South Africa v India, 2nd ODI, Johannesburg January 16, 2011

India win with determination and a lot of luck

India never had a realistic chance of winning until Graeme Smith took the batting Powerplay when it wasn't needed and inside-edged on to his stumps
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On days like these, you realise the value of hanging in there until the bitter end. On days like these, you become cricket theists; you start acknowledging the concept of cricketing gods. On days like these, you can waste a solid start, a middle-order rebuild, end up with 190 on a fairly good batting surface, and still win. On days like these, the opposition captain can go for glory, asking for a Powerplay when he needs only 2.4 runs an over, and lose three wickets for 20 runs. On days like these, you can get lbws without hitting the pad. On days like these, you can miss a run-out and nearly miss another but still get that wicket. On days like these, you can be lazy at third man, costing the team three crucial runs, but still come back and bowl two short and wide deliveries to take the last two wickets, with one run to defend.

Days like these are when you don't pocket any of the first eight balls, but your opponent misses a simple shot at the nine ball. Still, you have to make that final pocket, put that nine ball in. When the opposition is offering you gifts, you have to be there to receive them. India were there to receive theirs today, nudging South Africa and the cricketing gods enough at the right times to make sure those gifts came their way.

When Zaheer Khan didn't get off to the best of starts with the ball, Munaf Patel made sure India got the early wicket. He extracted bounce from the pitch, and relied on that early seam movement to snare Hashim Amla, and went for just 18 in his first spell of four overs. When Ashish Nehra struggled against a rampaging Graeme Smith, Harbhajan Singh tied the other end up, coming on to bowl during the first Powerplay, keeping India in the game for longer.

MS Dhoni commended Harbhajan's effort later, to go with Munaf's start. "Harbhajan's contribution was really important," he said. "The South African batsmen had momentum on their side. The way he bowled, that eight-over spell (for 27 runs), they decided to not take Harbhajan on, which meant they lost a bit of momentum. That really brought us back. After that every body contributed. Munaf's contribution was brilliant. He bowls really straight, varies his pace really well, and he deserves to be the Man of the Match."

Still, with Dhoni dropping Colin Ingram, with the fielding not looking greater than it usually is, the game seemed to meander towards the obvious result, but this was not a night for the obvious results. Dhoni introduced part-time spin, JP Duminy went for glory too, and India were now into the inexperienced David Miller and the five bowlers, a ploy India have always avoided. And Dhoni was quick to point this game out to illustrate why he doesn't play five bowlers.

"Putting pressure on the South African middle and lower order order was important," Dhoni said. "We knew [Johan] Botha and [Wayne] Parnell can bat, but pressure is a completely different ball game. When you put pressure on players like, from our side, Harbhajan or Zaheer, who we know can bat, but in a situation like this it becomes very different. That's what we wanted to do. At times pressure makes you do things that you are not supposed to do."

The pressure didn't quite work immediately. Smith and Miller added 32 runs, and while Miller looked shaky, it seemed Smith was back to his form of carrying the team through till the end. And suddenly he too seemed to want to make a statement by finishing it off in style, calling for the Powerplay. Then Munaf produced what Smith called a "good slower ball", one that straightened enough to catch the inside edge onto the stumps.

Now India started feeling it. Back came their hunter, Zaheer, who likes to prey on weak minds. He shouldn't have got Botha's wicket when he did, but the slower bouncer he bowled to Miller showed good awareness of how the pitch was behaving. It was a pitch on which Munaf showed that the slower ones gripped and bounced at the batsmen, and Zaheer started using that too.

And again, when Parnell and Morne Morkel looked like they had sort of got used to Munaf's rhythm, Dhoni brought Raina on. It might not have worked on the night, but the mind was working, an attempt was being made to try and make things happen, to try and encash that gift voucher. Dhoni was proactive again when he brought Munaf back with three runs required, keeping the fields up, unlike in Tests.

His description of the events of that last over just reinforced the presence of cricketing gods, who smile at some and punish some others. "When you need one or two wickets, and the opposition needs three runs, you know they are just one stroke away," Dhoni said. "There is pressure then as to whether the fielder should be in or out to save that boundary. When you come back after losing a toss, you blame yourself, thinking you could have called heads as opposed to tails. Bringing that point fielder in was a somewhat similar situation. I had just decided to bring Yusuf [Pathan] in, and the catch went his way." Thus the nine ball went in.

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Angad11 on January 19, 2011, 18:48 GMT

    oh by the way, did any one notice that botha (the second kallis of the SA team) has just scored a century and helped SA win the third ODI and all the ODI to come. @afker, PCB is going to draw a lottery as to who is going to captian pak, guess wat, Ijaz butt is also there in the list, just pray that his name doesnt come up...

  • A.Afker on January 19, 2011, 11:44 GMT

    @pom_basher. How Ashish was right about botha?. Can't he make just one run to win the match if not that dubious decision?...Merely one run from 40+ balls.PCB will decide who will captain the young PAK team. @ Man007. Only IND denied UDRS but not the SA.Same thing happen to SL as well once with IND. AUS,ENG,NZ also prefer the UDRS just like SA,SL and PAK.But out of all IND is the only country who do not like UDRS and for that they will give 100 of reasons.Anyway keep it up BCCI.God will help future of Cricket.

  • Fast_Track_Bully on January 19, 2011, 10:26 GMT

    @A.Afker. If the host team do not want this, then who to blame???

  • pom_basher on January 19, 2011, 9:17 GMT

    @A.Afker - Ashish was right about botha. by the way who is captaining the pakistani bunch at the world cup?

  • pom_basher on January 19, 2011, 9:15 GMT

    Another lucky win Mr Monga?

  • A.Afker on January 19, 2011, 7:06 GMT

    @ashish514. How can say Botha's decision is not effected,it will effect not only the match but also series as well.SA loss by just 1 run only.Not 100+ runs. If they loss by 100+ runs then definetely Botha's decision is not effective but here is just 1run only.For BCCI and all the Indian supportors why u are fear to UDRS,where u getting all the benefit from the umpire whether it is Test or ODI (it is proven in Test and ODI in SA).95% decisin is better than 85% isn't it?....All the matches should play with UDRS and 3times barrier should lift and it should be any no of times or 5times minimum.Cricket is the only sport they use technology minimum that too because of only one country.It should be avoided at least in the future.

  • NikSaid on January 18, 2011, 22:10 GMT

    Sid...just copy and paste this article again, change Munaf to Harbhajan! and if you are really a journo, write up article about 3rd odi and give due credit where it must be and kinda say that you got the luck factor wrong here..apology will be too much to ask I guess.

  • on January 18, 2011, 20:53 GMT

    Uh, did India win because of luck again Sidharth? Or is there going to be some credit given for the 3rd ODI? :-)

  • on January 18, 2011, 14:54 GMT

    Come on Guys, The team is full of young blood , only after Mr.Srikanth came . Otherwise we will be playing with old hogs. so stop pointing out Srikanth, because there are 3 other selectors, a captain, and coach for team selection.

  • Jaggadaaku on January 18, 2011, 10:54 GMT

    Mr. Dhoni still expecting the form from Vijay? We all know and his runs statistics of strike rate showing he is not the person for short format of cricket. Only those batsmen can qualify to play ODI cricket today who carrries healthy batting average and over 80 strike rate. Looks like Mr. Dhoni and Mr. Srikanth(Chairman of Selection Committee) cannot see the other OPENERS who also carries healthy batting average and a lot better than M. Vijay, and over 80 strike rate in domestic ODIs such as Uthappa, Ajinkye Rhane, Pujara, and Abhinav Mukund. It also looks like Mr. Dhoni and Mr. Srikanth already included M. Vijay in World Cup team, and now they want him to make some runs so no one can raise a finger on them. We already seen M. Vijay playing against New Zealand. He seemed like he was playing test match keeping the strike rate of 50-60 in ODIs against New Zealand, one of the minow team today. What the batsmen like M. Vijay could do in ODI World cup? Only Dhoni and Srikanth & GOD know.

  • Angad11 on January 19, 2011, 18:48 GMT

    oh by the way, did any one notice that botha (the second kallis of the SA team) has just scored a century and helped SA win the third ODI and all the ODI to come. @afker, PCB is going to draw a lottery as to who is going to captian pak, guess wat, Ijaz butt is also there in the list, just pray that his name doesnt come up...

  • A.Afker on January 19, 2011, 11:44 GMT

    @pom_basher. How Ashish was right about botha?. Can't he make just one run to win the match if not that dubious decision?...Merely one run from 40+ balls.PCB will decide who will captain the young PAK team. @ Man007. Only IND denied UDRS but not the SA.Same thing happen to SL as well once with IND. AUS,ENG,NZ also prefer the UDRS just like SA,SL and PAK.But out of all IND is the only country who do not like UDRS and for that they will give 100 of reasons.Anyway keep it up BCCI.God will help future of Cricket.

  • Fast_Track_Bully on January 19, 2011, 10:26 GMT

    @A.Afker. If the host team do not want this, then who to blame???

  • pom_basher on January 19, 2011, 9:17 GMT

    @A.Afker - Ashish was right about botha. by the way who is captaining the pakistani bunch at the world cup?

  • pom_basher on January 19, 2011, 9:15 GMT

    Another lucky win Mr Monga?

  • A.Afker on January 19, 2011, 7:06 GMT

    @ashish514. How can say Botha's decision is not effected,it will effect not only the match but also series as well.SA loss by just 1 run only.Not 100+ runs. If they loss by 100+ runs then definetely Botha's decision is not effective but here is just 1run only.For BCCI and all the Indian supportors why u are fear to UDRS,where u getting all the benefit from the umpire whether it is Test or ODI (it is proven in Test and ODI in SA).95% decisin is better than 85% isn't it?....All the matches should play with UDRS and 3times barrier should lift and it should be any no of times or 5times minimum.Cricket is the only sport they use technology minimum that too because of only one country.It should be avoided at least in the future.

  • NikSaid on January 18, 2011, 22:10 GMT

    Sid...just copy and paste this article again, change Munaf to Harbhajan! and if you are really a journo, write up article about 3rd odi and give due credit where it must be and kinda say that you got the luck factor wrong here..apology will be too much to ask I guess.

  • on January 18, 2011, 20:53 GMT

    Uh, did India win because of luck again Sidharth? Or is there going to be some credit given for the 3rd ODI? :-)

  • on January 18, 2011, 14:54 GMT

    Come on Guys, The team is full of young blood , only after Mr.Srikanth came . Otherwise we will be playing with old hogs. so stop pointing out Srikanth, because there are 3 other selectors, a captain, and coach for team selection.

  • Jaggadaaku on January 18, 2011, 10:54 GMT

    Mr. Dhoni still expecting the form from Vijay? We all know and his runs statistics of strike rate showing he is not the person for short format of cricket. Only those batsmen can qualify to play ODI cricket today who carrries healthy batting average and over 80 strike rate. Looks like Mr. Dhoni and Mr. Srikanth(Chairman of Selection Committee) cannot see the other OPENERS who also carries healthy batting average and a lot better than M. Vijay, and over 80 strike rate in domestic ODIs such as Uthappa, Ajinkye Rhane, Pujara, and Abhinav Mukund. It also looks like Mr. Dhoni and Mr. Srikanth already included M. Vijay in World Cup team, and now they want him to make some runs so no one can raise a finger on them. We already seen M. Vijay playing against New Zealand. He seemed like he was playing test match keeping the strike rate of 50-60 in ODIs against New Zealand, one of the minow team today. What the batsmen like M. Vijay could do in ODI World cup? Only Dhoni and Srikanth & GOD know.

  • DINESHCC on January 18, 2011, 6:23 GMT

    As I said the other day, DIRI and KIWIROCKER disappeared from the scene. They will again back only if India lose the next ODI, otherwise they will be busy wiatching KENYA AND NAMIBIA ODI.

  • Vilander on January 17, 2011, 19:29 GMT

    Raina hooked one to 4 runs. WOW.

  • Vilander on January 17, 2011, 19:28 GMT

    for a total of 3 days i thought india was 2-0 down, and now i see its 1-1 funny. Lucky win, we were pathetic in both the games, let us see how our young players play next game. ofcourse this has no bearing on whats going to happen in the subcontinent come WC.

  • ashish514 on January 17, 2011, 15:47 GMT

    Whoever thinks SA lost due to Botha's decision, I wouldn't disagree. But then anything could happen. As someone reminded about the catch that's didn't carry or Parnell's missed run out. And for those vouching for UDRS, apart from the technology, I have another problem. I don't remember the exact stat, but they suggest that more often that not, the teams and players have got their referrals wrong, and at the times when they can really help, they are already consumed. Also, giving more than two chances means a waste of time. If you are entitled to a right decision, there should be no strings attached. Let's assume currently umpires are 85% correct, UDRS increases it to 95%, but still there'll be grievances. Take this match for instance, had SA already lost the referrals before Botha came, the people in this forum would stil havel been cribbing the same way about how SA lost coz of that one incident as they are doing now. Why add the extra cost and complications then??

  • on January 17, 2011, 15:25 GMT

    well hats off to India's persistence on not using UDRS, and benefitting not only in test series but also in odis too.i realy thaught botha was the only player who could bat under cricumstance, well done BCCI,but we all cricke lover well always question ur motive and integrity and ur ranking as well.

  • on January 17, 2011, 14:38 GMT

    After browsing thru these comments I notice almost every single comment coming from neutral countries support SA. In fact I wonder if there are any South Africans apart from myself commenting here? Maybe 1 or 2? Thanks for the support everyone :)

  • FOLLOWINDIANS on January 17, 2011, 14:17 GMT

    I agree with Man007. The way Indians have to learn on bouncy pitch on same ground SA must learn to play "spinners". And there is no umpire in the world can give 100% accurate decisions nor the technology which is built by human only. So stop blame game.

  • on January 17, 2011, 12:06 GMT

    Alas..2nd or 3rd time this happened i.e. Slept off when I had to be awake to watch that astonishing finish our gr8 Indian Cricket Team brought out, in their own magical way!! No wonderyou just cannot tell who's going to WIN until the last ball iw bowled!! My hearty Kudos and Cheers to Dhoni & His Magnificient 10!! - Jaggudada

  • pom_basher on January 17, 2011, 10:25 GMT

    So, when India plays bad and lose - SA is great and Indians are clueless. When SA plays bad and lose - SA is still great, and Indians are lucky... Why bother playing cricket?

  • candyfloss on January 17, 2011, 10:20 GMT

    I cant understand why cricinfo comes up with such things.Last match R.Sharma got a wrong decision but there wasnt even a word about it, in the 2nd odi too a wide was signalled when the ball hit steyn's pad.The udrs is not being used in Pak vs NZ series either and wasnt even used in PAK VS SA where PAK recieved a lot bad decisions in the test matches, no one complained then, funny how all the SA fans dont remember it and are crying only about Botha who would have not been able to do anything.

  • RMuralik on January 17, 2011, 9:26 GMT

    Once Sehwag and Gambhir are back, Vijay wouldn't be in the team for WC. Anyhow he would get his chance of playing in home conditions against good bowlers in IPL. So this is the chance for the team to test him out in foreign conditions. If he comes well we have a good backup opener. If not try out somebody else. I think he should be allowed to play the rest of the ODIs in SA. May be he gets better with practice on these pitches.

  • Fast_Track_Bully on January 17, 2011, 8:41 GMT

    There was only one mistake from the umpire and SA fans trying to blame that...lol. They must admit that, SA players are yet to learn how to play spinners...even id part timers.

  • souths70 on January 17, 2011, 7:44 GMT

    I want to ask any Indian fan a question about longevity of the number 1 position. Australia have won THREE world cups in a row and will battle for a fourth. I actually do not think we have the side to win this event. India definately do have a team to win the World Cup; BUT the same team has contested at least the last two and failed.... Until they win THRee in a row they cannot compare themselves to that magnificent feat.

  • A.Afker on January 17, 2011, 7:18 GMT

    Indian fans never accept losses.Whenever they loss that is because of toss.Whenever they won then it is because of there talent.That is their theory.But one thing they will forget whenever they won the toss their winning margin is very very tiny/less (eg:2nd Test & 2nd ODI) at the same time whenever they loss then lossing by huge margin (eg:1st Test & 1st ODI).And also they never accept UDRS as well.Due to umpire mistakes SA draw the series,if not results could be 2-0 SA favours.Now even in ODI against SA.I think all Cricket Board should againts IND and make UDRS compulsory for all the matches.Then we can how each team will perform at home and away.

  • on January 17, 2011, 6:16 GMT

    Amazing victory and great article...specially the first para.. Apart from Munaf's bowling..what was also appreciable is Dhoni's captaincy...he believes in his instinct..and his instinct has proved him a winner!!..Hats off to his captaincy mind!!

  • uniqueredefined on January 17, 2011, 5:04 GMT

    Initially i really felt sorry for the indians after the sydney test...their excellent cricket was just undone...but the way they r reacting now....i think they deserve more of those sydney tests.."fortune favours the brave","self-belief","determination" all these r pretty easy to say after u hav won a game u dint deserve to win....u al r just sore enough to accept that india have been blatantly lucky to win games.....really...all protean fans...i wanna say dnt lose ur hearts....v al hav seen nd r intelligent enough to understand that each n every bit of bad decisions have been against south africa....i havent seen a series lyk ths whre one team "alone" suffers so undeservingly...n y r ths fools sayin "if kallis was given out"....y shud he be given out when he was not out....incredibly idiotic....neways 3 games to go.....lets c what happens....go proteas...u r the best...al f us r with u....

  • on January 17, 2011, 5:02 GMT

    I have watched Australia win a lot of games against India that they should have lost ... they won because they took blinders ( could be called luck), had opposition batsman run out on nonexistant run, had South African great batsman not scoring two runs in four balls when he use to hammer 15-20 runs in an over. My reading is the current Indain team with a rubbish bowling attack, with a poor batting arsnel ( as defiend by others) has an attitude to win and it has demonstrated it. It is this attitude along with some skills ( they have skills or I might have to add, the opposition batsman are worse than Indian, either one is true) are good at beating teams who appear to have advantage of home ground and home conditions

  • on January 17, 2011, 2:51 GMT

    One of the most exciting victories by Team India

  • on January 17, 2011, 2:05 GMT

    Amazing article!! Enjoyed reading it.. Congrats to India for being there and fighting..

  • gerardpereira20 on January 17, 2011, 1:33 GMT

    Luck is part of the game you win some you lose some, luck evens it self out in the end. if Kallis had been given out at Cape town India would have won the test series 2-1, Had India won the toss at Centurion would it have been 3-0 ? if and buts never wins games, you have to have a fundamently strong team with a lot of mental toughness. Australia had it in abundance while South Africa and India were historical chokers. The good news for India they have started to win matches that a few years ago they would have lost. Chenni against England, Banglore against Australia and the latest against SA.

  • NP_NY on January 16, 2011, 23:37 GMT

    I have no problem with India (finally) having some luck go our way. On any given day, any one team can get lucky but it is the result that matters and I am glad India won. But I will say this - Great teams make their own luck! After posting 190 India did not roll over and give up like a lot of other teams would have (@Lakmalphysics / Umair Virk, you know what teams I am talking about! :-)). Fortune favors the brave....and the determined!

  • on January 16, 2011, 19:35 GMT

    This is brilliant piece of English writing. Something to be read again and again. India have now learnt to fight to the last ball. I would question Dhoni's capatincy. Why did want to bat first when it was overcast and rain forecasted later on(good job it did not materilise) Why did he give Rina penultimate over(on hindsight it turned out good, but initially a bad move). How long is Vijay going to open the innings? Let Yusuf come in and open with Rohit. Time to drop nehra.

  • deep123 on January 16, 2011, 18:56 GMT

    Luck...?? I would say the determination and putting the pressure on the opposition. Actually good bowling created lot of pressure on SA batsman that caused their frenetic shots. I am disappointed with this article Mr. Sidharth. I don't know how can be India won without the bowling effort. How many SA batsmen edges went to third man region?? Is that luck with India??? That's their nervousness that caused them to play some loose or uncontrolled shots. Batting powerplay worked dead against India. Same thing happened to SA. Sachin got out as the same way as Greame Smith got out. Definitely it's the pressure that SA couldn't handle and good bowling created that pressure.

  • anikbrad on January 16, 2011, 18:55 GMT

    BY VERTUE OF LAST 2 YEARS PL/W/L/T/D/ WIN: LOSS/ AVR England 2009-2011 29 15 5 0 9 3.00 41.70 3.49 Australia 2009-2011 26 13 9 0 4 1.44 37.19 3.37 India 2009-2011 21 11 3 0 7 3.66 45.95 3.53 South Africa2009-2011 18 6 6 0 6 1.00 40.97 3.18 Sri Lanka 2009-2010 17 6 3 0 8 2.00 46.85 3.66 AS PER LAST 2 YEARS DATA IT IND NUM ONE AND SA 5TH TEAM IN THE WORLD. ENG IS CLOSE SECOND AND NOT SA AS ALL PRESUMES. THEY ARE CRYING UNNECESSARILY AND WHOLE WORLD ALSO WITHOUT SEEING THE RESULTS. THEY ARE NUMBER 2 DUE TO PAST GLORIES OF 4 YEARS BACK NOT NOW. WANT TO SEE 3 YEARS PAST DATA AND SEE HOW THE SA DETOREATED Team Mat Won Lost Tied Draw W/L England 41 20 9 0 12 2.22 39.21 3.35 Australia 40 18 14 0 8 1.28 37.26 3.35 India 36 17 7 0 12 2.42 41.94 3.49 South Africa 33 17 8 0 8 2.12 42.69 3.21 SO SA FANS U DESIDE WHO IS 1 AND WHO IS 2 ,3 AND 4

  • shrastogi on January 16, 2011, 18:48 GMT

    You write well Monga and I like your sense of humor. While India enjoyed all the luck while bowling their share of badluck was there while batting. So things vened out. A battered & bruised Yuvraj overjoyed at reaching 50 holed out wss turning point or was it a blessing in disguise. I cedit Dhoni with lot of cricketing acumen but in both matches he gave his wicket away. There was no need to back up in first match when so many wickets had fallen for a few runs. India was never in hunt but at that stage rebuilding was needed. In second after Raina's wicket he should have made sure that India batted full 50 overs. He got a good ball but could have tackled it better. As Munaf Patel he could never be in any t20 or ODI side for his very poor fielding but a depleted pace bowling means he was played and did well too though last two wickets were pure pressure.

  • MiddleStump on January 16, 2011, 18:31 GMT

    The article has very little depth. Dhoni's captaincy had a lot to do with the win. Bowling Rohit Sharma to break the partnership, then bringing on Zaheer to bowl as soon as Smith was dismissed were both great decisions. The last two batsmen for SA fell to poor shots under pressure but then there is a reason why people bat at 10 or 11. On the other hand there was no reason for Smith to take the powerplay unless rain was forecast. Once again SA seized defeat from the jaws of victory. Due in no small measure to Dhoni being the far better captain.

  • LakmalPhysics on January 16, 2011, 18:26 GMT

    @khan503 & uniqueredefined and Naveed Khan : 100% true.All test playing countries need to step up to work against Indians opinion to use UDRS & Hot spot and any other available technology in all ODI & test matches.

  • arunpoduval on January 16, 2011, 18:08 GMT

    Im watchin cricket from 1992 and i can easily tell that this is the best Indian one day team i saw... but im sure Dhoni is not the best captian or Srikanth is the best selector...we have so many damn good cricketers in the country but , still M Vijay opens innings for India... Im sad to see ( Im sure he will be there even if he din score anythin ) a world cup team with M Vijay in it... Noone talks about him but can anyone tell that he deserves a place in this team ?

  • on January 16, 2011, 17:54 GMT

    Siddarth I think you have put your words down in the right way. I would make a slight change. May be a lil determination earlier in the game, but in the end it was all luck. A classis example of a game won with sheer determination is Pak vs SA in the mid 90's in SA, where pak were all out for 150 and Wasim/Waqar got SA out for 130 something like that. The dif between that game and this one is that in the earlier game Pak bowlers got the SA batting out with their outstanding bowling (not to forget the SA batting in 90s was more attacking than the current one, cronje, cullinan, mcmillan, pollock, boucher, rhodes etc) while the Indian attack in this game didn't do anything at all as expected. The batsmen genuinely gave away their wickets. Everyone wants to win we know that. Its how you win makes you a great but here the vulnerable Indian attack cannot be regarded as determined. They should thank their luck like you mentioned. But a win is a win. Well done.

  • dubai_cricfan on January 16, 2011, 17:41 GMT

    who told its luck...i think the cricinfo editor didnt watch the game...luck cannot take 10 wickets.... its only because of the agression shown by the captain and co..hats off to u all...in day & night matches luck is only toss ..just think southafrica have world class bolwers like steyn,morkel, even tsostbe..they manged india to a total of 190...good..but the indian pace attack ( some may consider toothless) always shows agression under dhoni..thats the only reason for sucess....so itr royals vs warriors.. ..i agree india have never produced world class bowlers like other team..but only india has agressive bowlers...

  • randikaayya on January 16, 2011, 17:35 GMT

    @Abhishek Agarwal: Whining about decisions???? Accept UDRS and move on. BTW Proteas had all the bad luck this series, startign from Durban test they should of won!

  • on January 16, 2011, 17:20 GMT

    South Africa literally threw the game away.........not that indian bowlers bowled like super heroes!! and i dun wana say anything about Johan Botha's LBW decision..!!! india will loose the next ODI !!

  • khurramsch on January 16, 2011, 17:10 GMT

    i dnt agree it was luck. i mean yes every team need luck to win but thing is that once SA started slipping indian bowlers bowled very well to tail enders so its indian bowlers good work

  • Smithie on January 16, 2011, 17:00 GMT

    India will not accept UDRS whilst they keep on getting the benefit of crucial umpiring errors. Thankfully the World Cup Semis and Finals will not be influenced by such errors as have been seen in South Africa. India is yet to present a logical argument to refute the fact that UDRS increases the number of correct umpiring calls and therefore is in the interests of the sport.

  • Sukumar_Kantri on January 16, 2011, 16:59 GMT

    LUCK??? can you call it as mere luck? India were 150/3 at one stage and ended up allout for 190... Proteans were 152/4 at one stage and all out for 189..... If you call SA's bowling is superb to take last 7 indian wickets for 40 runs, same way its superb bowling and mind game by indians which made to take last 6 SA wickets for 37 runs...Till Smith was at crease , the game was clearly in SA way... from his fall 2 more wickets fell in quick succession which gave India the momentum to wrap up 3 more wickets to equalise the series.....

  • Nampally on January 16, 2011, 16:52 GMT

    It was a huge slice of luck that finally turned the game in India's favour. Let us face it India was 168 for 4 and then choked to all out for 190. India lost the last 6 wiskets for 21 runs. SA also were 151 for 4 and they lost their last 6 wickets for 37 runs. So Indian batting choked more than the SA batting but India won.Botha's bad LBW decision turned the game to India.Smith rued his dismissal cost SA the match which is true. But then India can also say the same applies to 3 of their last 6 dismissals. Remaining 3 tests will now become best of three, wins it all like the 3 test matches earlier, except there is no chance of a draw unless rain wipes out the game.India will have to play really hard to stay in the series in the next game. Will Nehra still retain his spot?Only Munaf & Zaheer are taking wickets. Why not get Ashwin for economical 10 overs, Kohli to open for injured Sachin & Yusuf taking Sachin's spot. These 3 are the obvious changes If openers do well, India wins.

  • on January 16, 2011, 16:37 GMT

    my playing eleven for wc sehwag, gambir, sachin, yuvraj, raina, dhoni, yusuf, harbhajan,zaheer,munaf,vinay reserves aswin,sreeasanth,dinesh karhik,rohit,praveen but the real fact is that our team needs more allrounders who can bowl pace like kallis, morkel, watson etc. if we find atleast 2 -3 allrounders no body canm beat our team any where in the world

  • KENNETH2007 on January 16, 2011, 16:32 GMT

    May be luck...but true about determined....if all the batsmen had the determination...like this it would be great ..i wonder why we are beating our breasts saying we are World № 1.....but are not trying to learn to bat in fast and bouncy tracks and field like W-one .

  • on January 16, 2011, 16:29 GMT

    I'm sorry but its a poor article Sidharth. What if Australia would've won a match like this? I'm sure there would've been a lot of praise and people would even have tossed in the word 'Australianism' as if only Australia could pull off such a win. Its disappointing to say the least.

  • on January 16, 2011, 16:20 GMT

    If the editor thinks that this is luck, then the famous '99 semifinal was mere luck and famous 434 chase was also equally lucky.

  • Valayathil on January 16, 2011, 16:17 GMT

    I think the Indian team has proved to the world that they are really good,just not on paper.Cricket is a mind game and its all about the mental state when playing at this level. Now they are playing like champions.

  • on January 16, 2011, 16:09 GMT

    If somebody says its just luck, then South Africa is riding on super dooper luck. In this series, they yet to win a match without winning the toss. We all know toss plays a crucial role in ODI and Test matches. For India its never been a factor, bcoz Dhoni toss luck is less than 50%. So let us appreciate whoever wins regardless of other factors

  • FAB_ALI on January 16, 2011, 15:54 GMT

    It's not luck, it's self-belief!!! India has shown this "NEVER GIVE UP" spirit many times under MS Dhoni and it is becoming one of their major strengths. Thus, we can see them win crucial matches even without key players.

  • on January 16, 2011, 15:40 GMT

    The write seems to have developed this article more as a South African loss than India's Win. T he fact is India created those opportunities and were not gifted! Its all in the perception... If South African won the match bowling second in a similar scenario, then Sidharth Monga would have lavished praise on South African bowlers ability to win from tight situation and will go on to describe it as worlds best attack... We know it better to analyze the match results!!!

  • chayanR on January 16, 2011, 15:27 GMT

    @maccy69: It was an awesome article. Yes, it was a dramatic day and Sid Monga is spot on with his writing skills.! Pls, English grammer and cricket articles may not be an awesome combination but dramatic narration and cricket articles is really a nice combo..! "On days like these" even wrong grammer look pretty nice.!

  • uniqueredefined on January 16, 2011, 14:15 GMT

    Neways despite that botha dismissal proteas were on the brink of victory....3 runs to win....countles balls left.....2 wickets in hand...n they lost.....ths is where il blame the proteas n well done ms dhoni n india....im nt takin nethn away 4m india bt its reallly hard to digest such a defeat being a protean fan n when u knw thr were bizare decisions.....neways grt series btwn 2 of the most talented sides in the world so far....no more quarelling plz....all of us knw that we have the 2 best sides of the wrld giving each other a run 4 their money....so sorry for sayin india were undeservin...its just my pasion for the proteas....sorry to all the indian fans.....hope the proteas wont choke again n try n win the series....india r a tough nut to crack....well done india....

  • uniqueredefined on January 16, 2011, 14:02 GMT

    india havent yet had the share of match turning bad decisions on this tour.....so being an indian supporter u al wont feel how it is lyk being on the protean side....in the durban test the plumbest ever lbw of zaheer,bizzzare lbw decisions of devilliers n also boucher who showed what he is capable of in the cape town test n millions of tyms in the past,all these were india's excellence not bad luck at all...n india drew the series....n now the balll dint even hit botha's pad...it hit his bat...n he was given lbw....excellent balling by zaheer....only 28 runs were reqd to win when botha got out...it was thus a match turning bad decision...n rohit sharma's dismisal at that point of tym hardly had any effect on the game....india wud hav noway chased down 290....ya but the proteas choked.....no doubt...n india really played hard n welll in south africa thruout no doubt....but their victories were by large undeserving....cmon proteas...negotiate with lady luck as sun as posible....

  • on January 16, 2011, 13:29 GMT

    You missed this . On days like these, you made all out much hyped SA batting line up within 43 overs for just 189 runs, with a teethless bowling attack, still others degrade the taste of success by saying its just because of luck.

    Am i Correct?

  • on January 16, 2011, 13:22 GMT

    i agree with you @kamal..vijay can be great player..his only getting chance when they need him and it doesnt help player at all..and ppl talking about luck..if ppl talking about luck rohit wasnt out last game also he hit his bat to pad and he was giving out..there is luck in game of cricket but dont hate if one team gets it when they need it and other dont..just repect the winning team at the end for playing great game..one player was giving out even tho he wasnt out doesnt mean other 9 was lucky wicket..and YALL ALL KNOW test circket aint about luck and india is #1 so plz lets not talk about luck..it took sachin 20 yrs to bring india to top..i am from india and give respect to all the team that play well on giving dayy..

  • on January 16, 2011, 13:13 GMT

    ‎1971 they were called Wadekar's Warriors, In 1983 we renamed them as Kapil's Devils, In 2002 they were yet again renamed as Ganguly's Young Guns... Is it time to call them Dhoni's Houdini's?

    This team has made a habit of escaping from sure defeat (Mohali was another one recently)

  • on January 16, 2011, 12:46 GMT

    It was superb effort by India ,munaf really deserves the hats off,but their r few pts to be concern like;why vijay is getting so much chances he should be dropped from team.

  • on January 16, 2011, 12:43 GMT

    Poor South African's are coming up with comments like 'If Jack Kallis was there, things would have been different'. Did you forget that India is missing Virender Sehwag(by far the most destructive batsman in cricket), Gautam Gambhir (one of the most consistent) and Praveen Kumar...?? Can you please com up with some genuine reasons..??

  • on January 16, 2011, 12:32 GMT

    It was a truly gritty performance from India which helped them level the series. As a die hard Indian supporter while their grit and never say die attitude was heart warming there are still a number of questions to be answered. And those question marks add up especially now with Sachin coming back to India. For me I still want to see one of the top order batsman going on to score a hundred. I want to see if Rohit Sharma and Murali Vijay truly have the temperament to adjust to different conditions and cash in their special abilities with some runs in the bank. I want to see Yuvraj taking the mantle of senior batsman in the team with both hands. Raina seemed to be shaping up better in the last knock but he has a lot of questions to answer as a batsman. However I am eagerly looking forward to the rest of the series as this team now has a number of players with an opportunity to truly make a permanent spot for themselves. Here's hoping for 3 more days of brilliant cricket from our boys.

  • khan503 on January 16, 2011, 12:26 GMT

    I personally think that Botha was really unlucky to get that decision, while the ball hardly touched his pads. I think, it is the time to use the technology universally, without the opinion of teams. This should be made mandatory to use review system, as the decision have shown in recent past that technology is much better than naked eye. Moreover, when other games make use of technology, why not to use it for Cricket as well. I am not sure, what is the thinking which leads to refusal of use of technology.

  • AKmAK on January 16, 2011, 12:20 GMT

    @KamalKannan- I'm sure ur comments give losts of to laugh. I'm not sure why u backing about M.Vijay? After all what's his technique? even in sub-continent he struggle to make a good cricket shot!. All front foot drives are low confidents and off drives are pathetic!! Glance and on side plays are average, not know how to hook or pull. Even though somebody saying he will be next Tendulkar!! Its very obivious that K.Srikkant plays lots of off field cricket now a days and this in one of it. Think guys.. I'm happy becoz so many talented guyz are in queue and sure they might find a place therion.. No one can stop them from getting the target. And I'm sure today or tommorrow these arrogant backers are in sideline and hope will bring a new era of IND cricket.. Hopes everyones comment...

  • on January 16, 2011, 11:49 GMT

    @uniquerdefined Fortune favours the brave only!!!If India has got their share of luck then they deserve that..If somebody if pointing out the umpiring decisions then remember 4th day of last test..sreesanth made terrific appeals which were too close to be given not out to Kallis....had he got the wicket the test series result wud have been 2-1. South Africans are sore losers, one can see the way Smith reacts after he loses the match..Talking abt John botha dismissal then remember last match Rohit Sharma had a clear inside edge but was given lbw..So better don't blame your loss completely on bad umpiring..Indians have always been on poorer side of Umpiring who can forget sydney test. One should accept his loss with grace. South Africans has choked several times when they have faced pressure cooker situation...

  • ultrasnow on January 16, 2011, 11:30 GMT

    Thumbs down to all of you who went to sleep thinking India would lose Thumbs down to Cricinfo for blaming it on luck Thumbs up to Team India for making a billion faces smile (except those who went to sleep)

  • PcDadda on January 16, 2011, 11:26 GMT

    @ hawkeye30- I guess you've forgotten that the WC is being played on the subcontinent - England have won precisely 4 out of 17 matches in India and SL in the last 5 years. I'd be surprised if the Poms make it past the Quarters. Aussies ofcourse, are one of the favorites owing to their ability to handle the crunch situations. Do not rule out India and SAF just because of this one batting performance. SL is likely to be the 4th semi-finalist but Pak could spring a surprise yet.

  • maccy69 on January 16, 2011, 11:25 GMT

    Nice article, but as a writer, you should note that repeating a phrase like "On days like these" three times is about the limit. Eight times is way too much...

  • on January 16, 2011, 11:07 GMT

    So when India wins..blame it on luck..blame it a one off bad decision (what your other 10 could not do, botha would have done..right?)

    South Africans have been whining on this tour right from the very beginning. Trying to link India's wins on bad decisions.....and now ridiculously on luck!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • on January 16, 2011, 10:58 GMT

    i wonder why saffers are sayng that india won the in the test series also because of luck? even in capetown we were on top for 3 and a half days ...and durban clearly we were the winners!

  • hawkeye30 on January 16, 2011, 10:34 GMT

    again India proved to be bad with the bat. SA has its problems with its batting line up as it was evident. Looks like the main contenders for the WC 2011 would be SL , Australia and England. India needs to get their team balance if nt will suffer!!!

  • chokkashokka on January 16, 2011, 10:22 GMT

    All these fools talking about adding Kallis and Boucher- you forget India is resting its opening pair, parveen kumar and ishant among others. Imagine if India were to bring them back - SA won't stand a chance in the sub-continent.

  • HashmiMA on January 16, 2011, 10:02 GMT

    This is the beauty of this game.

    Always a factor of luck, and this result is a proof that this game is 90% luck and 10% skills.

    Indians are definitely lucky enough to win this match however rest is history as from here on it would be a one way traffic for SA.

    Mr. 10dulkar also walking out to save his self confidence before the WC at home backyards it would be left to Mr. Dhooni & Co to play out the remainder of this series.

    I just wonder what would have been the result if the worlds greatest all rounder JK was taking part in this series!!! My guess is as good as one ones elses.

    Well congrats India, and once again goodiuck for remaining games :) .....

  • on January 16, 2011, 9:48 GMT

    Vijay did not get much chances as Rohit or Jadeja.... Why dint anyone raise their voices when Rohit and Jadeja had taken their places for Granted.. Vijay was part of India's every tour that made him unavailable for all the domestic matches.. He dint spend much time on the field.. Even in international matches he did not get much chances unless any openers were not available... If he gets the confident that he is also part of the team, then he can be so destructive.. Not so long ago he scored century against aussies along with Master.. He has the technique.. If he given the confidence, he could be treat to watch.. Dont start regional biased topics here. It doesn't matter he plays for CSK or MI.. At the end , he represents India...

  • on January 16, 2011, 9:34 GMT

    There is a lot of talk abt dropping Murali Vijay.. and i think he should be dropped. BUt with Sachin gone now , in addition to sehwag and Gambhir.. i dont think India has much options. Nehra to shud be dropper for the next game to give sree a chance.. But for the next match i would like this team : Rohit Sharma , Murali VIjay (or a replcement for him from India ), Virat Kohli , Yuvraj, Raina ,Yusuf , Dhoni , Harbhajan , Zaheer , Sreesanth , Munaf.

  • fanofteamindia on January 16, 2011, 9:32 GMT

    The chokers choked again..After Smith dismissal I would have been surprised if SA won... congrats to indians as well for hanging in there...

  • Eyal on January 16, 2011, 9:17 GMT

    India has to make changes as when Kalis , which is the Back bone of SA batting ( and a bowler as well ) will be back in the next game it is a totally differnet SA. WAKE UP SRIKANT !!!

  • Eyal on January 16, 2011, 9:12 GMT

    Amazing win by India due to briliance of Dhoni captancy, Yuvraj winnership and team effort and also due to SA complicency. also the pitch was tricky. looked like easy batting pitch but actualy played slow. ONE QUESTION : WHAT WOULD IT TAKE TO GET NEHRA, RAINA, OUT OF THE TEAM ? india should send Utapa and Irfan to SA. Utapa should open with Vijay Irfan should replace Nehra Usuf should replace Raina

  • uniqueredefined on January 16, 2011, 8:51 GMT

    it was a horrible lbw decision given to johan botha.....the ball didnt even hit the pad damn it...poor umpiring decisions cost south africa the test series victory....horrible decisions in durban all against them...n now this one in jo'burg cost them an almost impeccable lead in the odi series...who knows may be ths 1 hav just cost them the series....how can a team carry so much of ill luck with thm...india played welll but al of u hav to agree that india have been utterly lucky to get victories on ths tour.....

  • rohanblue on January 16, 2011, 8:33 GMT

    india won , go indiaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

  • hurrysh on January 16, 2011, 8:32 GMT

    India in the past few years won matches that were seemingly lost (obvious conclusions as Monga says). This is a happy turn around from the earlier state where we lost matches that were seemingly won (miandad's six or Shrikanth crawling back to the crease and getting run out after slipping come to my mind)...

    I guess the credit for this should go to the guy in dark shades standing behind the stumps displaying a poker face and commanding the team. Surely he is the best captain that India ever had.

    Probably India had more talented teams in the past, but never a team that has handled pressure this well..

  • kamalotus on January 16, 2011, 8:29 GMT

    . . . Namaste Sidharth, . . talking about luck, well, both teams had their share and it's India who persevered. I shall admit that I was dejected when SA looked set to win, . . . remember the fat lady singing story . . . hahaha, . . . and I will NOT forget the dumb look on the SA fans' faces at the END . . . hahaha, India indeed made MY day !!! . . . tc.

  • ajitht on January 16, 2011, 8:21 GMT

    THE WALL.............PLZ GET RAHUL DARVID IN THE TEAM BEC Sachin Tendulkar CANT PLAY....HE GOT INJURYYYY....OTHER WISE INDIAWILL LOSE THE SERIES....

  • on January 16, 2011, 8:10 GMT

    damn it .. india has done..it Dhoni da HERO ! wat a cricketing brain he's

    he can do anythin...Magician @ work !

    CHAK DE INDIA !

  • on January 16, 2011, 7:08 GMT

    South Africa retains their chokers tag... Well played India

  • varunvm on January 16, 2011, 7:02 GMT

    I feel that Dhoni haimself has to improve his performance in all formats of the game. Once the fab 3 goes, he will come under severe pressure and in ODI's when we last saw him playing an attaking innings?

  • on January 16, 2011, 6:52 GMT

    I think the difference between the sides was absence of Kallis and Boucher......Boucher the ultimate pressure man must be there for the World cup or SA does not have a semblence of a chance to win it......CSA bring back Boucher.....

  • Hindh on January 16, 2011, 6:47 GMT

    India have proved to be COMEBACK KINGS in this tour. Chak de india..........

  • sweetspot on January 16, 2011, 6:44 GMT

    When SA have a plan and it works, they are great. If they have to play without a plan, they are all at sea. Fletcher had one strategy - GO HARD at the Indians. Well, their last two batsmen sure went hard at those wide balls from Munaf!!!

  • on January 16, 2011, 6:30 GMT

    The question is: Did SA LOST the match or India WON the match??? it was an unbelievable RESULT and I am very happy that I stayed in front for the TV till the end. It was worth watching and congrats to Dhoni & crew. They stood together and had that confidence to defend the small total which resulted in this 1 run win! Very good recovery work from Yuvi & MSD plus superb bowling from Bhajji, Munaf & Zak. For the coming matches, I hope India will open with Rohit & Sachin to give some space to that big hitter Yusuf Pathan!

  • on January 16, 2011, 6:29 GMT

    FORTUNE FAVOURS DE BRAVE.WELL OLAYED BHARAT

  • on January 16, 2011, 6:27 GMT

    fantastic article, summarises the match very well!!!!!!!!

  • GoregaonKid on January 16, 2011, 6:25 GMT

    What a nice read and what a great intro to the article. Well done Sidharth Monga!

  • on January 16, 2011, 6:21 GMT

    There is a lot more than luck operating here. India won because they were able to hold their nerve even when they were 3 runs from defeat and the opposition had 2 wkts in hand. South Africa's choice of powerplay was a foolhardy display of arrogance and showed that SA has mastered the ability to feel good (and even decidely superior) with no performance to back it up.

    The game showed that the SA team has feet of clay, zero bench strength in the batting department and neither the heart nor the nerve for a tough game. Further, their ability to play on their own pitches is highly questionable and their air of superiority is an empty boast.

    Instead of getting poetic, critics should blast the SA team for getting thoroughly outwitted by India in their own backyard. Smith needs to stop consoling himself with the "we played well for 75 overs" type excuses, grow up and face the facts for a change.

  • on January 16, 2011, 6:13 GMT

    Hai there again, to be frank with you you just can't blame the poor umpire for handing a rough decision on Johan Botha, yes he did receive a bad decision but how can a poor umpire decide with no referral shake his head as it looked dead in live. And my personal opinion is India should have used the referral since England, Australia, South Africa all new when to go for the referral and when not to go. But anyhow the referrals going to be used in WC'2011 in the sub-continent. But guys like Munaf & Ashish needs to concentrate either more on his fielding or staying while batting or both. Great game guys, keep up the good work. It does not concern us whether you lose or win but either win or go down fighting till the end. regards, r.neil rashan - 91-96263 92719.

  • on January 16, 2011, 6:11 GMT

    very lucid explanation of pressure tactics applied by dhoni under which africans crumbled..

  • on January 16, 2011, 6:08 GMT

    Indian team has moved ahead with spirit of new India, but Cricinfo writing team is stuck in a time warp. If Australia had pulled this off,they would have called it "Australianism". With India, they call it luck. By the way, the attempt at blank verse at the beginning of the article is pathetic in its lack of skill and frankly somewhat comical.

  • on January 16, 2011, 6:03 GMT

    Another Indian Victory owed to lack of UDRS. Botha's dismissal was atrocious. UDRS would have over turned Umpire Jerling's blunder. SA would have won it easily. With UDRS in the world cup, I give India 0% chances of winning the tournament.

  • Kris7 on January 16, 2011, 6:01 GMT

    People carry their favourite players... Thats the main reason still India have this problems... I read Dohni saying Vijay is not in form now. Can anyone tell me, when we found him in form? I think he is the player got maximum chance only because of the support of Dohni (They play together in IPL)and Srikanth (selection committee chairman).

    Where is Uthappa and other performing players?

  • on January 16, 2011, 5:59 GMT

    My dad went to sleep when Smith was hitting being sure of India's fate, but I watched the whole damn show and after a dramatic climax I felt like I should wake him up...... but decided not to as it was around 1.45 AM........ WHAT AN ABSOLUTE STUNNER!!!

    STILL SURPRISED TO SEE VIJAY PLAYING......... HE IS PATHETIC........ CAN SOMEBODY CALL MSD TO KICK HIM(VIJAY) OUT OF THE SQUAD..........???

  • vpk23 on January 16, 2011, 5:58 GMT

    If you play with intnesity you can win any game with whichever players are available

  • jagatr on January 16, 2011, 5:56 GMT

    @SnowSnake - Miraculous, how a pitch can transform from 'bouncy' to 'under-prepared' within 10 overs!

  • on January 16, 2011, 5:54 GMT

    Its a rare scene when we turn the tables in a pretty much one-sided match for d opposition...... Generally, debacles like these are expected from a mentally strong side like Australia(who've made a mess of themselves.....!!!) but what happened yesterday was indeed thrilling.......

  • WC2011Champs on January 16, 2011, 5:53 GMT

    Never ever try this against Bangladesh. They will blast away those 190 runs in no time. They have nothing to lose. Against an experienced team like SA and WI ('83) it does work out at times.

  • Devd007 on January 16, 2011, 5:40 GMT

    It must be a relief for Dhoni that he won this match...because he chose to play his CHENNAI SUPER KINGS team-mates Vijay and Raina, even though it is clear to the entire nation that they are utterly hopeless and completely embarassing on seaming tracks...but its clear Dhoni will continue to play them, since all our star openers have been sent back to India on some excuse or the other. At least OPEN with Rohit Sharma, who has a MUCH better technique against fast blowling, and play Vijay at no. 9 or 10 or whatever.

  • green_jelly on January 16, 2011, 5:38 GMT

    Smith took that powerplay cos he wanted to ensure he got a hundred. It backfired on him. Simple. Don't take credit away from the Indians and attribute it all to luck. The South Africans were self indulgent and India took advantage. India deserved to win.

  • sukuviju on January 16, 2011, 5:32 GMT

    India have in the past lost so many matches after being in a winning position, on those occasions the Indian experts blamed the Indian batting and praised the opponents so called killer instinct. When the Indian teams self belief has gone up and the opponent starts chocking under pressure why take the credit away from the Indians. S.Africans have lost so many close matches while in the last 5 years India has won so many. That is why India is No 1 in test & No 2 in ODI. Way to go. Dhoni keep it up. At last the Indians have started playing like how the Aussies played 5 years back. all we require is 10 good bowlers - If only each of the 10 IPL franchise can discover one bowler each - Chennai have already given Ashwin but we require more

  • on January 16, 2011, 5:30 GMT

    well played India, it was not luck it was just hard fought and persistence on not using UDRS.is paying dividends. good job.

  • on January 16, 2011, 5:26 GMT

    And yet again we have the ever famous Indian comeback.. Get thrashed in the first match of any series.. Fightback in the next match and make it an exhilarating series.. Kudos to the Indian team.. INDIA FOR WC2011 :) :)

  • adith_thegod on January 16, 2011, 5:13 GMT

    What luck? y didnt u write an article abt SA's luck in first game? ROhit sharma got out to a bad decision. Dhoni was run out due to bad luck. Give credit to the Indians. It was brilliant captaincy from Dhoni to rotate the bowlers the way he did towards the end and built up pressure.. and tight and good bowling from our bowlers..

  • on January 16, 2011, 5:12 GMT

    Now-a-days India is having a potential to defend with low score as australia did in lot of occasions.

  • on January 16, 2011, 5:10 GMT

    If India Cant win the World Cup under MSD .. they wont win it for a long long time. This man is just magical and the lady luck also shines. But then Luck favors them who favor themselves. MSD captaincy has won him accolades aqnd yesterday was no different. This Indian team, inspite of not being full strength is showing some mettle and grit. I would seriously want to drop Rohit and bring in Yusuf. Drop Vijay and Open with Virat and bring in Irrfan Pathan if the selectors are done with thier personal grudge against him.

  • SachinIsTheGreatest on January 16, 2011, 5:10 GMT

    What a wonderful win!! Once again this team has shown they do not give up. Just when everyone starts losing interest assuming another thumping for India, they hav come back from nowhere to win. Now for the batting to fire and this series will be on big time.

  • on January 16, 2011, 4:48 GMT

    Yeah India was lucky jus like South Africa was lucky enough to win the first ODI...

  • ms.arjun on January 16, 2011, 4:36 GMT

    Sachin should have played in the NZ ODI series in India..He was at his supreme best over the last few years, but he litreally stopped playing ODIs after Feb-200. Now with 4 mathces to go before the WC, he is up against the pithes where stroke play is not that easy. There is no way India are gonna come close in WC without Sachin in good form, nobody in the Indian line up have the capacity to full 50 overs expect Gambhir and Kohli to some extent. Come back to your best of forms soon Sachin!!!!

  • on January 16, 2011, 4:33 GMT

    Congrats INDIA.......a rare match as in the case of Wanderers,known for its high-scoring ones.hope to get more such bowler-friendly matches..this will greatly boost the Indians both in terms of their form and morale....

  • on January 16, 2011, 4:33 GMT

    How the hell you say "lot of luck"... This victory came by hard work on the field by Indians. India lost the last 6 wickets for 21 runs where as SA lost their last 6 wickets for 35 runs... Thats the only difference. I would say both teams are equal balanced in terms of batting, bowling and fielding.

  • Balajipost on January 16, 2011, 4:31 GMT

    Whatever the Broadcasters and the hyperbolic commentators might want us to believe. this was a very low quality match. Poor batting from both the teams and finally there had to be a winner and India happened to be that. So fra SA has looked the better side in all the departments. Time for the Indian batters to show some application. These are not conditions where they should go for a 270+ score. They should be more solid in their approach

  • on January 16, 2011, 4:27 GMT

    I went to bed after it seems like a certain defeat....But then I woke up in morning and watched the result and, I felt like I was still in a dream....Things like this never ever happen... After this game I have to change my theory of "LUCK".

  • on January 16, 2011, 4:27 GMT

    Luck ??? Yeah like Johan Botha HITTING the ball and being given LBW ... that was SHAMEFUL

  • cricket_fan_1 on January 16, 2011, 3:58 GMT

    I am not a great fan of Rohit Sharma, but must admit he got rough decisions in both the ODIs and has bowled decently as a part-time bowler. There is still a lot of scope for improvement and must show more consistency (more luck on his side). SA prove again that they are chokers and Munaf has shown that he can be have some good performances few and far between. Would love to see Yousuf Pathan in the next ODI.

  • Nolifeonmars on January 16, 2011, 3:58 GMT

    This match was 20% good luck but 80% determination.This match had brought India back to the series.Next game India should open with Kohli and Vijay. Take Yusuf Pathan into the team.Play with full of positive attitude.I wont wonder if India will win this series by 4-1.

  • crickeyt on January 16, 2011, 3:45 GMT

    It was crucial that Smith took the powerplay. Otherwise, the ultra-defensive Dhoni would never have brought the field in to try and apply some pressure.

  • jimbond on January 16, 2011, 3:43 GMT

    I wonder what the purpose of this artile was. What does Mr Monga want to say? That India did not deserve to win because SA did not handle their wickets well. Would SA have deserved the win because Indian's were foolish at times when it was their turn to bat? This is the way limited overs matches between reasonably matched teams are. When we see Tendulkar struggle for runs on this wicket, why does anyone in their senses feel that Amla or Smith or Devilliers would be any different? This is at the end, a team game. If all members of one team have contributed in some way better than the collective effort of the members of the other team, the first team wins. Why is this so difficult to understand? why bring in cricketing gods and luck etc into this simple match.

  • on January 16, 2011, 3:39 GMT

    Very Happy to see our team pulling out a stunning victory & it will surely be one of the vital confident booster to the whole team before WC.

  • on January 16, 2011, 3:25 GMT

    Out of the four batting power play so far in the series........3 of them have back fired the batsmen......is thsi good bowling or batsmen calling it in the wrong time....( India lost 4 wickets in both matches when they took powerplay....SAF lost 5).......Have batsmen complacent about the batting skill

  • on January 16, 2011, 3:25 GMT

    How can you say a lot of luck for India guys... It has been a lot of bad luck too.... There are a lot of balls just beating the outside edge, an edge not quite carrying to Dhoni or say a missed chance by dhoni... Then a throw from Yuvi just missed the stumps which could have easily dismissed Parnell.... And why did you mention that Botha shouldn't be out....

    Also, there have been a lot of luck for SA in the last game as well.... Dhoni was runout in which he couldn't do much... Rohit was given a rough decision.... Sachin got to a little different shot and there were a lot of "Ohh... Just Miss..." balls in the SA innings as well.....

  • kriskini on January 16, 2011, 3:15 GMT

    Dhoni's destiny is great. Hope he will lift 2011 WC for India. If not he will win the test series against England this summer. For me both are equally important.

  • ruchirma on January 16, 2011, 3:01 GMT

    i went to sleep midway as i was convinced India had lost .... what a miss

  • on January 16, 2011, 2:38 GMT

    without Kallis SA team always played poorly .........................He is like Tenduleker for India...very good come back for India

  • on January 16, 2011, 2:38 GMT

    Almost a repeat of Jaipur 21/2/2010, parnell again the one to lose it...if this series is to follow the trend,India will win the next ODI , SA will win the 4th ODI, 5th one will be the Series decider and we may see another 200 , may be another 100 off 50-55 balls as well (AB/ Y.Pathan/Yuvi/ Dhoni all are due).

  • on January 16, 2011, 2:29 GMT

    On days like these, you finally have found a team that knows how to lose from a winning position, just like India.

  • kriskini on January 16, 2011, 1:56 GMT

    India might have had lot of luck. But remember this is not India's full strength. No Sehwag/Gambhir and Sachin was not fully fit. India is not flat track bullies. When Indian batsmen struggled to score we proved that batting is not easy here. Had SA won it would have been with great difficuly for them. Had we won the toss in Durban story could have been different.

  • SnowSnake on January 16, 2011, 1:50 GMT

    Congratulations, India. Personally this is one match that I wanted SA to win. It was heart breaking to see SA audience chewing their nails in anticipation. Bowlers from both teams should be given credit. I am slightly perplexed by the outcomes. Are pitches bouncy or poorly prepared?

  • on January 16, 2011, 1:45 GMT

    best article i've read in recent times!

  • sankar800 on January 16, 2011, 1:38 GMT

    It is simple! S.A has thrown their wkts barring botha and they gifted India a win with a platter!

  • braindead_rocker on January 16, 2011, 1:36 GMT

    India has bounced back....Go on to win INDIA!!!

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  • braindead_rocker on January 16, 2011, 1:36 GMT

    India has bounced back....Go on to win INDIA!!!

  • sankar800 on January 16, 2011, 1:38 GMT

    It is simple! S.A has thrown their wkts barring botha and they gifted India a win with a platter!

  • on January 16, 2011, 1:45 GMT

    best article i've read in recent times!

  • SnowSnake on January 16, 2011, 1:50 GMT

    Congratulations, India. Personally this is one match that I wanted SA to win. It was heart breaking to see SA audience chewing their nails in anticipation. Bowlers from both teams should be given credit. I am slightly perplexed by the outcomes. Are pitches bouncy or poorly prepared?

  • kriskini on January 16, 2011, 1:56 GMT

    India might have had lot of luck. But remember this is not India's full strength. No Sehwag/Gambhir and Sachin was not fully fit. India is not flat track bullies. When Indian batsmen struggled to score we proved that batting is not easy here. Had SA won it would have been with great difficuly for them. Had we won the toss in Durban story could have been different.

  • on January 16, 2011, 2:29 GMT

    On days like these, you finally have found a team that knows how to lose from a winning position, just like India.

  • on January 16, 2011, 2:38 GMT

    Almost a repeat of Jaipur 21/2/2010, parnell again the one to lose it...if this series is to follow the trend,India will win the next ODI , SA will win the 4th ODI, 5th one will be the Series decider and we may see another 200 , may be another 100 off 50-55 balls as well (AB/ Y.Pathan/Yuvi/ Dhoni all are due).

  • on January 16, 2011, 2:38 GMT

    without Kallis SA team always played poorly .........................He is like Tenduleker for India...very good come back for India

  • ruchirma on January 16, 2011, 3:01 GMT

    i went to sleep midway as i was convinced India had lost .... what a miss

  • kriskini on January 16, 2011, 3:15 GMT

    Dhoni's destiny is great. Hope he will lift 2011 WC for India. If not he will win the test series against England this summer. For me both are equally important.