South Africa v India, 2nd ODI, Durban

South Africa might have scared India batsmen, says Steyn

Sidharth Monga in Durban

December 7, 2013

Comments: 109 | Text size: A | A

Ravindra Jadeja was bowled by Jacques Kallis for 29, South Africa v India, 1st ODI, Johannesburg, December 5, 2013
Dale Steyn: 'It was definitely an eye-opener for India' © Associated Press
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'India have a weakness in the middle order' - Steyn

Dale Steyn has carried on from where he left off in Johannesburg. This time, though, with words. After bowling a sensational spell of seam and swing against India in the series opener, Steyn has said some of the Indian batsmen were frightened, and that their bowling needs an injection of pace if they are to bother South Africa. India were thrashed by 141 runs at the Wanderers on Thursday, a spicy pitch awaits them at Kingsmead, and Steyn feels there might already be scars that will go beyond the first ODI.

"I would say so," Steyn said when asked if South Africa's bowlers might have frightened the Indian batsmen enough to last them through the remainder of the tour. "I would definitely say so. I didn't see many of our guys walking off the field with bloody fingers or ice packs on ribs, so it definitely was a wake-up call for the Indians. It's not Mumbai where the ball doesn't get higher than the stumps. It's going to be hard to play here.

"But they are not the No. 1 ODI side in the world for no reason. As MS [Dhoni] said in his pre-match [press conference], they have toured the world and have come to South Africa a couple of times, so maybe give them a week or two, one or two more games and they will start getting used to it before the Test matches. But [it was] definitely an eye-opener for them. Because it didn't look like that when they were bowling to us."

While Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli toughed it out against Steyn and the new balls, Steyn was not quite impressed with what followed in the middle order. "I think our intensity the other night really blew them away," Steyn said after the mandatory disclaimer that he expected the visiting batsmen to come back hard. "I think we also showed them that they have a weakness in the middle order. [Suresh] Raina, [R] Ashwin, Yuvraj [Singh], other batters in the end, they didn't really look like they wanted to get in line. So hopefully we can exploit that a little bit more. But they have batters who can play and score. Shikhar's [Dhawan] another guy who can really bat. So we are prepared for that too. Everyone is a target, to be honest with you."

Steyn's summation of Indian bowling wasn't flattering either. When asked what advice he would give to the Indians, he said, "I am really not going to give them any advice, you know. I think they are doing fine.

"If you really want to look at it though, with the ball they lack someone who can really bowl with pace up there. They need that one guy there bowling so. They have got Ishant [Sharma] sitting on the sides, he is the one guy that can bowl over 140kmph. And we have got really good batters like [Jacques] Kallis, [Hashim] Amla, [Quinton] de Kock, [AB] de Villiers in some good space now. I think you need guys who can spin the ball a mile or can bowl quickly.

"Wanderers didn't offer the turn the other night that Ashwin and [Ravindra] Jadeja could have got, but it did offer something off the deck and pace, and they didn't have that the other night. We did have it so we kind of blew them away with that. Morne [Morkel] bowled really quickly, [Ryan] McLaren bowled with good pace, and in good areas, backed up by Wayne [Parnell], myself and Lonwabo [Tsotsobe]. So if you don't have that then you will be struggling in South Africa."

Conditions underfoot promise much of the same. Steyn said he couldn't tell the pitch from the outfield when he had a look at it from the balcony. However, there might be some respite for India because Kingsmead has lost a bit of its pace over the years. "Conditions are always different here in Durban," Steyn said. "Especially different from Johannesburg. Bit more bounce in Jo'burg. This wicket has seemed to have got a little bit flatter, a bit slower over the years."

Steyn, though, was a little circumspect about what lay overhead - it has been overcast in Durban since the teams arrived on Friday. "Hopefully we can get a game because there is a lot of rain around here in Durban," Steyn said. "We discussed it in the morning. We could go out there for 20 overs each, which is a bare minimum and still constitutes as a one-day international. So if there is a bit of rain around, we have to be prepared to face whatever comes."

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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Posted by SHANAWAZMCA on (December 10, 2013, 16:12 GMT)

Indian Team should consider about the middle order batsman. In this situation experience Players like Gambhir or Shewag must be in the team.

Posted by   on (December 10, 2013, 8:36 GMT)

indian team reminds of that kid....who are only good infront of dere parents... :) worldchamps my foot

Posted by   on (December 8, 2013, 14:57 GMT)

Wow!!! great bowling display form the South Africans..Now what needs to be blamed for this poor performance from the Indian side..Is it the bowling which doesn't really have the bite or the batting which when exposed to a bit of pace is reallly in doldrums or the management which curtailed what would have been the most awaited tour for all Indian Fans and also provides mediocre pitches in India which isn't really of any sort of standard..................... Well anything could be the reason but in the end it is the Indian cricket that suffers...

Posted by Ibanezfan on (December 8, 2013, 9:35 GMT)

I'm surprised fellow Indian fans are feigning such distaste over Steyn's comments. Dale Steyn is generally better behaved than almost all of the Indian players barring Dhoni so let's not bs ourselves with the knee jerk thin-skinned rubbish. The best fast bowler in the world saw an opening and threw down the gauntlet. I'm glad Kohli's response to the media was measured. It's now on the #1 ODI team (and world champions twice over, mind you) to reply in a manner that matters: by winning. They probably won't if they play the dead-weights Raina and Yuvraj while Pujara warms the bench. Raina can be used as a 12th man who can field as substitute. And just bring back Karthik already. He can play the moving or rising ball well unlike Dhoni's bunnies who freeze when they face a short ball. In the prevalent wet weather, I say Yadav in place of a spinner. And despite his diffidence, Ishant over Mohit for his pace and height.

Posted by cheriab on (December 8, 2013, 9:34 GMT)

@Majid Saleem , Steyn said "But they are *NOT* the No. 1 ODI side in the world for no reason." So when you say that "Steyn is absoutely correct", he is not thinking the same as you are thinking.

Posted by Pathiyal on (December 8, 2013, 9:07 GMT)

Steyn is someone who walk the talk. and the indian middle order as we all know is just for counts. its quite aweful how they can afford to face such a fantastic bowling attack with these out of touch batsmen. i end up thinking the indian board have not considered this series serious! cricket lovers look at it from a different perspective in the sense you wont get a team SA to play with you that often.

Posted by DaisonGarvasis on (December 8, 2013, 8:28 GMT)

If Team India and Indian fans like it or not - Steyne said the truth word to word. Batsmen like Yuvraj and Raina havent got a clue how to tackle the bowling when the pace goes more than 130KMPH with a bit of bounce - wonder why these two travelled all the way to South Africa after Mitchell Johnson has showed Steyne what to bowl at them. Steyne does it better than Johnson for goodness sake. Can give a bit of space for Indian bowlers though. Give them time and a few games they will get to the thick of things.

Posted by kingcobra85 on (December 8, 2013, 8:02 GMT)

Test result is much more important so team needs to keep Yadav and Zaheer fresh for it

Posted by rajuramki on (December 8, 2013, 7:47 GMT)

When Steyn can do all the damage to any team with just his bowling , I do not know why he has to indulge in such mental games . I have always admired Steyn for his abilities but with this remark , I do not hold him in high esteem . He has just acted like any other ordinary run of the mill cricketer . Steyn should have realised by now that the same SA team struggled against the Pakistanis very recently .A couple of good performances from the Indians is enough to turn the table on SA , with their brittle batting .

Posted by   on (December 8, 2013, 7:17 GMT)

Steyn is absoutely correct! They are number 1 for no reason! only playing home series and winning. That's not a World Class Team's Characteristic!! Winning agianst visitors on sub continent(home) pitch is NO CLASS. It is Just to have improved career averages. Last home series INDIA lost was against another Sub Continent team PAKISTAN. That was an even steven match! and Truth came out loud and clear! ICC MUST restrict number of home series and there should be a system where every team plays a series against each other for a justified world ranking!

Posted by sharadgargconnect on (December 8, 2013, 6:55 GMT)

Indian teams have visited SAFrica and Australia with lot of batting collapses. I dont think Kohli can stand upto pace and bounce of safrica and australia pitches. He can only make 100s when the pitch is full of runs and bowling is giving runs like gift. Most of his 17 hundreds have come in India or Asia. On the other hand SAfrican batting has Kallis and Amla who can make century anytime. Dekock is young. Miller is another batsman who should come up the order for Safrica. They should play with philander at no7 to fill allrounder position. there is one more player duplessis who can come to this safrican side. I think safrica will win 3-0 in this odi series if they bat well. Indian middle order is like a pack of cards with Yuvraj, Raina, Jadeja, and Dhoni will go down in 5-10 minutes with good pace of Steyn, McLaren, Philander, Tsotsobe and Morkel. Rohit will struggle here. These pitches are not idle for his flat shots. He is not a good batsman. He is a slogger.

Posted by adeng on (December 8, 2013, 6:38 GMT)

Dale must be careful - his comments resonates like David Warner's about Trott and the English team. He may not have meant it quite as accurate as the Ausies intended their comments and it appears he was bated with some pointed questions. I don't think SA need to resort to these kind of tactics - we should not need it. Keep the cricket on the field.

Posted by   on (December 8, 2013, 6:22 GMT)

@Kamala Holla: You speak of Mitchell Johnson, I agree he is very quick but that's all he is. No bowling attacks rises above the Pakistani team as far as Balance is concerned...Irfan, Junaid may not be as good as Steyn of Philander but they are pretty good and pretty quick. BIlawal Bhatti being quicker than Steyn, considerably. Afridi, Ajmal and Hafeez being the best spinners in the world. Hence the South Africans have already been tested as far as great bowling is concerned.....they didn't play on the bouncy wanderers pitch because no one can produce better bounce than Irfan. Saying this the SA team has gone from facing a great bowling attack to a below average bowling attack...making 300 plus runs shouldn't be too hard.

Posted by pull_shot on (December 8, 2013, 6:03 GMT)

@Angi Ch for saying about sachin before he is 20 years he got test hundreds in SAF,AUS,ENG check stats

Posted by Sir_Ivor on (December 8, 2013, 5:43 GMT)

I see a needless tussle between comment makers here. Pakistan beat South Africa 2-1 in South Africa playing their matches at Capetown, Port Elizabeth and the Centurion. The Wanderers is the fastest and bounciest wicket in South Africa and usually South Africa wins here. In fact the commentators in the box were wondering why Pakistan was not made to play on green tops. There-in probably lies the answer. But that does not take away from the fact that Pakistan have excellent bowling resouces and would have beena handful at the Wanderers. But then their batting would have been bad.

Posted by Dhanno on (December 8, 2013, 5:35 GMT)

@Chris , My comment was "tongue in cheek" as they say ! steyn would be waiting to get full 50 over game and he can then test if kohli's statements are true :)

@Larafever, I hear you my friend. I do not care for a jot who they play in ODI (its fun to watch the wickets tumble and two spinners and all that) but the machinations behind that, they cannot be discussed here.

Certain players whom you suggested are not part of XI, can make it to the indian team if they are to switch to correct private league team and a management agency. Here the principle is based on money, if you are part of my money spinning empire you get to be on team, no matter how ridiculous it is to have raina in ODIs outside of india, having two bowlers jadeja and Ashwin in odis away from sub continent.

Posted by   on (December 8, 2013, 5:20 GMT)

On the one hand the South Africans always try and elevate their batsmen, Kallis in particular, but then they rubbish the Indian bowling. When they score runs against India, Steyn will start singing their praises even though the bowling is poor. The real test of how decent their batting is will come when they face Mitchell Johnson and co. in a few months time. I suspect Kallis will look not so good then. He will be rattled by the Australian attack. The one player who differentiates South Africa from other teams is Dale Steyn, no one else.

Posted by shahabrandhawa on (December 8, 2013, 5:20 GMT)

Great intimidating words by Steyn.This is how you put the opposite team under pressure.I do not know why many people are criticizing him.

Posted by   on (December 8, 2013, 4:45 GMT)

Dale steyn statement is true because india is having week middle order,no one is getting runs except dhoni in the middle order in ODI,Sir jadeja is simply waste & he is spoiling chances in the batting & he is having full support from dhoni & so he is in the team otherwise he will through out from the team before 1 or 2 years

And coming back to raina & yuvi,please change the batting order to yuvi,yuvi will be fit for 4th down or 5th down,raina has to come earlier because he needs some time to settle in like virat,

Please through sir jadeja from the team he is not an allrounder,he is simply spoiling chances,so better change sir jadeja & give the chances to pujara,gambhir

Posted by s381769 on (December 8, 2013, 4:05 GMT)

Bold statement by Steyn,,,, which should have not been expected from atealst a class of Dale..... look at SACHIN whenever he's been critisize he's always there to answer with his bat rather then word of mouth.....

Posted by   on (December 8, 2013, 3:57 GMT)

"South Africa might have scared India batsmen" Absolutely true <3 Steyn <3

Posted by   on (December 8, 2013, 3:51 GMT)

@Prashanth: No doubt Steyn should mind his words and don't underestimate Indian team but i just wanted to say that Pakistan were able to beat SA because of their world class bowling attack - remember, Pak didn't gave 13 runs in the last 2 overs that SA required to win- Indian need to have a formidable bowling attack to succeed on foreign pitches , especially the death bowling is very poor. Anyways, i wish best of luck to the Indian team and i wanna see Indian batsmen smashing SA (steyn in particular) ..

Posted by LaraFever on (December 8, 2013, 3:38 GMT)

On my previous comment "The funny thing is that even on such a juicy track, Dhoni would play his CSK pawn M Sharma rather than giving a chance to an extremely talented and quick (I can't believe I am using this word for an Indian fast bowler) bowler", I was mentioning about Umesh Yadav. Brilliant lad!

Posted by ASK3 on (December 8, 2013, 3:36 GMT)

May I remind people that EVERY team performs poorly overseas. For people saying India can't play overseas on sporting pitches, your team is the same team that crumbles on pitches that offer spin. India always capitulates on their first away game (and let me remind you that they had no tour game prior to this), once they play the match today, and the next match, they'll be used to the conditions. But don't for a minute believe that I'm taking anything away from SA, they were absolutely brilliant in the first game and deserved to win outright.

Posted by   on (December 8, 2013, 3:12 GMT)

Mr steyn mind your words before u say something please remember the past any team that have challenged india in the past had very bad experience no1 rankings will be given to any team by only seeing there performances around the world if Pakistan can beat you india can smash you in the next game BE AWARE.

Posted by   on (December 8, 2013, 3:09 GMT)

Batting on home ground is lot easier.................... India has been making flat pitches and with little turn for spin to go with70 meters boundary in home grounds. this is a different backyard They will learn it in the whole series..................... Way to go steyn launcher

Posted by LaraFever on (December 8, 2013, 3:07 GMT)

It was outright delicious to see Indian super stars fall flat on their faces. YUMMM! Yes, BCCI sold them a raw deal, but hey, you gotta do what you gotta do. The funny thing is that even on such a juicy track, Dhoni would play his CSK pawn M Sharma rather than giving a chance to an extremely talented and quick (I can't believe I am using this word for an Indian fast bowler) bowler. I saw him in Australia, and he was making everybody hop. On top of that, the most technically correct Indian batsman, Pujara, is not even in the side. Drop Yuvraj, Raina. I think Dhoni's Sports Management company is not managing Pujara and Yadav haha. I feel sorry for Indian Fans!

Posted by android_user on (December 8, 2013, 2:58 GMT)

This is going a bit too far. I understand ge is the best bowler in the world right now but that does not mean he can say whatever he wants. We did not become the number one odi team without winning we know how to thrash the opposition. We have proven thay again and again. That was just the first match and the team was not ptepared for this sort of a track. Ms dhoni's 65 was a big positive we can take from the game. The bowlers do need a bit of work to do. Bhuvi literally has just started to slack off he isnt as effective as he was in the Champions trophy. As far as shami is concerned he is just started to gain some form. Yuvraj though needs to be sent back home for such a horrible form he has been the difference whenever india has been on the losing side. Get pujara in. he is a quality batsman its about time yuvraj singh goes back to playing domestic cricket because certainly does not look like an international player at the moment.

Posted by ProdigyA on (December 8, 2013, 2:36 GMT)

Was a fan o Dale, thought he was a guy with a head on his shoulders..looks like he is going the Aussie way.

Posted by   on (December 8, 2013, 2:35 GMT)

India doesn't have the breed of players who get intimidated by such statements. In the end it boils down to 2 T's , technique and temperament. The top 3 have it, the next 4 lack either one or both of it. So pitch, bowlers, conditions are not going to change for the next month in SA, its the players mindset that needs to change simple. if they can I dont see why we cant win , if Pak can do it why cant we..

Posted by   on (December 8, 2013, 2:16 GMT)

The only chance for India to win the 2nd Odi is to bat first, remove Yuvraj, put some decent total on the board and then defend it. Otherwise, its all going to be same for India.

Posted by   on (December 8, 2013, 2:01 GMT)

I can bet my house that India will the 2nd game by a huge margin as well. Steyn is absolutely correct, the Indians looked absolutely scared. I doubt Kohli will cross 20 in the next game. Fun times!

Posted by   on (December 8, 2013, 1:57 GMT)

this is not way a gentleman speaks mr.steyn...its just ur backyard...i think mr.steyn is suffering from amnesia...hope he recalls when sachin paaji hit 200 runs in odi against rsa and he just smashed whoever bowled to all parts of ground and steyn was clueless and was confronting paaji to sledge and he just replied with smile.

Posted by proteasfire on (December 8, 2013, 1:35 GMT)

To be honest, Indian batsmen are not scared of SA fast bowlers. Its just that the conditions were totally new to them and they didnt get any time to adapt to the conditions. With no warm up matches upfront any team would crumble on alien conditions. It would be the same situation for SA if they play in India on rank turners without any warm ups. Batting unit is still world class and the target was just too high on the first ODI. Its the bowlers who erred in line and length. If bowlers correct themselves and restrict SA to a reasonable target (around 250) 9 out of 10 times India will win. Also while batting first if India scores 250 SA will have huge problem chasing as they have shown their volatility during chases. May be SA will hold upper hand in tests but with two ODIs pending, SA can expect a strong comeback from world champs.

Posted by Rajah_skn on (December 8, 2013, 1:31 GMT)

The bowlers who speaks like this vanished from the cricket world soon. You are a good bowler stayn, but do not overload your head, that will soil your cricket career. Usually Ausis do this type of mind game, now SA started. We have respect on SA team for a long time and now I am starting to hate. Stop this rubbish talks.

Posted by JasonWoodsworth on (December 8, 2013, 1:12 GMT)

What happened to the mighty Indian side? Every time they play on sporting pitches, they look worse than Canada. Just shows, they awful they really are. They have wonderful stats but stats can be deceptive. It doesn't show, Indians only scoring runs on flat wickets. Hopeless.

Posted by Kirk_Levin on (December 8, 2013, 1:06 GMT)

India can pick any player they want but they will still get hammered. They are an average side, when they play overseas. Just look at the Aussie and England test series. Not guts to stand up, when it matters. Lol, at the Indian side. So much hoopla. India should just play at home and invite minnow sides. Go Saffa.

Posted by Kirk_Levin on (December 8, 2013, 1:00 GMT)

Ofcourse Indian batsman's were scared. Rohit, Singh, Kohli etc all looked scared and unsure. Singh gets hit by a bouncer than gets out the next ball. As Dale said, it's not India, where the bowl doesn't bounce. It just shows, India are nothing but a club side. They can only score runs on flat wickets to inflate their average.

Posted by Bripo on (December 8, 2013, 0:37 GMT)

I wish India and Pakistan were one team then Indian Batsman + Pakistan bowling = Pure Ownage!!!!!!!!!

Posted by   on (December 8, 2013, 0:29 GMT)

Steyn Is right, India is scared of fast bowling, they never had the pace attack and their batsmen never developed the art to face a pace attack. If you look into history India has lost matches against a second string pakistan side more often due to their lack of ability to play pace. I think if World Cups were only played out of the country then India could never win. India should start playing the likes of Ireland, Afghanistan and Bangladesh and Pakistan to avoid humiliation.

Posted by sharadgargconnect on (December 7, 2013, 23:54 GMT)

I know Safrican batting is young and pretty weak as compared to India. But to be frank india is as good as bangladesh away from home. Same team was badly beaten in Australia too. I think Australia is the favorites to win this odi world cup once again because it is in Australia. Australian management is sleeping. they have a great odi team in Warner, Faulkner, Watson, Bailey,Clarke, Jhonson, Starc, Mcdonald, Paine, Marsh and Pattinson. Even Faulkner, Watson, Bailey and Warner are such players who can pile up 350 runs together on any given day. dont think any batting line up in world can match that. Safrica has the best bowling attack in world and they will defeat indians in durban too. the team for durban should be: Kallis, Dekock, Amla, Miller, devilliers, duminy, philander, mclaren, steyn, morkel and tsotsobe. SA should open with Kallis instead of Amla. This will provide Amla more time to settle because he is not in best form. Also, the pitches are seaming this time.

Posted by CricketFanIndUS on (December 7, 2013, 23:32 GMT)

There have been many previous batsmen from India who have performed very well against much better pace bowlers. Our young batsmen need to get some experience on foreign wickets, especially Australia, SA and England. Steyn thinks too much of himself and freaks out mouthing off, like he did the other day and he has done that before as well. It was sort of disgusting to watch his face when he was mouthing off. Too full of himself!

Posted by mickey76 on (December 7, 2013, 23:20 GMT)

Dale Steyn whose team chokes more than any i hv seen. love the response from kohli, should b a good battle. not many like Steyn r left in cricketing world who can back up their words with performance, i m confident that indian bowlers will produce a good performance. the onus should not always be on batsmen to win games, overseas bowlers have to do their part. Any team can not chase 300+ runs each and every game.

Posted by Chris_P on (December 7, 2013, 22:49 GMT)

@Dhanno. Steyn is walking the talk, he is backing up what he says. Of course the batsmen are scared to some degree, all batsmen are, otherwise they wouldn't be wearing those helmets. They wear them because they are scared of being hit! Fats bowlers always lead with their mouths, & when they got pace, you just grit your teeth & bear it.

Posted by   on (December 7, 2013, 22:15 GMT)

Boomslanger let me correct your stats regarding sachin tendulkar's debut series versus Pakistan. First of all in none of the four tests played in pakistan did sachin score 92 . No doubt for 18 year old he was a courageous stand by him abd display of his talent but the very first innings he played in his debut test at karachi he was clean bowled by Waqar Younis ( Also making his debut) and had made only 15 runs. Here's his clean stats for the four tests ;

Tendulkar stats in debut series vs Pakistan;

1st Test: Karachi 1st Inngs: 15 runs - Clean bowled Waqar Younis

2nd Inngs: Dnb

2nd Test: Faisalabad 1st Inngs: 59 - caught Fldr b Imran khan

2nd Inngs: 8 Run out

3rd Test: Lahore 1st Inngs: 41 - clean bowled Abdul Qadir. No second inngs

4th Test: Sialkot 1st Inngs: 35 - Lbw Wasim Akram 2nd Inngs: 57 - caught b Imran Khan

http://static.espncricinfo.com/db/ARCHIVE/1980S/1989-90/IND_IN_PAK/

Posted by   on (December 7, 2013, 22:04 GMT)

India has always been one of the strongest teams in its backyard and probably one of the weakest teams overseas. Pakistan beat SA because they have the bowling, India lack both.

Posted by baskar_guha on (December 7, 2013, 21:50 GMT)

Mumbai pitches may be known for low bounce but it is also where Gavaskar comes from -- the man who took on world pacers (Roberts, Marshall, Lillee, Thompson, Snow, Holding, Ambrose, etc.) at their meanest without a helmet and with fabulous performances world over. India needs more Gavaskar-like performances to deal with Steyn, Morkel and company.

Posted by   on (December 7, 2013, 21:12 GMT)

I think it is about time Team India/BCCI gifted a gold watch to Yuvi and set him on his retirement NOW. He has no idea how to play fast bowling and is a sitting duck. Sorry to say that buddy and you and Zak formed a good pair to win WC2011 but Yuvi should go. Bring Rahane and Rayudu in place of Yuvi and Raina and send out Mohit and pick both Yadav and "spear head". Either of Ashwin/Jadeja can make way, though both batted decently - Ashwin got a bad deal too [part of the game]. Now, if only the two catches to Shami and Rohit went to hand [again ifs buts and others don't count], it could have been a slightly different game. Also, I was disappointed with Dhawan hooking a ball on/outside of the off stump. That never works. You only hook middle and leg or outside leg. Anyways, nothing is lost and Steyn gun is only playing mind games. Also, the decision by Raina to take that run which resulted in Rohit's run out was a very poor decision. Rohit was on the other side of wicket.

Posted by boomslanger on (December 7, 2013, 20:54 GMT)

Having followed the Ashes more minutely than the Ind-SA series, (or the WI-NZ series for that matter. Both India and West Indies come into their matches unprepared and underdone. Seems like they are playing for a lark (and some Money) and it is difficult to take the results seriously). The rise of Mitchell Johnson as a fast bowling great has been impressive. Forget the Gabba, at Adelaide, on a sub-continent like pitch, he has bowled with ferocity and venom like I have not seen since the days of Marshal and Holding even searching through a huge collection of recordings. Unheard of since Thommo was hurling his lightning bolts at shell-shocked batters from around the world. The good thing about Johnson is that he was troubling batters in the High scoring ODI's in India-on "flat tracks". The only great SA fast bowler to have done this is Alan Donald. Every SA bowler after him, Steyn and Co. included have let their lip talk and rarely posted an effort of any note outside of South Africa.

Posted by   on (December 7, 2013, 20:36 GMT)

Ha ha...Steyn is trying hard to do what the likes of Macgrath, Brett Lee, Bond actually did in the past - getting into the minds of the batsmen..He should be aware that the current Indian side is fearless as well as cool under their captain MSD (even he batted really well). I think the Indians will pull up their socks & get ready for the next game.

Actually the Indians took a safety-first approach in the first match which explains Rohit Sharma's slow batting. U have to get used to the conditions, bat as long as possible, then even if u lose the first match (which was nevertheless a collossal task, chasing down 358 on that pitch), u can do better in the next games & get to win the series. Although a negative one, it's nt a bad strategy at all..:)

Posted by   on (December 7, 2013, 20:20 GMT)

If Steyn think SA has pace, wait till both of these teams visit 'Down Under' & face M. Johnson & company- Britts are getting the taste of it now.

Posted by f0restw0w on (December 7, 2013, 20:11 GMT)

This is why i say that sachin is the greatest batsman because if you have poor bowlers then you will have to play on a green top.Having good bowlers in a team makes the batsmen job a lot easier because they get to play on neutral tracks rather than being biased towards bowlers.The great lara,ponting and kallis had this luxury of having good bowlers so they never had to face devilish pitches while sachin had to face tough pitches because of having poor bowlers in his team.

Posted by Ali_Eorse on (December 7, 2013, 20:08 GMT)

Dale Steyn will do to India, what Mitchell Johnson is doing to England. Complete, total, brutal dissection. The question is: Who is the worse team in test cricket: India or Eng I say: India as it has the most over-rated players: Murali V., I. Sharma, R. Jadeja, V. Kohli, etc. The Indian team is not even fit to compete with Bangladesh, my country where I am from. My fav team: Australia, of course. Johnson is the best bowler in the world. Best batsma: Amla. He will score centries every time he bats against India.

Posted by Unomaas on (December 7, 2013, 19:45 GMT)

Lol...Dale Steyn trying to climb into the Indian batsmen's head and practice some mental disintegration!

You can say what you want to but he has been the premier fast bowler for the last 5 years. If he say's it is so...then so it is. If anyone wants to dispute the point, I dare you to go stand on the wicket and let your bat do the talking!

Posted by Dhanno on (December 7, 2013, 19:43 GMT)

Such comments from Steyn should be banned. He is intimidating indian batsman. How can he say they are scarred and scared ? Does he know their state of mind ? Some of these batsman dont know themselves what struck them. Now by saying they are scared the batsman in fragile state of mind will just believe it. we should all listen to Kohli and what he said, none of the indian bats were scared or were shielding their faces, closing eyes etc as he has made it ample clear.

Posted by Big_Poppa_94 on (December 7, 2013, 19:35 GMT)

Dhoni, Kohli and Rohit were the only positives for me in the 1st ODI. Dhawan did okay, but I noticed he was slightly on the front foot when he got out to that pull shot. It works in India, but not in SA. He should've played off the backfoot. We all know Dhoni is a great ODI player, so not much to say. Kohli played pretty well for his 31, before undone by a good ball. I also liked that Rohit was willing to be patient. It showed mental toughness and determination. Yuvraj and Raina are utterly useless outside the subcontinent, especially on pitches with a bit of green and extra bounce. I'd rather see someone like Rahane, Rayudu, Karthik or even Badrinath. Also, why isn't Pujara playing? He's just the sort of player we need in these conditions.

As for the bowlers, Mohit Sharma isn't good enough for me. Shami has decent pace though. I like Bhuvi, but he lacks pace. I'd like to see Umesh Yadav back in and even someone like Varun Aron. Pace brings penetrations which leads to wickets. Simple.

Posted by boomslanger on (December 7, 2013, 19:35 GMT)

@mucheemaann And by " true pitches" you do surely NOT mean the nicely doctored green tops at Jo'berg and the one that is waiting for them tomorrow at Durban? Oh Grow up! International cricketers have to learn and bat everywhere. SA team, by the same standards are Tigers on their pitches, huh? The real quality of a side shows in the way they adapt to new conditions. It is very early days to evaluate Indian Batters on pitches they have never even seen in photographs in their young lives.

Posted by boomslanger on (December 7, 2013, 19:27 GMT)

@Angi Ch Lets not bring Sachin into this. The Steyn is lucky that he has retired and not come on this tour. Or another fast bowler might have been looking at the end of his career. Time, weather, Pitches, bowlers, the opposition, these things never mattered. Sachin Tendulkar was (still is) beyond all that. He faced his first garden-green pitch in Sialkot in 1989 ("you could have run a grass mower, there was so much grass. Imran had told the ground staff hat he would have their heads if anyone had the grass mowed") facing off against Waqar Younis, Wasim Akram, Imran Khan, hit by a first over Younis Bouncer, he proceeded to drive and punch them for 92 runs in the match. He was still 18! And he has shown Steyn the door more tan once. For more information on Tendulkar, contact Bret Lee and Glenn McGrath.

Posted by Sam_Patel_US on (December 7, 2013, 19:16 GMT)

Let people say whatever they would like to say about Team India as it's their right to have their opinion. Team India...as a true fan....I am always with you guys....through out ups and downs....and not like those who are their to celebrate only victories and ready to curse you out when you fail. I have always supported Team India and will do till my last breath.....Go Team India.

Posted by Vilander on (December 7, 2013, 19:15 GMT)

And if BCCI does not usually eat humble pie always they should put Aaron, Pankaj and Rishi Dhawan on a plane to SA perhaps pick two of them for the final ODI too.

Posted by Vilander on (December 7, 2013, 19:11 GMT)

Even when trash talking Steyn has good things to say about Shikar and Ishant deccan team mates. This guy is a team man, but he has said a bit too much. Indian team will now put caution to wind and SA would have to beat them they wont throw it away in wide bowling and run outs this time hopefully.

Posted by ashok16 on (December 7, 2013, 19:09 GMT)

Since end of Gavaskar, every foreign tour on bouncy pitches has been the same. SRT has come and gone. Why should this one be any different? The aim of Indian cricket is to make money. It is not to win matches AND then make money.

Posted by mucheemaann on (December 7, 2013, 18:49 GMT)

I think it is the bowling that is the key. An average team like India can survive on flat pitches when bowling attacks have been neutralized, but when they encounter true pitches, they need at least half their team to step up. Otherwise 3-0 and 2-0 is definitely on.

Posted by boomslanger on (December 7, 2013, 18:47 GMT)

Dr.Steyn is probably making a Freudian slip, Given that SA has about two batsmen (Hash/DeVilliers) (deKock is still growing up), whilst saying Indian Batsmen are scared. Fact is, SA has been losing big time because their own Batters are scared of playing in home pitches. They have lost to New Zealand and Pakistan in the very same pitches. Which would, for DEVilliers mean that the ODI standings should be 1. New Zealand 2. Pakistan 3. South Africa. Not to worry about the fact that even Bangladesh is drubbing NZ almost routinely. SA does have a good pace attack that works sometimes in SA pitches but they are not likely to find such pitches everywhere, not even Australia and West Indies. That leaves them with their unremarkable batting and woe be the SA team if the opposition learns to pitch it right. It's a bit worse now that Hash looks out of touch and DeKock could have made those runs only because the Indians did not bowl well. He looked very tentative in the first half of his innings.

Posted by SnowSnake on (December 7, 2013, 18:46 GMT)

I am OK with the comments. It is all psychological game. For me India is still a good side and should not be underestimated. I think India will win the test series and most likely SA will win ODI series. The problem with India was arrogance. They went with a weak side in the ODI. Yuvi, Mohit and Ashwin are useless in SA. The problem with Yuvi was that he could not play pace and bounce in India so I am not sure why was he brought to SA? He has very poor series against WI. India overestimated their underdog players. Hopefully they will learn and include Pujara and Umeash Yadav.

Posted by pull_shot on (December 7, 2013, 18:45 GMT)

ya same as SAF bowlers felt when tendulkar's 200; Shewag 300; India 331 in CT

Posted by   on (December 7, 2013, 18:41 GMT)

Well Well Well,mind game is on here also just like the ashes,that too from the premier fast bowler who made an opening batsman looked like a sitting duck.But at the same time he also has to wary of the calibre of some of the better ODIi batsmen in the Indian side.A make or break situation for the Indian team.All the best guys,give your best shot.May the best team wins.

Posted by android_user on (December 7, 2013, 18:40 GMT)

Nice banter from saffas.. makes you moan even harder that test series is so small. Anyways batting was much better than expected. These are all proud fighter guys...let us support them...WE ARE BEHIND YOU

Posted by cricketpurist on (December 7, 2013, 18:34 GMT)

Tomorrow will b the decider. Is INDIAN cricket in safe hands. Kohli is next Tendulkar, shikar is next sehwag and all that needs to be proved right or wrong. Let us wait and wait and watch tmrw

Posted by rhtkumar672 on (December 7, 2013, 18:31 GMT)

The problem in the last match was not batting but bowling.Although there were plenty of play and misses but none of the batsmen actually looked afraid.Give these batsmen 2 to 3 matches to get accustomed to the pace and bounce then we will see them matching fire with fire. Unfortunately the same thing can't be said about our bowling.

Posted by   on (December 7, 2013, 18:18 GMT)

@Nampally. If only, if only, if only. Do you understand that that is a pointless emotion. It is like speculation, a horrible waste of time.

Posted by Paki_on_cricinfo on (December 7, 2013, 18:17 GMT)

com'on indian u r bad team against good bowling ... even india were beaten by pakistan 2-1 in india as india fail to score runs in all 3 ODI in there own backward they could not even score 200 against pakistan .... so please indian your batsman are average and your bowling are club standard ....

Posted by   on (December 7, 2013, 18:15 GMT)

Whatever it may be, i am with my team India. I am hoping the best.

We will come back guys!!

Posted by Vishal_07 on (December 7, 2013, 18:11 GMT)

Yet another win for the BCCI. Again and again, they just keep on scheduling tours with no prep matches, and hardly any time to acclimatize. Land, show up at the ground, and play would be the next thing!

Posted by topspeed55 on (December 7, 2013, 18:03 GMT)

I am an Indian cricket fan but playing psychological games is OK if its off the field. But on the field it should be just a bat and a ball contest. So I don't see any problem. Steyn is just trying to retain his aggression and intensity and its obvious for a fast bowler. South Africans are far better than Australians. At least they know where is the line.

Posted by   on (December 7, 2013, 17:37 GMT)

No hope for indians.. India had not scored even 217.. devilier did not bring steyn for second spell earlier.. otherwise dhoni had scored only 20 25 runs..as steyn came back for a second spell he bold out dhoni in just 3rd or 4th ball... and in next match dhoni will not score more than 30 runs.. so dont boast off indians.. we dont have a balanced time

Posted by Kamran_Pakistan on (December 7, 2013, 17:31 GMT)

Steyn, what a bowler, you cannot hate this bowler even if he's knocking off your own batsmen away, such quality and sheer pace. If anybody disagrees with his statement then think again, he's spot on with the analysis, you cannot swing your bat on this pitches without worrying about your technique, and that short-pitched stuff, they struggle with fast short-pitched stuff on indian pitches even, Mitchell Johnson anybody ? So the indian batsmen should take Steyn's statment positively and work on improving themselves and that can only be done outside IPL and outside india. Batting records made on indian pitches would lose their credibility if people kept on witnessing such a humongous contrast in indian batsmen's performance.

Posted by dayada on (December 7, 2013, 17:18 GMT)

Indian fans seems angry..... be cool guys

Posted by   on (December 7, 2013, 17:07 GMT)

Looks like the Indian supporters can't take their team being pulled down. For you people talking the Sachin 200, please remember it was on a flat Gwalior track. As for Steyn's record in the subcontinent, it's 20 in India and 24 in Pakistan. India defeated South Africa in home conditions in 2011.

No one disputes India are good. But a true test of a team comes when they do well outside. And sadly this team does not look the best when it's challenged away from home - 5-0, 5-0 in Oz and England.

Posted by   on (December 7, 2013, 17:02 GMT)

Sehwag thrashing Steyn? Steyn got him every test match last time India toured. Before Hafeez, Sehwag was Steyn's bunny.

Posted by Nampally on (December 7, 2013, 16:45 GMT)

I wanted to make one comment at the Steyn's comment: "SA may have scared the Indian Batsmen"!. I consider that rather tactless & pompous coming from a guy who I always considered as humble. Only batsman who was lost was Yuvraj. The others coped very well albeit they got out inexplicably after settling down. Two run outs of Rohit & Raina were totally marred the result. Both were batting well. Rohit, who always starts slowly but soon builds up to a S/R of 100+, was well set and was on the verge of playing his attacking shots. On the other hand Indians dropped 2 catches + one easy run out of the 2 opener very early in the innings. Opening partnership of 152 was like a death nail! Had those chances been taken, it night have been a different game. Teams need right break at the right time. If it does, it changes the result. So despite Steyn's uncalled for gloating, I consider Indian batsmen played SA pace attack very well - #8 Ashwin's hook for 4 of a bouncer was exquisite!

Posted by   on (December 7, 2013, 16:38 GMT)

It is amusing to read Steyn's assessment of Indian batsman facing pace and very much true. Except for Dhawan, Dhoni and Kohli, and to some extent Ashwin who was unlucky to be given out, nobody stood up to the test well. If our batsman want to stay without bruises they had better pack their bags and go home, cricket is a game for brave hearts when there is fast and furious pace.It was pathetic to watch Sharma stay in the crease,kind of parallised and no feet movement, and miss 14 balls on the trot from Steyn. I wonder when would he learn to take them on ! They expected this before embarking on their trip to SA but still did not prepare to face such bowling is really surprising, no pathetic thinking by the coach!

Posted by android_user on (December 7, 2013, 16:28 GMT)

Looks like Steyn has forgot how Sehwag, Sachin n Dhoni have smashed him. Sachin had scored 200 against them only. Dhoni n Sehwag hit him many sixes many times... We beat them in England not far ago in Champions trophy. Come on India, teach them lesson...

Posted by   on (December 7, 2013, 16:27 GMT)

come on India had a resounding wake up call see what is said by styen , if it had shewag in the team then they would have known better who is scared of whom .and where should the bowlers bowl to him. it would be like warnes night mare about sachin trashing him same like shewag trashing styen. now dhoni will know the importance of experience and how to respect the experience guys . wake up guy include umesh, ishant in odi leave jadeja,mohit

Posted by   on (December 7, 2013, 16:27 GMT)

India's bowling has been weak for a long time but BCCI doesn't do anything about it. Once India starts to prepare fast/bouncy wickets to nurture pace bowlers, then in 10-12 years time, their pace bowling problems will be solved. They relied on Zak for much too long without any support for him. Now without Zak, there are no pace bowlers to speak of. The likes of Mohit Sharma and B. Kumar are fast spinners in SA batsmen's minds and should be replaced by Yadav/Zak (if available)/I. Sharma. Very surprised to see Yuvraj, Raina and Ashwin getting picked for matches despite their weaknesses and awful performances. Don't see India winning any matches in SA on this tour.

Posted by Dhanno on (December 7, 2013, 16:20 GMT)

If these are not 300+ wickets why didnt India chose to bat first ? Batting is their strength right ? World class and world beaters and all that. So why not use your strong suit first, score 280+ and then if SA chases it down in 40 overs blame your bowlers. But no india will again bowl first if given a chance and then blame bowlers ( who are avg I agree) when they lose.

Posted by Solid_Snake on (December 7, 2013, 16:18 GMT)

@Ravijot Chugh:You are kidding right?Steyn has a bad record in Subcontinent? An Avg of 20 in India & 24 in Pakistan..This looks like a bad performance to you?

Posted by   on (December 7, 2013, 16:15 GMT)

To be frank, its very risky statements Steyn making. It may boomrang. Steyn should not forget capability about Indian batsmen like Rohit, Shikhar & Virat. In last 5/6 months so India are playing on wickets in Zimbabwe, WI and India. So it is but natural playing streight away at wanderers, anybody in this world can face tough time. But after a single match making such proudy statements is always danger as it may results a heavy bounce back of oppositions. Rohit, Virat and Shikhar has the ability to demolish SA pace battery. Please dont tease them. I am sure its going to be happen something at Durban now, definately positive for India. It was a bit bad luck for India in Wanderers thar Rohit got runout, Shikhar and Virat got upper ages. Steyn should remember, no one of these batsmen threw their wickets, or anyone can say that they got scared about SA pace battery. Look at how WI fought back in NZ. Bravo, Samy took WI safely out of nowhere. Similarly, Mr. Steyn, beware in Durban. ATB India

Posted by kingcobra85 on (December 7, 2013, 16:13 GMT)

Really? Where you hiding Steyn when sachin scored 200 against your bowling attack or for that matter yuvraj smashed the daylights out of your team in World cup 2011? Every body has their day doesnt necessarily mean anything

Posted by   on (December 7, 2013, 16:07 GMT)

Yuvraj clearly looks poor against quick bowling....

Posted by Dhanno on (December 7, 2013, 15:56 GMT)

2msdhoni. Your wish may just come true, if they stay there long enough it will be come on india, bleed red though. Dhoni and Dhawan are not in even same class as Steyn. Kohli might have it in him but he shows poor judgement and arrogance every single time, like angry sending off 20 year old batsman to pavilion who just carted your bowling for a century. So i do hope its come on india slogan is completed, just with different color !

Posted by   on (December 7, 2013, 15:51 GMT)

If our spinners are bad in SAF, Steyn does not have a record to write home about in subcontinent conditions.....I don't understand why people keep saying watching a fast bowler on a pitch with pace and bounce is true cricket or whatever......what is wrong with watching a good spinner on a turning track...why is that not a 'true test' for batsmen as some people have put the SAF pitches to be

Posted by royalflesh on (December 7, 2013, 15:50 GMT)

Anybody notice that the only guys steyn had good things to say about are his deccan chargers team mates Shikar Dhawan and Ishanth Sharma.

Posted by cooljack_143 on (December 7, 2013, 15:48 GMT)

Well rain again, I wont be surprised this time around that rain stays far away,cuz its Ind who is playing.They always are at the receiving end,remember that ODI series in ENG after the test debacle,was decided by rain factor.In champions trophy IND didn't have that luck either from the rain,some how MSD pulled off victory with help of Sharma&brainless batting from Eng batsmen under pressure. Ind are really really cool under pressure with MSD on their side.This time either this ODI being the decider & If rain stays away & If Ind drops yuvraj, Get Rayudu in,drop mohit ,get Sharma in,we might see a close finish.But, but there are always ifs and buts,Only talented & wise team wins on a given day.I still back Ind to win this game,as I don't want to see a dead rubber in the 3rd odi,not that Ind will play vs steyn morkel great but just for the sake of that final decider in 3rd ODI, Miracles need to happen for Ind to win this,but MIRACLES CAN HAPPEN..Play the game for the sake of Mandela.RIP

Posted by   on (December 7, 2013, 15:43 GMT)

What wrong did raina do last match that he is weakness in batting line-up?He was dismissed run-out and he easily handled those conditions.That truly wasn't a 360 pitch.Indians gave too many in last 15 overs.Otherwise 300 could have been chased.But as it was 360,India gave it up at very beginning. India need some bowling chances.Spin is not going to work there.Jadeja isn't the best choice for this wicket.I don't like Ishant but I think conditions will suit him so he and yadav should be brought in for mohit and jadeja.I'm a bit confused for yuvraj.Irfan Pathan or Suryakant Pradhan could have been better allrounder option.

Posted by   on (December 7, 2013, 15:43 GMT)

No long term strategy. The richest board in the world who always bosses around the globe. I am sure that carries some spite in lot of places around the world. What are they thinking playing two bowlers? Why not take a gamble and put Aaron on that plane instead of having him bowl to Mumbai? With all the money and training a talent like Ishant has become another Vinay Kumar? Why is Umesh not playing?

Posted by Roshan_P on (December 7, 2013, 15:37 GMT)

India should consider 5 pacemen, as South Africa used their 5 to devastating effect. Problem is, most of our pacemen lack pace!

Posted by Roshan_P on (December 7, 2013, 15:34 GMT)

For Tests, Zaheer should come in if he is in form and fit, along with Yadav and Shami, as he has experience abroad which is something you can't say for the rest. I would say Mohit Sharma should play too. We need quicks more than spinners, and the quicker the better in SA. A specialist spinner could be thrown in (Ashwin). We need good stable batsmen, so maybe Rahane could come in too, have the extra quick (Mohit). My Indian Test XI would be either:

1. Dhawan, 2. Vijay, 3. Pujara, 4. Kohli, 5. Sharma, 6. Rahane, 7. Dhoni, 8. Ashwin, 9. Zaheer, 10. Shami, 11. Yadav.

Or

1. Dhawan, 2. Vijay / Rahane, 3. Pujara, 4. Kohli, 5. Sharma, 6. Dhoni, 7. Ashwin, 8. Zaheer, 9. Shami, 10. Yadav, 11. Mohit.

Posted by   on (December 7, 2013, 15:28 GMT)

i want to see the contest between steyn vs yuvraji,hope yuvraj to smack steyn all over the park in his luckiest ground

Posted by   on (December 7, 2013, 15:27 GMT)

If team remains unchanged india would be lost all of their matches. yuvraj must be out of the team now. ishant sharma and umesh yadav in place of kumar and mohit

Posted by Roshan_P on (December 7, 2013, 15:26 GMT)

@msdhoni123 That's definitely not going to happen. I am an Indian fan, and I can definitely say that India are not good enough (or not experienced enough) to play such a venomous pace attack on quick wickets. The reason they played so well against Australia (and even then Johnson was threatening) was because the wickets were slow and flat, and the fielding restrictions didn't help either. The batsmen have only done well in India. They have no experience away, and there style of play will not work abroad. They are not good enough to play pace and swing, the way the earlier batsmen did. India needs loads more away matches to gain experience, even if they get thrashed, and then they may be able to win. Dale Steyn is not attacking the batsmen, he is speaking the absolute truth. Umesh Yadav has to come in because he is the only one with genuine pace, and he will complement Shami's accuracy well.

Posted by   on (December 7, 2013, 15:18 GMT)

You have the tricolour flag in your hand, holding it with pride! Heart gets full of jingoism when you see arch rival pakistani fans cheering for south africa because they want us to loose. You feel rejuvenated and cheer aloud with chants like India India! And then comes Steyn, Dale Steyn. Speed, accuracy and next thing you know is- we weren't able to put the bat to ball for first 16 steyn's deliveries. Suddenly everything around you turns mute. For a second, you feel you didn't mind loosing. Last thing you want is watch dale Steyn fail. Watching him bowl is a surreal experience. That makes cricket rich! That makes cricket win! And then you get out from stadium with a smiling face and a sense of pride that you have seen Dale Steyn at his majestic best! Thank you legend. Thank you Steyn!

Posted by Cool_Jeeves on (December 7, 2013, 15:13 GMT)

I just dont understand why we are so obsessed with choosing a fixed set of people regardless of conditions. A one day match in the first week in South Africa is just like a test match. We need our test match batsmen and bowlers in the team. If the Tests happen first, then we can take liberties with the one day selection and include failed batsmen like Yuvraj and Raina. But even after expecting conditions we are taking the sitting ducks along. This is no different from match fixing, and deserves a probe.

Posted by pull_shot on (December 7, 2013, 15:12 GMT)

@msdhoni123 He can be demolished in india or say sub continent but not in SAF

Posted by sachin_vvsfan on (December 7, 2013, 15:11 GMT)

We need two changes in the side. Replace either of Jadeja/Ashwin with Umesh(or any other fast bowler) and Yuv/Raina with Rayudu/Rahane(any other stable but not flashy batsman)

No need to read too much into what steyn says (or what author implies so)

Posted by Nampally on (December 7, 2013, 15:09 GMT)

Indian team definitely needed Pujara & ZAK from the Test team to put up some fight against the SA pace attack & strengthen their pace attack. Yuvraj is a poor choice & should never have been in the squad. Currently, he is totally at sea against pace bowling. Pujara was the ideal guy to replace him. But since Dhoni does not like Pujara, at least Rayudu or Rahane should come into the XI. ZAK was needed to provide some experience & mentorship to the pace bowlers. Ideally India should have gone with Shami. ZAK, Yadev & Kumar or Ishant- 4 seamers. In batting Pujara to replace Yuvraj & Rahane to replace either Jadeja or Ashwin. But Dhoni has his own agenda & does not make any changes. I won't be surprised to see the same XI as in ODI #1 & same tactless approach. Dhoni's XI selection reminds me of Einstien's definition of "Insanity"! If India plays the same XI, I won't be surprised to find similar Loss but with slightly lower margin. With above changes, India would have levelled 1-1 series.

Posted by CricketChat on (December 7, 2013, 15:07 GMT)

If one takes the horses for courses approach, Ind has too many players unsuitable for conditions in SA. They only have medium pacers (Kumar, Shami, Sharma) who can at best be containers since they don't have the pace to hurry batsmen into committing mistakes while there are one too many batsmen who aren't very good at facing genuine fast bowlers (Rohit, Yuvraj, Raina, Jadeja, while Dhawan is very much unproven outside India) from SA. Even Dhoni is iffy against true pace and swing as proven on the last Eng tour couple of years ago. Can't see how Ind can put up a good show (ODIs or Tests). Of course, all will be forgotten once they restart sub-continent dominance.

Posted by Sudhansu_83 on (December 7, 2013, 14:50 GMT)

India middle order is not convincing strong.It has weak links in Yuvraj, Suresh Raina & R.Jadeja.They are not convincing best against genuine fast bowling. India should atleast play Rahane in Middle order.Also Ishant Sharma & Umesh Yadav can chip in with genuine fast bowling stuff.Still whatever they do they have a tough chance to win rest 2 ODIs.

Posted by msdhoni123 on (December 7, 2013, 14:44 GMT)

I hope Kohli, dhoni and Dhawan absolutely demolish the South African attack. Im a big fan of Steyn but when he attacks our batsmen i want our batsmen to show him whos the boss.comee on india. bleed blue

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