South Africa v India, 3rd Test, Cape Town, 3rd day January 4, 2011

SA plan on safety-first approach

47

South Africa are not going to come out with all guns blazing on day four of the deciding Test match against India in Cape Town. "The first thing we need to do is make sure we have enough runs so that we don't lose the match," Dale Steyn said at the end of play on day three. "Then, we will think about setting a target."

It may seem like a negative, safety-first approach, but South Africa don't want to risk leaving India with a gettable target on the last day of the match. The highest target chased successfully at Newlands was 331, which Australia managed in March 2002. It was achieved by an Australia at their peak, but South Africa will be mindful of the number. They still have more than 250 runs to score before they get there.

They've already lost the wickets of Graeme Smith and nightwatchman Paul Harris, but Steyn does not think that will hamper their progress too much. "Losing Graeme was big, but Harro did his job. He made sure Hashim [Amla] only faced four balls instead of three overs."

It will mean that a lot will rest on South Africa's batting order, particularly the two men currently occupying the crease, Alviro Petersen and Amla. Petersen has not yet done enough to cement his place as Smith's opening partner, but this gives him the perfect opportunity to do so. Besides the 77 he scored in Centurion, he has had three starts but has not been able to push on. If he can capitalise on this situation, he will go a long way to putting down roots in the batting line-up for some time to come

Amla had a disappointing Test in Durban but scored an aggressive 59 in the first innings at Newlands, before succumbing to a self-described "sugar rush". He is expected to adopt a more structured strategy in the second knock, especially because of the injury sustained to Jacques Kallis, who has a contusion near his rib and will only bat if necessary. That means Ashwell Prince will also come under the spotlight. He is renowned for his ability to perform under pressure and grind out runs when needed, although South Africa will not want to depend on that to put themselves in a position of advantage.

If the Australia chase is taken out of the equation, the next highest successfully chase is 211, by South Africa against India in 2007. That bit of history may mean nothing now, because the India team on the current tour is more competitive away from home than the team from 2007. That may be why South Africa are talking more like they are prepared to play for a draw than a win.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on January 5, 2011, 15:15 GMT

    Jacques Kallis deserves too much of an applause,appreciation for his performance in this Test Match.It is just amazing and wonderful the way he has batted.Congrats to him.

  • on January 5, 2011, 10:40 GMT

    Kallis deserves this. He is arrogant.

  • anonymousfan on January 5, 2011, 8:58 GMT

    SA can't play spin. Be it home or away. Shane Warne used to make them bite the dust routinely , now Harbhajan is doing the same. Their bowling is world class, but batting looks club standard (with the exception of Kallis and Amla).

  • on January 5, 2011, 8:25 GMT

    smith must be criticised n removed as captain for tiring styen(which will only shorten n spoil his career n his talent) by not using a 1 more pacer like mclaren. instead he's using harris n 7 batsmen.

  • bobmuck on January 5, 2011, 8:17 GMT

    Great to see a truly competitive match after the nonsense Australia has been serving up all summer. I agree - a lot depends on what Bhajji can pull off in his first ten overs. If Amla and Petersen get knocked in for the day, they can put something together. A lead of 300 might test India, but in truth RSA probably need more like 400, taking up the first few overs of tmrw as well.

  • Point4 on January 5, 2011, 8:16 GMT

    saftety first approach is ridiculous for SA especially considering this is their back yard.Indian seamers will leak runs on 4th day morning nad SA should be able to post a total in excess of 300 if they play normally even if Harby does bowl ewll and get a few wickets or even a 5 for(considering they are already 50 ahead they need only 250 more vwry much gettable).and when India bat steyn can run through the line up.he is a class apart as shown already.SA wil win if they dont chocke!!!!simple and this comment is from india.india lost it when they failed to get a notable first innings lead especially after the marathon gritty stand between gambhir and SRT.bowlers win matches and Steyn is one such..period

  • faisalmdvm on January 5, 2011, 8:15 GMT

    For those who compare India's no.1 status with Australians/windies of the yesteryears, they need to get the facts right. None of the teams then, gave a tough challenge to them.( barring a few ocassions on home soil). Most of the teams at the present have very few difference between them. I wouldn't dare to compare the current Indian team with the old AUS / WI, still this team have in it the intensity and will power to put up a strong fight with whatever resourses they have.Even AUS lost in India coming after 16 consecutive wins.SA did try to match with the AUS, but lacked the inrensity and nerve to tackle pressure situations.Precisely, India is No.1 at the momemt and thats a fact although many disagree and don't seem to agree untill India beat AU/SA/ENG 5-0( isn't that ridiculous given the situation now?)Engalnd comes closer than SA at the moment, but that can be considered only after India tour of ENG. Till then its India.

  • on January 5, 2011, 7:56 GMT

    @ SunnyGIsGawd thank God u r not Dhoni, in case u dont know, Sehwag is having a shoulder problem, that is the reason why he is not bowling..

  • on January 5, 2011, 7:56 GMT

    LOL he is revealing the team's strategy in a press conference. Who is going to believe him?

  • styx on January 5, 2011, 7:10 GMT

    @ CoolJack_143. Not sure what games you have been watching. How can you possibly say Indian batsman dominated the second test and this first innings. They scored less than 250 in both innings in Durban and outscored South Africa by 2 runs here. In both instances it was the brilliance of ONE batsman that allowed them to get to their final total. VVS Laxman in Durban and Tendulkar in Cape Town. I think India have batted welll but they have hardly dominated.

  • on January 5, 2011, 15:15 GMT

    Jacques Kallis deserves too much of an applause,appreciation for his performance in this Test Match.It is just amazing and wonderful the way he has batted.Congrats to him.

  • on January 5, 2011, 10:40 GMT

    Kallis deserves this. He is arrogant.

  • anonymousfan on January 5, 2011, 8:58 GMT

    SA can't play spin. Be it home or away. Shane Warne used to make them bite the dust routinely , now Harbhajan is doing the same. Their bowling is world class, but batting looks club standard (with the exception of Kallis and Amla).

  • on January 5, 2011, 8:25 GMT

    smith must be criticised n removed as captain for tiring styen(which will only shorten n spoil his career n his talent) by not using a 1 more pacer like mclaren. instead he's using harris n 7 batsmen.

  • bobmuck on January 5, 2011, 8:17 GMT

    Great to see a truly competitive match after the nonsense Australia has been serving up all summer. I agree - a lot depends on what Bhajji can pull off in his first ten overs. If Amla and Petersen get knocked in for the day, they can put something together. A lead of 300 might test India, but in truth RSA probably need more like 400, taking up the first few overs of tmrw as well.

  • Point4 on January 5, 2011, 8:16 GMT

    saftety first approach is ridiculous for SA especially considering this is their back yard.Indian seamers will leak runs on 4th day morning nad SA should be able to post a total in excess of 300 if they play normally even if Harby does bowl ewll and get a few wickets or even a 5 for(considering they are already 50 ahead they need only 250 more vwry much gettable).and when India bat steyn can run through the line up.he is a class apart as shown already.SA wil win if they dont chocke!!!!simple and this comment is from india.india lost it when they failed to get a notable first innings lead especially after the marathon gritty stand between gambhir and SRT.bowlers win matches and Steyn is one such..period

  • faisalmdvm on January 5, 2011, 8:15 GMT

    For those who compare India's no.1 status with Australians/windies of the yesteryears, they need to get the facts right. None of the teams then, gave a tough challenge to them.( barring a few ocassions on home soil). Most of the teams at the present have very few difference between them. I wouldn't dare to compare the current Indian team with the old AUS / WI, still this team have in it the intensity and will power to put up a strong fight with whatever resourses they have.Even AUS lost in India coming after 16 consecutive wins.SA did try to match with the AUS, but lacked the inrensity and nerve to tackle pressure situations.Precisely, India is No.1 at the momemt and thats a fact although many disagree and don't seem to agree untill India beat AU/SA/ENG 5-0( isn't that ridiculous given the situation now?)Engalnd comes closer than SA at the moment, but that can be considered only after India tour of ENG. Till then its India.

  • on January 5, 2011, 7:56 GMT

    @ SunnyGIsGawd thank God u r not Dhoni, in case u dont know, Sehwag is having a shoulder problem, that is the reason why he is not bowling..

  • on January 5, 2011, 7:56 GMT

    LOL he is revealing the team's strategy in a press conference. Who is going to believe him?

  • styx on January 5, 2011, 7:10 GMT

    @ CoolJack_143. Not sure what games you have been watching. How can you possibly say Indian batsman dominated the second test and this first innings. They scored less than 250 in both innings in Durban and outscored South Africa by 2 runs here. In both instances it was the brilliance of ONE batsman that allowed them to get to their final total. VVS Laxman in Durban and Tendulkar in Cape Town. I think India have batted welll but they have hardly dominated.

  • Nadeem1976 on January 5, 2011, 6:58 GMT

    I think SA still has edge over India becuase India has to play in 4th innings. I am think that as usual it will come to VVS laxman to bat well in 4th innings to save it or win it. It seems like Trend that VVS dont score in first innings and then he plays unbelievable innings in 2nd innings. VVS laxman is test version of Michael baven in ODI. finishers. I think Dravid has to play big innings now. Its time for old man to win match. India cannot put all eggs in laxman basket all the time , luck can go wrong. If SA manage a lead over 250 ,it will be hard for indians to win from there. Until and unless sehwag plays a aggressive big innings. Have fun india, you are in tough position.

  • on January 5, 2011, 6:42 GMT

    Whenever the idea of saving a test goes through a teams mind, more often than not, end up losing the match. There may be a few exceptions. but thinking of saving the test after third days play speaks high of their confidence & mental strength. I hope India just goes all out for the win!!

  • gr8cricketfan on January 5, 2011, 6:39 GMT

    I think steyn knew how the pitch looks like and another thing is that southafrica has not been in this kind of situation before in their home place to loose a test match if they dosn't play well.the only team to beat south africa in south africa is england and the next team is india.really the pressure cooker situation is now that if south africa dosn't play well they will loose a series.this is going to be a fun to watch who ever hold's their nerves will win this test,but according to the situation the home team has more pressure than the visiting team.it is going to be harbhajan's day today or amla's day i dont care but it a great cricket fans day.lets hope for a fantastic day of cricket. best of luck for both the teams.but since iam being a indian i want india to win.

  • stormy16 on January 5, 2011, 6:25 GMT

    Safety first seems obvious but its also to best way to loose the test. Play the normal game I reckon and always look for runs to ensure ther lead is 250 incase you get bowled out. The wicket will not be easy to survive on so go for the runs and get a total to give you a chance to defend. Ind must got for wickets and ensure they dont get too defensive trying to dry up the runs. To win the series they need 10 wickets and its no point getting those 10 if the target is 300+ it would not leave enought time to chase. Rather go for the wickets and if SA are good enough to get the runs then paly for a draw.

  • vivvi on January 5, 2011, 5:56 GMT

    no south african batsmen s looking to play spinner on the off side ,thy stay back and play only on leg side,it wont be a bad idea to crowd legside feild and ask them to play against turn if they want runs...that will take them out of comfort zone,only devillears alone looks good for the drive on offside,..

  • cris89 on January 5, 2011, 5:48 GMT

    Decent approach..India's 4th innings' totals over the last 2-3 years helpful wickets show that they bat well for targets between 200-250 but crumble when they play for a draw

  • LateralThinking on January 5, 2011, 5:42 GMT

    Pujara is of little value at 6. He needs to come in at 3 in the second innings. This doesn't mean that Dravid never gets #3 again. Dravid seems to be a bit low. It will help him if he can bat with VVS, his best pal, than being a lonesome lost crusader at 3. That way Sachin, VVS, Rahul and Dhoni at 4,5,6,7 makes us look a bit more formidable and gives us a better chance. If Pujara cannot play with the first new ball, he cannot with the second either. And he does look good. Give him a fair chance. This might be a great idea. And remember he did well against Aussies when promoted. You are sending the message that this is a long batting order and telling Pujara, we trust you, play your natural game. I think MSD missed a trick in the first innings. A crucial one.

  • ArFenom_999 on January 5, 2011, 5:41 GMT

    South Africa will win for sure, as they've still got lots of power batting to come up. And in India's 2nd Innings, we'd see Steyn again ripping off their line up.

  • shoonyam on January 5, 2011, 5:40 GMT

    It is this safety first approach that has prevented an otherwise capable team from completely dominating the game, unlike Australia. Australia (of the yore I should add now, unfortunately) would mercilessly attack and declare by the end of the fourth day (latest), satisfied with setting a target of 300 or even 250. It is this dare devilry inherited from Ian Chappel's times that intimidated the opposition sufficiently for the bowlers to bang away.

  • on January 5, 2011, 5:39 GMT

    A session at a time boys...if SA is 80/4 or 100/7 we are on top...but if SA manage to get to 200, it will be anybody's game. India dont chase well in Test Matches. Needless to say as soon as SA get 250 +, an Indian win goes out of the window.

  • LateralThinking on January 5, 2011, 5:36 GMT

    The beauty of this test is that it has been the NEW BALL that has made a difference. But today, it might well be the OLD BALL that Bhajji's wants to wrap his fingers around. And imagine a spinner winning the series for you in SA! And imagine SA taking a safety first approach on a seamer friendly pitch against a spinner. Am I missing something?

  • LateralThinking on January 5, 2011, 5:34 GMT

    I am shocked that SA is even thinking about safety first. Even a score of 200 is going to be difficult. They are looking at not losing the series. Sometimes, you cling on to things too tightly and then it backfires. They should be looking at 200+ comfortably and hope to score more than 275 to settle the issue. To even think about being safe, shows that SA has lost the battle of minds. This will give India a sniff of victory. You cannot even draw with this approach. When you play to win, you will minimize your chances of losing. But in trying to draw, the next obvious result is a LOSS. The magic of Sehwag is that even if he is not playing well, he plays in the minds of the opposition. The only reason SA will fear setting a target of 275 for India is Sehwag. What an impact player. Even when he is not playing well and the whole world criticizes him again for non-issues in his case like technique footwork, patience etc. He made his century on debut in SA. Please....

  • LateralThinking on January 5, 2011, 5:27 GMT

    If Bhajji strikes, we win! SA will wind up well withing 200. Otherwise our batsmen need to play 3 sessions as if their lives depend on it to salvage a draw. Both are possible.

  • LateralThinking on January 5, 2011, 5:09 GMT

    This is a CLIFFHANGER! We see that momentum keeps shifting in many test matches and finally one team manages to build on it and surges ahead. This test has been very different. The 1st test was clear domination by SA, but then on Day 4 after tea with India only 50 runs behind and Dhoni and Sachin playing well, we did think that we will be able to salvage a draw, because thunderstorms were expected on Day 5. That was the only time when India had the momentum. But otherwise it was SA for more than 85% of the first test. In the 2nd test, India were shot our for 205. SA won the day. We shut them out for 130 - India's day. Then we lost so many quick wickets in the 2nd innings and then SA had the mantle. VVS ensured that we piled the required runs. India dominated the test from then. Pretty close 2nd test, still not like this one. Here, every session has been closely fought. It is even stevens after Day 3. Had it not been for Bhajji's strike we would have been DEAD. Now it is EVEN. PHEW!

  • pachako on January 5, 2011, 4:27 GMT

    Unless umpires are giving wrong decisions to send SA batsmen out (that they did in the second match to make sure the series alive) SA is going to win this test or it is going to b a draw

  • Tendulkars_Tennis_Elbow on January 5, 2011, 4:18 GMT

    Its going to be Laxman time again in Cape Town :)

  • Hema_Adhikari on January 5, 2011, 4:14 GMT

    What can one say about Sachin Tendulkar that has not been said already. I mean after all the hype and hoopla, he has scored two very high quality centuries against top quality pace bowling on green pitches already in this series. He is the best bastman since Don Bradman without any doubt and I think it is very possible that he is even better than him. We romanticize batsman of the past but this guy right here and right now, performing in front of our eyes, carrying the expectation of billion people, playing on all kind of surfaces and against all kind of bowlers, is arguably the very best we have seen and probably we will not see another one like him in our life time. Savor the saviour's feat, leave your narrow mindedness for a day and enjoy the sheer greatness of this miracle man-child.

  • Chncricfan_2k0 on January 5, 2011, 3:33 GMT

    Great sport..Test match at its best.we must thank to the pitch curator for preparing such a wonderful result producing wicket.Still we have another two days of absorbing cricket left.still this match is anyone's game if SA don't play for a draw..Excellent batting by the Little master on a pitch that was doing a lot for the bowlers.What a player U are.51st ton came in a great way..but again his great work has been put down by other players.if they played well means we should have a lead of around 100 runs for sure..Pujara gone to a great delivery.but Dhoni's dismissal was embracing.he was just giving a practice catch to the slip fielder..but fortunately the tail enders stood up and ensure that we crossed SA total..good work by them..anyhow all Indians hope we will win this match..!

  • suddyv on January 5, 2011, 3:24 GMT

    Good move by Dhoni. Pujara at Short leg. For Harbhajan, I feel leg side catchers should be Pujara and Gambhir. Offside catcher should be Slip Dravid and Laxman/Vijay. I feel Dhoni should keep 3 catchers near bat while Harbhajan bowling, What ever case. Keep square leg up to stop singles. I think Ishant should bowl yorkers, Without that he is not a complete bowler. Dhoni should try the golden arm of Sachin and Laxman. Really missing Sehwag off-spinners due to shoulder injury. Go india Go...What ever be result...we are behind you.

  • swaroopjammula on January 5, 2011, 2:03 GMT

    the key i think here is harbhajan.the way the sa batsmen started showed that the fast bowlers still get wickets only with new ball.once that is seen they are no threat.so i think India with better spinner has a chance.good luck India.you made us proud by playing like champions no matter what the result is.

  • cooljack_143 on January 5, 2011, 0:47 GMT

    hello HATRICK26 looks like you forgot that this is a batting wicket and your comments seem like SA is going to win or draw.Havent you seen the Indian batting till now how it dominated the first innings and the previous test.Well steyn may be the best bowler I agree but this is a batting pitch my dear and its going to produce more runs than wickets, well if Indian batsmen throw out their wicket thats a different story,but its going to be harbhajan vs SA tomorrow,if not then will be adraw for sure.I hate to see draw though.Let the team with better batting win the game.I dont mind its India/SA but definitely not SA alone.I APPRECIATE the SA fans for being so sportive in the stands,supporting and applauding the game irrespective of which country is playing.Good scenes there.

  • Nampally on January 5, 2011, 0:47 GMT

    This match is still wide open and anybody's game. If India can get 4 wickets in the first session's play, then the game could swing.The ball is turning as Harbhajan has shown in his 3 overs. It also has an uncertain bounce. Both will be huge factors in the play on Day 4. Harbhajan will be the key to the Indian victory. If he bundles out the SA for 200, then Indian batting also has to do its part.Kallis, Amla & de Velliers will be the main SA batsmen - of course, once it is decided whether it is necessary for Kallis to bat.On day 3 India missed a golden chance of building a lead after excellent work by Gambhir & Tendulkar. Pujara & Dhoni failed badly while VVS was unlucky to get run out. If these 3 batsmen had showed up, it would have been an easy victory for India.Now India has to play as a team to win this Test just like they did in the second test.Although the ball is spinning, it is still a fast bowler's wicket. Indian top batsmen have to perform & be patientl to win.

  • sachinsjaihindustan on January 5, 2011, 0:45 GMT

    I like the idea by SunnyGIsGawd. It will be well worth giving Viru a spell with bhajji, as the ball is definitely spinning on this wearing wicket. The game is very evenly poised, can go either way. However if SA are going to take a safety first approach, then it will be better if Dhoni has more fielders in close catching positions. Its going to be a tough 2 days of test cricket, especially chasing a target on the fifth day. If India apply themselves, they can do it. Good luck team India. Jai Hind.

  • on January 5, 2011, 0:31 GMT

    If SA plays safe then run rate will be down and more chances for bowlers and if they get out smaller target to chase. Looking forward for this game plan of suicide, good for india.

  • Rahulbose on January 4, 2011, 23:21 GMT

    I hope SA set a sporting target, this test match deserves nothing less than a 5th day scrap to the finish. A 250-300 chase will be ideal, given that SA are lacking in spin bowling resources and Steyn can bowl only so many overs.

    India will be confident given their recent run of 4th ings chases. Maybe time for another Laxman epic on a crumbling track.

  • NRI- on January 4, 2011, 23:05 GMT

    Put something in Sehwag's shoulder so he can bowl. SRT should also bowl. Bhajji needs a support act at the other end and perhaps Zak can reverse the old ball.

    But it's all mainly Harbhajan now. He could take all 10 wickets.

    Dravid should go at no 6 and VVS at no 3, Pujara at no 5. 2nd innings - VVS at no 3 - that is the key. In fact Dravid is no longer a no 3 option if a test batsman at all.

  • indianpunter on January 4, 2011, 23:02 GMT

    Sehwag is the absolute key in any chase. ( not withstanding his 2 inns blues!). I am very worried that Dravid will kill the momentum coming in at number 3 and maybe a punt on Pujara needs to be taken again with a message to bat fearlessly. i agree that he has not set the house on fire in the last 2 tests, but i cannot see RD scoring another run.

  • hatrick26 on January 4, 2011, 22:48 GMT

    Unless India picks up wkts early and often, this match is draw or SA win. I am not sure even 200 would be reachable by India in 4th innings, the way Steyn is bowling. In this type of match, India shoudl have scored about 50-75 runs 1st innings to make it an even contest since they have to account for the pressure batting last .

  • ToTellUTheTruth on January 4, 2011, 22:26 GMT

    Not sure which game you were all watching, but going by the last two overs from Bhajji, it should be clear that the pitch "has" crumbled (only aided by SA's poor choice to use the heavy roller) and the ball is turning viciously. If I were Dhoni (which I can only dream of), I would start off with Viru and Bhajji, with occassional spell from the Maestro himself.

    The ball is staying low with a lot of turn. Let's see how this pans out.

  • _Oracle_ on January 4, 2011, 21:59 GMT

    If India is chasing anything over 200 runs, they need Sehwag to click.. And I hope click he will... That would make a cracker of ending to the test (series)..

  • SnowSnake on January 4, 2011, 21:52 GMT

    SA will have to play entire day tomorrow to either win or draw this test.

  • on January 4, 2011, 21:32 GMT

    I think the key is India taking early wickets and not letting South Africa score freely. It is important that Zak and Sri strike in the morning and bring in the injured Kallis into play early. Though Sehwag has had an indiufferent series, I still think he will be critical in the chase.

  • on January 4, 2011, 20:26 GMT

    All considered and given, if SA targets/gets 3/over for at least 70-80 overs (should be easy considering in and out field) India's looking at a target of around 240-270. Now, make no mistake if TI start their chase on last half an hr of day 4 or early day 5, they will desperately want Wiru to stay at the crease for at least an hour or two.- In that one or two hours Wiru can take good 60-75 out of the total which would mean the remaining batters will need to get 180-190, that should be gettable provided Steyn doesn't deliver another fiery spell and TI batters play confidently against Hariis (what is with tall spinner against TI batters !) - Very tough task for TI in coming couple of days - Good Luck TI

  • DrDonaLolo on January 4, 2011, 20:17 GMT

    If SA set 300 target then I am sure they will win this test match, less than 300 India will win this match!

  • addiemanav on January 4, 2011, 20:15 GMT

    the game has been in balance throughout& the team that seizes initiative tomorrow will have a bigger chance to win than the other.but i feel theres a collapse waiting to happen..SA approach will be 1st to save the game,as said by steyn.. means that unless the bowling's poor they arent going to fiddle too much..it only helps india's cause as the pressure would mount on SA if bhajji starts picking up more wkts tomorrow..the ball is keeping low and turning as well..SA bastmen might get too over-cautious,a mistake made by ind in same situation the last tour..the way amla was playing gives an idea of this mental-block that may come in SA line-up!it wont surprise me if SA fold-up for 175..tough,very tough,but can happen!!bhajji is the key tomorrow without a shade of doubt!!i wont mind having sachin bowl some..last time ind set 210,& dravid gave sachin the ball when only 15 runs were left.prince struggled in tht period as well!!but harris wont hav same effect,his line of attack's different!

  • Kurapati on January 4, 2011, 19:58 GMT

    SA don't have to worry about drawing the test, while India only play with an intention to draw the test!! Always India doesn't care about the situation they are in..Now frankly speaking, India could possibly win this one but they always play for draw!! History proved that fact!! What a perfect series it would be if India win this match!!!

  • JerryJose on January 4, 2011, 19:55 GMT

    Is this a mind game? To get India aggressive so that there are more scoring chances??

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  • JerryJose on January 4, 2011, 19:55 GMT

    Is this a mind game? To get India aggressive so that there are more scoring chances??

  • Kurapati on January 4, 2011, 19:58 GMT

    SA don't have to worry about drawing the test, while India only play with an intention to draw the test!! Always India doesn't care about the situation they are in..Now frankly speaking, India could possibly win this one but they always play for draw!! History proved that fact!! What a perfect series it would be if India win this match!!!

  • addiemanav on January 4, 2011, 20:15 GMT

    the game has been in balance throughout& the team that seizes initiative tomorrow will have a bigger chance to win than the other.but i feel theres a collapse waiting to happen..SA approach will be 1st to save the game,as said by steyn.. means that unless the bowling's poor they arent going to fiddle too much..it only helps india's cause as the pressure would mount on SA if bhajji starts picking up more wkts tomorrow..the ball is keeping low and turning as well..SA bastmen might get too over-cautious,a mistake made by ind in same situation the last tour..the way amla was playing gives an idea of this mental-block that may come in SA line-up!it wont surprise me if SA fold-up for 175..tough,very tough,but can happen!!bhajji is the key tomorrow without a shade of doubt!!i wont mind having sachin bowl some..last time ind set 210,& dravid gave sachin the ball when only 15 runs were left.prince struggled in tht period as well!!but harris wont hav same effect,his line of attack's different!

  • DrDonaLolo on January 4, 2011, 20:17 GMT

    If SA set 300 target then I am sure they will win this test match, less than 300 India will win this match!

  • on January 4, 2011, 20:26 GMT

    All considered and given, if SA targets/gets 3/over for at least 70-80 overs (should be easy considering in and out field) India's looking at a target of around 240-270. Now, make no mistake if TI start their chase on last half an hr of day 4 or early day 5, they will desperately want Wiru to stay at the crease for at least an hour or two.- In that one or two hours Wiru can take good 60-75 out of the total which would mean the remaining batters will need to get 180-190, that should be gettable provided Steyn doesn't deliver another fiery spell and TI batters play confidently against Hariis (what is with tall spinner against TI batters !) - Very tough task for TI in coming couple of days - Good Luck TI

  • on January 4, 2011, 21:32 GMT

    I think the key is India taking early wickets and not letting South Africa score freely. It is important that Zak and Sri strike in the morning and bring in the injured Kallis into play early. Though Sehwag has had an indiufferent series, I still think he will be critical in the chase.

  • SnowSnake on January 4, 2011, 21:52 GMT

    SA will have to play entire day tomorrow to either win or draw this test.

  • _Oracle_ on January 4, 2011, 21:59 GMT

    If India is chasing anything over 200 runs, they need Sehwag to click.. And I hope click he will... That would make a cracker of ending to the test (series)..

  • ToTellUTheTruth on January 4, 2011, 22:26 GMT

    Not sure which game you were all watching, but going by the last two overs from Bhajji, it should be clear that the pitch "has" crumbled (only aided by SA's poor choice to use the heavy roller) and the ball is turning viciously. If I were Dhoni (which I can only dream of), I would start off with Viru and Bhajji, with occassional spell from the Maestro himself.

    The ball is staying low with a lot of turn. Let's see how this pans out.

  • hatrick26 on January 4, 2011, 22:48 GMT

    Unless India picks up wkts early and often, this match is draw or SA win. I am not sure even 200 would be reachable by India in 4th innings, the way Steyn is bowling. In this type of match, India shoudl have scored about 50-75 runs 1st innings to make it an even contest since they have to account for the pressure batting last .