South Africa v India, 3rd Test, Cape Town January 1, 2011

Newlands sets up delicious decider

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Match Facts

January 2-6, Cape Town
Start time 10:30 (08.30 GMT, 02.00 IST)

The Big Picture

The entire series changed in a Durban minute, transferring the momentum India's way after their humiliation in Centurion. The moment that signaled India's ascent was the fall of Jacques Kallis, South Africa's best batsman, in the second innings. Sreesanth's ball reared up from short of length, darted in towards the batsman's throat and flew to gully. A familiar sight to Indians from a previous era, but with one huge twist: it was an Indian bowler who made a classy batsman hop, fend and get out.

South Africa's batsmen were looking good in Durban. Until Ishant Sharma got his fingers to a straight drive to accidentally run Kallis out in the first innings, the Indian attack looked lacklustre. It seemed that Zaheer Khan, much like Kapil Dev in those days, would end up with four or five wickets and the rest would simply leak runs. But the Indian bowlers seized the moment and South Africa collapsed. Twice.

And so the teams head into the Newlands tied at 1-1 and the series at stake. The pitch is supposedly batsman-friendly with spin expected to play a part later. The home batsmen should put up a better fight, while it will be interesting to see how their bowlers fare. Lonwabo Tsotsobe picked up a few key wickets but it seemed like it was a result of Indian batsmen trying to attack him after they saw off the tougher challenges from Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel. If they don't repeat the same mistakes, the burden of wicket-taking will fall upon Steyn. Will Morkel, whose forte is bounce, be as effective in the decider as he was on friendlier surfaces earlier in the series? Can Paul Harris do more than just a holding job?

Zaheer's presence makes a big difference to India. Sreesanth and Ishant grew under his wing, and India will hope they can learn to fly on their own without Zaheer's presence at mid-off. Gautam Gambhir is expected to return and Virender Sehwag, who threatened to really take off in the second innings in Durban, is due for a big knock. If the surface plays out as the curator thinks it would, the bowlers could be the deciding factor.

Form guide

(most recent first)
South Africa: LWDDW
India: WLWDD

Watch out for...

If he survives Zaheer, Graeme Smith's tussle with Sreesanth should be fascinating to watch. In Durban, a riled Smith wagged his tongue and bat at Sreesanth but it backfired spectacularly. While Smith's dismissal may have been coincidental, there is no doubt that Sreesanth found more pace and venom after that verbal battle. Sreesanth might be a boy who refuses to grow up but he has enough skill to outdo the best in the business.

Mark Boucher doesn't play ODIs anymore and has failed with the bat in the first two Tests. He still looks very fit and his keeping hasn't suffered much, but can he lift his batting?

This surface presents Rahul Dravid with an opportunity to improve his poor record in South Africa; he has just one hundred in 20 innings in this country. He will hope to convert his starts into a big one at Newlands.

Pitch and conditions

The curator predicts a pitch with tennis-ball bounce, which will be good for batting - particularly on days two and three - and offer spin on days four and five. When the famed table-top mountain isn't visible to the folks down on the streets, it usually means there will be swing on offer. Rain is predicted for New Year's day, but the sun and the mountain peak should emerge during the match days.

Team news

Their batsmen might have flopped in the second Test but this South African unit has functioned well for some time now and they are unlikely to change the combination.

South Africa: (probable) 1 Graeme Smith (capt), 2 Alviro Petersen, 3 Hashim Amla, 4 Jacques Kallis, 5 AB de Villiers, 6 Ashwell Prince, 7 Mark Boucher (wk), 8 Paul Harris, 9 Morne Morkel, 10 Dale Steyn, 11 Lonwabo Tsotsobe

Gautam Gambhir's return for M Vijay is expected to be the only change in the Indian XI.

India (probable): 1 Gautam Gambhir, 2 Virender Sehwag, 3 Rahul Dravid, 4 Sachin Tendulkar, 5 VVS Laxman, 6 Cheteshwar Pujara, 7 MS Dhoni (capt & wk), 8 Harbhajan Singh, 9 Zaheer Khan, 10 Ishant Sharma, 11 Sreesanth

Stats and trivia

  • In Centurion, Sachin Tendulkar became the fifth batsman to pile-up seven or more hundreds in a calendar year. Mohammad Yousuf (nine hundreds in 2006) leads the list, while Viv Richards (1976), Aravinda de Silva (1997), and Ricky Ponting (2006), all hit seven hundreds.

  • Gambhir and Sehwag have ten hundred-plus opening partnerships in Tests. If they get one more here, they will surpass Sunil Gavaskar and Chetan Chauhan for the Indian record. The world record is held by Gordon Greenidge and Desmond Haynes (16). Jack Hobbs and Bert Sutcliffe are second with 14.

  • Dale Steyn and Jacques Kallis have enviable records in Cape Town. For the full lowdown on Newlands' stats, click here.

Quotes

"Having Zaheer Khan lifts everybody else. He brings another dimension to the attack. He is skillful, and every one bowls around him ... They have caught well, fantastically well. Those three magnificent catches in the first innings swung the game."
Allan Donald on the importance of Zaheer Khan and the improving standards of Indian fielding

"There's a lot of talk about momentum, and it's important, but it's just there until the next game. We are approaching this game as starting fresh again, having the confidence of the previous win."
The spoils have been shared in the first two Tests, but Corrie van Zyl believes it is going to be a fresh start in Durban

"Sreesanth is developing into a fantastic Test bowler. The national selectors, team trainer, the bowling coach need to take special care about this boy and keep him match-fit because for the next one year India will be playing away from home."
Sourav Ganguly wants Sreesanth to be nurtured properly

Sriram Veera is a staff writer at Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on January 2, 2011, 17:20 GMT

    The first Day is over.As said the three bowlers Zaheer,Sreesanth and Ishant tried to contain the South African batsmen.Well tommorow they are not so well supported by stars.Harbhajan may succeed tommorow to some extent.Amongst Indian Batsmen Gambhir and Dravid are expected to do well.Sehwag and sachin may have a mixed day.An outstanding knock is not expected.Dhoni of course may also play well.

  • on January 2, 2011, 16:15 GMT

    At 11.15 Hrs Local time of Cape town and 14.45 of IST the trouble will increase for South African batsmen and Dhoni will see some better things happening for India till Lunch.

  • SuperSharky on January 2, 2011, 9:46 GMT

    I like Kevin Pietersen and Kepler Wessels and especially Viv Richards aproach in handling sledging on the field. Graeme Smith are just as Big Baby as Ricky Ponting. The wine and complain about everything. They don't play in the same spirit as all the cricket legends of the game before them. Graeme Smith are a Cry-Baby and we just have to get use to it.

  • SuperSharky on January 2, 2011, 9:33 GMT

    Just like Bob Woolmer and Hansie Cronje. Or Andy Flower and Andrew Strauss. This Gary Kirsten and MS Dhoni are a formidable combination. And Kirsten grew up in Cape Town and he knows Newlands even before he went to school. South Africa needs to be at their best to get another Home-victory.

  • on January 2, 2011, 8:56 GMT

    At 11.15 Hrs Local time of Cape town and 14.45 of IST the trouble will increase for South African batsmen and Dhoni will see some better things happening for India till Lunch.

  • on January 2, 2011, 8:25 GMT

    Dhoni won the toss.Zaheer and Ishant Sharma have a good day.They can make the South African Batsmen under control in Capetown.

  • on January 2, 2011, 8:16 GMT

    Dhoni won the toss.Zaheer and Ishant Sharma have a good day.They can make the South African Batsmen under control in Capetown.

  • on January 2, 2011, 8:04 GMT

    I dont understand why ppl do mind sreesanth a lot. the latest example would be the smith one.. were smith was the one to be blamed,but sreesanth became the victim.

  • on January 2, 2011, 7:55 GMT

    @kirstenfan : Mate in case you call Kallis dismissal at Kingsmead as unlucky, so whould you call Dravid in 2nd innings at Centurion and MSD in 2nd innings at Centurion. at that point of time, MSD was beating Proteas bowlers to pulp. Anyways, in case you wont agree with me that it was actually India who was unlucky by losing the toss in 1st test, can you explain the batting failure of Proteas for being bundled out on a paltry 131 in 1st innings at Durban where the pitch was a shade better as compared to the Centurion pitch on Day 1. Anyways, your name is going to sound good to Indians as you are a fan of Indian team Coach. Chill mate.

  • on January 2, 2011, 7:49 GMT

    We expect Rahul Dravid , MS Dhoni and Harbhajan singh to show consistency in this match

  • on January 2, 2011, 17:20 GMT

    The first Day is over.As said the three bowlers Zaheer,Sreesanth and Ishant tried to contain the South African batsmen.Well tommorow they are not so well supported by stars.Harbhajan may succeed tommorow to some extent.Amongst Indian Batsmen Gambhir and Dravid are expected to do well.Sehwag and sachin may have a mixed day.An outstanding knock is not expected.Dhoni of course may also play well.

  • on January 2, 2011, 16:15 GMT

    At 11.15 Hrs Local time of Cape town and 14.45 of IST the trouble will increase for South African batsmen and Dhoni will see some better things happening for India till Lunch.

  • SuperSharky on January 2, 2011, 9:46 GMT

    I like Kevin Pietersen and Kepler Wessels and especially Viv Richards aproach in handling sledging on the field. Graeme Smith are just as Big Baby as Ricky Ponting. The wine and complain about everything. They don't play in the same spirit as all the cricket legends of the game before them. Graeme Smith are a Cry-Baby and we just have to get use to it.

  • SuperSharky on January 2, 2011, 9:33 GMT

    Just like Bob Woolmer and Hansie Cronje. Or Andy Flower and Andrew Strauss. This Gary Kirsten and MS Dhoni are a formidable combination. And Kirsten grew up in Cape Town and he knows Newlands even before he went to school. South Africa needs to be at their best to get another Home-victory.

  • on January 2, 2011, 8:56 GMT

    At 11.15 Hrs Local time of Cape town and 14.45 of IST the trouble will increase for South African batsmen and Dhoni will see some better things happening for India till Lunch.

  • on January 2, 2011, 8:25 GMT

    Dhoni won the toss.Zaheer and Ishant Sharma have a good day.They can make the South African Batsmen under control in Capetown.

  • on January 2, 2011, 8:16 GMT

    Dhoni won the toss.Zaheer and Ishant Sharma have a good day.They can make the South African Batsmen under control in Capetown.

  • on January 2, 2011, 8:04 GMT

    I dont understand why ppl do mind sreesanth a lot. the latest example would be the smith one.. were smith was the one to be blamed,but sreesanth became the victim.

  • on January 2, 2011, 7:55 GMT

    @kirstenfan : Mate in case you call Kallis dismissal at Kingsmead as unlucky, so whould you call Dravid in 2nd innings at Centurion and MSD in 2nd innings at Centurion. at that point of time, MSD was beating Proteas bowlers to pulp. Anyways, in case you wont agree with me that it was actually India who was unlucky by losing the toss in 1st test, can you explain the batting failure of Proteas for being bundled out on a paltry 131 in 1st innings at Durban where the pitch was a shade better as compared to the Centurion pitch on Day 1. Anyways, your name is going to sound good to Indians as you are a fan of Indian team Coach. Chill mate.

  • on January 2, 2011, 7:49 GMT

    We expect Rahul Dravid , MS Dhoni and Harbhajan singh to show consistency in this match

  • on January 2, 2011, 7:45 GMT

    india will win the series

  • sweetspot on January 2, 2011, 7:11 GMT

    To me, Dravid may be fit physically, but he slows things down. He goes against all the good that Sehwag does in terms of advancing the game. Making batting look so difficult cannot be a good thing for his own team, so Dravid must either learn to play briskly or leave. The time for the classical grinder is well past.

  • on January 2, 2011, 6:52 GMT

    @ Sunil Kabra - Praveen can generate pace? Paul Harris can generate that pace! A bowler whose max speed is 130 kph can't play in tests.

  • on January 2, 2011, 6:47 GMT

    Shouldn't the comments be scrutinised, before allowing them to be posted? Some suggestions are so wierd. It would appear that people are ignorant of the going ons, and are posting comments just for the heck of it. Most of them are not current. Some defy logic. Sometimes, I wonder if they are even talking cricket.

  • parag122 on January 2, 2011, 6:30 GMT

    Proteas are favourite here in newlands due to there previous records but this time it will be not easy for them!!!!!!!!!!!!

    They will get a best fight here by the bleed blue "India"

    Jai Hind Jai Bharat!

    JAI HO........!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Ganes.V on January 2, 2011, 6:24 GMT

    Munaf Patel would be a great third bowler I think! Ishant is due for a good bowling performance!He is over trying and should just bowl within himself!Just bowl wicket to wicket straight and no NO BALLS please.By doing this continuously-like what McGrath used to do-batsmen are tested for their patience and concentration-we will definitely see results for sure. Ishant used to bowl faster even last year but off late we see he has slowed down a lot and rarely touches 140 whereas he was consistantly hitting 142 to 145 during the early part of his career. With experience, we expect him to bowl with more control but it looks like his career is grinding to a halt here as his pace has reduced and still bowls no balls and does not stop flow of runs. give him a break and let him go and play in England county. probably he may also come out like Zaheer who was a changed bowler when he came back from county cricket. We need bowlers who can bowl fast (140+) or medium 125+ with swing- hence Munaf

  • Pranav25 on January 2, 2011, 6:15 GMT

    SA lost 2nd test because of overconfidence u didnt saw the simile on smith's face after wining the toss as if he thought he won the test...That time only I am dead sure they will going to loose the game... for 3rd test I will give put India's chance ahead of SA and bhaji is going to play crucial role...otherwise it will be draw...

  • Cricket_4_Blood on January 2, 2011, 6:14 GMT

    India is going to lose & don't know why there should be an analysis about this incapable team. India is a below par team, perhaps abit better than the current w.indies side. This is the real fact. cheers!

  • sean_kelly on January 2, 2011, 6:13 GMT

    What SA have allowed to happen is for a very average Indian bowling attack to gain confidence. Zaheer swings it at 125-135km/h... So what? Stand a foot outside the batting crease and nullify it. He isn't quick enough to scare our topflight under 17 school boys who face quicker bowling.

  • McCRYSTAL391 on January 2, 2011, 6:05 GMT

    sreesanth is a banchot.one of the worst bastard i have ever seen in my life.

  • Flat_Track_bullies on January 2, 2011, 6:05 GMT

    I thought Kohli would have made a cracking prospect to accompany greats and learn test match skills. If Pujara fails, Kohli, in my opinion is better to fall back to - than Raina. Any takers??

  • vikrampranav on January 2, 2011, 5:54 GMT

    oh lords plz save morne morkal and dale steyn from suiciding as they cant withstand the heriocs of sachin tendulkar and virender sehwag.

  • Percy_Fender on January 2, 2011, 5:41 GMT

    I agree with the views expressed that Praveen Kumar may hve been successful both at the Centurion and Durban. Unfortunately, he does'nt have the required pace which is probably the reason he was not taken.Pankaj Singh is accurate and has bounce. He too may have been goos in South Africa. Munaf has everything but a seemingly lax attitude which is why he has not been in the team after his very impressive debut in 2004. Ishant and Sreesanth have pace and bounce as are probably seen as being more essential in South Africa. I remember Manoj Prabhakar being initially being spoken of as only a ODI specialist. Later he was selected for Tests and proved to be a good allrounder in bothl formats of the game. The thing is there was no harm in trying out other options as well.

  • on January 2, 2011, 5:28 GMT

    Just an interesting statistics. Vijay has played in 9 test matches and India has won 7 lost and drawn one. Is he a lucky mascot like what Dinesh Mongia was in 2003 which deprived laxman to play the WC

    Nagpur '08 - India won by 172 runs Mumbai '09 - India won by innings and 24 runs Mirpur '10 - India won by 10 wickets Nagpur '10 - SA won by innings and 6 runs Kolkota '10 - India won by innings and 57 runs Colombo '10 - Match drawn Colombo '10 -India won by 5 wickets B'lore '10 - India won by 7 wickets Durban '10 - India won by 87 runs

  • on January 2, 2011, 4:45 GMT

    Looking forward to good contest ( read as India thrashing SA ). SA now seems to be scared - "A batting track" are you kidding folks. They doing this against the best batting line up in the world. Barring a batting debacle India should comfortably notch up 500+ runs. SA too has a strong batting line up, end of the day it will come down to pressure and bowlers. Bowling will decide the fate of the game and if erratic Sreesanth fires under "superbowler" Zaheer we should and must beat them hands down.

  • ajay_2170 on January 2, 2011, 4:15 GMT

    @vedichitesh, Ishant in place of Pravin Kumar because Pravin Kumar is not a Test Bowler. Have you ever seen him in any Test ? He himself doesn't want to play test cricket.

  • Umamahesh_Srigiriraju on January 2, 2011, 4:08 GMT

    @srisri, may be it helps if you are better informed. Of the 31 centuries Dravid made, only 2 of his centuries have a strike rate in the 30s. Even if I include all his scores of 90 and above he still has only 4 more innings with a strike rate of 30s out of a total of 41 scores of 90+. Decreasing the filter to all his scores of 80 and above he has just another 3 more innings with a strike rate of 30s out of a total of 51 scores of 80+. You are right. There is no disgrace to Dravid as long as you have a problem with your perception :).

  • henchart on January 2, 2011, 3:47 GMT

    @Sohanur Rahman ,you have commented ' INDIA IS LUCKY IN THE DURBAN TEST. BUT IN CAPETOWN THEY WILL DEFEAT BY PROTEAS'.You ,I am sure, meant-India was lucky in the Durban Test but in Capetown they would be defeated by Proteas. Man,if anybody is lucky,it is you.Learn to convey properly what you want to and check before posting your comment.Of course,I disagree with your comment.

  • RJHB on January 2, 2011, 2:48 GMT

    Go SOuth Africa! Whip the Indians like the pretenders they are! They are the great whingers of world cricket these days and cheat at every turn. Harbajan should be banned from the game for all his unsportsmanlike behaviour and racist slur against Symonds a couple of years ago. Destroy em Steyn!

  • on January 2, 2011, 1:33 GMT

    I just cannot wait for the mouth watering contest....Hopefully its a close game and India's wins :)

  • aby_prasad on January 2, 2011, 0:37 GMT

    Dont forget people, it was India that proposed ,supported and played an active part in bringing South Africa back into international cricket. India's vote was the most crucial in ending the isolation of South Africa. Before any s.a. fan bash us uncharacteristically, it should be noted that the S.A. govt remembers that even now with gratitude and both countries have VERY FRIENDLY RELATIONS :) cheers, Happy New Year to all indians and South africans :)

  • moBlue on January 2, 2011, 0:18 GMT

    ... SA team in 2006 at cape town was similar to the one in 2010 except for gibbs, pollock and ntini instead of petersen, morkel and tsotsobe. it seems to me SA's batting has stayed the same [petersen vs. gibbs and pollock, but other SA batters are in better form currently], and SA bowling has gotten much weaker since 2006 [steyn, morkel, tsotsobe, kallis vs. steyn, ntini, pollock, a younger kallis]. IND's batting has definitely gotten stronger since 2006. cape town helps spinners. match figures for 06: paul harris 5 for 179; IND (AK, VS, SRT) 7 for 263. a wash. IND made two crucial "mistakes" in bowler selection in 2006, which won't be repeated in 2011. IND left out harbhajan singh, and played munaf patel who got hurt and did not bowl in 4th inning SA's run chase (211 for 5, zaheer 4 for 62). in 2006, SA had momentum (lost T1 and won T2) and *barely* beat IND in cape town [5 wicket margin due to IND 2nd. inn. batting collapse and munaf patel hurt]. 2011? IND has mom'm. and is stronger!

  • vedichitesh on January 1, 2011, 23:55 GMT

    Why is Ishant taken.... Where is Praveen he would have got movement in and away from the bat......

  • srisri on January 1, 2011, 23:48 GMT

    @Srusti... yes we are afraid of Dravid because its a batting pitch. He scores at the same strike rate whether its a good pitch or bad pitch. In Newlands everyone scores at60+ rate, Dravid may score a century but at 30+ rate. It will be a benefit for SA. No disgrace to Dravid, but its true.

  • moBlue on January 1, 2011, 23:47 GMT

    SA are in bigger trouble than they may realize. a careful analysis of the 3 tests IND played in SA in 2006 is revelatory. IND won T1 and SA won T2, T3. IND's 1st inn. scores in 2006: 249, 240 and 414, the last at cape town. No collapse, which i define as <200. SA's 1st inn. scores? 84 (batting second!), 328 and 373. One collapse for SA, batting second, and IND got a 1st inn. lead in 2 out of the 3 tests! ***IND could and should have won that series in 2006!*** but they didn't... why? 2nd inn. batting collapses, dismissed twice for less than 180. [contrast that with 2nd inn. batting of IND in 2010 - night and day. the difference? perhaps my current "fab five" or F5: VS,RD,SRT,VVS,MD: F5 in 2nd inn.: 139, 75, 104 in 2006; 315, 157 in 2010]. contrary to people's empty assertions, IND bowlers did great in 2006! the highest SA score in 6 inn. was 373! IND scored 414 and yet lost in cape town. if IND had scored 90 more in 2nd inn., they may have won (SA 211 for 5, zaheer khan 4 for 62). ...

  • kcab on January 1, 2011, 23:41 GMT

    Not to belabour the point, but a big 100 from Dravid might have him occupying the crease for days. Very useful if you want a drawn game. Laxman has a good record at no. 3 and he played aggressive cricket at Durban. Sehwag and Tendulkar can dominate a bowling attack and can set up a victory if they get runs, and Laxman will certainly help in that endeavour. Dravid? He belongs at no. 3 in the all-time Indian XI, but not in the current one.

  • on January 1, 2011, 22:56 GMT

    I don't know why they didn't take Praveen Kumar to SA. He can generate real speed and swing on foreign soil. I also think Sreesanth should sit out and Ojha should be included.

  • moBlue on January 1, 2011, 22:39 GMT

    i disagree with people who claim SA are generally much better at *batting* on "hostile" [meaning, seamy, bouncy, sometimes fast] pitches at home. the fact is that, over the last 3 tours of india in SA, SA have been luckier than india on winning the toss and *putting india in to bat first* on these hostile pitches, and have then had to face a weaker indian pace bowling unit batting second under less hostile conditions. india have actually proved they are a better batting unit under such conditions, quite a few times. bloemf'n 2001 Test 1 day 1: india reeling at 68/4, yes, but then SA went on a leather hunt the rest of the day with centurions tendulkar and sehwag (on debut). india bat on day 1 Test 1 (jo'burg) again in 2006 and make 249; but in reply, SA collapse to 84! SA collapse for 5 less - batting second! - at durban in 2010 than india (136) on day 1 at centurion. SA has a ***brittle batting unit***, but luck, weaker indian bowling and weak 2nd inn'g. IND batting have helped SA win!

  • sriniaiyer on January 1, 2011, 21:36 GMT

    Ishant and Sreesanth dont deserve a place in the test team.Why are guys like Munaf Patel,RP Singh,Pankaj Singh being kept out of the action.Ishant has been below par the last 2 years and Sreesanth is just not consistent plus he is injury prone.

  • on January 1, 2011, 21:20 GMT

    Ermm.. Minor mistake. Here's the excerpt:

    "Mark Boucher doesn't play ODIs anymore and has failed with the bat in the first two Tests. He still looks very fit and his keeping hasn't suffered much, but can he lift his batting?"

    How did he fail in the first test when he didn't even get a chance to bat?

    Preview doesn't rack up anywhere close to some good ones written by Veera considering its for the first and (possibly) biggest test of the year.

    Wouldn't mind more comments on the miserable performance of Sharma throughout this series. 4 wickets at 4.15 with an average of 49.5. EEK. Surely, theres other options in India's armory. He'll probably play but his performance.. is anyones guess. I know where my money will be ^_^ .

  • on January 1, 2011, 21:20 GMT

    @indranil vijay doesnt even move his backfoot neither has the pull shot under his sleeve what are u talking about man !!

  • on January 1, 2011, 20:59 GMT

    @Sohanur, did you even watch the test? It was a matter of time SA would have fold. They were struggling to score. How many wickets in SA first innings were marginal? When India were out in Centurion then it was SA bowlers credit, and when SA was out for 130ish then India got lucky. Typical double standards from bashers...

  • on January 1, 2011, 20:57 GMT

    Toss hopefully is with us this time around!

  • on January 1, 2011, 20:02 GMT

    Cant understand .. there are so many who thinks Dravid should bat down the order. Is it because we are expecting a flat pitch ? Give the man his due. Learn to respect the guy who has done everything a selfless person can do for Indian cricket. Dravid is gonna bat at no.3 and expect a big 100 from him. period.

  • gettussaa on January 1, 2011, 19:53 GMT

    @josh517 what are you saying, mate? Dhoni identified the "sensational talent" Ravindra Jadeja and nurtured him no ends...

  • eyaniv on January 1, 2011, 19:47 GMT

    Not too worried about Dravid. Everytime someone writes him off....he comes back with a bang....what may be interesting is to get Murali Vijay at No 3 (he's an opening bat after all and has delivered) and Dravid at #5 and Lakshman at #6. That way we will have a lot of experience in the middle. Sehwag, Gambhir and Vijay are part of the future and they are the ones that should be upfront with the knowledge that there's a lot of experience to back them up. Ishant really needs a change.....no-balls galore....the challenge is to get someone who will consistently hit 135Ks -- can't think of too many options.....so it may still be Ishant for Cape Town. Getting Kallis early will be key. The entire SA innings seems to build around him as the Indian innings used to build around Dravid in times past.

  • pk_cric_rox on January 1, 2011, 19:46 GMT

    india needs ojha to replace one of the seamers.sreesanth in my opinion should sit out. bcoz he has given one good performance in last match so very unlikely he will click again but ishant is due to give a gud performance.if bhaji is the only spinner n he doesnt get wicket for a while he is gona go for too many runs.ojha is more composed and tempramental.2nd thing gambir also should stay out.

  • on January 1, 2011, 19:30 GMT

    final frontier as it is - a series win in south africa could become one of the sweetest victory and a new year's gift to all indians. go india, chak de!

  • arun_cheers on January 1, 2011, 19:02 GMT

    This selection by the Srikanth and Co is flawed in some ways. How can you leave out someone like Munaf Patel from the bowling attack in SA conditions and replace him with someone like Unakdat ??? May be presence of someone like Munaf instead of Unakdat would have atleast drawn the first test match for India. Not sure where Mr.Srikanth's mind is while selecting the team ... really an irresponsible fellow.

  • on January 1, 2011, 18:20 GMT

    India will win this test match..Sachin will score a Century :)

  • on January 1, 2011, 18:06 GMT

    Saurav Ganguly is right. If a bowler shows promise, nurture him - dont pamper, dont pressurise but guide him properly.

  • kcab on January 1, 2011, 18:02 GMT

    Especially if India bats first, Dravid should come in at no.5 and either Laxman or Pujara should come in at 3, otherwise any momentum that Sehwag gives the team might well be lost by another three runs in 53 minutes from the no. 3 player. Dravid is still valuable to the team, but in the last few years it appears as if he's become a purely defensive player who's good to stay around for hours. The glory days of 2000-2005 (let me see what characterises that period?) seem to be over for Dravid.

  • kmgnath on January 1, 2011, 17:57 GMT

    If the pitch is flat and spin pitch later, India have chance to win this match. If Sehwag and gambhir servive initial spell, RSA will have tough time. India can easily pile up huge score if they get good opening start, which is due. India do have the complecency, and tend to take easy after a win, and especially after new year party. Most of the indian players are meture enough, but should be remainded before the match. TOSS --> MSD will win this toss. depending on the pitch, he might choose bat or bowl.

    If Inida score huge score, Bhajji will be happy to bowl at RSA. If India play this match as series as the 2nd test, India have edge over RSA. RSA will have lots of pressure, we can see this in their batting, unlike First test match.

  • on January 1, 2011, 17:56 GMT

    A draw would be a disappointment. I would like to see some tussle, jostling for advantage, verbal exchange between Sreesnath and Smith. They should play their heart out and play fairly. I hope Umpires do not make as many mistakes as they did in Durban (they would make mistakes) and if they do, I hope it is evenly balanced out. Umpires like Steve Davis and Darly Harper should not be in the elite panel. They make too many errors.

  • adamgilly on January 1, 2011, 17:33 GMT

    looking forward to the exciting contest.... all the best to both teams.... 1 advice to both teams: india, dont go in overconfidence... SA be careful, indians can be very lethal at times.... whoever wins, hope to see cracking game of cricket..... as a neutral fan, want to see good result oriented match.... TEST CRICKET RULES!!!

  • AnoopKerala on January 1, 2011, 16:20 GMT

    Hey..Don't praise the team too much, since these people (praisers) are ready to kill it when it fails. Whatever may be the result of third test India have to keep its No.1 ranking in Tests this year also. Virtually we are Test Champions 2010. Also more important is, the team should win the World Cup in March. That is the final frontier of India's Best Team as well as MS Dhoni as the captain. We've to win the World cup NOW. The fact is, we can reach no where near to the Super Team of Australia (1998 - 2008) and the Fiery West Indians of 1970's.Three time world ODI Champions of team Australia is The Ultimate Cricket team same as Sachin The Ultimate Batsman and Warne The Ultimate Bowler (may be upto 2020).

  • on January 1, 2011, 16:17 GMT

    INDIA IS LUCKY IN THE DURBAN TEST. BUT IN CAPETOWN THEY WILL DEFEAT BY PROTEAS.

  • josh517 on January 1, 2011, 16:15 GMT

    completely agree with saurav on sreesanth.......................dhoni lacks the ability to identify talent like dada and back them....sehwag,bhajji,yuvraj and zaheer are examples........this is one aspect of captaincy which dhoni should improve,once identified a true talent should back them,,,

  • on January 1, 2011, 16:14 GMT

    I think Ghambhir should not play the last test, M.Vijay is much better when it comes to lively pitches, he has a technique to play the short ball.

    Zak and Sree have to lead the attack, and it would be nice to see an replace someone instead of Ishant Sharma, he hasn't performed well.

    Dravid and Sachin have to keep their calm and just bat through the full innings, Laxman should play his natural game. I think we have a very good chance of winning this test :)))

  • Balumekka on January 1, 2011, 16:10 GMT

    Keep it up Indians! I really like the ability of bouncing back, showed by the Indians throughout the recent past. They are really tough mentally and play even more good cricket under testing conditions. By the way Im a Sri Lankan fan.

  • on January 1, 2011, 16:02 GMT

    Here is what the head to head looks like

    Gambhir/Smith (RSA) Gambhir has been out of form, Smith is more aggressive Sehwag/ Petersen (IND) Sehwag is clearly a better batsmen, all the records show it Dravid/ Amla (RSA) Amla has been in deadly form this year. Dravid hasn't. Sachin/ Kallis (IND) I would give Sachin the edge over any other batsmen. VVS/ DeVilliers (IND) VVS is a match saver. He performs in crucial times Pujara/ Prince (RSA) Pujara has only played two matches. Didn't play well last time. Dhoni/ Boucher (IND) Boucher averages 30 Dhoni 40 Bhajji/ Harris (IND) Any day Zaheer/ Steyn (RSA) Steyn is the no.1 bowler in the world Ishant/ Morkel (RSA) Morkel is the no. 3 bowler in the world Sreesanth/ Tsotsobe (TIE) both of them are mediocre bowlers.

    head to head is tied 5-5..... still other things should be taken into account

    Fielding - RSA Home Conditions - RSA Record at Cape Town - RSA Confidence and Morale - IND

    All in all i would say RSA still has the edge but only JUST

  • hypocrite on January 1, 2011, 15:53 GMT

    As a neutral,,I see this match go into the hands of India easily...On a batting pitch,it's difficult to contain batsmen of the caliber of Sehwag,Sachin,and the list goes on!!Wake up South Africa,leave the complacency...no more overcast conditions again..Prove that you are not lively track bullies...

  • on January 1, 2011, 15:42 GMT

    MS Dhoni men's will win the series...

  • insightfulcricketer on January 1, 2011, 15:40 GMT

    @Nampally - Totally agree with you. Dhoni has to make the bastman be aware of their responsibilities and go in with a good balance of 5 bowlers and 5 batsman and wk batsman on a true wicket. Each batsman in Top 5 has over 2thousand runs if they cannot be responsible now they can never be. This is the only best chance they have - to go with attacking bowlers for all conditions. How much for a genuine all-rounder we would pay for ?

  • infaz9999 on January 1, 2011, 15:39 GMT

    Don't think india can easily win this match although india did well in the last game! I still think Southafrica will still win the series because it is still their territory ! Southafrican batting was hopeless! last match! but indians will be all guns blazing now! with their cool captain it will be great game! but i think referral system should take in to consideration! dunno who doesn't like to take it ...... but i think ICC should start to make it essential! game should be fair! and it really should! Indians stopped taking it. in the Srilankan series as well.... that would have being a crucial factor in that series to be 1-1 !

  • sk29 on January 1, 2011, 15:32 GMT

    It would be fascinating to have Ishant in the final 11 on a flat wicket,especially after his tremendous contribution to the team on a dead wicket (Durban) by picking up SA`s most dominant batsmen Morne Morkel`s wicket twice.

  • NarendraT on January 1, 2011, 15:18 GMT

    I think India should bat first given the line up they have and the confidence that they will carry from the previous match.Harbhajan could be very useful on this wicket when RSA bat last.Expecting a big one from Pujara in this match.

  • on January 1, 2011, 15:17 GMT

    completely agree wid Anubhav Agrawal.. test cricket is best.. long live test cricket!!! specially of quality as it is being played recently in this series and in ashes...

  • sk29 on January 1, 2011, 15:16 GMT

    Considering the winning track record of vijay, gambhir`s return isn't a good news for indian fans.

  • Kirstenfan on January 1, 2011, 15:15 GMT

    @Vinod Dhar - yes, I still maintain India were lucky with a couple of umpiring decisions, Kallis's dismissal in both innings, and no, I completely disagree with your 'guess' at what may have been at Centurion, but let's see what happens tomorrow and the next few days. and let's chat again when your team is on its knees and losing heavily

  • insightfulcricketer on January 1, 2011, 15:08 GMT

    If the Newlands wicket is dry - Dhoni should play Ojha for Pujara. I think this move will be more attacking given what happened in Centurion plus it will make Sachin and Dravid be more responsible (hopefully) . No more airy-fairy cover drives without reading the pitch .Ideally the second bowler should have been Amit Mishra but they should use whatever second spinner option they have. Again only if the wicket looks dry.

  • enigma77543 on January 1, 2011, 15:02 GMT

    I tend to agree with Eklas & Saad that India should play Ojha at the expense of one of the seamers or batsmen, IF the pitch indeed is a flat one like it usually is at CapeTown. On a flat pitch,Dhoni is good enough no 6 & Harbhajan a good enough no 7. Further, on a flat track, both sreesanth & sharma are likely to go for 4-5 rpo as usual without taking too many wickets while harbhajan really gets frustrated & starts leaking runs heavily on flat pitches when he isn't getting help from the pitch or the support from the seamers; Ojha on the other hand, seems very cool temperament-wise & is accurate so even if he doesn't take a bucketload of wickets, he'll make sure SA don't pile up 500-600 at 5 rpo; he's also Bedi, Vettori type of spinner who relies on variations in pace & flight & hence more likely to get wickets on flatter pitches.

    @ Nerk Whole point of playing 5 bowlers is finding the right pace/spin balance which Aus didn't have anyways so......

  • We_Win_All on January 1, 2011, 14:40 GMT

    Sehwag will lick his lips even when he's about to get a chance in middle.... He is one batsman who has very little concern about pitch condition and bowlers' reputation....

  • cricsen on January 1, 2011, 14:34 GMT

    Many people say that India is playing well only in home (spin friendly) conditions and performs badly in away (pace friendly) conidtions. But most of the away wins are due to their fast bowlers. But for other countries, the performance of their spinners is not impressive. Every country prepares the pitches according to their strength. I feel that Sreesanth is a better bowler than Ishant in helpless pitches. I hope that India will come strong in their batting performance. Shewag is yet to fire. Dravid has to play well since it might be his last apperance in a away test. Pujara has a great chance to show his strength. Against Aussies, he played aggressively.

  • on January 1, 2011, 14:32 GMT

    @Kirstenfan : I would say that it was Proteas who were lucky by winning the crucial toss in first test and that resulted in Indian defeat. Pitch over there on day 2 was totally different from what it was on day 1. So in case India would have won the toss, there would have been no hesitation on part of MSD to put Proteas in and they would have caved in just around 150 or so as happened with them in better batting conditions in 2nd test. By that time, India would have belted about 450 or so in 1st innings (what they got in 2nd innings) and that could have resulted in India leading series 2-0 or 1-0 at worst. SO, do you still consider Dhoni's team JUST Lucky enough or some what more.

  • INDIA_THE_BEST_END_OF_DISCUSSION on January 1, 2011, 14:22 GMT

    @kirstanfan, South Africa were the 'lucky' team, winning the toss twice!

  • Nampally on January 1, 2011, 14:10 GMT

    Time for action begins again after all the theatrics about the batsmen freindly pitch & Poor batting costing SA the match moan by Smith.I was expecting Dhoni to reinfiorce the bowling with Ojha replacing Pujara but he took a more conservative route with 6 specialists batsmen instead of 5. If it is going to be batsmen's wicket, I would have expected that ojha will come in to tie one end up while the fresh bowlers attack from the other end. Ojha can keep the runs down and can spin the ball on the Day 4 & 5.Of course Pujara fielded well and is a good batsmen too.Can India summon enough discipline in bowling and fielding to take 20 SA wickets again? It is a team sport and in the last test India exactly did that.Can they repeat it ?The Indian batting never rose to its touted best in the world. Sehwag & Gambhir need to stay for 2 sessions and then the Fab 3 need to show their true form for which the fans are waiting.VVS & ZAK will have to be the leaders once more.Good Luck Dhoni with Toss!

  • on January 1, 2011, 14:08 GMT

    Saurav Ganguly's suggestions hold so much importance. Yes, he is right , Sreesanth sans his antics have everything to make him India's Fast Bowling trumpcard. His upright seam,run-up, follow-through,adequate pace and the hostility , all stand him and India in good stead.Once of the main contributor to India's current test ranking is Saurav Ganguly for the way he proctected and nurtured players.The players in whom he found potentials. Harbhajan,Zaheer,Yuvraj,Gambir,Shewag all were groomed and grew under Ganguly's captaincy.

  • ManjuEleven on January 1, 2011, 14:01 GMT

    Here is the matchup 1. Smith-Gambir (SA). 2.Shewag-Petersen(IND), 3.Dravid-Amla (TIE),4.Sachin-Kallis(TIE), 5.Laxman-Prince( r u kidding IND), 6.Pujara-Duminy(IND), 7.Dhoni-Boucher(IND) - So in batting INDIA has a edge. Let us go to bowling 8.Steyn-Zaheer (SA),9.Morkel-Sreesanth(SA),10.Tsotsobe-Ishant(TIE), 11.Harries-Bhajji(IND). So in bowling SA has a edge. So, it is anybodies games. Toss is tricky you win toss and bat first you have to go through frist day troubles. Remember day2 and day3 are good for batting. New year day rain and Day1 of test is little wet and moisture may create havoc. But batting first is still good since they don't have dance on 5th day to spinners. I think it is difficult for smith to decide what to do if he wins the toss. Dhoni, send somebody for toss and tell them to take batting first. Let SA, dance to Bhajji's doosras on 5thday. If it goes 5th advantage India, If it is over in 4 days advantage SA. Let us have fun. I love both teams and 22 players.

  • INDIA_THE_BEST_END_OF_DISCUSSION on January 1, 2011, 14:00 GMT

    @Kirstenfan, Dhoni can score 10 times more runs than butcher can ever dream of scoring. Massive SA failure guaranteed in Capetown.

  • indianpunter on January 1, 2011, 13:40 GMT

    This might be a good toss to lose as Smith might send India in ( good for us). If Dhoni wins it, he should back our strength and bat anyways. I am really worried about Dravid though. I feel that he will kill all momentum gained in Durban with his batting. I cant see Dravid winning us another test match and maybe playing Pujara at number 3 could be a master stroke ( like in bangalore).

  • on January 1, 2011, 13:23 GMT

    zak will give stability, sachin is lord of cricket and will provide you the experience, laxaman plays well under pressure. Dhoni will counter attack solidly, Totally INdians have the momentum

  • JoyalAugustine on January 1, 2011, 13:05 GMT

    Sreesanth is a truly gifted young cricketer with lot of aggression,his problem is extra aggression.Most the international bowlers utilize aggression as a weapon to distract the concentration of the batter,but he is not wisely utilizing his aggression.In fact his aggression and exchange of unamiable words are affecting his own concentration.If he's able to control his emotions and also adding some common sense to his bowling as does by zaheer, he will be the sphere head of upcoming era of indian pace bowling attack.

  • spinkingKK on January 1, 2011, 13:00 GMT

    Dravid and Pujara should swap the batting positions. India have no choice but to persist with Ishant Sharma. The selectors didn't pick the proper reserve fast bowlers.

  • moBlue on January 1, 2011, 12:56 GMT

    based on my analysis of india playing SA at cape town in 1997 and 2006, for india to win, ***they need to avoid a second-inning batting collapse.*** this assumes, of course, that they bat to par (meaning, 300 or more) in the first inning. [they have scored more than 300 both times in the first inning and actually outscored SA in the first inning in 2006!] both times, india lost the test because of below-par batting in the second inning. they have an equivalent or even stronger bowling unit now than they did in 97 and 06; and the SA batting unit is actually equivalent or weaker, until now... so i believe indian bowlers will do just fine here if they bowl to par. perhaps indian batters relax somewhat under friendlier conditions? i hope they don't. yes, dale steyn has been good at this venue [so what is new?], but zaheer took 4 out of the 5 wickets that fell in SA's chase of a paltry 211 in 2006! india's chances of winning improve even more if they bat first. i wouldn't count india out!

  • on January 1, 2011, 12:37 GMT

    Someone saying boucher is better than dhoni. I can't stop laughing. Dhoni has an average of 41 compared to boucher's 31. Smith said his team batting is not good and they prepared a batsman friendly wicket. South africa sure 2 loose their no2 spot also.Dravid needs to fire .... Pujara failed in last test so as m.vijay. But pujara will get a chance . Smith sure tat he will either get out from zak or srisant. Go India Go.....

  • moBlue on January 1, 2011, 12:35 GMT

    As is apparent in these comments - and others on this subject - people routinely underestimate indian bowling, and overestimate the strength of SA's batting unit. the facts based on india's 2006 (and current) record in SA clearly suggest otherwise. for instance, consider sreesanth. he was the MOM in the only test india won in 2006. i don't remember ever seeing more splendid swing bowling against batsmen used to playing swing - on their home turf! oh, SA was batting *second* and were bundled out for 84! (...after india had labored to 250.) sreesanth bamboozled them with 5 for 40 (match figures 8 for 99). i dare say sreesanth's bouncer to kallis was the turning point in india's most recent win. also, did you notice SA were bundled out at durban - batting second - for 5 less than india made (136) batting first under more hostile conditions? yet, people claim indian batsmen are "flat-track bullies" and the saffers are experts at playing seamers at home. facts are stubborn things... :-)

  • Deena-India on January 1, 2011, 12:30 GMT

    Mr.Alex Hirsch.. I believe ur not the God to tell the exact future.. India is the side having the best bench strength.. Dravid,Sachin and VVS ve 3 more years of cricket left in them and Sehwag has atleast 6 to 7.. So we need not fear. If India plays its reserves in Home tests, they can still win convincingly..

  • UA112 on January 1, 2011, 12:29 GMT

    Excellent video interview from Sanjay Manjrekar - stating that livelier pitches abroad are the pitches upon which India have a better chance of winning - given that the bowling is generally week, livelier pitches gives the attack some teeth which enables them to bowl a lot better. This will balance out the bowling and the strong batting. He looked at India's recent and most-impressive overseas wins and he has noted that most of them were on pitches with some life: Headingley, Trent Bridge (my addition), Perth, Jamaica, the Wanderers, Durban. How ever the Cape Town pitch does play (Geoffrey Boycott says not to set much store with regard to what the groundsman says about how a pitch will play!), it should be a fascinating test.

  • sameer997 on January 1, 2011, 12:25 GMT

    Nice exciting game this hope india winssss

  • anoopshameed on January 1, 2011, 12:24 GMT

    South Africa would certainly love to win a series against a top ranked team finally-the last time they did that was against Australia about 2 years back. Infact they haven't won a single series after that except against the West Indies!

  • zackriasait on January 1, 2011, 12:17 GMT

    I think the Indian pace bowling selection is not right. Munaf Patel must be a part of the team as he bowls a heavy ball, is accurate and is a wicket taking bowler. He will be a great third bowling option. I do understand he can be lazy on the field and is a poor bat. Obviously needs to be motivated and taken under the wings of Kirsten. Will be a great asset in the pace department. Looks like he is being disciplined.

  • on January 1, 2011, 11:44 GMT

    IPL is nothing in front of this quality of test cricket. I would rather watch India playing test than watching IPL.Kudos to test cricket.......................

  • muralikrishnareddy on January 1, 2011, 11:39 GMT

    definetly india should winthe 3rd test

  • muralikrishnareddy on January 1, 2011, 11:37 GMT

    I think indian bowlers will attack the hashim amla because he has a great track record against us.so indian bowlers especially sreesanth bouncer to got a big fish in the durban match.newlands match aiso won the team india

  • Alexk400 on January 1, 2011, 11:19 GMT

    Sreesanth is good in Bouncy pitches. He is utter failure in flat wickets. Flat wicket india has to replace him with 2 spinners. But if india gona play 2 spinners it will be ishant sharma will be out. I think it is ok in SA because sreesanth is the only one good enough to get kallis out with his swing and as his bowling action is dangerous against right handers.

  • vidyasagar06071993 on January 1, 2011, 11:18 GMT

    why are my comments not being posted? kindly tell how to post comments.

  • rayl on January 1, 2011, 11:07 GMT

    If India want to win, they have got to bat well Sehwag, Gambhir, Tendulkar, Pujara, Laxman have to make big scores even Dravid

  • vidyasagar06071993 on January 1, 2011, 11:00 GMT

    i think that if india plays ojha as the 2nd spinner and luckily if dhoni wins toss and elects to bat india wud easily be able to demolish sa batting lineup in 4th innings.

  • Nerk on January 1, 2011, 10:35 GMT

    @Eklas - You may have seen AUS play with five bowlers, but it didn't help us much! Very exciting series, but one question? This is a veritable world championship, yet it only has three tests? Surely a five test series is required with so much good cricket being played in this series.

  • on January 1, 2011, 10:23 GMT

    @nag4208 I agree with you 100%. Never been a fan of the IPL, never will be. I do love watching international T20 matches, just not IPL. Would always rather see the Indian national team in focus. The IPL is also supposed to be longer this time around, which won't help in these bowlers' freshness aspect come the England and Australia tours. But then again, in soccer all players play in professional leagues every year, and it doesn't change even if there's an international world cup to follow the leagues, as was the case in 2010.

    So yes, I would like to see Zaheer, Ishant and Sreesanth being withdrawn from the IPL, but all of these players do need to learn to co-exist in both professional leagues and international cricket while giving their 100% in both forms.

  • on January 1, 2011, 10:20 GMT

    "PITCH FAVOURS BATSMEN " WHT HAPPENNED TO SA ........SA HAV TASTED THEIR OWN MEDICINE FAST & BOUNCY PITCHES,NOW THEY WANT FLAT PITCH TO BEAT INDIA......INDIA WILL WIN THE SERIES ANYWAY WHICH EVER PITCH THEY PREPARE...................GO INDIA GO............DE GHUMA KE.................DE GHUMA KE......................TEAM INDIA ROCKS

  • Kirstenfan on January 1, 2011, 10:18 GMT

    How can you say Boucher failed in the first two tests? He didn't bat in the first one due to the massively emphatic nature of SA's win, then was not out in the 1st innings in Durban and then had one of several shocking umpiring decisions in the 2nd test - he'll outscore Dhoni.

    Expect massive Indian failure in CT, go SA and show what you can do on true pitches, so much better than Dhoni's lucky team!

  • on January 1, 2011, 10:09 GMT

    I would like to say India have a great batting line up but the bowling is really lacking and will find it very hard to keep there number one position in the next few years to come. Sreesanth isn't that good and doesn't have a very good attitude when taking a wicket. I have no respect for him what so ever. Ishant is much better but has lost his way from a few years ago. South Africa or England will take over number one in the next few years and other teams will start to struggle just like Australia. They've dropped from number one to number 5 in a matter of 1 to 2 years and they never thought it would happen to them. Very over confident just like India at the moment unless Dravid, Tendulkar and Sheway play into there 40's India too will loose there ranking pretty badly and I don't want to see these greats go but there does need to be room for some younger players maybe under 20's to play a few games so when they reach 20 they will have had the experience the play in international crick.

  • on January 1, 2011, 9:48 GMT

    I think India should go with 2 spinners tomorrow....either on the expense of a batsman or a seamer

  • on January 1, 2011, 9:44 GMT

    srisahanth is a different indian bowler, i like his aggression which none of our bowlers had, he played crucial role in the last series in SA, we sholudnt over bowl him, invariably he gets injured, 3rd test i feel, sehwag and gambhir will give a solid start, this could be one of amazing test series for india,a sure india will win 2-1.

  • Johnny_129 on January 1, 2011, 9:30 GMT

    Vital for Sehwag, Gambhir, Dravid and Pujara to fire!

  • Johnny_129 on January 1, 2011, 9:10 GMT

    Sreesanth bowled well in the second innings of the last test BUT has looked lackluster for a majority of his spells. I think BOTH Sreesanth and Ishant need to bowl at mid to high 140's instead of operating at low to mid 130's. Medium pace is okay for Zaheer coz he has skill and experience enough but not Ishant and Sreesanth. IF Sreesanth and Ishant can maintain a pace around mid 140's SA will get a shock and INDIA WILL WIN!!!

  • sharidas on January 1, 2011, 9:09 GMT

    Sreesanth indeed is a good bowler,but gets carried away with his excessive show of aggression.He will do well to keep the aggression packed in his bowling. A stare every now and then or a simple smile when you beat a batsmen will be much more effective than irritating chatter. I do admire his bowling but not the unnecessary show of aggression.

  • on January 1, 2011, 9:08 GMT

    Small error: The second place in partnership records is: Herbert Sutcliffe (ENG) with Hobbs and not Bert Sutcliffe. You can't really shorten Herbert to Bert simply 'cuz Bert Sutcliffe(NZ) was an outstanding batsman in his own right.

  • Raju_Iyer on January 1, 2011, 8:58 GMT

    Team India gave us a lot of joy in 2010; they did lose the odd match or two, but that made them much more real and likeable, here's hoping for a great start to 2011 from the men in blue, Bharat Maata Ki Jai! Vande Mataram!

  • Gururavi28 on January 1, 2011, 8:46 GMT

    Sure shot India ll win dis test match n history is round d corner:)

  • sachingilly on January 1, 2011, 8:42 GMT

    it would be better if india pick vijay ahead of gambhir....

  • candyfloss on January 1, 2011, 8:36 GMT

    Sreesanth is indeed a good bowler but very incosistent.He has a brilliant seam position when releasing the ball.Good weather means full five days of cricket which is great .

  • on January 1, 2011, 8:25 GMT

    the setting couldn't have been more perfect for India. Finally they get a pitch which seems to support their strength - batting. Sehwag has missed out so far in the series and he surely would be licking his lips. For a change, I won't mind India batting first on this one as that would mean SA batting last on a turning track. It's a much needed win to lift that eluding trophy

  • on January 1, 2011, 8:18 GMT

    I love indian cricket, I think they might think about Oijh in a squad for this match..I saw AUS play with five bolwers..

  • nag42408 on January 1, 2011, 8:17 GMT

    I would agree with Ganguly about keeping Sreesanth fresh for next year i would rather say that Zaheer Sreesanth and Ishant should be pulled out of IPL what ever they are going to earn out of IPL BCCI can refund form there accounts so that next year when India tour England WI and Aus they are fresh because blower are the one who are going to win you test matches.

  • singhgirjesh007 on January 1, 2011, 8:05 GMT

    Shewag and GAMBHIR BEST opening pair,,,,

  • on January 1, 2011, 7:46 GMT

    Expecting an entertaining match as a cricket fan and an indian victory as an Indian Want sehwag to fire at least in this game

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • on January 1, 2011, 7:46 GMT

    Expecting an entertaining match as a cricket fan and an indian victory as an Indian Want sehwag to fire at least in this game

  • singhgirjesh007 on January 1, 2011, 8:05 GMT

    Shewag and GAMBHIR BEST opening pair,,,,

  • nag42408 on January 1, 2011, 8:17 GMT

    I would agree with Ganguly about keeping Sreesanth fresh for next year i would rather say that Zaheer Sreesanth and Ishant should be pulled out of IPL what ever they are going to earn out of IPL BCCI can refund form there accounts so that next year when India tour England WI and Aus they are fresh because blower are the one who are going to win you test matches.

  • on January 1, 2011, 8:18 GMT

    I love indian cricket, I think they might think about Oijh in a squad for this match..I saw AUS play with five bolwers..

  • on January 1, 2011, 8:25 GMT

    the setting couldn't have been more perfect for India. Finally they get a pitch which seems to support their strength - batting. Sehwag has missed out so far in the series and he surely would be licking his lips. For a change, I won't mind India batting first on this one as that would mean SA batting last on a turning track. It's a much needed win to lift that eluding trophy

  • candyfloss on January 1, 2011, 8:36 GMT

    Sreesanth is indeed a good bowler but very incosistent.He has a brilliant seam position when releasing the ball.Good weather means full five days of cricket which is great .

  • sachingilly on January 1, 2011, 8:42 GMT

    it would be better if india pick vijay ahead of gambhir....

  • Gururavi28 on January 1, 2011, 8:46 GMT

    Sure shot India ll win dis test match n history is round d corner:)

  • Raju_Iyer on January 1, 2011, 8:58 GMT

    Team India gave us a lot of joy in 2010; they did lose the odd match or two, but that made them much more real and likeable, here's hoping for a great start to 2011 from the men in blue, Bharat Maata Ki Jai! Vande Mataram!

  • on January 1, 2011, 9:08 GMT

    Small error: The second place in partnership records is: Herbert Sutcliffe (ENG) with Hobbs and not Bert Sutcliffe. You can't really shorten Herbert to Bert simply 'cuz Bert Sutcliffe(NZ) was an outstanding batsman in his own right.