India in South Africa 2010-11 January 7, 2011

South Africa take the stats honours

Madhusudhan Ramakrishnan
Although India achieved a creditable draw, South Africa finished with the better numbers in the series

Despite the last day in Cape Town being anticlimactic, the three-Test series was a pulsating one, and the 1-1 result was probably a fair indication of how well matched the two sides were. India's meek surrender and South Africa's complete domination in the first Test was followed by a superlative response by VVS Laxman and the Indian bowlers in the Boxing Day Test in Durban, a venue where India had not won a single Test. The last match belonged to Jacques Kallis, with twin centuries enabling the hosts to wriggle out of a tricky situation.

For South Africa, it meant another series where they haven't been able to force a win. They have generally been a dominant side at home, but their recent results have been disappointing. They have not won a single series at home since their win over Bangladesh in 2008. A loss against Australia in early 2009 was followed by a tight contest against England. The series ended 1-1 after England managed to squeeze out draws after being nine down in the first and third Tests.

For India, on the other hand, the series was a huge improvement on their previous results in South Africa. They did not win a single Test in their first three series in South Africa. While the gulf between the two teams was not huge in the first ever series in 1992-93, India were thoroughly outclassed on the next two tours. They triumphed in a Test in South Africa for the first time on their fourth trip in 2006-07, but went on to lose a close series 2-1. This time, India showed far more fight, though the margin of defeat in Centurion meant South Africa's numbers were much better than India's across the three matches.

Performance of two teams in all series in South Africa (Runs per wicket)
Series India South Africa Difference (runs/wicket)
1992-93 25.03 33.22 8.19
1996-97 24.01 35.84 11.83
2001-02 31.00 46.61 15.61
2006-07 24.78 29.03 4.25
2010-11 29.39 37.93 8.54

South Africa's top-class pace attack

With all three pitches helping seam and swing, the performances of the fast bowlers were key in this series. While Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel destroyed India in Centurion, the Indian bowlers led by Sreesanth came back strongly in Durban. Overall, though, the South African fast bowlers were far better. Steyn was by far the best bowler on either side, picking up 21 wickets at just over 17 with two five-wicket hauls. Morkel, who ran through India in the first Test, troubled most batsmen with steep bounce and pace, and was unlucky not to finish with more wickets. Lonwabo Tsotsobe picked up important wickets at times, though he averaged nearly 49.

Zaheer Khan, who missed the first Test, wasn't quite in top form, but still managed ten wickets. Sreesanth, who picked up his second five-wicket haul in South Africa in Durban, was quite inconsistent, though. Ishant Sharma was the biggest disappointment for India, finishing with just seven wickets at an average over 48.

In the spin department, though, Harbhajan Singh was excellent. He picked up 15 wickets in the series, including his best away figures of 7 for 120 in the third Test. The South African specialist spinner, Paul Harris, was never really threatening, picking up just four wickets at over 64.

Performance of Indian and South African fast bowlers
Team Wickets Average Strike rate 5WI 10WM
India 26 40.76 68.6 1 0
South Africa 46 26.26 50.3 3 0

Super Steyn

Steyn's record against India has been exceptional and he proved this once again with a stunning display. His genuine pace and movement made it extremely difficult for any batsman to handle him effectively. He dismissed Virender Sehwag three times in six innings, preventing India from getting away to good starts. He also accounted for Sachin Tendulkar, VVS Laxman and MS Dhoni on more than one occasion.

Indian batsmen against Dale Steyn
Batsman Runs scored Balls faced 4s 6s Dismissals
Virender Sehwag 49 91 8 0 3
Sachin Tendulkar 70 166 9 0 2
Rahul Dravid 26 68 3 0 1
Gautam Gambhir 61 120 7 0 2
VVS Laxman 32 66 3 1 3
MS Dhoni 46 67 7 1 3

Harbhajan's improved display

Harbhajan was India's leading wicket-taker, with spells of 4 for 10 in Durban and 7 for 120 in the third Test in Cape Town. Alviro Petersen fell to him three times and Graeme Smith and Hashim Amla twice each. Kallis played him superbly throughout, though, even employing the reverse sweep on occasions to counter the turn. Kallis, the top run-getter in the series with 498 runs, was not dismissed even once by Harbhajan in the three matches.

South African batsmen against Harbhajan Singh
Batsman Runs scored Balls faced 4s 6s Dismissals
Jacques Kallis 147 251 5 0 0
AB de Villers 81 153 5 2 1
Hashim Amla 46 93 2 1 2
Ashwell Prince 40 106 4 0 0
Graeme Smith 25 34 5 0 2
Alviro Petersen 24 30 1 1 3

India's best in away wins

Laxman, with his 96 in the second innings in Durban, helped set up another Indian away win. He has made ten fifty-plus scores in Indian away wins (matches not involving Bangladesh and Zimbabwe) since 2000, a record he shares with Rahul Dravid. His average in away wins is second only to Dravid's 64.77. However, his performance in the team second innings in wins is unmatched; he has five fifty-plus scores, followed by Dravid who has three.

Best Indian batsmen in away wins since 2000 (matches not involving Bangladesh and Zimbabwe)
Batsman Matches Runs Average 100 50
Rahul Dravid 14 1425 64.77 3 7
VVS Laxman 13 1099 57.84 2 8
Sachin Tendulkar 12 1087 57.21 4 3
Virender Sehwag 11 965 56.76 3 1
Sourav Ganguly 9 617 51.41 1 5

South Africa dominate batting

South Africa were the better batting unit in the series with four century stands and eight fifty partnerships. India, on the other hand, had a far tougher time stringing up partnerships, and the middle order (wickets 4 to 6) failed to put on a single fifty stand. The lower order however was effective, contributing vital runs in the second and third Tests. The Indian opening pair of Gautam Gambhir and Sehwag were less successful this time with just one century stand in four innings. Dravid had a poor series, averaging just 20. Except in the second innings of the final Test when he put on 79 with Gambhir, he was not involved in a single fifty-plus stand.

Kallis' superb form meant that he was involved in three of the four century stands for South Africa. He was involved in two 200-plus stands with AB de Villiers and Hashim Amla. The opening pair of Smith and Petersen was quite successful, averaging over 52 with one century and two half-century stands.

Partnership stats of both teams
Team Average Highest 100s 50s
South Africa(wickets 1-3) 46.93 230 2 4
India (wickets 1-3) 38.44 176 2 1
South Africa (wickets 4-6) 42.38 224 1 2
India (wickets 4-6) 24.40 48 0 0
South Africa (wickets 7-10) 25.87 103 1 2
India (wickets 7-10) 25.00 172 1 2

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • sameer997 on January 11, 2011, 13:34 GMT

    Nice stats it really impresses me the way u guyz show this information

  • dummy4fb on January 10, 2011, 19:27 GMT

    india need bowler like Irfan or Agarkar to support Zahir....

  • shovwar on January 10, 2011, 10:54 GMT

    SA still holds the Ind vs SA test contest because the last time India visited SA they lost 2-1...and after that SA visited India twice but India failed to win the series...and a draw in this series means its a 5-4 for SA...India are still yet to beat SA and they could not prove they are better than SA....Maybe India are a better team than before but still not better than SA....Come on they drawn the series arent they the no.1 side? That means SA are equally no.1......They played less test than India thats why they have less points ...check the ranking stats.........In my view They are both the best teams in the world...With SA looking a bit more dangerous......

  • dummy4fb on January 10, 2011, 9:36 GMT

    @akelumw.... southafrica drawn a series at home... accept it... remove first and second test and anyalse the just third test...(1) runs per wicket... SA 35.15 and IND 40.77... difference 5.62.... (2)bowling.. SA.. 11 Wickets at an average 45.64 and strike rate 108.64... INDIA.. 20 wickets at an average of 34.45 and strike rate 64.15... now what do yoy say.... which is the better team in last test...

  • dummy4fb on January 9, 2011, 17:54 GMT

    how can we say INDIA was outplayed by SA in 3rd test...we outplayed them in first innings and they scored above 300in the second..ok dats fine...but we were replying...only gave out three.we didnt collapse...dats y we are number one...1st test was a failure..ok admitted..After that we adapted to the conditions...Every time i read,i can see the statemnt "india is depending on some players"....then wat abt SA they are worshiping steyn and kallis...but indians pulled in the games wth bhaji,laxman,sreesanth,zaheer,sachin...everybdy put their hands up.... stll sticking the old wnt be admitted anymore..we are happy vth the balanced performance by INDIA..go INDIA...go

  • dummy4fb on January 9, 2011, 11:34 GMT

    how you tell shrishant a leader only one 5 wkt then what he done? indian selectors still ignore Munaf required some accurecy in test and Munaf have that one.

  • Shoobhit on January 9, 2011, 6:24 GMT

    all seem hunky dorry for indian fans. no doubt series was a close one; but what saved india was not laxman, nor sachin or anyone else but LUCK in the form of some erroneous umpiring. how can one forget wickets of AB and Bouchy at such a crucial juncture. Further, Zaheer plumb given not out

  • _NEUTRAL_Fan_ on January 9, 2011, 2:36 GMT

    Funny. Ind won a crucial toss in the third test and bowled first in cloudy, damp conditions and so many whiners seemed to have banished that from their memory. Give credit where it is due. SA played their best cricket in the first test and there can be no excuses for a 2 innings to 1 loss. Ind played much better after that but they definitely didn't outplay SA in the 3rd test. They were set an improbable 340 to win and were just about out of the contest before the 5th day even started. They only clawed even on the 5th day by losing only 3 wickets.

  • dummy4fb on January 8, 2011, 23:56 GMT

    Always, Every body says India is good only on sub continental picthes. But doesn't it also mean other countries are not competetive enough on sub continental pitches? So why not we say SA and England are not good teams as they are not comptetive on Indian pitches. They are not good enough on testing conditions. As long as they are not good in India, they shouldn't be qualified for No1 Spot. What do u says guys? Is my argument invalid? Cricket is cricket every where whether it is Indian pitches or England pitches.

  • akelumw on January 8, 2011, 21:18 GMT

    @Vamsi Krishna, @Sajinu Nangariyil, Why? 1st test wasn't a part of the test series to remove from the stats? You wanna remove the numbers of the test which was not in ur favor and do stats again. Ridiculous I'm surprised that why you haven't come up with an idea to REMOVE OR ANNUL THE RESULT OF THE 1ST TEST AND THEN CALL INDIA AS THE WINNER OF THE SERIES. If a SA fan ask to remove the 2nd test & do stats, what would u say?

    @Rajesh Singh don't u remember SA bowled India out for 78 @Ahmadabad & beat them by an innings there & @ Kanpur in 2010 on Indian home conditions as well. If so with only 01 match how u concluded INDIA WAS BETTER TEAM @hindh88 how do u remember those 2 matches mentioned up - KNOCK OUT, humiliated, humbled or what else? @The_Professor - It was India who couldn't break the partnership of Kallis & Boucher. So it was Indian inability to break it but nothing else. drop the word of "IF" once u couldn't do something because of the inability of your own.

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