South Africa v India, 1st Test, Centurion, 1st day December 16, 2010

The football chant and Sehwag's no-show

ESPNcricinfo presents the plays of the first day of the first Test between South Africa and India at SuperSport Park
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The chant
At first it sounded like football fans had sneaked into the most cricketing of the venues. On closer observation, a smart innovation could be noticed. They were not singing "Ole Ole" but "Morneee / Morne Morne Morne / Moorneee". And Morne Morkel didn't disappoint. The pitch was to his liking, the atmosphere too, and he gave Indians some chin-, shoulder-, and chest-music. Not to mention the two wickets he picked up in that first spell. And at the end of each of those overs, he was welcomed to his fine-leg position by a happy crowd.

The no-show
There was so much anticipation, so much build-up (some might consider this space guilty of adding to the hype) to the contest between the two most exciting cricketers in the world: Dale Steyn and Virender Sehwag. Sadly it lasted only three balls. Two of them swung away from wide outside off, Sehwag left them alone. You could feel the itch. The over ended. When Sehwag faced Steyn next, he couldn't hold himself back, swung at one and got a thick outside edge, so thick it carried to third man. Steyn 1, Sehwag 0.

The celebration
After he got Rahul Dravid with a peach, Morkel was ecstatic and slipped on the pitch, next to the stumps, but he recovered soon and started his celebration while he was still on the ground. His team-mates surrounded him soon. They knew they were not the ones who were down.

The modern-captaincy moment
In the 18th over, when Sachin Tendulkar pulled Lonwabo Tsotsobe for a second boundary in two overs, Graeme Smith's response was typical of modern captains. Out went the square leg to deep midwicket, with the score 40 for 3 and the bowling side obviously on top on a spicy pitch.

The real heroes
India will not like Hilbert Smit, the chief groundsman at SuperSport Park, and his team for making play possible, but they were the real champions today. Those coming from Johannesburg drove through high water, and the ones who reached the ground early wondered if there would be play even on the second day. It had rained continuously very much throughout the night. The moment it stopped coming down, though, they and their superb drainage system got into action. The puddles of water disappeared in minutes, and they made possible two short, exhilarating sessions of play. Smith's gratitude at the toss was well earned by the groundstaff.

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • sunnymate on December 17, 2010, 10:25 GMT

    hi guys whts wrong with the people here.. if india batsmen hvnt perform one day. hw badly u can think about that.. hw the indian haters shouting here we dont deserve for no 1 position... we are on number 1 since sep 2008 bcoz we are performing that why we are on no 1 .. this is doestnt matter where we r playing. playing international cricket is always tough challenge whether it is in subcontinet or anywhere else. this is 3 test match series nt one day series . lets see wht happen ok . just chill and see the progress

  • six-hitter on December 17, 2010, 10:19 GMT

    Same pitch? Doesn't seem to be.

  • SamAsh07 on December 17, 2010, 9:59 GMT

    Haha Indians got brushed aside by South Africa, if you all go back 1-2 months, this same South Africa team was denied any test victory by Pakistan, the same bowling that was firewalled out of every innings by Pakistan is thrashing the Indian's so-called super batsmen (well I do agree that Sachin is great, he is a pure icon).

  • inertia85 on December 17, 2010, 9:49 GMT

    The problem is Indian team was under prepared. When last had they played on faster and bouncier pitches. They were easily peppered up by Morkel and Steyn and then plucked off one by one. The only batsman who looked remotely comfortable was Dravid who was beaten by an absolute beauty. Look the rain and dampness played a part and those conditions definitely played to Steyn and Morkel's advantage but they are the best opening pair in the world. Everyone knows that India's strength is their batting and that was seriously exposed yesterday. Sehwag is way too predictable, he needs to bat using his head. India's bowling is average at best with Zaheer out of action. they wont make any inroads into the SA batting line up which enjoys playing at Supersport park! Centurian is a fortress. Prepare to watch India being demolished.

  • on December 17, 2010, 8:26 GMT

    It wont be easy for SA's batsmen today, BUT India dont have a bowler of Steyn or Morkel's calibre playing. I reckon if the SA batsmen keep their heads, SA can reach 400+.

  • CandidIndian on December 17, 2010, 7:12 GMT

    @LakmalPhysics- and my apologies if some Indians came in Srilankan articles and wrote irrelevant things .SL is a great team no way less than India and Sanga is a great player one of the best in the world, that is a truth and it will remain that way even if some people doesnt accept it.About Srilanka winning in Australia , even Indians managed to win an ODI series in Australia even a test match at Perth under testing conditions .But everyday is not same my friend .SA are better than us at the moment but lot of cricket is still to be played in series.

  • CandidIndian on December 17, 2010, 6:56 GMT

    @lankan_neutral-Well no 1 status of India dosent reflect they are all time great , this ranking just reflects how a team is playing currently.recently that is in last 3-4 years India won series in Eng, WI and NZ and managed to draw in SL at 1-1.At home they won against Eng,SL,Aus,NZ.Everyone agrees on one thing that till India doesnt achieve series victory in SA and Aus, they wont be accepted as no1 .About no 1 team tottering at 136-9 , ups and downs are part of cricket .Even one the the greatest teams ever that is of Steve Waugh they came to India in 2001 and lost the series 2-1, does that mean they doesnt deserve to be all time great.It wont happen that if a team is on top of ranking they will score 400 in every innings.SA has done better than us we are aware of that.In their last tour of India they almost replaced us as no 1 but they lost the last test match with just 9 balls left .This time if they beat us they will be no 1 but wait for series to end.

  • Cricket__sri on December 17, 2010, 6:35 GMT

    Hope Viru slams a biggie in the coming innings..

  • MohsinKhan83 on December 17, 2010, 5:25 GMT

    @Sajeesh.M.S.. Akram has played most of his cricket on batting friendly pitches and yet has an outstanding record.and more often than not he has produced a match winning performance when his team needed him most with great consistency throughout his career. Akram unlike the 'GREAT' tendulkar was not one to go after the records..He brought out his best when his team needed him most. he terrorized almost every batsmen that faced him. the same cannot be said about sachin who may have many records to his name and is no doubt a good batsmen but rarely performs when his team needs him to..what is the worth of all those records if he can't win his team the match. Wasim was man of the match in Pakistan's worldcup victory in 92..and sahin's performance in 03 final is not even worth mentioning.

  • on December 17, 2010, 5:17 GMT

    India got to reach a total of at least 175 .Then they must have a strong chance.. unadkat is making his debut but he is a man of sheer talent.. and ishant has done well in past outside the subcontinent.and sreesanth has the ability to strike with new ball.so its not over yet.lets see how southafrica bats!

  • sunnymate on December 17, 2010, 10:25 GMT

    hi guys whts wrong with the people here.. if india batsmen hvnt perform one day. hw badly u can think about that.. hw the indian haters shouting here we dont deserve for no 1 position... we are on number 1 since sep 2008 bcoz we are performing that why we are on no 1 .. this is doestnt matter where we r playing. playing international cricket is always tough challenge whether it is in subcontinet or anywhere else. this is 3 test match series nt one day series . lets see wht happen ok . just chill and see the progress

  • six-hitter on December 17, 2010, 10:19 GMT

    Same pitch? Doesn't seem to be.

  • SamAsh07 on December 17, 2010, 9:59 GMT

    Haha Indians got brushed aside by South Africa, if you all go back 1-2 months, this same South Africa team was denied any test victory by Pakistan, the same bowling that was firewalled out of every innings by Pakistan is thrashing the Indian's so-called super batsmen (well I do agree that Sachin is great, he is a pure icon).

  • inertia85 on December 17, 2010, 9:49 GMT

    The problem is Indian team was under prepared. When last had they played on faster and bouncier pitches. They were easily peppered up by Morkel and Steyn and then plucked off one by one. The only batsman who looked remotely comfortable was Dravid who was beaten by an absolute beauty. Look the rain and dampness played a part and those conditions definitely played to Steyn and Morkel's advantage but they are the best opening pair in the world. Everyone knows that India's strength is their batting and that was seriously exposed yesterday. Sehwag is way too predictable, he needs to bat using his head. India's bowling is average at best with Zaheer out of action. they wont make any inroads into the SA batting line up which enjoys playing at Supersport park! Centurian is a fortress. Prepare to watch India being demolished.

  • on December 17, 2010, 8:26 GMT

    It wont be easy for SA's batsmen today, BUT India dont have a bowler of Steyn or Morkel's calibre playing. I reckon if the SA batsmen keep their heads, SA can reach 400+.

  • CandidIndian on December 17, 2010, 7:12 GMT

    @LakmalPhysics- and my apologies if some Indians came in Srilankan articles and wrote irrelevant things .SL is a great team no way less than India and Sanga is a great player one of the best in the world, that is a truth and it will remain that way even if some people doesnt accept it.About Srilanka winning in Australia , even Indians managed to win an ODI series in Australia even a test match at Perth under testing conditions .But everyday is not same my friend .SA are better than us at the moment but lot of cricket is still to be played in series.

  • CandidIndian on December 17, 2010, 6:56 GMT

    @lankan_neutral-Well no 1 status of India dosent reflect they are all time great , this ranking just reflects how a team is playing currently.recently that is in last 3-4 years India won series in Eng, WI and NZ and managed to draw in SL at 1-1.At home they won against Eng,SL,Aus,NZ.Everyone agrees on one thing that till India doesnt achieve series victory in SA and Aus, they wont be accepted as no1 .About no 1 team tottering at 136-9 , ups and downs are part of cricket .Even one the the greatest teams ever that is of Steve Waugh they came to India in 2001 and lost the series 2-1, does that mean they doesnt deserve to be all time great.It wont happen that if a team is on top of ranking they will score 400 in every innings.SA has done better than us we are aware of that.In their last tour of India they almost replaced us as no 1 but they lost the last test match with just 9 balls left .This time if they beat us they will be no 1 but wait for series to end.

  • Cricket__sri on December 17, 2010, 6:35 GMT

    Hope Viru slams a biggie in the coming innings..

  • MohsinKhan83 on December 17, 2010, 5:25 GMT

    @Sajeesh.M.S.. Akram has played most of his cricket on batting friendly pitches and yet has an outstanding record.and more often than not he has produced a match winning performance when his team needed him most with great consistency throughout his career. Akram unlike the 'GREAT' tendulkar was not one to go after the records..He brought out his best when his team needed him most. he terrorized almost every batsmen that faced him. the same cannot be said about sachin who may have many records to his name and is no doubt a good batsmen but rarely performs when his team needs him to..what is the worth of all those records if he can't win his team the match. Wasim was man of the match in Pakistan's worldcup victory in 92..and sahin's performance in 03 final is not even worth mentioning.

  • on December 17, 2010, 5:17 GMT

    India got to reach a total of at least 175 .Then they must have a strong chance.. unadkat is making his debut but he is a man of sheer talent.. and ishant has done well in past outside the subcontinent.and sreesanth has the ability to strike with new ball.so its not over yet.lets see how southafrica bats!

  • on December 17, 2010, 5:09 GMT

    I dont think in any way raina should get the next game.. He is still not prepared for this bouncy tracks!!Selectors should look into this..Pujara should be in And 1 thing how can BCCI arrange such a vital series just before the world cup..if something bad happens the total morale of the team will go down and this will affect them in the upcoming world cup .

  • MohsinKhan83 on December 17, 2010, 4:52 GMT

    Just look at all the indian fans trying to justify their team's number one position. india has no chance of winning this series..their batting does not have what it takes to beat south africa on their home ground...and those calling SA lucky to win the toss and bowl, the same could be said about india winning the toss and batting first on indian pitches (which it so often does)..SA may have won the toss but look at how they bowled..had the indians hopping around all day..i seriously doubt the indian bowlers doing the same had it been the other way around..india has a good test team..but they are in no way invincible..indian fans should accept this fact or else their bubble will be bursting soon..

  • on December 17, 2010, 4:21 GMT

    Diasappointed with India's performance, I knew they would struggle but not to this extent. I banked on atleast one big partnership which didn't come eventually. Kudos to the groundstaff for making the play happen. Though it was unfortunate for India, but you can't and shouldn't rely on external conditions like toss, wicket, weather to save you. If you want to be called no.1 team you need to perform. It's interesting though to see so many SL fans snapping every opportunity to downplay India's ranking just after Sangakara questioned it after winning just one match. Following the bragging captain, are we?? Though I believe that this and the next series in England will show the real ranking. So I am waiting till the England series.

  • msrinivasan1995 on December 17, 2010, 4:12 GMT

    even sa will struggle today. Now its turn for the Indians. I believe in sreesanth. HE has the best seam position. SO he would do the damage. I am sure that dhoni would pass India to get pass, 200

  • nlambda on December 17, 2010, 2:10 GMT

    @mkstraight: Why did you hide the fact that until 1999 Sachin had played 4 tests against Pak - all in 1989-90 when he made his debut as a 16-yr old. Yeah he averaged 32.38 against Pak till the series in 1999 how bad is that! On another note, WHEN will a Pak player score even 9,000 test runs?

  • on December 17, 2010, 2:01 GMT

    @lakmal physics - india won the last common wealth series in australia when it was ind-srilanka and ausies! you were not even in the final! we won the finals 2-0! if you remember! and this series you won, u were lucky with that 8th wicket partnership! plus, aussies were without Ricky. sri lanka is yet to win a test in india,aus and sa! india has won in johannesberg, in perth and many times in srilanka! we defeated eng in eng, wi in wi, pak in pak, NZ in NZ! we have won series in all countries except SA and Aus where we have won matches!

  • Skool on December 17, 2010, 0:44 GMT

    @Lanka: Chill guys! India's no.1 status means that the other teams are not good enough to claim that spot. And it's a test match for God's sake. Not a T-20. A test match has at least 3 innings. We have 3 such test matches. Let's see. Time will decide. Be patient.

  • Legionnaire on December 16, 2010, 23:45 GMT

    Lankan_Neutral - While India may or may not deserve number 1 status but Sri Lanka definitely has a pathetic record outside Sri Lanka even in subcontinent. They haven't won anything in India, repeated being spanked every time they visited India, while India have won repeated in Sri Lanka. All the victories for Sri Lanka has come on the slow turner thanks a bowler who holds the record of maximum 'run outs' in the world.

  • on December 16, 2010, 23:13 GMT

    Guys.. India has not lost the test match yet. And the series is also still wide open. India is number 1 because it has often had its back against the wall and recovered from there.. pretty much like how Australia used to recover in their days of domination.

    So lets hold off on all the negative talk till the end of the series.

  • Sajeesh.M.S on December 16, 2010, 22:56 GMT

    @mkstraight Then Don Bradman is also an ordinary batsman. He never scored any runs against GREAT Akram.. Right?? ... ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Great Akram..Ha Ha Ha.. Agree he was a good bowler.. Not more..

  • PureTom on December 16, 2010, 22:18 GMT

    Where's Bouchers run out? Surely that deserves a mention :)

  • LakmalPhysics on December 16, 2010, 22:04 GMT

    I apologize from my Indian friends. It's not my business talking about this series.

  • SurlyCynic on December 16, 2010, 21:53 GMT

    b.rajavel: Whose moaning about tracks now? Think you are. There's nothing wrong with a 'turning' track or a track with bounce, and this track did not do that much - it was good bowling, just look how easily they played Tsotsobe. There is a problem with tracks that are dangerous or do not offer a fair contest, like the quick track in the Windies where the match was called off as the pitch was too dangerous. Or the track India prepared when SA were 1-0 and India had to win, so day 1 was like day 5 and day 3 it fell apart.

  • cricket_for_all on December 16, 2010, 21:41 GMT

    Come on Indian fans: what SL fans are asking about the number 1 status. Does India deserve for number 1 status?. SL is not number 1 team. India enjoyed home and flat track favors for months. India played around 65% of the last two years matches at home (In utter dead pitches) and managed to get number 1 status. Every fans other than India had doubt whether India can do the same away in lively pitch. The results is there from yesterday. The run machines (so called) managed to get 136/9 in 38.1 overs. What performance from number 1 team keep it up. ZIM would have scored more than this. Instead of counter attacking others why don't you ask your Batsmen to show us India is really number 1 not the flat track bullies. Why don't you ask your bowlers to show us their bowling performance (Instead taking excuses from toss, Zahir, dump pitch, ect...).

  • SurlyCynic on December 16, 2010, 21:38 GMT

    Simon Jessup - In case you hadn't noticed there was torrential rain earlier and most spectators went home as there didn't seem much chance of any play. Hard to judge a 'crowd' in these conditions.

  • raj_sachin_raj on December 16, 2010, 21:25 GMT

    everyone (barring subcontinent people) moaning abt turning track when SA or Eng or AUS visits subcontinent but now everyone telling to make fast and bouncy pitches when subcontinent team visits them..so it's not a double std?? or i would say accept the turning track as subcontinent teams accepting faster tracks without moaning instead of telling oh these people made again dust bowls..typical western media...

  • Finn92 on December 16, 2010, 21:25 GMT

    It's way too early to be damning India's chances we shall see how South Africa bat tomorrow but I think we can all agree that Sehwag was totally irresponsible for that shot when he knew there was a man just waiting for it at third man. On the other hand you do have to say that India's bowling looks questionable; Sharma is more cold than hot, Sreesanth bowls a great ball and follows it up with an awful one, Bhajji is in the process of regaining his form and the debutant is an unknown quantity so it should be an interesting second day

  • Sundar24 on December 16, 2010, 21:03 GMT

    How Greedier can BCCI get? Cant they allow for a single warm-up game for the all important Test series in SA instead of hosting the kiwis in a meaningless ODI series? Result: A mediocre ODI series and 139/9 scoreline. Brilliant! And for Raina, i think Pujara should play at #6 in Durban.

  • on December 16, 2010, 20:45 GMT

    @Mayan...

    we will wait for ur comments tomorrow when sa is bowled out for less than 100!!! till then hold ur tongue :-)

  • on December 16, 2010, 20:35 GMT

    The stadium and its facilities at Centurion are excellent.No body hoped for any play yesterday.It has been only a day into the series and some are spewing such vitriol.I think time has come for leaving some grass on our wickets but the failure of our batting in these conditions has put us off just as the failure with the UDRS.If the so called best batting line up are not ready for playing in trying circumstances in India then wonder who will?Even though Australia is struggling currently but they still had a green top at Perth.I don't remember the last time we had a green top in India?But India still has a chance of coming back in the series.

  • akasavani on December 16, 2010, 20:07 GMT

    Raina will be a liability on fast seaming tracks. Why did the selectors persist with him for these conditions? There are more technically correct players in India who would have coped better...Badrinath for instance...

  • mkstraight on December 16, 2010, 20:02 GMT

    To add to the Records: Sachin over all average 56.67 Against south africa 38.18 against Pakistan 42.38 Against south Africa sachin Average always remained below 40. he has never gone above 40. Against Pakistan sachin average till 1999 ( When Great Wasim and Waqar were playing) 32.38- Wow. Sachin scored bulk of the runs when Wasim Donald Walsh, Ambrose Waqar Retired from the international cricket. He is a bully on placid indian tracks and mediocre bowling attack. only two indian players were the best 1) Great Gawasker and 2) Rahul Dravid Sachin is infact very very good only when the bowling attack is mediocre. for a proof just filter his records

  • on December 16, 2010, 19:58 GMT

    Nothing amazing, a wet wicket and a toss lost. I'd have been the same with SA if the other end of the coin would have fallen. But its just end of day1. SA is as bad as any team on hostile batting conditions.

  • srisri on December 16, 2010, 19:56 GMT

    not a problem... just a good shakeup for the Indian stars to bring to earth from cloud9. We always had this first day rusty syndrome.

  • on December 16, 2010, 19:42 GMT

    Some of the comments here pre matuare, i guess its a test match and we have to wait untill final ball should be bowled , so hold on your commments untill the end of the day.Enjoy the good game of cricket.Cheers

  • on December 16, 2010, 19:37 GMT

    I have been interested in the ashes and have heard so many comments about the Ind SA series and how it puts it in the shaddows. I have one question. Has anyone told the South Africans, apart form the 50 who make up the crowd? Perhaps the 25,000 capacity for the first 4 days in Perth should catch a quick flight to watch the mighty. What a joke!

  • Razor88 on December 16, 2010, 19:31 GMT

    LakmalPhysics - Shouldn't come from u!!.India have been better in awl aspects than ur team.Who can't even win a test in Flat Tracks too.Its fair for SA supporter to come to a Verdict.India Had to work hard for Years to get to that Position.And yet Get Decided in half a days play with the likes of You!!!@Mayan Priyadarshana - You too mate!! First win a Test in a Country which is jus a Boat trip away!! I seriously Don't get y SL supporters have to bash at India's Performance which is Jus one Days Old,Who havn't won since Murali's retirement@Point4 - Lets jus accept that Today Indians where Pathetic - Maybe Pujara Deserves a Place more than Raina;If you see that way I think Badri should be Playing as well.It is History.Its sad that only the Given Player can come and play!! :( :( I'm Utterly Disappointed with the way they Fell.But lets jus Hope Our bowlers do a Decent job and Atleast Keep the Lead to less than 150,And assume we Might Have better Outing with the bat 2nd time around!!

  • LanceKlusner on December 16, 2010, 19:29 GMT

    India got taught a good cricket lesson today .......... don't count your chickens before they hatch No 1's :-) That wicket was not as bad as you were making it out to be ...... it was a combination of fast track and some excellent bowling !! That aging batting line up of yours showed little patience in a fast track and two outstanding performances from DS and MM. What Hashim, Kallis and AB show you how to bat on a quick wicket ...... with patience and flair !!

    I hope you are enjoying humble pie (some) Indian fans ......... :-)

  • CandidIndian on December 16, 2010, 19:27 GMT

    @LakmalPhysics-Flat track bullies ? well has your great team won at Perth? yes yes you will say that you guys have lot of time to achieve that , but the present situation is you guys have not done it yet, so making fun of India is of no use.You should worry about SL not winning a single test in SA, Aus and India instead of coming in Indian articles and spoiling the mood by your taunting comments.I respect Srilankan team a lot so dont get me started on this.

  • on December 16, 2010, 19:26 GMT

    SA were lucky to win the toss.By the time SA batsmen come to crease tomorrow,the pitch would have dried up & it would be a pleasant batting surface! However, looking at the way sachin batted in his short but aggressive innings,the pitch isn't that bad as the scoreboard tells us. All I wish is that there should be rain in the night so that pitch remains moist & wet.Otherwise there's a 400+ 1st innings SA score for sure.

  • on December 16, 2010, 19:24 GMT

    very bad start by India... 136 is a very low score... i thought 225 would have been competitive in this track... steyn and morkel bowled brilliantly.... hope dhoni can add 30 more runs tomorrow.... and if ishant and sreeshanth can take get 2-3 wickets with the new ball... the match will be interestingly poised... and i hope for heavy rains tonight also... then india bowlers can also take advantage of the moisture.... the fighting spirit india have shown in the recent times makes me feel that india will make southafrica to work hard for the win....

  • on December 16, 2010, 19:20 GMT

    We've had two good spicy pitches on show... hope niether of them flatten out... although, i suspect Perth will and England will try repeating Adelaide... Great Fast Bowlers, on Good pitches! this is what Test Cricket needs, not Bhajji breaking Lara's record...

  • sunil_just_loves_test_cricket on December 16, 2010, 19:20 GMT

    Dont worry this was the first day. It happens in test cricket. @Tarunkumarrr is right thanks to toss otherwise the Scoreboard may read SA 150/(5-6). However, some things should be looked upon. Its very common these days Sehwag failure (like today) means 90% chance of a collapse. Raina I dont know why a fielder is playing is test cricket as a batsman. Gambhir has to show that he can play in any or at least outside India in Test Cricket. Master got a good bowl and somehow he missed it(gud luck 4 steyn). Bowling was not so par as shown by Bhajji, Dhoni, and Master. One thing India should learn in these testing pitches that they must take the shine out of the bowl whether run rate is 2 or 4. Just wait for 15 overs the opening bowlers will tire will take a break and when they come back the bowl is not the same. We all know first session is always difficult it was, is, and will only be because of Sehwag that it seems run rate should be around 4. Dont worry indian fans we will strike back.

  • gopanmp on December 16, 2010, 19:14 GMT

    Mr Mayan..please remember india reached 2003 World cup final and it was held @ SouthAfrica. Also in last tour to SA, in first test they have bowled SA for mere 84.. that your team can never ever dream of.. So don't rule out the No 1 team very easily..last 5 yrs india won test in all top test playing nations...please rember india beat Aus in the fast bowling paradise Perth pitch.

  • on December 16, 2010, 19:11 GMT

    On the last tour, South Africa got bowled out for 80-odd on a first day pitch. I don't think their batsmen would have done any better if they had batted first on that pitch. So hold the comments, people. It is only day 1 of a three-test series.

  • Sajeesh.M.S on December 16, 2010, 19:11 GMT

    It is true that India is now at an uncomfortable position.But it sure,we will bounce back bcoz we are the No.1 test side..We were always slow starters..We did overcome many tough situations before and we will do it again.Let see..One thing is sure, South Africa is not going to win this series...Good performance in one innings doesn't win a series...

  • VijayRK on December 16, 2010, 19:07 GMT

    I guess i will be the minority here as an Indian fan, a fresh pitch , overnight rain , reverse the toss and see who is in "tatters" as the headline claims.

    Ratings dont come based on pitches, they come based on consistency and form. Wait and watch.

    No excuses the SA side bowled well, its not a one day , so tomorrow decides!

  • on December 16, 2010, 19:03 GMT

    This will continue to happen until bcci put some thought into organizing tours. You cannot really expect the players to start firing from get go in alien conditions specially when they have not played a test outside sub continent in last 18 months. Another point to note here is spice up the pitch for first test match as much as possible according to your needs(home field advantage/bcci please pay some attention in this regard). The game is far from over but it will be a tough task for our team. I think Isanth should enjoy bowling on this two pace wicket.

  • on December 16, 2010, 19:03 GMT

    Dear Mayan Priyadarshan, I have kept out of the commenting business for all the article I read. Your gripe is strange. How come you comment on our status when SL has not had any success of note in TESTS in Ind, Pak even, forget the rest of the world. Are you trying to say your batsmen where doling out centuries on trip to SA and Aus??? We are No.1 for the challenge we have provided to these team, albeit mostly at home, in superb batting conditions ... which is the same for all teams unlike conditions in SL. Get your facts right.

  • on December 16, 2010, 19:01 GMT

    i woonder why raina got the chance to play in the 1 test india as he is not good touch also dhoni suggested bbci to give a test match break to raina but all things went oppsite i think c.pujara should be called for 2 nd test ..............

  • LateralThinking on December 16, 2010, 19:00 GMT

    It just takes one 100 run opening partnership, one explosive Sehwag innings and then we will not be worried about our averages overseas. We are here to win and not as tourists looking to get their share of acknowledgement, or win their second test in SA. This time it is going to be different. Gambhir, Raina and VVS need to rally around Sachin, Rahul, Dhoni and Sehwag. Work as a team. Compliment each other. Support one another. And we are in with a great chance. Add Zaheer to this grit on display by our batsmen and then let us look at SA's fight. WE HAVE A GREAT CHANCE. No two ways about that!

  • on December 16, 2010, 19:00 GMT

    let the game progress ppl....we cant say how proteas will face indian attack....

  • SnowSnake on December 16, 2010, 18:59 GMT

    Congratulations to SA for first day honors! India knew what to expect, but could not deliver. I didn't watch the game or highlights, so really don't know what happened, but this seems to be interesting game for both teams. India should get out more often to play other teams. This seems to be shaping up to be a good battle between teams.

  • on December 16, 2010, 18:57 GMT

    the emperor isn't wearing any clothes!!

  • LateralThinking on December 16, 2010, 18:54 GMT

    We tend to hype things a lot when our batsmen cream weak bowling teams and put them to the sword otherwise. Both are not great things to do. Sachin, Rahul and Sehwag need no greater acknowledgement than what their greatness already suggests. I strongly believe that with some luck (some rain !!!) in this first test, we will see our batsmen dominating the SA bowlers from the second test onwards. The challenge is can our bowlers live up to the task. I sense some weakness here. But realistically Steyn is a great fast bowler and Morkel compliments him well. Handle these two well and you will see a very mediocre bowling line up. No two ways about it. And, hey, may the best team win. Enjoy the cricket! SA has done wonderfully well today. There are 12 more sessions. I guess SA needs to bat for atleast 5 sessions to win this match. That leaves us with 7 more. With some luck (remember, we had the toss not going our way), if 3 sessions are washed out, I expect our batsmen to handle 4 sessions.

  • IjazUlHaq on December 16, 2010, 18:52 GMT

    Brother's And Sisters !!! I Think You Guys Are Crazy . Take A Look At Sanat Jayasuriya He Got Almost 49 Ducks In His Career And you All Know That What a player he is !!! All I Can Say Is WAIT WAIT WAIT . Im Sure Sehwag And company Well Show Styne and Morkel How To Stop Boundries ... At The End Just Sachin Tendulkar Is Enough To These SA Team ..

  • Tamilan123456 on December 16, 2010, 18:51 GMT

    @Mayan and all..

    No one can hit 100 runs in all matches...i think u r playing Brain Lara cricket daily in your PC....and see the records of Indian Team in outsides pitches..

    today is the bad day for Indian team..but we have lakhs gud days in cricket...:)

  • on December 16, 2010, 18:51 GMT

    Harbhajan alone scored as much as gambhir+shewag+laxman+raina+dravid = 27runs...the famed batting fails miserably. dreadful. Comeon guys pick yourselves up and give SA a battle.Hopefully tomorrow is a better day.

  • LateralThinking on December 16, 2010, 18:49 GMT

    It has been a bad show by the Indian batsman. Everytime we tour, the first test is the one where the batsmen disappoint us, especially in seaming conditions. By the time we are into the third test, we tend to do a better job. The same would be the case if we give a rank turner to SA batsmen in the first test itself. I don't remember giving a dust bowl as we used to in the 90s to any team in the last ten years. Please don't read too much into our batsmen's performance yet. This is just the first day of a series. The pitch had no devils and it is only a matter of application. This Indian team is very different from the ones that toured before. And yes, SA has no great bowling strength either. The start was not there for us. Gambhir and Raina are expected to struggle in these conditions. No great technique. and to an extent VVS in the initial few overs, is expected to struggle as well.

  • LakmalPhysics on December 16, 2010, 18:49 GMT

    @sonjjay & grvdubey: I respect you guys for your true comments. I think Sachin will bounce back and will play well later in the series. He has that ability. First match is always tough. It's not about the pure talent but the lack of experience is the main reason for ordinary performance in SA & Australia.

  • Skool on December 16, 2010, 18:48 GMT

    What a bad way to start the series!! Anyway, it's not new for India. They have hardly had a good first day/match. I didn't see the game, but read the commentary here, every ball. I feel like it's the hype and pressure that caused the great Indian collapse rather than the pitch and the hostile SA attack. They should be much better in the 2nd innings. The bounce and conditions will assist Ishant-Sreesanth too. Whatever runs India gets on the board tomorrow should be like bonus. India must not become defensive. Attack. Attack is the best defence.

  • Longmemory on December 16, 2010, 18:46 GMT

    To all those Desis posting ad nauseam on every forum about India's deserved #1 status and braying endlessly about our great batting line-up: welcome to the real world. Please take a good, long, hard, look at what it takes to play outside the subcontinent on pitches that bounce and bowlers who can rocket them in. Most importantly: remember this day when you hit the keyboard next time to tell everyone to believe in statistics rather than what they can see with their own eyes.

  • Leb_un on December 16, 2010, 18:44 GMT

    @Tarunkumarrr: "I do feel that india was in the receiving end of a fresh pitch that had more moisture in it thanks to the toss loss". What are you talking about?. This is just the qualities of the two teams that's all. We, all non-indains, kept saying that Indian batmen are just flat pitch bullies and SA just proved this with their talent. By the way, Now India should show their number 1 bowling performance. As far as I know, All good teams (SL, PAK, ENG and AUS) will give good fight with the bowl for sure in this pitch. Can India do that?. Don't say Zahir is not there number 1 team should have replacement (PAK is now playing without their two best bowlers - of course due to their stupidity). Pls pls show us your number 1 status.

  • Built_4_the_Kill on December 16, 2010, 18:43 GMT

    It was more anticipation from Indian batsmen of a very fast pitch then the pitch itself. More than SA bowled exceptionally well it was the poor shot selection and/or stupid foot movement by Indian Batsmen.

    Though Sehwag left early but at least he was trying to set the tone (which later was followed by Tendulkar, Dhoni, and to an extent Bhajee). I feel with greats like Tendulkar, Dravid, and Sehwag...... India will bounce back in this match.

    By the way.....full marks to Gambhir for claiming the "GHAJINI" award without any competition. After every second or third ball he forgot for next three or four balls that he was supposed to take the ball on the BAT and not on the BACK

  • on December 16, 2010, 18:42 GMT

    If you really want to be the fan of number 1 team then you got to stop defending them on such poor show. Which by the way is no surprise. I know no team in the world can bat like champions on a bowler friendly pitch with conditions too in their favor. But none of the teams are also not over-hyped like this Indian team. Gambhir for player of the year 2009? come again!

  • on December 16, 2010, 18:41 GMT

    I just see people making so much noise...just hold on guys... it is still the first day of the test match....I do agree the Indian batsmen had no answer to the SA bowlers... but I feel there is a long way to go in this test match... just don't make any comparisons yet.. I just want to see how good the SA bat under the sun

  • Senan on December 16, 2010, 18:39 GMT

    Knew it ! ! ! For once people have faith in our team and players, The game is still on...

  • LakmalPhysics on December 16, 2010, 18:38 GMT

    @My Indian friends: You guys were insulting Sri Lankan cricket & cricketers especially Sanga.We see now Sri Lankans performance better than Indians in bouncy & fast tracks, remember Sri Lankans won the ODI series against Australinas in similar conditions.

  • on December 16, 2010, 18:32 GMT

    Well Here is a Real No.1 team India, professional bowlers made them zero. Lets see how they survive this series in the future. Where are their top world class batsmans, who only knows how to make tripple figures in solid flat pitches

  • on December 16, 2010, 18:30 GMT

    Hey come on guys, its just day-1 to judge the credentials of our number 1 team. Give them sometime, they did not had a chance to even some practice games, and to there bad luck they had to play on rained spoiled pitch, which will assist bowlers at any day. Let the series finish first and then ask for #1 or #2 credentials.

    And also accept the fact that SA is #2 in the world so don't be surprise and tag there good performances with our bad performance.

  • Surhud29 on December 16, 2010, 18:28 GMT

    Yes, India was on a recieving end thanks to a very bowler friendly wicket. Not to blame anyone but either side batting first would have been found wanted in the 1st session. We lost the toss advantage south africa. The way Mahi and sachin played itself shows that the pitch will improve. We have to just wait, time changes and in test scenario it changes rapidly. Iam sure we will pull this off and our bowlers will come good. pls be aware that no body becomes no uno unles one plays well.

  • Maniksss on December 16, 2010, 18:26 GMT

    To all those who're critisising indian batting...true,we didn't bat extremely well..But the South africans bowled superbly and we didn't have luck with the toss..Last time when we were in south africa, our bowlers bowled them out for 84 on a similarly juicy wanderers pitch!So what's the big deal?It can happen to any lineup...Morkel was bowling jaffas after jaffas!and if the indian pitches are so flat, then why can't opposition batsmen score heavily like our batsmen?why do they lose series instead of drawing all of them?

  • Senan on December 16, 2010, 18:26 GMT

    Knew it ! ! ! For once people have faith in our team and players, The game is still on...

  • on December 16, 2010, 18:25 GMT

    hold on to your horses india bashers...still 4 days to go. cricket, as you might know, takes the mickey out of experts.

  • annys on December 16, 2010, 18:23 GMT

    how many times has mark taylors world no 1 australia won in india - zero how many times has steve waughs world no 1 australiawon in india-zero how many times south africa won in india on a turner zero

    so its not a shame to lose 9 wickets on a damo grassy pitch :)

  • on December 16, 2010, 18:20 GMT

    Most likely, this test will get over in 3 days even after tons and tons of lost hours!

  • on December 16, 2010, 18:16 GMT

    looks like we're back to pre-Ganguly era..!! when the away tours used to be so much humiliating..!

  • baghera on December 16, 2010, 18:07 GMT

    loved the way Indians showed character on the field.... kudos to dravid, gambhir n' sachin.... sehwag threw his wicket away.... SA got lucky winning the toss.... what i can see from here is SA having a lead of 50 -100..... if more green tops come in then team winning the toss will have an advantage....

  • on December 16, 2010, 18:07 GMT

    Now Indian Fans have seen the reality that how fragile their number 1 team is outside their own backyard........I can assure you that your beloved team is going to loose 3-0.....

  • Smasher79 on December 16, 2010, 18:04 GMT

    The fizzle on international surfaces continues for India. Don't get me wrong here. They are a hugely talented bunch right now, but apart from one great individual achiever (sachin), the achievements of the Indian team on foreign grounds is far from greatness. Impeccable in india and not even close to being average at international level. Still they are in a bid to win the world cup because fortunately for them its going to be contested for on their pitches.

    Although its just the start of the series, but today's below par display of their batting is not going to guarantee them any glory in future.

  • on December 16, 2010, 18:03 GMT

    this is the way he plays ,so don't blame sehwag ,other day he would have got four or six of that ball.

  • Abbas_Quereshi on December 16, 2010, 18:03 GMT

    It's test match cricket not baseball match. why so hurry. you don't have to slog every ball out of the park. first u need to set on then play shot. actually i don't expect much 4m sewag. specially in bouncy pitch. india gonna loose this test match in huge mergin 4 sure.

  • on December 16, 2010, 18:00 GMT

    india is facing the reality this day shows that india cant face the real fast quality bowling and Sachin showed his class in his short aggressive stay

  • landl47 on December 16, 2010, 17:58 GMT

    I only saw the last part of the day's play, but it didn't look a bad wicket to bat on. I guess we'll find out tomorrow.

  • on December 16, 2010, 17:57 GMT

    Where is the Comments. Plz Indian brothers put me some Comments. i wanna knw abt the performance of Number 1 team..... plzzz

  • Asadpk on December 16, 2010, 17:55 GMT

    Here are some relevant stats for this series. I looked up Sehwag's stats in Tests outside Asia; he averages 40.56 in 28 Tests with 5 centuries (incl. 2 against Australia's 2nd string attacks minus Warne-McGrath and none in NZ/Zim). It by no means great but not bad either. Tendulkar on the other hand is the true genius, averaging 51.4 in 67 Tests outside Asia with 16 centuries. Dravid is even better, averaging 57.05 in 56 Tests outside Asia with 10 100s. Laxman averages good too, 46.33 in 48 Test outside Asia with 8 100s. It will be a challenge for all these 4 to better those stas against Styen-Morkel-Kallis in this series.

  • ahmedjawwad4u on December 16, 2010, 17:47 GMT

    The battle at the final frontier has just started. Can end like world war 2 for the touring side

  • BellCurve on December 16, 2010, 17:38 GMT

    I am extremely happy with what has happened today. It wasn't unexpected, but it still feels very good. Gambhir was found out as we all knew he would. It is a joke that he was named player of the year in 2009. I've said it before and I say it again: all of the current crop of Indian batsmen's career stats should be adjusted downwards by 10% to 20%. They are really not that good.

  • Razor88 on December 16, 2010, 17:32 GMT

    Oh!! God not again!! - How many times have we seen they Start on the Back foot in a series,Almost all the time :|.Unless and Until we Stand up and fight,Nothing can be said.Come on!! The score dose not Suggest the Batting Line up we have :|.Time and luck is always against Us.Better Put up a fight and Kick of the tag which is so called Disputed No.1. :(

  • sonjjay on December 16, 2010, 17:32 GMT

    What a terrible day to be an Indian fan :-( Dravid got an absolute jaffer it just nipped back so sharply. The only thing worth watching from an Indian fan's point of view was sachin's exquisite cover drives but SA came really hard and we had no answers.The leg glance or the flick to square leg needs to be curbed against the accurate steyn and morkel.As i had said before the series raina would be a dead duck send him back home please.To conclude it was a nice spicy pitch and good for test cricket hope the curators around the world are taking note of it.Hoping for a miracle is the only thing left now.

  • shovwar on December 16, 2010, 17:28 GMT

    HA HA HA.....9 wkts ...Go SA

  • Tarunkumarrr on December 16, 2010, 17:27 GMT

    I do feel that india was in the recieving end of a fresh pitch that had more moisture in it thanks to the toss loss ;-( Not to take the credit away from the SA bowler's. They wer spot on with their line and length. The way Sachin and MSD played showed us that there was not anything grudgy in the pitch.India could have played well. It would take a real hard work from INDIAN's to raise like a phoenix from here on.

  • Bang_La on December 16, 2010, 17:26 GMT

    This is what Shewag is outside soft Indian pitch! He swivels bat in desperation against fast bowling and if he is lucky, he connects but luck is never always with him, too bad :)

  • SurlyCynic on December 16, 2010, 17:25 GMT

    What a rogering. Batting suddenly looked very different to making 50+ on flat wickets...

  • drake1234 on December 16, 2010, 17:25 GMT

    speechless performane from proteas, send india packing ..showing who the real boss is .Indian performnace cannot b described in words, quite typical handed over the advantage to southafrican.. India could only pray for rain now ,otherwise a innings defeat on its way ..

  • JustOUT on December 16, 2010, 17:22 GMT

    Its always fun to watch Indian batsmen playing against this SA team and even more fun when they play in SA against them. I can assure SA will not be in this position if India bowled first. Steyn and Morkel are real beauties. Gambhir had a toughest test of his playing career. oh gosh.

  • Asadpk on December 16, 2010, 17:18 GMT

    So much for the Steyn-Sehwag hype, although Sehwag is a champion and will make a comeback sometime in this series. Tsobe with his 125kmph dollies was a huge disappointment, SA should think about going with Parnell or McLaren in the next game unless Tsobe turns the tables in the 2nd innings. Surely a Steyn-Morkel-Parnell-Kallis attack is too inticing!

  • CandidIndian on December 16, 2010, 17:17 GMT

    Disappointing batting by Sehwag ,in fact by whole Indian team.As a fan i was not expecting 400 plus score by India but 136-9? too bad!!,Anyways congrats to South African fans their team played brilliant cricket.

  • on December 16, 2010, 17:13 GMT

    dis u called number1 test team 139/9 Really they even got bollwed with bangladesh 240/10 lost 2time with zimbew n srilanka everthing 2010 n the try too call now best team in world Really awake up indianz no ZHeer india Done in world cup Hope zheer get anyther hamstring

  • on December 16, 2010, 17:02 GMT

    Rankings do not mean much.This has been proved by India's performance today. A disciplined SA bowling attack led by Morkel and Steyn has proved enough to skittle the supposedly best batting line-up in the world. Sachin has once again played the role of the boy on the burning deck like in the mid 90s. Granted this was not an easy wicket to bat on; but India should have got atleast 230-250. This looks like an easy victory for the Proteas who have showed that they walk the talk. It will be hard for the Indians to come back.Gambhir,Raina and Dhoni have been exposed on SA wickets. India should have got Yuvraj and Pujara.Now a Zaheer-less bowling attack has to defend the measly total.All those posting comments that India is the best team in the world,that they should win because they are no.1, so and so, could not have been more wrong.A top team has to perform in all conditions,not just at home.

  • on December 16, 2010, 17:00 GMT

    What shameful display (as expected) by the top order except Sachin.... I Wonder why Dravid still wants to play international cricket... He lost all his technique and class... It will be good for him and India if he decides to quit sooner than later after a good score in this series... and give opportunity to the likes of Pujara.... he can get more experience if he gets more chances...look for the future, rope in him, he can even score better than Dravid....

    Another thing is, Raina... HE IS NOT A TEST PLAYER!!! KEEP HIM PLAY ONLY IN ODI's and T20s.... Where as Rohith Sharma is a class "test" player, when the selectors are using him in ODIs and T20s... what a strange thinking..... They should bring in Rohith to test and took Rain out of test arena....

    These two changes will make a lot of difference.....think and act guys!!!

  • on December 16, 2010, 16:58 GMT

    The first day at Centurion was such a BIG eye opener for India & Indians. While M S Dhoni would not fail to blame Indian batting collapse to the moisture & due as a consequence of morning rain & losing the all-critical toss, Dhoni would also like to add to his weak defence, the result wouldn't have been different if India had won the toss. The fact that remains if one were to skip past the normal excuses & causes for sporting failures, five world class Indian batsmen (Gambhir, Sehwag, Tendulkar, VVS Laxman, Raina, with almost 100,000 Test runs between them) fell like a pack of cards against the Proteas pretty decent bowling attack. Indian Batsman might be the roaring lions in dead, slow & paceless Indian pitches, they are meek, indefensible, & hopeless on fast, bouncy pitches.

    If Indian Cricket team could take something from the first tragic day of play would be to pray & keep praying that it rains cats & dogs on Centurion park for the next 48 hours. That's the only way they cannot

  • Point4 on December 16, 2010, 16:51 GMT

    cant wait to see the likes of Diri's comments taunting flat track bullies and real position of Ind in world cricket.as i had predicted al along ind batters are due for a lot of undeserved flak...Dravid,Sachin looked comfortable of course not effective enough by any means in terms of runs scored,but this is a pointer towards the rest of the series..those 2 along with Lax WILL score runs later in the series and if Zak plays Ind can pull off a victory 2-1 to SA and BCCI needs not flak but whipping for such poor preparation.this was always waiting to happen...

  • ian_ghose on December 16, 2010, 16:50 GMT

    Make a sentence with the following words , 'batsmen, indian, bullies, track, flat, are' :-)

  • _NEUTRAL_Fan_ on December 16, 2010, 16:49 GMT

    Now this is test cricket!! A lot of doubters (who I'm sure never even bothered to watch Morkel bowl before) were put to shame by Morkel's excellent bowling but there is something about Steyn which is most thrilling, he really is the best bowler of his generation and proved that today. Only 1/2 way and to be honest I can't see SA making too much on this track. The Ind bowlers are not in the class of Steyn and Morkel but SA do tend to suffer a bit from lapses when they are called favorites so ANYTHING COULD HAPPEN.

  • LakmalPhysics on December 16, 2010, 16:45 GMT

    Who is the Best flat track bullies on the planet?...

  • on December 16, 2010, 16:36 GMT

    Indians batting shows they are not deserved to be no.1... Thats it.... Morkel rockss all over the wicket... very poor performance from worlds best batting line up... :(

  • albstp on December 16, 2010, 16:35 GMT

    The Indian batsmen are over hyped. Again and again they are proving themselves that they don't know how to bat on real pitches. And I am an Indian. Indian team doesn't deserve to be No:1.

  • JustOUT on December 16, 2010, 16:33 GMT

    Beauty Beauty Beauty.. Steyn you Beauty man.. What a ball to remove Sachin & Laxman. You again STAMPED your No.1 bowler test fast bowler in the world. WOW.. Morkel you have come a long way boy. Gambhir had a real stern test after becoming proper TEST player. Raina oh boy, your not fit for TEST, bring in Pujara. Mr.Srikanth, dont see IPL performance, please bring the guys who plays well in Ranji. It was real fun to watch Indian batsman facing the real test after playing in smooth expressways for last 1.5 years. Cool.....

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • JustOUT on December 16, 2010, 16:33 GMT

    Beauty Beauty Beauty.. Steyn you Beauty man.. What a ball to remove Sachin & Laxman. You again STAMPED your No.1 bowler test fast bowler in the world. WOW.. Morkel you have come a long way boy. Gambhir had a real stern test after becoming proper TEST player. Raina oh boy, your not fit for TEST, bring in Pujara. Mr.Srikanth, dont see IPL performance, please bring the guys who plays well in Ranji. It was real fun to watch Indian batsman facing the real test after playing in smooth expressways for last 1.5 years. Cool.....

  • albstp on December 16, 2010, 16:35 GMT

    The Indian batsmen are over hyped. Again and again they are proving themselves that they don't know how to bat on real pitches. And I am an Indian. Indian team doesn't deserve to be No:1.

  • on December 16, 2010, 16:36 GMT

    Indians batting shows they are not deserved to be no.1... Thats it.... Morkel rockss all over the wicket... very poor performance from worlds best batting line up... :(

  • LakmalPhysics on December 16, 2010, 16:45 GMT

    Who is the Best flat track bullies on the planet?...

  • _NEUTRAL_Fan_ on December 16, 2010, 16:49 GMT

    Now this is test cricket!! A lot of doubters (who I'm sure never even bothered to watch Morkel bowl before) were put to shame by Morkel's excellent bowling but there is something about Steyn which is most thrilling, he really is the best bowler of his generation and proved that today. Only 1/2 way and to be honest I can't see SA making too much on this track. The Ind bowlers are not in the class of Steyn and Morkel but SA do tend to suffer a bit from lapses when they are called favorites so ANYTHING COULD HAPPEN.

  • ian_ghose on December 16, 2010, 16:50 GMT

    Make a sentence with the following words , 'batsmen, indian, bullies, track, flat, are' :-)

  • Point4 on December 16, 2010, 16:51 GMT

    cant wait to see the likes of Diri's comments taunting flat track bullies and real position of Ind in world cricket.as i had predicted al along ind batters are due for a lot of undeserved flak...Dravid,Sachin looked comfortable of course not effective enough by any means in terms of runs scored,but this is a pointer towards the rest of the series..those 2 along with Lax WILL score runs later in the series and if Zak plays Ind can pull off a victory 2-1 to SA and BCCI needs not flak but whipping for such poor preparation.this was always waiting to happen...

  • on December 16, 2010, 16:58 GMT

    The first day at Centurion was such a BIG eye opener for India & Indians. While M S Dhoni would not fail to blame Indian batting collapse to the moisture & due as a consequence of morning rain & losing the all-critical toss, Dhoni would also like to add to his weak defence, the result wouldn't have been different if India had won the toss. The fact that remains if one were to skip past the normal excuses & causes for sporting failures, five world class Indian batsmen (Gambhir, Sehwag, Tendulkar, VVS Laxman, Raina, with almost 100,000 Test runs between them) fell like a pack of cards against the Proteas pretty decent bowling attack. Indian Batsman might be the roaring lions in dead, slow & paceless Indian pitches, they are meek, indefensible, & hopeless on fast, bouncy pitches.

    If Indian Cricket team could take something from the first tragic day of play would be to pray & keep praying that it rains cats & dogs on Centurion park for the next 48 hours. That's the only way they cannot

  • on December 16, 2010, 17:00 GMT

    What shameful display (as expected) by the top order except Sachin.... I Wonder why Dravid still wants to play international cricket... He lost all his technique and class... It will be good for him and India if he decides to quit sooner than later after a good score in this series... and give opportunity to the likes of Pujara.... he can get more experience if he gets more chances...look for the future, rope in him, he can even score better than Dravid....

    Another thing is, Raina... HE IS NOT A TEST PLAYER!!! KEEP HIM PLAY ONLY IN ODI's and T20s.... Where as Rohith Sharma is a class "test" player, when the selectors are using him in ODIs and T20s... what a strange thinking..... They should bring in Rohith to test and took Rain out of test arena....

    These two changes will make a lot of difference.....think and act guys!!!

  • on December 16, 2010, 17:02 GMT

    Rankings do not mean much.This has been proved by India's performance today. A disciplined SA bowling attack led by Morkel and Steyn has proved enough to skittle the supposedly best batting line-up in the world. Sachin has once again played the role of the boy on the burning deck like in the mid 90s. Granted this was not an easy wicket to bat on; but India should have got atleast 230-250. This looks like an easy victory for the Proteas who have showed that they walk the talk. It will be hard for the Indians to come back.Gambhir,Raina and Dhoni have been exposed on SA wickets. India should have got Yuvraj and Pujara.Now a Zaheer-less bowling attack has to defend the measly total.All those posting comments that India is the best team in the world,that they should win because they are no.1, so and so, could not have been more wrong.A top team has to perform in all conditions,not just at home.