South Africa v India, 2nd Test, Durban, 4th day December 29, 2010

Dhoni downplays Kingsmead achievement

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In typical fashion, MS Dhoni has sought to downplay the Durban win, saying this win is as special as ones that came in Kanpur, Eden Gardens or anywhere else. Just one win, he said, neither justifies the team's No. 1 ranking nor earns the respect here in South Africa, where they were doubted and questioned by the media, the former players and the opposition. "Then what about what we have been doing in the last few years?" Dhoni said. "All those wins have an impact on the confidence and morale of the side."

India came to Durban bruised and battered from Centurion, and lost the toss on an overcast morning. But through some sensible batting and bowling, sensational catching, and a couple of lucky breaks when bowling in the first innings, India - through their first win in a Boxing Day Test - levelled the series. In the process, Dhoni joined Mohammad Azharuddin as the second-most successful Indian Test captain. While Azhar got his 14 wins in 47 Tests, Dhoni's side has taken only 23 Tests to get to that mark, which means that Dhoni's success-rate among players who have captained sides for more than 20 Tests is behind only that of Steve Waugh, Don Bradman, and Ricky Ponting.

"It means I've got a good side," Dhoni said of his captaincy record. "What it means is that we've played consistent cricket over a period of time. We started this process around September 2008 and two years hence we're in a position where we can say we have done well in most places. Of course it's a proud moment. As a team, whether it's batting, bowling or fielding, we've done consistently well. We've taken some good catches despite not being a brilliant ground-fielding side. It feels really good that we've done well together.

"There can be a situation where the team is doing well and the captain is labelled as doing a good job. But it's the 16 guys in the squad that have to perform well as a unit. When it comes to the Indian team, it's about how the youngsters coming in contribute as we face a lot of injuries to the fast bowlers and batsmen also. I'm fortunate to have people who are willing to go onto the field and do their best."

Dhoni quickly moved on to talking of another record that he needs to protect in three days' time, that of never having lost a series as a captain. Four years ago, India went to Cape Town 1-1, but lost on a turning track. "We had a brilliant first innings and then a disappointing second innings, because of which we lost that Test," he said. "It's important to be at our best in all three departments."

The confidence of this side - a departure from the ones before Sourav Ganguly and John Wright started taking India ahead - shows in the kind of track Dhoni is expecting in Cape Town. "The greener the better," he said. "Most of our bowlers are skill bowlers. Even if we bowl only 135 to 140k, we are swing bowlers, which means the greener the wicket the better it is because the bowlers can swing it a bit more."

Dhoni was full of praise for the two key protagonists in this win, VVS Laxman and Zaheer Khan. "Hopefully it [Laxman's back] will be okay for the next few years," Dhoni said. "We always count on Laxman. Whenever you see him not scoring in a couple of innings, you know something very special is coming. It was one of those wickets where it was quite tough to convince yourself that you're set because one odd ball may do something and get you out. At the end of the day the 96 runs that he made mattered. It would have been lovely if he got to a hundred, but you don't always get what you want."

The bowling unit's reliance on Zaheer - not necessarily for wickets, but also for the leadership - is a bit of a concern, but Dhoni chose to look at the positives. "The youngsters are getting groomed under Zaheer," he said. "Of course, it's the coach's job to groom all the players but when you have someone like Zaheer it reduces the coach's workload by 50%. Also Zaheer is very good under pressure. He doesn't panic in tough situations, and he convinces bowlers about the fields they should set and the lines and lengths they should bowl."

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • AMBH on January 1, 2011, 15:14 GMT

    @A.Afker Bangladesh no more a underrated team boy.. they white washed NZ but you ppl never did it and we did it with a 2nd string Indian side 5-0 recently this s for ur info on Babgladesh resurgence and our bench strength... more importantly NZ did it against you...;o) see it here http://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/content/records/283240.html

  • stevebriggs on January 1, 2011, 15:03 GMT

    and SL is not test playing nation is it?? lol

  • stevebriggs on January 1, 2011, 15:02 GMT

    SAs are just fast track bully... they cant play cricket on any other pitches..

  • Lion_of_Lanka on January 1, 2011, 9:41 GMT

    From DragonCC in a another article - "no mate seriously we are all happy than India are actually winning a few games, for a change ..i mean after all the manic enthusiasm and the rupees spent on the game, stadiums, effigies[to burn], stones[to throw] we finally have results - india's pathetic showing in the 1990's and early 2000's and of course that insignificant world cup 2007 really made us feel for you guys - so make no mistake my man we are happy you are doing well" - Pretty much sums up what I have to say...

  • A.Afker on January 1, 2011, 6:12 GMT

    @AMBH .IND too lost against BAN (don't forget that).If SL get the Chance to play with SA in SA more often,then SL too win few matches for sure.You are telling IND is the only team where they given any fight to AUS at their peak.Then what about SA even they won the series 2-1 in AUS (Are u forget that?).Further u said Sanga,Dilshan played silly cricket.Don't u forget how Jadeja & Ganguly played with SL (May be u don't know that incidence).Not only that even your crowed behave silly (eg.Eden Garden '96).Pls check who had a better record in ODI with SA(except AUS).

  • A.Afker on January 1, 2011, 4:21 GMT

    @AMBH. IND too loss to BAN (don't forget).But for sure if SL get a chance to play with SA in SA,then SL too can win few matches. Why they are not giving SL to chance?.. SA know the results.Check who is having better one day record with SA?..(except AUS).You are saying IND is the only team give some fight to AUS.Are u forget SA win 2-1 in AUS that too they are in good position?..SL is not playing silly cricket like Jadeja or like a Ganguly (may be u forget those incidence with SL).Not only your team but also your spectators playing/acting silly (eg.Eden Garden '96).

  • Lion_of_Lanka on January 1, 2011, 2:35 GMT

    @Gulshan_Grover: Atleast Sanga, Dilshan, MJ, Mathews, Tharanga (100) performed well in OZ but how much did the great destructive sehwag score in SA? Looks like he only knows how to bat in flat tracks. Pot calling Kettle black. I would find a hobby if I were you.

  • stevebriggs on January 1, 2011, 0:37 GMT

    all of you... We have ruled cricket for 100 years and no body liked it.. now time has changed and Indias got power, money and all and nothing wrong in using them. we have changed the result of games in our time and they can do now! fair play to them.. we should just accept it! don't be jealous and narrow mind... be a man as This is a man's world...

  • on December 31, 2010, 22:46 GMT

    India came to Durban bruised and battered from Centurion, and lost the toss on an overcast morning. But through some sensible batting and bowling, sensational catching, and a couple of lucky breaks when bowling in the first innings, India - through their first win in a Boxing Day Test - levelled the series. In the process, Dhoni joined Mohammad Azharuddin as the second-most successful Indian Test captain. While Azhar got his 14 wins in 47 Tests, Dhoni's side has taken only 23 Tests to get to that mark, which means .......please ban pakis from this site....that Dhoni's success-rate among players who have captained sides for more than 20 Tests is behind only that of Steve Waugh, Don Bradman, and Ricky Ponting.

  • AMBH on December 31, 2010, 22:06 GMT

    @A.Afker ya PAk won matches in SA i accept because they also had a formidable team for long time.... if going to compare defeats with team ranking... then all teams including auss nz eng sl pak are all beaten by bangladesh... so u(SL) ll accept ur a worst team.. don compare rare results that occur in a 2 decades or so as a topic and don be close minded... can ur team win a match in SA against SA with there current team or can u even draw..? jus answer this.. Indians team always posed threat to every team when they are on top world.. eg. bet 2003 to 2007(auss dominating) only Team India posed fight to win and draw a series against AUSS in australia. so don waste time in arguement.. cheer up ur team(Sl)... and don play silly cricket like randiv dilshan sanga not good for SL future wit this kind of players it doesnt show passion for cric.. Indians always played wit passion and intent to win the cricket by game not by mind games and silly ugly things.. cheeers to indians and all the best

  • AMBH on January 1, 2011, 15:14 GMT

    @A.Afker Bangladesh no more a underrated team boy.. they white washed NZ but you ppl never did it and we did it with a 2nd string Indian side 5-0 recently this s for ur info on Babgladesh resurgence and our bench strength... more importantly NZ did it against you...;o) see it here http://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/content/records/283240.html

  • stevebriggs on January 1, 2011, 15:03 GMT

    and SL is not test playing nation is it?? lol

  • stevebriggs on January 1, 2011, 15:02 GMT

    SAs are just fast track bully... they cant play cricket on any other pitches..

  • Lion_of_Lanka on January 1, 2011, 9:41 GMT

    From DragonCC in a another article - "no mate seriously we are all happy than India are actually winning a few games, for a change ..i mean after all the manic enthusiasm and the rupees spent on the game, stadiums, effigies[to burn], stones[to throw] we finally have results - india's pathetic showing in the 1990's and early 2000's and of course that insignificant world cup 2007 really made us feel for you guys - so make no mistake my man we are happy you are doing well" - Pretty much sums up what I have to say...

  • A.Afker on January 1, 2011, 6:12 GMT

    @AMBH .IND too lost against BAN (don't forget that).If SL get the Chance to play with SA in SA more often,then SL too win few matches for sure.You are telling IND is the only team where they given any fight to AUS at their peak.Then what about SA even they won the series 2-1 in AUS (Are u forget that?).Further u said Sanga,Dilshan played silly cricket.Don't u forget how Jadeja & Ganguly played with SL (May be u don't know that incidence).Not only that even your crowed behave silly (eg.Eden Garden '96).Pls check who had a better record in ODI with SA(except AUS).

  • A.Afker on January 1, 2011, 4:21 GMT

    @AMBH. IND too loss to BAN (don't forget).But for sure if SL get a chance to play with SA in SA,then SL too can win few matches. Why they are not giving SL to chance?.. SA know the results.Check who is having better one day record with SA?..(except AUS).You are saying IND is the only team give some fight to AUS.Are u forget SA win 2-1 in AUS that too they are in good position?..SL is not playing silly cricket like Jadeja or like a Ganguly (may be u forget those incidence with SL).Not only your team but also your spectators playing/acting silly (eg.Eden Garden '96).

  • Lion_of_Lanka on January 1, 2011, 2:35 GMT

    @Gulshan_Grover: Atleast Sanga, Dilshan, MJ, Mathews, Tharanga (100) performed well in OZ but how much did the great destructive sehwag score in SA? Looks like he only knows how to bat in flat tracks. Pot calling Kettle black. I would find a hobby if I were you.

  • stevebriggs on January 1, 2011, 0:37 GMT

    all of you... We have ruled cricket for 100 years and no body liked it.. now time has changed and Indias got power, money and all and nothing wrong in using them. we have changed the result of games in our time and they can do now! fair play to them.. we should just accept it! don't be jealous and narrow mind... be a man as This is a man's world...

  • on December 31, 2010, 22:46 GMT

    India came to Durban bruised and battered from Centurion, and lost the toss on an overcast morning. But through some sensible batting and bowling, sensational catching, and a couple of lucky breaks when bowling in the first innings, India - through their first win in a Boxing Day Test - levelled the series. In the process, Dhoni joined Mohammad Azharuddin as the second-most successful Indian Test captain. While Azhar got his 14 wins in 47 Tests, Dhoni's side has taken only 23 Tests to get to that mark, which means .......please ban pakis from this site....that Dhoni's success-rate among players who have captained sides for more than 20 Tests is behind only that of Steve Waugh, Don Bradman, and Ricky Ponting.

  • AMBH on December 31, 2010, 22:06 GMT

    @A.Afker ya PAk won matches in SA i accept because they also had a formidable team for long time.... if going to compare defeats with team ranking... then all teams including auss nz eng sl pak are all beaten by bangladesh... so u(SL) ll accept ur a worst team.. don compare rare results that occur in a 2 decades or so as a topic and don be close minded... can ur team win a match in SA against SA with there current team or can u even draw..? jus answer this.. Indians team always posed threat to every team when they are on top world.. eg. bet 2003 to 2007(auss dominating) only Team India posed fight to win and draw a series against AUSS in australia. so don waste time in arguement.. cheer up ur team(Sl)... and don play silly cricket like randiv dilshan sanga not good for SL future wit this kind of players it doesnt show passion for cric.. Indians always played wit passion and intent to win the cricket by game not by mind games and silly ugly things.. cheeers to indians and all the best

  • A.Afker on December 31, 2010, 16:57 GMT

    @ Gulshan_Grover. We too won in NZ,ENG,WIN,PAK etc, but we never lost in ZIM whereas your so called #1 team is lost twice in ZIM.But I think PAK having better record than so called No1 team.PAK has won 2matches in SA before IND.And also they too win series in ENG (not resently),NZ,WIN,SL.So PAK should have better ranking than IND anyway. But see the ranking they have?...It will show how ranking is favour for some teams.IND is won a match in SA after playing 78 years (same as in Perth),but where as SL played only 28 years only.By the time SL playing 78 years of cricket SL could win more than 2 matces in SA for sure.

  • CandidIndian on December 31, 2010, 14:27 GMT

    Lion_of_Lanka- Read my comments here, http://www.espncricinfo.com/sri-lanka-v-west-indies-2010/content/story/491039.html, i always appreciate SL team in those articles just because i have deep respect for them and their cricket . Sanga and Murali are my favorite players outside India.But when i come to Indian articles i always see comments by some Srilankan fans who criticize India just for the sake of it.My comment was directed at those Srilankan fans not all, i didnt mention them especially because i knew only they will care to come in articles related to India rather than genuine cricket fans from SL.Logic is simple when you cant appreciate,dont criticize also,and it applies on everyone,whether its Srilankan, Indian or anyone else.Hope you get the point thanks for congratulating India.

  • arnavred on December 31, 2010, 10:04 GMT

    Sachin centuries has also values compared to other batsmen centuries.. when no one is batting what this batting maestro can do.. for eg. take 1st test in this series..he scored a ton,but nobody was there to support him... SACHIN IS THE GREATEST..ALSO A MATCH WINNER along with others like laxman,sehwag,zaheer,bhajji..

  • Gulshan_Grover on December 31, 2010, 6:08 GMT

    Sri Lankan fans are just jealous of Indian team's success. After all they have not won anything outside their own backyard and can not even dream of winning in Perth, Jamaica, Durban and Headingley. Let them vent if they want to.

  • willmot on December 31, 2010, 5:21 GMT

    Laxman's innnings is worth a dozen of Tendulkars centuries scored in hopeless losing causes. Sehwag is the other Indian matchwinner.

  • Lion_of_Lanka on December 31, 2010, 4:11 GMT

    @donindian: Too bad doggy test cricket playing Sri Lankans whacked your team 900+ and that your great team hasn't being able to beat doggy playing Lankans in SL for 20 years...When you win, be humble and modest and people will be willing to back your team even when they fail. Calling others 'dogs' only shows your lack of class. Can't blame you, maybe it's how you were raised up by your parents. I pity you mate.

  • The_Professor on December 31, 2010, 4:11 GMT

    (cont...) Ishant also needs to start using the tape measure for his run up - I can't believe he is still in the dark ages of counting out his run up. No-balls not only give away runs but puts unnecessary pressure on the bowler and it is also bloody frustrating and demoralising for the players and fans equally when a wicket falls off it! Furthermore, Kepler Wessels mentioned that Smith adjusted his batting stance to read Zak's line better, in the second innings, resulting in Zak hardly getting a ball past Smith's bat - something for Zak to ponder. I said before the series that our game-breaker could be Bhajji - SA don't know too much if Bhajji gets it right. Don't know how our batting will improve - hopefully both VVS & SRT get centuries, if not....?! Hopefully we'll get things right instead of relying on SA CHOKING as always!!!

  • The_Professor on December 31, 2010, 4:06 GMT

    Following on from my previous post (on December 30 2010, 02:52 AM GMT), I would like to thank Lion_of_Lanka (on December 30 2010, 15:32 PM GMT) - appreciate your gesture...fellow Team India fans pls take note. Now let's forget the last test win and discuss WAYS TO IMPROVE for the final test - SA will definitely have some different game plans for our bowling. Although Sreesanth had some success in the last test, I really would like to see him as well as Ishant bowling with a bit more pace - right now we have an embarrassingly pedestrian attack. I know it is a belief in India that 'you don't need pace to take wickets'. Medium pace bowlers who meet a good deal of success at test level is quite rare - McGrath and Zak are amongst the few exceptions. Sreesanth and Ishant certainly don't have the extensive experience to succeed with medium pace stuff! Cont...

  • hatrick26 on December 31, 2010, 3:00 GMT

    Lot of Indian fans are riled up against SL and some of their fans is because Sanga dared to question their #1 ranking when he has no business doing so!! It is the ICC system that is put in place and system determines India is at the top with overall consistency. SA & Eng have been quite consistent as well and has wins outside home whereas SL does not have 1 outside win against top teams.At least, Smith/Strauss has some legible questions about the each other's ranking whereas SL does not. If SL does not have opportunities, go cry to Oz/SA boards. BCCI has done its part of hosting and sending India to SL. Net Result: India 3 won SL 1 won in tests. Case Closed!

  • knowledge_eater on December 31, 2010, 2:54 GMT

    Let's not forget India's catching and fielding were very well as well. Despite many players aren't playing at their peak, India has managed to pull it off. When will I see fully active India XI? Imagine that happening, that would be one sided contest. And let's also not forget India not winning a toss, it could have made a big difference in first test. SA can still bounce back, but it all depends on how pitch is prepared and Zak's fitness, who seems to have lost weight. That's good. Let's not get carried away, and I hope SA makes good track, so we have result. It was terrific contest.

  • kkr54 on December 30, 2010, 20:21 GMT

    Dhone seems to have a level head. He does deliver when needed. To lead a team of talented people one has to command respect and he seems to have that. About SL we should be proud of them. Such a small country; but looks like it produces quality cricketers. I just feel sad for India and its state of fast bowlers. Once in a while we get a good spinner. The Rainas, Rohits seem to get so many chances to rub shoulders with guys like Sachin, Dravid etc but are not able to produce the goods. Meanwhile Pak continues to be a enigma. Again such abundance of talent in bowling going to waste. I am sure sometime sooner or later they would see reason and try to develop thier country than go behind violence and unscrupulous activities.

  • Sudahar on December 30, 2010, 17:16 GMT

    Congrtulation to the Indian team for the win at Durban. Anyone who closely follows and enjoys test criket would agree that the current Indian team is not that wins only at home. This is a team that is far more professional, playing as one unit, under a good captain with the support of a capable yet low profile coach. The third test is going to be a thriller I presume. To "donindian" you are not the onlyone to say that Sri Lanka cannot win outside our homeland, the great Kapil Dev also said the same after our first test and series win. What we proved after Kapil's comment in test cricket and one dayers is history. We are not rattled by such comments. We Sri Lankan's are sensible cricket fans. We love good cricket and will appreciate any team that performs well. Good luck to both India and South Africa for the third test. May the better team win.

  • don2100 on December 30, 2010, 16:26 GMT

    India is winning the games not because of dhoni's captaincy.....but because of the exceptional performance from laxman,sachin,sehwag etc.....

  • Lion_of_Lanka on December 30, 2010, 15:32 GMT

    For all the Indians who ask why SL fans aren't commenting (like grvdubey) let me tell you this. We did not comment because this article doesn't concern SL - The reason we criticized India is because Indian fans criticized and insulted our team in articles that didn't concern India - Ex: Aus vs SL - even after SL won or WI vs SL. We've got no hatred towards India or any other country for that matter, It's just that SOME Indian fans who cannot let bygones be bygones comment on SL articles and insult SL, so we are compelled to do the same. Sehwag - Randhiv incident is history. We've forgotten that and I hope you people are mature to do the same. So anyway, Here it is - Congrats India, well played and deserved to win. Good luck in the next test.

  • donindian on December 30, 2010, 15:23 GMT

    srilankan cricket team and fans are kids compare with indians...if they jealous also its like dogs barking at sun...let them win 1 test in southafrica or australia even in next ten years also.. they cant.. they are not supposed to get test matches outside their country cas nobody wants to watch their doggy test cricket especially any good cricket playing nations..indians invite them or go there to retain their form always..

  • Divinetouch on December 30, 2010, 14:13 GMT

    Congrats to India.

    All those who said India could not win abroad please add your comments.

    I am glad it was not a flat track in Durban as well since a total of 40 wickets fell.

  • TeamINDIAWins on December 30, 2010, 13:57 GMT

    "The greener the better," .................... I like it

  • samki on December 30, 2010, 13:26 GMT

    Hello everybody.First of all South africa has not won Home series against Australia after their return in 1992.Then how can they be No.1 when they cant win at Home

  • CandidIndian on December 30, 2010, 13:23 GMT

    Before this match only Aus and Eng managed to beat SA at Durban ,who are quite accustomed to playing on bouncy pitches and seaming conditions.This shows how big this win is.Smith helped a lot by his mind games in charging Bhajji and Sreesanth.Steyn did a great job in this match too, Indian team have to come up with some plan to encounter him if they want to win the series. Like NP_NY rightly pointed out , we don't see any SL cricket fan here now that India has won, that too in Durban.If you call yourself a genuine cricket fan without any jealousy and hatred ,then you should have the spirit to congratulate the same team after victory ,whom you criticized after the loss.But unfortunately none of those SL fans who were criticizing India so much are here to admire this victory.This indeed shows that they come here out of jealousy and hatred and not because they are true cricket fans ,like they claim to be.

  • on December 30, 2010, 13:02 GMT

    Congrats to the Indian team for levelling the series and making Cape Town test super exciting. 2011 wouldn't have started on a better note. Talking abt Dhoni, on a ground where he began his captaincy career back in WT20 2007 he has now lead India to victory where we have a horrible record. It's worth remembering back then wen India was facing SA for a spot in the semi-final no one gave that team a chance to win and against all odds not only did they win comprehensively then managed to knock SA out of the tournament. History has repeated itself here, where against all odds this team has smashed SA by a huge margin. Dhoni has marshalled his troops smartly and send a strong message that this team will continue to fight and bounce back. Even a stronger message has been sent to BCCI, perhaps now they'll realise the importance of practice matches to acclimatise to the conditions. All the best to team India in their attempt to win their 1st test series in SA.

  • Vikramaditya100 on December 30, 2010, 12:46 GMT

    Wonder what kind of pitch SA will come up with in Cape Town. I think it will be a flat track. SA will be scared of losing the series and will settle for a draw.

  • Mannix16 on December 30, 2010, 11:09 GMT

    There are some Indian supporters who only watch Indian matches and don't watch any other cricket. out of the many many indians i know, i'd say about 90% of them only watch India matches.... anyways, SL get very little opportunities to play outside their country.... in the last 10 years, they only played 7 matches in SA and Aus.... the Indians however, played 18 matches..... i only hope that SL can get more away matches i also hope that sri lankan and indian pitch curators learn something from this series.... lot more interesting and intense when the pitch isn't flat like in the subcontinent.... the true class of players show the harbhajan burst in the 1st innings and sreesanth's dismissals in the 2nd set this up for india.... and of course the brilliant knock from laxman... would love to see india use udrs as it minimizes the chances of error and giving in to pressure from appeals for umpires

  • Vidyendaran on December 30, 2010, 10:46 GMT

    India might still end up losing at cape town, but unlike in the past i wouldnt bet on it...not even a single rupee!

  • on December 30, 2010, 10:45 GMT

    Nice article, no doubt that India is No.1 test team, we no need to prove to any one our record in the past 2yrs shows that, its great to have guys like Sehwag,Gambhir,Dravid,Sachin,Laxman,HSingh,Dhoni,Zaheer but need to our fast bowling resource and seems like Dravid getting close to bid adieu for his career hope he will understand and give way to youngsters like Pujara,Kohli. Hope it continues their winning streak and win the 3rd test and worldcup as well, Come on India....

  • on December 30, 2010, 10:24 GMT

    For Cape Town Test I think the team shoul be like this - SHEWAG, SACHIN, VIJAY, RAINA, LUXMAN, PUJARA, DHONI, HARBHAJAN, ZAHIR, ISHANT & OJHA. We must give more chances to Pujara & Ojha

  • raghu1122000 on December 30, 2010, 9:28 GMT

    did i just read yesterday on cricinfo, that in the history of cricket, dhone has the second highest win record after sir don bradman...

    If yes.. surely he is the most under rated captain.. cos that is quite a record and speaks a lot of him as a captain..

  • on December 30, 2010, 9:13 GMT

    If these guys maintain thir committment and focus for 5 more days of cricket, we'll have a historic series win in RSA !

  • Crckt-Xprt on December 30, 2010, 9:12 GMT

    LAXMAN, SREESANTH & ZAHEER are the heroes of the win at Durban. The first two who have often been criticised and never applauded, made the maximum impact on the end result. Laxman, has demonstrated amply that cricket is a team game and individual contributions have meaning ONLY when it helps the team's cause. In a country obsessed with hero worship, Laxman's humility and unwillingness to garner all credit (unlike many mind you) is surreal indeed ! Everytime Laxman saves India the blushes or leads them to victory (which happens more often with Laxman than any other player in INDIA), you can expect him to quietly savour the TEAM's victory and credit everyone around except himself. Sreesanth, the so called bad boy of Indian cricket is not bad at all. He plays the game with a lot of passion and plays hard. If the same attitude is shown by a foreign player in any sport, columns are written to praise the killer attitude and the never give up approach is considered highly professional.

  • Des_65 on December 30, 2010, 7:56 GMT

    When India is No. 1, non-Indians are complaining about the point system. Why they did not complain about the point system when Australia was No. 1? Do they want to change the rules since India is No. 1? This is a similar thing when India was doing well in hockey on natural grassy grounds. Now it is played on Astroturf where although various skills are required (dribbling not to that extent) but more speed is a requirement and in running deptt India is not good. Americans have American football why India cannot have Indian hockey on grass (just a thought)? I agree to the idea that there should be only one toss in the series and then it should alternate.

  • Aamir_Faisal on December 30, 2010, 7:55 GMT

    One of the things Indian fans and media need to do immediately, is to stop being obsessed with this #1 tag. What's more important is to go out there and win test matches....game after game! We can be the lowest ranked team.....but the intent should always be to win! You go out there....plan to win...and complete the jod....and the rankings will look after themselves!

  • anver777 on December 30, 2010, 7:50 GMT

    After the 2nd test win India has a edge over SA in deciding test.....but gonna be a cracker of a match !!!!!!!!!!

  • jmi.sharaf on December 30, 2010, 7:36 GMT

    by Steven Drake on (December 29 2010, 22:37 PM GMT) This series would have been great for us(india) if it was only a 2 match series,than we would not have to lose 2-1!!!

    Regarding Above comments from Steven Drake, really pity that people doenst have faith and confidence on us. why dont believe India will win the series 2-1 and proof the world we are the nuber one side.. please be positive freind.

  • LazloWoodbine on December 30, 2010, 6:52 GMT

    I had hoped, as a cricket fan, to have some intelligent DEBATE about the wonderful game on these boards, but have become increasingly frustrated by the tone people take. Support your team, we all do, but TRY and be a little less juvenile about winning or losing! This obsession with people challenging India's status as No. 1 is daft. The only people who consistently throw their toys out the cot about India's right to be No. 1 are Indian fans! Imagine the day, like all things, when that comes to an end be it 1 or 20 years from now... The moaning, the whining, the whingeing.... I've realised on these boards that there are very few cricket fans from India, merely fans of India. As long as India win, all is well - time to throw personal insults at anyone who doesn't share the belief that India are perfect. When they lose - whining about the food/ weather/ toss/ opposition to their being perfect. The average age of "suppoerters" on these boards is about 12. Grow up, for goodness sake!

  • on December 30, 2010, 6:22 GMT

    I am in perfect alignment with Dhoni's view. It is one of the best win, but we do not have to celebrate yet. The Task is incomplete & we need to continue the momentum & increase the intensity to win the Series. If we do so,then it will be the time to say Cheers!!!

  • on December 30, 2010, 6:14 GMT

    I think somewhere Dhoni's philosophical way of thinking helps him to be better captain than previous ones. He is always candid and really never brags. A perfect leader i would say, he has performed more consistently than others. His test records are not so good compared to the batsman he is. Still he looks always composed. It is good for Indian teams future. Still the first test(even he said that ) is like a disease that hunts India.

  • Anand_Sankhe on December 30, 2010, 5:54 GMT

    Not a word about Sreesanth from Dhoni. Sreesanth broke the game for us. By the day, I am convinced that Dhoni has a grudge against Sreesanth. Time and again, Sreesanth has taken crucial wickets and contributed to team cause.

    Admittedly, he has ruined his own reputation by his antics but he is far better than Ishant Sharma. He possess far more talent than any of the other bowlers. For the sake of Indian cricket, he needs to be nurtured the way CA nurtured Ponting.

    If only, Sreesant was given as many opportunities as Ishant Sharma has been given.

  • KrashNBurn on December 30, 2010, 5:51 GMT

    Gotta admire Dhoni for being equanimous in victory. Clearly many Indians are peeved about Smith's quips at Sachin's 50th ton. The team should continue with the good work and it entirely possible they can trump SA in Cape Town. If only the could bat better in the first innings of first test in every series, there definetly will be more series wins than losses. BCCI must ensure the team gets an even spread of test matches in all parts of the world and not just in Lanka. This team is well on its way to greatness but there is a lot distance to be covered before they get there.

  • srisri on December 30, 2010, 5:45 GMT

    You are Captain perfect:) Congrats Dhoni. However, it is time to net sessions for the toss. Let us practice calling the toss right.

  • justk on December 30, 2010, 5:26 GMT

    @spingingKK:OK zak was out and was not given out,but still they would have lost it anyways,not by 87 runs but by 50 runs. And also, prince was out lbw, it was plumb, but was not given out. so they are part and parcel of game. And moreover, zak was saved because he tried to give it a waft,means offering a shot. LBW is completely based on umpired, zak was able to create a doubt in umpires mind that he was playing a shot, and if it would have touched his bat, it would not have hit the stumps. Thats why he was not given out. Bounce, those things are later.LBW simply means leg before wicket, if the leg is before the wicket, it is out. but if bat is before the wicket, it is not out simply.

  • anil.b on December 30, 2010, 5:17 GMT

    What a balanced response from Dhoni ! The stuff real leaders are made off.

  • on December 30, 2010, 5:00 GMT

    Well done INDIA. Great victory. Keep it up guys. We are the number ONE team. We are here with you. We expect you to murder the Suid Afrikans in the next one.

  • on December 30, 2010, 4:49 GMT

    Dhoni a good captain with a fantastic side, always speks sensible, without pointing out the negative points of opposition and without boasting him self and team. This also keep a good pressure on opposition and boost our team's moral. One more thing what ever the captain speaks shall be true, untruth always put pressure on yourself and a team. (Like smoth did: 1) Tendulkar plays for himself 2) Tendulkar allowed to bat tailenders 3) India can not be no. 1 4) Indian bowling is not up to standard)

  • shrastogi on December 30, 2010, 4:40 GMT

    That's better. Your feet are firmly on the ground. Keep batting well. Give Sreesanth his due for snaring top batsmen in the second innings. Tell Tendulkar & Dravid that runs are due from them as well. May be then you can pull it of at Capetown. Your good show at Durban has left proteas confused on the type of pitch they should prepare. So enjoy the chaos.

  • tomk_1977 on December 30, 2010, 4:39 GMT

    This is a response to all SL guys who comment on India. where is SRI LANKA?? What DO YOU have to comment on India?? You big mouth, come here and make money playing in IPL...You wanted India's help to fight the tamil tigers???Shut up or India will shove it up thru the backside....

    I always hated the SL cricketers... real flat track bullies (except for SANGA). They have a name only b'cause of CHUKKIAH CHUKKIDHARAN!!!

    IF UDRS was there, how many home tests would've Srilanka won ??? How many tests/ODIs have they won outside the sub continent?? Lets count the matches in CB Series 2008....

    If at all they won something, they won in England only, 'cause Eng can't play spin and CHUKKIAH chucked them out .... Also take a deep look at the elegant Mahela's record and see his record against BANGLA/ZIM vs other countries....

  • on December 30, 2010, 4:35 GMT

    Can't agree more with spinkingKK. Pujara has to do or at least try No.3 role, he looks very good. Dravid can drop lower in the order. We have to invest in future while the sun shines else face Aussie fiasco in few years.

  • sudhs_107 on December 30, 2010, 4:29 GMT

    @praume2001 -- Azhar had much better team for the likes of 1990-2000. It's all about building the good team and making people play. (It can't be like just be a captain to good side. Exception is ponting - He got to captain a very good team built by Steve Waugh)

  • shAn4indiA on December 30, 2010, 4:26 GMT

    says a lot abt msd's charctr..... perfect attitude of winners.... jai ho...

  • avkris on December 30, 2010, 4:05 GMT

    "Greener the track the better" - that's the spirit Dhoni. Curators around the world will think twice these days before preparing a green top against India as it would come back to bite them. On helpful conditions, Indian seamers are as good as it gets and more than capable to take 20 wickets. Prepare bouncy wickets and Harbhajan becomes a threat!! These are exciting times for India and they are the reason why Test cricket is my favourite among all formats of cricket. C'mon guys let's take out the series in Cape Town

  • avkris on December 30, 2010, 3:59 GMT

    it's high time now that critics and cynics stopped blabbering about two things:- one - that India would be rolled over on a bouncy pitch; and two - that Dhoni is a "lucky" captain. Lucky captains don't win 14 out of 23 matches and lose only 3! Lucky captains don't have a record of not losing a series over two years! Lucky captains can't maintain their side's No. 1 ranking for over a year!

  • on December 30, 2010, 3:54 GMT

    It really baffles me as to how Rahul Dravid can stifle himslef and his team by just occupying the crease and not scoring runs at a much faster pace than he is, now. He was at his best when he started scoring at a healthy rate. But again the old dirty habit has crept into his batting! He still has ammunition left in him. The only issue is his approcah towards the game and not able to rotate the strike. Gary, can you pl help Rahul in this regard?

  • Fast_Track_Bully on December 30, 2010, 3:50 GMT

    Ha ha ha...I would like to see some India basher's excuses for this loss. They will not count India's fightback in the 2nd innings of First test and they will say SA will play better on those pitches. So, the flat track bullies beat 'good for nothing' team? LOL..Also, it was clear that SA donot know how to play spin bowling even in a fast bowling pitch...pathetic. So, first sort out your issues and then critizise others. Now guess what will happen if SA were batting in the 1st day of 1st test. They would all out for less than 100. Where is mr.diri? Why your top class bowlers can't win the second match for your team? As I told you, do not under estimate Indian team.

  • kartheekincredible on December 30, 2010, 3:30 GMT

    He is a gem to Indian cricket team. with good discipline ans go way approach. I hope we see more wins in comming days in his captaincy.

  • kartheekincredible on December 30, 2010, 3:28 GMT

    Dhoni is the coolest captain i never seen in Indian Captains so far. Congrats to Dhoni and i firmly beleive he will reach peaks soon he retires from Cricket.

  • The_Professor on December 30, 2010, 2:52 GMT

    Great win Team India!!! To my fellow Team India fans, we all need to STAY HUMBLE in vicotry - just like MS. That is an important ingredient for long-term success. Let us discuss HOW WE CAN IMPROVE rather then criticise the losing team and picking on negative aspects of non-Indian fans. However, I have noticed that most Indians tend to support SL & Pak when they play against teams from outside the sub-continent BUT the support is not reciprocated by SL/ Pak fans when India plays other nations - perhaps we as Indian fans should remind SL/ Pak fans and get them to unite the sub-continent. After all, don't the outside nations unite against the sub-continent (eg. criticise local pitches and playing conditions etc). Can someone pls enlighten me as to what Nirav Desai on (December 29 2010) is saying/ smoking?

  • Waterboy_sixs on December 30, 2010, 2:35 GMT

    What kind of pitch are SAs going to ask in cape town? may be a spin friendly, because the first was a flat track, second spacy and bouncy and the third will be spin friendly I suggest.

  • Criconnoisseur on December 30, 2010, 2:15 GMT

    What a sensible young man, Dhoni seems to be. Cool, calm and collected. Super show by Zaheer, Sreesanth and the Very Very Special Laxman. True champion spirit.

  • on December 30, 2010, 1:46 GMT

    The bowling attack is great, but each bowler should be reminded that when they go out on the field, their primary goal should be to bend their backs and give their best for the match. I had a feeling in a few matches that Ishant and Sreeshant were bowling well within themselves (around 128km/hr) so that they do not cause their body any harm, a factor that would have affected their long term careers. In the Durban test I had a feeling that Sreeshant and Ishant were bowling faster (arnd 136 km/hr) to justify their places in the side after the poor performance in the first test. This is what Dhoni should make sure - each bowler should give his best in every match. Also, where is Irfan Pathan? Irfan in place of Pujara/Raina would make this team much stronger because of his swing bowling and above average batting. Hope the Indian team hasnt forgotten him. Hats off to Laxman and Zaheer! Great captaincy by Dhoni - his ability to stay calm under pressure augurs well for this team!

  • varunv003 on December 30, 2010, 1:44 GMT

    where are the lankan losers,whiners who cnt win tests outside that small island???

  • on December 30, 2010, 1:14 GMT

    Brilliant leadership by MSD. Overall splendid performance by the team. I still found some key players throwing away their wickets in the second innings which must have costed us this test match. But it has been again covered by VVS with his excellent innings. I still felt that 303 target was achievable for SA. I cannot take anything away from Indian bowling . hats off. Now the job is still incomplete , Indians must concentrate on Capetown and begin from the scratch.

  • disniyaki on December 30, 2010, 1:04 GMT

    Hats off India! VVS Laxman is indeed India's most valuable player.The greatness of a batsman should be assessed on how many matches his team won or saved when he made good scores ( rather than mere stats) .On that count VVS Laxman stands out! I salute him!.Also congrats to our bowlers who tamed the South Africans is their own den and put doubts in their mind on whether to prepare a bowler friendly wicket for the next test!

  • gerardpereira20 on December 30, 2010, 0:55 GMT

    All you South Africans, Aussies, Englishmen and Pakistanis, All you doubters and knockers, India are number one with daylight second. No ifs and buts, just facts. In Shewag, Dravid , Tendulkar, and Laxman India has four of the best batsmen in world cricket. Throw into the mix Gambhir, Dhoni, Zaheer and Harbajan and this team could beat any other in any generation and in any conditions. Let us not forget the contributions of Ganguly and Kumble in taking the team forward and let us thank Gary Kirstan and John Wright for their contributions to Indian cricket and last of all let us look forward to a bright future with the blossoming of players like Sreeshant, Ishant, Kholi, Pujara and Vijay

  • Runster1 on December 30, 2010, 0:47 GMT

    Great win, but i have to admit that SA were unlucky in some places of this game and i do feel sorry for them. UDRS shud be in place.

  • Nampally on December 30, 2010, 0:46 GMT

    Dhoni's comments are more appropriate, humble and fits with the oft repeated "Be humble in victory & gracious in defeat". It is quite a contrast to Smith's who says SA lost because of "Poor Batting". How did SA bowler give 96 runs to Laxman? Was that" poor Bowling"? Cricketers must be level headed. One day you are a hero and next day you are out for a zero. India taught the cricket world a lesson by this victory going into SA's Kitchen and following a crushing innings defeat. Zaheer & VVS were the 2 hero's for India who led by example. Brilliant catching by the team was the key factor in turning the tables around.VVS said that one batsman has to stay for a long innings after he got out in the first innings. He then went on do it himself. How gutsy is that?Zaheer came back after being hit by Smith and dismissed 3 batsmen - Gutsy. Bhaiji & Sree despite poor form turned his trumps up - Gutsy.All bats in double figures in the firat innings was another great feature.Congrats. India!.

  • sachinsjaihindustan on December 30, 2010, 0:43 GMT

    Well Done to MS and his boys. I am writing this post for all the aarogant, pathetic, big mouth losers who said that SA would smash India again. When teams number 1 and 2 are playing, don't expect a pushover, I hope you realize that. If any of you are Indian, and lost faith in Dhoni's side after Centurion, then shame on you. With regards to the Cape Town test, I agree with Spinking KK and Indianpunter. We don't want a 2007 repeat, where Dravid halted the momentum. Dhoni said that our batting in the second innings was disappointing, so we need to address that. Whilst this win gives confidence that India can take the series, they need to ensure their game in all 3 departments works well together.

  • on December 29, 2010, 23:24 GMT

    @SpinkingKK, excellent assessment by you of the win and what we need to do to win in Cape Town. The 3 decisions going in our favour certainly helped and takes some of the sheen off the win. We must stop acting like ostriches and accept UDRS; rather, the ICC should make it mandatory. Just think what a brouhaha there would have been if India had been on the wrong end of such decisions,anguished cries of " we wuz robbed" would have resounded through cyberspace.

  • satyakam on December 29, 2010, 23:21 GMT

    Take a bow. India. Contrast Dhoni's reaction to Durban win with Smith's outburst after Centurian. Clearly shows who is comfortable in their places. Dhoni is assured while Smith is jittery. He knows, if India wins at Capetown then the facade of being #2 is up. Aus beat them at home, Eng drew and now , if India beats them then SA's claim to fame for being#2 is over. Truly over. No matter how I analyze, this SA team is mediocre barring Steyn, Kallis and to an extent Amla and Devilliers. Most of the guys are just making up numbers. Contrast this with India, which has may be only two weak links else they would have been same as 48' Invincibles or 80's WI. India though clearly need to plan for retirement of Dravid, Lax and Sachin. None of the newcomer inspire that kind of confidence.

  • spinkingKK on December 29, 2010, 22:58 GMT

    I am one of the few who were confident of the Indian bowling attack even after the first test loss. People like Sreesanth is a rare talent and if looked mediocre in the first test, there was something wrong with the conditions. However, now that India won the second test, I am reluctant to jump up in the air about it. Firstly, India was helped by 3 bad decisions by the umpires. It is not as if Indian bowlers and batsmen needed those concessions to win the match. However, with those bad decisions, the achievement is somewhat dulled. India should support UDRS. Looking ahead to the third test, India still have problems with Dravid, Ishant Sharma and Pujara/Raina. I think Pujara should bat at 3 and Dravid should move to No 6. Pujara is not a No 6 batsman. Maybe the selectors should send one of the experienced fast bowlers (Nehra, R.P.Singh, Munaf, Agarkar) for the third test and check in the nets if one of them can take over Ishant's position.

  • indianpunter on December 29, 2010, 22:41 GMT

    Fantastic win by India ! Smith has to learn to give credit where it is due. He is such a poor loser. On India's part, they have to work towards avoiding a Capetown 2007 repeat and to that extent Rahul Dravid's place in the team and his position at number 3 has to come under close scrutiny. If you remember, it was Dravid's slow batting in Capetown 2007 which killed the momentum for India and eventually led to a series defeat. His position is becoming increasingly untenable in the face of his insipid performances and due to the presence of young players in the wings. India needs to take a long, hard dispassionate look at Dravid and tell him that his time is up. We need to move forward.

  • on December 29, 2010, 22:37 GMT

    This series would have been great for us(india) if it was only a 2 match series,than we would not have to lose 2-1!!!

  • aby_prasad on December 29, 2010, 22:33 GMT

    Headingley, Jamaica, Nottingham, Johannesburg and Perth AND NOW DURBAN!!!. ANY MORE DOUBTS ON INDIAN PERFORMANCE ABROAD???? ANY MOREEEEE?? WHERE ARE ALL THE ANTI INDIA REMARKS!!!! WHERE ARE YOU GUYS,HUH? at the most you might whine and write about the umpiring or the pitch or whatever you can, THE POINT is, INDIA WON! ALRITE??? ALRITEY THEN. IMMMMMMM LUVING IT !!! THANKYOU CRICINFO (for everything including the main bulletin where you mentioned the cities and thankyou very much for pointing out laxman the great's silent proof that he's the greatest when the team is in crisis

  • anurag.dhoni on December 29, 2010, 22:26 GMT

    Well said Dhoni. I relly respects your thoughts over the team and yes you are fully correct about the fact you spoke about Zaheer he is like a spark and can light up anytime whenever team requirs him. Really appreciate your thoughts and You . I have full faith on you and your capability and we have and we can make it 2-1 and give them answer why we are NO.1 in the world and will be there .

    Go India Go...all d best :)

  • on December 29, 2010, 22:08 GMT

    "It would have been lovely if he got to a hundred, but you don't always get what you want." ..philosopher dhoni!

  • SohanDanyal on December 29, 2010, 21:55 GMT

    Its extremely difficult to guess the outcome of this series. I will be very happy to see a draw....Upholding MS's record of not losing a test series against really great SA team would be a series win in itself....About retaining No.1 spot, I dont think its going to happen for a long time....England may be on a roll but they have no chance against India.

  • NP_NY on December 29, 2010, 21:51 GMT

    @agam99. After seeing your comments, I checked the records. You're right! SL has never won a test in India EVER. This may explain the hostility of some of the SL fans towards India. Also their "away" record (tests not played in SL) since 2000 Jan is 37 played, 12 won (6 if these were against Bangladesh and Zimbabwe) and 15 lost. None of their away wins were against SA, Aus or India. @hatrick26. You're right, Strauss can genuinely question SL's ranking now.

  • MasterClass on December 29, 2010, 21:43 GMT

    @dyogesh - My sentiments as well regarding Zak. We're lucky to have him. I first realized this man's talent and skill when Ind toured Eng in 2007 under Dravid. Since then I've seen him perform and deliver on every type of pitch all over the world! As the Cricinfo article on Zak pointed out he and Steyn are the only fast bowlers in the world who have mastered all 3 types of cricket balls (Duke, SG & Kookaburra). That's pretty good company! His SR and average this year is also only a shade behind Steyn while playing most of his matches on sub-continent pitches. Impressive to say the least! Against left-handed batters I dare say he's even better than Steyn, who's an all time great. Finally I know a lot of people trashed Unadkat after the Centurion performance, but I think there's some good talent and work ethic there if it can be groomed under Zak as a potential LMF bowler in the future.

  • only_india_1 on December 29, 2010, 21:38 GMT

    Smith needs to learn how to credit team for winning and how to handle situation after losing a game, you as a captain of your national side cant be arrogant, but if he fails to realize that than he will soon end up being in Ricky Ponting's shoes.

  • cooljack_143 on December 29, 2010, 21:34 GMT

    How can POLLOCK NOW SAY INDIA IS BRILLIANT.what about his previous comments??????????India cant take 20 wickets.What if no Steyn in SA side just the way Zak wasnt there in the 1st test.Would SA pick 20 wickets with morkel,kallis and tsotsobe, come on commnetator grow up..will you still hang on to your comments Mr.POLLOCK!!!!!!!!!! Keppler wessels was beautiful in his assessment.I respect him but not Pollock.

  • on December 29, 2010, 21:27 GMT

    Great Win.... Can i See Some SL fans always questioning India's Wins? They talk as if they are champions but the truth is they r yet to win a single match outside SL against top teams...India is no.1 becoz they come out the better side under pressure even after loosing 90% tosses. Even India may loose or draw the next match, but their status is based on the consistent performance over the years... SL fans try to win a match outside and then question others rankings...Don't follow your captain Sanga when he jumped up and down against india's ranking after jsut the first match win ...India drew that Series... Common India.. We may win or loose but keep fighting and show we wont go down easily even if we loose...

  • cricket4evar on December 29, 2010, 21:12 GMT

    Big fan of MS.Well said. Doesnt change the fact that india will go down in this series 2-1

  • baskar_guha on December 29, 2010, 21:05 GMT

    Congrats to Dhoni and his men. The win is very impressive but it is a battle won in a war. An area of concern that Dhoni spoke about is the fact that our top order batting has been underwhelming in the first innings of the the two tests. This has to change if India has to have a good chance to win the third test.

  • mmoosa on December 29, 2010, 20:51 GMT

    Lets not get carried away-honestly S.A have been poor since beating Australia in Australia in 2008/9.Usefull journeymen guys like Boucher,Harris,Prince and Tsotsobe are never going to win matches and Morkel has to step up more consistently to the plate whilst Duminy is a shadow of his Aussie self.Form and injury pending i would love to see Dewet,Parnell,Mclaren,Alexander,Duminy and Thahir brought into the fold at odi level or test back-up or i fear S.A could decline precipitously once KAllis retires.Indian bowling was superb at Durban and they deservedly won as well as having the luck of the green on many occassions.Indian batting was mediocre (laxman apart) and S.A will not bat as badly at Newlands.Thus S.A have a better than even chance of winning the series.However this S.A team has cracks.......

  • agam99 on December 29, 2010, 20:35 GMT

    @hatrick26

    Leave alone SA or Aus...SL hasnt even won a test match on typical sub continent tracks of India. :D

  • Alexk400 on December 29, 2010, 20:34 GMT

    Dhoni is kind of Michael Jordan. Any indian captain would have lost this series 3-0. I won't be surprised india win this by 2-1 if they SA makes greenish pitch next match.

    India has the momentum. I think zaheer is the key reason india won. WIth zaheer in line up , even sreesanth started bowling well. Ishant sharma bowling faster. Almost like they want to show they are better to zaheer. Well done india.

    After first test i expected india to roll up 3-0 to SA. I think this win because of 4 things. Smith underestimation of indian bowling , zaheer presence , VVS batting in second inning and dhoni un parallel captaincy.

  • ShanksTalk on December 29, 2010, 20:34 GMT

    For those who crtisized 1st test defeat - conditions certainly suited for fast bowling when SA bowled in the 1st innings of the match. The pitch eased out when SA batted it is amply proved by India's 2nd innings. So, on a pitch that is a true bowlers pitch India bundled up for 205 SA 131 and 200 odd runs respectively in the 2nd innings. This shows who stands where. Smith is trying to explain that its just the first innings131 otherwise we are almost there at part with India in the 2nd innings. Its futile to argue about these things, it would have been nice to accept the defeat gracefully. This way Dhoni can say we missed Zak in the 1st test. The toss didn't help us etc. No he took the defeat gracefully. All these are part and parcel fo intl. cricket. Looks like Smith has not lost his charm for Aus model of playing, Pontings argument with umpires and begging KP to gift his wicket would prove that mental disintegration of opposition one day would mentally disintegrate Smith himself

  • praume2001 on December 29, 2010, 20:27 GMT

    can cricinfo tell us how many matches or series hv sri lanka won in SA or Australia since 2000...plz its a request... and MS u r the next best thing happened to Indian cricket after Ganguly...but for me the best captain stands out is Azhar... if he had this team...we wud hv dominated cricket for the last decade instead of Aussies...but neways its never too late...at the end of the day I dont knw y captains forget in press conferences tht cricket is a gentleman's game except MS...

  • rahulStillHeaded on December 29, 2010, 20:18 GMT

    How calm and collected Dhoni is !! There is no doubt he is a wonderful captain. You need very level headed people at top positions. Unfortunately, as a country we are very emotional and often lose perspective. Lets hope all cricket fans will become reasonable one day [fingers crossed :)]

  • on December 29, 2010, 20:11 GMT

    The most lovely thing is Dhoni has given full credit to all the Team members. That is the key to leadership and that shows he is a great leader and remaining things follows on its own..

    During success, team should be at the front and other times leader should be at front. That is what Dhoni is doing. That really boosts morale of the time and encourages them to do better and BEST..

  • hatrick26 on December 29, 2010, 20:10 GMT

    I am just waiting for some SL fans who were here after Centurion. At least, India wins a test match here and there outside sub-continent in all countries. Has SL even won a test match in Oz or SA, let alone a test series? They tour SA next year same time. Lets see what they do. At least Oz of the old, SA and current English team win test matches outside their homes. they can at least query about India's ranking. Strauss can also genuinely question SL of their current #3 ranking.

  • on December 29, 2010, 20:08 GMT

    Rohit sharma and Murli vijay got some talent to take opening position of sehwag to vijay and sharma in middle order. I'm not saying that they can replace sehwag in opening and sachin/laxman in middle order, but this two got talent and skill to count on them. Pujara can surely take the place of drive, I'm pretty confident about it.

  • on December 29, 2010, 19:55 GMT

    KEPPLER WESSELS you better learn to SHUT UP !!! and think before you talk next time. Anyone who has seen his comments on cricinfo after the 1st test will realise the following : YOU NEVER KNOW WHAT COMES BACK TO BITE YOU IN THE BUM so before making bold statements THINK TWICE !!!

  • LT11 on December 29, 2010, 19:51 GMT

    This is for all Non Indian fans and all Indians who love to crticise Indian team... this is the power of #1 team. remember this win 1000 times before saying anything..

  • on December 29, 2010, 19:46 GMT

    very well said by dhoni.....his calmness n optimism are provin a great hand in India being the top team.......

  • kool_Indian on December 29, 2010, 19:32 GMT

    Congratulations to The Team INDIA - and thank you for all the Joy you give us by winning and proving that we are No. 1... Lets WIN the series - cheers!!!

  • nvrmind on December 29, 2010, 19:23 GMT

    defeat us if u can...my team my pride....my India. screwin teams round the globe...INDIA

  • addiemanav on December 29, 2010, 19:20 GMT

    the best thing that has come out of this win is that dhoni keeps it at par with other wins..wins in kanpur,etc..it just means that the team has stopped thinking of overseas victories as once in a lifetime experience,but just another regular job..this means that they wont go overboard with celebrations like last time in 06..last tour went to cape town at 1-1 and india started of well at 150-0,and 390-5 but then collapsed at410..then again failed in 3rd inngs to set up a smallish target of 210..they would try to ammend it this time..and i do believe that luck is on india's side now!!next year is going to be the greatest in india's history as they will clean-up the series at cape town,then lift the world cup..later beat WI in WI,and eng in eng..finally travel down under to beat aussies and become the undisputed world champions..and with 2012 coming,end of the world is a possibility,and india might become the last greatest cricket team to hav played before the doom's day strikes!!

  • NP_NY on December 29, 2010, 19:15 GMT

    The following are the commments made by some of the SL fans before this test match. Understandably, they seem to have gone very quiet now :).

    Lankan neutral (Comment made during the Centurion test): Finally India is playing outside after enjoying several home matches. Please show us that you are really #1 (Very unlikely). Lion_of_Lanka (Comment made before the series started): Sidharth Monga please stop coming up with excuses for India playing so bad. India was clearly outplayed and outclassed by SA who deserves to be number 1 side. This shows how much of a joke it is that ICC has ranked India as the number 1 test team. AriDeAndrado (Comment made before the series started): The Indian team is a bunch of flat track bullies. What a bunch of jokers. India is a nation of 1.3 billion undrachievers.

    India is the No 1 ranked Test team in the world and we just proved it AGAIN at Durban. It's not our fault that your team is No.5 :).

  • on December 29, 2010, 19:11 GMT

    What a contrast to Smith. Cool, collected and making relevant comments. The proteas will be scratching their heads to decide what kind of a pitch they should produce for Cape Town. Whatever said and done, India have slapped the arrogant egos of Smith and Van Zyl. And if it gets down to 2-1 in India's ...boy oh boy..Smith wont be talking to his mother for a few days, forget talking at a press conference

  • LazloWoodbine on December 29, 2010, 19:00 GMT

    @Kamal Kannan - " They neither cry out when ever they lose a match nor go over the moon when they win.... They enjoy the game and challenge... No where dhoni blamed toss or pitch.." I agree. It's just the Indian fans on here who do that. Repeatedly.

  • pointofViv on December 29, 2010, 18:43 GMT

    Dhoni has told almost an essence of what Ricky Pointing has achieved as a captain in his peak years. I rate Dhoni better because he has less great and gutsy bowlers which Pointing had in abundance, while both teams had great batsmen. Dhoni is a rebel type captain who takes on odds and make them even. Other things which are better in him than Pointing, are the sportsmanship and down to earth conduct while he is on the cricket ground, even though Pointing is a far better batsman than Dhoni. At the end, it was a great match to win but job is half done and a vigilant captain, which he is, knows better than rest of the people.

  • Just_another_screen_name on December 29, 2010, 18:43 GMT

    More than the win, it gave me even more pleasure to see the wry smile, after winning the toss, wiped off Smith's face. And where is the lets-bash-the-flat-track-bullies brigade now?

  • Quazar on December 29, 2010, 18:28 GMT

    "If you can meet with triumph and disaster, and treat those two impostors just the same...you'll be a man, my son." MS Dhoni is certainly a man...and India are extremely fortunate to have a captain like him.

  • dyogesh on December 29, 2010, 18:18 GMT

    People label Laxman as an unsung hero for Indian cricket. What about Zak ? Not yet a great like Laxman but India owes him as much to him as anybody else for their No.1 position. He has done brilliantly considering that he has bowled on some flat tracks. And whenever India have got some assistance from the track, he has set up their victories. I think people who have not watched him have not realised how skilful bowler he has become.

  • sonjjay on December 29, 2010, 18:14 GMT

    It is nice to see our captain has a firm head.We cannot go over the top with this victory.The focus should now be on the next test.SA is difficult place for us to win but we need sustained efforts to win the series.So lets not get carried away but I am pretty sure some of my countrymen are going to go overboard with this.Hopefully the team wont.

  • braindead_rocker on December 29, 2010, 18:13 GMT

    Where are the detractors now..India thumped SA in their own backyard. How many teams can win matches in SA?

  • SnowSnake on December 29, 2010, 18:13 GMT

    Despite good margin, it was a close victory for India. No team can take anything granted for the 3rd test. It appears that both teams are humbled on the SA pitches. The third test will be a lot of fun.

  • Knightriders_suck on December 29, 2010, 18:12 GMT

    Dhoni may bat like a woodcutter but he does know how to talk smooth

  • Htc-Baseball on December 29, 2010, 18:11 GMT

    WELL ALL THE CRITICS HAVE BEEN SILENCED,but we have ourselfs to answer 4 the nxt shot raised at us-wat does india have after the retirement of sahin,drravid,laxman(barring sehwag) in batting and zak in bowling dept.The ans s none at the moment. we are in serious trouble a bit more than the present ausies may be like the WI..pujara s of dravids class that solves one position.we need someone to replace sachin laxman zak..... u wud u guys suggest kohli yuvraj raina-doesn sound convincing

  • mrmonty on December 29, 2010, 18:04 GMT

    Might I add, he has a Lance Klusener like attitude.

  • mrmonty on December 29, 2010, 18:03 GMT

    Dhoni is calmer of the all the leading captains; Strauss included. Puts things in perspective. Does not have to resort to mind games that have become the norm for Smith and Ponting. Does not gloat in a win and does not despair in a loss. After all, it is just a game.

  • on December 29, 2010, 18:02 GMT

    Wat a contrastin interview comparing smiths'.. This is why Indian team is at top.. For MS Dhoni and current Indian team, number one test rank is just a number... They neither cry out when ever they lose a match nor go over the moon when they win.... They enjoy the game and challenge... No where dhoni blamed toss or pitch.. Very practical and simple...

  • VTPadeon on December 29, 2010, 18:02 GMT

    Down playing the win to media is absolutely right.! Come on we are the no.1 . We cant just jump around , screaming "we won , we won." . Its just enough if the whole team knows that this win was a special one.!

  • AsliRickyPointing on December 29, 2010, 17:57 GMT

    Dhoni is a smart man. He knows the reality of the world of cricket. He knows he wont be able to beat the record of the great Austrialians or THE GREAT RICKY POINTING. Greatness is still miles away, but then Dhoni and Team India can give a shot, in the right spirit of the game!

  • on December 29, 2010, 17:41 GMT

    Keep the winning run continue..

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • on December 29, 2010, 17:41 GMT

    Keep the winning run continue..

  • AsliRickyPointing on December 29, 2010, 17:57 GMT

    Dhoni is a smart man. He knows the reality of the world of cricket. He knows he wont be able to beat the record of the great Austrialians or THE GREAT RICKY POINTING. Greatness is still miles away, but then Dhoni and Team India can give a shot, in the right spirit of the game!

  • VTPadeon on December 29, 2010, 18:02 GMT

    Down playing the win to media is absolutely right.! Come on we are the no.1 . We cant just jump around , screaming "we won , we won." . Its just enough if the whole team knows that this win was a special one.!

  • on December 29, 2010, 18:02 GMT

    Wat a contrastin interview comparing smiths'.. This is why Indian team is at top.. For MS Dhoni and current Indian team, number one test rank is just a number... They neither cry out when ever they lose a match nor go over the moon when they win.... They enjoy the game and challenge... No where dhoni blamed toss or pitch.. Very practical and simple...

  • mrmonty on December 29, 2010, 18:03 GMT

    Dhoni is calmer of the all the leading captains; Strauss included. Puts things in perspective. Does not have to resort to mind games that have become the norm for Smith and Ponting. Does not gloat in a win and does not despair in a loss. After all, it is just a game.

  • mrmonty on December 29, 2010, 18:04 GMT

    Might I add, he has a Lance Klusener like attitude.

  • Htc-Baseball on December 29, 2010, 18:11 GMT

    WELL ALL THE CRITICS HAVE BEEN SILENCED,but we have ourselfs to answer 4 the nxt shot raised at us-wat does india have after the retirement of sahin,drravid,laxman(barring sehwag) in batting and zak in bowling dept.The ans s none at the moment. we are in serious trouble a bit more than the present ausies may be like the WI..pujara s of dravids class that solves one position.we need someone to replace sachin laxman zak..... u wud u guys suggest kohli yuvraj raina-doesn sound convincing

  • Knightriders_suck on December 29, 2010, 18:12 GMT

    Dhoni may bat like a woodcutter but he does know how to talk smooth

  • SnowSnake on December 29, 2010, 18:13 GMT

    Despite good margin, it was a close victory for India. No team can take anything granted for the 3rd test. It appears that both teams are humbled on the SA pitches. The third test will be a lot of fun.

  • braindead_rocker on December 29, 2010, 18:13 GMT

    Where are the detractors now..India thumped SA in their own backyard. How many teams can win matches in SA?