Fine venue for Kallis and Steyn
Despite the 87-run defeat in Durban which has swung the momentum away from them, South Africa will be reasonably upbeat about their chances for the third Test, as the match will be played in Cape Town, a venue where South Africa have lost to no team other than Australia since their readmission to international cricket. In 21 Tests at Newlands during this period, South Africa won 14 and lost three, all of them to Australia - in 1994, 2002 and 2006. Their win-loss ratio of 4.66 is second-best among all their home venues. South Africa's recent record here is equally impressive - in the last nine Tests, since the beginning of 2005, they have won six and lost only one.
India's record isn't as good: they drew the first time they played here, in 1993, but lost the next two matches, in 1997 and 2007.
In Durban a couple of South African batsmen had poor records, but in Cape Town, almost everyone has done well. Apart from AB de Villiers, all their batsmen, including Mark Boucher, average more than 40.
Jacques Kallis leads the way with six centuries in 17 Tests, including hundreds in each of his last two matches. Graeme Smith and Ashwell Prince have also impressed, with averages in the late 50s. Smith will have pleasant memories of his last innings at this ground, a splendid 183 against England in the first week of 2010. Prince failed in that match, scoring 0 and 15, but he made 150 against Australia in 2009, which is one of his two centuries here. de Villiers is the one batsman with a below-par record here, but his only century at this venue came recently, when he scored 163 against Australia in 2009.
|Jacques Kallis||17||1602||66.75||6/ 8|
|Ashwell Prince||9||599||59.90||2/ 2|
|Graeme Smith||11||1117||58.78||3/ 6|
|Mark Boucher||15||678||42.37||1/ 4|
|Hashim Amla||7||486||40.50||1/ 2|
|AB de Villiers||9||453||32.35||1/ 1|
After twin failures in Durban, which remains one of his worst Test venues, Sachin Tendulkar returns to a ground where he has done much better - in each of his three Tests in Cape Town, Tendulkar has scored at least a half-century, and averages almost 69. His best innings here, which is also among his best Test hundreds, came in 1997, when he scored a sparkling 169 off 254 balls and added 222 for the sixth wicket with Mohammad Azharuddin after India had slumped to 58 for 5.
There hasn't been much cheer for the other batsmen, though: Rahul Dravid has a highest of 47 in four innings, while VVS Laxman's best in as many attempts is an unbeaten 35.
|Sachin Tendulkar||3||329||65.80||1/ 2|
|Rahul Dravid||2||90||22.50||0/ 0|
|Virender Sehwag||1||44||22.00||0/ 0|
|VVS Laxman||2||54||18.00||0/ 0|
Most of South Africa's current bowling attack has enjoyed the conditions at Newlands too. Dale Steyn has consistently been among the wickets here, averaging six per game in his last five matches. He hasn't taken a single five-for here, but has taken four in an innings on five occasions, including once against India in 2007. Morne Morkel took a five-for in his only Test here, and even Pul Harris has done well here, taking six in an innings against Australia in 2009.
|Bowler||Tests||Wickets||Average||Strike rate||5WI/ 10WM|
|Morne Morkel||1||6||21.00||50.0||1/ 0|
|Dale Steyn||6||33||21.78||43.2||0/ 0|
|Paul Harris||5||20||28.20||63.3||1/ 0|
|Jacques Kallis||14||29||32.34||66.6||0/ 0|
Harris' stats are particularly creditable since spinners haven't generally done well at Newlands. In Tests since 2000, they've conceded more than 40 runs for each of their 105 wickets, with only two five-wicket hauls. (Apart from Harris, Shane Warne is the only one to have achieved it in the last ten years.) Fast bowlers have been more successful, averaging less than 33 per wicket. (For a detailed look at the performances of fast bowlers at this ground, click here.)
|Wickets||Average||Strike rate||5WI/ 10WM|
MS Dhoni has lost the toss 13 times in his last 14 Tests, but if past stats are any indication, he might not mind losing the toss this time: of the last 11 Tests which have produced a decisive result since 2000, eight have been won by the team which lost the toss. Captains have chosen to bat first in 11 out of 14 Tests during this period, but more recently the stats are even: in the last six Tests, three times the captain winning the toss has fielded.
In terms of average runs per wicket in each innings, the second and fourth innings have been more productive than the first and third. The last four first innings have yielded scores of 157, 243, 209 and 291. The second innings scores have been higher, with South Africa managing 651 against Australia in 2009. The fourth innings has been pretty productive too, though that's partly because of teams achieving smallish fourth-innings targets with a fair number of wickets in hand. In the early 2000s, though, teams managed quite big scores in the fourth innings: Australia chased down a target of 331 in 2002, while West Indies made 354 for 5 in 2004 to save the game. In the most recent Test here, England hung on for a draw after being nine down for 296, after South Africa had set them a target of 466.
|1st innings||2nd innings||3rd innings||4th innings|
S Rajesh is stats editor of Cricinfo