South Africa v India, 3rd Test, Cape Town, 4th day January 5, 2011

Harbhajan rues lack of support from seamers

57

On a day that Harbhajan Singh registered his best bowling figures outside India, 7 for 120, he was a subdued man. His early burst - at one point his figures read 4 for 10 - had put India in a commanding position, but a combination of brilliance from Jacques Kallis and some uninspiring stuff from India in the field took South Africa from 130 for 6 to 341. Harbhajan had the look of a man who knew that India's best chance of winning a series in South Africa had now turned into a situation from where they will need to play really well to even come out with a 1-1 result.

"Happy I got wickets, but not happy that Kallis scored a hundred," Harbhajan said. "At one stage we were in a very good position, but from there onwards they batted well but we could still have created more chances by bowling well. We didn't bowl as well as we should have."

Harbhajan rued the lack of support from the seamers. "I don't know what the plan was," he said. "I think we could have created more chances throughout the day with our fast bowling. We didn't bowl the right lengths. That's what I felt. I am not being critical, just giving my honest opinion. We could have created more chances with our seamers. If you see, their [South Africa's] seamers have taken most of their wickets. There was still a lot of bounce and carry in the wicket, but I think we didn't bowl as well as we could have."

Harbhajan - in the first half of his effort - used the rough outside the right-hand batsman's off stump pretty well. The patch was helpful, but it was wide outside off, so it took some effort to exploit it. "There is rough, and I think I have hit a lot of balls in the rough," Harbhajan said. "When you are new as a batsman, it is difficult to play from there, but once you are in then you get the idea of how much it is bouncing and spinning. Otherwise from the middle, nothing much is happening for the spinner, but there is definitely rough and if any offspinner bowls there, he will get a lot of spin and bounce."

Harbhajan, though, didn't have any answers for Kallis' innings. He said he hasn't seen many batsmen respond so well to a tough situation, connecting with the reverse-sweep so often and so cleanly. He called Kallis the best player in the world after Sachin Tendulkar. However, the way Kallis batted gave him and India hope.

"The wicket is still very good," he said "If you get in, there are a lot of runs. It has become better to bat on. New ball will be crucial. We have all seen how well Dale Steyn has bowled. We will have to bat well up front, then let's see how to go about it."

Going into the last day of what has been a highly competitive series, India need 340 runs with all their wickets in hand. "Our approach - to be honest - will be to see off the first hour," Harbhajan said. "If we play the new ball well…of course we need some fireworks from Virender Sehwag, if he gets going, anything is chaseable. This is a fast ground where a lot of runs can be scored. I hope Viru clicks tomorrow and gives us a good start. Hundred for no loss will be a good start, I hope we get that. New ball will be crucial."

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • vpk23 on January 6, 2011, 14:16 GMT

    HI BAJJI...FIRSTLY GREAT JOB FOR THE 7FER...BY THE WAY WHERE WHERE YOU WHEN THE SEAMERS WERE DOING GREAT??..

  • peterss on January 6, 2011, 11:04 GMT

    Harbhajan takes wickets once every 10 games and when he does that once in a bluemoon, he starts complaining about his team bowlers that he has no support.... He always fails to provide support most of the time. He should look at himself first before giving press conferences.

  • karzy977 on January 6, 2011, 10:42 GMT

    hey camon guys all are praising bajji just for one fivefor for a long time , and more for his batting , give me a break , he is useless in flat track , i think its time to say that ashwin is the best spinner in india at the moment , (just like mendis in his early days,he may get wacked after few matches when guys play him more ) so he needs to play test immediatly , but it seems he will play only after bajji retires , just like warne and macgill case .

  • Cricket_4_Blood on January 6, 2011, 9:36 GMT

    Harbhajan will now have some badji for snacks, sit in the dressing & watch India lose & after the match at the press he will complain about the batsmen for giving away the match. Poor losers criticizing their own players.

  • on January 6, 2011, 8:24 GMT

    irrespective of the outcome of this test match, I believe indian seamers r still way behind befiting the numero uno staus. Not bcos they lost the plot yesterday, this has happened b4 to other teams as well[SA vs Eng, Aus vs Ind recently]where better attacks than this forfeited the advantage. Having said so, the ball is in batsmen court to show their mettle. Its a daunting task. But reflecting back on this series, india forfeited the advtage on more occasions than SA[Barring ist session in centurion]. By the way kudos to kallis for a great batting effort.

  • vinjoy on January 6, 2011, 8:07 GMT

    I predict another instance when RD stands up finally. Dravid not out at 134 and India 288 for 6. Match drawn and series drawn.

  • Dhoni_fan_from_a_dada_era on January 6, 2011, 7:55 GMT

    sachin's fourth innings avg is dismal. he's also never scored a century in both innings of a test. this is the match all that should change....because if not now then when?

  • justk on January 6, 2011, 7:31 GMT

    there is a tendency to blow up the performance of africans if they are doing something good...what people have missed out here is the fact that this is a pitch of 4th batting and the side batting second has more chances of success..and also, it is more like an indian pitch now..and we all know that steyn is a HTB, helpful track bowlers..and paul harris is a joke in reality..let us see how africans bowlers will target indians,as africa is known to play for draw more

  • KALPANA. on January 6, 2011, 6:57 GMT

    AS OF NOW...I GUESS INDIA WILL SOMEHOW MAKE IT A DRAW..OR FOLD BADLY IN THE HANDS OF STEYN AND MORKEL..!!!!

  • Srini_india on January 6, 2011, 6:33 GMT

    No chance of India winning...we cant survive the pace attack...the lone hope is viru..and he is not doing well...best to lose hope

  • vpk23 on January 6, 2011, 14:16 GMT

    HI BAJJI...FIRSTLY GREAT JOB FOR THE 7FER...BY THE WAY WHERE WHERE YOU WHEN THE SEAMERS WERE DOING GREAT??..

  • peterss on January 6, 2011, 11:04 GMT

    Harbhajan takes wickets once every 10 games and when he does that once in a bluemoon, he starts complaining about his team bowlers that he has no support.... He always fails to provide support most of the time. He should look at himself first before giving press conferences.

  • karzy977 on January 6, 2011, 10:42 GMT

    hey camon guys all are praising bajji just for one fivefor for a long time , and more for his batting , give me a break , he is useless in flat track , i think its time to say that ashwin is the best spinner in india at the moment , (just like mendis in his early days,he may get wacked after few matches when guys play him more ) so he needs to play test immediatly , but it seems he will play only after bajji retires , just like warne and macgill case .

  • Cricket_4_Blood on January 6, 2011, 9:36 GMT

    Harbhajan will now have some badji for snacks, sit in the dressing & watch India lose & after the match at the press he will complain about the batsmen for giving away the match. Poor losers criticizing their own players.

  • on January 6, 2011, 8:24 GMT

    irrespective of the outcome of this test match, I believe indian seamers r still way behind befiting the numero uno staus. Not bcos they lost the plot yesterday, this has happened b4 to other teams as well[SA vs Eng, Aus vs Ind recently]where better attacks than this forfeited the advantage. Having said so, the ball is in batsmen court to show their mettle. Its a daunting task. But reflecting back on this series, india forfeited the advtage on more occasions than SA[Barring ist session in centurion]. By the way kudos to kallis for a great batting effort.

  • vinjoy on January 6, 2011, 8:07 GMT

    I predict another instance when RD stands up finally. Dravid not out at 134 and India 288 for 6. Match drawn and series drawn.

  • Dhoni_fan_from_a_dada_era on January 6, 2011, 7:55 GMT

    sachin's fourth innings avg is dismal. he's also never scored a century in both innings of a test. this is the match all that should change....because if not now then when?

  • justk on January 6, 2011, 7:31 GMT

    there is a tendency to blow up the performance of africans if they are doing something good...what people have missed out here is the fact that this is a pitch of 4th batting and the side batting second has more chances of success..and also, it is more like an indian pitch now..and we all know that steyn is a HTB, helpful track bowlers..and paul harris is a joke in reality..let us see how africans bowlers will target indians,as africa is known to play for draw more

  • KALPANA. on January 6, 2011, 6:57 GMT

    AS OF NOW...I GUESS INDIA WILL SOMEHOW MAKE IT A DRAW..OR FOLD BADLY IN THE HANDS OF STEYN AND MORKEL..!!!!

  • Srini_india on January 6, 2011, 6:33 GMT

    No chance of India winning...we cant survive the pace attack...the lone hope is viru..and he is not doing well...best to lose hope

  • Proteas123 on January 6, 2011, 6:22 GMT

    Will be a great days cricket. I think Dravid and Harris's contributions may well be the difference. Everyone expects alot from Steyn and Sachin but I think the difference will rest with those two. Harbhajan is great, a geniune match winner as he has proved on this tour, SA would love to have him. Tough call between him and Swann as to who is better at the moment.

  • Ronjay on January 6, 2011, 5:44 GMT

    How come Sehwag didnt get a bowl in the 2nd innings baffles me......and that too when Ishant Sharma was bowling his pierching leg-stump line!!!!! Why is it that when fast bowlers are chosen for the 3rd seamer's spot, the name of someone like Munaf Patel is never mentioned. He is an ideal 3rd seamer considering that he has an immaculate line & length and doesn't leak runs. Unfortunately if India is to lose, I would blame the decision to make Ishant bowl. Unfortunately...

  • Prats6 on January 6, 2011, 5:44 GMT

    Sehwag is "the" only hope. If he gets out early, say before making a 75, India have no hope, from then on, India will play for a draw. On the other hand if Viru can get a big score, India will believe they can win it. Ideally India would like to be in a position of close to 200 for the loss of not more than 3 wickets by tea and need 140 in the last 30 overs with 7 wickets in hand. Can be done, surely, though odds are heavily stacked against India.

  • on January 6, 2011, 5:26 GMT

    According to me the match is in India's favor... but they have to apply themselves really well as a cohesive unit, also in my point of view they should also try to shuffle the batting order to chase the target and emerge like winners, according to me the batting order should be like Gambhir, Sehwag to start the proceedings and then they shd send Pujara followed by Dhoni to fasten up and keeping up the run rate and if this strategy fails then we always have our tested Dravid (Wall), Laxman (VVS) and Tendulkar (The Great) to save the match and level the series for us....

  • hattima on January 6, 2011, 5:10 GMT

    As he did not field at all in the SA 2nd innings, is Gambhir still allowed to open in the 2nd innings? For that matter, I was rather surprised that Kallis was allowed to bat 3-down. Has there been a change of rule regarding people who stay away from fielding?

  • on January 6, 2011, 5:10 GMT

    India go for the kill.. Its possible... Just see off the new ball.. Then shewag,Dhoni,Bhaji have the firepower... Dravid,sachin, laxman can anchor their innings.. Chake de India..

  • Mahesh_Eswar on January 6, 2011, 5:01 GMT

    Draw will be the most likely result. The pitch did not behave as a 4th day pitch and will continue to be a flat one on day 5. Batsmen will have to get out by playing bad shots rather than bowlers dominating. My prediction:- Match and series drawn, India 255/6.

  • Jama on January 6, 2011, 4:54 GMT

    @ Green_Jelly... U r such a drama man.... How can u be so sure that if Harbhajan is sent as a pinch hitter.. He would score 30-40 runs....

    Ur comment is a crack up dude.

    I say its 20-80 in SAfrica's favour....

  • Point4 on January 6, 2011, 4:45 GMT

    Before the start,after super sport park test and even after Centurion victory i had predicted 2-1 to SA.The reason being Ind bowling not great.Its OK but just not good enough.Lets face it.Now ind will score 20+/- 200 and SA will win by around 150 runs.Its not batsmen's fault.Not many batting line ups could have scored 364 aginst steyn who is in the form of his life.Chasing 340 on a 5th day pitch against Steyn and Co(who are just average)any team will lose 9/10 times.simple.MAn of the match and man of the series (kaliis) steyn too would run vey close but considering the nature of the surfaces batsmen needs to be given the award although he made all those runs against Ind bowlers!!!any way a watchabke series except for 1st test...thanks

  • on January 6, 2011, 4:30 GMT

    Guys let's admit that our bowling is no comparison to south African seamers, I will have to say our batting is much superior to SA. As our batsman has performed much better compared to there batting against our poor quality bowling. Zaheer bowling at 115 kms was pathetic and Ishant sharma should be given rest from all international cricket. Never seen bowler bowl one no ball every over guaranteed.

  • on January 6, 2011, 4:11 GMT

    Bhajji you are right in saying that the seamers did not give you adequate support (in particular Ishant who forgot his line and length completely and needs to be sent to England to play county cricket).But you should have shown some variations in your bowling.Instead you were too predictable and your last three wickets came only after the tailenders hit you for fours and sixes.I guess this is probably the most unsatisfactory 7 wicket haul one can take.

  • crisspyman on January 6, 2011, 4:07 GMT

    Unless we get a tearaway fast bowler who can operate around 145-150km/hr mark,we are not potent to take the lower order cheaply

  • Balajipost on January 6, 2011, 3:58 GMT

    I think India should send Pujara at no3, if they get off to a good start

  • Fireballz on January 6, 2011, 3:45 GMT

    Don't worry about Tendulkar, South Africa need to watch out for VVS... Take it from an Australian!

  • rkaka on January 6, 2011, 3:44 GMT

    This seems a hopeless position for India; our over hyped bowlers ( which has been our waterloo for some time) failed and Batting stalwarts seldom perform when it matters. Over that styn is the man they need to defend and even harris would comne good on 5th day....Unless sehwag xfactor does something special this match will be lost by India before tea; hats off to kallis what commitment and what class and performance in pressure

  • Kashi0127 on January 6, 2011, 3:40 GMT

    India win - no chance. Credit if they can get a draw. With Steyn and Morkel would not be a surprise if bundled out for less than 150!

  • Caveman. on January 6, 2011, 3:29 GMT

    Well well well ... only yesterday Indians were touting their "edge" in this game. They talked the talk. But looks like they cant walk the walk. Looking forward to a confused minded run chase resulting in being bowled out under 200. Even Laxman might not be able to save them.

  • NeoTheSaviour on January 6, 2011, 3:28 GMT

    Somehow Indian bowlers(Zaheer and Sreeshant) looked so flat. Don't know whether Zaheer was fit or not but it seemed he is not interested in taking wickets. Ishant Sharma, well, what to say. I don't know whose backing he has. He is passenger in the team. He doesn't know how to field, batting one bouncer is enough for him. Bowling, that guy doesn't have any skill, he used to have some pace now even that is gone. He only knows one type of ball, short and wide (of either off stump or wide of Leg stump). Kick him out and bring anybody like Munaf or Praveen kumar. These guys will at least will bowl on one side of wicket with decent length.

  • on January 6, 2011, 3:06 GMT

    Sehwag would be the key in India's miraculous chase tomorrow. The wicket looks a very competitive one but Steyn and Morkel, perhaps the most dangerous fast bowling duo these days would make every possible effort to stop the Indian chase towards victory.

    Certainly a very great series is now going to a well deserved, dramatic end where both teams would be fighting to take the series home or at least draw the match to level the series. Kallis finally scored his 1st double 100 in the 38th attempt. The Little Master crossed the 50th 100 landmark and Laxman showed why he is the most under-rated middle order batsman India has produced. Steyn was as usual at his bloody best reaping big rewards with the ball. Amla continued his rich run-pouring form that kicked off last year.

    Surely a crunch contest awaits tomorrow!

  • Top-Spinner on January 6, 2011, 2:59 GMT

    Bhajji is a crybaby. He is a chronic complainer and invariably offers excuses for his spineless performances. It is always the kookabura, the curator, the pitch and now the seamers. By the way, why didn't Sehwag bowl? Was he carrying an injury and did not reveal? Few years ago this used to be a big issue when players used to hide their injuries. It is time to revamp the team. Drop Dravid, Bhajji, Ishant and take Badrinath, Munaf and Misra. It is time to build the team in phases.

  • TamilIndian on January 6, 2011, 2:55 GMT

    @givemefood - I agree. Just this last innings there was a report on cricinfo about how his bowling has not been that great. There is no question who is the best performing test spinner now and it is not Harbajan. He performs well one day and doesn't fail to take a dig at his fellow bowlers. I couldn't watch the match so I don't want to judge here but this is my honest feeling after reading his words.

  • nataraajds on January 6, 2011, 2:48 GMT

    Bajji is right, Dhoni should have used Sehwag & Sachin in post lunch session & kept preasure, insted he used Ishant & Sreesanth and they wasted opportunity with some inconsistent bowling & give opportunity to Kallis & Boucher to build a crutial partnership. Now India has a huge challange of playing last day of the series and i expect senior players should come to the party Sachin ,Ghambir laxman are in form & Sehwag & Drawid strugling to make big scores has a great opportunity.. i think for Indian battling lineup,, playing 90 overs should not be a problem irrespective of final day,big target and wicket condition..

  • gestapo on January 6, 2011, 2:17 GMT

    100 runs less would have tilted the scales in india's favour,but 340 is too much on a wearing track and against high quality bowling,,,of late, india has been able to draw matches quite comfortably like in Napier against NZL,,so i hope india levels it 1-1,,and v can count on sachin and laxman to do the job,,unless viru goes on a rampage which we all would love to see,,in the past dravid used to be the perfect man for these kind of situations,,but sad to see him go down like this,,i hope he does something in his typical resilient style today.

  • Saad_Parekh on January 6, 2011, 2:17 GMT

    Greame smith and steyn and morkel along with the bowling coach would be working on how to remove sehwag EARLY. Coz if they do it they can push right on for win knowing they wont loose it.

  • BackyardCricket on January 6, 2011, 2:16 GMT

    Acid test for Dravid. If he fails tomorrow then he should follow colly's way. Come on Mr.Dravid do or die.

  • Nadeem1976 on January 6, 2011, 2:09 GMT

    I think best idea is let it go and draw this series, from 130-6 to 340 its pathetic bowling. India dont deserve this match due their bad bowling in both innings. There its better to save the match and go home happy. This type of bowling give us proof that India dont have best bowling in the world. where as SA has best bowler in the world, be aware of styen, give him respect and make a draw out of this match. I dont think there is 10% of chance for india to win this match. just make a truce.

  • vineetkarthi on January 6, 2011, 1:33 GMT

    Bhajji is not wrong though it may not be for him to say that the seamers did not bowl well. One would have expected the Indian seamers to be inspired by Steyn and come up with something good themselves. Instead you had a limping Zaheer and a frustrating Ishant. No time for explanations / excuses, though. And to hell with rankings. India should bat like a self respecting team and come up with a matching performance.

  • AvidCricFan on January 6, 2011, 1:14 GMT

    Odds are against India to win this match after allowing SA to score 350 runs. Its either a draw or loss, very likely a draw.

  • Nampally on January 6, 2011, 0:59 GMT

    @Zeeko: Don't forget Sehwag. If he gets going then he will be bowler's nightmare. I do hope he produces one of his vintage Sehwag innings to light up this test match. He has not played well in this series and it is the last chance for him to show up. I think India will hang on for a draw if Sehwag does not light up.This pitch has bad bounce now and only aggressive players like Sehwag will do well on it or else one has to be techioncally sound & patient to stay the course.

  • Nampally on January 6, 2011, 0:53 GMT

    It was sad to see India play so poorly and lack the final punch to drive home the advantage from 130 for 6. They gave the tail enders survivein both the innings which contributed to at least 250 runs. Harbhajan was the only shining star bowling his heart out. ZAK, Ishant & Sree failed badly. I had suggested before the start of this test that Ojha needs to be included in place of Pujara. But Dhoni had other ideas. Ojha operating in tandem with Harbhajan would have been great.On the final day first session of play will decide the game.The key player again will be Sehwag and his partnership with Gambhir. If India put up a century partnership and Sehwag stays at one end for 2 sessions, India will win. If India's opening partnership fails India will play for a draw. It remains up to SRT to match Kallis. I like to see VVS at #3 instead of Dravid who is lacking in confidence.VVS must seal one end up and let others score from the other end.It will be v.hard for India to win - draw likely.

  • hardlysunny on January 6, 2011, 0:38 GMT

    I feel India should think out of the box approach and change their batting line up. Shewag and Tendulkar are they key and Shewag is tentative at the beginning. SA only has two strike bowlers and they would be at the best in the first two hours. India should start with Dravid and Laxman. They are solid in defense and they can see through the new ball and the first hour of play. Then send in Gambhir, Tendulkar, Shewag, MSD and Pujara. Point is start defensively with the point of attacking latter on. Dravid and Laxman are better options to start defensively compared to Shewag and Gambhir. SA wants to win this more than India, so even a draw would be a defeat for SA and if we reach a point of not loosing the match, it would put pressure on SA forcing them to be more aggressive or making mistakes

  • the_blue_android on January 6, 2011, 0:37 GMT

    I see that some Indian fans still think India can win this test if Sehwag can score a century. Guys wake up,the dream is over. Sehwag is a disaster and a certified flat track bully. He is good only for sub continent flat tracks against guys like Thilan tushara and Kulasekara...

  • VickGower on January 6, 2011, 0:25 GMT

    So much depends on Sehwag. He needs to score a quick 60-70 with Gambhir/Dravid hanging tough, not so India can win. But so that the possibility of a win can keep Smith honest and close-in fielders away. The noose will begin to tighten the moment victory is taken out of the equation. As for Dravid. If he fails tomorrow, it is time to cart away the rubble. We need to promote Laxman to 3, slide Pujara up, and renew our search for number 6.

  • braindead_rocker on January 6, 2011, 0:24 GMT

    I will tell you guys...Sehwag is the key...If Gambhir and Sehwag open well, then India have a great chance of getting to 340...which is really not a big score if the Indian batting behemoth lives upto its potential.

    Could be one of the most famous chases of all time.

  • Abaa on January 6, 2011, 0:18 GMT

    @ givemefood - Agree with you a 100% !!!

  • on January 5, 2011, 23:52 GMT

    IF..and it's a significant IF shewag bats for more than an hour says faces around 100 balls..anything is possible if he goes quickly..India will have to fight really hard even for a draw

  • on January 5, 2011, 23:28 GMT

    In the hands of big guns - Shewag, Sachin, Dravid, Laxman & Dhoni. Pujara you got a situation here sir. Utilize it.

  • mitgop11 on January 5, 2011, 23:27 GMT

    the stage is set for the guys to show what they are made of!

  • indianpunter on January 5, 2011, 23:21 GMT

    India should play positively. If you let a negative mindset creep in, we will lose the game, surely. This is not to say that India will win the game. The best chance to draw the game is to play positively. Lets look at it objectively. 2 new ball spells of 10 overs each will have to be negotiated ( the 2nd if india make it to 80 overs). Once the new ball wears off, SA do not have a spinner to make it count. We have the best batting line up in the world and this is their chance of redemption after such a lacklustre, defensive day in the field. Cmon, guys.. live up to our number 1 billing.

  • insightfulcricketer on January 5, 2011, 23:18 GMT

    When Boucher with a lean trot comes out to bat,with 4 bad scores on the trot, last recognized batsman and his place in SA team in jeopardy ,on a helpful spinners wicket and a series to be won what Dhoni does ?He greets him with a long off ,deep mid-wicket and no silly point. Absolutely zero captaincy from Dhoni. Its almost like throwing a game at that point. ICC should be interested. Also a certain Raina was in the field makes it even more interesting - hope ICC is watching.

  • zeeko on January 5, 2011, 22:35 GMT

    India will go for a draw. will be bundled up for 220, unless sachin shows some miracle.

  • on January 5, 2011, 22:31 GMT

    If indias wants to win they to go for all Out .... :)

  • green_jelly on January 5, 2011, 22:24 GMT

    If India get off to a decent start from Viru & Gambhir, then India must use Harbhajan as a pinch hitter at No. 3. If he scores a quick 30-40, then the chase will be on. This will put SA on the defensive.

  • givemefood on January 5, 2011, 22:24 GMT

    Wow Bhajiya.. the 1st time (in a long long time) you take some wickets and you put your seamer-colleagues down. I don't remember them singling you out when you went wicketless or didn't add much to put pressure on the opponent. While you are right about the seamers, even you didn't add any pressure on Kallis or the rest of the batsmen. You kept bowling the same line, length, and predictable off-turn. Kallis kept pummeling you with a reverse sweep and clean sweeps... and yet you never changed your strategy. So thumbs up for getting 7 wickets but thumbs down for not tying down Kallis.

  • spinkingKK on January 5, 2011, 22:23 GMT

    I never used to Harbhajan much. Because, he kept taking the place of my favorite Kumble's position. But, these days, Harbhajan is very good. He is batting well, bowling great, fielding well and also, talking with the right attitude. I think he will make a very good captain. He seems to read the game situation better than everybody else.

  • TheMeanMachine on January 5, 2011, 22:12 GMT

    Chasing 340 in 90 overs on a 5th day wearing wicket will be very daunting and even though we have second innings experts like Laxman and Gambhir, we really need Sehwag to shine tomorrow. He is the only one who can motor along at a high speed and tame the South African pace battery. The odds are against India now but there is hope till our champ Tendulkar is there.

  • zaheerfan on January 5, 2011, 21:27 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)

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  • zaheerfan on January 5, 2011, 21:27 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)

  • TheMeanMachine on January 5, 2011, 22:12 GMT

    Chasing 340 in 90 overs on a 5th day wearing wicket will be very daunting and even though we have second innings experts like Laxman and Gambhir, we really need Sehwag to shine tomorrow. He is the only one who can motor along at a high speed and tame the South African pace battery. The odds are against India now but there is hope till our champ Tendulkar is there.

  • spinkingKK on January 5, 2011, 22:23 GMT

    I never used to Harbhajan much. Because, he kept taking the place of my favorite Kumble's position. But, these days, Harbhajan is very good. He is batting well, bowling great, fielding well and also, talking with the right attitude. I think he will make a very good captain. He seems to read the game situation better than everybody else.

  • givemefood on January 5, 2011, 22:24 GMT

    Wow Bhajiya.. the 1st time (in a long long time) you take some wickets and you put your seamer-colleagues down. I don't remember them singling you out when you went wicketless or didn't add much to put pressure on the opponent. While you are right about the seamers, even you didn't add any pressure on Kallis or the rest of the batsmen. You kept bowling the same line, length, and predictable off-turn. Kallis kept pummeling you with a reverse sweep and clean sweeps... and yet you never changed your strategy. So thumbs up for getting 7 wickets but thumbs down for not tying down Kallis.

  • green_jelly on January 5, 2011, 22:24 GMT

    If India get off to a decent start from Viru & Gambhir, then India must use Harbhajan as a pinch hitter at No. 3. If he scores a quick 30-40, then the chase will be on. This will put SA on the defensive.

  • on January 5, 2011, 22:31 GMT

    If indias wants to win they to go for all Out .... :)

  • zeeko on January 5, 2011, 22:35 GMT

    India will go for a draw. will be bundled up for 220, unless sachin shows some miracle.

  • insightfulcricketer on January 5, 2011, 23:18 GMT

    When Boucher with a lean trot comes out to bat,with 4 bad scores on the trot, last recognized batsman and his place in SA team in jeopardy ,on a helpful spinners wicket and a series to be won what Dhoni does ?He greets him with a long off ,deep mid-wicket and no silly point. Absolutely zero captaincy from Dhoni. Its almost like throwing a game at that point. ICC should be interested. Also a certain Raina was in the field makes it even more interesting - hope ICC is watching.

  • indianpunter on January 5, 2011, 23:21 GMT

    India should play positively. If you let a negative mindset creep in, we will lose the game, surely. This is not to say that India will win the game. The best chance to draw the game is to play positively. Lets look at it objectively. 2 new ball spells of 10 overs each will have to be negotiated ( the 2nd if india make it to 80 overs). Once the new ball wears off, SA do not have a spinner to make it count. We have the best batting line up in the world and this is their chance of redemption after such a lacklustre, defensive day in the field. Cmon, guys.. live up to our number 1 billing.

  • mitgop11 on January 5, 2011, 23:27 GMT

    the stage is set for the guys to show what they are made of!