were so scared of these helmeted punters that they requested god not to be born with them.....ha..ha... Away avgs. of Sachin - 56.......58 on bouncing pitches of Australia......62..in swinging England......Away avgs. of Dravid-- 55.....60+ in swinging England & New Zealand.........wow...wow...

  • POSTED BY DINESHCC on | December 15, 2010, 12:02 GMT

    Werner and DIRI. SA is playing international matches for 18 years. According to you SA is deserved to be the No.1 team. But how many major tournaments won by SA in 18 years. Althrough the years everyone is calling your team as CHOKER TEAM. In the recent test series against England your great Steyn, Morker, Parnell & Co. could not take the last wicket pair of Swann & Finn and Anderson & Finn and lost the opportunity of winning the series. Even afer bowling more than 30 overs each, steyn & company could not remove the last wicket pair. Many of our supporters claimed that Sehwag, Sachin, VVS and Dravid will score centuries against SA in this series. But I bet, whatever may be the result, Harbhajan Singh will score century against Steyn & Co.

  • POSTED BY hacking_tj on | December 15, 2010, 11:57 GMT

    @kurtisMcgurtis R u pointing to same Ponting who averages 59.13 in home & 26.48 on flat tracks in India compare to Tendulkar who averages 58.53 with 6 hundreds & a double in Australia along with 56.93 in flat tracks India. Stop all this bullshit here only,if u really want to compare,compare them now,Tendulkar was the sole batting power for nearly a decade for india & he performed brillantly,he never had a great team. Now compare this to present when the same is happening to Ponting,when he knows he alone is a true genius in his team,look how he is performing after retirement of all great fast bowlers & hayden,langer,adam.Compare them here & u'll know the result. Just can't understand what u wanna say there.Get ur facts right before posting.

  • POSTED BY charan200 on | December 15, 2010, 11:29 GMT

    @kurtisMcgurtis::::before judging kallis and ponting as the best players ahead of sachin pls try to recognise the stats of d master away frm india...shame on you...even ponting also agreed he's the best batsman in the world..out of 14+ runs more than 8000 runs were scored in other countries......in case of ponting he scored more than half of the runs in aus itself..his century conversion is more in aus than in other countries.those who r judging tendulkar as a normal cricketer they don't know abt cricket....pls shut their mouths.....salute to the great man sachin.....

  • POSTED BY Jeyganesh on | December 15, 2010, 11:16 GMT

    Seeing all the comments is Morkel and Steyn are going to bowl 45 overs each on a day. In that case we can expect India to be blown away :P. Regarding Kallis and Ponting being the best batsmen than Sachin, those two guys have great bowlers on their side to blow away the opposition and score runs without any scoreboard pressure. But is that the same with Sachin? He has scored runs at enormous pressure than the other two. Sachin is always the best...

  • POSTED BY Jerry80in on | December 15, 2010, 11:16 GMT

    Somebody remind Kurtis Mcgurtis of Tendulkar's record against Australia which is considered the paradise for fast & swing bowling... Greats such as McGrath has acknowledged SRT as one of the best that he has bowled to and so WHO ARE YOU TO SAY that he's not!! Talking about Flat Pitches... when a game is played in India on a flat pitch why only Tendulkar/India scores and rest of the World (excluding other Asian countries) fail... are you telling us that you dont have the basics to deal with something simple? Nothing will endure if the basics are not right!!!

  • POSTED BY Psyc_s on | December 15, 2010, 11:14 GMT

    @kurtisMcgurtis-Sachin was in receiving end of so many umpiring errors all through his career, hope everyone remember the shoulder before wicket decision by Daryll harper? Even ICC is telling that UDRS is not fool proof system. Why should one go and endorse for a thing which he personally have a bad opinion about? Atleast he is not a hypocryte. Batting on any surface? You make me laugh..Have you started watching cricket only on this decade? Sorry mate, Sachin had started playing this game 11 years before that. His first test century is at Headingly which is a Seaming track, his third is on Perth which was lightning quick, read what your white lightning gotta tell about Sachin's Durban Century..I don't know where you keep your brains...Rest in Peace...

  • POSTED BY Beertjie on | December 15, 2010, 10:56 GMT

    I agree in part with Werner Rousseau. All the Indian fans quoting stats about other parts of the world can't mask the facts and they need recourse to "granted, Sachin and Rahul have mediocre averages in SA" or "AD considered SRT the greatest" to disguise the hurtful truths. I hope India wins the series, but I can't see it happening because,like Werner says, SA bowlers are not the calibre of the great West Indies guys or the fearful Aus duo (and please don't quote me Lillee's stats for the sub-continent - this is irrelevant), yet they succeed against India So ask yourself: why? The great Indian batsmen may not be afraid, but the facts of their lack of success here speak louder than all these protests from the fans! Why should the ageing lot do better now than they did on previous tours when their reflexes were sharper? But I'd be happy to be proven wrong. Also, there is no consensus that SRT is the greatest batsman since Bradman- Experts voted Sir Viv among the top 5 of the 20th century

  • POSTED BY on | December 15, 2010, 10:48 GMT

    I agree with mahjut... But Fab four became famous after 2000.. Especially after the famous kolkata test when VVS and Dravid made history.. But majority of Sachin's great innings, esp mid 90's, ended up in losing cause mainly cos of not a substantial support from any of the team mates.. To an extent Kumble was a match-winning bowler.... Even in away grounds there are scores, where Sachin wud ve scored a century and the next best score would be around 28 or 32... Regarding UDRS, Sachin never said he does not accept it... All he said was Technology has to be improved... Even sachin has said Hot spot tech is better than UDRS.. Present tech is not enuf for UDRS.. And btw the best joke was made by kurtisMcgurtis when he said Sachin benefited frm umpiring decision.. Mate if u r not a follower of Indian cricket, better dont post stuff lik tat.. We know hw many centuries were denied for Sachin by umpires.. On and Off the field he is a legend nd We are proud of him and wil ever be...

  • POSTED BY Renshi on | December 15, 2010, 10:46 GMT

    Mind your words mr.kurtisMcgurtis. More than benefitting from the umpiring decisions, he was on the other side of the coin. Think first or atleast rewind and see all the internationals Sachin has played and write all these nonsense. How many times he was given out by our famous "slow death" Steve Bucknor, and Mr.Bucknor himself once said sorry for all the mistakes.

  • POSTED BY KrishnaVinod on | December 15, 2010, 10:34 GMT

    Sachin has proved himself over these years and he don't need any of ur remarks for him... Umpiring decisions never went in favor of Sachin as it is evident that so many times Sachin got out on 98 or 99 because of umpiring errors.. May be i think u targeted him because he got 200 on ur side. Because ur batters (u think they are mighty) could do or get near him on the same flat track.. so stop this bal bla of bouncy tracks. If ur batters cannot do better on turning turfs u have no right to argue about other batters. one more thing to notice is leave Indians, SA batters also never performed well on such turfs (look in facts). lol

  • POSTED BY on | December 15, 2010, 10:12 GMT

    Indian has to win this series at any cost . I don't know how they win beg borrow steel . It's the best team they have in last 20 years . We wont have Lax , sachin , dravid for next time.

  • POSTED BY kurtisMcgurtis on | December 15, 2010, 10:07 GMT

    Werner is correct. why does tendulkar not endorse UDRS. he is not a great batsman. He will continue to be judged internationally as a great batsman on Indian wickets. Unlike true champions like Ponting and Kallis who can bat on any surface. tendulkar will recognise as the nation of india will recognise that he is a guy who has faced many a flat track and benefitted from umpiring decisions.

  • POSTED BY dexterous9 on | December 15, 2010, 10:06 GMT

    looking at the past performances in south africa the likes of dravid & laxman hasn't performed so well there.gambhir is in form,but he won't be able to handle seamimg conditions.sehwag is supposed to do well.dravid is not expeceted to do well against the mighty africans. tendulkar will be his usual.raina needs some luck,to come to form.laxman & dhoni will chip in with some 30 & 40.harbhajan will also manage some runs. tendulkar also avg in 40's in s.a. need better.......

  • POSTED BY on | December 15, 2010, 9:56 GMT

    When we talk about bouncy and quick wickets, we only talk about the likes of dale styne and morkel. But i must say, indians too would enjoy this conditions. last time Sreesanth single handedly won a match for india. and we all know what Ishant Sharma can do on his day. Dont forget his heroics during australian tour.

    I think the series will be decided by the way indian batsmen handle SA fast bowlers esp. Dale Steyn. Indians can manage swing but they struggle against pace which Dale Steyn has. Recently, indian tail has contributed to indian batting cause. But Steyn can wrap up them in a geffy. Though Dravid got 191 in his last inning, i dont think he can be in his prime form anymore. He has consumed far more balls as the strike rate lessening to 40 odds and that too in subcontinent condition.

    I think india will miss Sourav Ganguly as well who batted brilliantly during last tour. Raina has talent but he is fairly new to the arena.Sehwag too had a pretty ordinary tour last time.

  • POSTED BY Snick_To_Backward_Point on | December 15, 2010, 9:55 GMT

    Two teams packed with quality and very hard to pick a winner. I favour the Saffer's bowling attack. Morkel & Steyn are THE class opening pair in world cricket. On the batting front, we know India's is legendary, however, I look at the Saffers and they are quality. In the end, I reckon this series is going to come down to inidividual plays, whether catches and opportunities are taken. I'm sitting on the fence with this one - drawn series.

  • POSTED BY mahjut on | December 15, 2010, 9:50 GMT

    i'm not sure i do agree with Kamal Kannan. With Lara yes, but Sachin had Ganguly and Dravid and periodically VVS - all these guys could win something on their day...it was not ONLY Sachin - sure he had an extra pressure but Ganguly did too in his way when he was captain, they are raised to cope with it surely? Kaliis on the other hand spent a lot of his time being the only hope SA had of drawing a test - i think that is forgotten about him, he was heavily relied on to hold things together when the collapse came - and it inevitably did. I can't think up an arguement for Ponting - he joined a great team and played with it most of his career - he went through a couple of years where his batting was relied on but he seems to have cracked under that pressure (though it could just be old age - sportswise).

  • POSTED BY sonofchennai on | December 15, 2010, 8:16 GMT

    @Werner: Excellent insights..hope u had ur tongue firmly in cheek...none wud need to debate on what u said...the world has voted the best players...if by wearing armour Sachin has grown into a big player, you and I, every tom dick and harry wud be a great player...Think b4 you write...ofcourse you can write watever u want if you decide to turn the attention of the readers to your comments rather than the article itself...good try, u win

  • POSTED BY diri on | December 15, 2010, 8:07 GMT

    SA hold the edge in all departments....Batting because they have young superstars like Amla and AB who are hungry for runs , add in experience off Smith,kallis and boucher and they have a advantage over a old and fading Indian line up who struggle outside the subcontinent.....bowling, well here Steyn and Morkel are in a class of their own. NO COMPARISON!!!! at all!!! ..In the field and running between wickets SA are far better than India....And the last huge advantage SA hold over india is ONe MAN.....kING kallis....the most valuable cricketer in the world today...he can win matches with bat or ball. Anyway the excitement in SA is sky high....cant wait for tomorow

  • POSTED BY Darnakka on | December 15, 2010, 8:07 GMT

    @werner : I think you got the message. Lets wait for the actual results. But what a day of cricket it is going to be tomorrow. Ashes in the morning and Best ever series for Blue boys in the afternoon.. Just cant wait for a few hours.. I am so excited.

  • POSTED BY on | December 15, 2010, 7:42 GMT

    india is going to win this series by 2-0. sehwag will make his 3rd 300+ n sachin will........he he u know what i want to say. just wait n watch.

  • POSTED BY shovwar on | December 15, 2010, 5:59 GMT

    "He (Tendulkar) is a world class player and a great ambassador for the game," Smith said as he reminisced at an official reception for the Indian cricket team here last night. "As a youngster I watched the games and that's where all my dreams started. You see the players (like Tendulkar) on TV and you think that I want to be like that one day, and here we are," he said. This is how SA respect talents.So dont compare them with OZs who likes to talk alot. And ofcourse this SA team is way more stronger than the OZ team at present so dont expect it would be easy as the recent Ind VS Aus in India. SA drew wit Pak in a wicket I believe no Test nation can win and a home series victory for SA is overdue and SA is hungrier thanever. BTW the statement at the top by Smith was made at the reception of Indian team last night so instead of all the big talks Smithy welcomed India with such an honor that tells you the strength, confidence and sportsmanship at the same time.GO PROTEAS U deserve 2 win.

  • POSTED BY PravinM on | December 15, 2010, 5:50 GMT

    With the kind of pitches SA is preparing for Indian batsmen, it is evident that every country prepares the pitches which gives comfort to their bowlers, then why some people criticise Indian batsmen ? In theory, if Indian batsmen cant play well on bouncy pitches same thing is true for other nations that they can not play on Spin friendly wickets. With last australia tour which India almost won, Indian pace trio proved that they can equally get the advantage of the pitch. For me, the current Indian bowling side is as equal as South African side and let the batsmen prove themselves. Sehwag had an hundred in his debu test match here and thanks to then umpire Mike Denis (Am I correct on name) he was kept out. We had won a test match in that series and then due to the contoversial umpiring (Decision on Sachin was rolled back) Sehwag was kept out. Lets be fair and watch the cricket. Aussies learnt that matches has to be won by playing good and not just doing verbal attacks, now its others.

  • POSTED BY on | December 15, 2010, 5:44 GMT

    @Werner Rousseau: Boss excellent joke you have cracked. Reading your comments reminded my maternal uncle, He loves cricket but does not know anything about the game. Once we were watching a match live, when Kumble was bowling he told his friends that Kumble is the world's fastest bowler. You fall under the same category if you say Sachin and Dravid has to pove themselves. Wake up and look back at the comments by your legend bowler Donald and Greme Smith on Sachin and Dravid.

  • POSTED BY amit1807kuwait on | December 15, 2010, 5:37 GMT

    If SA win this series, it wont be surprising. However, if they win hands down, that would be surprising. Lets just hope it does not become the damp squib the way Ashes is likely to pan out.

  • POSTED BY on | December 15, 2010, 5:31 GMT

    @Kanal Kannan: Absolutely agree with you.

  • POSTED BY on | December 15, 2010, 4:13 GMT

    @Werner: Where on u when sachin scored 155 and viru scored a century on debut against donald and pollack in South Africa,, Or did u start watchin cricket after 2007...? or Are your referring some other Sachin and Dravid of sum other game... ? The biggest problem for Sachin and Lara was both these legends as to hold the entire burden of the team.. Even if they play a master class innings, either bowling or the batting collapse will lead to them to losing side... Tat's the only reason why ponting and kallis are considered better players, cos each of the team members has always contributed... Had pontin been under the pressure of one billion ppl or had kallis been under the pressure of inconsistent team lik West Indies, they would not have scored half of their total runs.... If you have a doubt, search alan donald quote on Sachin tendulkar in google,..

  • POSTED BY Proteas_Supporter on | December 15, 2010, 4:04 GMT

    all the best to IND... they have an life time opportunity to win a series in SA...

  • POSTED BY on | December 15, 2010, 3:25 GMT

    Erm.... I am a neutral fan but couldn't help noticing something. Amongst all this hype and going early to SA to practice on bouncy pitches, how come there weren't any practice matches for India? Thats just odd.

  • POSTED BY bindas123 on | December 15, 2010, 1:52 GMT

    @Werner Rousseau...Don't worry bro u'll be proved wrong this time around.....The great Tendulkar and Dravid will make Steyn(world's no.1 fast bowler without any doubt at the moment) and Morkel looking for bunkers to hide their faces with Sehwag,Gambhir and Laxman(though Raina and Dhoni will struggle) Zaheer with Sreesanth and Ishant will take care of your batsmen(at least Smith,Prince and Peterson very easily)....... just comented to spice things up....i actually think South Africa Holds the upper hand and m really looking forward to this series...I hope that India at least put up a fight....

  • POSTED BY on | December 15, 2010, 1:28 GMT

    MR.Werner. The fact that Tendulkar and Dravid average more away than at home testifies the fact these two are greats. SA is the final frontier for these men where their performance has been mediocre. Time for them to set the record straight!

  • POSTED BY on | December 15, 2010, 0:43 GMT

    @Werner; Dude, first of all you gotta admit the fact that Sachin Ramesh Tendulker and Rahul Dravid are the two of the World's best batsman and Sachin been the Best of the best! They would have struggled in the RSA pitches. But that doesn't mean that they don't have any talent. Listen, Ricky Ponting and his team even when there was Waugh brothers, Mathew Hayden and Adam Gilchrist, failed to make an impact in the Sub Continent Pitches (particularly against the spin dio of Harbhajan Singh-Anil Kumble). But that doesn't mean that they are untalented and just a piece of craps, does that? WAKE UP dude! it seems you're a die hard RSA cricket fan. but who cares?! And the second thing, even at all Sachin and Dravid fails to make some big scores there is Virender Sehwag (the world's most dangerous batsman), Gautam Gambhir (The offside Specialist left hander), VVS Laxman (the worlds best 5th day specialist batsman), Raina/Pujara(Young talents) and Ms Dhoni (the coolest captain). So guess what?!

  • POSTED BY JustOUT on | December 15, 2010, 0:38 GMT

    All Team India fans, no doubt India did well AT HOME conditions against SL, NZL n Aussies, but not against SA. Can anyone figure out the genuine reason why India cannot win a test series against SA at home in the last 2 years. SA has got the firepower of beating India by an innings twice in India. In all the matches its a strong Indian team except Sachin(in Ahmedabad) and Laxman(in Nagpur) did not play. Can India beat SA by an innings in SA?? So dont just talk abt what sreesanth did 4 years back in Wanderers, see the result after that test match.. SA won the series 2-1. Even if same sreesanth or ishant beat SA in Centuirion no issues, let them draw the series, India can be very proud off

  • POSTED BY golax on | December 15, 2010, 0:02 GMT

    @Werner: I believe that of all the players in the Indian team, Tendulkar and Dravid are not the ones that need to prove their worth. They have performed well in swinging conditions in England as well as in seaming and bouncing conditions in Australia and Windies (late 90s with Ambrose and Walsh still around). Admittedly their averages are only in the higher 30s in SA, but their record is also marked by extremely prolific and extremely poor series. To say that they are not great would be as far fetched as saying that the Proteas can never be great because they have traditionally not been good at spin. It is only fair to say both teams have made great progress in the past few years and issues such as short-pitched deliveries (India) and not being mentally strong/choking (SA) have been addressed to some extent. It remains to be seen in the future whether these teams go down as greats in history, but for now they seem to be better than the rest. Let us not take that away from them.

  • POSTED BY mak102480 on | December 14, 2010, 23:55 GMT

    well, the past 2 decades, south africa has not been the measuring stick...it has been the aussies. both tendulkar and dravid have had excellent record against australia and also IN australia. Both have great records in swinging conditions in England as well. is shane warne any less of a bowler just because he had a poor record against india and in india? No...he is still one of the best ever I agree with one thing u said: Dale Steyn is the best fast bowler right now.

  • POSTED BY on | December 14, 2010, 23:45 GMT

    Mr. Werner Rousseau, i dunn think you really meant what you wrote about the GOD & the WALL. I mean its beyond sane comprehension to question whether Tendulkar & Dravid are greats. U gotta check ur facts mate, close to 100 international 100's don't come off only from subcontinent pitches! dude, i m pretty confident that you will have to gobble up your own words by the end of this tour! go back to the stats page of cricinfo...& get a check!!!

  • POSTED BY on | December 14, 2010, 23:36 GMT

    @ Werner- Spoken like a true SA fan.. but remember to get to tendulkar u need to get sehwag and gambhir out. Given the current form they are in thats a huge task for steyn and morkel. These blokes had at max three good years as bowlers but tendulkar and dravid are among the best since 20 years and 10 years and they are too good batsman to be worried by reputation. SA wiith this bowling combination have failed to win the last 3 home series, so good luck and hope SA doesnt choke like they usually do as i am hoping to see some good cricket.

  • POSTED BY on | December 14, 2010, 23:31 GMT

    It is not as though Sachin/Dravid/Laxman have played over 10 years of professional cricket & 100 tests each without playing the likes of Steyn/Morkel. It is the same Donald/Kulsner & party against which Sachin scored many runs, but ended up being in the losing team & thats another story. Even Aussies at their best, had high regard for Sachin/Dravid/Laxman/Sehwag due their skills. SA would be careful not to depend too much on pace & pitch conditions alone, as Indian has enough bowling talent to test the best. Ask Greme Smiht and he will tell you what a testing experience it is to face Zaheer & Ishant. Did SA already forgot the treatement that they got from Sreesanth a few seasons ago? Lets wait till the toss time on Thursday.

  • POSTED BY Dev_Anand on | December 14, 2010, 23:30 GMT

    Werner Rousseau - Thankyou sir for your comments. Lets wait and see.

  • POSTED BY _NEUTRAL_Fan_ on | December 14, 2010, 23:24 GMT

    @Werner I think that is harsh. Dravid and Tendulkar would have been able to stand up to the great bowlers of the past, would they have dominated? I have my doubts about that but trust me they would perform decently because their techniques are good. I do hope Steyn bowls as well as he can, he's one of my favorite players BUT he does seem to start off a bit slowly I find and against Ind, he can no longer afford to do so. Morkel and Zaheer Khan I think has shown recently that they are in good form and can get it right from the start. With the weather around, whichever team fields first will have a HUGE advantage.

  • POSTED BY on | December 14, 2010, 23:23 GMT

    @Werner: Tendulkar's average in Australia is 58.53 and in England is 62.00. His average in India is 56.93. Dravid's average in Australia is 48.6, whilst in England is 65.35 (in India Dravid averages only 50.75). Granted, Sachin and Rahul have mediocre averages in SA, but by no means does that make them flat track bullies. And if Indian conditions are for flat track bullies, then why is it that the great Ponting only averages 26.48 there? Whilst the arguably greater Brian Lara only averages 33.00 in India. It is general consensus that Sachin is the greatest player since Bradman. Even the great Allan Donald said that Sachin was the greatest player he bowled to. Nevertheless, your ridiculous claims have been deflated with the greatest argument of all: Statistics. SA have a great record in India, but their recent record at home is mediocre at best. They lost to Australia (2-1), and only drew with England (England at that time were a pretty average side, nowhere near their current form).

  • POSTED BY Phat-Boy on | December 14, 2010, 23:18 GMT

    Werner, get your facts straight. Rahul Dravid has the distinction of averaging more outside India than inside it. Or he did last time I looked about 2 years ago. He was the match-high scorer in India's best away win in decades at Perth three years ago, set up their only other Australian win with 240 and 70 in Adelaide in 2003-04. The only two countries in which he averages less than 40 are SA where he has hit a century and 2 50s anyway so he can obviously play there, and SL who's pitches are the lowest on the planet. He averages nearly 60 in England, 42 in Australia and 63 in NZ, traditionally 3 of the 4 hardest places in the world for Indians to score runs. Get your facts straight. P.S. Tendulkar averages 40 in SA, 59 in Australia, 62 in England and 50 in NZ. So good call.

  • POSTED BY akkash12321 on | December 14, 2010, 23:17 GMT

    Zaheer will have a key place for India. However, though I am an Indian fan, I believe SA have the smallest of advantages. If SA win the toss, India will struggle.

  • POSTED BY VijayHanchatey on | December 14, 2010, 23:13 GMT

    @Werner - Dude, its not Tendulkar and Dravids fault that they cannot play those great bowlers. If both of them would have been in that time, probably they would have been successful, as both of them have worked very hard to get where they are now. And for the protection, did you any time see the giant Smith wearing all his gear.

  • POSTED BY KrazyCricketKid on | December 14, 2010, 23:11 GMT

    I hope Sehwag and Gambhir get a very good start, thats the way india can win a test!

  • POSTED BY on | December 14, 2010, 22:38 GMT

    Werner.. I doubt if you have any cricketing knowledge..."Tendulkar and dravid will have to prove they are not flat track bullies wih bloated averages from playing in the sub-continent" .. Do you even know what's the avg of Sachin and Dravid outside subcontinent??? I think you should first learn the game and then comment. I wish you all the success in learning the game...

  • POSTED BY shovwar on | December 14, 2010, 22:00 GMT

    @ Rousseau.....I am a SA fan and I also think SA have the edge over India in this series...But I would not doubt the experience and class of Tendulkar and Dravid. I have the same respect for Tendulkar as much i have confident in Steyn...India I think would be the strongest reply to SA attack at the moment in World Cricket...But this SA have been dangerous in Indian wickets imagine what they can do in their own wicket...India failed to win (series) against SA in India. I jus dont see them doing any better here..But if they do...Then it would be GARY KIRSTEN and I would agree India is the no.1...If not SA is the no.1.....As soon as SA gets Sehwag cheaply, half of the battle is won....Imagine how important Sehwag is.....GO PROTEAS and good luck to India.

  • POSTED BY on | December 14, 2010, 21:58 GMT

    @werner dnt be stupid bro! you dnt judge a players greatness just on one series or against one side! players like sachin and dravid has scored tonnes of runs against all oppositions in all conditions! (even similar to the ones in south africa) okay i admit they have modest total in southafrica that does not stop them from being greats! sachin has played over 20 years of cricket. Allan Donad (one of the greatest sout african bowler) thinks sachin is the greatest batsmen of all time and even he had great success against the great man! now dnt come over hear and say thinks like sachinz afraid of the south african bowlers and all that! he has faced faster men like shoaib akthar, brett lee,flintoff, tait etc.... and sachin has whacked them all around the park! same goes for dravid!

  • POSTED BY on | December 14, 2010, 21:51 GMT

    @Werner... which part in world you are... come out and see.. Sachin and Dravid scored centuries in Australia, NZ, South Africa, Eng and WI... Where else they need to score... Do they have to score runs in Venus to prove that they are great... Tendulkar and Dravid are greater than whatever batsmen your country ever produced.. AWAY STATS: Rahul:80 Matches, 6664 Runs,270 High Score,55.53Avg, 17 Centuries Sachin; 95Matches 7819 Runs,248*High Score,56.25Avg,27 Centuries.

  • POSTED BY on | December 14, 2010, 21:07 GMT

    Dale Steyn will once again show he is the best fast bowler playing the Game. Morkel will show that he is not far behind and each Sharma what it means to be tall and fast.

    This will be the last opportunity Tendulkar and dravid will have to prove they are not flat track bullies wih bloated averages from playing in the sub-continent. SA have dominated these players from the very first tour here because when the great Tendulkar walks out to bat he as more body armour than a tank. The SA bowlers give him a look and know he is afraid. And if he is afraid what chance do the other batsmen have? The mental battle is lost before the first ball. This has even led to SA having the best record in India of any country. With Donald, Klusner(when he was fast) and Steyn doing well there.

    So the question becomes is Tendulkar and Dravid truly greates? Would they be able to face down the West Indies of the 80's? Would they be able to face Lilee and Thomson? My guess is no.

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  • POSTED BY on | December 14, 2010, 21:07 GMT

    Dale Steyn will once again show he is the best fast bowler playing the Game. Morkel will show that he is not far behind and each Sharma what it means to be tall and fast.

    This will be the last opportunity Tendulkar and dravid will have to prove they are not flat track bullies wih bloated averages from playing in the sub-continent. SA have dominated these players from the very first tour here because when the great Tendulkar walks out to bat he as more body armour than a tank. The SA bowlers give him a look and know he is afraid. And if he is afraid what chance do the other batsmen have? The mental battle is lost before the first ball. This has even led to SA having the best record in India of any country. With Donald, Klusner(when he was fast) and Steyn doing well there.

    So the question becomes is Tendulkar and Dravid truly greates? Would they be able to face down the West Indies of the 80's? Would they be able to face Lilee and Thomson? My guess is no.

  • POSTED BY on | December 14, 2010, 21:51 GMT

    @Werner... which part in world you are... come out and see.. Sachin and Dravid scored centuries in Australia, NZ, South Africa, Eng and WI... Where else they need to score... Do they have to score runs in Venus to prove that they are great... Tendulkar and Dravid are greater than whatever batsmen your country ever produced.. AWAY STATS: Rahul:80 Matches, 6664 Runs,270 High Score,55.53Avg, 17 Centuries Sachin; 95Matches 7819 Runs,248*High Score,56.25Avg,27 Centuries.

  • POSTED BY on | December 14, 2010, 21:58 GMT

    @werner dnt be stupid bro! you dnt judge a players greatness just on one series or against one side! players like sachin and dravid has scored tonnes of runs against all oppositions in all conditions! (even similar to the ones in south africa) okay i admit they have modest total in southafrica that does not stop them from being greats! sachin has played over 20 years of cricket. Allan Donad (one of the greatest sout african bowler) thinks sachin is the greatest batsmen of all time and even he had great success against the great man! now dnt come over hear and say thinks like sachinz afraid of the south african bowlers and all that! he has faced faster men like shoaib akthar, brett lee,flintoff, tait etc.... and sachin has whacked them all around the park! same goes for dravid!

  • POSTED BY shovwar on | December 14, 2010, 22:00 GMT

    @ Rousseau.....I am a SA fan and I also think SA have the edge over India in this series...But I would not doubt the experience and class of Tendulkar and Dravid. I have the same respect for Tendulkar as much i have confident in Steyn...India I think would be the strongest reply to SA attack at the moment in World Cricket...But this SA have been dangerous in Indian wickets imagine what they can do in their own wicket...India failed to win (series) against SA in India. I jus dont see them doing any better here..But if they do...Then it would be GARY KIRSTEN and I would agree India is the no.1...If not SA is the no.1.....As soon as SA gets Sehwag cheaply, half of the battle is won....Imagine how important Sehwag is.....GO PROTEAS and good luck to India.

  • POSTED BY on | December 14, 2010, 22:38 GMT

    Werner.. I doubt if you have any cricketing knowledge..."Tendulkar and dravid will have to prove they are not flat track bullies wih bloated averages from playing in the sub-continent" .. Do you even know what's the avg of Sachin and Dravid outside subcontinent??? I think you should first learn the game and then comment. I wish you all the success in learning the game...

  • POSTED BY KrazyCricketKid on | December 14, 2010, 23:11 GMT

    I hope Sehwag and Gambhir get a very good start, thats the way india can win a test!

  • POSTED BY VijayHanchatey on | December 14, 2010, 23:13 GMT

    @Werner - Dude, its not Tendulkar and Dravids fault that they cannot play those great bowlers. If both of them would have been in that time, probably they would have been successful, as both of them have worked very hard to get where they are now. And for the protection, did you any time see the giant Smith wearing all his gear.

  • POSTED BY akkash12321 on | December 14, 2010, 23:17 GMT

    Zaheer will have a key place for India. However, though I am an Indian fan, I believe SA have the smallest of advantages. If SA win the toss, India will struggle.

  • POSTED BY Phat-Boy on | December 14, 2010, 23:18 GMT

    Werner, get your facts straight. Rahul Dravid has the distinction of averaging more outside India than inside it. Or he did last time I looked about 2 years ago. He was the match-high scorer in India's best away win in decades at Perth three years ago, set up their only other Australian win with 240 and 70 in Adelaide in 2003-04. The only two countries in which he averages less than 40 are SA where he has hit a century and 2 50s anyway so he can obviously play there, and SL who's pitches are the lowest on the planet. He averages nearly 60 in England, 42 in Australia and 63 in NZ, traditionally 3 of the 4 hardest places in the world for Indians to score runs. Get your facts straight. P.S. Tendulkar averages 40 in SA, 59 in Australia, 62 in England and 50 in NZ. So good call.

  • POSTED BY on | December 14, 2010, 23:23 GMT

    @Werner: Tendulkar's average in Australia is 58.53 and in England is 62.00. His average in India is 56.93. Dravid's average in Australia is 48.6, whilst in England is 65.35 (in India Dravid averages only 50.75). Granted, Sachin and Rahul have mediocre averages in SA, but by no means does that make them flat track bullies. And if Indian conditions are for flat track bullies, then why is it that the great Ponting only averages 26.48 there? Whilst the arguably greater Brian Lara only averages 33.00 in India. It is general consensus that Sachin is the greatest player since Bradman. Even the great Allan Donald said that Sachin was the greatest player he bowled to. Nevertheless, your ridiculous claims have been deflated with the greatest argument of all: Statistics. SA have a great record in India, but their recent record at home is mediocre at best. They lost to Australia (2-1), and only drew with England (England at that time were a pretty average side, nowhere near their current form).