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

Morkel and Steyn exact a carefully planned revenge

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Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel must remember Kolkata 2010 the same way the United States remembers Vietnam. That's where they thought they had a chance to defeat an opposition that looked beatable, and that's where they misjudged badly. They were wounded from all fronts, their morale was broken and in the end, they lost the battle.

After their victory in Nagpur a week earlier, South Africa had an ideal opportunity to win the series in the subcontinent. That never happened. They collapsed to 296 on a turning track at Eden Gardens and conceded a massive 643/6 to lose by an innings and 57 runs. Dale Steyn bowled thirty overs and Morne Morkel 26, both conceding 115 runs apiece. Virender Sehwag, in particular, treated the pair as though they were nothing more than cheap rag dolls. Sachin Tendulkar and VVS Laxman followed, although in less manic fashion, and then MS Dhoni joined the party. Steyn and Morkel were left hurting. On Thursday, at SuperSport Park in Centurion, they exacted a carefully planned revenge.

"It's the most important thing not to forget your aggression," Morkel said after the first day when a mixture of that attacking instinct and ingenious strategy helped South Africa seize the advantage.

The match was being billed as a contest between South Africa's bowlers and India's batsmen, in particular the openers on both sides, and it did not disappoint. Steyn versus Sehwag was considered the heavyweight fight but it lasted just three balls. The first two were regulation Steyn balls, shaping away outside off and Sehwag dutifully left them. In his next over, Steyn began with a similar delivery, moving away just a touch. Sehwag could not resist.

He didn't care that Hashim Amla was positioned at short third-man for in case he gave in to the temptation. The urge to hit on the up was too tempting and Sehwag went for it. In doing so, he scooped it off the outside edge to Amla giving South Africa immediate reward, even though they were prepared to wait. "We knew we would have to stay calm and patient and that he would give it away," Morkel said.

The middleweight clash lasted a few more rounds. Morkel was unrelenting as he banged in short balls by the half-dozen to Gautam Gambhir, but mixed them up well. He topped 151 kph at times and sent the ball whizzing around Gambhir's ears in the first over. In the second over he bowled to Gambhir the real crux of the strategy emerged. Two short balls, followed up by a fuller one, and then another. When Morkel, elegant as a giraffe, reached down to save four off his own bowling from the second fuller ball, it was as though he was prophesising his own victory.

He almost had his man in the next over when a nasty bouncer took something on the way through to Mark Boucher. Umpire Steve Davis thought it shaved something other than the glove. Morkel did not relent and gave Gambhir no scoring opportunities as the pattern of short, short, full continued. Gambhir survived Morkel's first spell but just as he was relaxing, Morkel returned from the other end and continued the same trend. Two more short balls, and then Gambhir perished to the follow-up. He was too late on the full ball and the outside edge was comfortably taken by Paul Harris at first slip.

The way Steyn and Morkel varied their lengths was crucial to their success. "They weren't sure whether to go forward or back," Morkel said. Steyn used the seam movement in exemplary fashion, particularly as he got the ball to go away from Rahul Dravid and in to Gambhir. Morkel's height allowed him to extract the spongy bounce but he managed to mix the short balls with a range of deliveries that landed on a good length and ones that were full enough to tease the batsmen's toes. It was that assortment that got Dravid out as he was hit on the pads by a delivery that stayed lower than expected.

Steyn came out spitting venom after tea. The over he bowled to Tendulkar immediately after the break covered an entire spectrum. It contained a delivery that moved away, one that straightened, one that moved in, a bouncer and an over-pitched ball. In the next over, Steyn left Laxman aghast by getting right through him and pegging back his middle stump. He also got rid of Tendulkar, who was looking strong in the battle against Lonwabo Tsotsobe, with a ball that straightened.

South Africa's opening bowlers, who have been labelled the most fearsome in world cricket, out-thought the Indians with their follow-up balls. The straighter or fuller deliveries were proving to be the wicket-taking ones but they didn't forget that the ball India have always been vulnerable against on tour was the short one.

The pair has always been revered because of their styles complementing each other and Morkel said they aimed to exploit the variety to their advantage. "Myself and Dale are different bowlers. I'm six foot five but he is a bit shorter. I need to use my strength which is my bounce. I don't get a lot of swing and shape off the wicket, but Dale does."

While they were dismantling the Indian line-up, some luck also went their way. Suresh Raina, who was considered a target for short balls, ended up edging a length delivery from Jacques Kallis to third slip. After his dismissal a recovery seemed imminent. Even the South African bowlers expected it. "They have a quality top six or seven and we were lucky that Harbhajan was run out today," Morkel said. Harbhajan appeared confident before he was caught short of his crease by an underarm throw from Mark Boucher.

South Africa will be aware that is still plenty of movement left in the pitch, but an Indian attack without Zaheer Khan is a far less scary prospect than one with him. Morkel has some advice for his batsmen when they get they turn out tomorrow. "You need to leave well. It nips about but it's a touch slow." First, South Africa have one more wicket to claim but they must sense that the end is close with a debutant and a captain struggling for form at the crease. Then the revenge will be complete.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • chokkashokka on December 18, 2010, 3:43 GMT

    Cricket is not meant to be played on pastures where Smith and his cattle herd feeds. How is this wicket any better than all those that complain about the quality of wickets in India. I say the No. 1 side in the world basically not schedule any further tours in bush country just like it didn't tour New Zealand for years and then the SA curators will grow a brain and we'll see if this bravado of playing to their advantage puts food on their table. What a joke of a wicket which gives such a tremendous amount of advantage to the side that wins the toss - you might as well decide the game by the toss. No one is watching this Test in India - advertisers should stop paying for such games in these bush-wacked countries.

  • on December 17, 2010, 19:35 GMT

    @mrcricketlover: Which they duly did :)

  • on December 17, 2010, 18:09 GMT

    It is making me laugh to see all the guys who are talking as if india has already lost the match or series for that matter,,common guys its just two days into a test match,, if south african batsmen have scored runs on a track which has already eased out then so can indian batsmen lets wait for the result and talk about it! still early days .......wake up

  • thiagaraj005 on December 17, 2010, 17:43 GMT

    What happen to Irfan Pathan?Plz bring him back.I want to see him again.He is certainly better option than Unadkat and all those backups.Why dont the selectors consider him???

  • MaruthuDelft on December 17, 2010, 17:13 GMT

    Sachin has failed again. It is important to score in the very first innings to give your team the psychlogical advantage. Even in his hay days Sachin would come up with something after India had lost the initial test. He is that good. It is non sense to compare him ti Viv Richards.

  • klobania on December 17, 2010, 17:00 GMT

    @prabhar u seem to be perfect day dreamer thinking of sehwag's 300 plus where he got out for duck in first innings n sachin of 200 runs like in odi. can u tell me how many matches he needed to achieve that milestone around 400 matches so wailt for another 400 matches that is too on flat pitch with 2nd rated bowling attack then only he might achieve the same feat

  • Tamilan123456 on December 17, 2010, 16:54 GMT

    Lankans..If u say we (Indians) gud in home pitch, then SA also doing the same thing in thier home pitch...we did somany records in SA grounds...dont be silly with one match...and dont understand why u r commenting on INDIA's NO 1....and what you people know about indian pitches...indian pithces are batting pitches not only India..for opponent team also.we are not changing pitches after our batting...If you r gud, u have to prove here also...and i dont understand, why u r so hype australian and SA..teams..even u r from Asian countries...U WANT NO .1 position..ok..dont cry..WE WILL GIVE U...:):)

  • JustOUT on December 17, 2010, 16:36 GMT

    @hariprasad - Sehwag proved in previous tour of SA?? when is it in 2000 during his debut?? wake up.

  • LT11 on December 17, 2010, 16:36 GMT

    Who ever said Sehwag is a flat track batsman, I dont know his country but i must say their bowler might have got hardest time on earth to bowl Sehwag.. Quite possible with the kind of batsman Sehwag is and success of him can be a reason of jealousy for others.. Dont worry..India always start on back foot and finish on front foot.. Let other also enjoy this moment because they get these moments for very small time...

  • on December 17, 2010, 16:13 GMT

    With just one failure you cannot judge Sehwag as a flat-track batsman, he has proved himself playing in Australia, New Zealand, England, and previous tour to SA. Just need to wait and watch for coming days........

  • chokkashokka on December 18, 2010, 3:43 GMT

    Cricket is not meant to be played on pastures where Smith and his cattle herd feeds. How is this wicket any better than all those that complain about the quality of wickets in India. I say the No. 1 side in the world basically not schedule any further tours in bush country just like it didn't tour New Zealand for years and then the SA curators will grow a brain and we'll see if this bravado of playing to their advantage puts food on their table. What a joke of a wicket which gives such a tremendous amount of advantage to the side that wins the toss - you might as well decide the game by the toss. No one is watching this Test in India - advertisers should stop paying for such games in these bush-wacked countries.

  • on December 17, 2010, 19:35 GMT

    @mrcricketlover: Which they duly did :)

  • on December 17, 2010, 18:09 GMT

    It is making me laugh to see all the guys who are talking as if india has already lost the match or series for that matter,,common guys its just two days into a test match,, if south african batsmen have scored runs on a track which has already eased out then so can indian batsmen lets wait for the result and talk about it! still early days .......wake up

  • thiagaraj005 on December 17, 2010, 17:43 GMT

    What happen to Irfan Pathan?Plz bring him back.I want to see him again.He is certainly better option than Unadkat and all those backups.Why dont the selectors consider him???

  • MaruthuDelft on December 17, 2010, 17:13 GMT

    Sachin has failed again. It is important to score in the very first innings to give your team the psychlogical advantage. Even in his hay days Sachin would come up with something after India had lost the initial test. He is that good. It is non sense to compare him ti Viv Richards.

  • klobania on December 17, 2010, 17:00 GMT

    @prabhar u seem to be perfect day dreamer thinking of sehwag's 300 plus where he got out for duck in first innings n sachin of 200 runs like in odi. can u tell me how many matches he needed to achieve that milestone around 400 matches so wailt for another 400 matches that is too on flat pitch with 2nd rated bowling attack then only he might achieve the same feat

  • Tamilan123456 on December 17, 2010, 16:54 GMT

    Lankans..If u say we (Indians) gud in home pitch, then SA also doing the same thing in thier home pitch...we did somany records in SA grounds...dont be silly with one match...and dont understand why u r commenting on INDIA's NO 1....and what you people know about indian pitches...indian pithces are batting pitches not only India..for opponent team also.we are not changing pitches after our batting...If you r gud, u have to prove here also...and i dont understand, why u r so hype australian and SA..teams..even u r from Asian countries...U WANT NO .1 position..ok..dont cry..WE WILL GIVE U...:):)

  • JustOUT on December 17, 2010, 16:36 GMT

    @hariprasad - Sehwag proved in previous tour of SA?? when is it in 2000 during his debut?? wake up.

  • LT11 on December 17, 2010, 16:36 GMT

    Who ever said Sehwag is a flat track batsman, I dont know his country but i must say their bowler might have got hardest time on earth to bowl Sehwag.. Quite possible with the kind of batsman Sehwag is and success of him can be a reason of jealousy for others.. Dont worry..India always start on back foot and finish on front foot.. Let other also enjoy this moment because they get these moments for very small time...

  • on December 17, 2010, 16:13 GMT

    With just one failure you cannot judge Sehwag as a flat-track batsman, he has proved himself playing in Australia, New Zealand, England, and previous tour to SA. Just need to wait and watch for coming days........

  • jishubhai on December 17, 2010, 16:07 GMT

    Suresh raina is a hole in indian batting line-up. He is yet to become a true test player. I am really surprised, he is playing test mathches besides Sachin Dravid and Laxman. No doubt he has been playing some great knocks in shorter versions but here he has a long way to go. Pujara have a better mind setand technique. India should prepare new players for these great test matches. No warm-up matches is hurting this team. Although there are some great ex-Indian bowlers in the country but I am not sure who is the bowling coach. This pitch is pacer's heaven and still Harbhajan is the only wicket takers. India needs to respect their test status more.

  • Smahuta on December 17, 2010, 16:03 GMT

    Kallis an Amla are piling the hurt on now. Laughing out loud now at those suggesting Sharma would devastate the S.A top order. Keep on batting boys, I bet the indian openers are not relishing their next knock so keep them out there for another day, and another 380 :)

  • on December 17, 2010, 15:53 GMT

    It is no hidden secret that the Indian has a problem with bouncy tracks, they have an excellent batting line up, however, if the need a realistic chance of winning, VVS Laxam whom I consider the best Indian on Bouncy tracks, need to shine.

  • LT11 on December 17, 2010, 15:46 GMT

    This is just the start of the series. Nothing can be concluded on the basis of one innings. This is the same SA team which loast 3-0 at home against 2nd tier Australian team... This is just a favoured conditions for SA bowler and they used it very well... Don't forget Viru has scored 300 + in one day against same bowler.. If the combo is so great like McGrath and Warne then it should not be possible to scroe 300+ in one day... Let the series progress and then define te success...Dead pitch is also a kind of pitch that all team should know how to p[lay...

  • U.A.1985 on December 17, 2010, 15:13 GMT

    @Amol_Ind_SA - Why do you think Sachin was unfortunate?

    I think this really shows what sort of numero uno side India are? Also it shows how overhyped Indian batsmen are? Sachin is a good batsmen but it would have been great if he had scored heaps of runs on wickets like these. Guys like Viv Richards, Ponting, Gavaskar, Miandad, Chapell were the ones who would bat on the Centurion wickets readily and score piles of runs. And honestly I dont think there are too many deamons in this wicket.

  • mrcricketlover on December 17, 2010, 15:10 GMT

    What the crap, no one deserves no1 status. As everyone is good at home and not great at overseas....SA should also beat India in India to claim no 1

  • on December 17, 2010, 15:10 GMT

    This kind of thing is bound to happen when playing overseas with debutants. I have no idea what was going through selection committee for choosing Jaidev for playing against SA. Clearly he was shown what it is like to mess with one of the best. We need the experienced player against an experienced team. Where is Zaheer, Laxman.......... SREESANTH is not wat you call a EXPERIENCED player first he needs to take anger management classes and needs to get slapped more by Fellow teammates. Well in anycase we'll see how the remaining tests go b/c THis one seems to be in SA's bag

  • lananad on December 17, 2010, 15:01 GMT

    ICC should really think how this ranking system works. India played many test back home and got enough points to be number 1 test nation. They played away series in SL and it was tied. How come a like this be number 1?? If India is the number 1 team they should be able to roll over SA easily. Australian did that very consistantly when they were number 1.

  • on December 17, 2010, 14:53 GMT

    Mendis_Forever... I am sure you are from Sri Lanka... the master of travelling abroad and winning matches... eh? SA is more dangerous on home turf than any other country and they have the best pace attack in the world, not to mention a solid batting lineup. It's been only 2 days of test match yet... there are 13 more to go. Let's wait before jumping like YoYos. Look what is happening to England. That is what makes test cricket beautiful, the other team always has a chance to fight back. And for all who are challenging the rankings and Sehwag (really??).India did not invent the ranking system, they've gone on top like Aussies did and the SA team did.. by the ladder. I am not doubting the fact that thy need to perform in SA to justify the rankings.. but to mock the rankings is kidding yourself.. especially the Sri Lankans here... And for Sehwag, you need to look at his record in NZ and Australia not to mention his century on debut in SA... to know what he's capable of on bowling pitches

  • duminda79 on December 17, 2010, 14:51 GMT

    I'm Sri Lankan, I'm so exciting to watch this match. because I love the way Steyn attack on Indians. It's really exciting. After long time I saw the bowlers dominating batsmen. No matter what I think if you are number one test team in the world you have to learn to bat fast and spin pitches both. I know Sri Lankan team also struggle on pace pitches. But we have bounce back and have a life and come back.

    well done SA..

  • VenkatBaggu on December 17, 2010, 14:13 GMT

    Suppose things like to be has to happen. Winning Every Match will gets bored to fans because of one side matches.

    Two matches STILL TO GO

    WHO KNOWS SOUTH AFRICA MAY LOST THOSE TWO

  • prabhar on December 17, 2010, 14:12 GMT

    no need to panic indians... and no reason of joy for you southafrican fans.... its jst a start.. and india will surely come back... sehwag and sachin were unfortunate,, otherwise sehwag can remind SA what he did to them during that 300+.. and sachin of its 200 in that onedayer.. so jst wait and see... 2 more tests to go... and india will surely show y they r number one... all d best for indian team...:)

  • saltmine on December 17, 2010, 14:00 GMT

    @ Utsav Dahal: Mr. Dahal, you clearly missed the point (surprise). What I was saying was: "Is it not great to see some old fashioned hostile bowling again, especially considering we have so of the worlds top batsmen present". It would be a showcase of epic proportion. Indian bowlers just need to bend their backs, put in the extra effort, and they too will be rewarded. Simple.

  • joseyesu on December 17, 2010, 13:43 GMT

    What to say? BCCI needs to take the blame, as you see for AUS Vs ENG how many practice matches. but here !! Situation may be demanding but to get out for 136 is worrysome.

  • on December 17, 2010, 13:30 GMT

    Indians are No.1 Test team today just bcoz of playing in INDIA and sub con tenet for instance in Srilanka etc every body will c when series will end on flat pitches these bowlers are very easy to play and yesterday u see what happened and today what happened to India in bowling as well there are nothing as number 01 so as yet we have seen from them.... lets c what happened next.

  • PROTEAFAN on December 17, 2010, 13:23 GMT

    SA won the toss and took advantage. But to say that had India bowled first the situation would be reversed, is just plain stupid. India's "pace" attack is toothless, and has posed very few problems for SA's batsmen. The word "docile" has been bandied about a lot by the SA commentators. I don't expect SA to have to bat twice in this match, because India's much-vaunted top six think they can play the best pace attack on the planet off the back foot, and will surely be skittled out cheaply in the second innings, all stuck in the crease.

    Bottom line, SA seems to have one up on India, because we play India at home far better than they play us in our backyard. Only Sachin and Harbhajan look like world class players for India at the moment....and btw, it was quite satisfying to watch Sachin being carted around by Kallis for a few overs before tea.

  • klobania on December 17, 2010, 13:21 GMT

    @razorhedge when u say 135 runs a par score n other teams fail to score 50 odd runs in that pitch r u in ur senses. yes 50 is now looking par score for each south african player right now.

  • on December 17, 2010, 13:13 GMT

    way to go Faizur 3-0 thrashing coming up

  • on December 17, 2010, 13:05 GMT

    I wont give up on the Indians.. they've come bak frm much worse situations.. the pitch has become easier.. they'll come around in the second innings.. !!

  • on December 17, 2010, 12:34 GMT

    Rankings go out of place.Dale Steyn and M Morkel were bowling 145 km/h + We have to create same pace otherwise be ready for 3-0

  • MENDIS_Forever on December 17, 2010, 12:27 GMT

    It is cristal clear that the INDIAN team is overhyped.SA deserves the #1 spot.When big guns of india retire ,then it's a rotten mango shaped team.ha..ha..ha....!!!

  • jsoops on December 17, 2010, 12:08 GMT

    its not a rocket science that indians struggle while playing abroad on fast tracks , similarly other teams face problems when they play on turning tracks, every home teams wants to have pitches which suits their strengths and weakness of the oppositions plays, no big deal,

  • hashabjp on December 17, 2010, 11:58 GMT

    GO PROTEAS... lets the runs shower till its gloom for india.. number one .. play bangladesh and sri lanka. lol

  • syrianar on December 17, 2010, 11:58 GMT

    Well it was bound to happen, the over hyped Indian team is now taking a reality test. Its very easy to boast being number 1 by dribbing weaker sides in your own backyard but actually to play well against a decent side with a good bowling on a good sporting track is a different game all together

  • MENDIS_Forever on December 17, 2010, 11:56 GMT

    ho..ho..mr SEHWAG? where is your so called SEHWAGOLOGY? Attacking mediocre bowlers in flat tracks,but gone for a 3rd ball duck ina live pitch..ha..ha..ha.. what a player!!!

  • Amol_Gh on December 17, 2010, 11:13 GMT

    As an Indian, I'm surprised why my fellow indians are saying that SA can't play spin. Come on, that was a whole D-e-c-a-d-e ago. And when there were greats like Kumble, Warne and Muralidharan. To say that now just means pure Cliche. Smith, and AB both can play spinners very well. And we already are well introduced to the skills of Amla, Kallis and Boucher. No need to mention that. And in SA the only IND guy to revel in this series will be Tendulkar who showed great application on day one but was unfortunate to be LBW.

  • Smahuta on December 17, 2010, 10:47 GMT

    Only good batsmen can score on a proper test wicket like this. Forget about scoring triples on dead wickets in india, this is the real thing. Indians looking like bunnies here, every one of them except for Tendulkar. India are paying now for playing 18 months in the sub-continent. Can they get back into this match? With that pace attack, and the dead cement feet of the indian batsmen, im not so sure.

  • _NEUTRAL_Fan_ on December 17, 2010, 10:46 GMT

    @Ketan Naran. I think Steyn and Morkel DESERVE a pitch with a little life. How many pitches around the world have something in there for bowlers these days? Aren't you tired of seeing bowlers toil for little reward? I am. @Abhinav Kumar. SA aren't the greatest players of spin BUT they're not bad. They have improved against spin and have done fairly well in the subcontinent (albeit the pitches don't turn square anymore).

  • on December 17, 2010, 10:35 GMT

    I heard some people saying THE GREAT ISHANT AND CO WILL REPEAT WHAT STEYN-MORKEL has done. HAHA look at the scorecard now,111-1 :D

  • Sprinter3 on December 17, 2010, 10:14 GMT

    So this the best Test team in the world?.......LOL......It s understandable that every team can have a off day on the field....but the way the Indian Batsmen surrendered themselves to SA s does not refelect their rank....When looked at his face I thought Gambir was much happy to walk back after the misery at the crease.....c'mon Indians we expected a better show than this from u guys.......

  • on December 17, 2010, 9:24 GMT

    @ saltmine: hello, what the hell do u think ? SA when comes to India needs flat or pace supportive pitches to confirm they don't lose. else they start weeping that india was partial making turning tracks to assist their spinners like they did in '08 but hey, what's wrong with that? if india can't play pace well , its their fault but what about the africans who bend their knees against the spin. when sa prepares bouncy pitches you say they are lively bcoz sa has got a better chance to win and cry when they can't play on turning tracks i insist that BCCI must go on preparing turning tracks and ensure that SA never win in india if SA are doing the same by preparing bouncy tracks in their home.

  • on December 17, 2010, 9:14 GMT

    What a joke to even take Unakad to SA tour. The guy is just bowling at speeds of 125KM/hr, I thought he is a genuine fast bowler. What is wrong with the Indian selection panel??

    And it really doesn't look like he can take wickets.

    Don't know whats going on here.

  • GooiMielies on December 17, 2010, 8:53 GMT

    My comment was directed @Ketan

    And to say India does not produce spinning / dust bowls anymore is absurd.

    Recent memory of going up 1-0 for SA in India with one test to play...this one was prepared in Kanpur: "Cracking contest on cracking pitch" http://www.espncricinfo.com/indvrsa/content/story/345986.html

  • Brenton1 on December 17, 2010, 8:48 GMT

    Stop complaining about the pitch. If india really did have the best top 6 in the world then they should be able to handle it

  • GooiMielies on December 17, 2010, 8:34 GMT

    @Mahesh: See you a very pasionate Indian fan for sure. I will definately be thanking "old Hilbert" the groundmen. If you were around in SA you will be very surprized that they had ANY cricket played yesterday. It was raining for a the whole week with proper highfeld thunderstorms.

  • GooiMielies on December 17, 2010, 8:28 GMT

    Go SA! Great effort in the field! But we can only make conclusions after both teams had a bat on this wicket. It should play better if the weather clears up a bit, making it a very good toss to win.

    I felt that many of the dismissals were not not directly due pitch, but rather as a result sustained pressure and very tentative batting by the Indians. Harbajan showed some positivity and it worked for him. We were lucky, his dismissal came at the perfect time.

    There is still loads of cricket to play and this should be a very exciting series!

  • saltmine on December 17, 2010, 8:21 GMT

    What is truly tragic, is that you Indian supporters are unable to accept that when coming to SA you are going to experience the best test pitches in the world - from a cricket entertainment point of view. For goodness sake 'enjoy it'. Bouncers, seamers, lateral movement.We dont get to host India that often, and as Indian supporters, enjoy watching yr world class batsmen having to learn (in situ), its tough out there. SRT, who by the way hates being referred to as ''God-Sachin'', Sehwag, Dravid & co - know this is going to be one of their finest tours - Win... or Loose!!

  • on December 17, 2010, 7:05 GMT

    We are going to South Africa We will conquer Proteas, Like we did with Australia

    Lions at home, Lamb Abroad The History will repeat We are number one We will win, never retreat

    You talk the talk but where's the walk When wickets are bouncy All it took was a session and a half They are 6 wickets for ninety

  • on December 17, 2010, 6:42 GMT

    Say what u want to say about SA we have done some thing India has not done won a series in India. When Indian improve their record in SA then talk. If u win one day of a test match u will not win the match

  • on December 17, 2010, 6:17 GMT

    Most teams including SA themselves could find themselves in trouble on "lively" pitches. Remember SA still have to bat well to win this. Just a pity that this match will not go beyond 3 days now.

    I am sure Cricket SA will be happy there will be no day 4 play, just imagine the revenue lost for not having any play on Sunday now. The caterers, TV crews and commentators would love a day off. Not to mention the sponsors losing out air time. They can all thank dear ol uncle Hilbert, the groundsman.

  • on December 17, 2010, 5:51 GMT

    So what...Indians can't play fast,,,S Africans can't play spin...I ve seen Daryl Cullinan, their one of the best batsmen dancing to the tunes of spinners. Smith, Peterson, Prince...they all are bunnies to spinners. The pitch was tailor made for seamers especially prepared for Indians but Indians never made a point out of this,.... but once SAfricans encounter slightly turning tracks in India, they (Proteas) start crying foul.

    ....SA minus Steyn (mind you that 2 in helpful condition, we have seen the previous series against Pak ) are toothless and as good as Bangladesh and Zim/NZ

    I can sense a turnaround in game also ......

  • samlord on December 17, 2010, 5:40 GMT

    bhaji blaming the toss..LOL..this is trend of Indian cricket.when something goes wrong blame the pitch,blame the toss...etc .grow up people.

  • on December 17, 2010, 5:31 GMT

    We need spinning wickets in India, we started preparing wickets which will assist face bowling, we need to understand basic concept, all countries are preparing wickets which will assist ther bowlers.

  • on December 17, 2010, 5:22 GMT

    Team india has been boasting ......i wonder wt the indian media must have said about their performance on day 1 ....wel done proteas...

  • on December 17, 2010, 5:21 GMT

    Hi guys come on better prepare a spinning track in India too and let them come and enjoy party, prepare the pitch in what we are strong, nowadays India is not preparing a spinnning track but all the country is preparing a track which is suitable for their bowling attack and batsmen, we are not preparing tracks which will suit our spinners.

  • on December 17, 2010, 5:21 GMT

    I dont really get it - if India prepares a spin-friendly track to suit their strength, it is considered dodgy, but if South Africa or Australia prepare bouncy tracks, it is considered great cricket. If, as is being said by all those who cant digest the fact that India is No 1 in tests, India has to prove it can play on bouncy tracks, shouldnt the same logic apply to other countries such as Aust or South Africa? Dont they have to prove that they can play on spin-friendly tracks? For all those who say India couldnt beat SA even at home, remember the world cup hosted in SA? SA couldnt even make it to the finals (50/50 and 20/20), whereas India reached the finals in the former and actually won the cup in the latter. Go figure

  • on December 17, 2010, 4:41 GMT

    Mr Mahesh Kumar - I think you are forgetting that SOuth Africa has won a series in India, as well as sharing a couple of others.

  • anver777 on December 17, 2010, 4:25 GMT

    As expected SA pace bowling duo Stern & Morne is having great time in the test....... Indian batsmen fell apart against their hostile bowling......SA is on top right now & if weather permits they can push for a win here !!!!!!!!

  • shovwar on December 17, 2010, 4:19 GMT

    @Mahesh Kumar....U are not completely right....The difference is yes SA can beat India in India ...SA won a series in India 2-0 in 2000 but India never won a Series in SA..And they only won 1 game in SA....lol forget about a series...and this series too..K 2000 is old n history lets talk about last 3 years.The difference is recently SA draws series in India and India get beaten in SA..U still see no difference?....That SA win Series at home vs India and India cannot win series against SA in Both home and away. anyway I ll let SA team do the work...For now, India is playing great there was a good contest with bat and ball, especially Sehwag vs Steyn...139 is a good score against a bowling attack like that..I actually Give credit to Indians for not repeating Nagpur...plus they are not all out in the first day...good resistant....Best of luck for the next days.....1 more thing every home team has the right to make their own kinda pitch...India too...so chill...thats the fun in hom n awy

  • Narayan.Shastri on December 17, 2010, 4:19 GMT

    India became number one Test Side, mainly through wins on the flatbed or spin-bowler-friendly wickets at home. This is something like grabbing power through the back door. If Indian cricket team really wants to be called a number one Test side, they should win Test series against Australia in Australia and against South Africa in South Africa. Besides, India should prepare Perth-like bouncy wickets at Bengaluru, Delhi, Nagpur etc. However, to expect these to happen is to expect the sun to rise from the west.

  • tareks_bangladesh on December 17, 2010, 4:16 GMT

    to prove that India is Number One they have win test series away from home...specially in Australia(WACA).....England (Oval).....South Africa (Centurian)....West Indies (Jamaica)......Sri Lanka (Colombo)....when u will win all these series...then come and we will acknowledge...India is number one....(Just like when Bangladesh thrashed Kiwis....some people told us to beat these teams).....BIG LOLLLLLLLLL

  • Morpheus273 on December 17, 2010, 4:06 GMT

    Great point "NewEnglandPatriots". Sampras neither won a single French Open.

  • SouthAfricaRocks on December 17, 2010, 4:04 GMT

    Mahesh Kumar,what are you saying man??? South Africa hasn't beaten India in India??? The last two series were both drawn 1-1.In 2000 South Africa won the test series at India.Check the stat dude.India cant win a series against South Africa at home.

  • on December 17, 2010, 4:02 GMT

    @Mahesh Kumar- South Africa have won a test series in india if i remember right.

  • anilnadaikkave on December 17, 2010, 3:34 GMT

    Let's accept that it is easily the world's best bowling attack India are up against!It would always be an education for the youngsters who desire to do well at the international level,even if it means losing the test match.

  • Shams on December 17, 2010, 3:29 GMT

    @Mahesh South Africa have indeed won a Test series in India (2-0 in 2000) Maybe India can win a series in SA this time.

    @NewEnglandPatriots Which are the two home series South Africa have lost? I can only remember one in recent times vs Aus.

    @Fifthman Wickets all round the world have become flatter for batting, I don't think India will struggle as much away from home. This wicket is a one-off, even last year wickets in the Eng series were flat in general in SA.

    @yavaid I don't think this was an under-prepared pitch, it were the India batsmen who were under-prepared.

  • samlord on December 17, 2010, 3:27 GMT

    All hail proteas...waiting to see how indians bat out side Asia..Man they proved their incapability.LOLzz

  • SurlyCynic on December 17, 2010, 3:25 GMT

    Mahesh Kumar: SA has beaten India in India, winning a series under Hansie in 2000. They also won tests in the last two series in India, drawing both series.

  • lakx on December 17, 2010, 3:20 GMT

    Guys relax, In cricket there are 3 types of pitches, 1. Flat pitches 2. Slow turners 3.fast, bouncy, seaming tracks. It it like 3 subjects in your school, it is the aggregate that matters. If you are good in just one it does not matter. Now let us compare India and SA's performances on these pitches. On flat pitches India gets A+ and SA is just B but not good enough to beat India. On slow turners India is A+ and SA is F. On fast, bouncy, seaming tracks India is C and SA B, in fact no team is A on fast, bouncy, seaming. You will find all the teams struggle on fast and bouncy pitches when they bat but Indians never struggle on slow turners. That is the difference between India and SA. On Fast and bouncy tracks Indian has beaten WI in WI at their peak, Beat ENG in ENG, AUS in AUS, NZ in NZ, SA also in SA( a test but not a series) while SA has never beaten India, Sri Lanka or Pakistan on slow turners. The tracks on which they have won in India are not spin tracks.

  • lakx on December 17, 2010, 3:05 GMT

    @Fifthman - When will SA 'get it'. By preparing Fast bouncy seaming tracks in their home land, their batsmen are criminally underprepared for slow turners. Not only that, but their spinners don't know how to exploit such tracks properly, either. SA really need to start preparing some more sporting pitches in SA. Otherwise Eden Gardens kind of capitulation on foriegn soil will continue. And don't kid yourselves that SA would have had India in the same trouble if they had better spinners. They wouldn't. Even with a Warne or Muralidharan in their line-up, India would have still won by an innings in that match.

  • on December 17, 2010, 2:58 GMT

    Wait for Ishant, Sreesanth and Unad to deliver. Proteas will be denatured also we have bajji. And all our batsmen will come good in second innings.

    If you people are so happy for ripping india through, can SA atleast play against an Indian state side in an absolute turner????????? Except Kallis (To some extent) how many of your batsman can atleast spot a spinning ball, let alone hitting it?

  • lakx on December 17, 2010, 2:58 GMT

    @Jahanzeb Zaidi, "they make flat tracks in their backyard, score massive totals and move up in ranking".

    FYI, you do not move up the ranking when you score massive totals.

    You move up the ranking only when the opposition scores less and loses the matches. I'm not sure why SA and AUS lose if the pitches are flat. Or is it because the pitches are not flat but turning pitches and SA cannot play on turning pitches. India have at least won some matches on fast pitches. Also only some of the pitches in India are turning pitches.

    India has bad records in 2 countries, SA and Sri Lanka, one is fast and other is spin. It has got nothing to do with fast, spin or flat. If you are better you score better than the opposition and India has done most of the times except in sri lanka and SA.

  • Indianbeast on December 17, 2010, 2:50 GMT

    U must be kidding me! the match is not over yet! We are playing with with BIGGEST CHOKERS - so let's wait! SA batsmen - only good against Zimbabwe! Don't tell me if SA batted first they could have scored 300! no way! I feel good for Smith - He can bat- Since Zaheer is not playing else BOWLED or caught behind!!!!! Also bare in mind SA has to chase a target in the 4th Innings and play against Bhajji!!!!!! GOOD LUCK CHOKERS - live upto your name! don;t disappoint India

  • CustomKid on December 17, 2010, 2:24 GMT

    Beautiful to see two fantastic pitches offering the pacemen a chance to inflict some damage for a change. The WACA pitch was perfect for bat and ball but England bowled in the right places with great carry, and sadly (for me) are just too good for the Australians.

    South Africa is by far the best place to play test cricket. It has something for everyone. Pace and bounce for the quicks, bounce and turn for the spinners (looks Warnes record there) and batsman who can apply themselves make runs that actually mean something rather than getting easy runs.

    Well the indians have it all to do. Against a quality pace unit on lively pitches I think they were always going to struggle. If they win this series they deserve their number 1 status, however I think they'll struggle all tour. A true number 1 team can win or at least draw away from home and until they do that consistantly they're not all that great.

    Good luck team india you're going to need it but a great series for sure.

  • Runster1 on December 17, 2010, 2:02 GMT

    cmon india! Show us wat u got and prove to these jealous aussies y we are no.1. India can still win the series. They have to play tough and their bowlers will really have to stand up along with the batsmen. Dhoni has to stop losing the toss and now has to give us a big innings,

  • on December 17, 2010, 1:31 GMT

    The real pity is that Team India has not showed anything called fighting spirit.Nobody expected them to come good against Steyn & Morkel in lively pitches but even proper intent is missing.

  • sbansban on December 17, 2010, 1:25 GMT

    You read it here first: Something tells me that the SAafers' glee will be short-lived.

  • Ian_SA on December 17, 2010, 1:22 GMT

    I agree with Legionnaire. Great to see the batsmen (from any team) hopping around and having to actually show grit and technique for their runs, not another boring succesion of flayed boundaries with too-heavy bats. Tendulkar performed the best because he is in fact a class act with wonderful technique not just a good eye.

    Indian fans, you have to embrace this challenge and accept that your team needs to prove itself in these sorts of situations. Although I suspect you would be perfectly happy to have the "easy road" and claim to be undoubtedly the best team without having to show your real grit. Better do it soon, beacuse time is running out on this magnificent top order of yours and I don't see many replacements waiting in the wings.

    Oh, and get your facts straight. SA did not lose their last 2 home series, and they HAVE beaten India in India (and have drawn series there regularly).

  • Alexk400 on December 17, 2010, 1:09 GMT

    Stop crying people. With 1 billion dollar rich BCCI can't find 100s of TALL fast bowlers. Why i keep seeing fragile veg eating bowlers who brake down every 40 overs?.

    if all bowlers has to be muslims , so be it , pick them. I think BCCI is kinda racist. Not just muslim the whole upper class / lower class stuff.

    What india need is a scouting system in that scout can get 20% if he find a player who can bowl consistently 150kmph.

    All india need is 2 bowlers who can bowl 150kmph. We can rout any side in the world.

    The pity thing is by the time BCCI wake up and find those gem of the bowlers , we will have all great bastman retired.

    I think SA will win all 3 tests and we can shut up on who is number 1 Team. It is definitely not INDIA until india find that bowler. can the new kid do a steyn or even zaheer? or Indian gona let SMITH wall one side?.

  • on December 17, 2010, 1:06 GMT

    So its just a day and 5-6 articles have been written.. many more comments floating around..some are being hopeful while some have written India off already..only time will tell. Most Indian batsmen did not apply themselves to my satisfaction but the fact is, it was not the short deliveries that they succumbed to but it did enough to make them change their approach..most of them were too defensive.. those who took their chances did end up scoring some runs.. while Gambhir showed that he still wasn't in the best of form. Steyn and Morkel did what was expected and with the help from pitch/conditions got the rewards.. but that being said the present scoreline is way too worse than that.. the lack of resistance from the Indians was very disappoiting. I am still hopeful that Indian bowlers will perform but can't see the RSA batters to be as toothless..Indian batsmen should realize that they can and should do better than 130 odd for 9. They are way better than that even under these conditions

  • on December 17, 2010, 1:01 GMT

    Forget no1.This is vintage India of the 90s "Tigers at home, lambs abroad". BCCI is keeping too many Tests at home and too much of IPL too. Next year it is going to get worse with 10 teams in IPL. SA are looking clearly a top side, with awesome bowling by Steyn and Morkel. Morkel bowled like Curtly Ambrose. India now have to defend a paltry total with effectively only 3 bowlers (as Harbhajan is a batsman ! )- one of whom is a rookie.After playing on too many flat pitches, Gambhir and Raina have been brutally exposed. I just don't undrestand why India did not play a single warm-up game.Net sessions and videos of South African players is nothing compared to spending time in the middle.India are about 100 runs short of a decent score.This match is done and dusted IMO. It requires strength of character to make a comeback in the series, that too with the next match being played at Durban, another traditionally weak ground for India.

  • AndrewDass on December 17, 2010, 0:54 GMT

    India were totally unprepared for the fast, bouncy and seaming Centurion pitch. Probably because they arrived only days before the first test and their lack of practice time in South Africa. However, no excuses should be made for a top side like India and that was some excellent bowling from Steyn and Morkel, however India will begin to adapt and will rebound strongly.

  • _NEUTRAL_Fan_ on December 17, 2010, 0:53 GMT

    @yavaid. The pitch was well prepared and Steyn and Morkel have every right to be proud. How often have we seen good bowling conditions go to waste? I've seen it many a time. Its one thing to get good bowling conditions but only good bowlers and good fielding sides take advantage. Besides Ind's line up is experienced and talented, many a batsman of yesteryear like Sobers, Bradman,Greg Chappel,Gavaskar and co had to deal with these types of conditions fairly regularly and they managed to overcome them at times with discipline and technique. It is up to the best batting line up today to convince that they can match up to great batting line ups of the past. This is one inning, they have a possible 5 more to go.

  • Cool_Jeeves on December 17, 2010, 0:52 GMT

    Fifthman, you dont "get it". If green tops are prepared at home, not only can we not invite any team other than Bangaldesh, Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe, but the mighty batting averages will come tumbling down. It will be a disaster if the cricket championship where only the top 4 teams will play each gets going. In that case, imagine our "world class" batting line up facing on a green top in Mohali, to Tremlett, Finn, Broad, Steyn, Morkel, Siddle, Johnson. Better stick to the tried and tested formula - prepare flat tracks at home, boost averages, intelligently skew the schedule to include more home matches, stay close to the top rankings and the media will do the rest, touting our batting averages.

  • JustOUT on December 17, 2010, 0:42 GMT

    Steyn and Morkel, THE BEST OPENING BOWLING PAIR in the world. Anydoubt, just rewind DAY 1 of Centurion tes or ask Gambhir.

  • on December 17, 2010, 0:29 GMT

    Just like SA has not beaten indian in India, it is difficult for india to beat SA in SA. However, we cannot say just after the first day. there is a lot more cricket left in this series, still! Let us wait and see!

  • sankydagr8 on December 17, 2010, 0:15 GMT

    If SA can make fast bowler friendly pitches why not India make spin friendly pitches.Lets make pitches favorable to our bowlers/batsmen let visiting batsmen struggle for runs in India . dont make flat pitches like where bhajji has scored two centuries.Lets hope this match lasts 5 days only then this pitch be said "better pitches"

  • Veera86 on December 17, 2010, 0:05 GMT

    Hey come on... This is just the end of day 1.. There is still lots of cricket left out... We need to wait and see how the indian fast bowlers deliver... So, i think its too early to blame the indians.. Hope u must have seen the cricinfo commentary stating that 250 is a very competetive score... Yes we are below par... But, if the indian quickies can deliver it for their team, then there is no doubt we are gonna have a very interesting match like the Ind - Aus 1st test this year.. And one cant blame indian pitches.. Each and every team has its own weakness.. When SA prefer bouncy pitches while playing against india, there is nothing wrong in India preferring slow tracks when playing with countries outside the sub continent.. Its all a part of the game... Do remember that all the countries have to compete in these slow tracks for the WORLD CUP!!!! :)

  • hunterofdawn on December 16, 2010, 23:48 GMT

    @Fifthman - Remember Jo'burg 2006? Similar conditions, SA All out for 84.

  • NewEnglandPatriots on December 16, 2010, 23:26 GMT

    Wait for the second innings am sure ... Ind will score 300+...

  • NewEnglandPatriots on December 16, 2010, 23:22 GMT

    Federer was a champion even if he did not win the French Open for a long time... So this big debate over no 1 is so irrelevant. Its been achieved by consistent performance over quite a few yrs.. And South Africa have lost their last two home series...

  • wagon_wheel on December 16, 2010, 23:22 GMT

    lots of people from other countries rejoice in the failure of Indian batsmen. Looks like lots of them are jealous of the fact that some of the guys are great batsmen because of their scores all over the world, not indian featherbeds (as some would say). wonder why australian greats, south african greats occasionally and english and SL greats regularly find it difficult to score in India) i guess they dont score in India because they dont find the pitches challenging enough.... applying the same logic the Indians did not find the pitch challenging enough, maybe Bangladeshis and Pakistanis would want to bat here and score hundreds and thousands of runs, i guess they will, because they are confident enough to comment on Indians... i think they will carry the confidence onto the ground and not care less if the pitch is damp, bouncy and overly seaming (as the SA cricketers ordered and which by the way does not appear to be a sin, unless Indians commit the same)

  • Legionnaire on December 16, 2010, 23:08 GMT

    Finally, after dosage of flat tracks dished out at every grounds across the world, we finally have a track that makes cricket so beautiful to watch. Its a joy to watch batsmen who are so used to bully bowlers on flat tracks are being humbled. Great contest at hand! South Africa finally did not succumb to commercial pressure and have prepared a track that may provide a result inside 4 days.

  • on December 16, 2010, 23:07 GMT

    @michael dickson - many said that about india's ability to hold number 1 last year when we gained! now, it has been a whole year and way clear of the second! even if we loose this series, we will still keep the number 1 spot!

  • on December 16, 2010, 23:05 GMT

    remember guys what happend in the first inning of ashes! England looked bad! but look now, they are looking really good! so, watch out in the coming innings!

  • on December 16, 2010, 23:03 GMT

    And it was against the 2nd ranked team with the best opening fast bowling pair and perhaps the best fielding side! conditions just made the life even more difficult! had there been no rain, would not have been so bad! But still, india could have done far better! I hope, they come back strong!

  • on December 16, 2010, 23:01 GMT

    even SA got all out for 87 last time in Johannesberg against India when sreesanth swang it! sure, we played bad today but we must say that was some high quality bowliing in menacing conditions! We will come back for sure! sehwag would learn to see off the new bowl in teh coming innings and matches!

  • Legionnaire on December 16, 2010, 22:50 GMT

    How come Munaf Patel and Ashish Nehra resting their heels and here we have rookies as back up for Zaheer Khan? The quota system in Indian cricket will never go away.

  • on December 16, 2010, 22:40 GMT

    No excuses for India, they just don't cut the mustard when it comes to technique on damp seaming tracks; the # 1 ranking is a statistical anomaly which will soon be righted.

  • on December 16, 2010, 22:34 GMT

    @ razorhedge .... just remind me when did the last time any team got out to a total of 40-50 in centurion??? :P ...i dont even remember zimbabwe doing so...

  • Fifthman on December 16, 2010, 22:28 GMT

    When will India 'get it'. By preparing slow turners in their home land, their batsmen are criminally underprepared for fast, bouncy, seaming tracks. Not only that, but their fast bowlers don't know how to exploit such tracks properly, either.

    India really need to start preparing some more sporting pitches in India. Otherwise this kind of capitulation on foriegn soil will continue. And don't kid yourselves that India would have had SA in the same trouble if they had bowled first. They wouldn't. Even with Zak in the line-up, SA would have been 2 or 3 down for 150.

  • AKR5 on December 16, 2010, 22:17 GMT

    Sure it was a poor performance by India and clearly the SA bowlers were on top. But to immediately say that India is no. 1 because they prepare flat tracks is foolish. Did SA or the other team have to bat on a track that was different? Why did they get bowled out for 250 odd when the Indians scored 650 ? Simply put, at the moment, one teams strength is spin and other's is pace. It's still only one innings old but unless the Indians can pull out something exceptional, this series will be a 2-0 or 3-0 in SA's favor.

  • on December 16, 2010, 21:49 GMT

    Indians have great batting line up...I still believe in them....One day in this series, they surly will turn the table, make SA to run hard for getting match away from them... Right now situation is created by wet damp pitch......If SA won this series, then they have to do same in India for claiming No1 status.....which is very very hard for them too..........

  • on December 16, 2010, 21:49 GMT

    Series is just started. Lot of cricket is still to be played. India will bounce back for sure..

  • on December 16, 2010, 21:44 GMT

    @razorhedge, whatever makes you sleep easy. Considering Chris Martin recently ran through your side on another boring, dull wicket IN INDIA, this is just proof that India cannot hope to hold on to their numero uno spot for too long. England did better than this in South Africa. The fact is India play at home on pitches that are not designed for results. South Africa realise this and have full confidence in the capabilities of Steyn and Morkel. They had absolutely no hesitation in asking for a Russian Roulette pitch, as they have a batting lineup that is equal to the task of India's, but an opening bowling lineup far superior. India have improved on their away tours, but SA is still their bogey country.

  • bigwonder on December 16, 2010, 21:39 GMT

    So every No. 2 team has its day and today was one. Wait for it, cause No.1 team believes revenge is the dish that tastes best when cold.

  • Raj12345 on December 16, 2010, 21:36 GMT

    Don't try too much there. Come back safely. You need to show so many crackers in rubber pitches during coming world Cup. Only Shewag, Sachin, Dravid, Laxman can be best batsmans there.

    Please don't remove Raina in playing XI in any test. That will give good result for Indian test team in future. This is the only way Pujara get a chance. it is not question of winning match, identifying good cricketer matters. We already almost lost Badri because of Yuvraj. No more experiment to loose Pujara.

    Accept you have best fast bowling, if u r good in fast, then we expect SA batsman to play against spin. Anyway, expecting some good contest & quality cricket, so that we can enjoy.

  • Mani_Majra on December 16, 2010, 21:32 GMT

    Whether it is a damp wet pitch ,or some bouncing pitch, or slow low pitch, If Your side is Ranked # 1 ,You have to Play well irrespective of pitch ,weather,condition. Score like 136 /9 does not prove this. RSA Bowler tested the skill set of ind batsmen and more often indians failed to stay there.Remember Ahemdabad 84 all out . nagpur test as well . when the pitch is flat and bowlers like NZ ,indian batsmen make marry.

  • Bianco89 on December 16, 2010, 21:23 GMT

    @yavaid: The indian batsmen were all incapable of handeling the pace and bounce of the pitch. Sure, it was perfect bowling conditions, but if you look at all the dismissals, only Dravid's maybe was because of a misbehaving pitch, the rest were because of bad batting, and being used to flat pitches in the subcontinent

  • Qureshigm on December 16, 2010, 21:17 GMT

    @ Jahanzeb: Yeah dear... They pile up huge scores on their own soil, and they know their strength is batting and they prepare those kind of pitches back home. This is real test for Number One Team. Lets C!!!

  • razorhedge on December 16, 2010, 21:01 GMT

    India is no.1 because they can score 135 on a damp, skidding, seaming wicket against the best fast bowling duo in the world in their backyard, where other countries would have succumbed to 40-50 all out...

  • on December 16, 2010, 20:59 GMT

    proteas wow,brilliant.

  • couchpundit on December 16, 2010, 20:51 GMT

    Dude...This was underprepared Damp Track. Dont beat your chest and then say indians rolled you up in spinning track.

    Lucky S.Africans won the toss...else indians would be boasting Indian seamers tore into s.Africans.

    So please look at thing with proper perspective.

  • on December 16, 2010, 20:35 GMT

    Centurion is a wicket where India don't want to see themselves play. As a matter of fact, they make flat tracks in their backyard, score massive totals and move up in ranking. This is the real test for them and they have failed miserably so far. Looking forward to seeing another interesting Day in this Test.

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • on December 16, 2010, 20:35 GMT

    Centurion is a wicket where India don't want to see themselves play. As a matter of fact, they make flat tracks in their backyard, score massive totals and move up in ranking. This is the real test for them and they have failed miserably so far. Looking forward to seeing another interesting Day in this Test.

  • couchpundit on December 16, 2010, 20:51 GMT

    Dude...This was underprepared Damp Track. Dont beat your chest and then say indians rolled you up in spinning track.

    Lucky S.Africans won the toss...else indians would be boasting Indian seamers tore into s.Africans.

    So please look at thing with proper perspective.

  • on December 16, 2010, 20:59 GMT

    proteas wow,brilliant.

  • razorhedge on December 16, 2010, 21:01 GMT

    India is no.1 because they can score 135 on a damp, skidding, seaming wicket against the best fast bowling duo in the world in their backyard, where other countries would have succumbed to 40-50 all out...

  • Qureshigm on December 16, 2010, 21:17 GMT

    @ Jahanzeb: Yeah dear... They pile up huge scores on their own soil, and they know their strength is batting and they prepare those kind of pitches back home. This is real test for Number One Team. Lets C!!!

  • Bianco89 on December 16, 2010, 21:23 GMT

    @yavaid: The indian batsmen were all incapable of handeling the pace and bounce of the pitch. Sure, it was perfect bowling conditions, but if you look at all the dismissals, only Dravid's maybe was because of a misbehaving pitch, the rest were because of bad batting, and being used to flat pitches in the subcontinent

  • Mani_Majra on December 16, 2010, 21:32 GMT

    Whether it is a damp wet pitch ,or some bouncing pitch, or slow low pitch, If Your side is Ranked # 1 ,You have to Play well irrespective of pitch ,weather,condition. Score like 136 /9 does not prove this. RSA Bowler tested the skill set of ind batsmen and more often indians failed to stay there.Remember Ahemdabad 84 all out . nagpur test as well . when the pitch is flat and bowlers like NZ ,indian batsmen make marry.

  • Raj12345 on December 16, 2010, 21:36 GMT

    Don't try too much there. Come back safely. You need to show so many crackers in rubber pitches during coming world Cup. Only Shewag, Sachin, Dravid, Laxman can be best batsmans there.

    Please don't remove Raina in playing XI in any test. That will give good result for Indian test team in future. This is the only way Pujara get a chance. it is not question of winning match, identifying good cricketer matters. We already almost lost Badri because of Yuvraj. No more experiment to loose Pujara.

    Accept you have best fast bowling, if u r good in fast, then we expect SA batsman to play against spin. Anyway, expecting some good contest & quality cricket, so that we can enjoy.

  • bigwonder on December 16, 2010, 21:39 GMT

    So every No. 2 team has its day and today was one. Wait for it, cause No.1 team believes revenge is the dish that tastes best when cold.

  • on December 16, 2010, 21:44 GMT

    @razorhedge, whatever makes you sleep easy. Considering Chris Martin recently ran through your side on another boring, dull wicket IN INDIA, this is just proof that India cannot hope to hold on to their numero uno spot for too long. England did better than this in South Africa. The fact is India play at home on pitches that are not designed for results. South Africa realise this and have full confidence in the capabilities of Steyn and Morkel. They had absolutely no hesitation in asking for a Russian Roulette pitch, as they have a batting lineup that is equal to the task of India's, but an opening bowling lineup far superior. India have improved on their away tours, but SA is still their bogey country.