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

Steyn provides bowling master class

The Kingsmead pitch was as green as advertised and Dale Steyn took full advantage with some high-class swing bowling
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When the covers came off the Kingsmead pitch early this morning, bowlers the world over would have felt like many men do on their wedding day: the world's most beautiful bride had been unveiled. It was as green as it was talked up to be, almost living up to that legend about the only difference between the Durban pitch and outfield being the painted lines. With gloomy overhead conditions that appeared to have made themselves comfortable for at least a day, it was a bowler's paradise. We'd seen this movie before. Ten days ago. In Centurion.

The psychological mind- games reached their climax when Allan Donald said the pitch looked "exactly the same" as the one on which India were shot out for 66 and 100 in 1996. "Exactly" is probably an exaggeration, but it was a surface that the South Africa bowlers would have relished bowling on and the India batsmen would have felt jittery batting on, especially with memories of Morne Morkel's SuperSport Park destruction fresh in their minds. It wasn't Morkel who would be a worry this time, though.

Durban is known for swing and Dale Steyn's arrived like the 1960s. He showed his ability to move the ball away from the first over and exploited the conditions to his advantage. "We had big bounce and a little bit of movement off the seam," Steyn said at the end-of-day press conference.

At the other end, Morne Morkel, with height on his side, was trying to produce something similar to what he did in Centurion, but had no success this time around. While the short ball comes quite naturally to him and has earned him much success, he wasted it today. He used it too often and didn't execute his follow-ups with the same strategic smartness as he did in Centurion. When Sehwag hit him for four off a fuller ball, Morkel returned to the short ball in defence. His line was questionable, on off stump, or just outside and his first spell was aborted after three overs. Things didn't improve when he returned, and he bowled an over in which M Vijay did not have to play at a single ball.

The bowling at the Old Fort Road end remained gentle and while Morkel and Lonwabo Tsotsobe were posing little threat, Steyn was following the gospel Graeme Smith had preached earlier in the week. Smith emphasised the importance of bowling well, even if conditions are favourable. He went as far as to say that the pressure is greater on the bowlers to perform well when the pitch offers them something.

"Everybody is expecting wickets and we knew something would happen," Steyn said. He usually bowls an opening spell of five or six overs, but he knew patience would pay off and insisted on bowling an extended spell. "I always knew there was a wicket just around the corner. I kept saying to Graeme saying one more, one more." It was during one of the "one more" overs, that he dismissed Virender Sehwag, with slight away movement. Steyn kept begging. His next over went wicket-less, but then another "one more" and Vijay, who had left so well, poked at one. The wickets came at crucial times, just when South Africa may have started to worry about wasting the new ball.

Tsotsobe got Sachin Tendulkar to poke at a wide one in the first over after lunch, but Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman came together to steady India and it was up to Steyn to intervene again. Dravid received a beautiful ball, bouncing steeply and moving away a touch, although it was the bounce more than the movement that got Dravid out. Steyn's movement was the highlight of his bounce and he admitted that it was the right tool to bring out on this occasion. "I'm very lucky that I can get the ball to do that. I don't try and do it all the time. You have to be able to do it on certain days. If it doesn't work you going to get clipped through midwicket and sent to the leg-side boundary. You don't want to be a hero every ball."

Steyn was certainly was not the hero for his fourth wicket, Tsotsobe was. An outrageous dive to his right at midwicket saw him snatch Laxman's pull out of the air. 'It was unbelievable," Steyn said. "I only got three wickets today and he got a great catch. He can fall asleep sometimes in the field but that was unbelievable. I am actually pretty jealous of that catch."

Tsotsobe came into this match under pressure to keep his place, although with Wayne Parnell having contracted chicken pox, it now seems as though Tsotsobe would have played no matter what. He was fairly mediocre up front, barely hovering around the 130kph mark and showing a desperate need for some more pace. Although he was pinpointed as the weak link, Steyn denied this. "I thought he bowled nicely at SuperSport Park."

Tsotsobe captured the scalp of Tendulkar and also picked up the wicket of Cheteshwar Pujara late in the day, which went a long way towards backing up his selection. "He got another opportunity today and he's proved that he can bowl," Steyn said. "He is definitely somebody who is going to be around this team for a long time."

Steyn said that Tsotsobe should be open to learning from everyone, as he became about 18 months ago. "Before, I thought I could do things on my own and let my own skills take over. But it's a team sport, and if you can take in as much information as you can and listen to the guys around you that have been around for 150 matches, that can make a difference in your career."

India still have four wickets in hand and Steyn has stressed the importance of focusing on knocking them over. "We will treat their bowlers like we treat their top-order batters. We don't want to get ahead of ourselves."

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY JackBastin on | December 27, 2010, 11:55 GMT

    I'm sure now, the SA fans know what happens when both teams have assistance from the pitch and conditions. No one was giving excuses after the first match loss. India lost the toss and that made a big difference. they were unlucky again in the second match. But, boy didn't their bowlers bring them back into the game??? This is test cricket. You'll have one team doing good and one team not doing so good. Look at the Ashes.. The momentum is swinging like a pendulum. The OZ must be way behind. But the match is not over yet.

  • POSTED BY JackBastin on | December 27, 2010, 11:55 GMT

    I'm sure now, the SA fans know what happens when both teams have assistance from the pitch and conditions. No one was giving excuses after the first match loss. India lost the toss and that made a big difference. they were unlucky again in the second match. But, boy didn't their bowlers bring them back into the game??? This is test cricket. You'll have one team doing good and one team not doing so good. Look at the Ashes.. The momentum is swinging like a pendulum. The OZ must be way behind. But the match is not over yet.

  • POSTED BY Gizza on | December 27, 2010, 11:45 GMT

    @anshu.sunny, Srinath was an overrated joke. I remember watching him bowl with my Aussie friends and is was so embarrassing to see him huff and puff at the age of 30. He got a lot of wickets for the same reason why Harbhajan has a lot of wickets - they've played so many matches.

    Meat isn't just needed for strength and whatnot. Just as vegetarian advocates in India and elsewhere use this reason to support their beliefs, eating animals make act like an animal. And though cricket may be a gentleman's game, the greatest fast bowlers in cricket have always been a little bit evil, a little bit violent, wanting to see blood on the batsman. Most other sports also require this hence why the country that gave birth to the Buddha and Gandhi struggles to compete on the world stage in these sports (and specifically in cricket, the pure fast bowling discipline).

  • POSTED BY JackBastin on | December 27, 2010, 11:41 GMT

    ha ha ha... all of you who said SA batting is better. Take a look at the scorecard at the end of Day 2. If India lose from here I will definitely agree that SA is better than India. Well. Keep dreaming....

  • POSTED BY kamiccolo on | December 27, 2010, 11:05 GMT

    74/4 now maybe, however India's nemesis Amla is still there and Prince hasnt really had much to do over the last few months, so it is more than likely that he will perform, by the end of day 3 South Africa will be back in the pound seat

  • POSTED BY anshu.sunny on | December 27, 2010, 10:37 GMT

    lol at the people who talk about meat diet etc..the fastest indian bowler Srinath is a die hard veggie..brahmin too..lol ..at these so called online cricket experts

  • POSTED BY on | December 27, 2010, 10:35 GMT

    Moreover I feel Dhoni should start practicing on how to win toss in nets :), that will help at least India draw the series with South Africa. I dont blame Indian batsmen, the conditions they bat 1st innings in bot test was favoring the bowlers and lets not take the credit from Steyn and Morkel. But Poojara and few other batsmen didnt had the patience. Otherwise we would have crossed the 250+ and that should have been good score to defend.

  • POSTED BY anshu.sunny on | December 27, 2010, 10:34 GMT

    The basic issue..is this..a huge majority of people here posting are blind India haters..why would Pakistanis or Srilankans would come to make fun of Indian team???

    most of these people will either ignore SA being 74/4 now or will call this as one off thing..but they conveniently forgot India had to face a fit SA strike bowling pair in first test as well as here..that to in conditions tailor made fr fast bowlers...n no Zak.

    In good bowling conditions...batting sides have been blown away routinely from the time cricket has been played...a case in point recent series all around the world... With the leader of the pack Back..now SA are the ones with their back against the wall..

  • POSTED BY kamiccolo on | December 27, 2010, 10:33 GMT

    South Africa do not perform as badly in India as India does in South Africa. The last few series India have had to play catchup in their own country

  • POSTED BY anshu.sunny on | December 27, 2010, 10:09 GMT

    now will these India haters go hide behind their nannies..:P

  • POSTED BY JackBastin on | December 27, 2010, 11:55 GMT

    I'm sure now, the SA fans know what happens when both teams have assistance from the pitch and conditions. No one was giving excuses after the first match loss. India lost the toss and that made a big difference. they were unlucky again in the second match. But, boy didn't their bowlers bring them back into the game??? This is test cricket. You'll have one team doing good and one team not doing so good. Look at the Ashes.. The momentum is swinging like a pendulum. The OZ must be way behind. But the match is not over yet.

  • POSTED BY JackBastin on | December 27, 2010, 11:55 GMT

    I'm sure now, the SA fans know what happens when both teams have assistance from the pitch and conditions. No one was giving excuses after the first match loss. India lost the toss and that made a big difference. they were unlucky again in the second match. But, boy didn't their bowlers bring them back into the game??? This is test cricket. You'll have one team doing good and one team not doing so good. Look at the Ashes.. The momentum is swinging like a pendulum. The OZ must be way behind. But the match is not over yet.

  • POSTED BY Gizza on | December 27, 2010, 11:45 GMT

    @anshu.sunny, Srinath was an overrated joke. I remember watching him bowl with my Aussie friends and is was so embarrassing to see him huff and puff at the age of 30. He got a lot of wickets for the same reason why Harbhajan has a lot of wickets - they've played so many matches.

    Meat isn't just needed for strength and whatnot. Just as vegetarian advocates in India and elsewhere use this reason to support their beliefs, eating animals make act like an animal. And though cricket may be a gentleman's game, the greatest fast bowlers in cricket have always been a little bit evil, a little bit violent, wanting to see blood on the batsman. Most other sports also require this hence why the country that gave birth to the Buddha and Gandhi struggles to compete on the world stage in these sports (and specifically in cricket, the pure fast bowling discipline).

  • POSTED BY JackBastin on | December 27, 2010, 11:41 GMT

    ha ha ha... all of you who said SA batting is better. Take a look at the scorecard at the end of Day 2. If India lose from here I will definitely agree that SA is better than India. Well. Keep dreaming....

  • POSTED BY kamiccolo on | December 27, 2010, 11:05 GMT

    74/4 now maybe, however India's nemesis Amla is still there and Prince hasnt really had much to do over the last few months, so it is more than likely that he will perform, by the end of day 3 South Africa will be back in the pound seat

  • POSTED BY anshu.sunny on | December 27, 2010, 10:37 GMT

    lol at the people who talk about meat diet etc..the fastest indian bowler Srinath is a die hard veggie..brahmin too..lol ..at these so called online cricket experts

  • POSTED BY on | December 27, 2010, 10:35 GMT

    Moreover I feel Dhoni should start practicing on how to win toss in nets :), that will help at least India draw the series with South Africa. I dont blame Indian batsmen, the conditions they bat 1st innings in bot test was favoring the bowlers and lets not take the credit from Steyn and Morkel. But Poojara and few other batsmen didnt had the patience. Otherwise we would have crossed the 250+ and that should have been good score to defend.

  • POSTED BY anshu.sunny on | December 27, 2010, 10:34 GMT

    The basic issue..is this..a huge majority of people here posting are blind India haters..why would Pakistanis or Srilankans would come to make fun of Indian team???

    most of these people will either ignore SA being 74/4 now or will call this as one off thing..but they conveniently forgot India had to face a fit SA strike bowling pair in first test as well as here..that to in conditions tailor made fr fast bowlers...n no Zak.

    In good bowling conditions...batting sides have been blown away routinely from the time cricket has been played...a case in point recent series all around the world... With the leader of the pack Back..now SA are the ones with their back against the wall..

  • POSTED BY kamiccolo on | December 27, 2010, 10:33 GMT

    South Africa do not perform as badly in India as India does in South Africa. The last few series India have had to play catchup in their own country

  • POSTED BY anshu.sunny on | December 27, 2010, 10:09 GMT

    now will these India haters go hide behind their nannies..:P

  • POSTED BY KingPunter on | December 27, 2010, 8:53 GMT

    IMO India batted well in this innings. RSA is the only country where it's difficult for them, and this time around everybody is ready to apply themselves. Point to be noted is twice they were at the wrong end of the toss so it would have been nice to see how RSA would have gone with their 1st innings. Still Test match is played between 2 innings so chances will come. I would like to see how Amla does this time around. He's an awesome player and whether Kallis will equal Ricky in no. of centuries.

  • POSTED BY Alexk400 on | December 27, 2010, 8:15 GMT

    Why everone fail to point out the basic issue. Everyone know what would be SA pitch will be. How steyn is the only one taking key wickets. Why not defend against him. Why even try to score?. India lacked opener who can play in swinging conditions. Murali vijay found wanting. Gambhir can't play swing or bounce. Sehwag wil be sehwag , i still think if sehwag played out steyn , we would be talking about INDIA win. The thing is sehwag had to change his style for india win but sachin never want to change for team goals like opening? or just play out steyn? Sachin is only playing to stack up his average. What india need is team players who is ready to fight mano vs mano. Fight from indians found wanting.

  • POSTED BY Alexk400 on | December 27, 2010, 8:08 GMT

    I support india but not sachin. Individual do not matter in team goals. Sachin do not play impact role. He is there reap rewards after sehwag take shine off the ball and if he has new milestone if someone remind him , he play his life depends on it. If if it is india losing , he will try to hang all his team mates so he can have better average in SA with his NOT OUT. He is a worst example of team man. I am indian and i do not like sachin attitude. I would have banned him the way he blatantly took a single so sreesanth and unadkat gets out. ONLY in india people are oblivious to this crime.

  • POSTED BY on | December 27, 2010, 8:04 GMT

    @cricket_critic: because , mate a pitch which has all the excess grass cut off it becomes as flat as the ones in the subcontinent or the Gabba pitch this year in the ashes, i.e. way too batsman friendly. The only true way in which you provide a real contest between bat and ball is greentops which require a true test of the batsman's skills as there are plenty of runs on offer if the batsmen are willing to apply themselves, ala Hussey in perth. On the other hand, a spinner friendly pitch is good for cricket too but it does not give the batsman a fair chance to score as you can set certain fields which will force the players to rely on power rather than timing. This is why greentops provide a true test of batsman's grit and determination and I believe the pitches SA, Eng , NZ produce are the best for test cricket...scores of 250-300 will be good enough followed by plentyof wickets...not like the pitches in the subcontinent or Adelaide where a team batting scores 450-500+ 90% of the tim

  • POSTED BY on | December 27, 2010, 6:53 GMT

    Indian Cricket fans are surely the most bias, one eyed group of individuals in the world. Steyn has easily been the best bowler in Cricket for the past 4-5 years, and the SA team of recent times show again and again why they are the real number one side.

    Tendulkar aside, the much vaunted Indian batting lineup continue to fail outright whenever they are not playing on a paved road, and how a side can be number one without a single matchwinning bowler is beyond me.

    Before the inevitable backlash, I'm not even South African, I'm a kiwi with a completely neutral outlook.

  • POSTED BY Joji_ on | December 27, 2010, 6:40 GMT

    What ever the wicket might have been, bowler friendly or not. The indian fans must suck it up that their bowling attack is the second best in this encounter. It doesn't match up to so called lower ranking teams like England or Pakistan. Most probably the aussie hopeless attack just might be better. They only have Zaheer which is an average test bowler and not someone that a team would really have to plan against. Same goes for bhajji as well, he has below par avg and sr rate amongs fellow spinners. They only reason they have been able to Draw matches and sometimes win it because of the majestic trio of Sachin/Dravid/Laxman with Sehwag at the top. They have time and again veiled the hapless indian attack.

  • POSTED BY cricket_critic on | December 27, 2010, 6:25 GMT

    Well This is same as what happens to SA or other teams when they play in Mumbai / Calcutta / Chennai ........they all cry for spin friendly pitches then everyone curses the mindset of indian board and pitch commitee but when it happens in SA ....they say Sporting pitches ........Take a break guys ....

    And those who say indian batsmen can't bat ........compare it to Aussies ( in Melbourne) and English (Perth) ......If SA is such a great side then why don't they prepare real sporting pitches and cut the excess grass off it.

  • POSTED BY on | December 27, 2010, 6:04 GMT

    Mates first we have to understand that every bowler take advantage of pitch. In 2008, India tour. In one inning steyn was able to bundle out india for 76 runs but in some other inning he was not able to stop sehwag (as he was able to score 319 runs). and this happened in consecutive innings in India on different pitches. He was the same bowler bowling on both the pitches and in favorable condition he was able to make most of it.

  • POSTED BY on | December 27, 2010, 5:58 GMT

    Its not a master class bowling from Steyn... Of course its a great bowling by Steyn... Had its been his master class, he would have bowled out India in this green top... Except Dravid's wicket, nothing was a great delivery.. His spell in Nagpur is the best... Worst shot selections by Indians and incredible fielding... But India did play lot better than previous... All set to make huge score but could not believe that they just threw it away... Dravid's was unplayable.. But the rest... Dunno what to say...

  • POSTED BY jack_maxwell on | December 27, 2010, 5:55 GMT

    overcast conditions, rubbish pitch, over-rated bowling attack, unlucky indian batsmen - do these indian fans realise how ridiculous they sound? it's always the same. the opposition couldn't possibly be any good against the almighty indian batting line up. impossible. there must be other explanations. it's so unfair. the results mean nothing. it's all about about luck and conditions. if we bowled first, then... even sreesanth on that wicket could... steyn is over-rated... god - it so very tiresome. sometimes india are not good. sometimes other teams are. deal with it and get over yourselves.

  • POSTED BY kasyapm on | December 27, 2010, 5:40 GMT

    An amazing piece of bowling display...I have become a big fan of Dale after this spell (not that I wasn't one earlier, but this one seems very special)...The Indian batsmen didn't give it away easily this time, but Steyn kept his rhythm going and was producing something magical every now and then (take the ball bowled to Dravid, for instance)....However, I dont agree with the argument that Indian batsmen fare poorly in such conditions. The likes of Sachin, Dravid and Laxman have done well in these conditions many times in their careers. So, lets stop these discussion and watch a master in action against the strong Indian line-up.

  • POSTED BY on | December 27, 2010, 5:34 GMT

    REply to NRI 111: as you said that nagpur pitch was greentop then why Indian pacemen zaheer n ishant failed to get out south africans, hashim amla scored 253 not out, kallis scored 173. indian bowled first on green top, fresh wicket, but suddenly on day three pitch became seamer friendly when dale styen bowled.

  • POSTED BY stormy16 on | December 27, 2010, 5:33 GMT

    I am afraid the freedom to make comments has seen a fair few of us show our fanatical side than objective commenting. How on earth can India be expected to make wickets with pace and bounce and how can you expect Steyn or any fast bowler to take a heap of wickets on a spinners track? Steyn was awesome on conditions that suited him and the Indian batsman were found wanting on conditions they are not used to. I thought the Indian batsman did reasonaly well but gifted wickets rather than get out to good balls. Sewag, Sachin & Pujara played bad shots while Dravid after leaving so many outside the off nibbled at one he shouldnt have. In between Steyn bowled beauties that didint get him wickets. Morkel was dissappointing and Tsotsobe was lukcy to get two wickets as he didnt do anything with the conditions - Hardly any movement and no pace or bouce.

  • POSTED BY on | December 27, 2010, 5:24 GMT

    REply to NRI 111: as you said that nagpur pitch was greentop then why Indian pacemen zaheer n ishant failed to get out south africans, hashim amla scored 253 not out, kallis scored 173. indian bowled first on green top, fresh wicket, but suddenly on day three pitch became seamer friendly when dale styen bowled.

  • POSTED BY sabee66 on | December 27, 2010, 5:21 GMT

    Parveen Kumar is not able to qualify for Club Cricket here in AUS, SA, or ENG, Sresanth,Ishant, are the bowlers of first class cricket or they shouls start eating meat to make some muscles....lol to become quick

    I wish to see AMIR bowling from the other end with Steyn.....My God he stuffed up his carrer but just imagine if he is then GOD only Save INdian batting....lol

  • POSTED BY anver777 on | December 27, 2010, 5:21 GMT

    I agree Steyn bowled on a helpful pitch but he's always consistent & gives his 100% whether in SA or other countries, so we all cricket lovers should appreciate his bowling performances..........GREAT BOWLING & KEEP GOING !!!!!!!!!

  • POSTED BY shovwar on | December 27, 2010, 5:14 GMT

    No Excuses...show the result

  • POSTED BY chin-music on | December 27, 2010, 4:54 GMT

    @Alexk400 - you have a point , though not one that the typical bigoted, one-eyed "India fan" on internet forums is ever going to concede. But any fair analysis of Sachin's record shows a gifted batsman , who has run up amazing statistics over a long period - but also a clear pattern of very rarely being able to play the meaningful knocks when the pressure is really on. That's no crime - but that's why all this talk of greatest ever etc is such overstatement.

  • POSTED BY Morpheus273 on | December 27, 2010, 4:48 GMT

    First Day at Durban was again not good for the Indians. The whole day was full of bad luck for Indians-->1. Dhoni again lost the toss and Mr Smith had the easy way out of pushing Indians for a bat.-->2. The wicket had lot of juice and bounce which again was the reason for India's downfall. --> 3. Sehwag and Vijay, again playing to their own tunes, lost their concentration went back.--> 4. Dravid got a peach and Laxman was caught by a bloke who has 2 left hands.--> 5. Tendulkar still in the wonderland, wanting to blast off another ton, edged a wide delivery to Boucher. They all got starts but no one showed the courage and the will to wheather the storm. Dravid was the one sole warrior who walled the Dale storm to an extent. Smith should not forget that it's Dhoni's lack of luck that Dhoni and Team India have been on the receving end. You think you guys deserve to be # 1, then prove urself by batting first in such conditions. I bet my bottom $, SAffer would be in even worse condition.

  • POSTED BY gujer on | December 27, 2010, 4:33 GMT

    dale styn is a genuine quicky.... indian has never produced such a quicky which can turn around the test match in one over like dale styne,, wasim, waqar, akhter,mcgrath , ambrose, walsh lee, ntini, donlad, pollock nd many others... thats why indian never appriciate genuine quicky though they have some medium pacers dev, srinath, dale is just brushing the so called stongest batting team , they have stronges individual but not unit...

  • POSTED BY Lion_of_Lanka on | December 27, 2010, 4:07 GMT

    @MaruthuDelft: I disagree with your statement saying that cricket (all forms) is exciting to watch only in AUS, SA & ENG. Maybe it is for you but not for us. Did you watch the match between SL vs IND in IND where chasing a target of 400+ SL fell agonizingly short? Or PAK vs SL in the Asia cup? IND vs PAK in Asia cup? Or the BAN vs NZ matches that went down the wire? Those are just recent results, but think how many memories had being created in SL, IND, PAK, WI, NZ & BAN. As for spinner vs batsman battle not being interesting... well where have you being in the past 2 decades when Murali, Warne & AK created the golden era of spinners? It is not only Warne that made it look good. Yes, he was interesting to watch and had on field psychology like no other but Batsmen found it difficult to face Murali than Warne. Did you watch the asia cup where Mendis bamboozled the Indians? No? Who wouldn't want to watch Murali vs SRT? or Mendis vs Sehwag? What about NZ's Dan the Man? BAN Sakib Al Hasan?

  • POSTED BY East_West on | December 27, 2010, 3:43 GMT

    Steyn is the BEST!! period! the way he bowls -intensity, drive and discipline; these qualities INDIANS WILL NEVER EVER HAVE IT!! Period! Yes, I am INDIAN but Indian team has ZERO CLUE and are playing like LOOSERS!! so let us NOT give an excuse of "pitch"..if you are #1, then you should or you can play even on ICE!!! BADRINATH is really missed and RP as well!!

  • POSTED BY nuzly on | December 27, 2010, 3:36 GMT

    Please do not compare zaheer or the useless srishanth with Steyn! please dont!

  • POSTED BY on | December 27, 2010, 3:19 GMT

    @abhimanyu: you kidding mate, arent you? praveen kumar barely manages to get it upto 129kmph let alone 145-150...plus he has not shown any temperament whatsoever for test match cricket...i believe steyn bowled superbly on a pitch tailor made for test matches...this is how test match pitches should be made

  • POSTED BY JustOUT on | December 27, 2010, 3:12 GMT

    Your useless captain cannot win a Toss, how can he win a match in SA. Even if we provide more better conditions than today to Indian bowlers, Sreesanth would have bowled to Dravid at first slip, Ishant would have bowled to leg slip. Hopeless bowlers. Dont blabber unncessarily.

  • POSTED BY Kashi0127 on | December 27, 2010, 2:50 GMT

    People talking about State of pitches!

    Did you see how Sachin got out? A school boy is taught not to do such mistake. Did you see Pujara getting out - trying to hook / pull and top edging; what does pitch have to do there? Did you see Lakshman getting out? It was a powerful and great shot; Wonderful fielding and great athletisism by Tsetsobe did the trick. Sehwag always plays some treckless shot. Only Dravid got a beauty partly due to the pitch.

    People who know nothing about cricket make these pitch comments - it was great bowlinga nd extremely poor batting!

  • POSTED BY Kashi0127 on | December 27, 2010, 2:40 GMT

    I am an India but a realist.

    India team is all for personal records and self glorification. And most have no interest when there is nothing (like personal record ) at stake. Time to drop Sachin - because there is nothing else for him, he never plays for team anyway and bring in folks like Manish Pandey, Robin Uthappa.

  • POSTED BY on | December 27, 2010, 2:24 GMT

    I would say that it was a decent performance by Indian batsmen as they were facing the best bowling attack in the world in the worst conditions. It had rained a little before the start, due to which there was extra moisture (just like the previous match). Additionally, it was one of the greenest wickets I have seen. The continuous cloud cover didn't help as the ball kept swinging throughout the innings of 59 overs. On top of everything, India's standard opener Gambhir was injured and Dhoni lost the toss again. But credit must be given to Steyn. He was swinging the ball viciously even in the 39th over and bowled above 135 kmph at all times. Still he couldn't have hoped for better conditions to bowl in.

  • POSTED BY on | December 27, 2010, 2:22 GMT

    3-0 WHITEWASH :) better play at home boys with "world-class" bowlers Ishanth, Zaheer and Harbhajan who are better that McGrath, Akram and Warne, in your "world-class" pitches to score 700+ by your "world-class" batsmen who are now struggling to put bat on ball in bouncy wickets.

  • POSTED BY AndyZaltzmannsHair on | December 27, 2010, 2:09 GMT

    @Abhimanyu, "Parveen Kumar would have done the same to South Africa what Steyn did to India": HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA that's a massive joke.... Also PARVEEN Kumar may have done, since no one knows of this PARVEEN Kumar, he may well the greatest unknown quantity in India. PRAVEEN Kumar, the bog-standard Indian MEDIUM pace bowler would NOT have done. Living in lala land as usual Indian supporters.

  • POSTED BY South_Indian on | December 27, 2010, 2:09 GMT

    By the way this is the start of decline of Indian cricket, Indian fans will come up with their EXCUSES here in these columns defending their team (because they ranked # 1 currently), this will go on for two more years after which their team gets # 6 rank in tests and fans will get used to such "humiliating defeats" day after day.

  • POSTED BY on | December 27, 2010, 1:59 GMT

    Indians come up with your usual excuses one after the other, it will make funny reading for the rest of us :) India is struggling against quality pace in good pitches, better ICC change the rules such that matches at home alone counts so that India can play more matches at Ahmedabad and maintain their # 1 :P

  • POSTED BY MasterClass on | December 27, 2010, 1:23 GMT

    @crictonite - With all due respect calling Steyn a beast in an insult. There's nothing beastly about him. Rather he's a live wire, full of bristling energy and fierce will. Even though I'm a Ind supporter it's captivating to watch him bowl like he did yesterday or on day 3 of the last match.

  • POSTED BY eyaniv on | December 27, 2010, 1:23 GMT

    It's good to have several different kinds of pitches in different countries. If every country had the same kind of pitches (e.g. Australia, England, SA), then it wouldn't be a true test of cricketing skills. It's good to have the pitches we have in India as well. The only thing that surprises me is that Indians feel apologetic for the tailor made spin pitches that there are in India. I think its great that we have such pitches.... not all made from the same cookie cutter. I agree that it would be useful to have a variety of different pitches in India so that the Indian batsmen get used to different climates as part of their development. You can't always produce a Rahul Dravid. He's the exception to the rule and yes Steyn will go down as one of the greats in cricketing history. He has the chutzpah and the skill to perform in different conditions. The WC will be a different story though..... I wouldn't get too excited by the results the SAFs see from these matches or even from the ODIs.

  • POSTED BY SunilPotnis on | December 27, 2010, 1:14 GMT

    Flat pitches in INdia and fast pitches in SA. Every country makes pitches suitable to their bowling squad. Now on fast pitches like PERTH and those in SA only real cricketers with solid technique can bat and this is the difference. Dont blame Styen he did what he is supposed to do. All the good and great fast bowlers have not done well on subcontinent pitches with exception of Marshall, Holding and couple others. To me playing outside of India on fast and bouncy pitches is real test and thats where most Indians fail

  • POSTED BY thecheechman on | December 26, 2010, 22:32 GMT

    in India 2008-2010 5 8 149.5 19 526 26 7/51 10/108 20.23 3.51 34.5 2 1

    These are Steyn's figures for bowling in India. I really find it amazing how many excuses the Indian fans make because their team in SA are performing like every other team from India has performed. I find it hard to believe that there are people that actually understand TEST cricket that make comments. This is what test cricket is about, a little bit of something for everyone. Laxman proved that the pitch had no demons, it was just bad CHOICES by the Indian batsmen. Indian batsmen have only evermade 1 ton in Durban, and this is almost like a home match for them with all the Indian support. Look at the highlights again and tell me where the pitch was responsible for the wicket? No it was good bowling, especially the wicket of Dravid, Steyn set him up with good balls and then got the wicket, this is test bowling. I implore you guys to actually try be objective and not just make excuses when the other team play well

  • POSTED BY Abhimanyu on | December 26, 2010, 22:25 GMT

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

  • POSTED BY on | December 26, 2010, 22:06 GMT

    tailor made pitches,weather and pitch conditions are favorable to home side,It is not a big deal.if they(champions) play in all over the world with same effectiveness then they will be great.they are never world cup winner uptill now(not even their country)

  • POSTED BY mak102480 on | December 26, 2010, 21:47 GMT

    @alexk400: everytime sachin bats is a milestone in itself. u r just jealous that the best batsman ever does not play for a team that you support. and yes, i said that...best batsman EVER.

  • POSTED BY MaruthuDelft on | December 26, 2010, 21:44 GMT

    @Rahulbose, Substandard pitches? Did you watch today? All the way it was exciting. The problem is Indian batsmen are not used to such bouncy wickets. Why can't India nurture such wickets and join the mainstream Oz, SA & to some extent England. Only in these 3 countries cricket is exciting to watch. There is no better watching in cricket than a fast bowler battles it out with a batsman. A spinner vs batsman can never be that good; occassionally Shane Warne made it look good. Batsmen getting 6's and 4's too often also won't be that exciting as IPL has shown us. Rather than being stubborn India must start developing good fast bouncy wickets now.

  • POSTED BY on | December 26, 2010, 21:19 GMT

    I beg to differ Sachin has a very impotant milestone set for himself as was evident in the last game....run desperately for those single runs in India's second inning and come out not exposing the the BATTING HOPE - the poor poor naive tailenders.... Dale's art in his home ground is not a just a sting, it is s devouring bite...sit back anjoy the sight of him and his minions devouring all kind of master s- little, big thin and fat ...:)

  • POSTED BY NRI- on | December 26, 2010, 21:11 GMT

    On this pitch on DAY ONE, even Zaheer and Ishant and Sreesanth would have knocked over SA for under 200. Let them cover the pitch for a few days and come back and play day one again (wait for a cloudy day) with SA batting.

    You who complain that Sehwag does not score in SA, tell me how many times did McGrath get 5 for in in India? Even Steyn outside of the Nagpur greentop; how well does he do? If Amla and Kallis batted against Steyn on this DAY one, they too would have fallen cheaply. There simply is not as big a difference between players and teams as is made out - most of it is in the conditions. Look what happenned in England recently. No team can score more than 200 in seaming conditions against two or three good seamers and no batsman can get a 50. Happens all the time.

  • POSTED BY Alexk400 on | December 26, 2010, 20:48 GMT

    Sachin has no milestone set and he does n't like to work when there is no milestone near sight. He is playing for himself and others playing for the team. Others do not have the talent he possess. Do you wonder why india always lose when sachin score? In perspective , when there is no pressure to win , it is easier for sachin to bat. :)

  • POSTED BY Rahulbose on | December 26, 2010, 20:18 GMT

    What bowling master class? 4 wickets on a green top wicket tailor made for the home side. SA team itself has shown little faith in Steyn, and resorted to preparing sub-standard wickets. The last wicket was alright but this one is a shame.

  • POSTED BY crictonite on | December 26, 2010, 19:54 GMT

    Dale Steyn is a beast. He looks like a thinner Brian Urlacher.

  • POSTED BY CricketChat on | December 26, 2010, 19:39 GMT

    Steyn and his cohorts will knock over India quickly unless weather improves negating swing. Terrible batting by India once again. I don't know what use this series will have for Indians bef WC. Seems like thoughtless schedule by Ind board.

  • POSTED BY AK47_pk on | December 26, 2010, 19:20 GMT

    cmon styen, trash the so called no 1 team.

  • POSTED BY addiemanav on | December 26, 2010, 19:16 GMT

    the indian batting sort of failed again..but u hav to acknowledge the steyn-gun..he is just too good..the guy is just relentless..whenever u thought it wud be his last over of his spell,he wud get a wicket and then continue!!he is currently the most frightening bolwer in the world..the awe that he generates reminds u of alan donald...he was called 'white-lightening' during his best years..but steyn has almost surpassed him as well!!strike rate of 40 is the best ever for someone with a minimum of 200 wkts..steyn has only played 45 games and if he remains fit,20 yrs from now we will be talking about him to our kids with the same glint in the eye as our fathers and uncles talk about west indian greats,the OZs- thomson,lilee and the other greats!!

  • POSTED BY _NEUTRAL_Fan_ on | December 26, 2010, 18:40 GMT

    Steyn is on his way to being an all time great. Many, many, many a time good bowling conditions have been wasted and it was almost wasted again this time but Steyn almost single handedly initially kept Ind honest and it is only when you measure him against his peers you realise just how brilliant he is. Dhoni and Singh could easily add another 50 tomorrow and I predict they will if Steyn doesn't produce his 3rd consecutive quality spell. This test is already looking closer than the last one.

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  • POSTED BY _NEUTRAL_Fan_ on | December 26, 2010, 18:40 GMT

    Steyn is on his way to being an all time great. Many, many, many a time good bowling conditions have been wasted and it was almost wasted again this time but Steyn almost single handedly initially kept Ind honest and it is only when you measure him against his peers you realise just how brilliant he is. Dhoni and Singh could easily add another 50 tomorrow and I predict they will if Steyn doesn't produce his 3rd consecutive quality spell. This test is already looking closer than the last one.

  • POSTED BY addiemanav on | December 26, 2010, 19:16 GMT

    the indian batting sort of failed again..but u hav to acknowledge the steyn-gun..he is just too good..the guy is just relentless..whenever u thought it wud be his last over of his spell,he wud get a wicket and then continue!!he is currently the most frightening bolwer in the world..the awe that he generates reminds u of alan donald...he was called 'white-lightening' during his best years..but steyn has almost surpassed him as well!!strike rate of 40 is the best ever for someone with a minimum of 200 wkts..steyn has only played 45 games and if he remains fit,20 yrs from now we will be talking about him to our kids with the same glint in the eye as our fathers and uncles talk about west indian greats,the OZs- thomson,lilee and the other greats!!

  • POSTED BY AK47_pk on | December 26, 2010, 19:20 GMT

    cmon styen, trash the so called no 1 team.

  • POSTED BY CricketChat on | December 26, 2010, 19:39 GMT

    Steyn and his cohorts will knock over India quickly unless weather improves negating swing. Terrible batting by India once again. I don't know what use this series will have for Indians bef WC. Seems like thoughtless schedule by Ind board.

  • POSTED BY crictonite on | December 26, 2010, 19:54 GMT

    Dale Steyn is a beast. He looks like a thinner Brian Urlacher.

  • POSTED BY Rahulbose on | December 26, 2010, 20:18 GMT

    What bowling master class? 4 wickets on a green top wicket tailor made for the home side. SA team itself has shown little faith in Steyn, and resorted to preparing sub-standard wickets. The last wicket was alright but this one is a shame.

  • POSTED BY Alexk400 on | December 26, 2010, 20:48 GMT

    Sachin has no milestone set and he does n't like to work when there is no milestone near sight. He is playing for himself and others playing for the team. Others do not have the talent he possess. Do you wonder why india always lose when sachin score? In perspective , when there is no pressure to win , it is easier for sachin to bat. :)

  • POSTED BY NRI- on | December 26, 2010, 21:11 GMT

    On this pitch on DAY ONE, even Zaheer and Ishant and Sreesanth would have knocked over SA for under 200. Let them cover the pitch for a few days and come back and play day one again (wait for a cloudy day) with SA batting.

    You who complain that Sehwag does not score in SA, tell me how many times did McGrath get 5 for in in India? Even Steyn outside of the Nagpur greentop; how well does he do? If Amla and Kallis batted against Steyn on this DAY one, they too would have fallen cheaply. There simply is not as big a difference between players and teams as is made out - most of it is in the conditions. Look what happenned in England recently. No team can score more than 200 in seaming conditions against two or three good seamers and no batsman can get a 50. Happens all the time.

  • POSTED BY on | December 26, 2010, 21:19 GMT

    I beg to differ Sachin has a very impotant milestone set for himself as was evident in the last game....run desperately for those single runs in India's second inning and come out not exposing the the BATTING HOPE - the poor poor naive tailenders.... Dale's art in his home ground is not a just a sting, it is s devouring bite...sit back anjoy the sight of him and his minions devouring all kind of master s- little, big thin and fat ...:)

  • POSTED BY MaruthuDelft on | December 26, 2010, 21:44 GMT

    @Rahulbose, Substandard pitches? Did you watch today? All the way it was exciting. The problem is Indian batsmen are not used to such bouncy wickets. Why can't India nurture such wickets and join the mainstream Oz, SA & to some extent England. Only in these 3 countries cricket is exciting to watch. There is no better watching in cricket than a fast bowler battles it out with a batsman. A spinner vs batsman can never be that good; occassionally Shane Warne made it look good. Batsmen getting 6's and 4's too often also won't be that exciting as IPL has shown us. Rather than being stubborn India must start developing good fast bouncy wickets now.