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

Harbhajan says the pitch has runs in it

50

Harbhajan Singh, the India offspinner, said he enjoyed the bounce that he got out of the Kingsmead pitch but it also took precise bowling in fast-scoring conditions to succeed as a bowler. He returned 4 for 10 in 7.2 overs, his seventh-best figures outside India.

"There is extra bounce, but you still need to be very sure of your length," Harbhajan said. "Anything slightly short or slightly full can go for runs, at least for a spinner. Fast bowlers need to make the batsmen come forward. That really brings them into the game. But spinners can go for runs because the boundaries are small, and with the good bounce batsmen can connect well."

The major contribution from Harbhajan was Hashim Amla's wicket. Along with VVS Laxman, Amla has looked the most comfortable batsman in this low-scoring game, and Harbhajan said, even though eventually 18 wickets fell on the second day, things were looking hard for the bowlers when Amla was at the wicket. "There's nothing wrong with the wicket, it's still a good one. If you bowl in the right areas, there is a little bit of extra bounce but no lateral movement. The bowlers have a chance to get wickets, but the way Hashim was going, batting was looking simple. It's the kind of wicket where if a batsman gets in, he needs to make full use of it. I don't know how 18 wickets fell in a day on this wicket."

Harbhajan's second wicket was special for a couple of reasons: it got Rahul Dravid his 200th Test catch, and his 50th off Harbhajan's bowling. "He took a brilliant catch but it would have been nice to see him still batting at stumps, but unfortunately he's not there."

India did have a disappointing spell where they lost four quick wickets after bowling South Africa out for 131, one of whom was Dravid, but to their relief VVS Laxman and Cheteshwar Pujara batted out close to the last one-and-a-half hours, and Harbhajan said those two would be crucial in setting South Africa a competitive target. "There's still a lot of cricket left. We don't want to be complacent. We want to bat well tomorrow. Hopefully Laxman and Pujara can bat a long time and get a lot of runs on the board, and then we'll take it from there. We need to make sure we score more than 300 to give ourselves a good chance."

Harbhajan was pleased with how Pujara batted, playing only his second Test. "He showed great character to stick it out and let us know he wants to be a player who can be counted on. He practises very hard, and is a gutsy player; he's not worried about the bounce or the pace or anything. I hope he can convert all the domestic runs he's scored into international success."

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on December 28, 2010, 15:02 GMT

    @charan200..i am not saying sachin is selfish..and i am not even saying that he plays for records...but he just cant take pressure.... as laxman does.....he isnt invincible.....please dont take it seriously..bcoz i am also a huge fan of sachin....but sachin is sachin and laxman is laxman.......u have to accept the fact that he cant play under pressure....only laxman does...

  • cricology on December 28, 2010, 14:52 GMT

    @anranga 1...who ever you are less borthered...u may even be correct that India may loose the series 3-0...but believe it Indians are getting the worst conditions to play...they loose toss (bad luck) and play on damp pitches...SA comes out to bat and sun dries the pitch...2nd test India again looses toss and bats on green top...and when same SA batted they too struggled and were 131 all out...some luck and story would have been different...

    so comment pargmatically and not shoot in dark !!!

  • ste13 on December 28, 2010, 14:32 GMT

    India should have made slightly better in the 2nd innings, esp. with Sehwag trying to be more patient. But this is a true contest and indeed there is very little separating these two top sides, with India bowling not really behind much-hyped SA. I cannot imaging India losing this series 3-0, but another stiff test for them will come in 2011 with tour of much improved England.

  • JPB334 on December 28, 2010, 14:23 GMT

    What would H.Singh know about runs?

  • sri1ram on December 28, 2010, 13:25 GMT

    Dream on anranga1, dream on. First time a Number.1 team will get white-washed 3-0? Right now, RSA needs 220 runs to win with 3 wickets down - Indians will take this to one all and hope for a win the next game. Game on now!

  • anranga1 on December 28, 2010, 12:50 GMT

    I think India will loose this match & the series 3-0. Probably the first time a No. 1 team would have been whitewashed

  • kr_kinshuk on December 28, 2010, 11:59 GMT

    india's top order missed the bus yesterday.... with the pitch having eased out 300 doesn't seem a very tough target unless south africa make errors.....

  • kasyapm on December 28, 2010, 11:30 GMT

    Some of the comments are really amusing. No way one can decide a batsman's calibre with his performance in a match, leave alone debating on whether SRT/RD can bat in such conditions (Time and again they have proved that they have the technique and temperament to play in testing conditions). Getting out doesn't necessarily mean that batsman is unable to figure out playing at the wicket. Pujara, for example, looked like having the technique to sustain in such conditions. Raina, on the other hand, looked like throwing his wicket sooner or later. But then, you can hang around if you have some temperament (and some luck!). Harbhajan meant that the pitch is not as bad as the scorecard suggests and wishes to get more. Thats it! an analysis of the pitch from a bowler who did really well on that wicket. Why are we dissecting his comments and throwing mud on batsmen from either sides...chill guys!

  • on December 28, 2010, 10:28 GMT

    Over-hyped South African battin looked like a minnows... Wonder why they fight for number one spot.. They cant play on bouncy track and turning tracks either.. Chokers.. Even if the lead is 200, they would make a mess of it and ended up close to 170....

  • indianzen on December 28, 2010, 9:10 GMT

    2nd Innings forecast - Completely depends on Amla and Kallis. If they stand, Sa win else SA loose. period.

  • on December 28, 2010, 15:02 GMT

    @charan200..i am not saying sachin is selfish..and i am not even saying that he plays for records...but he just cant take pressure.... as laxman does.....he isnt invincible.....please dont take it seriously..bcoz i am also a huge fan of sachin....but sachin is sachin and laxman is laxman.......u have to accept the fact that he cant play under pressure....only laxman does...

  • cricology on December 28, 2010, 14:52 GMT

    @anranga 1...who ever you are less borthered...u may even be correct that India may loose the series 3-0...but believe it Indians are getting the worst conditions to play...they loose toss (bad luck) and play on damp pitches...SA comes out to bat and sun dries the pitch...2nd test India again looses toss and bats on green top...and when same SA batted they too struggled and were 131 all out...some luck and story would have been different...

    so comment pargmatically and not shoot in dark !!!

  • ste13 on December 28, 2010, 14:32 GMT

    India should have made slightly better in the 2nd innings, esp. with Sehwag trying to be more patient. But this is a true contest and indeed there is very little separating these two top sides, with India bowling not really behind much-hyped SA. I cannot imaging India losing this series 3-0, but another stiff test for them will come in 2011 with tour of much improved England.

  • JPB334 on December 28, 2010, 14:23 GMT

    What would H.Singh know about runs?

  • sri1ram on December 28, 2010, 13:25 GMT

    Dream on anranga1, dream on. First time a Number.1 team will get white-washed 3-0? Right now, RSA needs 220 runs to win with 3 wickets down - Indians will take this to one all and hope for a win the next game. Game on now!

  • anranga1 on December 28, 2010, 12:50 GMT

    I think India will loose this match & the series 3-0. Probably the first time a No. 1 team would have been whitewashed

  • kr_kinshuk on December 28, 2010, 11:59 GMT

    india's top order missed the bus yesterday.... with the pitch having eased out 300 doesn't seem a very tough target unless south africa make errors.....

  • kasyapm on December 28, 2010, 11:30 GMT

    Some of the comments are really amusing. No way one can decide a batsman's calibre with his performance in a match, leave alone debating on whether SRT/RD can bat in such conditions (Time and again they have proved that they have the technique and temperament to play in testing conditions). Getting out doesn't necessarily mean that batsman is unable to figure out playing at the wicket. Pujara, for example, looked like having the technique to sustain in such conditions. Raina, on the other hand, looked like throwing his wicket sooner or later. But then, you can hang around if you have some temperament (and some luck!). Harbhajan meant that the pitch is not as bad as the scorecard suggests and wishes to get more. Thats it! an analysis of the pitch from a bowler who did really well on that wicket. Why are we dissecting his comments and throwing mud on batsmen from either sides...chill guys!

  • on December 28, 2010, 10:28 GMT

    Over-hyped South African battin looked like a minnows... Wonder why they fight for number one spot.. They cant play on bouncy track and turning tracks either.. Chokers.. Even if the lead is 200, they would make a mess of it and ended up close to 170....

  • indianzen on December 28, 2010, 9:10 GMT

    2nd Innings forecast - Completely depends on Amla and Kallis. If they stand, Sa win else SA loose. period.

  • engineer_11 on December 28, 2010, 7:34 GMT

    First to fall salute to ZK for inspiring Indian Team specially bowlers...Sehwag & Dravid really wasted there wickets..Now all depends on Laxman & Dhoni ,though pujara is good one.But still its that magical figure of 300 India has to cross to make match of this.We had bit of luck in first inning particularly wickets of Kallis & Amla ,don't think that it will happen again.It will be in hand of ZK & Bhajji as other two are not supporting bowlers too..Lets hope for the best..Go India Go..

  • anver777 on December 28, 2010, 7:26 GMT

    My friend Harbhajan if pitch has runs in it, then what happen to u'r so called world class batsmen ?? Why didn't they score ?????? may be Bhajji has become more expert, than their premier batters after his two hundreds against NZ..........

  • cris89 on December 28, 2010, 6:40 GMT

    Ind will get a lead of 220-230..SA will win this match by 4-5 wickets (similar to Cape Town in 2006/07)and the series 3-0..In the ODIs Ind will probably win one match, 4-1 is the best possible result Ind can hope for..

  • charan200 on December 28, 2010, 6:33 GMT

    those who criticise sachin see the records of the master which r played under pressure situations........shame on them....how much he have to score to reach people's expectations....out of 50 centuries 21 came in second innings....he is a champion.....

  • PTtheAxis on December 28, 2010, 6:23 GMT

    well said erica.funny to see bhaji making expert comments.

  • sweetspot on December 28, 2010, 6:19 GMT

    GREAT! So now we know SA's batting is no good even when there is a bit of assistance for bowlers. Enough of condemning India's batting already.

  • Samar_Singh on December 28, 2010, 5:48 GMT

    Pujara looks a good long term prospect for India... I would definitely prefer Pujara over Raina in Test cricket..Ajinkya Madhukar Rahane could be another option (1st class average of 69.1 ) and could try Rohit sharma too for Test cricket...Bhajji is a crap though he got 4-10 ,all credits to Zaks...

  • on December 28, 2010, 5:26 GMT

    More than India, SA have greater chances to win the game, Indian batters have thrown it away by some reckless and senseless batting. No point in matching Sehwag. As we have seen earlier (thrice in the series), Indians dont play well in morning session and today being the make or break day, I see India faltering again in morning session. 2 wkts and all over for India. Pitch has eased out comprehensively and with Sun beating down, SA are more likely to have better batting conditions. The truth is that Miracles dont happen so frequently. Still hoping against hopes.........

  • jimbond on December 28, 2010, 4:14 GMT

    For those who want Dravid to retire- my doubts- who in his place? Is it someone like Vijay who cant deal with short or swinging balls, and same for Raina? Dravid and Sachin and Laxman and Sehwag and Gambhir, and Pujara and Dhoni should continue to play unless there are better batsmen around. As of now I cant see the better batsmen than any of these seven. In terms of class, if they are consistent, Kohli or Rohit sharma may get a look in in a few months or a few years in the test team. Till then, these guys as well as those like Saurabh Tiwary and Raina and Yuvraj can strengthen the one day team. You cant judge quality of the Indian team from one effort. Result of long term effort- they are number 1 in the rankings. Harbajan despite his performances in this match could be a weak link, and Ashwin is not the answer. We need to unearth/develop some good spinners very soon.

  • Chncricfan_2k0 on December 28, 2010, 4:02 GMT

    Very very special Laxman is always there whenever Indian team is in trouble on so many occasions.He is a real team man not like anyone who plays for records and got all the hypes..U the man of warrior and a great fighter.Your never give up attitude.Oh you are awesome..I hope Lax and Pujara will put up a good partnership today and make SA bowlers to work hard for wicket.I hope around 300 to 350 will be a good score on the fourth innings.but still U cannot settle with any score providing the pitch variations.100-million dollar question in everyone mind today is will the pitch get worse or flatten up and good for batting.who knows.god only knows..anyhow we hope for the best to happen as far as the Indian fans..!

  • anshu.sunny on December 28, 2010, 3:58 GMT

    there are people talking about Indian attack being nothing without Zaheer..same goes for SA attack without Steyn.Cliched talk takes one nowhere.Frankly speaking the match is even now due to few careless shots from Indian batsmen.

  • dhurandhar007 on December 28, 2010, 3:44 GMT

    I am an avid SRT fan and over the past decade, I have been wanting to see a few defining innings from him in crunch situations in test matches so that would shut his critics up. But alll I can remember is few ODI heroics from him, but never a defining Test innings that can be remembered for posterity. Yes, there have been some big scores in losing causes, or when it did not matter. Today was another chance. With 21 years on the world stage and 50 test centuries under his belt, he should have held firm even if all else was crumbling around him today in India's 2nd innings. Sorry to see him fail yet again when he was needed the most.

  • on December 28, 2010, 3:33 GMT

    Great going TEAMINDIA self belief n determination ll only do for us..bajji was outstanding n zak was brilliant ONE HUMBLE REQ DONT be COMPLACENT proteas ll fight back..

  • on December 28, 2010, 3:22 GMT

    @c3vzn There are two things to say....one is that these were foreign conditions to us and neither sreesanth nor inshant are experienced enough to adapt to foreign conditions and lead the attack at the same time that too under loads of pressure... Secondly, imagine SA in India without Steyn....their bowling attack would have struggled to pick even a couple of wickets leave alone 10 or 20 and if u add the pressure of such a low score to defend its never easy...Its just that back here in india ppl want cricketers to be robots not humans....!!!!

  • on December 28, 2010, 3:18 GMT

    India has done well with the ball and some lady luck to stay in the game so far.The stars of the so called powerful batting lineup has yet again let us down. Dravid is not the same Dravid we knew before. He plays defensive shots at the balls he can just leave alone . He should either play attacking shots at balls outside the off stump or leave them alone. He has paid a heavy price for these careless errors of poor shot selection.He has to retire gracefully. Laxman and Pujara has to string a substancial partnership and one of them has to carry on with the tail to give the weak indian bowlers something to bowl at. Lightning does not strike twice , so India has to set something in between atleast 325 and onwards to win from here. Tall ask but very much possible. Good luck and I wish this indian teams pulls even in this test match.

  • ram_indian on December 28, 2010, 2:36 GMT

    This series and the on going ashes series prove one more thing that the top 4/5 teams are more or less the same..and it all boils down to conditions..no team can say they can master tough conditions - even if it it at home. As has been proven so far they provide wildy fluctuating performances from one test to the next. Modern cricket in the last 10 years or so with generally flat/uniform pitches across the world and advent of mosnter bats has encouraged batsmen to hit thro' the line, and when confronted with a pitch with a bit in it, they then struggle to adapt (in general). Not sure, if they really mind it..as they also know that pitches like these are rare and a few low scores will not make a dent in their awesome records

  • AvidCricFan on December 28, 2010, 2:28 GMT

    While the pitch may have some runs, the two greats failed to contribute in crucial times. The novice Pujara is showing better grit to hang around. Good that the team management chose Pujara over Raina.

  • on December 28, 2010, 2:28 GMT

    @ Erica Herewini - you are awesome...I agree with u with slight changes Sachin - If he scores in first match drop him for the rest of series...dont expect anything from him Dravid - Was awesome...but has to retire...20s and 30s doesnt help team...give way to youngsters... Vijay - Enough chances...pls dp some more practice....but in domestic.. Gambhir - Good, Sehwag - Good, Dhoni - Move up the order, laxman - Good... Sreeshanth - Should be slapped hard...If i would have been the captain..and saw him sledging...I would kick on his butt and say...'First learn to bowl'.... Harbhajan - Very very Ordinary bowler....got wickets due to batsmen's mistake rather than his good bowling..

  • pankaj7tripathi on December 28, 2010, 2:22 GMT

    This is only the third day pitch and Harbhajan is totally right in that the pitch is still a very good one. Simply not enough cricket has been played on this surface to be called a wearing surface. Yes there is bounce in this pitch but so far most of the batters have gifted their wickets. This is a fair test pitch with help for all concerned. I really don't think 275 is going to be enough and that 350 is more like the total that India will need to set to have a realistic chance. Lets just hope that the other bowlers also contribute and not just expect Bhaji and Zac to do a wonder job again.

  • on December 28, 2010, 2:08 GMT

    Its really pity to see that all top senior batsmen threw away their wicket. It seemed that these players were pretty overexcited about the fact India were on the driver seat and wanted to hit SA out of the game as soon as possible which resulted into their downfall. Its now upto Laxman and Pujara to take the boat to a long distance beyond South Africa's reach .

  • SABD on December 28, 2010, 1:43 GMT

    I believe India should drop Sehwag for the time being as he does not have the temperment of playing test cricket; He should be picked up only when flat batting tracks are being played on, he can "demolish" the opponent bowling line-ups then. And about India's bowling: It was bad luck for SA to falter against such an otherwise useless bowling line-up. The Indian team currently has only one good bowler intheir aquad in the form of Z Khan. Bhajji is useless outside the sub-continent; the 3 out of the 4 wickets that he took were of tail-enders. India should immediately replace Sreeshant and Ishant with Praveen Kumar and RP Singh.

  • gerardpereira20 on December 28, 2010, 1:35 GMT

    Sloppy batting again from Shewag let SA in. Was this guy last in line when brains were handed out? He did it in Bangalore against Australia, He did it in the first test match here. It is just no good saying " that is the way the guy bats" it is time somebody sat him down and told him that the team's needs come before his ego. And what about the great Sachin? When ever the heat is on he is not in the kitchen. It is always left to unsung guys like Laxman to dig you out of a hole. Were was Sachin in Bangalore, Perth, Durban or Kolkta in 2001 against Australia. In pressure situations it is odds on Sachin is going to fail. If Ishant could hang around in Bangalore why not Sachin.No point comparing Sachin to Bradman or any of the other greats As Bradman, Lara, Richards single handedly won games from losing positions While Sachin's lack of application loses you games from winning positions.

  • Nampally on December 28, 2010, 0:21 GMT

    Yes, Harbhajan is right. This wicket is a sporting one where batsmen & bowlers have equal chances. India lost 4 wickets out of which only Vijay got out to a rising ball right on his body. Sehwag, Dravid & Tendulkar got out to bad & careless shots. If one applies himself and stays there choosing to hit really bad balls rather than chase wide ones, they can score runs. India must be very careful that they got SA out cheaply in the first innings. India need a big score to have any chance of winning. VVS & Pujara must dig in and wait for the loose balls to get runs. They must focus on leaves rather than poke at them as many have lost their wkts. due to such play.Play orthodox game - no fancy shots.pace and bounce must be understood before going for the shots.Can India add another 200 runs? They must if they want to be in the series going into the third test.A target below 350 is hard to defend. Zaheer's magic is still needed even with this total. Will India prevail remains to be seen.

  • Raju_Iyer on December 27, 2010, 23:51 GMT

    Impatience and churlishness can be found in abundance - last week SRT was a hero and now suddenly he is a zero? And vice-versa for Bhaji? First and foremost, let us be grateful to the ENTIRE Indian team who have done well fairly consistently to reach the #1 position. Next, let's wish them the very best for the reminder of this match and hope they come out trumps to end what has been an excellent year for Indian sport in general and cricket in particular.

  • on December 27, 2010, 23:33 GMT

    Test Cricket at its best.......

  • c3vzn on December 27, 2010, 23:21 GMT

    @zaheerfan Those people who criticised India last match had every right to. Don't you think its a worry that the no 1. team in the world can only take 20 wickets when the zaheer plays? The guy gets injured every so often that they need a back up option, Praveen Kumar perhaps? Seriously picking useless 19/20 yr olds like Unadkat won't do them any good, I still remember last tour when they picked VRV Singh, damn that guy was crap.

  • indianpunter on December 27, 2010, 23:05 GMT

    Fellow Indians, countrymen ! i have been crying hoarse for a few months now. Rahul Dravid has to go. He is pulling indian cricket back. India cannot progress if he remains in the team. his greatness is assured, but what he is doing now is harming the team no end. Please join the "save India, Sack Dravid" campaign !

  • simz504 on December 27, 2010, 22:58 GMT

    Hellooooooo to all the Harbhajan haters!!!! He may have arrived late, but atleast Indias number 1 spinner has showed up to party in SA.

    And I would have loved to see mishra, ojha, or "insert your favorite spinner here" to try and get 4 for 10 in SA.

    Zaheer and Bhaj played like champs today. An Indian victory rests in your hands when SA bats second boys!!!!! SA will not roll over and die, so lets hope India set a good target.

    Oh and the Indian curators need to pay close attention to this; Bounce is a good thing fellas. Flat decks hurt cricket as they are good for nothing but draws and producing guys like Raina.

  • on December 27, 2010, 22:58 GMT

    Sachin doesnt play well under pressure, Dravid should retire for goodness, Vijay should not be in at all, Sreesanth needs a slap again on backside, Sharma needs a kick, Dhoni needs to open up and play like he used to, Thumbs up to Sehwag, Pujara (I know he is good), Gambhir, Zaheer, Bhajji(for now).

  • braindead_rocker on December 27, 2010, 22:52 GMT

    Great stuff from Zaheer and Harbhajan. Disappointing to see the Indian top order throw away the good work by the bowlers. I hope Laxman,Pujara, Dhoni and Harbhajan help us to get a lead of 350. Then Zaheer will surely be charged up to clean up the South Africans.

  • Experienceisoverrated on December 27, 2010, 22:50 GMT

    He got one established batsman and 3 tail-enders out on a wicket that is obviously assisting bowlers big time. lets not crown Harbhajan based on this. He is still at best a very average bowler.

  • vmurali62 on December 27, 2010, 22:30 GMT

    With due apologies, a vast fraction of my fellow Indian Cricket Team fans have very little appreciation for the nuances of cricket. Phrases like: "you have to bowl at 140Ks to be successful", "India cannot bat on wickets with movement and bounce", "Sachin is a God", "Sachin bats only for records",.....ad nauseum go the cliches. All the fury and adulation is released based on a couple of performances. I rate India's 205 in the first innings VERY highly. Imagine facing a leg spinner like Warne who turns the ball viciously, get him to bowl it at 90mph+, add a dash of bounce, and for good measure add late drift - this was how Dale Steyn bowled. He was unplayable. To put this in perspective, neither England nor Australia have produced anything close to this in the Ashes series. India is the best batting outfit around, one or two off-days notwithstanding. India will win here. BTW, Rahul is in great form -even though his recent scores do not indicate this - matter of time, 3rd test?

  • nlambda on December 27, 2010, 22:20 GMT

    Am Indian, SRT fan, and feeling let down. What is the point of scoring 50 centuries when you cannot last 20 balls in a real pressure situation. Yet again, only VVS can soak up the pressure. And I do think RD is approaching the end, hundreds against NZ notwithstanding.

  • zaheerfan on December 27, 2010, 21:00 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

  • on December 27, 2010, 20:41 GMT

    where are the harbhajan haters now ?

  • on December 27, 2010, 20:38 GMT

    I agree that the wicket will only get better. And after dismissing SAF for 131 the way Sachin and Dravid batted was quite disappointing. Sachin needs to save his best for situations/conditions like these in stead of flat deck(s) or should I say more batter friendly tracks and as many have said "Dravid has forgot where his off stump is" he doesn't even look the shadow of himself anymore. I can understand bhajji's comments like - ""There's nothing wrong with the wicket, it's still a good one" & "We need to make sure we score more than 300 to give ourselves a good chance" - to cover up if India manages to lose from here. Careless second innings batting has allowed SA to claw back.

  • cris89 on December 27, 2010, 20:12 GMT

    An interesting day of test cricket with decent bowling and shoddy batting from both sides...In general, I hate it when Indian fans go after Tendulkar for every one of their collapses, but in this case it was disappointing that he failed to make a telling contribution at a crucial stage of the game..He had the chance to take the game away from SA but fell to Steyn once again..Pujara looks a determined bat..should be retained in the squad even if he doesn't make lots of runs in the 2nd innings..

  • lakshya1 on December 27, 2010, 19:54 GMT

    very difficult for india to make a comeback now. it will require a miracle. batsmen failed to take advantage of the lead. feel sorry for our bowlers who did so well.

  • AvidCricFan on December 27, 2010, 19:54 GMT

    The greats, SRT and RD did not deliver on a testing pitch. Sehwag was only a marignally better.

  • on December 27, 2010, 19:29 GMT

    All the best Bhajji, hope to see some runs and wickets from you again :-)

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  • on December 27, 2010, 19:29 GMT

    All the best Bhajji, hope to see some runs and wickets from you again :-)

  • AvidCricFan on December 27, 2010, 19:54 GMT

    The greats, SRT and RD did not deliver on a testing pitch. Sehwag was only a marignally better.

  • lakshya1 on December 27, 2010, 19:54 GMT

    very difficult for india to make a comeback now. it will require a miracle. batsmen failed to take advantage of the lead. feel sorry for our bowlers who did so well.

  • cris89 on December 27, 2010, 20:12 GMT

    An interesting day of test cricket with decent bowling and shoddy batting from both sides...In general, I hate it when Indian fans go after Tendulkar for every one of their collapses, but in this case it was disappointing that he failed to make a telling contribution at a crucial stage of the game..He had the chance to take the game away from SA but fell to Steyn once again..Pujara looks a determined bat..should be retained in the squad even if he doesn't make lots of runs in the 2nd innings..

  • on December 27, 2010, 20:38 GMT

    I agree that the wicket will only get better. And after dismissing SAF for 131 the way Sachin and Dravid batted was quite disappointing. Sachin needs to save his best for situations/conditions like these in stead of flat deck(s) or should I say more batter friendly tracks and as many have said "Dravid has forgot where his off stump is" he doesn't even look the shadow of himself anymore. I can understand bhajji's comments like - ""There's nothing wrong with the wicket, it's still a good one" & "We need to make sure we score more than 300 to give ourselves a good chance" - to cover up if India manages to lose from here. Careless second innings batting has allowed SA to claw back.

  • on December 27, 2010, 20:41 GMT

    where are the harbhajan haters now ?

  • zaheerfan on December 27, 2010, 21:00 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

  • nlambda on December 27, 2010, 22:20 GMT

    Am Indian, SRT fan, and feeling let down. What is the point of scoring 50 centuries when you cannot last 20 balls in a real pressure situation. Yet again, only VVS can soak up the pressure. And I do think RD is approaching the end, hundreds against NZ notwithstanding.

  • vmurali62 on December 27, 2010, 22:30 GMT

    With due apologies, a vast fraction of my fellow Indian Cricket Team fans have very little appreciation for the nuances of cricket. Phrases like: "you have to bowl at 140Ks to be successful", "India cannot bat on wickets with movement and bounce", "Sachin is a God", "Sachin bats only for records",.....ad nauseum go the cliches. All the fury and adulation is released based on a couple of performances. I rate India's 205 in the first innings VERY highly. Imagine facing a leg spinner like Warne who turns the ball viciously, get him to bowl it at 90mph+, add a dash of bounce, and for good measure add late drift - this was how Dale Steyn bowled. He was unplayable. To put this in perspective, neither England nor Australia have produced anything close to this in the Ashes series. India is the best batting outfit around, one or two off-days notwithstanding. India will win here. BTW, Rahul is in great form -even though his recent scores do not indicate this - matter of time, 3rd test?

  • Experienceisoverrated on December 27, 2010, 22:50 GMT

    He got one established batsman and 3 tail-enders out on a wicket that is obviously assisting bowlers big time. lets not crown Harbhajan based on this. He is still at best a very average bowler.