South Africa v India, 2nd Test, Durban, 1st day December 26, 2010

'Anything above 250 a good score' - Laxman

119

Just one cursory look at the scorecard is enough to leave India disappointed. And no, it's not the final score of 183 for 6 that they will rue that much. The genesis of their regret lies in individual scores. On a day that perhaps every batsman applied himself better than he did in similar - if not slightly less testing - conditions in Centurion, not one batsman fell for a single-figure score, and yet nobody crossed 38.

It could be a positive sign for them too, in that the conditions seem to be such that nobody can ever feel settled in here, but it will be premature to arrive at that conclusion. Legend has it that when the sun beats down on the Kingsmead pitch, it becomes a flat belter. Going by how South Africa have got every small thing right at the right moments over the six days of this series - the bowling, the batting, the freak catches, the tosses - who will bet against a gloriously sunny day when their turn to bat comes? Which is why, although India are one handy partnership away from what seems a par score in day-one conditions, VVS Laxman, who looked in as much control as was possible with the ball seaming around, was left dissatisfied.

"The bowlers are always going to be in with a chance because this is one of those wickets," Laxman said. "Having said that, it would have been ideal if one of the batsmen had carried on and remained unbeaten on 60 or 70 at the end of the day. All of us got starts but were not able to convert that into a big score. That was a bit disappointing."

Laxman suggested that the pitch, in terms of bounce and pace, was truer, but he didn't expect it to flatten out as the one in Centurion did. "The wicket here is much quicker and the bounce is also more. The Centurion wicket was soft and slow. I think the conditions will remain the same at least for three days here. In Centurion, because of the heat, the wicket really eased out."

The conditions, though, are not in India's hands. Nor is the toss for that matter. India have now won just one out of their last 15, and Laxman admitted it would have been a good toss to win. "When you're playing international cricket you have to take whatever challenge comes your way. It would have been great to have bowled first on this wicket. But the toss is something you cannot control."

Every batsman in the top order showed the restraint and application to face up to the challenge in front of him, but they all found ways to not convert those starts. India could certainly have avoided giving Lonwabo Tsotsobe his two wickets. Sachin Tendulkar and Cheteshwar Pujara made mistakes on the day. Tendulkar pushed away from the body without intent, and Pujara hooked unconvincingly. Laxman, who was out to an incredible catch that Tsotsobe produced at straight midwicket, said the quick wickets of Rahul Dravid and him were a turning point. .

"It would have been ideal [to have lost two wickets fewer], Rahul and I were out in quick succession. It was important that both of us carried on our partnership. That would have put a lot of pressure on the South African bowlers and the team.

"I think how we start tomorrow will be very important. Anything above 250 will be a good score, assuming the conditions remain the same."

Laxman said he had enough confidence in the lower order to take them to a fighting total. "I'm sure they will give their best, because, as I've always mentioned, they take a lot of pride in their batting. Over the years, all of them have delivered for as at the right moment - as recently as the New Zealand series where Bhaji made two brilliant centuries and put us right on top. I'm sure the lower order will contribute, work really hard and not throw away their wickets."

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on December 29, 2010, 15:18 GMT

    all credit goes to Indian bowlers who actually played a major role in this victory...and coming to batting of India (so called best top in the world) played to badly and made team to slip in such situation where they are meant to fight badly at last , in my opinion if laxman was `t there then Indian situation would be something different from what now....any how past is past and am sure for one thing that India is going to face tough situation in front if they dint make come back in there batting standards.

  • LazloWoodbine on December 29, 2010, 10:05 GMT

    @ Anand Varadarajan - No, that's cricket. I'd guess that most "neutral" and "SA" fans (we don't refer to ourselves as SAffers, by the way....) are probably from other countries but happy to put the boot in whenever India does badly. As a SAn I think India have quite simply outplayed us. They're a very good side, and all credit to them. Losing this game doesn't suddenly make SA rubbish - as many folk here will probably happily suggest in the next few days - anymore than losing the First Test made India rubbish. We batted poorly, but India also bowled superbly. In a situation like this I have always thought it better to compliment the opposition than to whine about how unfair it was one lost the toss/ the weather was poor/ our batsmen suck etc. Accepting defeat with grace and good manners is important. Well played India, now on to the Third Test!

  • on December 29, 2010, 3:49 GMT

    Very strange. There no comments from the so called "neutral" & impartial guys after SA folded for 131. there is natural justice in the fact that they were out for less than 136.

  • devasa on December 28, 2010, 6:05 GMT

    "You have to have the basics and good foundation that you know will hold up under pressure and right now I don't think some have done the hard work.

    "They are opening their front leg up and playing a lot of shots front-on to the bowler. I think in a tough situation you have to be side on, leave the ball and play with soft hands and they are not really doing it."

    Former Australia captain Steve Waugh on Australia's batsmen, the Cricket Show.

    Same applies to India

  • on December 27, 2010, 18:14 GMT

    Its unbelievable how India bashers jump at any statement made by a player and try to interpret in their own way. I must say though that I agree with you guys that 250 is not a good score its a gigantic score on this pitch!! The way SA has fared here 150 was a good score LOL.. There is a reason why India is no 1 and not the teams you support, its not home advantage any such thing but its character, hope your teams inculcate that by watching and learning. Cheers, Gopes

  • Raj12345 on December 27, 2010, 14:18 GMT

    Vijay, Puraja should be removed from team, since Sachin, Shewag, Dravid & Laxman scored 100 runs in both innings in bowling friendly pitch in 2nd test. It is time to bring Rahane and ask him to open test and so that we can put him in trouble to permanently secure place for Gambhir.

    Common, Rahane is solid guy, people want to see him in middle order to fill one of the Big 3. Be calm and time comes for him. He will not be same like Badri, here selectors hate Badri not fans.

  • Messyinamess on December 27, 2010, 11:40 GMT

    Seeing India play the way it did the last day was disappointing to say the least. We could have Pujara for Raina, a for b, x for z..etc.. but nothing is going to change without the whole of the team performing and rising to the occasion. I would wish the hype that revolves around the team dies down. The issues over overseas and subcontinent pitches have remained for ages, and they do just as they did eons ago. We have nothing to expect or improve but watch the game as they are being played, for the sake of money and only that.

  • vinodnevgi on December 27, 2010, 10:12 GMT

    Toss is a factor no doubt...but Indian batsmen should showed some patience & application at this level.. as legends say "Give the first hour to the bowler and have the rest 5 hours your way as a batsmen" its good to be positive but these guys are playing with loads of runs behind their back...shot selection (leaving the ball, knowing their off stump is the key) & temperament ..its a series for maost going to be the last one & we should see a lot more character from the seniors

  • JustOUT on December 27, 2010, 9:03 GMT

    Zaheer is staring as if he is Steyn. He looks like brother of Sreesanth. haha.

  • kevinpp24 on December 27, 2010, 8:58 GMT

    Common guys!! Aussies all out for 98 under similar conditions, but they are not blaming the toss or overcast conditions. Go through Micheal Clarke's day1 press conference. Grow up!!!

  • on December 29, 2010, 15:18 GMT

    all credit goes to Indian bowlers who actually played a major role in this victory...and coming to batting of India (so called best top in the world) played to badly and made team to slip in such situation where they are meant to fight badly at last , in my opinion if laxman was `t there then Indian situation would be something different from what now....any how past is past and am sure for one thing that India is going to face tough situation in front if they dint make come back in there batting standards.

  • LazloWoodbine on December 29, 2010, 10:05 GMT

    @ Anand Varadarajan - No, that's cricket. I'd guess that most "neutral" and "SA" fans (we don't refer to ourselves as SAffers, by the way....) are probably from other countries but happy to put the boot in whenever India does badly. As a SAn I think India have quite simply outplayed us. They're a very good side, and all credit to them. Losing this game doesn't suddenly make SA rubbish - as many folk here will probably happily suggest in the next few days - anymore than losing the First Test made India rubbish. We batted poorly, but India also bowled superbly. In a situation like this I have always thought it better to compliment the opposition than to whine about how unfair it was one lost the toss/ the weather was poor/ our batsmen suck etc. Accepting defeat with grace and good manners is important. Well played India, now on to the Third Test!

  • on December 29, 2010, 3:49 GMT

    Very strange. There no comments from the so called "neutral" & impartial guys after SA folded for 131. there is natural justice in the fact that they were out for less than 136.

  • devasa on December 28, 2010, 6:05 GMT

    "You have to have the basics and good foundation that you know will hold up under pressure and right now I don't think some have done the hard work.

    "They are opening their front leg up and playing a lot of shots front-on to the bowler. I think in a tough situation you have to be side on, leave the ball and play with soft hands and they are not really doing it."

    Former Australia captain Steve Waugh on Australia's batsmen, the Cricket Show.

    Same applies to India

  • on December 27, 2010, 18:14 GMT

    Its unbelievable how India bashers jump at any statement made by a player and try to interpret in their own way. I must say though that I agree with you guys that 250 is not a good score its a gigantic score on this pitch!! The way SA has fared here 150 was a good score LOL.. There is a reason why India is no 1 and not the teams you support, its not home advantage any such thing but its character, hope your teams inculcate that by watching and learning. Cheers, Gopes

  • Raj12345 on December 27, 2010, 14:18 GMT

    Vijay, Puraja should be removed from team, since Sachin, Shewag, Dravid & Laxman scored 100 runs in both innings in bowling friendly pitch in 2nd test. It is time to bring Rahane and ask him to open test and so that we can put him in trouble to permanently secure place for Gambhir.

    Common, Rahane is solid guy, people want to see him in middle order to fill one of the Big 3. Be calm and time comes for him. He will not be same like Badri, here selectors hate Badri not fans.

  • Messyinamess on December 27, 2010, 11:40 GMT

    Seeing India play the way it did the last day was disappointing to say the least. We could have Pujara for Raina, a for b, x for z..etc.. but nothing is going to change without the whole of the team performing and rising to the occasion. I would wish the hype that revolves around the team dies down. The issues over overseas and subcontinent pitches have remained for ages, and they do just as they did eons ago. We have nothing to expect or improve but watch the game as they are being played, for the sake of money and only that.

  • vinodnevgi on December 27, 2010, 10:12 GMT

    Toss is a factor no doubt...but Indian batsmen should showed some patience & application at this level.. as legends say "Give the first hour to the bowler and have the rest 5 hours your way as a batsmen" its good to be positive but these guys are playing with loads of runs behind their back...shot selection (leaving the ball, knowing their off stump is the key) & temperament ..its a series for maost going to be the last one & we should see a lot more character from the seniors

  • JustOUT on December 27, 2010, 9:03 GMT

    Zaheer is staring as if he is Steyn. He looks like brother of Sreesanth. haha.

  • kevinpp24 on December 27, 2010, 8:58 GMT

    Common guys!! Aussies all out for 98 under similar conditions, but they are not blaming the toss or overcast conditions. Go through Micheal Clarke's day1 press conference. Grow up!!!

  • on December 27, 2010, 8:57 GMT

    Its frustrating to be an team india fan n lookin at the way our batters recieve n to in reality hw our medium paced juicy bowlers gonna giv them back where's tat one guy who s gonna bowl at 140+ for india where do we find him in dis 130cr population?if we do wen?

  • roomi12344 on December 27, 2010, 8:55 GMT

    I have great respect for ind. players like Tendulkar, Sehwag, Dravid etc. but indian cricket fans should keep in mind these two tests(though indians have to play their 2nd inning) and facts and figures next time when they criticise others unduly(not all those who are suffering from superiority complex)

  • kevinpp24 on December 27, 2010, 8:51 GMT

    Smith is not there to prove some points to these one-eyed Indian fans. How do you expect Smith to waste an opportunity to bowl-out these so called strong batting lineup. I guess he would've thought twice about the toss if it is a Non-Subcontinent team. This goes to all subcontinent teams.

  • on December 27, 2010, 8:50 GMT

    Have you seen the way Shreesanth is bowling, so pathetic. Indian bowling unit needs a lot of thinking to do. Even a school team can thrash this Indian bowling attack.

  • on December 27, 2010, 8:43 GMT

    wat a surprise!! second day, SA come on to bat, and its as sunny as sahara desert! go on, scre 600.well done SA!

  • TheOnlyEmperor on December 27, 2010, 8:34 GMT

    I wonder who was bowling those 3000 odd balls in the nets to each batsmen and at what speed, for preparation for this tour, if the Indian batsmen struggle to face 50 balls out in the middle in a TEST match! It also set me thinking that with the absence of both Gambhir and Raina, this team doesn't have any left handers, who may have possibly done better than the right handers.

  • cricket_for_all on December 27, 2010, 8:33 GMT

    It is ridiculous to watch this match. Even thought SA won the toss still India has no answer to SA attack (Unacceptable approch by number 1 team). I hope all stupid sub-continents pitch makers are watching this match and they also see the quality of the pitches in SA. So all sub-continent teams must have bouncy (lively) pitches in their own backyard and get good practice on it. Any player can play in utter dead pitches and accumulate the average but playing in lively pitch is the real challenge. Look at SAs; They are good at bouncy pitches and they automatically good at flat pitches (It is like If you know how to drive manual car you are automatically will be able to drive automatic car). Does anybody know why our all subcontinent pitches are dead?. What is the motivation of making these dead pitches (Just pile up the runs to get good average)?. Does PAK have bouncy pitches since they have quality fast bowlers OR they are also crap like India and SL?.

  • shovwar on December 27, 2010, 8:26 GMT

    I was right when i predicted India would score less than 210.....now lets wait n c...

  • on December 27, 2010, 8:25 GMT

    'India are Tigers at home and pussycats away'. I think that is a little bit unfair on pussycats, some of whom can be quite spiteful.

  • TheOnlyEmperor on December 27, 2010, 8:22 GMT

    Stein and Morkel have already bowled 5 overs and 4 overs in the spell. All it takes is a few more overs to see them through! But NO! He has to commit HARAKIRI and bring the innings to a close! Maybe he wanted to get on with the task of finishing off the match at the earliest! Somebody, please tell me, why are the Indian bowlers the WEAKEST batting unit in the world? I'm sure even the No 8/9 team's tail would have wagged a lot more out of sheer self respect!

  • JustOUT on December 27, 2010, 8:22 GMT

    You beauty Steyn, another 5 for. Congrats. 20 tests -100 wkts, 40 tests - 200 wkts, 55 tests - 300 wkts. Your unbelievable, the way you trap the batsman is beautiful. Oh, Mr.Laxman you did not reach 250, you wanna play again?? haha

  • TheOnlyEmperor on December 27, 2010, 8:14 GMT

    Every South African commentator right from the first day of the first test match has been advising that India ought to play on the front foot and not from within the crease. Why can't the Indians even listen and learn? If the South Africans are employing bouncers to push the players back, isn't the best ploy to leave them rather than to fend or hook them? Isn't that commensense, especially when the team is in the hole? So, the Indians get pushed back into the crease by the short pitched ones and then get castled or caught in the slips by the good length moving away ones! That seems to be the Indian story in SA so far! The best batting line-up in the world? Bah!

  • TheOnlyEmperor on December 27, 2010, 8:08 GMT

    On second thoughts, to give credit to Laxman, may be he meant to say that INDIA reaching 250 on this pitch would be a good score!

  • TheOnlyEmperor on December 27, 2010, 8:07 GMT

    Laxman's thinking that a 250 odd score is a GOOD score is a clear symptom of how the Indian cricket team is mentally prepared for this contest in SA. Yeah, it's a GOOD score if the match needs to get over in 4 days. The Indian team has shown a distinct inability to face the good length rising ball AND the ball that moves a bit. The Indian BATSMEN have been playing like the tail of an established team and the Indian tail has been playing like "KACHA LIMBU" ( a term in Bombay gully cricket for small boys who can't play yet included in the bigger boys' teams to make up numbers). This is downright embarrassing! The Indian bowlers inability to bowl at over 130kph, at any respectable line or length or even bounce on a bounce friendly pitch is even worse. The misinformed Indian fan and the even more stupid commentators of the game will now proceed to tell the Indians on how the sun, pitch and nip in the air brought about India's down fall this test! Shame!

  • gettussaa on December 27, 2010, 8:04 GMT

    rather than cursing the toss, we (read Indian fans) should think that a draw in a Test match where India get worst of conditions is as good as winning the match. My hopes are for a draw ans so is my bet. Look at what happened in the Ashes test. If Aussies manage to draw the test, whose victory would it be?

  • PierreC on December 27, 2010, 7:44 GMT

    Arvind Pai on (December 27 2010, 06:14 AM GMT) "Yeah right, 250 is a good score. It will take SA a little more than one session to wipe it out. The only thing which makes India's batting look good is India's bowling."

    LOL. More true words have never been spoken!

  • Sarangarajan on December 27, 2010, 7:15 GMT

    The way Sachin played yesterday was not befitting his tag as the 'God of cricket'. A left arme bowler coming over the wicket and angling the ball away from a right arm batsman, Sachin just plays a shot - not wothy of the bats man of 175 tests. May be he had completed his quota of 100 in the last test itself.It is just simple and basic cricket acumen to avod initially those deliveris till you have the measure of the conditions.What is expreienc for if it is not useful in saving your team.

  • on December 27, 2010, 7:08 GMT

    Sorry tale for India continues...... India is not No 1 test side. They don't even look like No1 test side at all. Lack of dominance in the game as well as mental set up for the game to be No1. We always speak about " India will bounce back". This is the Example of bounce back??????? Loosing 6 opening wickets in less than 60 Overs!!!!!!!!

  • Saroj_25 on December 27, 2010, 7:06 GMT

    @RIZVAN, I do agree with u. In spinner friendly conditions like India, RSA always gives enough competition. Even if out of last 4 test series in INDIA (IND vs SA) , RSA had won one, lost one and two are drawn. and in the last 2 series, which are drawn, RSA had the lead in the series (thanks to awesome bowling display of STEYN on flat tracks). But when we visit to SA, the same competition is missing. and Dhoni always made excuses like TOSS, PITCH, Weather bla bla.. Come on you r the number 1 team in Tests and some of the players already played 100+ , 150+ and 80+ tests. So how much experience U need to get adjusted to conditons ??

  • rahulStillHeaded on December 27, 2010, 7:00 GMT

    Folks, it is very easy to say that one should be able to play a seaming and swinging ball but it is very difficult to do. The way Steyn was bowling yesterday even making 100 was a good effort. I think we played really really well and please understand that we hardly play on such pitches. (Plz look at how Australia did)

    We have stopped giving turners to visiting teams, if we start providing them then you can see how teams will be cheaply bowled out in India.

    And also playing fast bowling is as good a art as playing spin. I don't understand why we all start crying foul when we make turners.

  • on December 27, 2010, 6:53 GMT

    Hopefully it will remain cloudy today. Real character of SA batsmen will be tested under those conditions only. If there is sunshine, this test is going the first test way. No chance for India if there is sunshine on day 2 & 3.

  • on December 27, 2010, 6:51 GMT

    It is unfortunate that Dhoni is always losing tosses. SA bowlers got the best of the conditions. But this should not be an excuse for the way Indian batters played. There was no application whatsoever. Dravid is falling to the same tactics again and again. He is pushed back by barrage of short pitched deliveries followed by a fuller ball on the off stump with a hint of outswing. If he had played the ball on front foot, he would have easily handled it. Since he is always pegged on the back foot, he is finding it difficult to handle it. Thing to be noted is only good players nick good balls. Bad ones will miss them easily.

  • Chncricfan_2k0 on December 27, 2010, 6:50 GMT

    Toss is the first round on the boxing day for success providing the overcast condition and gloomy weather the same as in Centurion few days ago, but as usual Dhoni has lost it. This question is for serious SA supporters and there is nothing in the toss argumentative people..Is Smith really ready to put his team after winning the toss on this condition even they used to this condition many times as this is their own backyard?..this is where people need to understand how important the toss is.obviously its a deciding factor..India need real match winners not record holders.like 50 tons or anything more than that.If any player who scores even 30 or 40 for the team to win.it should be appreciated in a great manner.no team would need the player to score centuries and the team would loss..some people would comment on this very seriously and may scold me also, but I wont care about tat.I need India to win as Im a true Indian cricket team fan, but not an individual player fan.chak de India.!

  • on December 27, 2010, 6:44 GMT

    The conditions are not good for batting.....India is unlucky in winning the toss.......So it kept them under dire-strait even India could have picked the same amount of wickets with Zaheer's comeback..Unfortunately India couldn't do it by loosing the toss........

  • Indian_Rules on December 27, 2010, 6:42 GMT

    once again it shows the lack of application on the name of players like vijay. When viru was out he should have given the team a better partnership but these players can only core and boast of runs in flat tracks in a tournament like IPL. when facing quality bowling and quality pitches they falter...

  • on December 27, 2010, 6:31 GMT

    Indians should stop complaining about umpiring, toss, conditions and pitches. If they do not know, they are all part of the game. Indians constant and consistent whimpering alone convinces me that India does not deserve to test #1. I want Indians to act like good sportsman, be happy in victory and gracious in defeat.

  • nnagamahesh on December 27, 2010, 6:23 GMT

    All those people who are against Dravid & Laxman will definetely know their value when they will finally call it a day. Better those people go and watch series against Australia, Srilanka and Newzealand and then spill out words against Laxman. Also, many have seem to forgotten the times when Dravid was the only one who has got runs in toughest conditions. All those who were in favour of youngsters might have already seen enough of Raina, Yuvraj. Position of Indian team in current scenario speaks much of the Fab 4 (Viru, sachin, Dravid, Laxman), with out them it would have not been possible at all.

  • on December 27, 2010, 6:21 GMT

    South Africa v England at Durban, 2nd Test, Dec 26-30, 2009 http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/match/387571.html

    South Africa v Australia at Durban, 2nd Test, Mar 6-10, 2009 http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/match/350473.html

    Look at these stats..The home team SA got bundled out for 133 and 138 against England and Australia at their home...so a team master of bouncy pitches is bundled out cheaply....Australia bundled out for 98 in Melbourne...dont know y people say India are poor on bouncy pitches..c ur record 1st Aussies and socalled chokers...

  • on December 27, 2010, 6:14 GMT

    Yeah right, 250 is a good score. It will take SA a little more than one session to wipe it out. The only thing which makes India's batting look good is India's bowling.

  • on December 27, 2010, 6:12 GMT

    guys just stay calm....304 is the average 1st innings total at Durban and with the conditions India played yesterday if India can get to around 250 it would be more than enough..its not sub-continent pitches where you would see high scores of 500+...have +ve attitude..irrespective of seam conditions none of SA bowlers except Steyn was able to take advantage of conditions..Both Sachin n Pujara fell 2 poor shots..Laxman threw his wicket away...we had gifted them 3 wickets and if I say they have only got 3 wickets due to their bowling n tht too Steyn's...2nd innings is still there...if we make around 250 and make SA to get not more than 350...we still stand a chance...

  • vivvi on December 27, 2010, 6:11 GMT

    trying to play every ball .dravid is much better player when leaving .vvs was unlucky,... south africa is exactly trying to do what they did to gambir and raina to pujara .all three more or less similar players ,with much lower stance closer to the ground, trying to come on the front foot more often,so naturally they will not like going back,if you pressurize them to go back they will resist by doing some thing ,gambir try gliding ,raina try swiling,in pujara's case committing himself to pull unnecessary making him edgy ,when hustled ,no secret that south africans will try to hustle him and do what they did to raina and gambir ,dent the confidence ..but all three if they learn the GOOD LEAVE and stay patient their talent will bail them out .not it is about technique just they are different players ,not the kind of players to ride the bounce like dhoni ,vvs who have much taller upright stance..but that is not an excuse you have to make the adjustments as vvs does for slower tracks

  • the_cricket_fan on December 27, 2010, 6:09 GMT

    250 is not sufficient ,,,i would say even 350 is not sufficient,, indian batsmen cant handle the pace attack of SA probably they have to work very hard for these bouncy pitches. SA batsmen can play very sharply on these type of pitches, as we know indian bowlers dont have a mettle to take 10 wickets,,, it will be very tuff to poise series for them.

  • Catch2020 on December 27, 2010, 6:07 GMT

    Relatively clear skies, sunny day here in Durban -- not good news for India. The ball will probably do a little early on (it's an early start) before the pitch flattens out in the afternoon. A lot depends on Dhoni and Harbhajan playing long innings today. Laxman is wrong about 250 being enough, the par score in Durban is about 320 -- anything lower and this match is going to look very much like Centurion. Blaming the toss is stupid and cowardly. This is a "test" match -- that's what it's supposed to do, test your character and your mettle. I'm afraid, so far, we've been found lacking...

  • on December 27, 2010, 6:06 GMT

    god save this indian team, the team is just for records, so called experienced batting line up, wat it does wen u got fight up, they just throw away the wicket, chase the balls ,definitely india doesnt deserve to be number 1 spot, for me number 1 is england, they have been fighters,dnt get involved in to our cricket .. its of no use, just a waste of time .

  • on December 27, 2010, 6:04 GMT

    everybody is talking abt the indian batting falling and the aw of south african bowlers.not once did we get a chance to bowl on a green wicket with overcast conditions.i can bet anything had india won the toss in either of the matches and put south africa in,they would have bin in the worst condition than the indian team is right now.whatever may come of this test match,hopefully dhoni will win the toss in the third test and then actuly be able to make good of the best of conditons avilable to him.

    and yes i do belive india is the best team in the world right now(look at aus in eng) and better than south africa cause SA are also like SL.tigers at home!.also,even if india loose this test series 3-0 it doesnt mean a thing because a series so heavily depended on the toss dosent prove anything.

  • VASEE86 on December 27, 2010, 5:53 GMT

    I cant believe it, Laxman is expecting lower order batsmen to score runs for them, lots of thins talk about top 6 Indian batsmen, their experience and quality, but he expect lower order batsmen to score runs for them(even thought it is true), so ashamed of team India, they don't deserve to call them selves as NO-1 team, unless they win this series in SA(which is very unlikely to happen) they couldn't even win a series in SL(where the conditions are pretty similar),,,,,,,,,,,,,I don't know how the pointing system works, currently deserving NO-1 team is SA with out any doubt

  • Cherukat on December 27, 2010, 5:48 GMT

    nice to note that my suggestion that Toss should alternate (vide my earlier mail yesterday), has raised some interesting discussions, albeit the fact that some of the responses are way too aggressive.

    i would still believe that Toss should alternate, which would make both Teams more balanced, since from the second Test onwards, both Team Captains can decide for sure what his Team composition ought to be ! we have, on many previous occasions, seen how certain Team combinations have gone horribly wrong for Captains, for the simple reason that he lost the Toss !

    Cricket is a game of glorious uncertainties, like no other Sport is - Luck plays such a crucial factor, because as a batsman, you have one & only one opportunity, which no other Sport simulates. As such, we need to reduce the luck factor involving Toss, by indeed alternating the Toss, so that such extraneous factors do not decide the outcome of the Series

  • KrashNBurn on December 27, 2010, 5:45 GMT

    @adakbapak, Sure Vijay has scored all his runs in the subcontinent. But this stat cuts both ways he also has never played outside asia. Mind you he never has had an extended run, he has only been playing as stopgap. Good for you he failed in the firs outing as did Che, maybe Srikanth had something to do with that too. Maybe Vijay is lucky to have Srikanth as the chairman of selectors, somebody else would have opted for someone from their state. Going by your logic why isnt Badri in the team, he is one of the top rungetters in this year's Ranji eventhough three games were washed out.

  • anver777 on December 27, 2010, 5:43 GMT

    Indian batting is always a plus point for them but not consistent enough & although its test cricket i think Ind should play a bit positively & put the bowler under pressure... In test cricket for any team its always important to get a big 1st inning total which India is lacking in this series !!!!!!!

  • vivvi on December 27, 2010, 5:34 GMT

    in a way 43 ball innings by opener vijay was lesson in itself how to play in sa .1.LEAVE THE BALL ON BOUNCE 2.LEAVE THE BALL ON LENGTH(trust the bounce) 3.LEAVE THE BALL WHEN it is GODDAMN WIDE..the ball will not hit the stumps unless it is genuine full half volley or yorker there is no need to play any other deliver .know where your off stump is ...the problem with indian batsmen is they dont want to leave any deliver ,they want to hit every ball ,if u do that in sa you will be exploited... shewag and vijay atleast gave decent start by blunting the new ball ..middle order failed to capitalise the relatively softer ball .sachin can be excused as he was on attack fine..laxman fine..dravid is making morkel look like curtney walsh..again morkel will not hit the stumps with his steep bounce ,so why are you trying to play a ball which is not going to hit your stumps ,too high for your pads and make yourself look bad .He was leaving well ,,but he keeps himself under pressure by

  • on December 27, 2010, 5:28 GMT

    I wish Zaheer performs along with everyone in bowling but I doubt as he is also one of the hyped players we have. I don't know why media is boasting his record against SA. I checked and found out: 23 wickets in 8 matches @ 38.73. Even in SA, its : 13 wickets in 4 matches @ 38.61... This stat is below avg. He is not a world class bowler but a better fast medium bowler in India as we dont have others. I think collective efforts can bail us out rather than depending on individuals.

  • on December 27, 2010, 5:21 GMT

    @ElPhenomeno: You are right. It's not a matter of ranking, as we play most of the matches in subcontinent as we are good there. BCCI is most powerful board and I am sure after the result of this series, we will play 80% of the matches in India to increase the gap in ranking. But what is the use of such ploy? Just to get the hype from media. We are yet to win a series in Aus, SA and SL(if I am not mistaken). Two imp points if u'll observe in body language of our team. 1. When we went to SA we were looking to draw this series. I was laughing as no.1 team playing with no. 2 and looking for a draw. 2. Last match summed it all. I am huge fan of SRT but I did not like that we forgot that we lost a match by an innings and everywhere it was SRT. We are so obsessed with individuals that we forget why we went to SA. I hope we will fight in this match but after seeing the body lang. I doubt unless miracle happens.

  • KrashNBurn on December 27, 2010, 5:19 GMT

    SA might have batted better than India but not by much. Having said that superlative bowling by Steyn particularly the one that got Dravid. Like Laxman said its the kind of pitch where you are never really in as a batsman and given the quality of SA attack sooner or later you are gonna be out. Makes sense to play a few shots whenever there is a chance. However Tsotsobe had no business taking that catch.

  • sabee66 on December 27, 2010, 5:18 GMT

    India wants to Controll Cliamate and TOss too, like ICC...lol come on, guyes, you know you can't play fast bowling and good tracks thats why you guys dont have any good bowler ever 90+, borrow some bowlers from srilanka or even Zimbabwe to be number one (so called the system suited to ICC/BCCI/Umpires) you need to have a well balanced team e.g. England, SA, just becoz you won two test aginst AUS (umpring first one) doesn't mean you are number 1 accept UDRS system if you are confident but hey they aren't, thats why they blame weather, toss,boucne,Styen etc etc....lol

  • indianzen on December 27, 2010, 5:11 GMT

    I still have a question why Bajji was selected ahead of Ashwin, Ashwin is performing consistently in the ODIs and domestic, why dont you give him a change in a proteas pitches? Bajji's spin is very readable these days...

  • stormy16 on December 27, 2010, 5:07 GMT

    The conditions suited SA as it should in a home series and Steyn used them well. India showed some application but not nearly enough to put up a score to win a test which they still can provided they bowl well aftetr posting say 275+. Sad to see some the fans inabliity to appreciate the full art of test cricket and expecting all tests to be high scoring affairs - how boring would that be. Watching Steyn on that track was a treat no matter who you support and India had no answers to his pace and swing and hey - its ok - not many batsmana would be able to counter that sort of top quality pace bowling. Blaming the toss and pitch and conditions just lacks appreciation for the variety of skills and techneque needed to play test cricket which is of course why its called a 'test'.

  • on December 27, 2010, 5:06 GMT

    Good point by NRI11. Leaving the toss as a random outcome doesn't do good to any country whether home team or visiting team. Both captains and referee shall come to a mutual toss decision!!?!! Specially, visiting teams don't have advantage over toss, so many matches go one way. The first test at Centurion is one of the examples where India got worst damp conditions to bat where SA got sunny flat track. The fourth Ashes test at Melbourne is also a good example but where the visiting team had advantage.

  • JustOUT on December 27, 2010, 4:53 GMT

    i want sachin to score a century, hence India will lose again. I dont want Sehwag or Smith to score Century as they leads to their respective team to win.

  • SFGoldenGate on December 27, 2010, 4:49 GMT

    So far The no 1 team has failed to show anything that justifies their rank. But the Indian fans are showing their true color. Indian current ranking is their hard -earned reward with some home advantage applied. But I have no doubt in one thing and that is Indian fans are no 1 in "Making excuses". LOL. Toss toss and toss, pitch condition etc. You guys have middle of 50 years experience and should have some answer to Dale Steyn the lone destroyer. Champion team should not cry for condition. Next time you loss the toss please do not play. LOL

  • on December 27, 2010, 4:40 GMT

    luck is favouring the SA at this point of time I mean the catch of laxman was something that u can't tell it in words... they r winning the toss as well and I won't be surprised if Sun comes out when SA come out to bat.....

  • sashi94 on December 27, 2010, 4:24 GMT

    One unfortunate thing about test cricket is that there is too much luck involved in helping conditions. Its one of the only sports in the world where the toss plays such a big role in the game. Having said that, Dhoni has lost 9+ tosses in the last year or so and India have come to their #1 ranking in this period. That should say something about them as a team as they most probably batted and bowled in the worst conditions assuming their opponents took advantage of the toss.

    SA have been really gifted with the conditions so far and I think that the only batsmen in their line up that could have tried to deal with these conditions is Hashim Amla due to his patience and discipline. Other than that.. all of the SA batters throw their bats at everything like sehwag.. If India gets another 100 or gets out early enough so that the conditions are the same for SA batsmen, then this game is ON! I am sure Greame is looking forward to gifting Zaheer his wicket for the 10th time.

  • killbillgbu on December 27, 2010, 4:15 GMT

    What I simply do not get is...1) why cant India send their batsmen routinely to practice on green top pitches? 2) Why cant they send their bowlers to do the same? Yes, different pitches are different. Cricket is a team sport. So, get some players to be specialists on some kind of wickets and others to specialize in other types of wickets. With the money that Cricket brings in to India, I would think this would not be a financial problem. What else is the problem? In a team sport you need people of differing skills if that is what world domination requires....

  • JustOUT on December 27, 2010, 4:03 GMT

    Winning the TOSS doesn't mean you won the match. Have to play in the middle. At centurion 3rd & 4th day batting become very easy, but still Indian were not able to draw the match, that's because of the quality Fast bowling of SA even on flatter track.

  • Codenames on December 27, 2010, 4:01 GMT

    hold on! whats this? this was meant to be number 1 against number 2. ICC please send india back and get england here to correct your mistake. whiners should go back to practise looking good for IPL

  • Codenames on December 27, 2010, 4:01 GMT

    hold on! whats this? this was meant to be number 1 against number 2. ICC please send india back and get england here to correct your mistake. whiners should go back to practise looking good for IPL

  • raviscreen on December 27, 2010, 4:01 GMT

    I have written more than once during the review of first test that if someone who should have played in testing conditions in RSA is Virat Kohli. I have read a lot about him to be very competent on swinging and bouncy pitches. Unfortunately, in India, we tend to brand people as ODI specialists and Test specialists and I am sure that it is due to this branding, poor Kohli is not even getting a look in. I saw a comment that Dravid is finished. Let me clarify that the problem with Dravid is that he survives all the challenges and takes all bruises in the toughest conditions wearing down the bowlers, however, forgets to score runs. He does not counter attack and score runs and that nullifies his efforts. On the other hand, Sachin Tendulkar and even the great Gavaskar used to counter attack in order to get out of trouble and the scores reflect that. Having said that, this match is not finished yet and India has equal chance, provided that they bowl well.

  • drake1234 on December 27, 2010, 3:42 GMT

    Another incident of our player putting foot in his mouth .First of all relying on tailenders for collecting 70 odd runs ,then expecting them to rip apart south african batting order .Its like expecting for a christmas gift , steyn and morkel are n't gonna b bowling for india its the very same venomless attack .Below par batting once again and they have again dig the hole for themselve and could Rest in peace again .Even a draw if they could manage somehow would b wonderful for them .The writing is pretty much on the wall ,another drubbing in store .We should stop complaining about the pitch and condition , if our side is no. 1 they should b capable of winning everywhere its as simple as that .Or better they should b white washed so that SA could get no 1 spot .Which ill be justified after such a meek show from our stars

  • East_West on December 27, 2010, 3:38 GMT

    Let us get real! We SUCK in batting....and bowling! Steyn is the best! TO GeorgeKruz: YEah! Yusuf as a replacement for DRAVID! Dream On! Yusuf has been good on FLAT TRACKS!! PERIOD! As for IRFAN, he is in rehabilitation [read INJURED]. Haven't you read the recent note of CRICINFO about him!! Don't blindly support a few! in your view, i am sure you want Wasim Jaffer to open...I know where you are going with this!! Also, our stalwarts are going back to dressing room as if they have something to take care of....Cricket is played on the FIELD but our #1 team is just a joke in batting and bowling!!! When are we going to PLAY LIKE #1???????

  • eomer17 on December 27, 2010, 3:31 GMT

    we have recently seen that in the past year many teams have struggled in bowler friendly conditions.the Ind SA the ashes the pak Eng series have all seen low scores .this definitely tells us that batsmen are getting more and more flat wickets after which adapting to swinging conditions is becoming tough.Ind should've have atleast 1 practice match if not more.also dale steyn is an oustanding fast bowler hard to find these days.

  • on December 27, 2010, 3:13 GMT

    To be no 1 despite losing 14 out of 15 tosses is impressive. Keep in mind that the toss can often negate home court advantage. If you have spin friendly tracks then bowling last is a huge advantage but that is dependent on the toss.

    In SA so far SA have had the rub of the green. India's mettle will be tested. If they can hang in there and fight good things will happen. It is a good challenge.

  • kr_kinshuk on December 27, 2010, 3:07 GMT

    australia yesterday got bowled out cheaply in overcast conditions and then when england came in to bat the conditions improved considerably.....

    commentators noticed this. the change in conditions in centurion was even more remarkable as can b seen in the batting performances by both sides later in the game....

    and those cribbing about indian whining are completely forgetting the south african whining the moment a spinning track was prepared for their games in india....

    btw south africa at least got an even chance in that the first match tracks helped the fast bowlers.... india's spinners on the other hand have been neutralized completely in every single game....

    just hope that the conditions remain like this through out the game...we'll then see how good the south africans are chasing something close to 200 in the last innings.....

  • sankarkrishna on December 27, 2010, 2:33 GMT

    It looks like our batting standards have gone so low that reaching double figures has become a goal. Suprising for a team supposed to be ranked number one with world class batsmen. It looks like what is missing seems to be focus and concentration and the ability to leave balls outside the off stump.

  • Rizvan on December 27, 2010, 2:32 GMT

    I respect both the teams but i would like to say , in south Africa, India has been destroyed for ever, but to be honest, in Indian spinning tracks , south africa may not have convincingly won, but never lost like this, they always had equaled them there. From my experience india may have champion batsman, but they never had champion fast bowlers, they had one good bowler named Irfan Pathan, but in proess of turning him to an all rounder, they have spoiled him. THey are never a balanced team while southafrica are more balanced.

  • BigDataIsAHoax on December 27, 2010, 2:27 GMT

    Australia got toppled over for 98. So dont cry about India being flat track bullies. There are few better players than sachin, dravid, laxman and sehwag. We have been plain unlucky that dhoni lost the toss again and we were asked to bat under conditions which heavily suited their pace bowlers. BCCI should stop sending India on such useless trips and drag teams like australia and SA by the scruff of their necks and make them play test match on dust-bowls in india. A real fast bowler gets tested on flat wickets. Zaheer Khan is the best fast bowler right now.

  • on December 27, 2010, 2:20 GMT

    One of the few postive things for India in the series so far is the emergence of Dhoni as a test batsman. Here's hoping he can carry on the fight.

  • GeorgeKruz on December 27, 2010, 1:56 GMT

    Hello Friends of Cricket. Replace Dravid with Yousuf Pathan. We will have an extra full time batsman & a spinner. Replace Sreesant with Irfan Pathan. We will have an extra full time batsman & a pacer. We cannot give chance to two out dated oldies, Dravid & Laxman. Either get rid of Dravid or Laxman. Cheteshwar Pujara really needs counselling for throwing his wicket with a very poor pull shot in a situation when India needs long inning not runs.

  • soorajiyer on December 27, 2010, 1:36 GMT

    Guys dont blame the pitch or the toss.. Did you see the shots of Pujara and Laxman? Yes a great catch took out Lax - was there a need for the shot? That was a ball to be tickled to fine leg for one and not the one to pull for four - unless your team is 100 for no loss! Blame our batsmen, again not the lack of talent or ability to play short balls - but because of lack of APPLICATION.

    Dravid and Vijay are the only ones who got some good balls, Viru we can excuse as thats the way he plays. Sachin, Lax and Pujara - Horrible to say the least!

  • cricket_for_all on December 27, 2010, 1:36 GMT

    Toss plays a role in cricket but you can't take that as an excuse (SA won't be in this position if they bat first for sure). Getting defeat by an innings can not be explained by this toss no matter what (There is no real fight so far). No.1 team should show some fight. Zim or Bangladesh can take the toss is an excuse not the number 1 team.

  • on December 27, 2010, 1:16 GMT

    Well to support both views of the IND n RSA fans lets state some of the obvious. No denying Dhoni is one of the worst at losing tosses almost everytime. But hey isnt he also the man who has got the team to where it is #1 inspite of losing so many tosses. So his long face at the toss does not augur well for a fan like me. The Indian batsmen applied themselves a lot better yesterday but well yes could not convert those starts. Why ? Because the SA bowlers, its fielders esp the ones inside the ring were the most perseverant bunch I have seen in a long long time. A spectator was livid but mostly disappointed when Amla could not reach a skier which I thought was a valiant effort. That sums up their attitude, which also means India did reasonably well apart from Sachin & Pujara. What we have in our hands is a prospect of super 4 days of test cricket. Sit back and soak in whats on offer. & For all the tall claims of India winning the toss and running all over the RSA batsmen, well we'll see !

  • ElPhenomeno on December 27, 2010, 0:52 GMT

    You can't claim to be #1 side in the world and worry about the flip of the coin. Tosses are just that, tosses. Random. Sometimes they will go in your favour and other times not. You can't control that. You can control how you perform though and so far India have been comprehensively found out. So much for the world class batting line up.

    I think dravid is done. Or should be. Raina never impressed me despite how some indians think. Laxman and Sachin can only do so much. I think it would be interesting when Sachin, Dravid, Laxman are no longer there. India's young crop, as far as I am concerned, is unimpressive. Sourav ganguly even acknowledged so a while ago.

  • AKmAK on December 27, 2010, 0:32 GMT

    I noted many SA supporters said toss wasn't matter. But everybody knows (it's hard to accept the truth for fans) in conditions like SA, toss really matters. We all seen ENG and AUS are toppled cheaply on bowler friendly conditions, that left a prespective both team's batting strength are almost same. Everybody knows IND batted either of their1st innings under terrible conditions and we seen how they batted 2nd innings in first test. So don't be give much proud to SA batters. So don't argue and accept the truth that an average swing bowler can tumble SA lineup (or any Test teams lineup) at bowler friendly conditions, their last test in Centurian was an example. So guys make proud of SA batters until they again tested in bowler friendly conditions.

  • IAS2009 on December 27, 2010, 0:21 GMT

    toss always plays big role in cricket games in every format, the idea of alternating toss is ridiculous this will give the host captain to ask for tailor made condition to suit his team, it is the uncertainty in toss which make the game better, like wise the review system is taking that excitement after the appeal time, best team always find a way to get positive out of every scenario, test is always won by a better team all other factors play their part bu are not the deciding factor. India is a good team right now and could win test match anywhere in the world, an article like this from the journalist is strange in my opinion, number one teams never whine about conditions, they find a way to win.

  • on December 27, 2010, 0:15 GMT

    SA bowlers are fast track bullies,and luck is on their side.India must prpare spin friendly wickets when SA next visits India,and let them face the music.So much for crap damp wickets,which become useless for batting.

  • tomk_1977 on December 27, 2010, 0:09 GMT

    To All SA Supporters....

    If u think ur team is so dominant, why did Smith choose to bowl?? If he thinks his batsmen can cope with any condition why not bat. After last test he said that the toss was not important... LOL

    If the toss is not important why go for toss, just give Dhoni the choice.... And if Smith has such a terrific bowling attack, why does he think he needs the favorable conditions to bowl India out.??

    If he was man enough he should've chosen to bat given that he already had the best of the conditions in the FIRST test!!!!

  • spinkingKK on December 27, 2010, 0:06 GMT

    I think India played alright, given the conditions. So, let's see what happens when SA bats. SA middle order is strong - just like the Indians - on paper. But, when faced with not-so-helpful conditions against good seam bowling, they could fail miserably. Like Laxman said, if India can push the score anywhere close to 250 quickly in the first session, Indian seamers can make some quick inroads into the SA batting line up. It is going to be an interesting test match. Quick runs is the key for the Indians, I beleive. Because, if they waste too much time and score 250 or 270, the batting conditions could improve and make the Indian seamers mediocre. If it is going to be overcast conditions on the second day, India should even declare and have a bowl at the South Africans.

  • indianpunter on December 26, 2010, 23:54 GMT

    Does anyone still think Dravid is going to save India? Get over it, fellow indians. This series is done and dusted. Dravid at number 3 is a disaster and there is no coming back for India.

  • on December 26, 2010, 23:39 GMT

    What I don't understand is how come the same Indian team play well in AUS,ENG and NZ conditions and not so in SA. They all have similar conditions. SO the argument that Indian players struggle against good fast bowling on seaming and bouncing tracks is not true as the recent ongoing ASHES series will prove, where both AUS and ENG batsmen have struggled on bouncy,seaming conditions.Indian team made 400+ in second innings of last test match.Its just the first day conditions that make it so hard. I'm hoping that Zaheer will shut-up the SA supporters by bowling SA out for a low total.

  • sudhindranath on December 26, 2010, 23:21 GMT

    I agree 250 might not be a good enough total but it is unlikely that India will get that far. This is what I think the rest of the batsmen would contribute : Dhoni - 10 more, Singh - 7 more, Sharma - 7, Khan - 6 and Sreesanth - 5, plus 3 extras. That takes the total to 221.

    And we can expect to see SA wipe out that total for the loss of 2 or 3 wickets before the end of day two.

    Let's see how these will turn out. As an Indian team fan, I will be very glad if I am completely wrong!

  • on December 26, 2010, 23:18 GMT

    toss matters a lot. Don't blame batsmen, they all tried their level best. No one got out for single digit score. But pitch,bowler, condition all three were going against them. I guess india might reach around 230 and SA may score around 350-400 in the first innings.

  • SnowSnake on December 26, 2010, 23:04 GMT

    I am enjoying this series. The pitch is really good, I hope it holds up for rest of the four days. Great job SA! It is too early to say anything about this test. A lot would depend on how the second day pans out.

  • on December 26, 2010, 22:59 GMT

    I can't understand why India struggles this much in SA and not in AUS, NZ and ENG conditions. They all have seaming and bouncing tracks.

  • on December 26, 2010, 22:43 GMT

    Last day Tendulkar did not play for himself and for records so India should win this match by big margin. Great Dravid and Great Laxman who play for team and not for themselves are going to win it for us. They have selflessly NOT made centuries in this match so far so a BIG win is certainly on cards. Thanks for all these Tendulkar haters now this all makes sense to me. :-D

  • Abhimanyu on December 26, 2010, 22:26 GMT

    Parveen Kumar would have done the same to South Africa what Steyn did to India on this wicket........

  • Ind_Saffer_1987 on December 26, 2010, 22:23 GMT

    @Hisban Zaidi: That was very well put. Thank you for your objectivity and honesty. Im a SAFFER, i hate that we "choke" at big odi tournaments, but it happens... i accept it, because it happens. The other indian fans need to take a leaf out of your book...

  • Ind_Saffer_1987 on December 26, 2010, 22:09 GMT

    Can the indian fans stop complaining about conditions. if you lose the toss, you lose the toss.. you cant claim that you would have us bowled out for under 200 today WHEN YOU BARELY GOT 4 WICKETS IN THE LAST TEST AND WE CLOUTED YOU AROUND AT 4.75/OVER. Win the toss, bowl us out for 200, and then we have a game on our hands. Stop making excuses and deal with it. When we come to India, we know what we are getting, we know it is your strength, BUT WE DONT WHINE LIKE KIDS. C'mon, support your side, get behind them, there is still a fantastic test that lies ahead, and stop the silly "WHAT IF" scenarios

  • on December 26, 2010, 22:08 GMT

    Its funny how people try to cover up bad technique and poor performance with the losing of toss and having to face worse conditions than the other team. You go read all the articles relating to the Ashes , where the English or the Aussies collapsed in the first morning, you would never come across a single Aussie or English fan who would blame the conditions and the toss, instead they will blame the batting line up and praise the bowling of the opposition. India is number one for now, but they will never remain that until the players and the community alike learn humility and learn to accept that they suck at playing in bouncy conditions against good bowlers. Its just something they have to put their head down and work on really hard, without blaming the toss and having to face the music in the first few hours of the match. GROW UP!

  • OutCast on December 26, 2010, 21:45 GMT

    to be honest with you all, another innings loss will be handed out on DAY 4... India should be #3 behind SA & Eng...

  • Cherukat on December 26, 2010, 21:27 GMT

    It is so very unjustified that Toss could decide the fate of a given match, because of the prevailing conditions at the respective Venues ; India would have definitely drawn the first Test, had they won the Toss (and fielded for obvious reasons, as Smith did).

    here again, Dhoni lost the Toss and was at the mercy of the rival Captain once more ! ICC should indeed look into this, and decide to have just one Toss done at the beginning of the Series, with the option alternating between the two Captains, for every succeeding Test - this way, the stakes would be evenly shared between the two Teams, rather than one Team always having the advantage of deciding what the other Team should do !

    the above Methodology would still leave the advantage with the Captain winning the Toss the first time around, since Test Series are normally odd-numbered, and the Toss-winning Captain would therefore have the advantage of deciding what to do, in either 2 out of 3, or 3 out of 5 Tests.

  • chichawatni on December 26, 2010, 21:25 GMT

    Ponting VS Tendulkar ? Who you want in your team? I will take Ponting because he helped Australia to win 2 world cups and many more games single handedly.He played some great innings. In contrast, tendulkar played many great innings but never helped India to victory. Laxman has played some great innings and that innings will be remembered for ever. even last tour to india Lashman was the one who won the series for india even Tendulkar score many runs. So, i think Ponting is match winner but Tendulkar is being around 23 years but has's won any game for india single handedly, so he is not match winner.

  • on December 26, 2010, 21:25 GMT

    I cant understand why we keep on crying for toss and pitch. True no.1 (West indies & aus) when they dominated never cried like we do. If we are real champs we should beat anyone in any condition. All this is whining by Dhoni and hyped by our pathetic media. If we cry like this then we should only play if we win the toss or else we should pack our bags and come back..

  • nlambda on December 26, 2010, 21:16 GMT

    I cannot believe Dhoni has lost 14 out of 15 tosses! We laugh but this is absolutely a handicap in tight matches. Dhoni should send someone else to toss, or else we should sack him and replace him with someone else who could win 50/50.

  • shovwar on December 26, 2010, 21:04 GMT

    Once again..ODI and Test are not same....In ODI India and SA are even but in Test SA looks far ahead....Sorry guys i go by result.....Mr. Laxman...I hope India makes 350 because it is still nothing for SA batting line up, esp. the middle order: Kallis, AB and Amla...One of those batsman would score 150+ alone. My prediction India would be all out under 225 maybe less and SA would score 400+....I ll say the rest later....till then lets watch cricy...

  • NRI- on December 26, 2010, 20:59 GMT

    I disagree with Nampally. Moglie is right. Conditions matter too much. Centurion was a travesty of justice, SA played in easy conditions whilst India got the worst of them. That said, Sreesanth & Unadkat bowled terrible and instead of Sreesanth, Unadkat and Yadav we should have had Nehra, Mithun and Praveen Kumar. Why, Unadkat & Yadav were even thrashed by Zimbabwe and Bangladesh in bowler friendly conditions where Vijay could not put bat on ball. Time Rahane and Kohli also replaced Vijay & Raina. See also what happened in Melbourne after Australia collapsed for 98 - the sun came out and batting became easy.

    There is ONE solution - stop the coin toss and the visiting team should ALWAYS be deemed to have won the toss. That will even out matters somewhat. Please, let's all write to the ICC - stop the coin toss and the visiting team decides as if they have won the toss. Do we decide lbw or a no ball by a coin toss? No. Why then is the most important matter left to chance?

  • Moglie on December 26, 2010, 20:29 GMT

    when india comes back evryone will say...they can only play in subcontinent,but the fact is the crucial tosses arent going India's way...SA gets to bowl on bowler's paradise and they bat on subcontinent like (even better) conditions cause the ball comes on to the bat nicely in sunny conditions...hard luck India...no doubt sehwag is gonna murder steyn when omes to India for the world cup...

  • MMCric on December 26, 2010, 20:28 GMT

    Guys,Let me tell something...I saw Pujara in his 3 test innings so far...Theres nothing extra ordinary ,infact nothing convincing than raina..not a pure class !!!

  • nishudr on December 26, 2010, 20:00 GMT

    350 is the minimum india needs to feel safe, but is highly unlikely unless a miracle happens. Four brilliant deliveries (by Steyn), two bad shots (Sachin and Pujara) and an unbelievable catch by tsotsobe have hurt India. They now need to bowl and bat (2nd inn) exceptionally well to keep the series alive in Cape Town.

  • altaaf on December 26, 2010, 19:52 GMT

    @_NEUTRAL_Fan_ you are right i think Steyn and James Anderson are the best bowlers at this moment of time.

  • on December 26, 2010, 19:45 GMT

    Laxman has it right. A score of 250 plus will have SA batting exposed. Grit and determination from Dhoni down to Sree can launch India to close to 300 tomorrow. The SA batting will be exposed for what it is; brittle. especially if the batting conditions remain as challenging as today. However, if the pitch and conditions aid Zaheer and company, expect SA to skittle out for 150 or less. Sharma and Sree will be very different bowlers with Zaheer and under favorable conditions.

  • Nampally on December 26, 2010, 19:40 GMT

    Another disappointing battig display by the Indian team. This is arguably the strongest batting line up in the world but they have failed in the first test and in this innings.I do not believe 250 is a good total. In order to put themsives in a strong position India needed not less than 450. The conditions of the pitch do not matter because poor Indian bowling cannot exploit them. High first innings total was the only hope & this team has failed again.It was unfortunate that Gambhir was unfit. Both Vijay & Pujara got close to 20 which is more than Gambhir & Raina did in the first innings of the last test.The only consolation for the team is all bats got into double figures which compares poorly with the SA bats when 3 of them got into triple figures.Is Indian batting so much poorer than SA? Dhoni & Harbhajan should bat at least the first session which would help India close to 300 mark - a chance to make a game of this test in a totally lop sided series for a #1 ranked team.

  • X-Factor on December 26, 2010, 19:37 GMT

    I am a strong contributor to the view that Indian batsmen are weak to genuine pace bowling. Maybe with the exception of Sunil Gavaskar. INDIA will not win a single test once DALE is fit. SORRY!

  • CricketChat on December 26, 2010, 19:34 GMT

    SA prepared wickets that suit them best (bouncy, fast, aiding fast bowlers) and took advantage of India's batting weakness having been brought up on fair weather beds. Now, we all know what so called greatest batting line up in Int cricket today can achieve. Meanwhile, India has been trying to pacify other countries and preparing flat wkts instead of turners making bowlers like Harbhajan totally ineffective losing home advantage. I think Ind should prepare rank turners from now on (like they did in old times) which will start turning from 1st over on and let others face spin challenge. Even ordinary bowlers like, Amit Mishra, Ohja, Chawla, etc.. will become menacing to non sub-continental teams. Time to change tactics.

  • Reezmayan on December 26, 2010, 19:12 GMT

    its good Laxman has lot of confident in lower order but the top order is suppose to bat, not the lower order!!! and ya 250 will be very good score considering Indians situation. I hope Laxman is right and SA not gona pile up runs and another innings defeat to the so called no1 test cricket team

  • cricket_for_all on December 26, 2010, 19:05 GMT

    This is more or less the 1st test and India was not able to answer the SA attack at all. It is joke that some of the fans are just keep faith in tail enders(what happened to all the batsman - you can't keep complaining about the pitch always). I predict that SA will this match very simply. Very boring to watch as a neutral fan.

  • on December 26, 2010, 18:19 GMT

    Ishant will play atleast 50 balls i hope.. and bajji will push the runrate till he gets out. I hope more 100 runs will be added to the score. Zaheer also can bat and sreesanth recently doing good job with bat by staying at crease for long time. Only thing is dhoni should stay there till the last wicket. Remember that, partnerships of tail enders made India win the first test against Australia when everyone lost hopes. Cheers to India on their second day. Better performance from everyone compared to 1st innings of last test.

  • jupiterlaw on December 26, 2010, 18:14 GMT

    Performances such as this on the part of India will render Tendulkar's greatness suspect. Apparently he can't rule outside of India. Here is his side going down in a foreign land and he can't do anything about. In the last test all he did was taken cover, and on this occasion it looks like he ran.

  • adakbapak on December 26, 2010, 18:10 GMT

    This was my comment prior to match started in another article (Gambhir's injury).Now that everyone has seen vijay's technique and score ,I invite comments from his supporters.

    "@Sethil, no body is being RACIAL here.Why is that whenever someone says something against your people they become RACIAL.Here are some facts about wonderful sounding average of Vijay. Played 8 tests .6 in india ,2 in Srilanka. (all in SubContinent) India's 1st innings score in all these matches: 441,726,544,233,643,707,436,495 Average 1st innings score -528, Average per player : 528/11 = 48 So his average is below team's average for the matches he played.I am not supporting Raina who is going through bad form now,but Vijay is there just for Srikant.And guess what he gets to play only in easy games.But I do hope Vijay gets to play this match and then after his innings I want to see all your comments again.BTW he is probably in best form of his life.So we cant have that as an excuse after the match :) "

  • braindead_rocker on December 26, 2010, 18:02 GMT

    Come India, I am sure you will hit 280-300+

  • on December 26, 2010, 17:49 GMT

    This is going to be a one real bad series for a Team India before the World cup, i think the wake up call for them....... Yes the Tosses are not going there way that's not helping the cause either........ Hard Luck Team India!!!

  • _NEUTRAL_Fan_ on December 26, 2010, 17:46 GMT

    250 is not a great score but it is one that would prove that Ind applied themselves better than the 1st test. Steyn was just fantastic, that is all there is to it. He's the best bowler of his generation and he is in good form.

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  • _NEUTRAL_Fan_ on December 26, 2010, 17:46 GMT

    250 is not a great score but it is one that would prove that Ind applied themselves better than the 1st test. Steyn was just fantastic, that is all there is to it. He's the best bowler of his generation and he is in good form.

  • on December 26, 2010, 17:49 GMT

    This is going to be a one real bad series for a Team India before the World cup, i think the wake up call for them....... Yes the Tosses are not going there way that's not helping the cause either........ Hard Luck Team India!!!

  • braindead_rocker on December 26, 2010, 18:02 GMT

    Come India, I am sure you will hit 280-300+

  • adakbapak on December 26, 2010, 18:10 GMT

    This was my comment prior to match started in another article (Gambhir's injury).Now that everyone has seen vijay's technique and score ,I invite comments from his supporters.

    "@Sethil, no body is being RACIAL here.Why is that whenever someone says something against your people they become RACIAL.Here are some facts about wonderful sounding average of Vijay. Played 8 tests .6 in india ,2 in Srilanka. (all in SubContinent) India's 1st innings score in all these matches: 441,726,544,233,643,707,436,495 Average 1st innings score -528, Average per player : 528/11 = 48 So his average is below team's average for the matches he played.I am not supporting Raina who is going through bad form now,but Vijay is there just for Srikant.And guess what he gets to play only in easy games.But I do hope Vijay gets to play this match and then after his innings I want to see all your comments again.BTW he is probably in best form of his life.So we cant have that as an excuse after the match :) "

  • jupiterlaw on December 26, 2010, 18:14 GMT

    Performances such as this on the part of India will render Tendulkar's greatness suspect. Apparently he can't rule outside of India. Here is his side going down in a foreign land and he can't do anything about. In the last test all he did was taken cover, and on this occasion it looks like he ran.

  • on December 26, 2010, 18:19 GMT

    Ishant will play atleast 50 balls i hope.. and bajji will push the runrate till he gets out. I hope more 100 runs will be added to the score. Zaheer also can bat and sreesanth recently doing good job with bat by staying at crease for long time. Only thing is dhoni should stay there till the last wicket. Remember that, partnerships of tail enders made India win the first test against Australia when everyone lost hopes. Cheers to India on their second day. Better performance from everyone compared to 1st innings of last test.

  • cricket_for_all on December 26, 2010, 19:05 GMT

    This is more or less the 1st test and India was not able to answer the SA attack at all. It is joke that some of the fans are just keep faith in tail enders(what happened to all the batsman - you can't keep complaining about the pitch always). I predict that SA will this match very simply. Very boring to watch as a neutral fan.

  • Reezmayan on December 26, 2010, 19:12 GMT

    its good Laxman has lot of confident in lower order but the top order is suppose to bat, not the lower order!!! and ya 250 will be very good score considering Indians situation. I hope Laxman is right and SA not gona pile up runs and another innings defeat to the so called no1 test cricket team

  • CricketChat on December 26, 2010, 19:34 GMT

    SA prepared wickets that suit them best (bouncy, fast, aiding fast bowlers) and took advantage of India's batting weakness having been brought up on fair weather beds. Now, we all know what so called greatest batting line up in Int cricket today can achieve. Meanwhile, India has been trying to pacify other countries and preparing flat wkts instead of turners making bowlers like Harbhajan totally ineffective losing home advantage. I think Ind should prepare rank turners from now on (like they did in old times) which will start turning from 1st over on and let others face spin challenge. Even ordinary bowlers like, Amit Mishra, Ohja, Chawla, etc.. will become menacing to non sub-continental teams. Time to change tactics.

  • X-Factor on December 26, 2010, 19:37 GMT

    I am a strong contributor to the view that Indian batsmen are weak to genuine pace bowling. Maybe with the exception of Sunil Gavaskar. INDIA will not win a single test once DALE is fit. SORRY!