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

Gambhir to bat, but out of ODI series

Sidharth Monga at Newlands

January 5, 2011

Comments: 93 | Text size: A | A

Gautam Gambhir leaves a ball from Morne Morkel, South Africa v India, 3rd Test, Cape Town, 3rd day, January 4, 2011
Gautam Gambhir was hit on the left arm during his 93 in the first innings at Newlands © Associated Press

Gautam Gambhir will bat for India on the fifth day at Newlands, but he has been ruled out of the ODI series. Making a comeback from a hand injury that kept him out of the second Test in Durban, Gambhir had his troubles compounded when a Lonwabo Tsostsobe delivery hit him on the left elbow in the first innings. He could be seen sitting with a splint on his arm in the dressing room during the fourth day, raising doubts over his availability in the second innings.

He scored 93 in the first innings, and sustained the blow when he was on 91. He did not take the field for the entire duration of South Africa's second innings.

"He should be [fit]," Harbhajan Singh, who took seven wickets in the second innings, said. "He has rested the whole day today [Wednesday], he has been icing his arm and getting treatment. But he is going to miss out on the one-day series." India will play a Twenty20 international against South Africa on January 9 and a five-match ODI series starting on January 12

India need 340 to win on the fifth day and Harbhajan said that India's first concern would be to see off the new ball, and then rethink their strategy on whether to go for a draw or a win depending on how the first session goes. "Our approach, to be honest, will be to see off the first hour. If we play the new ball well, and get some fireworks from Virender Sehwag, then anything is chaseable. This is a ground where a lot of runs can be scored fast. I hope Viru clicks tomorrow and gives us a good start. A hundred for no loss will be a good beginning. The new ball will be crucial."

Sehwag excepting, the first instinct for India will surely be to feel safe first, and then go for the target if possible.

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at Cricinfo

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Posted by bhadra on (January 7, 2011, 19:30 GMT)

Sehwag Tendulkar Ganbhir Yuvraj/Kohli Raina Dhoni Yusuf Pathan Ashwin/Sreesanth/Munaf Harbhajan Zaheer Nehra

on number 4 spot i would prefer Yuvraj. On basis of his previous records, his strike rate, and abilty to change the situation of the game anytime of given match condition either with ball or bat. Kohli too fits in well. but I think Yuvraj will make it to last 11 on number 8 spot I would rather prefer Ashwin. He looks a talented spinner. Can be useful on sub-continent pitches. Can hold the run-rate in middle overs. And most importantly he can bat, when compared to Munaf and Sreesanth.

Posted by   on (January 7, 2011, 17:18 GMT)

gud to see youngsters gettng chances,,,,

Posted by   on (January 7, 2011, 10:33 GMT)

ROBIN UTHAPPA is sq of Sehwag not playing

Posted by singh90 on (January 7, 2011, 7:27 GMT)

Parthiv Patel or m pandey or badrinath should be in sq if veeru not playing.

Posted by   on (January 6, 2011, 16:23 GMT)

Both team played really well..... in the series Sachin n Kallis shows why they r great. good to see test match at his very best.....................

Posted by   on (January 6, 2011, 13:35 GMT)

hai guys.. i feel very happy about our team performance...India is the no.1 in world doubt..u c the approach we have from day 1 of 1st test to the day 5 of the last test..the 3rd test is almost dominated by India.SA are on backfoot til 4th day until the pair of kallis-bouchr shows our dominance.go India go.v r the no.1.i thk aftr the series no one says India lose in pitches..

Posted by   on (January 6, 2011, 11:48 GMT)

Happy with a draw rather a defeat

Posted by peterss on (January 6, 2011, 11:06 GMT)

Badrinath should certainly be included and play in place of either pujara or dravid from the next games. He single handedly took TN thus far this season and almost saved them in the semi final with a marathon knock, finishing as the top run scorer. Certainty for test spot ahead of everyone else. pujara is good but behind badri at the moment.

Posted by manisacumen on (January 6, 2011, 8:00 GMT)

Very good comments by all learned fans here. Keep it up. Almost all comments are well analysed. That's how it should be.

My prediction: If Sehwag stays till lunch and some time after lunch, India have a chance. If Sehwag goes early, not even the 'Greatest' Tendulkar can win the match for us. Sachin can then only ensure with a lot ofstruggle, a draw. A loss is more possible, if we are very practical and realistic. For me Win -20%; Draw -30%, Lose -50%.

I don't know whom to blame? Dhoni's listless captaincy or the listlessness of our bowling,which has never been great any time. But if we are defeated 2-1, then we should not feel bad. We should be thankful that we didn't lose 3-0. As somebody has said here rightly, we were lucky to win the second test. But the two dismissals of Dravid and Laxman evens out that factor,i feel.

Posted by NimishGarg on (January 6, 2011, 7:55 GMT)

Although gambhir and sehwag are the two players without whom indian batting looks vulnerable but dont forgetthat sachin is back and so is yuvraj. Moreover the 2nd string indian team convincingly beat the kiwis 5-0 . So that team along with sachin can atleast put up a good fight.....

completely agree with spinkingKK if india get to a good start.. Today the most crucial will be sehwag's innings.. to decide the fate of the match and the series.. Going by india's batting performance in the 2nd and 3rd test India shuld be able to face the steyn gun andatleast draw the match.

Posted by vivvi on (January 6, 2011, 7:41 GMT)

the pitch is dead now ,if india can hang on against the new ball ,with the soft ball there are loads of runs avilable ,the wicket is completely dried out cos of two days of sun,the good thing for india was smith used a heavy roller yesterday ,and it backfired in a different way by giving harbajan bounce of broken ruff ,it was almost gone when india took second new ball,dhoni will certainly go for light roller ,the pitch will be as crisp as a biscut literally simillar to sharjah or good old ma chidambaram during june-july on a 3rd day , if shewag stays we are in for a ride, even he gets out 3.7 rpo i back india to get it. remember aussies got 311 ,its the same track

Posted by Sumeet.Gupta on (January 6, 2011, 7:37 GMT)

to all those who think chasing 350 odd in 90 overs is little under 4 rpo......this is not an ODI. The pitch is not an ODI track but a 5th day wicket, there are no limits on any bowlers to bowl overs and the wide rules are not so strict. So all India can hope is to play out 90 overs and hang on to a draw. The wicket is doing tricks and we don't have Sehwag or Dravid in great form either. My heart says India will escape with a draw, but the head says yet another painful 4th innings submission :-(

Posted by   on (January 6, 2011, 7:10 GMT)

go india go! if u want to be the no.1..u go for the kill....all in the hands of sehwag..if he score 50 or more runs...we surely win..instead of that we have to settle fr a draw....anyway this s a exciting test series bw the top very happy if we win tis match

Posted by   on (January 6, 2011, 6:47 GMT)

very difficult for india to score 349 run on 5th day.good chance for SA to win test,and to become no 1 test team.

Posted by   on (January 6, 2011, 6:41 GMT)

If schwag stands for 50 overs... thats all guts.. he will finish the game....

Posted by fanofteamindia on (January 6, 2011, 6:33 GMT)

It is going to be tough for India to chase. But the series is coming down to be decided by India's strength which is batting. So, I feel being the world no1 team we should go for a win against a two man bowling attack. See Steyn and Morkel off and you are presented with opportunity to score freely against harris and tsotsobe.

Posted by mesumon on (January 6, 2011, 6:14 GMT)

Tigers are waiting, they are hungry. After 44 days the food will be served.

Posted by   on (January 6, 2011, 6:07 GMT)

Murali Vijay can be considered as replacement, atleast for the T20 match. And where is Badrinath? Why have they forgotten him completely? I suggest Murali Vijay for T20 and Badrinath for ODIs.

Posted by   on (January 6, 2011, 5:24 GMT)

Test result - India ~180 all out just after tea...Loosing series 1-2 to SA. Dhoni will say, its a tough series, we fought well, SA at home always had upper hand. There is a lot we learnt from the series. Kuddos to our bowlers. Gambir played well in the first innings. Will try his best to exclude good comments about VVS and Sachin. If someone asks for it, he will say, they are great players and proved for so many years and good to have in team (though, it is not from his heart). Try to put more pressure on Dravid to quit like he did for Ganguly.

Posted by   on (January 6, 2011, 5:02 GMT)

IND doesn't need to prove anything. They are already No.1 team. SA had the opportunity to score faster and put India to bat for a session. But they failed to do so. They went on the defensive. Considering 340, it is radically not possible for any team, leave alone IND to do it on the 5th day of a test. A draw would be IND's win. SA had a point to prove and they failed, assuming IND draw the test tomorrow.

Posted by SanjivAwesome on (January 6, 2011, 4:55 GMT)

India's batters are under pressure to perform tomorrow. I know they are capable of getting such a small target. Can they perform in alien conditions? I am looking forward to the battle tomorrow. Go Team India.

Posted by dhoni_sachin_fan on (January 6, 2011, 4:52 GMT)

Sad that Gambhir misses out on ODIs. Hope he recovers soon for the world cup. Vijay is a good player, but has failed to find form in the ODIs. This is his best chance to redeem himself as he gets to play with the little master. If he still doesn't click, it would be apt to send him back to the Ranji and get a new back up opener, Abhinav Mukund or Ajinkya Rahane.

Posted by dhoni_sachin_fan on (January 6, 2011, 4:44 GMT)

@ spinkingKK : Bang on. No tinkering with the batting order except for this. 340 in say 85 overs will be close to 4 runs per over. If one person can win us the match, it is Sehwag. Te strategy should be: Start aggressive with Viru, Gauti and Pujara. If things don't work well, pull them back to a draw.

Posted by   on (January 6, 2011, 4:27 GMT)

sachin will hit century again and saves india frm been loosing 3rd test match.............. and if sehwag strkies 1st time in this series than india have some chances 2 win this test match..........

Posted by   on (January 6, 2011, 4:19 GMT)

India will pay for their defensive game yesterday. A win is almost out of the question. Sehwag is capable but on a day 5 wicket against Steyn and Co. 340 in 90 overs is an uphill task. India had chased 387 against England but Capetown is no Chennai. SA deserve to win just for Kallis. But it will be satisfying if India can save the game and eke out a 1-1 draw.And the Indian fans who are bullish about India winning are foolish.

Posted by Nampally on (January 6, 2011, 4:15 GMT)

Gambhir being injured is another big blow for India batting on Day 5. It looks like India will be happy to settle for a draw.Who opens the innings remains to be seen. It is strange that all the injuries appear to hit India. India played with missing players right thru'' this series. So India can start the fifth day at i wicket down. It would balance the game if Steyn pulls his hamstring in the first over on Day 5. It would at least balance the injuries.Kallis injury was a fake one otherwise he could not have stood there for another century. Kallis was a one man batting show for SA otherwise the team would have lost by an innings. Can India battle back to draw this test match remains to be seen on a pitch buildt for fast bowlers and now with unoredictable bounce even dangerous one.It will be a miracle if India win and great if they make a draw of it. Day 5 requires all top Indian batsmen to be patient and perform using Kallis as the bench mark. Good Luck India - Play hard on day 5.

Posted by   on (January 6, 2011, 4:03 GMT)

India wil win the fight. Not sure if we would win but at least we can draw the test. But we need to play each ball on its merit. We should not have defensive mindset.

Posted by   on (January 6, 2011, 4:03 GMT)

India wil win the fight. Not sure if we would win but at least we can draw the test. But we need to play each ball on its merit. We should not have defensive mindset.

Posted by kevinpp24 on (January 6, 2011, 3:59 GMT)

Guys if don't know about cricket just don't comment. There is a difference between Red ball and White ball but you guys talking about T20 style??? Pressure is on India to save a test mind you. Ridiculous!!!! The captain can even have all the fielders on the boundary if he wants to, the bowlers can even bowl wide outside off. No way India can win. Everyone is talking if sehwag clicks what if steyn clicks???? SA will win for sure!!!!!!!! Go SA!!!!!

Posted by   on (January 6, 2011, 3:56 GMT)

If Sachin alone can score 200 inside 50 overs against the same attack, y not 340 in a day???.........honestly India should try for a win for the ultimate glory of series win in SA for the first time (who knows..when next time India tour here we wont have the match winners like Sachin, Dravid, Laxman for sure).

Posted by stevejohnson1010 on (January 6, 2011, 3:31 GMT)

This all is due to poor performance of Ishant Sharma, we always console overselves that Indian wickets are not good for fast bowling but what about South Africa's? Ishant should be handed over a 6 months rest to try and play in different conditions (County cricket if possible) We all saw how Zaheer came up after that county stint.

Posted by   on (January 6, 2011, 2:58 GMT)

SA deserve to win this match...

Posted by KK4Cricket on (January 6, 2011, 2:14 GMT)

To be honest, we should look for a draw. We may end up losing the game if we try to be over ambitious. Hope Sehwag makes it a bit intersting for the cricket fans back home.

Posted by bipulkumar on (January 6, 2011, 2:05 GMT)

If Dravid doesn't deliver this time, we shouldn't see him again. A century doesn't matter, he needs to contribute enough to see india through whether it's less than 100 or more than that. And can we have reasons to keep Murali Vijay in the squad please!!!

Posted by Nadeem1976 on (January 6, 2011, 1:46 GMT)

I think best idea is now to go for Draw for India. 340 runs on 5th day pitch is too much to ask. Best approach to save wickets and as ball gets old, try to score runs but if india try to win it from ball one they may lose it becuase of 5th day pitch. I still think india should go for draw as there is no hard to draw this series level. Best of wishes for india.

Posted by AvidCricFan on (January 6, 2011, 1:08 GMT)

India probably worked itself out of this match by allowing the SA to post 350 runs. Most likely scenario is a draw or loss for India.

Posted by   on (January 6, 2011, 0:43 GMT)

Order for tomorrow - Sehwag, Gambhir, Dhoni, Tendulkar, Pujara, Laxman, Dravid, Bhajji, Zaheer, Ishant, Sree.

Posted by   on (January 6, 2011, 0:14 GMT)

i think india shuld open wid bhajji and sehwag and the management shuld tell bhajji to go after the bowling wid the word this way if bhajji gets out no worries we have batsmen to survive.But if bhajji clicks the pressure would be off from sehwag and he can play his natural cricket......

Posted by CustomKid on (January 6, 2011, 0:03 GMT)

On a pitch that is wearing, low bounce, and two bowlers who can exploit that I think it's going to be very tough for India to win this match. Realistically I can only see SA winning this match with India posisbly drawing the game. SA can always bowl wide of off stump and keep things quiet if India do get a good start.

Chasing 340 on the last day of a test is never easy particularly when you're playing one of the top 2 sides in the world. I've loved this series given my team (Australia) are getting hammered lol. I look forward to tuning in tonight to watch the final day after Australia probably go down 3-1.

Posted by indianpunter on (January 5, 2011, 23:15 GMT)

India lost the mind game yesterday and will lose in the field today. As a passionate Indian fan, it pains me to say this, but there is no escape from reality. I cannot understand why Dhoni gave away easy runs when they were 4 down. Uninspiring captaincy will lead to results that underwhelm. I hope Dravid has noticed that Collingwood has retired. This should really Dravid's last test innings. He will not save India anymore, EVER!. Tendulkar needs to take a leaf out of Kallis' book and buckle down to play a long one along with Lax.

Posted by spinkingKK on (January 5, 2011, 22:29 GMT)

Send Pujara at 3 to try and win the match and Dravid at 6 to draw the match.

Posted by DhiruK on (January 5, 2011, 22:24 GMT)

Tomorrow could decide who is #1 in Test Cricket. Hope India does not go for a meek draw. Top order can pretty much decide this. Dhoni/Bhajji can always finish things up.Look how Harbhajan smashed Steyn for Six! It is a doable task and Dhoni & his team should go for it and restore faith in Test Cricket.

Then there is more drama when England beats Aussies. Exciting times!!

Posted by   on (January 5, 2011, 22:20 GMT)

@intecomd, wait and watch buddy. you could wish mate, but well sorry for you yea..

Posted by hulk777 on (January 5, 2011, 22:19 GMT)

Any Idea who will open the innings with Sehwag? Will it be Dravid?

Posted by NP_NY on (January 5, 2011, 21:58 GMT)

I feel India will lose in the third session tomorrow, unless Laxman can pull some magic out of his hat again. No matter what the result tomorrow, it's been a great contest between the two best test teams in the world. Not many people gave India a chance to win even one game but we did. Even in this test, they did take all 20 SA wickets although the bowling was not very effective on day4. Losing the series will hurt, but I am proud to be a Indian fan and no one can take away the number 1 status, atleast not yet. With true class like Steyn and Kallis, SA is not far behind though.

Posted by kannansss on (January 5, 2011, 21:50 GMT)

150+ run win for SA. game over.

with sehwag and gambhir not avl for odis, looks like game over there too.

Posted by kannansss on (January 5, 2011, 21:48 GMT)

beat it guys, cut the passion was a contest of uninspiring captaincy by both dhoni and smith which made an ordinary match looking chanceless...

that said, it needs a herculean task from india even to draw the match, viru at best can go for a quickfire half century and wouldn't be enough to help the confused mind to decide for a draw or win...this confusion will show on the top batsmen and it will be a himalayan task on laxman again with the tail to battle out a draw...poor guy...dhoni has to take the blame for stupid captaincy, he seems to excell in follow the ball field settings...

Posted by   on (January 5, 2011, 21:37 GMT)

eagerly waiting for the day to start..hopefully we win...but I have no expectations though

Posted by   on (January 5, 2011, 21:37 GMT)

Even though I am a Sachin fan I highly doubt India will stand tall against Dale and Mourne attack. I hope India proves me wrong.

Posted by NRI- on (January 5, 2011, 21:16 GMT)

Gamby better have lots of padding on arm and ribs - he will be targeted. Good idea, Kamal to have SRT and Sehwag open and try to get 340 in 90 overs. Gambhir two down and VVS one down. The really bad thing about Gambhir being out of ODI's is that they will now use Vijay who batted much MUCH worse than Dinesh Kartik against Zimbabwean and Bangladeshi pacemen in the last overseas ODI. In fact Kartik should be the spare opener and that saves a spot for another bowler or batsman instead of a second wk. Srikaanth is a southie from TN and that's why Vijay is preferred to Kohli & Rahane in test cricket and to Rahane & Pandey in ODIs. Without Sehwag & Gambhir and plaing Vijay, India have lost the ODIs already.

Posted by Younus313 on (January 5, 2011, 21:04 GMT)

Yet again, Kallis has shown that HE is the best batsman in the world...No matter what the conditions, no matter how big the crisis, the legend Kallis ALWAYS delivers...HE is better than Tendulkar...another Test in which Sachin hits a hundred and India still do not win???

Posted by   on (January 5, 2011, 21:03 GMT)

There is no way India can win. Even if Sehwag gets going, as everyone seems to be talking about. Remember people, this is a test match! Not one day or T20 cricket that everyone seems to have been overfed on of late. If Sehwag does in fact score 100 in 40 balls, and push comes to shove, SA bowlers can bowl a very negative line, with Harris bowling over the wicket into the rough, Steyn and Morkel bowling round the wicket into the rib-cage. Indian batsmen will then have to take extraordinary risk to score. So its either a SA win or a draw for me.

Posted by kriskini on (January 5, 2011, 21:01 GMT)

India did not play with a pure mind of winning. They let SA to bat the entire fourth day so that they can srrvive 90 overs on the fifth day to force a draw. They will pay for this and SA will definitely win. SA can now attack agressively since they have 340 to defend. Sehwag may not click here with Styen at his best and the pitch already having uneven bounce.

Posted by Raj12345 on (January 5, 2011, 21:00 GMT)

Steyn is not God to bowl on 5th day to take wickets easily. We will not loose the match - 100% sure. Winning is depend on how Viru bat tmrw. Everyone is tired when u come to 5th day, it is mental strength. We have 7 batsman to win.

Posted by NRI- on (January 5, 2011, 20:58 GMT)

Please, Dhoni, send VVS at no 3 and Dravid at no 7 behind Pujara and yourself. Then there can be a chase. Why the hell they didnt use more of SRT as a bowler? The Kallis Boucher partnership could have been broken. The great drift bowler Sehwag seems to be not bowling - shoulder problems?

Posted by Rahulbose on (January 5, 2011, 20:51 GMT)

India should be able to save this test with only 3 sessions to play. However as Bhaji admitted here their only chance of a win is a quick fire hundred from Sehwag.

Posted by RaviKarri on (January 5, 2011, 20:44 GMT)

IT WOULD BE A BIG DREAM BEFORE WORLDCUP, All odds to win: 1) Now if Gambir cannot open, It should be Shewag and Dravid. 2) If Shewag scores 130+ 3) Pujara should be at#3 scoring a 50+, He should support Shewag or Dravid 4) Sachin's innings will anchor it 5) Good contributions from Laxman (for complete FINISH) Atleast a draw should be good My dream score card: 1) Dravid 48 2) Shewag 130+ 3) Pujara 80 4) Sachin 39* 5) Laxman 33* 6) Gambir 7) Harbajan 8) Dhoni 9) Zaheer 10) Ishant 11) Sreesanth EXTRAS 10 _________________________ TOTAL for History 340/3 OR 5 __________________________

Posted by FMatt on (January 5, 2011, 20:40 GMT)

India's approach has to be a passive-aggressive one - play the balls on merit with winning and NOT a draw on the back of their minds. If we are already looking to play it safe from the get go, we will play into SA's hands and lose the game quickly. On the other hand, if it is a measured aggression from our batsmen, that will have SA on its heels (just like we were after having SA down at 130 for 6.) I must say that it was BAD captaincy by Dhoni after Boucher came into bat...uh uh... well, now Ind have a mammoth total to chase anyway (which Dhoni was apparently trying to avoid with defensive field placements), some terrible bowling by our seamers also helped of course. It was obvious that Smith was also being defensive by not declaring before getting all out at the end of day's play. Oh well, guess it is hard to expect Ind or SA to play like Aus. when they were ranked No. 1, takes guts. Let's hope for a long overdue good innings from Sehwag tomorrow. Go, Team India!!

Posted by sudhindranath on (January 5, 2011, 20:38 GMT)

If India has to win, then Sehwag and Tendulkar have to make big scores. And if India has to draw the game, Dravid, Tendulkar and Laxman will each have to play a long innings. So Tendulkar is the key here. If SA gets him out cheaply, then it is pretty much over.

As things stand now, it looks like India could be 2 down for about 40 or 50 runs or less. Gambhir is injured but he won't be able to do a Kallis and hang in there for long. And neither are Steyn and Morkel as benign as Khan and Sreesanth. They will be able to get Gambhir out fairly quickly. So it looks like an uphill task for India to save this Test. Everything depends on Tendulkar. If he can stay for a long time, and gets support from a few others like Dravid and Laxman, then India can work towards a draw.

Posted by   on (January 5, 2011, 20:08 GMT)

Kamal are you making things up? Where are these critics that were supposedly predicting a 3-0 white wash? You seem to forget that India is supposedly the number one team. They should have come here with the expectation of winning.

If I may come across as a blindly patriotic South African supporter for a moment, the only reason we have even got to the point where it is a decider anyway is because of a huge chunk of luck that seemed to land on India's lap in the second test.

Posted by vismorkel on (January 5, 2011, 20:08 GMT)

Disappointed with the Indian bowlers,poor batsman have to score runs from hostile & accurate high pace swinging deliveries peppered by dale & co whereas the bowlers are so generous to deliver dollies & freebies to the opposition at friendly pace especially Ishant who is less likely to pick wickets even in women's cricket at the moment,I bet J Goswami can bowl better than him.Its time for the selectors to send Ishant home,we have persisted with him for too long;A county stint would do him a world of good,he has been underperforming for a long time with his erratic bowling & he isn't getting any better by staying in the side.Selectors should find a replacement for him,someone who has more control over his line & length;sadly Munaf doesn't have the fitness & praveen is way too slow.What is going on with these Indian bowlers??initially they bowl well & then one fine day they lose pace,swing & then disappear without a trail....Irfan,RP,Munaf,Agarkar.....Low shelf life?????

Posted by _Oracle_ on (January 5, 2011, 20:07 GMT)

India will lose by 200 runs.. May get a decent start and everything falls like house of cards later.. Tendulkar will score less than 10.. I hope I am wrong though..

Posted by cric_follower on (January 5, 2011, 19:42 GMT)

India has been here several times and failed miserably. It is not about losing, because that can happen to anybody. It is about how you lose that says a lot about your character. Scare the opposition like Sehwag does. The intent should be to create an aura that there is nothing wrong with the pitch and the situation. Bottom line for Tendulkar and Co, don't hunker down and play all defensive. If you lose it, atleast you will win a few fans.

Posted by ak74-ind on (January 5, 2011, 19:41 GMT)

I think Smith set 340 for INDIA so that SA won't loose no matter what. I am sure Laxman/Sachin on this wicket can eke out a draw because of the way they batted on this wicket earlier. A quick fire 80 or so from Sehwag can make a win possible but every batter should contribute as well. They are all have it in them Gambhir/Dravid/Dhoni. But I would like INDIA to give a good fight and this team the ability and mental makeup and wicket after the first hr should hold up!

Posted by   on (January 5, 2011, 19:40 GMT)

Playing for a draw these days against such quality SA bowling is dumb . Play for a win in Oneday style , else the other option I would suspect would be a defeat .

Posted by   on (January 5, 2011, 19:39 GMT)

I think India should go all guns blazing from ball 1 with Viru and Gauti playing a T20 style game and most probably it will come through becoz it will rattle the bowlers and if it comes good for even 20 overs it can give us like 100-110 kind of score it should be easy after that. Let see!!!

Posted by anilkp on (January 5, 2011, 19:39 GMT)

@drash1978 Com'on mate, has Sehwag had any other thought so far in this series? Just get yourself ready for a reality check tomorrow. IND have none that can match Kallis. No SRT. SRT has not done anything ever like what JK did this match (but I will worship him for life if he emulates that tomorrow). And optimism from GG despite pain? It is painful even to laugh. To all Indian fans including me: get off the dreamy trance, admit that your batters and bowlers are not world-winners. See reality and save your hearts from undue pain.

Posted by _ZAR on (January 5, 2011, 19:34 GMT)

if india played for a draw in the morning, they'll loose the match... they got to b very positive from very begining!! i m not sure if Gambhir will open or not.

Posted by   on (January 5, 2011, 19:31 GMT)

hey guys have u forgot laxman

Posted by   on (January 5, 2011, 19:24 GMT)

why do some people alwys think negative abt india ..They have just recently beaten SAFs without any contribution frm sehwag...and even though the SA bowling attack is one of the best in the world and steyn bowled one of the most devastating spells of swing bowling ,still india got a first innings lead in this match as well so i don't see any way in which the SA bowlers could bowl out india in a day . The SA fans should infact thank Kallis for his gutsy knock to get them to a comfortable position anyway otherwise india would have crushed SA today itself

Posted by LM10Arg on (January 5, 2011, 19:23 GMT)

@Junaid Asif, what can I say to u, ur name says it all. GO India GO.

Posted by pkez on (January 5, 2011, 19:20 GMT)

Dravid can open with Gambhir and see off the new ball. Better to chance Viru with the older ball.

Posted by sportz247 on (January 5, 2011, 19:19 GMT)

history in making.. is just going to eye wash. india is going to win a thriller. without kallis as a fourth seamer SA struggle. this is just yet another test match which is going to promote test cricket.

Posted by gerardpereira20 on (January 5, 2011, 19:13 GMT)

India havn't got a hope in hell of winning, the best they can hope for is a draw . The wicket seems to flatten out after lunch as the bowlers seen to tire out so hope they do not lose too many wickets before lunch. Dont pin your hopes to much on Shewag as the South Africans seem to have worked hin out. we haven't had one decent innings out of him yet.Shewag has gifted his wicket in every innings he has batted, do not expect any different from him tommorow. The key to India drawing is the way Laxman and Dravid bat Sachin does not perform in the same match twice.

Posted by Crickprince11 on (January 5, 2011, 19:10 GMT)

C'mon India! Now its time to justify your numero uno status. India have to win whether viru performs or not.Just stop depending on any particular player and i am sure it will be India who will emerge victorious....

Posted by Ladev on (January 5, 2011, 19:09 GMT)

We pretty well noticed FEAR in SA strategy for not declaring 10 overs to spare for the day.They now know they are dealing with World's No.1, & anything is possible. As for Team India, they can catapult or come out victors.... who knows,.. this is the beauty of game of cricket. Must commend SA efforts today though, simply awesome !!

Posted by Arii25 on (January 5, 2011, 19:07 GMT)

Sachin will win the game for us for sure. A lot is said about sehwag but keeping the situation in mind its sehwag for win, and sachin dravid & laxman for draw. so lets hope for the best.

Posted by kevinpp24 on (January 5, 2011, 19:03 GMT)

Pressure on sehwag!!! First session with new ball in hands of the fearsome bowling pair in the world right now!!! If he gets out to new ball it'll definitely expose middle order to steyn & morkel (along with new ball in hand). Looking forward to see what the gameplan would be!!! Kallis would be kicking himself that he couldn't bowl!!! Anyway interesting day ahead where all the fate of the three match series depends on single day or should i say single session???

Posted by   on (January 5, 2011, 19:03 GMT)

Come on South Africa we can not lose this on...steyn to pick another 5 wicket haul....

Posted by   on (January 5, 2011, 19:00 GMT)

If I am right then Gambhir has to bat five down. He cant open the batting as he did nt took the field. It leaves with a choice of partner for sehwag. Dravid has done it before. Some might recommend Pujara, But my choice why not try with Hrabhajan. In the last few tests he has shown he is no joke with the bat. Moreover if India has to win then either Sehwag or Harbhajan has to fire and that gives you a solid middle order too with Gambhir at 7 and Dhoni at 8. So if openers fail we have dravid, sachin and laxman to push for a win and if not pujara, gambhir and dhoni to enforce a draw.

Posted by riskreddy on (January 5, 2011, 19:00 GMT)

This match was a sure win for India with SA at 130/6 in the second inning. And here we are now, discussing whether to go for a draw or win or even lose, with the likes of Steyn/Morkel ripping the Inidan batting apart.Blame who? Dhoni's decision making wasnt at a 100% on the 4th day. It was clearly a Spinners day. Mistake1: Not trying Sehwag/Sachin in the bowling attack early when SA were on 160/6 or so, to try and break the partnership between Kallis/Boucher. Mistake2: Opting for the "new ball" when SA were 240/7 to bring on "seemers" into the attack, when the "spinners" were the ones doin all the damage. I think he got carried away when he saw wicket No.5 and 6 going to seamers Khan and Sharma. He started thinking spin was dead and seam/pace was the way to go. he should have realized that it was Ashwell Prince's poor shot that got him out and not quality seem bowling from Sharma. He should have put more faith in Sachin/Sehwag rather than having Sharma/Sreesanth bowl 42 lame overs.

Posted by anilkp on (January 5, 2011, 18:49 GMT)

If one has not seen before: tomorrow will be the chance to see the most spectacular collapse ever. SRT has done well this series, cannot expect him to do so every innings; VVS can do well, GG is already done for the series. Some twenties from VS and RD, a bit from MSD, and That's it. With the listlessness of Indian bowling (and yes, magnifiscence of SAf batting), the series has only one way to go: a 2-1 drubbing for India. There is no excuse for letting Boucher (listless until today) and the tail add hundreds. With each run they added, I felt like losing a deciliter of blood from my heart. Nincompoops. I curse myself to have followed this match so far.

Posted by intcamd on (January 5, 2011, 18:41 GMT)

India to lose by 160 runs. Hope I am wrong, however. Tendlya to fall for less than 20.

Posted by Arrow011 on (January 5, 2011, 18:37 GMT)

INDIA wins with 7 wickets to spare. Sachin & Sehwag century.

Posted by CricEshwar on (January 5, 2011, 18:37 GMT)

Whats up with our guys? We have hardly seen our entire team consistently

Posted by DonkieHoed on (January 5, 2011, 18:35 GMT)

Going to be one hell of a ride tomorrow, that's a fact! Go South Africa!!!

Posted by drash1978 on (January 5, 2011, 18:28 GMT)

I had this uneasy feeling throughout the day, that Sa will be bowled out for around 300 leaving India with a tricky target and a few overs to bat out today. I was wondering then How India will approach that 250-275 kinda score on 5th day pitch with vicious steyn on fire. Will they go in for the kill or safety first? But now with 340 target I guess Safety first is a better option.............But you never know with Sehwag..................He may have other thoughts though............

Posted by zaheerfan on (January 5, 2011, 18:28 GMT)

Hope Gambhir and sehwag play well and aggressively tomorrow .. only then can India go for a win.. although a zaheer fan I was very disappointed with his performance ( actually our trio pace bowlers) with ball today. They could have easily wrapped them up below 200 and would have easily won the game.. Forget about Steyn even harris will look dangerous on the 5th day wicket.. Hope we see an exciting chase tomorrow.. but my gut feeling says India will play for a draw and then lose badly ( hope I am wrong)

Posted by candyfloss on (January 5, 2011, 18:09 GMT)

Brace yourselves people !! If sehwag clicks get ready to see an exceptional run chase .

Posted by   on (January 5, 2011, 18:08 GMT)

he will bat but will be afraid. SA bowlers will get him out very cheaply. and sehwag will as usual gift his wicket. with both the openers out of the way easily SA will win before tea. gudluck SA

Posted by   on (January 5, 2011, 18:08 GMT)

he will bat but will be afraid. SA bowlers will get him out very cheaply. and sehwag will as usual gift his wicket. with both the openers out of the way easily SA will win before tea. gudluck SA

Posted by   on (January 5, 2011, 17:58 GMT)

Even if score line is 200 for no loss, once viru is gone, India would play for draw.. Nevertheless its a great achievement by Indian team where many so called critics predicted a 3-0 white wash... I wish to c India winning... Why dont they try Sachin and Viru to open with gauti be one down, thinkin tat its a one day match.. ? Had India chased down this tmrw, then tat would ve been impeccable achievement and no one would ever dare to question our ranking... Hope they do this.. I'd rather happy to c spirited innings rather than playing for lame draw...

Posted by cric_fanatics on (January 5, 2011, 17:50 GMT)

it will be some DIWALI work from VIRU...go INDIA go.......

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