South Africa v India, 1st Test, Centurion, 4th day December 19, 2010

South Africa's two moments of brilliance

The way the hosts' bowlers managed to execute their plans on a flat pitch showed the difference in quality between theirs and India's bowling attacks
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Amid all the furore surrounding Sachin Tendulkar's 50th Test century, there were two moments of magic from South Africa's bowlers that meant their team was on the brink of victory at the end of the fourth day in Centurion: the extra bounce and slight away movement from Morne Morkel that got a faint edge off Rahul Dravid's bat and the bullet of a ball that MS Dhoni tried to fend off Dale Steyn. Those were the two defining moments of South Africa's performance in the field on Sunday.

The strategic military-style operation they employed during India's first innings was not going to work in the second. The pitch simply didn't have the same juice in it and could not provide the same assistance. Even though the day's play started in overcast conditions, which helped seam movement, it didn't last longer than 20 minutes. Then, the skies cleared, the heat set in and the pitch baked, presenting the South Africa bowlers with testing conditions on which to knock over the remaining India batsmen.

Paul Harris, South Africa's lone spinner, said they were aware the conditions were not going to be too helpful. "It's got a lot slower. There wasn't much of that tennis ball bounce we saw on the first day," he said at the end-of-day press conference. That meant South Africa had to bowl on a flatter track, similar to the one the India bowlers toiled on during the South Africa innings. "We expected it to be a hard day, and that's what it was. It was proper Test cricket. We had to work for our wickets." It was how the hard work was executed that displayed the difference in class between the two teams' bowling attacks.

Lonwabo Tsotsobe and Morkel started the fourth day by peppering the nightwatchman Ishant Sharma with short balls. When Morkel threw in a full delivery, Sharma got a leading edge back to him and would have been out if Morkel hadn't overstepped. Despite their attacking intent, there was no early reward for the South Africa bowlers and it was up to Dale Steyn and Jacques Kallis to vary the lengths a little more.

Morkel returned for his second spell with his tactical cap more firmly on and it took just ten balls for him to cash in. He gave Dravid two short balls, one on a length, and then a shorter one that kept low. The next one was perfect: on a length, extra bounce; a real effort-ball from Morkel, and the faint edge to wicketkeeper Mark Boucher removed the man that could easily have hung around all day and probably all of the fifth day too.

South Africa continued to attack in the morning session and Tsotsobe was rewarded for his persistence when Laxman chased a full ball. All four of the seamers had nabbed a wicket by lunch, with Kallis claiming the scalp of Suresh Raina who played an unnecessarily awful shot to be caught at slip.

There's a phrase in Afrikaans that says "Maagies vol, oogies toe (bellies full, eyes closed)," and that describes South Africa after lunch. Harris agreed they bowled more conservatively after the break but also said Sachin Tendulkar and Dhoni had switched mindsets by then. "Maybe we didn't bowl as well, but India came out and played with more intensity after lunch."

South Africa might be disappointed with their use of the second new ball. It arrived two overs after lunch and in the first nine overs it was used, Steyn was hit for two fours in an over and Morkel and Kallis, three each. Tendulkar and Dhoni were on the attack and South Africa went back to a familiar, containing plan. Harris was tossed the ball when it was nine overs old, and bowled an economical spell which gave his team time to put things back into perspective.

An unsuccessful second session and first hour of the third session saw Tendulkar and Dhoni threaten to erase the deficit completely and even pull off a great escape, and Harris said Dhoni, in particular, took away some of South Africa's channels of attack with his aggressive play.

Another moment of pure awesomeness was needed. Dale Steyn wrestled the advantage away from India when he returned for a spell that saw him rely on sheer pace. He hit the 145kph mark twice in his first two overs and then again in the third. It was in that over, that he got a short ball to climb on Dhoni and trap him in an awkward position. All Dhoni could do was hang his bat out and Boucher was on hand to take the catch.

Harris is playing a shadow role again, but it's an important one. He removed Harbhajan Singh late in the day and was getting the ball to turn to Sreesanth at the end. He picked up his 100th wicket in the match, that of Virender Sehwag and is "pretty stoked about it." His focus is not on his own game, but on South Africa "cleaning up tomorrow." It will only take two more moments of magic for them to do that.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY Jaggadaaku on | December 24, 2010, 8:44 GMT

    Tendulkar's 50th hundred was stupid and selfish. He could have done like Harbhajan has done twice against NZ few weeks ago, when Harbhajan made 2 centuries in 2 tests. Sachin should have get more strikes in every over by taking single run at 5th or 6th ball. On the other hand, he always took single on first ball and let Sreesanth and Unadkat face the rest of the deliveries of every over. If Harbhajan, the bowler could do it twice and rescued the India, I am sure, Sachin, the best batsman in the world should have done it if he had tried. But like I said, he just stayed not-out at last and increased his average. I am asking all cricket fans, does Sachin really need to improve his average this way? I don't think so. The bottom line is-Sachin is very ordinary batsman. Even Harbhajan is better warrior than the World's best batsman-Sachin. Once I said "If Bradman is father of Cricket than Sachin is not less than Step-father of Cricket." Well, I was wrong. Sachin is not even son of cricket

  • POSTED BY KarachiKid on | December 20, 2010, 11:35 GMT

    Indian fans, I agree with all your comments about good Indian fightback, importance of toss in this wicket, even good attacks looking ordinary on such surfaces etc etc. However, was'nt this supposed to be the "final frontier" for the number one team ? In order to stay number one, Indians will need to show some more resilience. And why are your fans and cricketers so obsessed with personal feats - why could Tendulkar not farm the strike in order to elongate Indian innings and at least tried to give some target to SA batsmen ?

  • POSTED BY on | December 20, 2010, 10:57 GMT

    I agree with shovwar, SA should be more agressive in approach and should select Imran Tahir, a real aggressive leg spinner with accuracy and turn. rather than a Mild Container like Harris who hardly spins the ball and entirely depend on batsmen's mistakes.It will make SA attack complete in every aspect with 4 quickies and a trickester.

  • POSTED BY on | December 20, 2010, 10:19 GMT

    Very well play buy SA.............. Now its clear is the no:1 in test ranking suitable or not? This is not to insult Indians, but its true when they are coming to play out of India..............

  • POSTED BY on | December 20, 2010, 10:07 GMT

    mr.justOUT other than kallis and AMLA nobody can even come closer to the great indian batting ilne up.........SA must not live in fools pardise,their bats are ORDINARY... EXCEPT THIS.

  • POSTED BY SFGoldenGate on | December 20, 2010, 10:07 GMT

    "Cricket is a great game and things can change very quickly" --- very true. The biggest example is India. You stay in No 1 and then the next test, you get bundled out for 136 and loose in innings. I am still impressed that some Indian fans are trying to find excuse in toss, pitch condition etc. Look at Sachin. He proves that it is possible to bat everywhere in the world. Amla, Devliers now have match winning hundreds in India and SA, that means it is possible to do good in both countries. Also, the way SA wins this test should be a very alarming for India. SA was scoring at 4.5 runs per over, lost only 4 wickets and piled up 620 in short time. I will also wait and lets see the whole series.

  • POSTED BY bhaloniaz on | December 20, 2010, 9:52 GMT

    congrats SA. The wicket seemed to be flat except for the rain delayed first day. SA deserved to win because the lost only 4 wickets on their way to 600+ runs. At least one of the claims of the indian supporters have to be wrong 1] Sreesanth/Isanth almost as good as Morkel 2] Indian batting is far superior than SA.

  • POSTED BY shovwar on | December 20, 2010, 9:30 GMT

    I am not getting carried away with this result..I knew it from way ahead that this is going to happen and I am telling u the best India can do is Draw 1 match in the series. Or else it can be a white wash....i m sorry for u guys but it might happen...be strong...SA are a better side than India...And yes i think Pakistan handled SA better than Indians...Thats why Steyn and Morkel failed to do what they did against India....Just admit it...And Steyn and Morkel are developing now..I was talking about the next Decade...I don see any other attack as devastating in the coming years....

  • POSTED BY DownToEarthCricketer on | December 20, 2010, 9:05 GMT

    Guys, Let us accept that SouthAfrica team is better than India in all the Departments and they deserved to win the series and no1 ranking as well. SAF batting is much superior than India (who is good only at home), SAF Bowling is the best like PAK and they are the top class fielding side. As Shovwar mentioned SAF will take over the NO1 ranking soon shich they deserved more than India. If India can draw any one of the matches , it will be a big achivement for them.

  • POSTED BY mesumon on | December 20, 2010, 8:58 GMT

    No.1 Team??? Look brother Tendulkar is a great batsman. but it doesn't mean anything. because every one looking for result. this match makes that Indian bowling is poor only Harbhajan Singh is exceptional. you can't win in SA, this is an unexpected truth. No.1 can beat any team any where in the world. but you can't do it in fastest peach like SA. So i am confused.

  • POSTED BY Jaggadaaku on | December 24, 2010, 8:44 GMT

    Tendulkar's 50th hundred was stupid and selfish. He could have done like Harbhajan has done twice against NZ few weeks ago, when Harbhajan made 2 centuries in 2 tests. Sachin should have get more strikes in every over by taking single run at 5th or 6th ball. On the other hand, he always took single on first ball and let Sreesanth and Unadkat face the rest of the deliveries of every over. If Harbhajan, the bowler could do it twice and rescued the India, I am sure, Sachin, the best batsman in the world should have done it if he had tried. But like I said, he just stayed not-out at last and increased his average. I am asking all cricket fans, does Sachin really need to improve his average this way? I don't think so. The bottom line is-Sachin is very ordinary batsman. Even Harbhajan is better warrior than the World's best batsman-Sachin. Once I said "If Bradman is father of Cricket than Sachin is not less than Step-father of Cricket." Well, I was wrong. Sachin is not even son of cricket

  • POSTED BY KarachiKid on | December 20, 2010, 11:35 GMT

    Indian fans, I agree with all your comments about good Indian fightback, importance of toss in this wicket, even good attacks looking ordinary on such surfaces etc etc. However, was'nt this supposed to be the "final frontier" for the number one team ? In order to stay number one, Indians will need to show some more resilience. And why are your fans and cricketers so obsessed with personal feats - why could Tendulkar not farm the strike in order to elongate Indian innings and at least tried to give some target to SA batsmen ?

  • POSTED BY on | December 20, 2010, 10:57 GMT

    I agree with shovwar, SA should be more agressive in approach and should select Imran Tahir, a real aggressive leg spinner with accuracy and turn. rather than a Mild Container like Harris who hardly spins the ball and entirely depend on batsmen's mistakes.It will make SA attack complete in every aspect with 4 quickies and a trickester.

  • POSTED BY on | December 20, 2010, 10:19 GMT

    Very well play buy SA.............. Now its clear is the no:1 in test ranking suitable or not? This is not to insult Indians, but its true when they are coming to play out of India..............

  • POSTED BY on | December 20, 2010, 10:07 GMT

    mr.justOUT other than kallis and AMLA nobody can even come closer to the great indian batting ilne up.........SA must not live in fools pardise,their bats are ORDINARY... EXCEPT THIS.

  • POSTED BY SFGoldenGate on | December 20, 2010, 10:07 GMT

    "Cricket is a great game and things can change very quickly" --- very true. The biggest example is India. You stay in No 1 and then the next test, you get bundled out for 136 and loose in innings. I am still impressed that some Indian fans are trying to find excuse in toss, pitch condition etc. Look at Sachin. He proves that it is possible to bat everywhere in the world. Amla, Devliers now have match winning hundreds in India and SA, that means it is possible to do good in both countries. Also, the way SA wins this test should be a very alarming for India. SA was scoring at 4.5 runs per over, lost only 4 wickets and piled up 620 in short time. I will also wait and lets see the whole series.

  • POSTED BY bhaloniaz on | December 20, 2010, 9:52 GMT

    congrats SA. The wicket seemed to be flat except for the rain delayed first day. SA deserved to win because the lost only 4 wickets on their way to 600+ runs. At least one of the claims of the indian supporters have to be wrong 1] Sreesanth/Isanth almost as good as Morkel 2] Indian batting is far superior than SA.

  • POSTED BY shovwar on | December 20, 2010, 9:30 GMT

    I am not getting carried away with this result..I knew it from way ahead that this is going to happen and I am telling u the best India can do is Draw 1 match in the series. Or else it can be a white wash....i m sorry for u guys but it might happen...be strong...SA are a better side than India...And yes i think Pakistan handled SA better than Indians...Thats why Steyn and Morkel failed to do what they did against India....Just admit it...And Steyn and Morkel are developing now..I was talking about the next Decade...I don see any other attack as devastating in the coming years....

  • POSTED BY DownToEarthCricketer on | December 20, 2010, 9:05 GMT

    Guys, Let us accept that SouthAfrica team is better than India in all the Departments and they deserved to win the series and no1 ranking as well. SAF batting is much superior than India (who is good only at home), SAF Bowling is the best like PAK and they are the top class fielding side. As Shovwar mentioned SAF will take over the NO1 ranking soon shich they deserved more than India. If India can draw any one of the matches , it will be a big achivement for them.

  • POSTED BY mesumon on | December 20, 2010, 8:58 GMT

    No.1 Team??? Look brother Tendulkar is a great batsman. but it doesn't mean anything. because every one looking for result. this match makes that Indian bowling is poor only Harbhajan Singh is exceptional. you can't win in SA, this is an unexpected truth. No.1 can beat any team any where in the world. but you can't do it in fastest peach like SA. So i am confused.

  • POSTED BY on | December 20, 2010, 8:46 GMT

    Lets be honest folks...Although team India is playing really well, but their weakness against the fast short balls is palpable from the way they were playing in the first innings...Moreover ever since India became no 1 team, they have not played a single test outside India against a quality attack...I wont be surprised if its a complete whitewash by the South Africans who are a far better team under these circumstances !!

  • POSTED BY on | December 20, 2010, 8:39 GMT

    I second shovwar.... becoz in an year or two...there will be tendulkar,laxman,dravid.... n the rest is a bunch of RAINAs.... but if we see the SA side...AMLA,AB have just started......

  • POSTED BY JustOUT on | December 20, 2010, 8:37 GMT

    Well done boys. Dont be complacent. Just wrap the series in Durban. Let the Green Mamba be ready in Durban.

  • POSTED BY mahjut on | December 20, 2010, 8:34 GMT

    @rjay323 I can see your answer is a knee-jerk reaction to shovwar but I watched that series in UAE - and Zim would have held SA to a draw there. The fact is SA got more wickets vs PK on two absolute featherbeds and PK were never in with a sniff of winning. @jimbond. no one is questioning the Indian batsmens' ability on slow surfaces (for that matter I'm not even questioning their ability... period - i know they're good) but struggling to 450 on this same track that SA looked so SO comfortable scoring 600 does show that these guys can bowl - and pretty well at that!! I still think the teams are not that far apart - but the bowling in this test has been SA 20: Ind 4 (and in THIS test that is a fair reflection of the attacks because 10:4 is still a big margin - Zak will help and the next two tracks are unlikely to be this docile so lets look forward to some good competition). In the meantime the last two wickets have fallen

  • POSTED BY Tsotsi on | December 20, 2010, 8:27 GMT

    rjay323 - You forget that SA won a test in India lately, in fact they are regularly winning tests in India these days with turning pitches often being India's saving grace. When SA get a real spinner I bet they will start to win more than they loose. India on the other hand have only won one test in SA, ONE.

    India have an amazingly talented bating line up, but it is not disciplined enough to consistently perform in differing conditions (yes they are better but not there yet). This coupled with the decidedly average bowling attack will make it very difficult for them to convincingly hold onto the top spot. I am still can't believe Indians were claiming that Sharma and Sreesanth were as good as Steyn and Morkel, Khan is good but getting long in the tooth and breaks down too much.

    I will be surprised if India win a test this series but I do expect them to play better than they have. No attack means low chance of success.

  • POSTED BY sunil_just_loves_test_cricket on | December 20, 2010, 7:45 GMT

    Otherwise these 130 runs should come in 1 and half session that means SA would have declared after TEA. Instead of getting 6 sessions to play INDIA did wrong and got 8 sessions to save the match blame should be on Dhoni or bowlers who didn't showed the heart. Comeon you are playing Test cricket things go wrong but keep your head up and try nahh they lost hope and gave bowl to Raina(7/77) great. SA or any other TEAM would not take the chance against INDIA where Sehwag is opening. Once England did they gave INDIA 3 1/2 session to score 300 score what happened after 1/2 session INDIA crossed 100 thanks to viru. So SA will never take chance to decalre on 350 and put INDIA On think if that would have happnd the situtaion would be INDIA leads by 200+ SA have to save the match then. Raina is waste of no.6 position he is so scared of bouncers that he only managed to gave cathing practice even when the bowl is going well outside off any 11 number left hander can leave that bowl Raina plz rest.

  • POSTED BY purush_kamal on | December 20, 2010, 7:38 GMT

    South africa played well and better than india in this test match so they do deserve to win. Unlike the Indian teams of the past, this team has shown character even in this match. Thats the best part of this team. Yes bowling has been their weakness, we dont have some one like steyn or morkel. But the indian team is a better batting unit than most teams in the world. even south africa for instance. Things will change suddenly, one big first innings score from Indians can really put pressure on the proteas.. do u think its not possible? naa mate...There are still a couple of test matches and a few odis to be played..:). I think Southafrican bowlers and their reputation to win at home is at stake more than India losing their test no 1 status. Because if they manage to win or level the series in South africa this time, am sure they will cock a hoop..

  • POSTED BY Morpheus273 on | December 20, 2010, 7:18 GMT

    I agree that the Toss on the first day was the deciding factor. SAffers wont agree to this but this is the fact.

    - SAffers would have been in a similar if not as bad as India, had they batted on the first day. - SAffer's bowling is good, but they need conditions to bowl sides out. Prime examples are the second innings and specially the second new ball. And lets not forget series against Pak in UAE. - India dont have a potent fast bowling attack, worsen by the injury to Zak. Zak on the first day pitch at centurian would have been a force to reackon with for Saffers. Even SAffers are dodgy against good seam bowling. - This test match is gone for India. But they should think about the Perth test on 2008. They had lost the first test and blew away Aussies at perth.

    SAffers...beware.

  • POSTED BY DNAPlay on | December 20, 2010, 7:00 GMT

    Once again this series will prove what a joke the ICC Rankings are. South AFrica go over to India, and they're ALWAYS cometitive, drawing series after series. Yet, when India travel South, they hardly make an impression, barring the odd good century here and there.

    Add to this South Africa's victories in Oz and England, and it's crystal clear which team is the real number one in tests.

  • POSTED BY Sachin7 on | December 20, 2010, 6:30 GMT

    SA were absolutely lucky enough to win the toss and use the conditions which then changed drastically when they came on to bat. Dale Steyn to me is a very good bowler but not at all a match to the hype he is given. The same guy was thrashed when the conditions aren't favourable at all like in chennai 319 of sehwag or in kolkatta last year. To me Zaheer is the best bowler at present in the world, he is able to get wickets even when the conditions are flat

  • POSTED BY Razor88 on | December 20, 2010, 6:21 GMT

    shovwar - yea!! SA always Compete with No.1 ever since They came back to Test cricket and in a way an Equal to any No1.But there is a matter of Choking Only You guys can Do it,no matter how many squads they bring you guys still Choke.Couldn't Finish it of even though you had India on their Neck :) i wonder what is that called.what if the last 2 wickets scratch some runs not much say another 130 Knowing its tail enders it will take over 30 - 40 overs to scratch them :D.Its impossible but i'm sure Sa fans thought India wont even get close to the massive lead.The game is far from over.Drawing a test From Losing point is only a No.1 can do.Indians have Done that Handful of times in the past and when that happens the reminder of the series they jus go Berserk.Damn!! Wish Dhoni played upto stumps :(.No.1 Teams don't lose In their Home Ground,But SA has against the OZ.Defend your turf First then Attack the World No.1!!!

  • POSTED BY vineetkarthi on | December 20, 2010, 5:27 GMT

    It was rain that has brought India to where it is today and it would indeed be poetic justice if the fifth days play is rained off and the match ends in a draw. If one goes by India's second innings score, there is nothing really to separate the two teams. SA got a very helpful pitch on day one and a leaderless attack on day two - but with a normal pitch and Zaheer back in the Indian side, two interesting tests to look forward to between evenly matched sides.

  • POSTED BY vpk23 on | December 20, 2010, 5:19 GMT

    HI SACH DO A WAUGH"...OR CREATE YOUR VERY OWN EPIC..CHEERS!!!

  • POSTED BY Bravowindies on | December 20, 2010, 5:17 GMT

    On flat pitches its all about execution. SA prepared a plan for second innings and then executed it perfectly. Preparation what india might have done when they were bowling but their bowlers were lacking execution. SA knew pitch will turn ugly as soon as the sun comes out and their attacking approach won't do any favors so they went for step by step approach which has worked for them. India batted poorly in their first innings they should've made atleast 250 and putting pressure through their bowling tactics but 620 runs @ 4.76 run rate clearly suggests poor bowling, neither they got wickets nor they were able to slow down the scoring but they have made amends in their batting a bit but still few unnecessary shots have allowed SA to sense win if weather allows them to do so. India can bounce back if they execute their plans perfectly cauz that's what happened against NZ and they know that it's not subcontinent.

  • POSTED BY on | December 20, 2010, 4:42 GMT

    @shovwar....Cricket is a great game and things can change very quickly.......remember ongoing Ashes!!.....Kings in one game and shot dead in the next..... isn't it?

  • POSTED BY Vnott on | December 20, 2010, 4:41 GMT

    Result would have been different if India had won the toss day one. Overall SA is playing better but the difference is marginal and not what the scores suggest. Also Dhoni shd bring in Pujara for Raina at 6 and if Zaheer is back next test, we should see a close 2nd and 3rd test. Can Dhoni improve on his 8% success ratio and win another toss in this series....

  • POSTED BY jimbond on | December 20, 2010, 4:06 GMT

    Very opportunistic article. Its just another pitch (just like several Indian and Sri Lankan pitches) where winning the toss gives a side a huge advantage. Add to it, the money minded and stupid Indian Board which did not plan any warmup matches. If anything else, this test shows that on dead pitces, even better attacks may struggle. The trick is the huge lead that SA got in the first innings which should naturally acted as a pressure on India, but still India scored 400+. SHows that the SA attack is not so great. Two or four good balls in a days play can happen with even an average attack. The SA attack may be better, but this pitck and this performance does not show the difference betweent the two teams. Another blunder of the Indian selectors was playing Raina- naturally suspect against short pitched bowling, when someone as technically correct as Pujara was warming the benches.

  • POSTED BY rjay323 on | December 20, 2010, 3:42 GMT

    To shovwar: Let's not get carried away here. SA have played well in home conditions. And it is only one match yet. Also, before you forget, this team could not even beat Pakistan away from home. Even your "fearsome" duo of Steyn and Morkel were neutralized and could not bowl them out twice.

  • POSTED BY on | December 20, 2010, 3:39 GMT

    I don't know how do people decide that SA deserves to win when there is still one day remaining. If India pulls out a spectacular performance on the fifth day and draws the match, would you guys still say that. If you are saying raingods and luck favoured India, I don't buy that as it is part of the game. It's not hard to know at the start of the match, what the weather is going to be on the 4th day. We are not that technologically backward. SA most probably would win this match, but it is too early to say that they deserve it.

  • POSTED BY sriram2425 on | December 20, 2010, 3:20 GMT

    SA wins because they played better than india .and they truly deserve to win but india has showed some fight,i can only hope that india would play well in the next test .

  • POSTED BY JustOUT on | December 20, 2010, 2:49 GMT

    I have a big doubt, can Indian bowlers can take SA 20 wkts. Its a BIG NO!!. Even if Zaheer returns we cannot expect him to take all 20 wkts. Only way India can do is to draw the remaining 2 matches by batting for 3 days. Anyway their bowlers cannot take 10 SA wkts in one innings.

  • POSTED BY on | December 20, 2010, 2:33 GMT

    @shovwar....Cricket is a great game and things can change very quickly.......remember ongoing Ashes!!.....Kings in one game and shot dead in the next..... isn't it?

  • POSTED BY A.Afker on | December 20, 2010, 2:26 GMT

    @Nadeem1976. Accept the fact that SA is better than IND. Don't give any excuses the way IND captain did.He said IND is concenrating WC 2011 before start 1st Test.1st day pitch or not IND got only 4wkts only. Whereas SA got 18wkts so far.If not rain they will get balance 2wkts as well on final day. IND having a lot of excuses whenever they lost matches either Sachin or Shevag or Harbajab or Zaheer or not played,Loss the toss,Umpire Decision,whether condition etc,etc.If you are real no1 you should not give excuses.You should win under any condition like AUS did in last decade or so.

  • POSTED BY _NEUTRAL_Fan_ on | December 20, 2010, 1:09 GMT

    Most of the focus today would be on Tendulkar but Dale Steyn is the one who impressed me the most. Nothing was going on with the ball for his team and not many other other bowlers would have had an impact but the short and QUICK stuff at the end of the day was mind blowing.

  • POSTED BY mahjut on | December 20, 2010, 0:02 GMT

    A third seamer will always look meek after Morkel and Steyn but I think it still has to be Tsotsobe or Parnell (and there is plenty of time for Parnell to develop). Tsotsobe didn't have a great match but he would have learnt something - i think he should be kept until Parnell shows some signs of his T20WC form and then rethink, hopefully he'll gain some confidence and start taking some wickets. The bad first day gave a good chance at a result (now seemingly inevitable) but on evidence, Ind simply didn't have the fire power to take 10 wickets (let alone 20) and although as the track deadened the Indian batsmen mustered a good total, i still think if a WHOLE 5 days had been possible, even on the placid track - with this Indian line-up in this form, SA were still probably in with a good chance

  • POSTED BY shovwar on | December 19, 2010, 23:03 GMT

    If Imran Tahir does get picked for SA Test XI next year...This SA attack would be complete and hold the no.1 test ranking for the next decade....Because most of the SA players are young.....way younger than Indian...This is the End of OZ era and the beginning of SA era...The India no.1 rank is just a transitional period from Aus to SA.....

  • POSTED BY on | December 19, 2010, 23:03 GMT

    again it is proved Raina is a misfit in the test team.He cannot play short balls particularly when they are bowled two short balls per over in tests. Yuvraj would have been proved better choice in place of Raina.

    Again when S Africa was batting why Dhoni is not using Sewag as bowler to break the subborn innings even when he had proved many a times to be a better off spinner than H Singh. Dhoni has no game plan to out Amla at all

  • POSTED BY on | December 19, 2010, 20:07 GMT

    Article seems to be more eccentric on Harris.. Dale Steyn did all hard work..

  • POSTED BY alune on | December 19, 2010, 19:41 GMT

    Once again S.A missed a quality spinner in their line up otherwise match would have been over by tea break...

  • POSTED BY on | December 19, 2010, 19:11 GMT

    South Africa deserves to win this match.Their bowling attack is much better than ours.Even their batsmen are in much better form than ours.They are a hardworking unit but they do have a problem with their third seamer.

  • POSTED BY Nadeem1976 on | December 19, 2010, 19:08 GMT

    Bad first day gave SA the match. Conditions were tough on first day. Nice to see india resisting but their middle order did not played well again. Very very special laxman did not do any wonders this time around. Lets see what happens in next match. Hope to see some effort and fight from #1 team in the world.

  • POSTED BY shovwar on | December 19, 2010, 18:56 GMT

    SA clearly better than India in all departments n deserve to win this. De villers batting neutralised Sehwag's effort and Kallis double shadowed Sachin's ton and the bowling attack has more venom than India....Zaheer would have made a little difference but not in the outcome of the match. SA has the reply for India.....they r simply better. We r not worried bout the no.1 rankings cos we showed we r better than the no.1 ranked team.

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  • POSTED BY shovwar on | December 19, 2010, 18:56 GMT

    SA clearly better than India in all departments n deserve to win this. De villers batting neutralised Sehwag's effort and Kallis double shadowed Sachin's ton and the bowling attack has more venom than India....Zaheer would have made a little difference but not in the outcome of the match. SA has the reply for India.....they r simply better. We r not worried bout the no.1 rankings cos we showed we r better than the no.1 ranked team.

  • POSTED BY Nadeem1976 on | December 19, 2010, 19:08 GMT

    Bad first day gave SA the match. Conditions were tough on first day. Nice to see india resisting but their middle order did not played well again. Very very special laxman did not do any wonders this time around. Lets see what happens in next match. Hope to see some effort and fight from #1 team in the world.

  • POSTED BY on | December 19, 2010, 19:11 GMT

    South Africa deserves to win this match.Their bowling attack is much better than ours.Even their batsmen are in much better form than ours.They are a hardworking unit but they do have a problem with their third seamer.

  • POSTED BY alune on | December 19, 2010, 19:41 GMT

    Once again S.A missed a quality spinner in their line up otherwise match would have been over by tea break...

  • POSTED BY on | December 19, 2010, 20:07 GMT

    Article seems to be more eccentric on Harris.. Dale Steyn did all hard work..

  • POSTED BY on | December 19, 2010, 23:03 GMT

    again it is proved Raina is a misfit in the test team.He cannot play short balls particularly when they are bowled two short balls per over in tests. Yuvraj would have been proved better choice in place of Raina.

    Again when S Africa was batting why Dhoni is not using Sewag as bowler to break the subborn innings even when he had proved many a times to be a better off spinner than H Singh. Dhoni has no game plan to out Amla at all

  • POSTED BY shovwar on | December 19, 2010, 23:03 GMT

    If Imran Tahir does get picked for SA Test XI next year...This SA attack would be complete and hold the no.1 test ranking for the next decade....Because most of the SA players are young.....way younger than Indian...This is the End of OZ era and the beginning of SA era...The India no.1 rank is just a transitional period from Aus to SA.....

  • POSTED BY mahjut on | December 20, 2010, 0:02 GMT

    A third seamer will always look meek after Morkel and Steyn but I think it still has to be Tsotsobe or Parnell (and there is plenty of time for Parnell to develop). Tsotsobe didn't have a great match but he would have learnt something - i think he should be kept until Parnell shows some signs of his T20WC form and then rethink, hopefully he'll gain some confidence and start taking some wickets. The bad first day gave a good chance at a result (now seemingly inevitable) but on evidence, Ind simply didn't have the fire power to take 10 wickets (let alone 20) and although as the track deadened the Indian batsmen mustered a good total, i still think if a WHOLE 5 days had been possible, even on the placid track - with this Indian line-up in this form, SA were still probably in with a good chance

  • POSTED BY _NEUTRAL_Fan_ on | December 20, 2010, 1:09 GMT

    Most of the focus today would be on Tendulkar but Dale Steyn is the one who impressed me the most. Nothing was going on with the ball for his team and not many other other bowlers would have had an impact but the short and QUICK stuff at the end of the day was mind blowing.

  • POSTED BY A.Afker on | December 20, 2010, 2:26 GMT

    @Nadeem1976. Accept the fact that SA is better than IND. Don't give any excuses the way IND captain did.He said IND is concenrating WC 2011 before start 1st Test.1st day pitch or not IND got only 4wkts only. Whereas SA got 18wkts so far.If not rain they will get balance 2wkts as well on final day. IND having a lot of excuses whenever they lost matches either Sachin or Shevag or Harbajab or Zaheer or not played,Loss the toss,Umpire Decision,whether condition etc,etc.If you are real no1 you should not give excuses.You should win under any condition like AUS did in last decade or so.