South Africa v India, 2nd Test, Durban, 2nd day December 27, 2010

We expected India to bounce back - de Villiers

71

AB de Villiers offered no excuses for South Africa being bundled out for 131 in their first innings against India in Durban. "We batted extremely poorly. There were quite a few soft wickets, but they also bowled well," he said at the end-of-day press conference.

It was as simple as that for the South African number four, who fell to the best delivery Sreesanth bowled all day, a leg-cutter that had him edging to the keeper without scoring. Sreesanth, along with Ishant Sharma, were much better bowlers with the return of India spearhead Zaheer Khan, who made a noticeable impact. "He put us under pressure from the word go," de Villiers said.

de Villiers admitted that India were a more threatening attack than they were in Centurion, where they were unable to dismiss South Africa once. "Their lengths and lines were spot on. They bowled a bit wide to us so we had to leave a few more." The Indian fight back may have been surprising to some, but de Villiers said that South Africa were bracing for some form of revival from the world's top ranked Test side. "You expect the No. 1 team to bounce back after a poor performance. They caught us offside today."

Instead of blaming the Durban pitch, known for its bounce and swing, for a third team total in the 130s in three Tests for South Africa, de Villiers said the inept performance made the pitch look more dangerous that what it was. "18 wickets in the day is not a true reflection of how the wicket is playing. It's playing better than that." He felt that the batsmen simply needed to push on once they got starts. "When you get to 30 or 40 it gets easier. You get used to the pace, bounce and swing. You can set yourself a nice platform and do nicely."

The discomfort the batsmen felt was evident, however, as only Alviro Petersen and Hashim Amla managed more than 20 runs. With India batting again, VVS Laxman is primed to be the man who settles in and makes that big score. South Africa are aware that he has the ability to take the game away from them and urge the batsmen around him to do the same. "We've seen him play big knocks for India before under pressure," de Villiers said. "He manages the player at the other end well, who is a youngster at the moment. He is definitely a danger man at the moment."

It's capturing early wickets that South Africa are targeting to prevent Laxman from making himself too comfortable. de Villiers thinks that the bowlers continue to hold advantage as the match goes on, particularly the tweakers. "There's always going to be something in it for the bowlers, even a little bit of spin Harris and Harbhajan both bowled well, getting a bit of bounce and turn. We're just going to have to come out here and get a few early wickets and restrict them to 250, which is very chase-able.

"We would like to chase something in between 240 and 260. After a very poor performance today, we'd like to come out and prove ourselves and play well again. Even if we have to chase 300, we'll give it a good go."

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • LazloWoodbine on December 28, 2010, 21:41 GMT

    @Morpheus... There are South African fans on these forums, most of whom are quite happy to accept that we have had a bad couple of days at the office.We also concede that India have played superbly.Tomorrow will see SA try their hardest to turn the game around, and India to force the win. Perhaps you're getting riled by, what seems to me at least, a large community of "neutral" fans who are very critical of India. Here in SA we love our sport, but also understand that cricket is merely a game. A light-hearted pasttime in comparision with life's real issues. It's really not worth getting so upset about guys. We all want to win, but can't always.Passion for the game is one thing, blind patriotism is another. We love hosting all Test nations here, and appreciate the flair that India bring to the game. No-one that I've spoken to is slagging off India or getting as angry as some folk on here. @ Quazar - great comment. Sums it up perfectly!

  • anranga1 on December 28, 2010, 13:01 GMT

    @Imaginext, I like Sachin/Dravid a lot, but I agree with much of what you say. The focus after the 1st test was entirely Sachins innings rather than the bad loss. There were brilliant knocks from SA & not much was spoken (a fact referred to by Kallis). Its a pity that over the last decade & half most Indian batsmen have failed in situations like the one in the two tests here.

  • Arok on December 28, 2010, 11:33 GMT

    Come on guys! every match is important you cannot expect sachin to score centuries in all the matches; he has scored 7 centuries in this year; is that not enough? may be the century in the previous innings is on a losing cause but still we lost with atleast some pride. Pls keep in mind we have other 10 players in the side to contribute also. Sachin is not a God, a mere human being. It feels really bad even Indian supporters prick Sachin.

  • anver777 on December 28, 2010, 10:53 GMT

    De Villiers is spot on...... knew exactly that the India will come hard at u......... its proving right now !!!!! in the on going 2nd test where India is setting a tough target for SA to win the match............

  • Arrow011 on December 28, 2010, 10:42 GMT

    SACHIN & SEHWAG NO. 1 , LAXMAN NO.2, GAMBHIR & DRAVID 3, DHONI IS 4, HARBHAJAN & ZAK 5th IN CONTRIBUTING TO INDIA'S SUCCESS. Invariable Sachin & Sehwag only contribute so dont blame. Laxman is "Sankat mochan" in which he is the greatest.

  • on December 28, 2010, 10:33 GMT

    @Imaginext "wonder why the fans/media do not have the courage to talk about this. "

    the answer to this is...... "TU HAI NA!!!!!!"

  • cNuuu on December 28, 2010, 10:11 GMT

    No matter what the records have been made by batsman.. how the batsman stands in the toughest situation to make the team to surive is very important!!! Laxman would have done most of the times than sachin. If sachin is god for cricket, is he the most responsible for india to make to team#1 today. just he is one of the good players. sachin has played most number of matches than anyone in both test and ODI, obviously he has more chance to make records..even sachin has 34 ducks next to only one i.e..,zaheer.. they are huge number of best players like bradman/ lara/ ponting/ mcgrath/ warne/ kallis... wonder, why the people dont think this..

  • WhipSy on December 28, 2010, 9:51 GMT

    To all the numpties moaning about Sachin not winning matches for India, this should give you some perspective: Tendulkar figures in 60 Tests for a winning cause - the most by a batsman from the sub-continent. His average of 69.03 for a winning cause is the second highest amongst the batsmen with 5,000 runs or more - 5454 in 95 innings, including 20 centuries. The first is shepherd-the-tail Steve Waugh with 69.46 :)

  • on December 28, 2010, 9:11 GMT

    @Imaginext: Ur statements sounds irrelavant to each other. If u say Sachin doesnt perform when Team needs him, then what about the runs he scored last Test. Just because it is for a losing cause, doesnt mean Team doesnt need those runs. Any situation bad r gud, team always need runs/wickets from its members. And regarding his stewardship, better see Laxman's innings today(which is anyway going to b a best innings accoridng to u) He is not reluctant to take singles in first ball or score doubles in last ball.. Thats how the game is and the greats you have mentioned(including Laxman) have played it.. Smith's comment are nothing but just to create a panic.

  • on December 28, 2010, 9:11 GMT

    @Indianpunter funny.. really if not Dravid who ? Raina ?

  • LazloWoodbine on December 28, 2010, 21:41 GMT

    @Morpheus... There are South African fans on these forums, most of whom are quite happy to accept that we have had a bad couple of days at the office.We also concede that India have played superbly.Tomorrow will see SA try their hardest to turn the game around, and India to force the win. Perhaps you're getting riled by, what seems to me at least, a large community of "neutral" fans who are very critical of India. Here in SA we love our sport, but also understand that cricket is merely a game. A light-hearted pasttime in comparision with life's real issues. It's really not worth getting so upset about guys. We all want to win, but can't always.Passion for the game is one thing, blind patriotism is another. We love hosting all Test nations here, and appreciate the flair that India bring to the game. No-one that I've spoken to is slagging off India or getting as angry as some folk on here. @ Quazar - great comment. Sums it up perfectly!

  • anranga1 on December 28, 2010, 13:01 GMT

    @Imaginext, I like Sachin/Dravid a lot, but I agree with much of what you say. The focus after the 1st test was entirely Sachins innings rather than the bad loss. There were brilliant knocks from SA & not much was spoken (a fact referred to by Kallis). Its a pity that over the last decade & half most Indian batsmen have failed in situations like the one in the two tests here.

  • Arok on December 28, 2010, 11:33 GMT

    Come on guys! every match is important you cannot expect sachin to score centuries in all the matches; he has scored 7 centuries in this year; is that not enough? may be the century in the previous innings is on a losing cause but still we lost with atleast some pride. Pls keep in mind we have other 10 players in the side to contribute also. Sachin is not a God, a mere human being. It feels really bad even Indian supporters prick Sachin.

  • anver777 on December 28, 2010, 10:53 GMT

    De Villiers is spot on...... knew exactly that the India will come hard at u......... its proving right now !!!!! in the on going 2nd test where India is setting a tough target for SA to win the match............

  • Arrow011 on December 28, 2010, 10:42 GMT

    SACHIN & SEHWAG NO. 1 , LAXMAN NO.2, GAMBHIR & DRAVID 3, DHONI IS 4, HARBHAJAN & ZAK 5th IN CONTRIBUTING TO INDIA'S SUCCESS. Invariable Sachin & Sehwag only contribute so dont blame. Laxman is "Sankat mochan" in which he is the greatest.

  • on December 28, 2010, 10:33 GMT

    @Imaginext "wonder why the fans/media do not have the courage to talk about this. "

    the answer to this is...... "TU HAI NA!!!!!!"

  • cNuuu on December 28, 2010, 10:11 GMT

    No matter what the records have been made by batsman.. how the batsman stands in the toughest situation to make the team to surive is very important!!! Laxman would have done most of the times than sachin. If sachin is god for cricket, is he the most responsible for india to make to team#1 today. just he is one of the good players. sachin has played most number of matches than anyone in both test and ODI, obviously he has more chance to make records..even sachin has 34 ducks next to only one i.e..,zaheer.. they are huge number of best players like bradman/ lara/ ponting/ mcgrath/ warne/ kallis... wonder, why the people dont think this..

  • WhipSy on December 28, 2010, 9:51 GMT

    To all the numpties moaning about Sachin not winning matches for India, this should give you some perspective: Tendulkar figures in 60 Tests for a winning cause - the most by a batsman from the sub-continent. His average of 69.03 for a winning cause is the second highest amongst the batsmen with 5,000 runs or more - 5454 in 95 innings, including 20 centuries. The first is shepherd-the-tail Steve Waugh with 69.46 :)

  • on December 28, 2010, 9:11 GMT

    @Imaginext: Ur statements sounds irrelavant to each other. If u say Sachin doesnt perform when Team needs him, then what about the runs he scored last Test. Just because it is for a losing cause, doesnt mean Team doesnt need those runs. Any situation bad r gud, team always need runs/wickets from its members. And regarding his stewardship, better see Laxman's innings today(which is anyway going to b a best innings accoridng to u) He is not reluctant to take singles in first ball or score doubles in last ball.. Thats how the game is and the greats you have mentioned(including Laxman) have played it.. Smith's comment are nothing but just to create a panic.

  • on December 28, 2010, 9:11 GMT

    @Indianpunter funny.. really if not Dravid who ? Raina ?

  • on December 28, 2010, 9:07 GMT

    Its all more about temperament and Indians need to have some patience.. I dont know what was the necessity for Dhoni to play recklessly and get out today morning. Laxman is perfect example who got his 50 and still going strong. If he gets to manage total lead of 280+ along with tailenders will be great. Also someone has to tell Sreeshant to maintain line and length instead of overdoing things.

  • ghostkadost on December 28, 2010, 8:55 GMT

    And my dear @indiapunter should take Dravid's place. Raina /Vijay? Guess this was more a fan's anguish rather than a rational comment.

  • Imaginext on December 28, 2010, 7:53 GMT

    A stark reminder of Tendulkar not performing when the team needs him most.....guess his 4th innings average overseas is enuff testimony to that.....despite suffering a humiliating defeat in the first test all talk and hype was about Tendu's 50th ton and to whom it was dedicated.......fans partly are to be blamed for this sad situation as they go blind in idol worship..........not to mention how easily India caved in on the last day under the great tendu's stewartship...even G.Smith was surprised....but no mention in the entire indian media.......tendu's a great accumulator of runs.....great temperament and technique....insatiable appetite for runs....I accept all that but he's no Lara/Steve W/Miandad/A. Border who can stand like a rock in crunch situations like the one india faces today........wonder why the fans/media do not have the courage to talk about this.

  • indianpunter on December 28, 2010, 7:20 GMT

    If Dravid is in the team for the third test, India have lost it already. Think ahead,India and think again. Is Dravid going to get your job done. The answer, sorry to say, is a resounding NO!!

  • on December 28, 2010, 7:20 GMT

    Its really surprise to see the so called "BIG SA GUNS" failed to so called "WORST BOWLERS OF THE WORLD" and to the so called "UNDESERVED #1 TEAM's" fightback in their so called "MUCH FAVOURABLE HOME CONDITIONS" even after winning the so called "NOT AT ALL MATTERED" toss and batting first.. Its not the 74 run deficit which I am talking about.. Its the 5 runs defciit to India's first Innings score of first test.. Now, any1 has any idea on how SA managed 620 runs in their last test with loss of jsut 4 wrickets and then fought back to score runs excess of 400?

  • on December 28, 2010, 7:10 GMT

    Will MS Dhoni ever win a toss? Maybe Princeton's Math researches should research on the curious case of MSD's toss wins. For all the talk about India's great batting lineup blah blah blah it is Zaheer who makes this team No. 1. Without him the team is as good as the one that played in Centurion.

  • vivvi on December 28, 2010, 6:54 GMT

    there are no demons in the pitch, atleast with the softer ball the bounce is consistent,no excuse for sachin and dravid for what they did but you cant question couple of guys with 25000 runs between them about temperament...but it is heartening to see youngsters learning ,the likes of vijays and pujaras learning to leave, showing some patience ,hope gambir and raina learns. sure they will ,cos temperament is contagious ,when the guy next to you has a stable head ,you too will want to get it..while it is heartening to see harbajan giving the ball some air ,he is devastating with his drift ,but for some reason he wasn't throwing the ball up lately,but when he does he got 4-10or 17 ,hope we will see his doosra sooner ....

  • Mr.PALindrome on December 28, 2010, 6:54 GMT

    @nlabhe

    probably the worst logic... u dint even considered the lead India have at this moment.

    If SA batted first, then under the same scenario, SA would have lost 1.5 side and India would have lost "1" side and not 0.5 side... and with the lead they have, i would then rate SA to have the upper hand. in 3 days, anytime.. if at all the teams lose wickets (without any declaration), the first batting team will lose more wickets than the team batting second...

  • gazelle79 on December 28, 2010, 6:14 GMT

    @nlabhe . That's strange arithmetic and even stranger logic . If India losing 14 wickets is 1.5 of the side out , then how can SA losing 10 wkts be 0.5 of the team out ? The fact is - runs also count , not just wickets and India has a 74 run lead after 1st innings , now stretched to 166 with 6 wickets remaining ,so India is ahead at the moment though that can change if we lose quick wickets today .

  • on December 28, 2010, 6:06 GMT

    Having India bowled out SA cheaply, I expected lots of comments as replies to all India haters under this column.. But felt very bad to see my fellow Indian mates take this opportunity to jump on Sachin.. Common frnds, give this guy some credit.. He has played for 20 years, scored tons of runs in all playing conditions.. If you cant win a match, with such a guy and so much centuries for ur team, seriously there is some problem with your other team members.. This is a fact which even a street cricketer knows.. I dont remember any cricketer being compared with others like Sachin.. Starting from Bradman, Richards, Gavaskar, Lara, Ponting, Kallis, Ganguly, Inzamam, Dravid and now Laxman. I may have left out a few here.. All the mentioned guys here are past except Laxman who is in current comparison.. Dravid and Ponting not in their prime now.. It shows Sachin is @ best throughtout his career and others in their prime was compared with Sachin and later faded away..

  • itssudeep on December 28, 2010, 6:02 GMT

    I also find it particularly disturbing to see comments such as the ones that say Sachin plays only for the records and therefore he didn't score yesterday. Just for the records, any run he scores, whether its in the 1st innings or 2nd innings or in an easy or a difficult pitch, would get added on to his tally (and records) and therefore there wouldn't be any reason for him to 'skip' scoring just because he has scored his 50th century in the previous test.

  • sweetspot on December 28, 2010, 6:00 GMT

    INDIAN batsmen this, Indian batsmen that.... Had enough evidence now? SA or ANY other team is just a susceptible on a dicey pitch as India. I have said this several times. There is NO batting team in the world that performs well on any wicket that offers some assistance to the bowlers, whether bounce or swing or spin! Speaking of Tendulkar, what about the other 10 in the team? They don't seem to play either for India OR for records then? What is the use of the rest of them? At least, Sachin has those lovely records.

  • itssudeep on December 28, 2010, 5:56 GMT

    I find it rather unfortunate that for a test team that is ranked no. 1, we Indian fans seem to have very little appreciation of the game or even a matured view of looking at it. In general, I find a lot of comments and pronouncements based on just the previous day's scorecard. So then we have someone hailed as a hero one day and being called a villain the very next day. Folks, let's get some perspective and look at things in a slightly more tempered manner. Its a team game played over 5 days and on any given day some people do well and some others don't - overall as long as the team is able to do well collectively it will be just fine. And some players do well on more days and more often than others, and they deserve to be in the category of greats. Let's show them some respect - and some understanding - they've earned it.

  • sanjeevmukherjee2006 on December 28, 2010, 5:46 GMT

    dont say india are flat track bullies we all saw how SA, Aus struggled this year and also how pakistan fared in Aus and England in seaming conditions. Australia were bundled for less than 100 runs may be 2 times this year and pakistan may be 2-3 times for less than 100, at least india has avoided that ignonimity. SA scored 131 at durban imagine if they had batted in the first innings in both tests under testing conditions they might have struggled to get past 100!

  • sanjeevmukherjee2006 on December 28, 2010, 5:44 GMT

    wow to all the people look at SA they cant face indian bowlers, where are all those who were criticizing indians, india has won series in england, nz, pakistan, Wi, won tests in australia, SA and Sl so dont talk that they are lucky blah blah. no team can face seam bowlers in seaming conditions we all saw how india,sa,england,aus, pak,SL struggle against pace, swing and bounce. india were unlucky that they batted first in this series. for WC india and pak are favorites

  • mishvik1 on December 28, 2010, 5:44 GMT

    Missed to add. I find Laxman equally great for his classical style and ability to defy all odds, Rahul for being instrumental in some of the best wins in the last decade, Saurav for instilling the pride in we Indians, Kumble for statesmanship, Dhoni for consistency, Sehwag for being a game changer, Zak for leading the bowling unit that captures 20 wickets and wins the match and Sachin (and Gilchrist) for being a role model. You see Ponting yesterday and realise how disgusting a sportsperson could be. Enjoy the game and do not show your low self esteem by deriding someone who is miles ahead.

  • on December 28, 2010, 5:39 GMT

    Fordous, AB batted @ 5 for SA this innings. You have called him South Africa's number 4. :)

  • on December 28, 2010, 4:51 GMT

    It would be good to get the curators to build such pitches that can help the players - Team India, A, B, etc. to prepare well. However, EVERY HOSTING TEAM prepares pitches that aid the hosts, not the visitors. As long as our curators can be innovative, learn from the other techniques and create pitches that benefit India in the Tests, it should be perfectly acceptable.

  • Sarangarajan on December 28, 2010, 4:37 GMT

    It is yet again the acclaimed God of cricket ,Sachin,has failed Indian team. What is most disturbing is the manner in which he gets out.Poking outside the off side/slashing a drive on the offside is very silly when occupation is the need of the hour. One can condone Pujaras and Rainas doing such an offence.All these statistics are of no avail in real times for the team. However, it is reassuring that the ever dependable and unsung Laxman and very confident looking Pujara are there at the crease.We take things granetd from Laxman now a days.

  • Morpheus273 on December 28, 2010, 4:21 GMT

    Why dont I see an SAffers joining the discussion?? They got blown away. All the claims of India's inability to BAT well in SA conditions have gone down the drain. Mr Smith's side scored 5 runs less than India's lowest score in the series. It is a humiliating innings for SAffers. Atleast Indians managed to score 205 on the fresh/bouncy/juicy Durban wicket and what did Smith's side do?? They got bundled out for meagre 131. Yes, Indians poor show in the Centurian test and to an extent here in Durban was very upsetting. But, the bowling clicked and they blew away SAffer batsmen. They were found wanting and their technique and temprament was questionable. To add to the misery, Indians scored 205 on the first day and SAffers batting on the second day, on a reasonably easier wicket only managed 131. Now, it will be interesting to see how many EX-Saffer players who blame Indians for the lack of foot work and technique to survive in these conditions, have to say on their own team's performance.

  • The_Professor on December 28, 2010, 4:12 GMT

    @Tram - I agree Sehwag & Vijay have a tougher job (as openers). However, instead of taking a short-sighted view (ie. last innings only), pls take a look at their batting OUTSIDE THE SUB-CONTINENT over the long-term. While Sehwag is a highly dangerous swashbuckling batsman, I'm sure any knowledgeable cricket follower would concede that both Dravid and SRT are technically better players and thus they are far more consistent especially outside of the low bouncing decks of the sub-continent. Indeed, it was just in the last match when SRT scored an unbeaten century when all the other Indian batsman were knocked over like ten-pins - did you forget?! I will not discuss Vijay's abilities as it is unfair to compare him with either Sehwag, Dravid or SRT because of his inexperience - the only thing I will say is that there are more deserving batsman than Vijay for inclusion in the Indian Team, such as Bhadrinath, Rehane and even Kohli. Being an OPENER has been an ADVANTAGE in Vijay's case!

  • Chncricfan_2k0 on December 28, 2010, 3:42 GMT

    Sachin U really play for India or records..!.people suddenly need (Sachin fans) to find the answer.In 20 years, how many times U played like those deliveries (in both innings) in Ur carrier.still U unable to handle those deliveries.it is shameful for a man who people call as a god of cricket!.If U play for records means then U can play in Ranji or Duleep trophy and score lakhs of runs or even have a contract with English county they will pay U more money than wat U expected.Pls don't play in the Indian 11 and make the other youngsters to wait for their turn.Dravid is a wall in the past.now he can be described as a man of negative shots, footwork and body language.and gets his team down when they really needed..Zaheer..U have been a great servant to India.wat a bowler You are..Bhajji.Im expecting you to do the same in the SA second innings as the pitch has bounce, pace and spin.anyhow its a total team effort to bundle out SA to 131 in their own country..India Win..Kudos India.!

  • nlabhe on December 28, 2010, 3:33 GMT

    In first 2 days, Ind lost almost 1.5 side whereas SA ha just lost 0.5 side with 1 inngs remaining. Its a tilted game towards SA's favor because from 3rd the pitch may favor batsman and Ind is not left with much batting. I see SA with a complete chance to wrap the series in next 2 days. I agree this match will not last for 5 days, but the result of this game is more in contain with SA.

  • on December 28, 2010, 3:17 GMT

    What !!!!!you mean Tendulkar is out???Gollly who is going to expose and train the tail enders in this innings ?

  • avinashhot009 on December 28, 2010, 2:51 GMT

    yes i think south africa should have adapted well to conditions.they underestimated india at der own peril.

  • on December 28, 2010, 2:45 GMT

    I just hope today Laxman,Pujara and Dhoni bat well and add atleast 100 more runs then we will be in driver's place in this match.

  • Peligrosisimo3 on December 28, 2010, 2:29 GMT

    Why are the majority of the comments here like as if India has already won the match. Only the first innings has gone and crucially India has lost 4 wickets in the second innings. Im sure the Indians remember the victory over Aus after conceding a huge deficit. If India dont manage to win this match(SA wins) all this talk about SA being bowled out for less than 150 will be for nothing.The match is still in the balance. Im a neutral but let´s be realistic and until India takes the final SA wicket in the second innings, lets not blow our trumpet for the jabs, and hooks in the initial rounds but rather for the knockout blow.

  • Point4 on December 28, 2010, 2:14 GMT

    @Tram....Dravid and Tendulkar are better batsmen based on their records.Agreed that you have to come good on a given day to be counted,Sachin looked comfortable in the 2 innings but he has disappointed again by not delivering when it mattered most.A 50 in 2nd innings would have been x times better than his 50th century.And Dravid is a spent force.Otherwise he would not be chasing half volleys against sos sos bey...And being a selfless and professional cricketer (unlike Sachin)i am sure his retirement announcement is round the corner.Mark my words.Now VVS should move to NO:3 and we have a great prospect in Pujara.Talking about this match the verdict depends on how Amla-Kallis partnership delivers in SA chase

  • rohanblue on December 28, 2010, 1:37 GMT

    what a match, i'm die hard indian fan,bt i wanna thank sa curators fr making such a sporting wicket, sa vs ind cricket at its very bst, awesome, enjoying every moment of it, surely cricket gonna win in this match..................

  • on December 28, 2010, 1:33 GMT

    Indians are just managing to get thier eyes in, but failed to convert their starts. They played all right, but at least 2 good partnership will do wonders. In the second innings, two of the wickets were gifted to Tsotosbe. Look he bowls well outside offstump line, so need to go for that expansive drive. He will keep bowling in this manner and will do no harm. Just don't play into his hands by going for that drive. It's not that he has picked wickets, but we have gifted him 2. Not anymore in that fashion.

  • TRAM on December 27, 2010, 23:45 GMT

    The 4 deliveries - Sehwag, MVijay & Dravid got in the 1st innings another one MVijay got in the 2nd innings are the 4 *MOST UNPLAYABLE* deliveries (as Ravi Shastri said). EVERY Indian batsman would be out to those deliveries AGAIN and AGAIN. (until if they practice for next many months with a bowling robot on similar pitch). Other than those 4 wkts I think others could have been saved by good batting skills. IMO, Dravid and Tendulkar are are only as good or as worse as the juniors MVijay and Pujara. Also being openers, Sehwag/MVijay's scores have higher value since they face the worst & unknowns and they gave the rest of the team good 1+ hour opening stand each time. How about we send Tendulkar and Dravid to open the innings in this kind of pitch and then let Sehwag and MVijay blast later in the innings. On what basis Tendulkar & Dravid are better batsmen????

  • Raju_Iyer on December 27, 2010, 23:41 GMT

    Irrespectve of what happens from now on, I want to thank the Indian team for proviiding us so much joy in 2010 - what a sight it was to see SA's so-called mighty batting line up being bundled out AFTER losing the toss and bowling second! Way to go Team India - you showed to the whole world yesterday that the #1 ranking was no statistical fluke but has come through prolonged periods of excellent performances in all departments, at different locations and with varying conditions

  • on December 27, 2010, 22:44 GMT

    SA has only three quality players. Kallis, Amla and Steyn. All others are living in their shadows.

  • love_the_game on December 27, 2010, 22:35 GMT

    By looking at the way Harbajan bowled and the amount of turn and bounce he got, i would be surprised if SA scores more than 200 in second innings.

  • braindead_rocker on December 27, 2010, 22:24 GMT

    GO INDIA GO...With a 350 target for SA, we will win this match

  • MaruthuDelft on December 27, 2010, 21:41 GMT

    What a great cricketer Tendulkar is!!!!!

  • zaheerfan on December 27, 2010, 21:30 GMT

    where r all those people who criticized India for getting out cheaply in the 1st innings at Centurion?? look what happened now.. SA could not handle even the WORST BOWLING TEAM.. SA got lucky @ Centurion not only with the toss but mainly not having to face Zaheer..He is "the man" .. But the match is still in play.. I think the rest of the Indian team has to bat well tomorrow ( at least a target of 275 plus) then India has a better chance of winning the game and Shut up all the critics .. Go India GO.. We deserve to be No 1.. moderators please post my comment at least this time

  • terrifyingwarriors on December 27, 2010, 21:18 GMT

    Would love to see India win this game and go in to the series decider! This is what a top of tables clash should look like.

  • cruise... on December 27, 2010, 21:13 GMT

    plz.... Bring these curators to India.. we are fed up with drawn matches in India.. we want like this kind of matches......

  • zaheerfan on December 27, 2010, 21:02 GMT

    where r all those people who criticized India for getting out cheaply in the 1st innings at Centurion?? look what happened now.. SA could not handle even the WORST BOWLING TEAM.. SA got lucky @ Centurion not only with the toss but mainly not having to face Zaheer..He is "the man" .. But the match is still in play.. I think the rest of the Indian team has to bat well tomorrow ( at least a target of 275 plus) then India has a better chance of winning the game and Shut up all the critics .. Go India GO.. We deserve to be No 1

  • Maverick79 on December 27, 2010, 20:32 GMT

    I don't think the match is India's yet. The pitch I believe would get better for batting. You can't expect SA to crumble again. The match is evenly poised after us losing Tendulkar and Dravid. Here we have a crucial match on hand and after another bad performance in the first innings(not to forget the 1st test match also) I find it hard to believe the two experienced batmen just didn't apply themselves to seal the match or at least stay to fight out another day. I think time is running out for Dravid. Just can't keep the youngsters waiting with this kind of performance. Laxman no doubt is more worth than these two when it comes to helping out team India in tough situations. Tendulkar might have all the records in cricket but Indian fan(me for sure) nowadays value Laxman to turn the tough matches in our favor with his ability to make the tailenders stick with him and fight it out. Harbajans maiden century is an example. Hope Laxman does what he did at his debut. Thats a positive sign.

  • on December 27, 2010, 20:23 GMT

    i see 350 or 375 will be good, as RSA got good batting depth n you cant expect top 4 fail in second innings

  • _Oracle_ on December 27, 2010, 20:20 GMT

    I think SA can chase 300 easily since they will be scoring those runs on day 3 and 4 with Kalis, Amla and AB... However, I think pitch is lot worst than people think.. There are quite a few balls that have uneven bounces.. Laxman bottom edge a ball and the very next ball flew over him for a wide.. I am telling you, there is no telling what will happen in this test.. I would love it if India wins this one to make it 1-1... I love test-matches though..

  • cris89 on December 27, 2010, 20:18 GMT

    Good day of test cricket but it was more of poor batting than extraordinary bowling... Technicians like Boycott or Gavaskar would have shown how to make a 100 on this wicket..

  • on December 27, 2010, 20:17 GMT

    Excellent performance from both teams. Was disappointed that the tail failed to wag for India. They made up with the ball and then again let it slip with the bat. In all fairness on such a pitch Steyn, Morkel, and Kallis would be a handful against any batting line-up in the world. Overall it was pleasing to see the bowlers hold the aces on a rollicking day of test cricket. I'd agree with Joe - if they can push the lead to 250 ( which in itself would be a steep ask given that it's perhaps the last recognized batting pair ) it's still within reach. A lead of 300 would take the game away from SA.

  • on December 27, 2010, 20:04 GMT

    THIS MATCH GONNA TO BE SEA-SAW GAME MORE THAN A CRICKET , EACH HOUR OF PLAY GONNA BE INTERESTING, TILL THE LAST BALL EVERYONE WILL GOING TO CROSS THEIR FINGERS , BE ON THE EDGE OF U R SEAT WHEN WATCHING THIS TRILLER

  • aj_space on December 27, 2010, 19:55 GMT

    Now this wht we call a top of the table clash. Brilliant bowling & fielding by both teams. Hope tommorow is as thrilling as today.

  • on December 27, 2010, 19:52 GMT

    Only a very very good bowling performance in the 2nd innings will win India this match. They have undone their good work by losing 4 wickets. Mind says SA will bundle India out for 160-170 tomorrow and win with 3-4 Wickets to spare, but desperately want to proved wrong :)

  • Rahulbose on December 27, 2010, 19:27 GMT

    It should be more like. We gambled by preparing a bad pitch and instructed the grounds keeper not to cut any grass. But our gamble just about paid off, we won the toss and even after being bundled out for 131 we stand a good chance of winning this test.

  • on December 27, 2010, 19:27 GMT

    South African team is now realized it is better to have patience.any time it can move.if you going to play in other continent it will be always hard.but this is your home pitches then it is resulted like this.imagine if you are in Asian continent how much hard for your team to play.never underestimate other team.see the results in Ashes too.............England is more powerful than OZ.captain smith and other player should know about this.................................Pl do not give any comment until the series is over..............................................

  • Nampally on December 27, 2010, 19:23 GMT

    What a come down for SA - from 620 for 4 to 131 all out. Is this Zaheer's magic or what? An average Indian attack suddenly became a wicket taking one. Even out of form Harbhajan bowled brilliantly with 4 for10 in 7 overs. Zaheer & the rest of the team need torepeat this form again in order to be in a winning position. India need at least 250 to 300 runs in the second innings.Much depends upon VVS to shepherd this batting in the same way as Zaheer motivated the bowlers .Ishant & Sree need to bowl much better than leak out 80 runs in 16 overs between them. Zaheer and Bhaiji gave just 47 between them to take 7 wickets + one crucial run out.Indian catching and fielding was brilliant too. So a combination of all these events led to a good show from India. But in my opinion India threw away the advantage by getting out to rank bad strokes - both Sehwag and Tendulkar(twice).I would be tempted to send Ishant at #7 to tie up one end and frustrate SA. But VVS needs to weave his magic on day3.

  • on December 27, 2010, 19:20 GMT

    Day 3 pitch has to be at its best. 1st hour tomorrow morning will surely decide how the test is going to go. If Laxman and Pujara can survive Steyn's immaculate bowling, India should get a lead of 250 plus. Otherwise, I think Amla, Kallis and co. should be able to pull it off. Either way, the series has finally lived up to the No. 1 vs. No. 2 hype.

  • ProdigyA on December 27, 2010, 19:01 GMT

    Khudos AB for accepting the fact that SA batted poorly and India bowled well. Unlike bhajji, whinning about the pitch, conditions, etc etc.

  • _NEUTRAL_Fan_ on December 27, 2010, 19:00 GMT

    Also goes to show that today's batsmen the world over have been spoilt by too many batting friendly turfs.

  • praume2001 on December 27, 2010, 18:53 GMT

    all the best AB...but its not tht easy to chase 250 on tht wicket as he says...i guess pujara will play a big part tomorrow...and it wud decide the match...and congrats India for the fight back...wht a lion hearted performance frm zaheer and bhajji...sreesanth is by no means a test bowler...he doesnt hv tht temperament...he needs to sort it out in ranji... get praveen kumar in test matches ...he is much better bolwer than sreesanth and strengthens batting even...neways its still anybody's game...but its seriously the battle of the best unlike one sided ashes...

  • on December 27, 2010, 18:52 GMT

    Agree on the 240, me-thinks 300 is a bridge too far ... :(

  • intcamd on December 27, 2010, 18:49 GMT

    Every one is talking 250 target. If the pitch plays like today, India will not get another 90 to set the 250 target, and SA will probably find that beyond their reach. If the pitch eases a little, India can get another 150, but SA can probably chase it. A lot depends on how the pitch plays. So, to say 250 is a good target, or what is gettable, etc is premature and uncertain.

  • SnowSnake on December 27, 2010, 18:44 GMT

    The more I look at the pitch, it appears that it is meant for spinners than for fast bowlers. This match has taken a wierd twist and nothing is predictable even today. The only thing is certain that this match will not be a draw. Any team can win this one.

  • Quazar on December 27, 2010, 18:33 GMT

    What a brilliant day of Test cricket! Befitting a top of the table clash. Kudos to the bowlers and fielders from both sides!

  • johnsrini on December 27, 2010, 18:32 GMT

    This Tendulkar guy, I have been watching him past 20 years now. Never a match winning or match saving innings.I do not care about his centuries, If he can hit about 50 runs whenever its important it will be better than all his pointless centuries .Eighty runs in this test two innings combined would have been priceless compared to his worthless century in the last test.

  • india_only on December 27, 2010, 18:25 GMT

    @AB de villiers You should also expect that India will square series on 4th days morning.

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • india_only on December 27, 2010, 18:25 GMT

    @AB de villiers You should also expect that India will square series on 4th days morning.

  • johnsrini on December 27, 2010, 18:32 GMT

    This Tendulkar guy, I have been watching him past 20 years now. Never a match winning or match saving innings.I do not care about his centuries, If he can hit about 50 runs whenever its important it will be better than all his pointless centuries .Eighty runs in this test two innings combined would have been priceless compared to his worthless century in the last test.

  • Quazar on December 27, 2010, 18:33 GMT

    What a brilliant day of Test cricket! Befitting a top of the table clash. Kudos to the bowlers and fielders from both sides!

  • SnowSnake on December 27, 2010, 18:44 GMT

    The more I look at the pitch, it appears that it is meant for spinners than for fast bowlers. This match has taken a wierd twist and nothing is predictable even today. The only thing is certain that this match will not be a draw. Any team can win this one.

  • intcamd on December 27, 2010, 18:49 GMT

    Every one is talking 250 target. If the pitch plays like today, India will not get another 90 to set the 250 target, and SA will probably find that beyond their reach. If the pitch eases a little, India can get another 150, but SA can probably chase it. A lot depends on how the pitch plays. So, to say 250 is a good target, or what is gettable, etc is premature and uncertain.

  • on December 27, 2010, 18:52 GMT

    Agree on the 240, me-thinks 300 is a bridge too far ... :(

  • praume2001 on December 27, 2010, 18:53 GMT

    all the best AB...but its not tht easy to chase 250 on tht wicket as he says...i guess pujara will play a big part tomorrow...and it wud decide the match...and congrats India for the fight back...wht a lion hearted performance frm zaheer and bhajji...sreesanth is by no means a test bowler...he doesnt hv tht temperament...he needs to sort it out in ranji... get praveen kumar in test matches ...he is much better bolwer than sreesanth and strengthens batting even...neways its still anybody's game...but its seriously the battle of the best unlike one sided ashes...

  • _NEUTRAL_Fan_ on December 27, 2010, 19:00 GMT

    Also goes to show that today's batsmen the world over have been spoilt by too many batting friendly turfs.

  • ProdigyA on December 27, 2010, 19:01 GMT

    Khudos AB for accepting the fact that SA batted poorly and India bowled well. Unlike bhajji, whinning about the pitch, conditions, etc etc.

  • on December 27, 2010, 19:20 GMT

    Day 3 pitch has to be at its best. 1st hour tomorrow morning will surely decide how the test is going to go. If Laxman and Pujara can survive Steyn's immaculate bowling, India should get a lead of 250 plus. Otherwise, I think Amla, Kallis and co. should be able to pull it off. Either way, the series has finally lived up to the No. 1 vs. No. 2 hype.