South Africa v India, 1st Test, Johannesburg, 1st day

Kohli ton leads India's battling effort

The Report by Siddarth Ravindran

December 18, 2013

Comments: 533 | Text size: A | A

India 255 for 5 (Kohli 119) v South Africa
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Manjrekar: India's day


Virat Kohli is ecstatic after reaching his fifth Test ton, South Africa v India, 1st Test, Johannesburg, 1st day, December 18, 2013
Virat Kohli hit the spinners for 50 off 44 deliveries © Associated Press
Enlarge

It's been a while since India entered a series as much of an underdog as they are on this South Africa visit - even the whitewashes in England and Australia began as a clash of equals. Bereft of the batting legends that have forged India's most successful decade in Tests, and even of proper match practice ahead of this short series, there were widespread doubts over their ability to compete.

Virat Kohli, the man who occupied the fabled No. 4 spot after Sachin Tendulkar's retirement, eased some of that anxiety with a superbly crafted century and at the end of an intriguing day of Test cricket in Johannesburg, the teams were more or less on level terms. The hallmarks of Kohli's innings were the perfectly judged leaves outside off, even as South Africa's pacers persistently probed away, and his punishment of the wayward spinners - caning 50 off 44 deliveries from them - to ensure he didn't get bogged down.

The one big mistake he committed on the day was the muddled calling that led to the run-out of Cheteshwar Pujara, snapping an 89-run stand that had revived India after the openers departed early. India were 24 for 2 then and memories of previous overseas collapses came rushing back.

Kohli's first runs on a track where the bounce was more of a worry than the lateral movement was an authoritative pull for four off Jacques Kallis. He was troubled early on by South Africa's best bowler of the day, Morne Morkel, who had Kohli top-edging and then inside-edging off successive deliveries. After that, though, Kohli was completely in control.

In the first hour after lunch, South Africa employed a strategy that involved keeping the ball in the channel outside off and mixing it up with the odd short delivery. Neither the attempts to play on the batsmen's patience nor the attempts to unsettle them with the rising delivery worked as Kohli and Pujara kept their calm and wore down the pacers.

While the weaker links in the South African attack came in for the most stick, Kohli also went after Dale Steyn and Vernon Philander when they strayed from their usual discipline. A majority of his runs came square of the wicket, with several eye-catching pulls and drives past point and cover.

The pressure was building after tea as South Africa strung together a bunch of maidens with Kohli in the 90s. Perhaps influenced by the flagging over-rate, Graeme Smith turned to JP Duminy who, like Imran Tahir, struggled to land the ball and Kohli picked off the nine runs he needed to reach a landmark century.

Pujara was the other batsman whose technique and temperament promised big runs, and after surviving a couple of close calls early, he settled in. For two hours, with Kohli for company, he kept South Africa at bay. South Africa had turned to the erratic Tahir for a breakthrough, and India finally thought they had some relief, only for the mix-up with Kohli resulting in Pujara's run-out.

The other batsmen didn't adjust their game to the conditions as well. M Vijay and Rohit Sharma both went for over-ambitious drives away from their body, only to nick behind to undo the good work they had done in getting their eye in.

The other wicket was a fast bowler's dream. Steyn normally relies on his late and natural out swing, but sensing the surface wasn't providing him enough, he unleashed a string of bouncers against Shikhar Dhawan in the ninth over. Dhawan, never shy of the aggressive stroke, kept going for his shots as Steyn banged it in short four times in a row; the first went for an unconvincing boundary towards backward square leg, the next flew off the handle towards gully, the third was left down the leg side before an attempted hook landed safely in the hands of fine leg. Steyn's chainsaw celebration showed how thrilled he was at the perfectly executed plan.

It wasn't perfect planning but a loose stroke that ended Kohli's innings midway through the final session, as he chipped Kallis to cover on 119. Had he still been in the middle at stumps, it would have definitely been India's day.

There were heartening signs for India even after his exit though, as Ajinkya Rahane and MS Dhoni played out the final hour in fading light without too many alarms. After a difficult debut in Delhi against Australia early this year, Rahane had a long wait to get another look-in, and he didn't look out of place as he kept out everything South Africa threw at him in an extended final session.

More of the same tomorrow morning and India will end on a score that will challenge South Africa's mighty batting line-up.

Siddarth Ravindran is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

RSS Feeds: Siddarth Ravindran

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by Greatest_Game on (December 19, 2013, 13:23 GMT)

@ bhushanB commented to "All those that were counting the plays and misses when IND batsmen were playing... hopefully keeping count now as well..... At this level.. especially in TEST cricket... you need to realize that going past the outside edge is a common thing... no point trying to highlight it and try to belittle the batsmen."

An excellent observation, & I strongly agree with you. Near edges, edges that don't carry, edges that become boundaries, catches that go down, fielding misses, etc, are all part & of the game. Every batsman has an innings where an early chance is snapped up, & those wherein they survive numerous chances, & go on to big scores. That's the game. Belittling the batsmen is meaningless - it only belittles the game.

My answer to those who offer the excuses of 'if', but, did not, just, could have' etc is "then the bowlers aren't good enough to find the edge,& the fielders are bad catchers or too lazy to chase the ball." That usually stops the whinging!

Posted by Al_Bundy1 on (December 19, 2013, 12:37 GMT)

Murli Vijay and Dhawan don't have the skills to play top quality seam bowling in helpful conditions. They are typical flat track bullies. They should not be selected for overseas tours. For overseas tours - Jaffer and Rahane should open for India.

Posted by Greatest_Game on (December 19, 2013, 12:28 GMT)

@ bhushanB commented "Sooo disappointing to see absolutely empty stands... I would not have wanted Tendulkar to play his last couple of games here…."

Important points to consider:

1. Johannesburg cricket fans with weekdays free to watch tests are now mostly on holiday in Cape Town, Durban, PE, etc. SA cricket is always scheduled around this, like the IPL is played after school exams. However, BCCI decisions set the tour itinerary.

2. Tendulkar was a huge attraction for SA cricket fans. He is hugely popular, & CSA planned significant events to honour him if he played his 200th in SA. (That was before his retirement decision.)

3. In SA, hosts of the well-supported IPL 2, Indian cricket was always very popular. After the BCCI rejected CSA's schedule & shortened the tour, SA fans saw this as violation of a commitment & bullying. Fans talked of boycotting the series. They may be!

NOT my opinions, just plain, inconvenient truths.

Cricinfo plse publish an honest response to bhushanB

Posted by bhushanB on (December 19, 2013, 12:20 GMT)

I guess I will go to work today and hope for the best.... Good luck India..

Posted by bhushanB on (December 19, 2013, 12:10 GMT)

All those that were counting the plays and misses when IND batsmen were playing... hopefully keeping count now as well.....

At this level.. especially in TEST cricket... you need to realize that going past the outside edge is a common thing... no point trying to highlight it and try to belittle the batsmen..

Enough said... Back to watching some competitive cricket...

Posted by bhushanB on (December 19, 2013, 12:03 GMT)

Looks like a definite SA lead here.....IND need to latch on to those chances... they are any way near restricting SA to IND score...

Go India goo

Posted by bhushanB on (December 19, 2013, 11:59 GMT)

I guess Smith successfully survived the Zaheer onslaught... sure he jumped, got hit, nicked, dropped.....

but what finally matters is... he is still out there.. cashing in....

Posted by bhushanB on (December 19, 2013, 11:49 GMT)

Regulation catch for Ashwin.... big let off... omenous.... Now do not let him cash in on this...

He specifically mentioned slip catching as one of his forte

Posted by VKohlitheGreat on (December 19, 2013, 11:45 GMT)

@ Tal_Botvinnik : Atleast we know how to play test cricket and remember that there is a form of cricket known as tests too which SL has probably has quit playing since its so poor in that from.

Posted by bhushanB on (December 19, 2013, 10:33 GMT)

too wide from Ishant... SA dominated this session both with ball and bat..... Tough times ahead for IND....need to regroup quickly and come up with a plan for each and every batsman...

Good luck guys...

Posted by bhushanB on (December 19, 2013, 10:28 GMT)

With 4 slips in place, Ind bowlers need to shift their line at least a few inches to the offiside and get them into play... no point having every one on the offside and bowl to the pads...or too straight....

Posted by bhushanB on (December 19, 2013, 10:26 GMT)

Zaheer bowling too full..almost over-pitched and too straight......

Posted by bhushanB on (December 19, 2013, 10:19 GMT)

Where are all those IND that live in SA... Its not everyday you get to see your team play in SA....

When we all people.. can wake up at 1, 2, 3 AM, call sick, stay home to watch cricket.. ..difficult to understand such a low turn out..especially for a contest between No.1 and No.2

Posted by bhushanB on (December 19, 2013, 10:15 GMT)

IND bowlers still trying to find rhythm... they better get that line and length right...sooner the better.... that ball is not going to stay hard for long.....

SA bat strong and deep with Duminy coming at 7.. and we all saw how be batted in the ODIs....

Come on IND

Posted by bhushanB on (December 19, 2013, 10:12 GMT)

How on earth that did not carry to Rahane.... I know i am getting a little impatient.. but IND should have gotten one down by now...

Posted by humdrum on (December 19, 2013, 10:11 GMT)

Tal_Botvinnik: A few years ago Sreesanth destroyed SA batsmen,bowling them out in your own backyard IN ONE SESSION for a paltry 86 runs. First brush up your cricket history,then show your knowledge here.

Posted by bhushanB on (December 19, 2013, 10:09 GMT)

At least the first 5 overs, I did not see the SA batsmen tear apart these sub-club-level bowlers on such a flat track.....

And IND bowlers are not even close to the ideal line or length... and erring a lot and bowling to the pads...

Imagine how these two openers would have faced Steyn, Philander and Morne...

Posted by bhushanB on (December 19, 2013, 10:06 GMT)

While SA bowled too much off-side line and back of a length... India are bowling too straight at the moment.. not testing that off stump line at all...

Posted by bhushanB on (December 19, 2013, 10:02 GMT)

Now do not get me wrong.. I am all up for the technology... It just needs to be better managed, than the farce that is currently out there... all that no. of reviews, on field umpire decision, ...Once referred let the equally capable third umpire make the decision with all the technology available...is my stance..

Posted by bhushanB on (December 19, 2013, 10:00 GMT)

That lbw shout seemed sooo close... but very good umpiring in this match so far... I guess no-DRS gets the best of the umpires, as they are challenged to do well... and really keeps the drama on the field, than outside...

Good old cricket...

Posted by Imad_K on (December 19, 2013, 9:58 GMT)

On the 17th I posted a comment stating that India would struggle like they struggled against Australia and England - due to the pace and bounce and the calibre of bowling which the Indian batsmen struggle in when playing outside the subcontinent. I hardly watch cricket nowadays but I specifically stated that when India played Australia and England away, from all their talented batsmen Kohli was one of the only batsmen who looked remotely comfortable in that series. However, I also remember when India brought in Patel and Rahane to open - and Rahane actually look pretty ok against the quick short ball. When India play away they seriously need to pick batsmen who can play in these conditions - if it means selecting different players whilst playing in the subcontinent as compared to playing away then so be it - won't be easy but at least may save India from getting utterly thrashed. The problem is that in this series they can't just rely on one or two batsmen to bail them out.

Posted by Greatest_Game on (December 19, 2013, 9:56 GMT)

Hmmmm….I'm wondering if Kohli still thinks that the SA quicks are "not threatening" after SA closed out the Indian batting in a spell of just 16 for 5! India put only 25 runs on the board today, only 10% of the day one score. It is always a good idea to wait until both teams have batted before commenting on the pitch, and always a good idea to temper your comments until you have a really good idea of how a team will perform over the full 5 days! The SA bowlers this morning looked a lot more like the unit that dismissed 3 different test teams for under 50, and a lot better than they did yesterday.

Still, that takes nothing away from India's batting performance, and if India's bowling unit applies itself like the batsmen did yesterday, SA will not find it a walk in the park. Up to the Indian bowlers to defend the batsmen's very well earned runs. I have a feeling they will be motivated to give their best, like the Indian batters, offering the promise of more good cricket to come!

Posted by bhushanB on (December 19, 2013, 9:55 GMT)

For gods sake stop bowling at smith's pads... stop giving those easy runs...

Posted by bhushanB on (December 19, 2013, 9:51 GMT)

Sooo disappointing to see absolutely empty stands... I would not have wanted Tendulkar to play his last couple of games here....

Posted by Tal_Botvinnik on (December 19, 2013, 9:49 GMT)

19 runs for 5 wickets only india can do this,LOL

Posted by bhushanB on (December 19, 2013, 9:49 GMT)

Do not bowl on the pads, do not bowl short.....build the pressure...

Posted by bhushanB on (December 19, 2013, 9:48 GMT)

What does one make of the first two balls that Smith faced?

Posted by   on (December 19, 2013, 9:47 GMT)

Good prediction @ 122notoutWestByfleet1996

Posted by   on (December 19, 2013, 9:47 GMT)

dhoni failed

Posted by bhushanB on (December 19, 2013, 9:46 GMT)

It will be very difficult for IND bowlers to bowl on this "belter" - "flat" pitch....

They should stick to the basics and bowl in the right areas and play the waiting game... No easy runs.. and keep the pressure up... do not try anything extravagant..

Posted by TommytuckerSaffa on (December 19, 2013, 9:45 GMT)

Looks like the SA quicks got a kick up the backside and started bowling better lengths - as I mentioned yesterday SA bowling was sub par.

320 is the average Test score on this ground. India are well short.

Posted by byc89 on (December 19, 2013, 9:44 GMT)

so Indian team indeed got out for 280. Who would have thought so half an hour ago. Atleast not me.

Posted by CricIndia208 on (December 19, 2013, 9:44 GMT)

Wish we were playing the crappy, school level sri lankan bowling. We would have scored 500 by now.

Posted by bhushanB on (December 19, 2013, 9:42 GMT)

Unfortunately Rahane fell short of 50...and no one will talk about the time he spent in the middle or the few deft strokes he played.... A 47 is equally important to a 51

Posted by grizzle on (December 19, 2013, 9:41 GMT)

Well that was quick! Now let's see if 280 is a good score or not. Seems to be a good day for bowling, so it would be interesting if India could knock a few SA wickets over!

Posted by spot_on on (December 19, 2013, 9:41 GMT)

Demolish is a big word admin.. 280 is a par score against quality bowling..

Posted by wapuser on (December 19, 2013, 9:40 GMT)

Superb bowling by south Africa......... the ball is swinging and seaming.........gonna be a great contest.......go team India!

Posted by   on (December 19, 2013, 9:40 GMT)

master blasterz of dead and flat pitches are again crushed by south africa its better for india to always stay at their own backyard made dump pitches and uplift their pkayers

Posted by   on (December 19, 2013, 9:39 GMT)

Just added 17 runs today and lose 5 wicketa. Admirable bowling by SA bowlers.

Posted by bhushanB on (December 19, 2013, 9:38 GMT)

at least we accomplished batting 100+ overs... fell very short of the required 350+ in the first Innings... a below average first innings score... 317 being the avg....

Good fight by the innings... SA bowlers came with a plan as expected.

Now its all up to Zaheer to showcase why he is chosen and lead the attack...

Good luck India...

Posted by Blade-Runner on (December 19, 2013, 9:37 GMT)

Wow. This is way easy for SA quicks. 4 wickets for 14 runs. India just delayed the inevitable by leaving so many balls. Now its SA batsmen's chance to plunder. Consider Indian bowlers as early X'mas gifts. I expect SA to declare at 650/2.

Posted by Solid_Snake on (December 19, 2013, 9:36 GMT)

Lol...25/5 Indian Batsmen showing their true color..One inngs by Kohli..And the rest easily giving away their wickets...Now comes SA batting :)

Posted by Tal_Botvinnik on (December 19, 2013, 9:36 GMT)

19 runs for 5 wickets only india can do this,LOL

Posted by humdrum on (December 19, 2013, 9:36 GMT)

So finally, after huffing and puffing, the SA lads bowl out the 'cub' brigade,a mere additional 200 runs and 85 overs behind schedule.Well played,lads.

Posted by wanatawu on (December 19, 2013, 9:36 GMT)

Oh gosh only 280 I thought they were going to score at least 350 - 400 after yesterday.

Posted by Solid_Snake on (December 19, 2013, 9:33 GMT)

@CricIndia208:Yeah..It's a big achievement for all when it comes to beating SL... on the other hand it's even bigger achievement getting whitewashed in test series against top raked teams :)

Posted by spot_on on (December 19, 2013, 9:33 GMT)

SA will have to bat twice to save this match, anyway!!! Philander runs through the tail to keep up his legend.. LOL !!!

Posted by Tal_Botvinnik on (December 19, 2013, 9:31 GMT)

Had they played another quickie, by now india would have been allout Imran tahir is very erratic and bowling spin on a swining track to a flat track batsmen is no the best idea.

Posted by Solid_Snake on (December 19, 2013, 9:31 GMT)

@Vishwas:I am here :)

Indian tail is doing a fine job today..23 runs added & 4 down including Rahane & Dhoni

Posted by 122notoutWestByfleet1996 on (December 19, 2013, 9:18 GMT)

looks like the SA bowlers have learned their lesson from yesterday.

Philander right on the money.

India 285 all out i predict.

Posted by humdrum on (December 19, 2013, 9:14 GMT)

Well,as usual,Morkel saves SA the blushes. Time now for Steyn to have a go at the tailenders and boost his tally of wkts as well as the strike rate,which has really suffered. In his own backyard 'belter' to boot.

Posted by wanatawu on (December 19, 2013, 9:14 GMT)

Both Rahane and Dhoni out for not much, keep them under 300 SA.

Posted by humdrum on (December 19, 2013, 9:06 GMT)

Approaching 100 overs. When was the last time the famed SA attack took more than 100 overs to bowl out the opposition in the 1st dig of the 1st test ?

Posted by TiaanvZ on (December 19, 2013, 9:04 GMT)

Its funny how SA fans have come accustomed to our bowling attack ripping through batting line ups that we can't even enjoy a really tight test match that is still in the balance. Apparently we had a bad day in the field just because we didn't bowl India out yesterday. In my opinion we were excellent for the majority of the day yesterday. The Indian batting line up is simply just better than some of the other nations that have toured here recently.

Posted by CricIndia208 on (December 19, 2013, 9:01 GMT)

Indian batsmen have proved that they have the talent and ability. They just need more belief in their own abilities. Look at India's record against sri lanka, India wins from any position, no matter how hopeless the situation. That is because when we play sri lanka we have the belief. Of course sri lanka is a very poor team and is no match to SA, but still belief is what matters.

Posted by TommytuckerSaffa on (December 19, 2013, 8:58 GMT)

I am getting bored of watching Rahane play and miss. How many times can you do it before you finally get a nick???

Posted by   on (December 19, 2013, 8:57 GMT)

@Solid_snake: have seen many number of predictions line these in the past... hope you comment after SA innings...

Posted by Little_Aussie_Battler on (December 19, 2013, 8:51 GMT)

Boks to win the series. India hates pacey, bouncy wickets. Lucky for Indian cricket they are playing an abbreviated series. Very convenient.

Posted by Solid_Snake on (December 19, 2013, 8:33 GMT)

@Vishwas:This match will end on 4th day..SA would score 500+ & then India all out on less than 100 in 2nd inngs...Mach over

Posted by Jalz007 on (December 19, 2013, 8:27 GMT)

Why are bowlers allowed to go off the field in between their overs? Styen did that in the 82nd over. It is very unfair. If substitutes are allowed are for them then runners should be allowed for batsman as well.

Posted by humdrum on (December 19, 2013, 8:27 GMT)

Well,the rain and cloudy weather has given a lifeline to the tired SA attack ( Steyn 23 overs for 1 wkt and Morkel 19 overs for 1 wkt ) , So lets see some action by the brave manly guys from SA. And if you can't roll them over even in these conditions,all your fans will disappear into the woodwork.

Posted by   on (December 19, 2013, 8:18 GMT)

@Solid_snake : will see your comments after SA's first inning....

Posted by TSJ07 on (December 19, 2013, 8:03 GMT)

Another reason why SA were bowling wide of off stump was to avoid leaking runs on leg side where Indians are so strong with the wrist coming into play. Had they been targeting middle or of stump line, quite a few deliveries would have gone towards leg side boundaries and score would have been close to 300. So don't criticize Smith yet probably he and his bowlers were bowling to a plan discussed earlier with their coaching staff. Having said this India need to score 350 plus,it may or may not save them this test match but its good sign for future that they can take on any bowling. oh BTW I can't see many India haters yesterday and today who were so vocal couple of days earlier.May be they are so used to get their respective teams to get bowled under 100 so often that they start dreaming other teams getting bowled under 100 too.that just do not happen with quality batting sides. Thats why both Ind,,SA and AUS 3-4yr earleir were almost never bowled under 100 by any attack expct few times

Posted by Solid_Snake on (December 19, 2013, 7:55 GMT)

@Naresh28:Whitewash is still coming.. Watch out :P If a Flat track Bully can score like that, imagine what SA batsmen would do to the club level bowlers..Ohh no wait..Even club level Pacers are far better than Indian Pacers

Posted by Solid_Snake on (December 19, 2013, 7:51 GMT)

@Naresh28:Whitewash is still coming.. Watch out :P

Posted by   on (December 19, 2013, 7:49 GMT)

Vijay need to be given more chance overseas to get established,

Posted by Alexk400 on (December 19, 2013, 7:44 GMT)

I strongly believe Dhawan will do great in number 4. Because he may try to be aggressive thats not his nature. He is not a opener. Batting in india you do not need much skills to play knee height balls.

SA made a blunder in selection by selecting tahir , i hope they bat out india and bat for 2 1/2 days. If not SA may lose first test

Posted by   on (December 19, 2013, 7:38 GMT)

Terrific first day. Hope the second day is as competitive as the first. looking forward to (hopefully) watching Rahane score his maiden test 50 soon!

Posted by Iceman29 on (December 19, 2013, 7:37 GMT)

We need more such Test matches in SA, Aus and in ENG in future...no matter if we are humiliated, beaten or thrashed, everything will be a learning curve for this young team and they will only grow stronger from these loses...

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

Come on Rohit show urself to the world.

Posted by   on (December 19, 2013, 7:33 GMT)

PUJARA & RAHNE as OPENERS:

In Test matches on first day, first session, runs are less important; keeping wickets is. Then, the post lunch 2nd session can be used to launch the attack. By then If the opposition pacers hadn't got any wicket, they would be mentally & physically tired (and perhaps a little demoralized).

From that point of view, though Dhawan is the best bet to open in short format, he does NOT have the temperament to be a good solid opener in TESTS.

In the current team, Pujara & Rahane are the BEST to open in TEST matches. Dhawan is a must in test matches too, but not as an opener.

Posted by   on (December 19, 2013, 7:25 GMT)

SA kept bolwling off stump hoping that this would induce edges but sadsly India kept leaving those balls. SA have no plan B and as far Donald, SA bowling coach says we have to make the new ball talk does not realise these are new breed of young Indians who will show SA a thing or two.

Posted by   on (December 19, 2013, 7:14 GMT)

dismissal of Pujara was turning point of the match.He was quite unlucky.

Posted by chennairavi on (December 19, 2013, 7:13 GMT)

It looks that media has gone wrong in both cases of Australia in Ashes and India in SA. No doubt the game is full of pleasant surprises

Posted by Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on (December 19, 2013, 7:10 GMT)

People suggesting Jaffer for Vijay are way off the mark. Jaffer is a good player and unlucky too. But this is not his time. And let us not ask for wholesale changes in the middle of a tour. Knee-jerk reactions never help. May be Rohit can open along with Dhawan from the next series if Vijay fails in the remaining 3 innings. Rohit should be given a long run even if he fails in this series. He sure has it in him to make the cut at this level. And Rayudu can come in the middle-order in the slot vacated by Rohit. That'll be an awesome batting line-up. Dare I say, that'll be the best line-up in the world. Feel very very sorry for Rayudu. He is a tremendous player. Badrinath too. What a wasted talent Badrinath is! And a great fielder to boot.

Posted by   on (December 19, 2013, 7:10 GMT)

actually i am not sure is there any proteas fan , because aftre reading the comments and cheaking other teams forum i think all this fan example pure proteas, gretest game, albert cambell i think all are minnow pakistani fan , they are hiding idendity because every time india play they chear other opoosition and i know this kind of cheap think can only done by pakistani fans.

Posted by AamirKhan-SuperStar on (December 19, 2013, 7:09 GMT)

Just read a comment here thats its raining in Jo'burg :O. Just praying game continues on time. First day has increased my expectations of a great battle. Surely Steyn n Co must have relayed their plans n would be raring to go. On the other side Rahane must be thinking I have spent too much time on the sidelines its time to rock. Mouth watering prospect at hand here, will Steyn run through the batting this morning? Will India manage more than 350 in 1st innings? Please rains stay away.

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

Great batting by kohli and Indians a slap on critics who expected India wud roll over like Pakistan for a 50 all out. For SA with these kind of spinners they will be whitewashed when they tour India for test series..

Posted by byc89 on (December 19, 2013, 7:06 GMT)

test match is a game played over 5 days. even after Indian batting being above expectations on day 1, the match is still hung in perfect balance. P.S.:- dedicated to all those who have already decided the match winner based on 1 day performance.

Posted by 2nd_Slip on (December 19, 2013, 7:01 GMT)

Very good application by the Indians yesterday. Must say I'm very surprised to see them well set to post a competitive score after the thrashing they received in the ODIs but I'm sure the #1 test team in the world will come at them hard today

Posted by eilsaky on (December 19, 2013, 6:58 GMT)

Only true cricket lovers from Pakistan with love for the game have commented today. Most Pakistan supporters or should I say India haters have stayed away from putting up comments seeing the performance of this young Indian team. Last time Pakistan played at the wanderers, South Africa, they were dismissed for 49; (yes the entire team) But at the same time Pakistan bowlers didnt allow South Africa score 300 runs.

Posted by Ind_Analyst on (December 19, 2013, 6:58 GMT)

Pretty even. Anything less than 350 and India will be batting to save the match on Day 4 & 5. Actually 3 - Dhawan, Pujara, Virat got out to errors and not good bowling that means that this pitch is flat right now. SA will probably put up at least 500 + taking a 150 lead. Comes down to how the Indian bat on Day 2 or 2nd innings on day 4 & 5. I think this was a golden opportunity to score 450 + in SA. Having said this, happy at the discipline (barring Dhawan) the Indians showed.

Posted by Fast_Track_Bully on (December 19, 2013, 6:57 GMT)

@F.Ephraime. No exaggeration mate! There were exaggerate predication of 50 all out and 100 all out from SL, Pak and some SA fans. They under estimate Indian batting and termed India as club level. But we Indian fans had belief in the team and was sure about a bounce back. So once we got a decent performance, we are happy. Nothing more.

Posted by GRVJPR on (December 19, 2013, 6:54 GMT)

Mark my words South Africa will be 175 all out. They are sure to get the bad start. Graeme Smith will be out in first over of zaheer khan. And then its all pressure on South Africa. It could be even 70 all out. All this talk about Indian bowling is on the basis of wacthing them play in India. They have skills and ball inswingers more than south africans and hence will cause batsmen to play more deliveries. Shami and Zaheer with Old ball will be unplayable, Ishant will make couple of balls bounce akwardly. Short balls to Hashim Amla and Kallis are must with short mid wicket and man at fence on Square leg plus a short leg. I can bet you, South Africa will collapse on this so called flat pitch.

Posted by   on (December 19, 2013, 6:52 GMT)

rahane wilk fall to steyn

Posted by GRVJPR on (December 19, 2013, 6:50 GMT)

The Great Dale Steyn will pick up few tailenders today and then come in press conference tosay he has intimidated Indians. Interestingly about 59% of dale steyn wickets are tailenders.

Posted by Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on (December 19, 2013, 6:47 GMT)

@PureProteas49, it doesn't matter whether you criticized or not. I'm talking of critics who don't think twice to criticize India for everything. Yes, the test isn't over yet. It just began. I'm glad that the conditions are getting harder. There won't be excuses for SA to say that the conditions were easy for India if India does well. Next, if Indians did well on day one to nullify your attack - I'll say it as I see it. Call it chirping or whatever you want to. But, don't forget how Kallis had to fend-off a delivery from in front of his nose, the last time we toured your country. And Zaheer will be rearing to go at his bunny Smith. I hope Proteas don't come up with the concussion excuse if he falls cheaply. Just wait and watch. Cheers!

Posted by Naresh28 on (December 19, 2013, 6:44 GMT)

India could also do with a good left hander in the middle - Vijay Zol? Allrounder Rishi Dhawan should given a chance at ODI's and then see how he plays for a possible slot in tests!

Posted by Fan1969 on (December 19, 2013, 6:41 GMT)

SA it seems expected to bowl out India without even needing a new ball. Good now Steyn and company will have something to think about. If Shami, Zaheer and Ishant bowl well, India can put some pressure on SA's amazing batting line-up.

Indian batsmen were brilliant, they stood up to be counted. Kohli of course was the pick of them. Irrespective of what happens in this Test, Indian team has lived up to its billing of being No.2 in ICC rankings.

My faith in ICC rankings has certainly risen a lot. Young Indian batsmen are better than English batting in Australia, although England should be more used to Aussie conditions and the bowlers.

Posted by Cricfever_PM on (December 19, 2013, 6:39 GMT)

This is what will happen when you say Indians can't bat at seaming pitch!!! It's too early to comment but well played Kohli!!!

Posted by PureProteas49 on (December 19, 2013, 6:35 GMT)

@Dravid_Sachin_Gravitas_Atheist, I don't recall criticizing your crowds not attending for whatever reason, With that said you seem to be chirping on as if you have won the test, With all the overcast cloud cover this morning, First session is going to be extremely interesting, With the hammering your bowlers got in the ODI's, anything under 450 will not be enough

Posted by PaperCuts223 on (December 19, 2013, 6:34 GMT)

I have to say, I was the first to write off India, but after seeing their resilience yesterday and how they applied themselves, especially Kholi and Pujara, I am very impressed and I see now why the Indians are praising these guys. SA bowled well, but can do much better. Very unimpressed by our "spinners". Looking forward to a great test match!!!!

Posted by avani on (December 19, 2013, 6:31 GMT)

Had Pujara not been run out, probably the score card would have been more healthy as far as India is concerned. I think Pujara, though he played a vital role in building the partnership with Virat, may be blocked too many runs. By the time he got out he should have been at least at 40+ score and end of the day India would have been around 300 for 5. Neverthless, run out was a bad luck. I wish he would continue in 2nd innings. Virat played splendidly for his century. But, most impressive performance for me has been Rahane's. He tackled not only the pressure of playing SA in SA, but also he had enormous pressure on himself to perform. Whenever he was selected in the squad, he was seldom given chance in the playing 11 and whenever he was given chance in 1 or 2 games he could not perform (In ODIs and Tests). This was his golden opportunity which he utilized responsibly so far. All the best boy, score big on 2nd day. A score of 350+ would boost India's confidence when they come out to bowl

Posted by Naresh28 on (December 19, 2013, 6:28 GMT)

@KR_kumar - Rahane is also a Dravid type player - my only wish was that he was slightly taller. He deserves a good score because of his timing and placement. Dravid has already spoken highly of this guy. It was so nice that Dravid was commentating and the other commentators referred to Rahane as a young Dravid. A good performance by India but the work is not complete. Pujara, Rahane and Kohli were the best. Rohit, Vijay and Dhawan need to buck up - there are others waiting.

Posted by   on (December 19, 2013, 6:19 GMT)

@Shobhit Singh: just.what exactly are you trying to convey???

Posted by VKohlitheGreat on (December 19, 2013, 6:18 GMT)

@ PureProteas49 : Yea we have work too bro, but here we have something called as breaks. In those breaks we feel the need to be entertained and thats when we come here.

Posted by F.Ephraime on (December 19, 2013, 6:16 GMT)

Just amazing how a couple of india exaggerates one days play of a test match but then again the same thing happened when we toured England last year on the first test...and look what happened to them,steyn went right through them in the next morning

Posted by sachinsjaihindustan on (December 19, 2013, 6:14 GMT)

Fellow Indian fans. Lets not get drawn into this silly war of words with the South African fans. What we need to focus on is how to build on what we did yesterday. Yes we exceeded all expectations, but we have to accept that the wickets of Pujara and Kohli were absolute Christmas gifts, especially seeing as those 2 had done so well to rescue India yesterday. However, even though it will be tough, we still have a chance to post a decent total. I'm praying that Dhoni and Rahane can show enough resilience to overcome the initial burst from Steyn, Morkel and Philander. It will be tough but our prayers are with them.

Posted by   on (December 19, 2013, 6:13 GMT)

Gentlemen "hush". Virat Kohli is his own man. He does not have the natural ability of Tendulkar nor the patient determination of Gavaskar. His bat will sing the song of arrogant brutality whilst he will be the smiling assassin. He will dominate the world batting scene along with the likes of de Villiers for the next decade.

Posted by   on (December 19, 2013, 6:07 GMT)

i just got a gut feeling that Ishant sharma would be dangerous on his pitch !! :0

Posted by   on (December 19, 2013, 6:05 GMT)

Its a flat track remember when visitors in india slightly spin track was called flat track here no spin no reverse swing no traditional swing only some bounce and when indian bowlers will action dis bounce u will not found so my predication this test match will draw untill anything will not happen dramatically(ie indian secong inning collapse or ashwin steeping up).

Posted by Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on (December 19, 2013, 6:04 GMT)

@PureProteas49, well nobody considers the same reason you gave when Indian grounds are not full. Wonder what happens to critics when they don't think twice while criticizing the lack of crowds in India.

Posted by matchfixerpkn on (December 19, 2013, 6:02 GMT)

if Tendulkar was playing. .score 24/2 and he will enter at no. 4 and make it look like deadly bowling and no one can score. .and he will get out by scoring 15 odd runs....and that will put immense pressure on next batsman (kohli) and he wil think bowling is deadly even sachin cant score runs..and he will throw his wicket due to immense pressure ..so game over 140 all out .. if Tendulkar was retired in australi or England series..india have done similar performance in England and Australia..and here they have played with real confidence... indirecty sachin ruined good cricketers career in indian for last 3 year :)

Posted by   on (December 19, 2013, 6:00 GMT)

v kohli the great@ also some some comments come from a teams fan who get bowled out for 49 in this venue and and come here to critisise india . they are even change their idendity to proteas examples ind girl, solid snake, aussie the great because they know they know their team is a minnow.

Posted by soumyas on (December 19, 2013, 5:50 GMT)

Steyn,Philander got most of their wickets by bowling on the line of right stump in which the ball swings away or seams away after pitching, to which most batsmen have fallen, but yesterday Indian batsmen showed discipline and left those wicket taking deliveries, which nullified Steyn and Philander. About Morkel, he mainly relies on bounce, so he troubled the Indians more than any other. But the credit goes to the way Kohli,Pujara,Rahane batted. Well done guys.

Posted by humdrum on (December 19, 2013, 5:49 GMT)

Some SA fans are already foaming at the mouth and in a state of apoplexy at this performance of the Indian 'cubs'. Wonder if SA do badly down the line,will they suffer a heart attack ?

Posted by stormy16 on (December 19, 2013, 5:48 GMT)

I must say I expected the India to crash! After all its the best bowling attack in the world on fresh JHB wicket and the expectation was for searing seam and bounce and for India to struggle. When Dhoni won the toss and batted and nothing seemed to happen with the ball I wasnt sure what was going on as this was probably the least expected outcome. Credit where it's due and Kholi was awesome most of all the way he kept leaving Steyn outswingers and how he handled the short ball. It was India's day but 5 wickets down evens things and so much to play for this morning. If India bat till lunch I would imagine they would have reached 320 which is a good score against this SA attack and also puts some pressure on the SA batting who need a big first innings score to enusre not much is left batting last, as I feel the wicket may spin and bounce by then. SA with a new ball will be exepcting to knock over a couple early to ensure India doesnt reach 300 and will be dissappointed if India they do.

Posted by Katey on (December 19, 2013, 5:34 GMT)

This is how Test cricket should be played, subtle, tough, with the right mixture of aggression and caution. In fact, like you'd expect Test cricket to be played between the top two Test teams in the world. It makes limited-overs games taste like curry made only with curry, no spices, no salt, no other flavouring, just curry ... hot but, in the end, rather dull.

Posted by   on (December 19, 2013, 5:32 GMT)

keep ur self from fishing outside the off stump and swayaway to the bouncers that is for indians 2 do and look how tired the south african bowlers feel it changes the whole equation look at the wickets the batsmen gave it away otherwise our position must have been much much better and remember south africans bat last in this match sofstill indiaget 350 and our bowlers bowl better and dont allow them a lead then there will b things happening

Posted by PureProteas49 on (December 19, 2013, 5:28 GMT)

@Dravid_Sachin_Gravitas_Atheist, A lot of us have to work (yes even in the holidays) Hope you don't have a problem with that

Posted by   on (December 19, 2013, 5:22 GMT)

pujara is a determined player like DRAVID...when he gets a start he will make sure that it is a big Knock.. . but he missed out on this... he will be eager for the more bigger knock in the upcoming match.... to compete with that we have ever run hungry kohli, the class of Rohit and rahane..... man I wanted this series to be atleast 3 match series....

Posted by Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on (December 19, 2013, 5:21 GMT)

I'm waiting for some usual suspects from Pakistan and Sri Lanja to tell us how this century by Kohli is sub-standard, with their loads of new rules. Enjoy the way they get bitter and can't stomach anything good about India. Oh, Sri Lanjans are losing to Pakistan right now and their 'legends' are setting the stadiums on fire in Sharjah. Right? What can those haters post about young Indian batsmen facing SA in SA? lol...

Posted by PureProteas49 on (December 19, 2013, 5:16 GMT)

Morning All, Just got up and looked outside and slow, constant, highveld rain, The type that washes out games, We all know what the result will be if we lose more than 2 sessions, Hope it clears but doubt it, not today anyway

Posted by VKohlitheGreat on (December 19, 2013, 5:11 GMT)

@ Harmony111 : I am definitely seeing a pattern here like you:

India win CT : England tracks were suddenly flat. India win Celkon cup in WI : WI has flat tracks. India win in ZIM : Lesser said the better, experts predicted 5-0 win to Zim. India win Aus Series : Indian tracks are highways India win WI Series : Indian tracks are highways India loose 2 ODI in SA : Now, was the real test of India on these SA Tracks. India show a good fight on Day1 of a test : Johannesburg track is flat.

and all this coming mostly from fans of a country which barely managed to draw series against bangladesh and New Zealand 'C' side on their home soil, definitely not a pleasant sight.

There are two possibilties now: 1) Indian batsmen wherever they go label any track as flat with their batting. 2) There are fast tracks no more in world except for places where India has not played.

Posted by Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on (December 19, 2013, 5:06 GMT)

What's the capacity of this stadium? May be 5 to 10,000 and it isn't even half-full. Very disappointing to see such a thin crowd for a test match. India has at least half of its stadiums filled during test matches. Mind you the capacity of our grounds is much higher than the tiny grounds of SA.

Posted by   on (December 19, 2013, 5:04 GMT)

@Ausie_the_great : you mean to say SA-PAK will have a competitive contest??? get real my friend... pak is the team which got all-out for 49 when they last visited SA.. no doubt pak had great players once upon a time...but no more it has any of them...they even lost to Zimbabwe in test series.... well I am not surprised you haven't added India in the list... probably you are hurt by the recent results....

Posted by   on (December 19, 2013, 4:59 GMT)

pl send murli vijay back india and call gautam gambhir or waseem jaffer for the second test. he was flopped in last tour also and gambhir was very useful.

Posted by Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on (December 19, 2013, 4:59 GMT)

Lol @ Dale Steyn, whatever happened to scared eyes and scarred minds - he is limping with cramps at the end of day one. Long day indeed, eh? Well, India had to bid farewell to The Master. It cost us precious time in our preparations for this tour. The Master deserved an affectionate farewell for all he has done for our team. From now on, India is only going to go from strength to strength on this tour and on our subsequent overseas tours. Just a little better planning will go a long way in securing good overseas results.

@mzm149, you wished under 100 collapse for India and what not. Mind you, these Indian batsmen are not one season wonders like Youhana or batless wonders like the current paki batsmen to collapse for under 100.

Posted by Surajk on (December 19, 2013, 4:56 GMT)

@Square_Leg2012 India didnt play an away series for 2 years because in the preceding 12 months they played 11 away test matches and will again play 13 away test matches in the next 12 months. Because India doesnt have an established season like Aus/Eng, Indian away tours get bunched together.

India were indeed beaten 4-0 in Eng/Aus, but in the 10 years before that the same batting order had creditable drawn series in SA & Aus (Kallis & Waugh denied them a win on the last day of the test matches) and won multiple series in Eng/NZ/WI/Pak. It was an ageing team which was well past its prime and was duly found out.

This team is young and are comfortable playing horizontal bat shots. Give this team some more time, they may not win this series but by the end of Aus series in Jan 2015, I'm pretty sure they will be counted amongst the best batting orders in world cricket.And FYI, Indian test pitches are not 'Flat', they have spin & bounce, which requires as much skill as facing Steyn/Morkel

Posted by Venkiviru on (December 19, 2013, 4:55 GMT)

That would have silenced all the critics!!!! virat kohli is no ordinary bloke... if he is criticized of something he has that burning desire to prove it in the coming matches. Now will they say Wanderers is a flat track??????

Posted by SHER-A-PANJAB on (December 19, 2013, 4:51 GMT)

Smith is a poor captain he could not use his bowler well .Elgar could have been a good spinner here . But Smith has lost his mental ability as well as his cricket form .Board should take strong step about this .....

Posted by bookie7600 on (December 19, 2013, 4:46 GMT)

Guys, did you'll notice something! All the Pakistanis and Bangladeshi fans are nowhere to be seen now! Wonder when they will strike again !! Waiting for that 1 bad day India has haha

Posted by thedreamer on (December 19, 2013, 4:18 GMT)

Haz95 - You're absolutely nuts, mate. I do not see you as a neutral observer but more of a basher of Indian cricket. Your hunch about Pujara getting 200 had Kohli gotten out is as ridiculous and irksome as it can get. We have witnessed history yesterday with Kohli's innings. I'd say that innings was on par with Sachin's 114 at Perth. I don't mean to compare them, no way, but given the amount of exposure in Tests those two had before those defining innings, I'm compelled to draw comparisons between them. And rather than appreciating it, you're sensing a collapse. Come whatever tomorrow, a true Indian Test cricket fan would be more than satisfied with the team's performance on the first day. I'd like to see where your gut feeling goes when you're proved wrong today. And just so you know, Rahane and Dhoni did exceptionally well to repress any threat the second new ball may have imposed for 10 overs.

Posted by GRVJPR on (December 19, 2013, 4:12 GMT)

Even last time when Indain score 350 odd at Durban it was excuse made by South AFricans that it is a flat track. What happened though was "South Africa 70 all out" and that too without facing steyn and morkel themselves. Tomorrow it will be 78 all out. If that doesn't happen You all can make a fun of myself (but give me space of 50 runs plus/minus ). South Africa will get out in this range: 78-167. Rail will save south africa in the end, period.

Posted by Fast_Track_Bully on (December 19, 2013, 4:09 GMT)

@Duidelik . Nice to see you are clapping for Kohli after his century. Before that you typed that you can see fear in his eys.lol. For your info: India too leveled series in SA 1-1 last time.

Posted by GRVJPR on (December 19, 2013, 4:09 GMT)

Please don't write off DHawan after just 5 innings in test cricket. Same things were said about kohli after first 2 test matches in Australia. People were saying that hes should be immediately thrown out and never to be allowed to play for India again. Just wait and watch. Dhawan will also do well. He is learning. Playing pull shot is not a bad option but he hasn't played Morkel and Steyn before in test macthes to equate the extra bounce. Once he get experience he will know exactly which bowler to pull and which to duck under. As far as those saying this is flat track my message to them is "South Africa will be 78 all out tomorrow". Pitch is looking flat only because of the way Indians have applied themselves.

Posted by DC75 on (December 19, 2013, 3:55 GMT)

It was good to see Kohli make a hundred, this game is still in balance, if India can reach 350, which I doubt they would, the more realistic score will be between 280 and 310 (if Dhoni gets some shots before getting out). Anything above this score then it is SA bowlers mistake/over confidence. Having said that SA has a good batting line up so they would not be worried even if India reached 350+ score. I think India are still underdogs in this match, have to wait and see what happens in the next couple of days

Posted by   on (December 19, 2013, 3:49 GMT)

congrats Virat for his first century in SA, real tough situations to bat on. SA is not only a tough place, this batting lineup is facing arguably best pace attack of our generation whose leader is undisputed #1 fast bowler. I will request fellow Indians to avoid maligning this SA attack. Lets assume attack is poor, then what makes of Virat's efforts then against shabby bowling? Steyn do not have to prove anything to anyone, he is simply best of this generation. And he was not having an off day, he bowled pretty well and that is where I feel more confident & proud of our young lot, the way they handled him. SA is #1 and for right reasons. From the beginning I and many more had said that we don't mind losing provided there is fight. And fight, god, I believe, we are going to see much more of this unit. Game on. May the best team on 5 days win..

Posted by   on (December 19, 2013, 3:49 GMT)

Good to see at least one Indian batsman not wetting his pants but India's 1, 2 and 5 did just that.

Posted by rajuramki on (December 19, 2013, 3:47 GMT)

Even though the SA bowling was not intimidating , it was essential for the Indians to show composure , which they did in ample measure . All of us know that Dhoni does not have a good defensive technique but even Dhoni showed a lot of restraint in going for his shots. It is this kind of resilience that makes test cricket engrossing to watch . If India manages to post a total of 350 , we have a good game on and the SA cannot take the match lightly . I have a lurking feeling that India will post a score of 350 and even manage a first innings lead . We have 4 full days of cricket and there is enough time for Team India to prove the critics wrong . Go on Team India.

Posted by Philippe on (December 19, 2013, 3:41 GMT)

Kohli is superb... & most fit to bat at no. 4 which is supposed to be the critical position in test cricket... some ppl say that sachin could made 15000 runs in test cricket bcoz he used to bat at no. 4 & didn't hv to face new ball bowling... where is the logic?

Posted by   on (December 19, 2013, 3:37 GMT)

They say Indian kids lack decipline and technique....They showed today. Don't write us off guys, if SA has the best attack in the world, these Indian kids are known to counter attack brutely. Wait and watch Dhoni's inning today....He may surprise SA. Anyone remember 2007's headingly test against eng and Dhoni's counterattacking innings? Hmmm he showed that in Joburg ODI already.

Posted by manu566 on (December 19, 2013, 3:31 GMT)

Bravo, excellent century from kohli. I have not seen such an agressive century from an indian player in overseas tests for a long time. But he needs to work on his concentration after making century. He shld look to play for double centuries.

Posted by Nawab67 on (December 19, 2013, 3:21 GMT)

@haz95...are you out of your mind? What do you mean by " India need to lose as a reality check"?

Posted by rahulStillHeaded on (December 19, 2013, 3:01 GMT)

Great Application by the young guns !!! I love Shikhar's game and he just needs to apply himself to bouncers coming into his body. Virat and Pujara were absolutely brilliant.

Indian team has been doing well abroad since last 10 years. It was just those last 2 tours to Eng and Aus which went completely wrong. But out of all that a young team has emerged. What more can we ask for.

But lets not get overboard. The heartening thing to see is that the guys are ready to apply themselves.

Posted by   on (December 19, 2013, 2:57 GMT)

Dear Dale Steyn, when you can bowl late out-swingers at 145 KMPH like in a dream, just do that. Dont spray it all around with shortballs and bouncers. You are not accutate when you bowl short. You are not Mitchell Johnson.

Steyn is much more than a tear away quick. He is as accurate with his late out swingers as anybody has ever been.

When he is at his best, those swingers will pitch on the middle stump line just above the good length and would be heading towards the upper half of the off stump. Whereas, yesterday hardly any balls delivered by him would have hit the stumps.

I reckon he got a bit carried away with the notion of 'Indian batsmen struggle against the shortpith' theory, especially after he nailed Shikhar Dhawan with a short one early on.

His last spell before the close of the play was really disappointing. Ajinkya Rahane was not at all made to play with chest high deliveries bowled well wide of the off stump.

Posted by Big_3_kills_Cricket on (December 19, 2013, 2:55 GMT)

We could have a great battle if SA tried their A team to play against this team.

Posted by   on (December 19, 2013, 2:53 GMT)

virat nerds to learn that there is whole New world after.scoring hundreds.... you have got yo convert 50s into 100s and 100s into 200s...that's how.legends are made.... that's how you get consistent.... look at pujara. he score 5 hundreds and in them they are 2 200+ scores..... but I am sure once he tastes what 200 is like virat will make sure he tastes more if them.... so... the key today will ve look out for the opening spell of everybowler, that's makes about 15 overs.... make yourself comfortable, don't loose any wicket in this time and dhoni will start his hammering.... rahane needs to be patient... he is a class act and I.may expect a big.score.from him.... I guess 350 to.375 should do on this pitch, but hot have have wickets to score that much.... all depends in rahane. dhoni, ashwin.... JUST DON'T THROW YOUR WICKETS AWAY FOR UNDESERVING DELIVERIES.....go India go....

Posted by mahi678 on (December 19, 2013, 2:52 GMT)

i agree with donald that it is belter of wicket. indians leaving almost all the balls out side off stump. run rate is very low. understandable because the conditions are new to indian batsman and they need to get used to the bounce. in the next match i like to see batsman going after short balls which provide width to batsman. need to have one or two bouncy wickets in india; that indians no need of any practice to play in such bouncy wickets.

Posted by   on (December 19, 2013, 2:43 GMT)

I think 400 are on the cards. Rahane played well yesterday.Now Dhoni needs to show some fight with aggression with bat. Ashwin can also score. Anything over 400 will Really put south africans under pressure.

Posted by mahi678 on (December 19, 2013, 2:43 GMT)

good fight by indians. i have watch the entire match yesterday and would say its a pitch that suited batsman more than bowlers. MSD should have picked 5 bowlers. 7-4 combination is very imbalanced and unjust. indias chances of winning lies in the way shami uses reverse swing in middle overs and how ashwin uses the rough created by pacers. if it did not happen match could be drawn or lost to SAs.

Posted by Rajesh_India_1980 on (December 19, 2013, 2:32 GMT)

@fguy: SA is definitely a test loving nation. But, not mad on cricket as some others. In the first place, they love competitive cricket like SA vs. Aus/Eng/Pak, not the one sided affairs. Who will come to watch the cricket when the opponents failed to prove their competitiveness loosing 100+ runs in ODI.

Posted by ImpartialExpert on (December 19, 2013, 2:31 GMT)

Unless India score above 400 runs I would say SA are ahead of this match given the bowling levels of India. I do not see this bowling attack taking wickets easily on this wicket as you need to hit the deck hard here and Ishant is the one with potential to do so. But we all know that he has become quite incapable these days. But Umesh or Bhuvi would have been even worse choices on these pitches. So I guess we have to live with it. Hopefully we get a bit lucky early on and put SA under pressure. Sometimes the home side can put themselves under pressure because they are supposed to win comfortably against a side like India at home. Hopefully that works in our favor. All in all I would say we are still work in progress. Batting looks to have more potential but we are only quality opener short. Bowling looks weak in these conditions and in a year or so we need to find at least two good fast bowlers. Bhuvi can do well in England though.

Posted by ImpartialExpert on (December 19, 2013, 2:25 GMT)

Shikhar Dhawan should stop playing the pull shot early in his innings. Even on the relatively easy tracks of India he was hitting the ball in the air. He tries to pull from down to up which is not a good way to do so and he just swivels instead of going back on the back foot. So he also does not get enough time to play the shot. Hopefully the coach works with him on this. Rohit played a horrendous 0% shot. Even if he is on 150 he should not play that shot. I am not happy with his lazy sloppiness at all. Hope he applies himself more. Otherwise it does not take long for his form to desert him. Kohli played a reasonable shot. The ball was pitched up and was 75 overs old. You do not expect it to swing at that time. But credit to Kallis the ball swung and Kohli got dragged into the shot.

Posted by   on (December 19, 2013, 2:19 GMT)

Well done kohli... Now it is the turn for rahane and captain. Vijay should rest now. And find viru back in team,,

Posted by JustIPL on (December 19, 2013, 2:17 GMT)

Certainly Kohli is KP of india without a switch hit. He saved indias face in this test otherwise fans were expecting a little 150+ from this batting lineup in SA conditions. He was kept in nervous nineties for long time before he somehow crossed three figure mark. Anyway, good sign for India they can stand up in this test and hope SA batting iineup will feel the pressure and do not capitalize on india's bowling lineup.

Posted by _Cover_Drive on (December 19, 2013, 2:12 GMT)

Duidelik likes teasing visitors.

Posted by   on (December 19, 2013, 2:09 GMT)

The last three fours of the front foot through the covers by dimunitive Rahane against length swinging balls from world class Steyn shows this youngster's promise. Amazing balance, purposeful footwork, sweetest timing, gap placement were the best strokes on the day imo.

Posted by BangbangKohli on (December 19, 2013, 2:00 GMT)

Congrats Kohli, well done so far, need to have the courage to face the fast bowlers, you can do it guys, keep up the fight

Posted by _Cover_Drive on (December 19, 2013, 1:45 GMT)

I am surprised at Rahane's efforts to stir Steyn. I always thought of him as a t-20 batsman.

Anyways, 255/5 is ordinary. Let's just wait and see SA's take on Indian bowlers.

Posted by humdrum on (December 19, 2013, 1:37 GMT)

The Indians should be grateful to SA bowlers for having given them the much needed match practice. Must say that SA are proving to be very generous hosts.Methinks underneath their crusty exterior,they have hearts of gold.

Posted by Square_Leg2012 on (December 19, 2013, 1:34 GMT)

@ Harmony111 - thank you for those wonderful statistics. I hate to let the truth get in the way of your nice little story, but that series in Australia where Kohli hit those runs? India were COMPREHENSIVELY FLOGGED 4-0. The scoreline was the same when they went to England. They are 0-8 in their last 8 tests overseas. This is why they are flat track bullies my friend. If you have a problem with people questioning their credentials abroad, then speak to the BCCI about organizing more overseas tours, because this is the first time in 2 years they have played overseas.

Posted by   on (December 19, 2013, 1:13 GMT)

Still the board is oozing with negativity about the indian side even after a credible 1st day performance when most were forecasting a wimpy India being led to the slaughter by the SA quicks. But guess what, it was the SA quicks that sucked the whole day except for Morkel. Styen and Co's negative 5-6th stump bowling limited India to less than 300 today. Rahane's fludity was commendable and Dhoni can tear any attack apart on his day. No breakthrough with the 2nd new ball yet is telling of the toothless SA attack today. If this pair digs in tomorrow I expect SA aging bowling attack to start wobbling. Intresting session coming up tomorrow.

Posted by wapuser on (December 19, 2013, 0:59 GMT)

We like to call our batsmen flat track bullies.Any body who has been following first class cricket in India where aging bowlers like Munaf and Nehra run through line ups and spinners hardly ooerate will know that at least in India, flat track bullies are few.Pujara and now Rahane are making seamless entries to any kind of track.

Posted by   on (December 19, 2013, 0:47 GMT)

Kohli: Our best bet for future. Though he is trying his best to reign in his youthful exuberance and succeeding to a great extent, the occasional rush of blood still crops up (e.g.Pujara's run out & loss of his own wicket). Imagine, if he was still there at stumps?

Posted by   on (December 19, 2013, 0:42 GMT)

Congratulations, Indian batsmen; particularly Kohli, Pujara & Rahane. Others' attempts to adapt were also laudable. But inexperince showed through. Now, the few emulations, which caused loss of wickets..

Dhawan: followed Veeru's footsteps. Every time he batted, I had been holding my heart in my hand. Thinking to myself. "So good. So brave. But,when is he going to do a "Veeru", his senior in Delhi?"

Vijay & Rohit: They should know, in such tracks, pacers will keep on "plugging in the channel", inviting the batsmen to drive, willing to give away some runs; but sooner or later, they will snick. And they obliged playing a "Gouti"

Pujara: Was truly unlucky. After the initial "edginess", looked as if the only way he will get out is through a run-out. But, it is not SA who got it done; but a momentary misjudgement in calling and subsequent hesitancy by the best batsman of the day. But to Pujara's credit, he sacrificed his wicket, without trying to dive into Kohli's crease.

Posted by Al_Bundy1 on (December 19, 2013, 0:42 GMT)

Dhoni and Rahane should build a partnership tomorrow morning and make sure India crosses 350. Or else, Amla, Kallis, and company will pile up 600 runs, and it will be game over for India in the 2nd innings.

Posted by Sudhir65 on (December 19, 2013, 0:40 GMT)

This is really a average score. India is not safe until it scores 500. That will most likely not happen. Besides Kohli and Rahane, no other batsmen contributed significantly.

But most shocking to me was sight of near empty stands. Seems like Test cricket is dead in SA. Indian Test attendance (in India) is same. But during Ashes you can still see full stadiums.

Posted by   on (December 19, 2013, 0:17 GMT)

Surely S.A. are going to score 500+ and India will then have the prospect of an innings defeat. I do not have much high notion about Indian bowling.

Posted by TRAM on (December 19, 2013, 0:16 GMT)

I agree with some one's comment that Pujara could have gone on to make 200. Yes he is that kind of a player. He and Vijay once settled down are capable of getting huge scores. None of the India batsmen got out to any extraordinary ball from SA bowlers. Kholi took Pujara's wicket. The rest of the batsmen got out while trying to play shots rather than defense. Wrong choice of shot than any unplayable delivery. So my point is, this India batting line up can only improve from here. They just need to work on choosing the right balls to hit - which Kholi did fantastically.

Posted by jb633 on (December 19, 2013, 0:01 GMT)

Good day's cricket for India they are beginning to make big strides with their young batsmen. I thought SA were very poor today and their lack of a quality spinner is obvious on good decks. Kallis can no longer be considered a top quality all rounder, I can't remember the last time his bowling won a game for SA. I still expect the SA batsmen to make hay on this wicket as it looks very flat. The signs are good for the young Indian batsmen though and I expect a close fight throughout this series.

Posted by IAS2009 on (December 19, 2013, 0:00 GMT)

it is too early to say India's day, India did good in batting but they need to go above 350 to be safe, i think the approach in batting was very good, defend the new ball and attack any thing loose, Kohli played a poor shot to get out, if he would have stayed than it was India's day. this is pitch is for 300 for visiting team. SA might play well on it. It is good to see batsmen play with confidence, they need to believe in them self. Rahane is playing good with confidence.

Posted by vakkaraju on (December 18, 2013, 23:53 GMT)

India's batting was reminiscent of the England at the Duncan Fletcher era. Patience and long occupation of the crease. When the team India fails it is the coaches fault. When they do well it is the brilliance of the batsman.

Posted by   on (December 18, 2013, 23:47 GMT)

india have to pulled this one.. !

Posted by   on (December 18, 2013, 23:46 GMT)

india hv pulled this one..

Posted by Bonehead_maz on (December 18, 2013, 23:36 GMT)

Well played and especially well "not played" by India's young batsmen. Congratulations to Kohli (I remember 70's score at WACA and am not surprised). Welcome to Test cricket Rahane - you certainly look right at home here ! South Africa will be slightly disappointed in their bowling line ( and lesser, length), but how on earth doesn't Morkel get more wickets ?

Posted by MinusZero on (December 18, 2013, 23:26 GMT)

I predicted many years ago that Kohli is the new Sachin. He is on his way.

Posted by the_blue_android on (December 18, 2013, 23:25 GMT)

What is important is for India to keep up the pressure on Imran Tahir. Take Tahir out of the attack and Kallis will have to take more bowling load which at 38 is not easy. To preserve Kallis, Smith will share that load on other three main bowlers and hence tire them out. Even though SA is the best attack in the world, they seem to be a bowler short! 90 overs in a day with 3.5 bowlers is not easy and if they do give a long spell to Tahir, Indians can score 70-80 off him.

Posted by cooljack_143 on (December 18, 2013, 23:24 GMT)

This pitch looks no demons now, this pitch should suit Zak & Co. Shami with his in-swingers,Ishant with bouncers and ZAk with his accuracy, match on guys.A lead of another 100-150 SA are looking at defeat here. If ever Dhawan & Rohit play like Virat, I don't see this SA team winning even a single session hereby . Way to go, come on India!!!!Don't make pak bowler, bowl to Indians,no respite for him.

Posted by   on (December 18, 2013, 23:17 GMT)

Kholi deserved this hundred: Twenty-five-year-old Virat Kholi struck an attractive century (119) to guide India to a pleasing position on day one in the first test against South Africa at Johannesburg, Wednesday. The solid right-hander hit 18 fours off 181 balls as India closed off at 225-5. Ajinkya Rahane and skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni batted resolutely to the end as the not out batsmen with 43 and 17 respectively on a pitch that appeared to offer variable bounces. The two countries are set to play two tests. They already engaged in three one-days with the hosts winning the series, 2-0 while the other encounter was abandoned owing to rain.

Posted by   on (December 18, 2013, 23:04 GMT)

And Tahir was made to look like a legend when playing against Pak. Never seen a guy so reckless, may be too much pressure for him to handle.

Posted by ex-Srilankan on (December 18, 2013, 23:01 GMT)

Harmony111 wrote "None of this matters cos he is an Indian batsman & so by definition a Flat Track Bully. "

By who's definition? Then the same could be said of every Australian and SA bowler who performs well outside their home conditions, "fast track bully".

Posted by Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on (December 18, 2013, 22:37 GMT)

Looks like Vijay doesn't belong here. Dhawan should take it easy and learn to respect good deliveries. Pujara looked the most assured to me but Kohli's bad call cost him dearly. Kohli played brilliantly and Rahane is displaying exquisite timing, balance and technique. As for widespread doubts about our batting - well haters never had doubts. They keep saying sentences like Indian batsmen were exposed - meaning - that they were hiding their inabilities and those inabilities are now exposed. So, haters will now go into a hiding or come up with new rules - wicket was flat, it wasn't green, SA bowled poorly blah blah blah...When batsmen play percentage cricket, the bowling looks poor. Simple as that. The way the Indian batsmen approached this inning - the proteas had no answer. Fantastic shouldering of arms outside the off-stump and making the bowlers bowl to them, forcing Smith to go back to his pacers by pouncing on the spinners - excellent batsmanship by Indians as a whole.

Posted by heathrf1974 on (December 18, 2013, 22:04 GMT)

Great effort by India. They have proven me wrong. They may have the makings of a great side (batting wise anyway). Pujara was unlucky with the run-out, he's quality. Kohli has done extremely well.

Posted by bluefunk on (December 18, 2013, 22:01 GMT)

Kevin Pietersen must've allowed himself a private smile of recognition if he happened to catch any of Kohli's innings on the telly today, however besieged he might be at the moment amidst Pup & Boof's rampant Oz cavalry. Especially the disdain and hauteur printed early and clear in the whiplash hook off Kallis with which Kohli got off the mark, & the marginally bored get-yourself-out drive to cover to be dismissed against the run-of-play - the resemblances were striking. KP's not a bad Test no. 4 bat role-model for Kohli to emulate - you don't have to be a rocket scientist to see he can bat a bit - but Kohli would do well to trade in some of the mercurial in KP for greater consistency. It's such a rich, glorious lineage, he needn't go far, he only needs to try and channel some of Sir Viv, or maybe a li'l late-90s Tendulkar. Bowlers all over the world know only too well just how lethal and intimidating a no. 4 who combines his gift with the ability to summon it seemingly at will can be.

Posted by   on (December 18, 2013, 21:59 GMT)

I guess all Indian batsmen showed application in tough wanderers conditions. And that's heartening to see. Sure they gave it away at regular intervals, it's a young team after all without major experience outside of India. They confirmed they won't just fall down like nine pins. This series will build their character further.

Posted by Harmony111 on (December 18, 2013, 21:57 GMT)

India have done reasonably well on Day One and Kohli has impressed all of us. Rahane & Pujara have batted well too but Rahane & Dhoni now have a very imp role for Day 2. India's total is till only 250 & SA bat well & deep. A minimum of 400-430 is needed to put SA under any sort of pressure otherwise SA could score 550-600 for a lead of 200+ to put India under severe pressure on Day 4-5.

Steyn had some cramp issues & barring Morkel, others have looked several degrees below. Tahir has been India's 12th player so far while Kallis & Philander only seem to be giving breaks to Steyn/Morkel. India should exploit this weakness & must force Smith to use Steyn/Morkel more often.

As if doing well on Day One wasn't imp enough for India, Day Two seems to demand more of the same. If Dhoni & Rahane can give us a big partnership of 90-130 runs then SA will begin to feel the pressure. It is good that Ashwin can bat a bit too but there is none after him.

Posted by   on (December 18, 2013, 21:57 GMT)

This series is going to be significant from certain yet undiscussed points of view.Failure in two or three innings to deliver may well mean curtains to the careers of Jack and jak.Another ton from Kohli would remove any doubts regarding his ability to excell against real pace and master pitches supporting fast bowling.Indifferent show from Ishant would mean that he wont be selected for a few series at least in near future.If India win or at least draw the series Steyn would have to work hard for developing genuine inswingers because lack of this weapon in his armoury has left him far behind the likes of Mcgrath,Akram,Lilee etc.

Posted by truecric_fan on (December 18, 2013, 21:52 GMT)

The curator disappointed us fans, we were hoping to see how India's great batting line up performs on a fast track but the pitch turned out to be mildly challenging. Day One goes to India, they only lost 5 wickets, if Dhoni and Rahane build a good partnership, the pressure shifts on South African. Overall South African bowlers were disappointing. I have seen much better performance from them in the past. If I were Alan Donald, I would be livid. I look forward to read what the others have to say.

Posted by Happy_hamster on (December 18, 2013, 21:48 GMT)

Well I am surprised how well India recovered if I am honest and especially Kohli, there is a long way to go but India are giving a better account of themselves than my team England so far but we will have a better idea on the balance when both teams have had a bat.

Posted by Phalaborwa_Express on (December 18, 2013, 21:47 GMT)

SA's bowlers really need to set the tone tomorrow morning. The Indians gained a lot of confidence today. SA's pace bowlers were pretty good today with the little assistance they got. Our spinners were all over the place. However, the Indian batsmen, were for the most part superb today. One of the best displays of leaving the ball I've seen in a very long time. It takes a lot of discipline to do that.

Kohli played one of the best innings any foreign batsman has played in South Africa in a long while (Clarke's 151 at Newlands comes to mind). He left the deliveries just outside off perfectly, which seemed like every ball, but still scored at an aggressive rate.

The Indians (except for 2) played exactly the way they should have given the conditions against a very good attack. However, the pitch will start to become more dangerous from now on. The SA batsmen will have to be on top of their game and play like the number 1 test team. This is shaping up to be a classic test match.

Posted by Big_3_kills_Cricket on (December 18, 2013, 21:33 GMT)

Well SA just need 7-8 players for their side to get these minnows thrashed....

Posted by righthandbat on (December 18, 2013, 21:30 GMT)

India have a very good batting lineup - particularly improved with Rahane finally there at number 6. India's issues really will be taking 20 wickets against a very experienced SA batting unit and avoiding one of SA's great fast bowlers from taking a lot of wickets in a succession. However, if India continue like they have today, they can win this series.

Posted by Ranjit_sourav on (December 18, 2013, 21:25 GMT)

Really well played Kohli, The only worrying factor was converting these 100's to a biggie, Thats where the legend who owned the no- 4 position for almost 21 years(period 89-92, Sachin batted at 5,6 and 7) done for India. defenitely Kohli is coming to ages, Willl be a prominent no :4 who is eligible to fill up the big shoe of Master. Interestingly Sachin got his 150+ score in his 23rd test, So still time for Virat to do so. The only striking comparison point is Sachin is only 19 when he played his 21st test and Virat is doing the same in his 25th year.

Posted by byc89 on (December 18, 2013, 21:14 GMT)

@ numerounoanalyst...good analysis.

Posted by byc89 on (December 18, 2013, 21:09 GMT)

at the end of first day, the match is 51-49 in the favour of India considering that it is not a fast track type so indian batters have given an okay performance. Given India's usually weak bowling, would be good to see if Zaheer can do something along with ishant.

Posted by bhushanB on (December 18, 2013, 21:04 GMT)

1.) Win the toss 2.) bat first 3.) Bat 100+ overs 4.) score 350+

Almost there at the 100 overs... now we need to score those 100 runs... to stay in the game... Remember average first innings score is 322.... so there is still so much to do in the first innings... just to reach the average...

Should bat with the same belief and application tomorrow morning.

Go India Go...

Posted by   on (December 18, 2013, 21:02 GMT)

Excellent batting by Kohli! But wicket seems benign, devoid of any beasts. Seems like a draw in the offing. However one should not take anything away from good handling of Proteas' bowlers by Indian batsmen. Compliments from a Pakistani cricket fan.

Posted by Alexk400 on (December 18, 2013, 21:01 GMT)

Both team made selection blunders for me. SA should have played 4 fast bowlers. I always think morkel lost some brain while ago. He is kinda ishant sharma nowadays. Sa should never pick that tahir again. He is just useless. his action looks fine but he kinda look like poor version of amit mishra ( we all know amit mishra is below average spinner who give up runs in tons).

India should have picked b kumar in place of rahane. B kumar can bat for 30-50 runs and get crucial wickets. I do not know who in this indian team can take wicket except zaheer who may get smith again. Picking ishant sharma over yadav is a stupid. Oh well , we will know tomorrow.

Posted by   on (December 18, 2013, 20:52 GMT)

Master class innings from Virat Kohli treat to watch him batting against the odds- good luck in future from Pak fan-

Posted by VKohlitheGreat on (December 18, 2013, 20:44 GMT)

Oh, the real Ultimate King of International cricket. Whaaaddddaaaaa Plaayyaa!!

Waltz the great Kohli, Waltz the great Kohli -- Don't ya stop - Waltz the great Virat Kohli, today.. Don't ya stop - Waltz great Virat Kohli, ever....

The best part about this great cricketer is that he is able to do things at the age 25 which a few bunch of players are learning at 36-37....

I say, Hail the Real Superking, Virat Kohli you beauty!!!

Posted by bhushanB on (December 18, 2013, 20:33 GMT)

Ok, read through the comments section...... now its time to replay the match reading through Cricinfo's live commentary.....

Posted by   on (December 18, 2013, 20:32 GMT)

The last time Pak played here, they were all out for 49. Lol.

Posted by thunda.masala on (December 18, 2013, 20:20 GMT)

What I am seeing is the potential this team has if they apply themselves. Beware cricketing world, you are going to see some crackerjack works in the future.

Posted by   on (December 18, 2013, 20:10 GMT)

@grizzle: I must say I thought of exactly the same match today. On the second morning Steyn provided the double breakthrough and Morkel and Philander wrapped them up. Although India have held the fort for 3 sessions a test match is much more than that and alot will be decided on whether or not they can mantain their discipline.

I thought it somewhat naive for Kohli to say he should of played his shots, when it appears he was refering to his dismissial, he was clearly dissapointed in what seemed to be his shot execution as opposed to his dismissial, it is never ok to give your wicket away, especially when you are on 119. But he will learn that! The real legends say you learn the most about your batting from the moment you pass 100.

All in all fascinating viewing, I hope Steyn and co can repeat their Oval performance!

Posted by Ozzz.z on (December 18, 2013, 20:02 GMT)

I see Indian fans whingining again when they should be applauding the greatness of one V. Kohli. Stop comparing SRT to everyone stop thinking that you need to say everytime that "let's see how they do in India" and celebrate what this story is about. I'm an Aussie and due to the fans of India in these comments I go for the opposing team of India everytime, but I'm a huge huge huge fan of Kohli. What a star what an athlete a true great of the game that takes on anyone anywhere. He is my favorite player and should be rated one in the world. Well done Kohli I can watch you play anytime.

Posted by NumeroUnoAnalyst on (December 18, 2013, 19:54 GMT)

Of all the crimes in test cricket, the worst is throwing your wicket away....Virat after playing with so much confidence and being in awesome touch..gifting the wicket with India just at 219, and running out pujara....he should have carried his bat, posing 400-500 1st innings total would have carried india to safety in this match....now lot depends on remaining fellas n indian bowlers, if SA takes lead, then it puts india under pressure in 2nd innings

Posted by Haz95 on (December 18, 2013, 19:52 GMT)

Kohli played well but he always loses it after 100. As a neutral observer, Pujara>Kohli, pujara seemed as though he had a plan whilst kohli was block, block, then ODI MODEEE. Had Kohli gotten out, Pujara would have made 200, let alone 100. Dhoni is avg in tests and Rahane is surprising but I sense a collapse and a total of 280-320. India need to lose this as a reality check.

Posted by Batmanindallas on (December 18, 2013, 19:51 GMT)

Kohli and Amala are the best bats in the world today. He is a determined young man . I can still recollect with fondness how he played through the horror of his dads death a few years ago. He has character and grit-more to come from this young man...cheers

Posted by   on (December 18, 2013, 19:46 GMT)

Rahane's stroke-play surprised me...He looks more confident....Dhoni's tactic of moving towards the ball was predictable still not decipherable...Every player played nicely except Dhawan who did not look that good in any shot...He was falling over and losing balance even to below average deliveries. He needs to get his mojo back.

Posted by Batmanindallas on (December 18, 2013, 19:45 GMT)

Tahir was given a life extension by Pakistanis inept handling of him. He is no better than many bowlers who are found on maidans of mumbai. Kohli carries a chip on his shoulder but you know what the young man has earned it. Kohli is not a flat track bully and his performance in the young career so far has proved it. He today along with Amala is one of the best batsmen in the world

Posted by   on (December 18, 2013, 19:44 GMT)

@Duidelik - Reading your comments bottom up is just a piece of comedy.Forget about Smith's 5th day Golf, SA needs to play really well so as to stop MSD from going to a beach on 5th day

Posted by fguy on (December 18, 2013, 19:38 GMT)

& what about the empty stadium? i thought SA were a test-loving nation. or at least thats what we were led to believe.

thank you BCCI for according due respect to the one & only SRT by arranging a home series. it allowed the fans to giving him the farewell he deserves, in the exhilarating atmosphere he deserved for his last test instead of playing in empty grounds.

Posted by grizzle on (December 18, 2013, 19:36 GMT)

Harmony: your comment started well, but ended up with a familiar whinge. Cook and Dhawan can't be compared: the former has match winning test hundreds almost everywhere (including on difficult tracks in India, as I am sure you are aware), while the latter remains unproven (even in India, where he has had one innings of note). Surely you can see the diff.

Secondly, you are right when you say that these batsmen should not be labelled FTBs if they fail. But equally, they need to prove themselves repeatedly in testing conditions (both in India and abroad) before they earn the respect that Cook, Dravid, KP, or Tendulkar receive.

Posted by fguy on (December 18, 2013, 19:32 GMT)

very good work by the boys esp. when you consider they've had no warm up games & less than 100 overs of batting in total on this tour & when you consider they've little-to-no experience on these types of wickets or on away tours it makes it even more impressive. but still a lot more work to do & it could've been even better, all 5 wickets were unforced errors.

Posted by NEIL_GD_S10 on (December 18, 2013, 19:23 GMT)

It is clearly India's Day coz SA always bowl well but the temperament this young Indian Brigade has shown is par excellence and it was not SA bowlers who took wicket but some Indian players mistake has lose their wickets. dhawan and pujara are two.

Posted by Ranjit_sourav on (December 18, 2013, 19:22 GMT)

Just sharing a stats I have collected(Thanks Cricinfo) on seeing all the comments posted here: First Match of Last 3 Test Match Series held in South Africa: (Proteas with the same bowling attack): South Africa vs Pakistan - Johannesburg: Pakistan 49 All out South Africa vs NewZealand - Cape Town: NewZealand 45 All out SoutAfrica vs Australia - Cape Town: Australia 47 All out

Do you still think Indians are flat track bullies?. or Dont we have a good team to compete with Proteas?

Posted by grizzle on (December 18, 2013, 19:18 GMT)

Fantastic knock by Kohli, looks like (didn't see it, sadly). Good luck to him. The Indian batting lineup has shown that it is willing to grind it out, which is already better than the horror tours of England and Australia. The wickets thrown away (gauging from the Cricinfo commentary) might still come back to haunt India. Need to see how the SA batsmen and Indian bowlers go about things as well.

Let us not forget the Oval test between Eng and SA a year ago: Eng ended the first day on 270/3 or some such score with Cook on a hundred-odd not out. Steyn decapitated the English team by removing Cook on the second morning and England collapsed to 380-odd all out, a woefully small total for the pitch; Smith, Amla, and Kallis then proceeded to thump the life out of the English bowling for the next 2 days putting on 600-something for 2, and it was game over. India need to apply themselves again on the 2nd day to avoid a similar fate.

Posted by   on (December 18, 2013, 19:16 GMT)

Well Played INDIA!!!!Kohli was classic and marvelous in his approach,though i would have loved to see pujara getting more runs as he deserved after showing meticulous temperament.R.Sharma must learn to score big in crucial situations.All hopes rest on M.S.Dhoni and Rahane ,later showed his calibre to be a good test batsmen to fill in the shoes of Laxman.

Posted by Harmony111 on (December 18, 2013, 19:15 GMT)

Kohli is like Himalayas. Already the highest in the world but still very young & still growing.

Posted by sumit1982 on (December 18, 2013, 19:15 GMT)

If India can score their first innings near to 400 these will give some headache to south Africa captain.

Posted by AltafPatel on (December 18, 2013, 19:11 GMT)

Inclusion of Tahir proved completely failure. He along with Duminy given away 77 of just 13 overs that ease pressure from the India batsmen.

Posted by GrindAR on (December 18, 2013, 19:09 GMT)

The one thing important tomorrow is, India bat out for most of the day. The rest of the batsmen including MSD and AR... to wage a dragging tail score.. probably at a same or better scoring rate, is needed. But MOST importantly, the fielding effor during SA bat should be astute and all chances taken including good half chance conversion rate (>60%). Remember to run out every one as much as possible:-)

Posted by gsingh7 on (December 18, 2013, 18:59 GMT)

what great batting by kohli. marvelous innings that sets course of test nicely. last team to tour sa was bundled at 49 and lost series by a 3-0 whitewash. previous 2 teams scored less than 50 in at least one of the innings.india already got 255 and with half team still to bat in first innings. this innings shows why india is best team from sub continent and deserves number 2 tag in tests. now dhoni need to score quickly and get india to 450 and take unassailable lead in series. game on.

Posted by   on (December 18, 2013, 18:58 GMT)

This is what I wrote yesterday in Comments section of the article Smith's SA keen to build Legacy....this...."SA have not won a series against India in Last 6 years, that included all the legends here and ABD and Amla too and that too when India did not have good fast bowlers except for Zak! So wacth out SA they are a rearing to go against all odds and SA are favorites so India has nothing to lose and everything to prove! Go India take them by their Horns ! Let them Wonder at Wanderers ! "

Posted by fanofcricket123 on (December 18, 2013, 18:55 GMT)

The greatest legacy and contribution of Sachin and Rahul were not their performances or their scores but their ability to inspire the young generation of Indian cricket. While still early to judge, today provided a glimpse of what Indian fans can expect over the next 10 years atleast. There will be no lack of effort from this set of cricketers. Sometimes, they'll fail and sometimes they'll succeed. But pre-Sachin/Dravid era, there was hardly any stability in the middle order. After the requiem of Sachin's retirement, this performance is uplifting and shows that you can always look at the future with hope instead of despair.

Their challenge is to do it day in/out with the constant public pressure from the people of one-sport country that is India. Sachin/Rahul were in a class of their own. This young bunch needs to understand the difference between exhibiting arrogance in their game and arrogance in personality. That will definitely be hard to replicate from their old masters.

Posted by TSJ07 on (December 18, 2013, 18:52 GMT)

@Posted by TommytuckerSaffa on (December 18, 2013, 18:08 GMT

SA bowlers were bowling to a plan which was to bowl couple of feet outside and lure them into shot making due to their aggressive batting style and let the pitch do the rest for SA bowlers. During the previous yrs it was very successful plan adopted by SA AUS ENG and IMO Indians were troubled more due to this than pace,seam or swing. But unfortunately for SA Indians were ready for this plan and they left so many balls outside off stump. Actually as an Indian fan it was very heartening to see such discipline which I saw only once during India tour of Eng in 2006-07 I guess when Indians led by Dravid and Banger left so many balls outside off stump on 1st day and then attacked 2nd day with last 100 odd runs coming in 10-12 overs,Ganguly/Sachin scored centuries leading to Indian win. Remember all these guys especially Kohli,Rohit,Pujara,Rahane are scoring truckloads of runs in domestic (Indian) cricket and are very talented.

Posted by Al_Bundy1 on (December 18, 2013, 18:46 GMT)

I feel happy for Rahane. I hope he completes his well deserved 50 tomorrow. For the past 2 years, he was always the bridesmaid, never the bride. If Tendulkar had retired on time, after World Cup 2011, Rahane would have gotten plenty of chances to soldify his place in the Indian team.

Posted by mzm149 on (December 18, 2013, 18:43 GMT)

I don' think so South Africa will need to bat twice on this pitch. They will score fast and big and will get healthy lead.

Posted by anupkeni on (December 18, 2013, 18:42 GMT)

Johannesburg is the only ground in South Africa where India has dominated South Africa in test cricket. In 1992, Sachin Tendulkar scored a century and the match was drawn. In 1997, Rahul Dravid scored a century and India missed a victory by just two wickets when rain played spoilsport. In 2006, India won the test by 123 runs when Sreesanth ran through the South African batting order dismissing them for 84. It was also the test match which marked the return of Sourav Ganguly. And now in 2013, Virat Kohli has scored a century on day one.

Posted by   on (December 18, 2013, 18:36 GMT)

The problem is , India has an inexperienced and mediocre bowling attack , no matter what score they put up, Indian bowling wont be able to defend it . Bowlers win matches by taking wickets , but i feel indias bowling attack wont be up to the task .

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

@TommytuckerSaffa - No worries, We feel the same way about your bowlers, except Steyn. who just have to show up on most SA pitches and let the pitch do most of the work for you!

Posted by   on (December 18, 2013, 18:33 GMT)

As a fan of cricket I have to say that it was one the most delightful days of cricket that I have seen in a while. Bowlers bowling well and troubling batsmen whilst batsmen played diligently and kept to the principles. Overall It is even and I can't wait for tomorrow.

The only thing that irks me is the comments against the Indian batting effort. Don't understand it really. Some of the comments saying "This is a flat track in South Africa" really baffle me. It has some grass on it and gives purchase to bowlers who bowl well. By no means is it a green top but it is a far cry from a flat track. Honestly grow up and love the game instead of trying to find faults with others.

Posted by MaruthuDelft on (December 18, 2013, 18:32 GMT)

Kohli has played one of the two most important away test innings played by an Indian in the last 10 years. The performance in the first innings of a series is so important because if it goes well then India bats well throughout the series. India will do well in this series. If Pujara, Ashwin, Rahane and Dhoni come good then India won't be easily beaten. Now Dhawan and Rohit too will gain confidence. Such is the magnitude of work Kohli has done. One such innings was played by Ganguly when India toured Oz in 2003.

Posted by OttawaRocks on (December 18, 2013, 18:32 GMT)

Really good batting by India amidst excellent bowling by SA. To be honest, with the inexperience on the Indian side, I was expecting 76 all out from India, especially given others (i.e., Australia) got all out for 47 in SA (semi-recently). I only saw Vijay, Dhawan, Kohli, Dhoni and Rahane bat. My impression was Dhawan was skillfully leaving until he decided to pull all chin-high balls. So he failed despite having the skill. The others passed because although they got beat from time to time, they played to their potential and showed that they have the wherewithal to improve. Good day of test cricket!

Posted by prshaji74 on (December 18, 2013, 18:28 GMT)

He is simply the most emerging young player of all format cricket.. and proving in all conditions..... specially tough batting pitches.... before he score one in perth 2011, he is the one capable of sachins records of runs = 15x 10 test per year = 50 runs per year = 15000.00. He got the ability, technique, only one thing wrong over confidence and maturity compare to sachin...today he lost his wicket to over confidence of his short selection after well set for carry on....

Posted by   on (December 18, 2013, 18:27 GMT)

This track looks like the one at WACA. SA batters are very good at playing on fast tracks. There was hardly any movement. But, still very disappointing bowling by SA bowlers. About 80% of the balls were bowled outside the off stump, that were left easily by Indian batsmen. SA bowlers should learn to bowl from Siddle and Ryan Harris on how to make batsmen play each and every ball. If India scores 350+ runs, it would be very difficult for SA to bat in the 4th innings against the spin of Ashwin.

Keep bowling like this SA, Mitch and Aussies will maul you when they tour SA.

Posted by Naresh28 on (December 18, 2013, 18:23 GMT)

@harmony_111 - Well said. Yes we are called flat track bullies and yet kohli scores a 100 against the best bowling attack in the world and rival fans go quiet. @solid-snake had predicted a whitewash despite one washed game in the odis. India definitely loses because of a poor bowling unit. Having said this I dont think INDIA is in a strong position in this test. Remember SA crossed 300 in ODIS.

Posted by the_blue_android on (December 18, 2013, 18:20 GMT)

It's laughable that Donald and Cullinan are now calling this pitch a belter. Till yesterday it was 'intimidating' and 'frightening' where the bowlers 'soften up' the batsmen. After Day 1, the pitch is a belter! These guys would do well in the corporate for their changing tunes. As ex international cricketers, they should know that you cannot comment on a pitch unless both the sides have batted. By calling this pitch a belter, the pressure is now on SA to score 500 in their first innings. IF they don't game on because there certainly will be scoreboard pressure.

Posted by   on (December 18, 2013, 18:20 GMT)

It's very, very heartening to see this young Indian team's performance on the opening day. Well whatever happens in this test match b it a S.A win or a draw or an Indian win I won't be disheartened by their performance provided they show the same fighting & applying spirit in the next 4 days to come. Hats of to our young Indian team, bravo boys & keep up the good work.

Posted by Sushrutdhakal on (December 18, 2013, 18:20 GMT)

@TommytuckerSaffa That is ridiculous. Morkel was SA's best bowler today. He troubled the batsmen most and is tad unlucky not to pick few more wickets. Indians really left well outside the off stump. Interesting Day 2 ahead.

Posted by NareshPodi on (December 18, 2013, 18:19 GMT)

Absolutely, Virat is brilliant and talented. He has been proving many times, that he is much better than the earlier generation. Every generation produced a superb player to watch. I hoped that he will make 200.. but its ok. better luck next time. :)

@Dhawan, please come out of Gayle's mode... (Gayle plays outside off-stump ball over Mid-wicket or long-on lol). This is test match and will definitely test the skills of the batsman.

Rahane, I always see Dravid in his attitude and play.. I wish him good luck to play many more years to come.

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

@tommytuckersaffa : DId you watch the game today? Morkel bowled a lot better than the rest. At the end of the day where India didn't want to lose a wicket, steyn decides to bowl 5/6 balls wide on offstump.

Very good day of cricket.

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

@Al_Bundy1 - Next time, would you comment after watching some cricket and not just the scorecards?

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

I don't think Indians should be overly excited by their effort today, they were very lucky that some edges didn't carry and some balls missed the edges not by much. South African's also lacked a bit of fire latter in the day. If SA can manage a lead of anything around 150 India will find themselves under the pump in the second innings.

Posted by bowledout67 on (December 18, 2013, 18:15 GMT)

Even on an off day at the office, for this South African bowling attack, barring Tahir and Duminy, they were hard to get away....... never write this South African test team off.....if you do, its at your own peril.They have a neck of coming back from impossible situations... having said that well done to Virat & Co. and its good to see India fighting hard.. that's the reason we watch this glorious game called test cricket.

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

Y cant we neutral supporter just appreciate that india batted wll. In past SA got the opposittion out inside hundred againat pakistan aus amd NZ so considering all these indian youngsters batted well

Posted by bhushanB on (December 18, 2013, 18:09 GMT)

@TommytuckerSaffa

Same goes for bowling averages for bowlers from SA, ENG, AUS.... when you compare their low-mid averages per wicket... to the high 30s in the subcontinent/India

Unfortunately there is no lookup table or a conversion tool that would help to compare ..... just like you cannot compare a Kallis to a Sobers, or a Sachin to a Bradman... different eras... different conditions....

Posted by AnkCric on (December 18, 2013, 18:09 GMT)

Due credits also need to be given to Ajinkya Rahane! He played superbly to avoid any collapse after Rohit Sharma's wicket! Virat offcourse was superb!

Overall a very satisfying day for India, I'd say! Should get atleast 400 to (still) avoid defeat here.

Posted by TommytuckerSaffa on (December 18, 2013, 18:08 GMT)

ROFL at the comments calling this pitch a green-top. lollll!!! Average first innings score at the Wanderes is 315. Hardly a green-top but a great pitch offering something for the bowlers and something for batsmen who fight (Kohli)

@bhushanB I only watched half the game today on the laptop but couldn't listen to commentary as I was meant to be working :0 I agree Morkel did trouble the batsmen the most BUT he does bowl too many of his deliveries too wide of the batsman who can easily leave it. He is a very good bowler but an average of 31 is not amazing. We have better guys in SA who hopefully will start coming through.

Posted by SherjilIslam on (December 18, 2013, 18:04 GMT)

@TomytuckerSaffa: "I think Morkel needs to be dropped, poor bowling average" R U SERIOUS??? I mean you want to drop your best bowler who always looked threatening and keep Indians on their toes whole day. Anyways as Indian fan I will be more than happy to see Morkel getting dropped due to his poor average. lol

Posted by   on (December 18, 2013, 18:01 GMT)

Think S Africa missed a trick by not continuing the all-pace attack strategy of the ODI series. Sure Tahir spun S Africa to victory in their most recent test vs PAK - but Shane Warne the greatest leg-spinner of all-time generally struggled vs IND, because they play leg-spin so well.

Its useless having Kleinvelt in the squad - either one of Ryan McClaren, Chris Morris, Kyle Abbot, Marchant De Lange or Hardus Viljeon (whoever is fit since i know not all of them are playing currently) - should have been playing right now.

However although IND didn't embarass themselves with the bat & weren't rolled over like day 1 of the 2011 series, its only one day - 4 days & 3 innings to go...

Posted by Harmony_not_Discord on (December 18, 2013, 18:01 GMT)

Good determination and fight back shown by the talented Indian batsmen. Well played Kohli.

Rahane looks calm and focused. But there is something worrying about him - looks a bit peeky and frail. I hope the nutritionist is keeping an eye on his diet - not just his 5-A-Day but proteins as well.

Posted by   on (December 18, 2013, 17:58 GMT)

Well done India for getting to 255/5 on a batting track. however if any of you guys actually understand how South African pitches are you wil know this...... The pitch played on is what in South Africa we call a flat track. only purchase is during the morning session. Dries out extensively under sunshine and heat making rhe grass dry and holds the cracks together. Day 3 is crucial for batting. Pitch will be at its driest and truest. Day 4 the cracks open up. India need to bat another Day or ensure they bat on Day 3. Go Proteas

Posted by Al_Bundy1 on (December 18, 2013, 17:53 GMT)

Well played by Kohli. Pujara looked comfortable, but was unnecessarily run out by Kohli. Someone mentioned that it's been 3 years since a number 4 batsman from India scored a century. This proves that Tendulkar overstayed by 3 years. In the process he kept his fellow Mumbaikar - Rahane, out of the Indian team.

Murli Vijay is a sitting duck against quality pace bowling. He should be replaced by Jaffer. Hopefully Dhawan will do better in 2nd innings. If not, maybe Rahane can open in 2nd test, in place of Murli or Dhawan.

Posted by TSJ07 on (December 18, 2013, 17:52 GMT)

Posted by TommytuckerSaffa on (December 18, 2013, 16:37 GMT) Bad bowling by SA today. I think Morkel needs to be dropped, poor bowling average. Good ton by first today by virat which has Indians in a frenzy again.

............haha...hilarious stuff Tommy....I guess not just Morne but Philander/Steyn should also be dropped and instead more Tahirs,Robyns,Duminys should play against India...that will certainly be the best attack in the world....from the bottom of course...lol at y..

Posted by strikeforce2003 on (December 18, 2013, 17:51 GMT)

India will win this test, even if a session and a half is gone by rain..4th innings the Suds will face a challenging spin and low seam attack of India and succumb...a 1st innings score of 340 plus us crucial by lunch tmrrw. Well played Virat, Rahane & MSD

Posted by TommytuckerSaffa on (December 18, 2013, 17:48 GMT)

I have to say, a great Ton by Virat but I fear the repercussions on these forums from some fans who will re-instate him into God like status.

@Harmony111 Indias batting lineup is very young I will give you that. But when you see Indian batsmen with FC averages of over 60 runs but overseas batting averages of 35 - this to me seems over-inflated and hence comes the Flat track bully rhetoric.

On a side note. I wasn't blown away by SA's bowling today at all. Appreciate the Indians batted very well and applied excellent technique but does anyone else thing the pitch looks like a good batting one or is that taking too much away from India?

Posted by cris89 on (December 18, 2013, 17:47 GMT)

India's performance today shows what some suspected- they are a side with talented batsmen but not enough experience to put bowlers under the sword. I thought India left the ball very well but ended up gifting the wickets of their two best batsmen- Pujara and Kohli. A more ruthless batting side would have ended the day at 260-3 and then kicked on to 450/500. The pitch looks like 300-320 is a par score and given India's lack of bowling resources, SA can be confident of scoring 450-500. If SA keep India to below 320, it's their game to lose..

Posted by ZkAneela on (December 18, 2013, 17:44 GMT)

I think non of the indians fans should excited so much yet coz its only the 1st day and they have to bat again as well.Besides this wicket will quicken up in the remaining days.So as far as i think all indian fans should not get over excited as SA has quality batting line up as well.

Posted by BigINDFan on (December 18, 2013, 17:44 GMT)

Very good effort by Ind. SA lost steam during second half of the day realizing that they have to work harder to get the Ind wickets than they expected given the bad showing in the ODIs. Dhawan may have fallen cheaply but he can take the game away as he does not shy hitting short balls. He needs patience. Vijay needs to be more confident, then we can see the openers scoring 50 or even 100 runs in the next 3 innings. Kohli was a class act and Pujara was unlucky. I would have loved to see a 200 from Kohli and a 100 from Pujara. Hope MSD guides Rahane and others to 350.

Zak and co - fight hard and do not give easy runs. Hit the right lengths and SA will be given a run for their money.

@Harmony111 - Agreed, it is time Ind proves they are not flat track geniuses but this team is class in the making. When I see experienced and even rebuilding teams struggle this young team is showing lot of commitment to smooth the transition - They can build their own legacy!

Posted by ThinkerDR on (December 18, 2013, 17:44 GMT)

Rahne looks solid and with the company of Ashwin and tailenders, I am sure he will take India to 350+. SA pacers looks really tired by end of day and could only managed 4 wickets.

Posted by   on (December 18, 2013, 17:43 GMT)

Fantastic knock by Kohli .. Hes one of my fav batsman alongwith Develliers. Steyn & Co. should have gone for more methods if Indians were not chasing the balls. Anyways good cricket all around and India played really well :)

Posted by   on (December 18, 2013, 17:41 GMT)

It's King Kohli time now..

Posted by   on (December 18, 2013, 17:41 GMT)

Young Indian firebrands! Did you see their off stump leaves, their pulls, their hooks, their backfoot punches, their drives! Such class. Yeah, just the first day, but oh, so promising. From my perspective SA bowling earned just one wkt., that of Dhawan. In the future innings hoping these youngsters do not gift their wkts after taming the corralling fiery bowling mustangs from SA. The more these SA bowlers are kept out in the field, the more weary, wayward, broken they'll become. Steyn, to keep fresh, is up to his old tricks of being on the field only when he is bowling. If a batsman cannot take time out between his innings, the bowler should also be denied massage and rest in between his bowling spells. Imagine a boxer or a wrestler taking time off during a bout!

Posted by Unnikuttan on (December 18, 2013, 17:41 GMT)

lets not rejoice yet. there have been atleast 2 times when we did well atend of stumps in SA and we lost - once when veeru scored a ton. we were 373 odd for 6 and we collapsed for 379 or so. we lost the test match

second instance was our last but one tour where in 3rd test we scored 414..we lost the test

bottom line - we have to play well both innings and restrict south africa which is a hard task..

the way should we achieve small targets - first cross300 then 350 and a few swipes and slogs should get us 400. Hope zaheer/ishant can help us get a lead of 100 and you never know

Posted by SherjilIslam on (December 18, 2013, 17:39 GMT)

I think SA should consider themselves extremely lucky to have bagged five Indian wickets as apart from Dhawan none of them were really earned by them. And Love to see the way young Indian brigade responded to the challenge. I am extremely pleased by the way they have left the balls bowled outside the off stump shows they also have the temperament to play long innings. 100 more runs tomorrow and i believe we have a real chance to put SA under pressure. Fingers crossed.

Posted by   on (December 18, 2013, 17:37 GMT)

where were those people who called virat a flat track bully? today he scored on a green pitch and pulled steyn, philander through the mid-wicket boundary...

Posted by Sharath281 on (December 18, 2013, 17:36 GMT)

Is there a better game than test cricket? Yday and today, I couldn't go to work as I was sick, boy could I hv got a better blessing in disguise. Day 5 at WACA and day 1 at the Wanderers. I couldn't hv asked for a better 2 days. I wouldn't mind falling ill often if I get to watch test cricket. First session crucial. India should add at least 100 runs and Zak should remove his bunny early. Game on!

Posted by absar55hussain on (December 18, 2013, 17:36 GMT)

i enjoyed kohli batting instead of seeing afridi batting in sharjah today.technically indian are very sound player.good luck from pakistani

Posted by ThinkerDR on (December 18, 2013, 17:35 GMT)

Well done India! Cullinan has written off Kohli on his poor technique to handle pace and bounce. Kohli has answered it with a ton. Pujara has deflected pace attack of SA. Out of 98 balls he faced, except one from Morkel, he was rock solid. I am sure, SA would be wondering on how to dismiss Pujara in rest 3 innings!!!

Posted by vvk1979 on (December 18, 2013, 17:35 GMT)

@soumyas your probably expected this reply. Ferraris may/will not help you in dirt roads.

Posted by Capricorn60 on (December 18, 2013, 17:34 GMT)

Although it is only Day 1 of the test series but hope all you guys, who said our young team were flat track bullies & we would be blown away by the SA quicks, had a great day watching the match!

Posted by   on (December 18, 2013, 17:34 GMT)

where is de kock.....he given sa odi series single handedly.

Posted by bowledout67 on (December 18, 2013, 17:34 GMT)

well done to India but they still not out of the woods as yet..... a good spell tomorrow first up from the Steyn & Co and India may still be under the cosh. On a docile wicket with a little bounce, i think they lost two-too many wickets. 3 down and we could say India were dominant. With only Ashwin as the last of the recognized batsmen to come, India need this partnership to prosper if India are to post a total of 400 +.

Posted by   on (December 18, 2013, 17:33 GMT)

The young Indian line up has made several experts eat humble pie. Even if there is a hint of swing, it is a given that the Indian bowling line up is more than capable of rolling away the Proteas. It was very evident in their last two tours to SA. This time there is the added advantage of this young Indian side being a very good fielding side. Even if they fold up for about 300 they will not give an inch to the Proteas, who are sure to buckle under pressure.

Posted by bhushanB on (December 18, 2013, 17:29 GMT)

Rooting for Rahane for a very very long time.....Good to see the way he started...

He will need to regain his concentration tomorrow morning and with Dhoni fighting it out as well...the first session is going to be very interesting..

SA will go back to the drawing board (or touchsreens)... and will definitely comeout with a plan for tomorrow....

Good tight contest.. Test cricket at its best.... Love it..

Go India Go...

Posted by srikanths on (December 18, 2013, 17:25 GMT)

It is bowling which can win matches. When we had the best middle order we did not quite have a strong fast bowling attack atleast not deep enough for us to win a series. Do we have now one in Shami and Zaheer ? Also SA . law of averages has to catch up with SA batsmen.

Posted by bhushanB on (December 18, 2013, 17:25 GMT)

A satisfied IND fan.... there will always be some bad moments... Pujara run-out being the most unfortunate one...

but I have not felt this relieved after a day's play, when IND batted away from the sub-continent..

Posted by   on (December 18, 2013, 17:25 GMT)

correction needed.Vijay did'nt try an ambitious shot,instead he was beaten by the length even before he could shape up well to play the off drive.

Bit of a surprise performance by India.Full marks to Kohli.He is beginning to make us believe that the void created by sachin's departure with respect to no.4 position may be filled to some extent.

Now two of the least graceful in style yet effective batsmen are on the crease.It is expected of them to take the total past 350 and we may have an interesting match in the offing.To sum up, it would be too much to predict the outcome of the match at this stage but the resilience shown by Indian top order augurs well for the team whose reputation has touched a big low in previous overseas tours and the recently concluded odi series.

Posted by bhushanB on (December 18, 2013, 17:23 GMT)

@TommytuckerSaffa

I doubt if you have watched Morne bowl today.. or even listed to the commentary...

He was the one guy who troubled every batsman... commentators were praising him... like this is the best he has bowled such good for such a sustained amount of time...

Philander was ordinary in the morning, bowling short of his ideal length.. but he picked up in the post-lunch, but the ball is already old by then..

Tomorrow morning first one hour is the key...

Posted by ArjunSp21 on (December 18, 2013, 17:23 GMT)

India would be feeling much better after today's perfomance. If they can see through the tricky morning session tomorrow, chances are great that India can set a good total and keep the SAns under pressure.

Posted by Iceman29 on (December 18, 2013, 17:21 GMT)

I got what i expected as an Indian fan...good fight by the guys today especially Kohli, that was a superb knock and he proved his critics wrong...if Pujara or either Kohli would have been there for somemore time or this would have been a dominating day for Ind..neverthless that was a good fight back after the one day debacle...keep going guys..best of luck to both teams...

Posted by Gerry_the_Merry on (December 18, 2013, 17:21 GMT)

So far, Dhoni as captain has the patent on 4-0. Remember, we were 214/2 in teh first test in Australia, before sliding to defeat n that test and teh three that followed.

So 253/5 is not a big deal. W can easily slide to defeat from here, unless we continue the impressive battling mindset. This is test cricket, and the sight of Dhawan aiming to score a century by teh 20th over reminds me of t20. He has no technique, but fortunately, he is the only genuinely clueless player in the India team. All others are battling it out. W may still make it to the shore here.

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

I think the Indians batted very well and I am convinced Imran tahir is a substandard spinner and I don't see him posing any threat for the Indians.I think the SA bowled well but not consistently well. But what I found strange was Alan Donald calling this "A belter of a wicket", because I thought there was enough movement for all the bowlers and good bounce as well. If India can manage anything between 375-400 , they could fight for the match. Those cracks will of course be a concern for SA. A cloud cover on day 2 and day 3 could make things interesting. 50-50 at the moment.

Posted by suresh_ramamoorthy on (December 18, 2013, 17:14 GMT)

@henchart - Alas! If you only realized! It isn't self-pity; he was pitying others for having that perspective on us.

Posted by   on (December 18, 2013, 17:13 GMT)

@yorkslanka I love MSD but his away record is terrible with the bat. He has never got a ton for India away from home apart from that 146 in Pakistan when he was first starting out. Thats Test cricket. In ODIs he has scored only one ton again, in Dhaka Bangladesh. So thats zero tons outside the subcontinent. I was so pleased he survived the first 10 overs of the second new ball. Thats usually when he gets out.

Posted by NP_NY on (December 18, 2013, 17:11 GMT)

@henchart: I didn't realize today was the "pick a random quote from google search and paste it in cricinfo comments" day. Unless you actually mean something when you say "Self pity is the worst enemy" to Harmony111's comments. He's got some very valid points.

Posted by LebronJameas on (December 18, 2013, 17:11 GMT)

The makings of Dravid, Sachin and Ganguly are seen. Pujara, Kohli and Rahane did better than even what the 3 titans did in the 1996 SA tour (very similiar time - only the #4 had any experience). They saw off the best pace attack in 20 years. All the 3 fast bowlers bowled awesome and there is nothing more a pace attack to do. They were disciplined, pacy and got a lot of bounce. Steyn got it to move too. The pitch had cracks and later in the day there was darkness.

Even if India goes on to lose this match, they should take pride from the first day. This team can win tests away.

Posted by annys on (December 18, 2013, 17:08 GMT)

i have always loved to watch a good contest, today was a fantastic one loved kohli,pujara and rahane's batting , this is good hard test for them :)

Posted by IndiaRulesEverybody on (December 18, 2013, 17:06 GMT)

Haha.. Dale Steyn had an average of 56 today against this mighty Indian lineup. Shows his real worth!!

Posted by TSJ07 on (December 18, 2013, 17:05 GMT)

This is definitely advantage India with just five down on first day on green bouncy wicket with lot of swing on offer against "best attack" in the world. I guess this test match has exactly started the way IND-AUS test series in AUS in 2002-03 when no one gave India any chance Then Ganguly stepped up his game and scored a fighting century and helped India to good in that series against best side of the world that time.If Indian team is able to score 350+ then they can make SA to choke under pressure as they will be batting last in this match and will be under pressure to score big in their 1st innings.And except Dhawan all other wickets were thrown by Indian batsmen and it would have been very horrible day for SA had it been otherwise.Indians will be tighter in ntheir next innings.BTW what SA has seen in Tahir? Bowlers like him play for every state in India and there are 20-30 states in India.How come SA are no. 1 team without a quality spinner? You need spinners also for test matches.

Posted by Jimmyvida on (December 18, 2013, 17:03 GMT)

Sorry to disappoint someone up there. India will either draw o win this match. They only need to bat until tea tomorrow.

Posted by VinodGupte on (December 18, 2013, 17:02 GMT)

let's not get carried away. there have been so many instances in the past when indian batsmen scored hundred/s in the first innings but performed badly in the second to lose the test. steyn and co. will bowl even better in the second innings. it is critical that IND scores at least 400 to have a chance in this game.

having said that, kohli played well and looked at ease. 10/10.

Posted by   on (December 18, 2013, 17:01 GMT)

Posted by RMCroos on (December 18, 2013, 16:30 GMT)

I have been hearing this since they lost ODI , keep dreaming every night.

Posted by   on (December 18, 2013, 17:00 GMT)

Kohli's knock today suggests that the South Africans were vary of his run making ability as was evident from the comments by Ray Jennings, Cullinan and others pointing out chinks in his batting (maybe seen only to them) as this was a very good knock as it can get against 3 of the worlds best bowlers. Mature and at the same time a brisk innings. Augers well for him and for Indian cricket.Well done Virat.

Posted by soumyas on (December 18, 2013, 16:57 GMT)

@anvesh4444, Why do you need a bullock cart when u have a ferrari ?

Posted by   on (December 18, 2013, 16:56 GMT)

@Jamshaid Raja : dude this is today's performance we are talking about... Indian batting had to prove themselves and they did... and you still are not good enough to praise one good performance.... that shows your cricketing knowledge or may be you are simply jealous as your team couldn't even cross 50 in SA when they last visited... lol at you....

Posted by   on (December 18, 2013, 16:56 GMT)

South Africa bowled without a plan apparently today. They kept bowling at the fifth stump and wide of that whereas they needed to bowl at around fourth stump. However it seemed that they assumed the Indian batting would fall like a heap just by watching SA bowl. Let me remind you, this SA attack is far more incisive and aggressive than what they looked today. They will hopefully learn from today and I hope that they are back to their best tomorrow. People also shouldn't blame the pitch. This pitch has enough to help you if you pitch it in the right areas. However, nothing to take away from the Indians. They knew that they were the underdogs and just played according to what SA gave them. The Saffas were complacent today but still I was impressed by the number of leaves today. Kohli played magnificently, Pujara was unlucky, Rohit had a brain-fade, Vijay did well but could have scored more and Rahane impressed. Overall a great day's cricket and long live Test cricket!!!

Posted by warneneverchuck on (December 18, 2013, 16:53 GMT)

Well I think india are the best team from subcontinent. Any other team from asia would have been all out inside 100. Though pakistan has better bowling attack butoverall iindia are better than other subcontinent teams.

Posted by   on (December 18, 2013, 16:53 GMT)

Heartening to see the young brigade do well, considering their first real big tour and with no match practice.. Kohli, Rahane and Pujara were stand out no doubt while Vijay was not bad.. Disappointed with Shikar and Rohit.. They've to now sustain this, that will be the big challenge..

Posted by henchart on (December 18, 2013, 16:52 GMT)

@Harmony111:Self pity is the worst enemy.

Posted by   on (December 18, 2013, 16:51 GMT)

India did so well.....especially in kohli and credit must be given to jinx...also no doubt well played india....

Posted by   on (December 18, 2013, 16:50 GMT)

incoming captain in India

Posted by sharibhai on (December 18, 2013, 16:48 GMT)

a wonderful knock by virat kohli a special player. hope the team gets to 300+ tomorrow to make it a really exciting contest.

Posted by yorkslanka on (December 18, 2013, 16:48 GMT)

@jango_moh - no i didnt see much of pujara as i had to go to work, i assume he did well then?he also seems a decent player but the reason i named those two only was that the others dont seem to have much experience of fast& bouncy wickets..good for india that they have another batsman in the ranks who is useful in these conditions of scoring big runs..

Posted by henchart on (December 18, 2013, 16:47 GMT)

Indians have done well ,so far,but no need to go overboard.How many more runs can India manage would decide the course of the game.Can Dhoni,Rahane and Ashwin help India reach 350?Would Khan and Co. rise to the occasion?Indians ought to have played Jadeja but Rahane has justified his inclusion in playing XI.

Posted by phat55 on (December 18, 2013, 16:45 GMT)

well played by the Indian batsmen.Pujara looked solid & it was a fine innings by Kohli. I do need to add ive never seen Steyn & Philander bowl so poorly in a while.Philander was just too short coz they kept playing him off the backfoot & that is not what he's about.Steyn was too wide outside offstump & the Indian's did leave well.Morkel was a plus but Tahir was poor even though he came off a good series.they cant bowl much worse than that & tomorrow should hopefully see them back to their old selves.......game on!!

Posted by sachin_vvsfan on (December 18, 2013, 16:45 GMT)

@Duidelik @TommytuckerSaffa Shall we wait for SA to finish batting its first innings before passing judgements? @Duidelik I also saw the fear in SA batsmen when they lost quick wickets in the last match in our previous tour which they played out for draw. We are not supposed to win this series anyways but i shall wait and see how smith bats against zaheer.

Posted by   on (December 18, 2013, 16:45 GMT)

I would have gladly accepted 250/4 at the end of the day. India lost one more wicket in Virat Kohli too late today to handover the advantage to SA. Rahane is looking solid, Dhoni has suspect technique against quality pace bowling in tests, but has ample strength of character, which is very important at this level, to make it up. For India to score 350+, at least one among Dhoni/Rahane needs to stay till lunch tomorrow. The first session may well turn out a series defining phase.

Posted by screamingeagle on (December 18, 2013, 16:44 GMT)

As always fun watching the posts. SA hardly attacked, SA bowled badly, pitch did not help, Indian batters did not edge is the refrain. Well, zero batting practice in the longer format, hardly any seniors/experience, first day on a lively track against the best team in the world - they made 255/5. But then again this track must be flat, after all they are flat track bullies, right? I loved the way Rahane played, was so calm. Kohli was very good, so was Pujara. Dhoni stayed there, so that was nice too :) 300-350 would be par, 400 would put SA under pressure. Not bad, not bad at all for a bunch of no hopers. Pak did what last time? 40? 50? :P

Posted by gop_cricket on (December 18, 2013, 16:44 GMT)

come on fans, let us not compare India and England. England have better players in their side Man to Man in terms of experience. They failed due to many other reasons in Australia and today the first day Indians did fairly well on bouncy track like Wonderers, that does not mean we beat of our chests and say Indian batsmen are world beaters. Let us leave them and see, let us not attach any baggage of expectations on them When I saw today's India batters I felt even better fight in them than the previous all hyped batsmen who played only well in India and occasionally abroad. At least in first test they never showed this good approach even after many practice matches. Let us just allow this team grow in stature instead of start comparing this team with other teams and add baggage of expectations.

Posted by   on (December 18, 2013, 16:43 GMT)

players to watch out for the world to see.... pujara, kohli, Rohit, rahane.... Brings back my childhood memories of the legends...... Vijay will be more successfully than dhawan in the long term...

Posted by jango_moh on (December 18, 2013, 16:41 GMT)

@yorkslanka , did u see pujara bat... he hardly missed anything, even kohli looked in trouble at the beginning.... he was just unlucky to be run out by kohli..... nywys great fight shown by the young guns... this series all i was hoping for as an indan fan was some fight from the young team, and i already see it....

Posted by kunderan on (December 18, 2013, 16:41 GMT)

255/5 may not seem a lot, but considering batting first on a green top with an inexperienced team against the best bowling attack in their home conditions, on the first day of a new series, without any practice matches, I think is fantastic.

It's certainly way beyond my expectations, particularly with the unfortunate run out of Pujara, another one with the patience of Dravid! Well done India. You showed character in the face of some brilliant bowling from Steyn and Morkel.

Yes, we lost 5 wickets, but I did not see anyone getting out because they were 'scared' as AB and Steyn mocked before the match.

Posted by   on (December 18, 2013, 16:40 GMT)

Lolz@Indian fans..after one day series kohli made a century and they are again happy and saying things like they are the best,incredible and ets etc, i mean why dont they understand if kohli can make a century against southafrica bowling attack..what will southafrican batsman will do against indian bowling attack !!

Posted by batman_gothamcity on (December 18, 2013, 16:37 GMT)

Good old days type test match cricket ,both teams fighting out and RR around 2.7 . Indians fought really hard when very few expected them to last a whole day . Credit must be given to Vijay though he scored 6 he saw off the new ball after which kohli cashed in . Rahane looks very classy . Dhawan should learn to duck no need to keep hooking every bouncer . India should again bat cautiously for half hour tomorrow then they may even score 400 which will test SA . Keep it up boys .

Posted by TommytuckerSaffa on (December 18, 2013, 16:37 GMT)

Bad bowling by SA today. I think Morkel needs to be dropped, poor bowling average. Good ton by first today by virat which has Indians in a frenzy again.

Posted by harishk8006 on (December 18, 2013, 16:37 GMT)

No practice what so ever and everyone writes off India. What does Dhoni do...opt to bat first against the "worlds best pace attack" and on bowler friendly and alien pitch (as compared to popularly known as "flat tracks") let compare this to another team who criticize Indian team all the time.....months of preparation (may be even a year long)....lots of planning and playing so many practice matches claim they are so superior in planning and in their methods and approach.....the result is to be seen to every one. If Indian batsmen do excellently well against their opponents...they are called "Flat track Bullies" but if other do the same they are suppose to be great players (some how).....look at all the "English players" (all of the players in the team are not purely English) crumbling like a pack of cards against the same bowler (Mitchell Johnson) who was in team which could not defend totals like 350 and 300+against Indian batsmen

Posted by TRAM on (December 18, 2013, 16:35 GMT)

@Amv Ajay, Gambhir has better technique than vijay? ha ! whole world including the SA bowlers know the expert left handed poker opener from India. Being aggressive is not enough. One should have strong defense and good judgement of which balls to leave alone. Vijay has it and has proven it. I would rather listen to what Rahul Dravid says about Vijay's technique than spectators.

Posted by   on (December 18, 2013, 16:34 GMT)

@TommytuckerSaffa - There was no swing? Were you watching the match on a toaster? It was swinging but our young kids left the ball well and absorbed the pressure...and the middle order chipped in with discipline performance. Give credit where it is due.

Posted by pull_shot on (December 18, 2013, 16:34 GMT)

As Rahane,kohli played brilliantly but Pujara innings is very important from teams point of view well played India and have to say i didn't expected this but real problem is there is no part time bowler except kohli

Posted by Jaganplus on (December 18, 2013, 16:34 GMT)

Not convinced about Rohit.

Posted by   on (December 18, 2013, 16:33 GMT)

well played by Kohli . he is certainly a good player to watch whenever he comes to bat.

Posted by NP_NY on (December 18, 2013, 16:31 GMT)

@yorkslanka: You can't see any other current Indian batsmen scoring 100 on lively wickets, because....well, you haven't seen them bat. Duh! Pujara is the most technically correct batsman arguably in the world. And did you see Rahane bat today? Dhawan will learn. Vijay doesn't belong.

Posted by RMCroos on (December 18, 2013, 16:30 GMT)

India will loss here by Innings .... even they score anything around 400..

Posted by   on (December 18, 2013, 16:28 GMT)

Rahane you beauty! He, Pujara and Vijay left the ball beautifully. Seriosuly impressive stuff by our young lads. No need to praise Kohli, we all know he is a legend in the making. Good first day guys, keep fighting.

Posted by   on (December 18, 2013, 16:27 GMT)

what my thought exactly come alive as I told this series is going to be 1-0 Ya India Going to win this series

Posted by mucheemaann on (December 18, 2013, 16:27 GMT)

Here's my take on the remaining 4 days: India need to look to bat out at least 2 more sessions, in the process score 150 more; That will leave SA about 4-5 sessions to match that score and they may not feel that they do not have enough time to bowl India out second time. With that thought in mind, SA might try score faster and play into India's hands. All assuming that India can bat out 3-4 sessions in their second innings. Interesting game so far, given India's overseas record off late.

If Dhoni and Rahane see off 10 overs or so tomorrow, with no new ball coming up in the first two sessions tomorrow - it would be an interesting battle.

Posted by anvesh4444 on (December 18, 2013, 16:26 GMT)

suprising, SA became NO1 without having one genuine spinner.

Posted by   on (December 18, 2013, 16:25 GMT)

really impressive stuff this from kohli rahane and pujara ! bad that rohit got lured by one outside off ...had he got atleast a few more India would have been in a much better position .... kohli is the right replacement at no.4

Posted by   on (December 18, 2013, 16:24 GMT)

Good. Kohli has proved that he is the next batsman who will lead Indian batting. Hope Rahane makes it big - just like Shewag did when he started at no 6. India must somehow get 350 plus. Else it will be tough in the 2nd innings. Rohit needs to focus more. Vijay has not been doing well overseas...also we need a left-hander down the order. Unfortunately, India don't have a seamer-all rounder. Aswin must contribute. Dhawan and Pujara show signs that they will do well. But decent job India. SA should have played another pace bowler...not Imran.

Posted by   on (December 18, 2013, 16:23 GMT)

Test match cricket at its very best...Great bowling by Africans & equally great application shown by the Indian batters...Looking forward to see the 2nd day. Kudos Virat Kohli. Long live Test Cricket!!!

Posted by wapuser on (December 18, 2013, 16:22 GMT)

Test cricket at its best.........

Posted by   on (December 18, 2013, 16:21 GMT)

i have a feeling that SA will score at 4.5 Runrate and win the test in 4 days. But still it is very good day for India, surviving 90 overs in Day 1 of a Test series. Most of the time with the trinity in team as well, we never turned up on the 1st day of an away test.

Posted by ToTellUTheTruth on (December 18, 2013, 16:21 GMT)

Now that Indian batsmen stood up, now it is the fault of SA bowlers...bowling too short and too wide...yadayadayada!!! Stop whinging people. Let these kids learn on the job (literally, as they did not get even a sniff of practice before the test).

Posted by   on (December 18, 2013, 16:19 GMT)

I don't get the point. Bowling more than 95% of balls outside which can not be played by any batsmen, Do you call this good bowling. I seriously doubt. And where are those who said India will be out with in 100 runs and match will be finished in 2 days LOL

India will be playing tomorrow to. Get some rest guys.

Posted by viru-319-219 on (December 18, 2013, 16:18 GMT)

Superb batting performance by India ...... I know it should be called 'Good' with scorecard reading 255/5 but it is 'Superb' just because of the pressure these young batsmen had on them to show what they are made of and I loved the application from them. Remember this is their first overseas tour as a bunch and most of us expected they will be all-out before end of day's play but these young Indian batsmen led by Kohli,Pujara and followed by Rahane showed Steyn and MOrkel are just another bunch of bowlers and we can play them :). I hope this confidence of Day 1 will give India 1-0 lead in this test series (though it is too early to predict). Indian bowlers are always under-rated and I am quite confident that this bowling line-up will trouble SA batsmen and will get 20 Wickets to win India the game. Zaheer and Shami are the bowlers to look out for and my guess is Ishant will beat the batsmen most with out rewards. Hoping for Indian domination on remaining 4 days. GO INDIA ...........

Posted by 122notoutWestByfleet1996 on (December 18, 2013, 16:16 GMT)

i think India have just edged today. Tahir was poor, Kohli looked a real class act, untroubled, fluent and with all the time in the world to play his shots.

SA will want to try and make an early breakthrough tomorrow morning and get into the tail. They need to bowl more at the stumps and not allow the Indian batsmen as much room or to leave the ball as much.

As an England fan , it was good to see a days play that wasn't too one sided!

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

well batted kohli..good innings , if india are to succeed overseas hundreds have come to come from either him or MSD , cant see anyone else in that line up who can score a ton on a lively wicket..

Posted by   on (December 18, 2013, 16:15 GMT)

350 would have been a par score on this track. India is still on track for that score. However, considering India's bowling strength, 400+ would have been safer. That looked possible until Virat got out. I would say it's 55-45 for SA at the end of Day 1.

Posted by   on (December 18, 2013, 16:14 GMT)

a decent day for india . hope we are able to put up 450 tomorrow

Posted by wapuser on (December 18, 2013, 16:13 GMT)

Viral kohli gonna rule the rust in coming days and what I feel Indian team has gotten its Dravid back as Pujara what an astute player of the tests.

Posted by anvesh4444 on (December 18, 2013, 16:12 GMT)

suprising, SA became NO1 without having one genuine spinner.

Posted by soumyas on (December 18, 2013, 16:11 GMT)

Well played by Kohli, Pujar fought it out during the tough times, Rahane also showed the character, But India needed Gautam Gambhir or Wasim Jaffer in place of Murali Vijay, He is a puppy against SA fast bowling.

Posted by calcu on (December 18, 2013, 16:11 GMT)

When pakistan batted here,they were dismissed for 49. India is 255/5. This shows that they are far better. If all goes well, we will win comfortably.

Posted by pitchItup on (December 18, 2013, 16:08 GMT)

I think the young Indian batsmen batter well and whilst South Africa kept a lid on the scoring, South Africa were quite lucky with wickets due to some loose shots and a ridiculous run out. The SA bowlers were not looking dangerous during the Kohli-Pujara partnership and did not look like breaking it. We will know more about the pitch once both teams have batted but if India can post something around 350, the SA batsmen might come under pressure especially with SA's propensity to disintegrate under pressure.

Posted by bhushanB on (December 18, 2013, 16:06 GMT)

Good job guys...

Wanted a 250-4... ended up with 255-5.... Always off by a wicket... but I guess I should be happy with the way Indian batsmen played.... applied themselves.. did not get carried away.... good signs.....

GOOD JOB INDIA... way to go...

Posted by   on (December 18, 2013, 15:57 GMT)

got to praise this man rahane, never had doubts about his class if batting and talent, but he had tendency to give it away whenever he was given a chance.... he was never actually a odi player just like Rohit...both are a mould of ranaji... both can play long innings and they are just showing their presence.... good going....

Posted by inhotpursuit on (December 18, 2013, 15:52 GMT)

Not a bad day for India considering we are used to much worse first days of the opening test matches..In fact India would be pretty happy with the result if they don't lose anymore wickets in the last 3 overs!

Posted by PrasPunter on (December 18, 2013, 15:50 GMT)

Rank bad bowling from SA - way too wide, short and they have Imran Tahir to gift half-trackers and full-tosses. With such a poor bowling effort, wondering if it is going to be 2-0 for india. Quite possible !! SA's days as No 1 are over for good measure !!!

Posted by DRS_Flawed_NeedsImprovement on (December 18, 2013, 15:49 GMT)

in swinging conditions, one of the opener's main role should be the taking shine of the new ball. Vijay doing this quite some time. Why murali vijay gets a chance in playin 11? Very simple, it is not odi, he is performing well in test so he deserved it.

Posted by Vernacular_Press on (December 18, 2013, 15:44 GMT)

South African bowlers hardly attacked.You can get away in limited overs cricket by bowling wide (negative tactics) ,but in test cricket you must attack the stumps , especially when the opposition is mighty "disciplined" indians.

Posted by Harmony111 on (December 18, 2013, 15:37 GMT)

@I_Love_My_India:

I agree with you reg Rahane. He has been very impressive. Getting 30s or 40s is not the point here. Rahane has looked remarkably calm & able in this innings. He is looking a bit like Rohit Sharma with all his class & extra time minus all his loose habits.

I don't want to jinx Rahane but even as I type this, he produces a lovely cover drive against Steyn.

If we take into account the very few number of tests played by India's Top 6 then imagine how good they would be after gaining some experience and/or getting more time to prepare for such conditions !!! I mean, presently, nothing is more challenging than facing SA in SA when they have such a ferocious bowling attack. Barring Dhawan, no Indian batsman looked in any particular trouble today give or take a few misses which are expected at this level.

Posted by   on (December 18, 2013, 15:33 GMT)

how murali get chance in every match? I dont understand. he is dhoni's close freind. goutam is still better player after virat.

Posted by spot_on on (December 18, 2013, 15:31 GMT)

Oh, wait wha' .. Is Zak playing for Saffa.. Nah.. I think it's Ryan Harris.. oh Nooooooooooooooooooooooooo.. It's Stinger Steyn... Ppl talk about Indian players fitness level..Steyn is on/off field for sometime now.. Beat it Kid.. Smith won't last a couple of overs of zappers tomorrow from Zak.. mark it ..

Posted by Ryan_H on (December 18, 2013, 15:30 GMT)

However good his hundred was, Kohli was wrong in getting Pujara run out and he needs to be strngly repreminded. By getting Pujara runout he shut the tap off another 100 to 200 runs - these may prove vital in the final analysis.

Posted by AvidCricFan on (December 18, 2013, 15:27 GMT)

This Indian team looks much better balanced in batting than the one that toured in England and Aussie. The old team had too many players past their self life. Kohli will nicely fill SRTs spot. He just needs to be more patient to build big innings. I felt like he threw away his wicket at 119.

Posted by   on (December 18, 2013, 15:24 GMT)

@Haleos : I wanted to comment the exact same statement, but I couldn't disrespect the styne..

Posted by An_Opinion on (December 18, 2013, 15:16 GMT)

Is it too preposterous to think of an India line up - 1. S Dhawan 2. R Ashwin 3. C Pujara 4. V Kohli 5. R Jadeja 6. R Sharma 7. A Rahane/A Rayudu 8. M S Dhoni 9. Z Khan 10. M Shami 11. Ishant/Umesh/Bhuvaneshwar - Message to Ashwin/Jadeja for outside sub-continent will be more accountability in batting (They need to be 1.3 to 1.5 player - .65 bowler, which they already are outside subcontinent and .65 batsman) - Gives batting more strength - Bowling can be well rounded(5 bowlers) - if some pitches are turning there are still two genuine spinners to create a spin web. If not, spinners can play blocking runs role - which Jadeja plays better than Ashwin

Posted by I_Love_My_India on (December 18, 2013, 15:11 GMT)

I do not have anything against Virat who absolutely played brilliantly. But remember he at least one time played before in SA and have seen the likes of Steyn, Morkel and Totsobe before. But look at Rahane. I have seen people talking about him being waste and should be replaced with a bowler because he is worthless. Now he is answering the critics with his bat and the it is even sweeter because this is his first outing to SA. As much as Virat is appreciated Ajinkya also is worth for some of them.

Posted by   on (December 18, 2013, 15:11 GMT)

who could not like these two guys??? DRAVID and Sachin.... the same goes with their successors, pujara and kohli.... even the opposition will like to just sit and watch these guys bat.. it's just comes with the playing order isn't it...the no3 and no4

Posted by bhushanB on (December 18, 2013, 15:11 GMT)

Wickets of Pujara and Kohli... are very ill-timed.... those are the phases in the match, when IND could have taken the momentum.... IND fighting it out there... but it is swinging SA way.....

Time for another partnership.... Come on INDIA.. you can do it....

Posted by bhushanB on (December 18, 2013, 15:03 GMT)

@timofx

I am with you on this... what I want to see is a well contested series....let the best team win... the one that soaks in the pressure and holds its nerve...

I would want to see one of those IND vs WI tests back home, that finished before the third day...

Posted by xtrafalgarx on (December 18, 2013, 15:03 GMT)

The only problem with Kohli in tests is that he doesn't make big hundreds, he loses concentration after getting past 100, even after 5 tries, 119 is as good as hes got

Posted by bhushanB on (December 18, 2013, 14:59 GMT)

Just wrong time for Kohli to get out.... with 4 overs to the new ball........

Posted by   on (December 18, 2013, 14:56 GMT)

it's just comes within the batting slot isn't it...no3 as a wall and no4 with his own class.... that was vintage.... hope kohli makes this big.... this century takes the top spot of his 20+ centuries in international cricket.... it's been a while since the legendary partnership was seen.....

Posted by   on (December 18, 2013, 14:56 GMT)

@ Harmony111

I totally agree with you and understand your pain. This has been long going on and not only with Indian batsmen but also the "HOME CONDITIONS" advantage as well.

Every single team playing at home has a 99.999% chance of winning the test match or the ODI. Its only INDIA that is blamed to take advantage of home conditions.

The Aussies can beat England mercilessly but will get beaten thoroughly in India but people will never say they got the "home advantage". People will say that they had "inexperienced" team when they toured India and made developments now in the Ashes.

I guess being the top board and the richest board has its downfalls. When you are at the top, people will always rebuke you and will always point to external factors for your success rather than praising you

Posted by Haleos on (December 18, 2013, 14:52 GMT)

It seems Steyn is now afraid of Indian batting. Hiding in the dressing room.

Posted by mansoor777 on (December 18, 2013, 14:50 GMT)

Kohli will break all record of tendulkar. Gambhir should be brought for 2nd test inplace of murli

Posted by yogesh.gg on (December 18, 2013, 14:49 GMT)

Imad_K on (December 18, 2013, 14:26 GMT) : If Kohli would not have run Pujara out , things would have been horrible for SA. Dhawan also is a much better player and i am sure you will see a century from him in this series.

Posted by Haz95 on (December 18, 2013, 14:46 GMT)

Kohli, as much as I hate to say this, is Top Class. Improve that pisspoor attitude and a legend may be produced.... But I still think this is not gonna stop Ind from losing since there's no1 helping and IND generally are only good in batting. so technically its INDs batting vs SAs Bowling/Batting. so chances of win for Sa is 7.5/10

Posted by timofx on (December 18, 2013, 14:45 GMT)

As a South African supporter I am still very pleased with India's progress as I have day 4 tickets !!. It is also a good sign for a good test series even if it is a short one.Apart from some individuals I think the most of us want to see a well contested series between 2 very good teams.

Posted by   on (December 18, 2013, 14:43 GMT)

lack of usual bounce helped kohli. he still need to prove himself good enough on bouncy tracks

Posted by bhushanB on (December 18, 2013, 14:42 GMT)

New ball is very crucial... I see some clouds coming on.... possibly a slight increase in the humidity.... little more swing may be..

Just shown the pitch.. it still has a green stinge to it....

Posted by   on (December 18, 2013, 14:42 GMT)

Vijay the way he left the ball was a treat to watch, and then Pujara's pressure absorbing innings was something i have been dying to watch from an Indian test batsman. Good work guys keep fighting, keep grinding.

Posted by bhushanB on (December 18, 2013, 14:41 GMT)

I guess this is the first LBW shout.. in the 70th over.....well played so far INDIA

Posted by Rajesh_india_1990 on (December 18, 2013, 14:38 GMT)

why no appreciation for rahane?this guy deserves some appreciation..

Posted by bhushanB on (December 18, 2013, 14:30 GMT)

Great job tiring the pacemen... Saw Steyn walking out of the ground.. hope he is not injured..... Loved watching him bowl..

Sheer brilliance.....been a long time I felt that way... McGrath was the previous one....

Posted by AvidCricFan on (December 18, 2013, 14:29 GMT)

Most of the top order Indian batting was shaky except Virat Kohli and Pujara. Pujara was unfortunate to get run out.

Posted by Imad_K on (December 18, 2013, 14:26 GMT)

Credito to Kohli and to India. I posted this yesterday and I specifically mentioned Kohli: "17/12/13: India will get thrashed just like they got thrashed when they played England and Australia away - it was complete humiliation then. The same excuses were used then - and at that time India had all their top batsmen playing - so now it's the excuse of the young team. Only hope they have is if they find maybe a few youngsters who look remotely comfortable batting in these conditions against good quick bowlers on bouncy tracks. The last time India got thrashed in England and then Australia - I think it was only Kohli who looked somewhat comfortable. As long as India keep living in denial about the quick short ball in these conditions then they will continue to get thrashed. India's bowling - will really need their spinners to step up because there is nothing in their pace department that will trouble South Africa."

Posted by CRIC_FAN94 on (December 18, 2013, 14:08 GMT)

Everyone looked good today except for shikar dhawan. Even vijay did his job a bit by not exposing steyn to the first spell,pujara showed good temperament. kohli was excellent,rohit was really looking good but thrown it away with rash shot. Not much for the India bashers to point out indian team and please dont come up with negative comments that it was a flat pitch blah...blah...

Posted by Duidelik on (December 18, 2013, 14:00 GMT)

Well played Virat Kohli. I wish he gets a century, coz he deserves it! He is the only Indian batter that will get respect in SA. So, until Dhawan, Vijay, Sharma and Pujara gets centuries here in SA against our quicks on our wickets, they will be NOTHING in our eyes....no matter what reputations they come here with!!!

Posted by just_chill_chill on (December 18, 2013, 13:58 GMT)

sad to see dhawan get out like this. he has so much talent and ability, he is the david beckham of cricket. it may not be a bad idea for india to open with vijay and rahane and play dhawan in the middle order. he really likes pitches that have a bit of bounce in them. cricket lovers around the world will be in for a treat when a batsman like him gets going. he does not know how to stop once he gets started !

Posted by Duidelik on (December 18, 2013, 13:52 GMT)

@wapuser....Yes, really!! We didn't win the last 2 series in India, because we DREW both series in your own backyards and on your spin friendly pitches in front of your cock-eyed crowds that only applaud your runs and wickets!!!

Now Wapuser, using your same argument.....If you are supposed to be ODI world champs, why didn't you win here in SA the past 2 weeks??? You're supposed to win EVERYWHERE if you're called World Champs, right???

Posted by   on (December 18, 2013, 13:51 GMT)

Kohli is a legend in the making. Special talent.

Posted by anoop3301 on (December 18, 2013, 13:50 GMT)

What a wonderful innings from Virat Kohli today !.And it came when India needed it the most. A fitting reply to some haters who dismiss him as a flat track bully.

Posted by bhushanB on (December 18, 2013, 13:47 GMT)

Kohli did everything right.... except getting Pujara runout... the may I have been dying to watch bat....

Now I hope he scores big...

Posted by bhushanB on (December 18, 2013, 13:43 GMT)

Now I want a 250-4, but I guess to be realistic it may be too much to ask for.... SA not getting even 1 wicket in a sessions.. especially with the second new ball after 80...

But what the heck... I will dream big...

Go India Goo...

Posted by bhushanB on (December 18, 2013, 13:42 GMT)

If it was not for the last minute brain freeze shot from Rohit.... I almost got Exactly what I wanted at the end of session 2.

Posted by bhushanB on (December 18, 2013, 11:46 GMT) @kbza86 105/6.... I want 165-3

Posted by Resultpredictor on (December 18, 2013, 13:40 GMT)

Kohli playing like master blaster and he started from where SRT left SA in 2011.

Posted by bhushanB on (December 18, 2013, 13:38 GMT)

that wicket of Rohit,slightly shifted the balance in favor of SA..

IND needs to make this final session theirs....should not lose another wicket....

250-4 will be the best thing to ask for......

Posted by wapuser on (December 18, 2013, 13:25 GMT)

Duidelik: really?? Then why didnt SA won in last two series in india if they are supposed to be called champs they gotta win everywhere.

Posted by VKohlitheGreat on (December 18, 2013, 13:23 GMT)

Oh, the real Ultimate King of International cricket, The Virat Kohli, is on song today. Whaaaddddaaaaa Plaayyaa!!

Waltz the great Kohli, Waltz the great Kohli -- Don't ya stop - Waltz the great Virat Kohli, today - - Who's that trundling in - just hit him for a six or four (Oh, you are anyway) -- Don't ya stop - Waltz great Virat Kohli, ever....

The best part about this great cricketer is that he is able to do things at the age 25 which a few bunch of players are learning at 36-37....

I say, Hail the Real Superking, Virat Kohli you beauty!!!

Posted by ste13 on (December 18, 2013, 13:21 GMT)

This Indian team has a capacity to become a good one. SA wickets were due to lack of experience. Otherwise, better than expected. If bowlers can match, it will be a contest.

Posted by creekeetman on (December 18, 2013, 13:19 GMT)

why pick a spinner just for the sake of it, tahir is useless and is keeping one the many quality seam bowlers that south Africa have out of the side.

Posted by   on (December 18, 2013, 13:16 GMT)

Match is in balance again with that wicket before tea. Dead Even !

Posted by xtrafalgarx on (December 18, 2013, 13:15 GMT)

I'm not sure that SA have the best bowling attack in the world anymore, Tahir is no where near a test spinner. Steyn is still the best fast bowler in the world and Morne is a good foil. Philander has an amazing record, but with lack of pace, when he loses his radar, he is cannon fodder.

These young Indian batsmen aren't going to be easy pickings anymore. I think they can beat England in England. SA and Australia in Australia are probably will be harder to beat but i think they will bat well.

Posted by ambrosefan on (December 18, 2013, 13:10 GMT)

I think India can score 250 in first Innings. Not a bad start!! Gautam Gambhir should have been in the squad. I think both our openers lack test cricket temperament.

Posted by shinewindies on (December 18, 2013, 13:08 GMT)

@TommytuckerSaffa wat else do u want, the ball to go bananas, i guess u will not settle for anything less than that, And yes a ball pitching middle off and going towards slips (if i am not from Mars) is called swing,(Steyn, Philander , Kallis)

Give some credit to Virat Kohli for playing blinder of an innings.

Posted by mukund.i on (December 18, 2013, 13:06 GMT)

poor response from dhawan ; shold be end of Dhawan's career

Posted by bhushanB on (December 18, 2013, 13:03 GMT)

The key will be to bat 100+ overs and score 350+.... almost half way...... Go India Go

Posted by bhushanB on (December 18, 2013, 13:03 GMT)

Now is the time to score.... Go India Go...

Sadly Pujara missed out.. after doing all the hardwork....some people are plain unlucky..

Posted by bhushanB on (December 18, 2013, 13:02 GMT)

@TommytuckerSaffa

Saw the pitch map during the lunch... yes, there is grass out there.... there is bounce.. there

is pace... may be there weather is not ideal for swing... but other than that... it is certainly not a flat

wicket.... may be not as green as they could afford to make it...

Posted by bhushanB on (December 18, 2013, 13:00 GMT)

@Iceman29

Chill buddy... lets take it session by session..... so far is has been an even contest....

Could have been IND session... but the ill-timed runout got the game back into balance...

Posted by Rajesh_india_1990 on (December 18, 2013, 12:59 GMT)

where are the guys who referred to this mighty Indian batting line up as flat track bullies

Posted by Mike_Tyson on (December 18, 2013, 12:58 GMT)

Need to give credit where credit is due, kohli and pujara have batted very well in tough conditions. These are 2 young players who have not played test cricket on these shores before (Pujara 2 tests previously?) and they have applied themselves very well.

Kohli has taken everything the SA bowlers have thrown at him. Anyone making excuses about the pich needs to grow up and accept that these yong Indian batsman have done well. If they can keep this up and the bowlers can perform, this will turn out to be a cracking series and ind may just surprise a few people.

The pitch is offering plenty of pace and bounce as well as lateral movement so please be fair in your comments.

Posted by   on (December 18, 2013, 12:56 GMT)

India will be ahead in this test match at tea, if they don't lose a wicket. SA needs to work harder

Posted by Bavuma on (December 18, 2013, 12:56 GMT)

Virat Kohli! What a player. Forget Rohit. This boy is the real deal.

Posted by TommytuckerSaffa on (December 18, 2013, 12:50 GMT)

@ shinewindies

The deviation which i am used to seeing is minimal. Yes there is carry and bounce but little sideways movement off the pitch. Swing? What swing.

Posted by   on (December 18, 2013, 12:49 GMT)

get back India plz plz plz for your fan's

Posted by bhushanB on (December 18, 2013, 12:44 GMT)

Now is the time to score.... Go India Go...

Sadly Pujara missed out.. after doing all the hardwork....some people are plain unlucky..

Posted by Iceman29 on (December 18, 2013, 12:42 GMT)

@TommytuckerSaffa: The match is just into day 1 and you already started the excuse that its a flat track...this is the problem with most of the fans posting harsh comments here, the moment they see some fight from the Ind team or if they win a match in overseas they start to jump on to their famous excuse India won because of "Flat Track"...

Posted by Duidelik on (December 18, 2013, 12:42 GMT)

@wapuser.....''I mean if they claim to be the world champs, they gotta win series down under!!''.....blah blah blah. Mate, please get your facts straight before you post on here. SA actually DID win down under last time they were there. AND in England last time they were there!! Did India do the same?.....I don't think soooo!!!!! Sorry to hurt your feelings, but they got hammered in both Aus and England!! Once again, please get your facts straight!!! And to all the Indian fans, guys its test cricket that is being played now, not CT or World Cup or ODI or IPL or whatever bubblegum cricket that swells your egos!!! Your arguments are wearing a bit thin now. Boring actually!

Posted by wonderstar1 on (December 18, 2013, 12:38 GMT)

@solid_snake sorry bro. This coming from an Pak fan whose team was bowled out for 49 lost all test matches in their tour to Aus, SA and even to Zim. Whitewashe din the champions trophy and yet ridiculing other teams.

Posted by mahi678 on (December 18, 2013, 12:37 GMT)

happy to see rohit playing with bat. not like other who leave almost every ball. good temperment. i guess pujara leaving the balls to know about behaviour of pitch.

Posted by Rajesh_india_1990 on (December 18, 2013, 12:35 GMT)

Virat kohli is treating steyn like a school kid..

Posted by   on (December 18, 2013, 12:30 GMT)

Imran where do you get your stats from? South Africa won its last Test and ODI series down under.

Posted by   on (December 18, 2013, 12:24 GMT)

a gift for SA, pujara runout when he wad looking solid...just like DRAVID, he too was getting runout too often... this looks interesting match now....

Posted by bhushanB on (December 18, 2013, 12:23 GMT)

All the hardwork undone.... IND has to start all over again.. and build another partnership......

Thats should be ok...

Get back India... get back.....

Posted by shinewindies on (December 18, 2013, 12:22 GMT)

@TommytuckerSaffa , no lateral movement mate, are u kidding mate, r u watching the match live, there is carry. bounce, lateral movement, swing everything. Indian batsmen have been leaving the ball well. We are into the 40th over and ball is still moving. Get the facts right before commenting anything mate

Posted by Cover_Drive... on (December 18, 2013, 12:20 GMT)

the only way they could loose a wicket with the way they were batting.....hope Kohli gets a move on........

Posted by Iceman29 on (December 18, 2013, 12:19 GMT)

@Solid_Snake: I would have really loved to see your comments when Pak lost to Zim....We acknowledge the effort of Pak by winning the One day series in SA but before that victory there were several horrible defeats Pak has to go through in UAE and in SA itself....so it will take time for the players to settle down after batting for more than 6 months in subcontinent pitches and straight away go and play in SA, give them some time...its really harsh to always criticize whenever we do badly...cheers buddy...

Posted by Solid_Snake on (December 18, 2013, 12:15 GMT)

@DC75 :Lol..Same argument from every Indian fan..We are not playing CT ow WC or ODI..This is test cricket and you are bringing in ODI trophies here..I hope those trophies helps in test cricket..Good luck

Posted by wapuser on (December 18, 2013, 12:13 GMT)

If SA is really that great as their fans are claiming,how come they could not win a series against an average team like pak?? I mean if they claim to be the world champs, they gotta win series down under!! The fact is that they win series on bouncy track with their handsome bowling attack. Like india do at home with their formidable batting line up!!

Posted by Cover_Drive... on (December 18, 2013, 12:11 GMT)

I am gonna call in sick tomorrow ( rather today as it's already past 4 AM here in California)...don't feel like going to bed....long live test cricket....

Posted by Solid_Snake on (December 18, 2013, 12:08 GMT)

@Cover_Drive:Hmm..This is interesting..India couldn't win last 2 series at home against SA..And India never won a series in SA.Then comes the 'if's' and 'But'.If Kallis had done this & if we had done that..Lol..The point we were discussing was this "Indian record is far better than SA"..So this lead to comparison of India and SA.My thoughts are strainght lol..You are going somewhere else.Nobody asked about how India plays at home..Whole world knows India is a Champ when it comes to playing at home..Not every team is like that.Check out the record of SA when they play outside their home.How many series they lost in past few years?

Posted by Cover_Drive... on (December 18, 2013, 12:07 GMT)

The heirs to India's No. 3 and 4 look really promising...wishing them greatness...impressed with the hard work they put in.....keep going guys....you have a very good chance to go one up here....

Posted by wapuser on (December 18, 2013, 12:07 GMT)

Kohli on a roll today ! Go India

Posted by TommytuckerSaffa on (December 18, 2013, 12:06 GMT)

Why do South African groundsmen not make a green wicket so we can bowl these guys out for 50 runs. When you go to India, the groundsmen get strict instructions to make a dust bowl. This pitch is flat as a pancake, there is no lateral movement. So much for home advantage.

Posted by   on (December 18, 2013, 12:05 GMT)

105-6 is not going to happen now

Posted by gsingh7 on (December 18, 2013, 12:05 GMT)

Duidelik on (December 18, 2013, 9:51 GMT)-- looks like sa bowlers are not that effective after all. philander with his medium pacers is nothing to be feared of and tahir is as good a bowler as india have back home for net practice. seems like india are gearing for a big total in first innings.

Posted by bhushanB on (December 18, 2013, 12:01 GMT)

Ind batsmen successfully saw off the pace barrage... tired the fast bowlers..Hang on for another 4-5 overs.... like I said earlier... overs 45-75 are the ones to score big... the key is not to lose a wicket here.... it will be difficult for a new one to come in and score right away......

Go India Gooo...

Posted by DC75 on (December 18, 2013, 11:57 GMT)

@Solid_Snake, agreed that SA is great test team, regarding the records and trophies - well guess who won the Champions Trophy and World Cup - oops sorry you guys usually choke in major tournaments, isn't? The point is that there is no point in deriding other teams because when you dig deep enough there are always issues with all the teams in the last 2 decades. I will be very happy if India do well in SA i.e. play 5 days and loose close nothing much is expected, this team is in rebuilding mode and has to wait for some more years before they taste success

Posted by Duidelik on (December 18, 2013, 11:56 GMT)

Pujara may even get to a 100......probably off 600 balls!!!

Posted by JustIPL on (December 18, 2013, 11:55 GMT)

Very bold decision batting first setting aside any fears of pace and bounce. Dhoni by himself or by some advice acted sensibly as chasing might be indian strength but in tests you do not want to chase to win. So, use the batting power which is one of the strongest strength and put up a score to pressurize saffers.

Posted by Duidelik on (December 18, 2013, 11:54 GMT)

My oh my!!!! India may even get to 200!!!! WOW!!!! Common India, you guys are spoiling Graeme Smith's golf on the 5th day!!!

Posted by Harmony_not_Discord on (December 18, 2013, 11:53 GMT)

Now this is a good fight back from the talented Indian batsmen. Whether their bowlers can make a mark will be the test.

Posted by   on (December 18, 2013, 11:47 GMT)

What a wonderful test match cricket.. Beautiful bowling and I have to say I am very surprised and proud of Indian batting. Pujara is superstar.. Kohli is getting there

Posted by bhushanB on (December 18, 2013, 11:46 GMT)

@kbza86

105/6.... I want 165-3

Posted by bhushanB on (December 18, 2013, 11:45 GMT)

Philander getting back to his natural full length.... this will be interesting...

Posted by bhushanB on (December 18, 2013, 11:43 GMT)

Love the way Kohli responded to Steyn....just a smirk to all that Steyn had to say

Posted by Cover_Drive... on (December 18, 2013, 11:43 GMT)

@Solid_Snake: Get your thoughts straight....India have only lost twice at home in the last 15 years or more...(once to SA and recently to ENG)....they almost won in SA last time but for the OLD man Kallis...but the point is...all top teams are strong at home....and SA suck when facing spin and the same with India while facing bounce...

Posted by 122notoutWestByfleet1996 on (December 18, 2013, 11:24 GMT)

this has been a good morning of test cricket. Excellent bowling from SA, and solid batting from Pujara and Kohli, both of whom look excellent.

Dale Steyn in full flow really is a sight to behold.

Posted by   on (December 18, 2013, 11:22 GMT)

There is no point in arguing the fact that both these teams are good. Only difference is SA have proved their brilliance in test Cricket. And, India have the talent and potential to be a great side. This is why it is so interesting to watch. This is the contest between an emerging side and a proven world champions( of test cricket). It's like a contest between Vishy Anand and Magnus Carlsen ( for those who know about chess)

Posted by jimbond on (December 18, 2013, 11:14 GMT)

I suppose it was Dhawan's game plan to attack and disrupt the pace bowlers especially when they bowled short- just that his plan did not work today. Vijay did the best that he could- which unfortunately was not much. SA may miss Tsosobe if some Indian batsmen manage to settle down- Tsosobe could have been played instead of either Faf or Imran.

Posted by Solid_Snake on (December 18, 2013, 11:12 GMT)

@Shridharan:I just checked the record of SA team..Lol..I don't know what records you saw.But in reality..It's just the opposite of what you said..Just compare India & SA head to head & you will know the truth..India never won any series in SA..Infact..India struggles to win Test matches from SA in India..India could not win last 2 series at home against SA..Is this a good record? Has India ever won a series in SA?No Has SA won a series in India?Yes SA has not lost a series in such a long time now.They toured Eng,Aus,Uae..Still did not lose a single series.Is this a bad record? What about India..losing in Aus,Eng & now struggling in SA?Is this a good record.. Don't spread wrong info..

Posted by Cover_Drive... on (December 18, 2013, 11:12 GMT)

India have a great chance for an upset here.....anybody with me? the pitch looks good for now and will crumble later on....if India can post a decent first innings total, they have every chance of creating an upset........"when I dream, I dream big"

Posted by kbza86 on (December 18, 2013, 11:12 GMT)

Indian fans you crack me up...you think you did well with that session??? and all south africans know that we start slowly in every series...but very ominous signs shown by mornas and daylo...its only a matter of time till verny finds his length...105/6 tea

Posted by salil247 on (December 18, 2013, 11:11 GMT)

@Andrew Jon Dodds- Ha Ha Ha... That's a good one!

Posted by Harmony_not_Discord on (December 18, 2013, 11:08 GMT)

One fan's opinion that SA don't earn any respect unless they win a championship in shorter format of the game doesn't make difference to the fact that SA are the No. 1 test side - the toughest and the best format of the game.

One of the best pace attack in the world and the likes of Amla and AB earn enough respect in the world with their records.

Posted by Solid_Snake on (December 18, 2013, 11:05 GMT)

@gsingh7 :Just because India managed to get past 49 runs,still it does not mean that Match is over.You spoke too early.Just sit tight & enjoy the match..In ODI's,Whole world saw how capable Champs Batting line up is.Now let's see how they bat in test match..

Posted by Cover_Drive... on (December 18, 2013, 11:03 GMT)

Great going guys...i have been watching every single ball bowled from PST USA...proud of the Indian young guns....350 plus for sure in the first innings...thought Cricket was over for me after Sachin......

Posted by   on (December 18, 2013, 10:59 GMT)

Its sad to see disasters like murali n ishant in the playing 11. as if india has no options!!

Posted by Cover_Drive... on (December 18, 2013, 10:58 GMT)

No demons in the pitch.....except for Morne's bounce....i'll be disappointed if India score less than 350....

Posted by Drifting on (December 18, 2013, 10:54 GMT)

Only 2 down at lunch! Well done boys, a 150+ score beckons even! Keep it up!

Posted by Cover_Drive... on (December 18, 2013, 10:54 GMT)

I was watching the game live.....amazing batting....great to see these young Indian batsmen leave the ball outside the off stump. I thought Vijay would struggle...but was amazed to see him block of the front foot untill the one mistake......Dhawan didn't play a single short ball well....hope he learns to duck....overall I am pretty happy with 70 for 2

Posted by wapuser on (December 18, 2013, 10:54 GMT)

Duidelik. Where were your quicks when sehwag was smashing a triple ton n SRT scored the first ever odi double hundred??

Its just that every team is good enough at home only and nothing more!!

Posted by gsingh7 on (December 18, 2013, 10:53 GMT)

good start by india. i remember the last team to visit sa were bowled out for 49 in first innings and then lost series 3-0 . but indian team have quality batsmen which the previous touring teams lacked. lets see if india can cross dreaded 300 mark and set up big 4th innings score for sa to chase on crumbling wicket where indian spinners will find it easy to bowl.

Posted by Karthikgauti on (December 18, 2013, 10:48 GMT)

@azeemparayil I'm sorry, It s Rahane's 2nd test not his debut Test.. I just Want India must end Day 1 not more than 4 wickets lost..

Posted by   on (December 18, 2013, 10:46 GMT)

@IND_girl-just go and take a look at South Africa's away performances over the past 20 years since they came back into World Cricket-it is more pathetic than even India's...Except for a few teams (WI- in the 70's and 80's),Aussies in the 90's and England over the past few years -all have been home bullies....

Posted by   on (December 18, 2013, 10:45 GMT)

Well, 70/2 at lunch isn't too bad. As an Englishman I'd take that..

Bit of a tactical error, though, they want Tahir to bowl as many overs as possible, not smash him out of the attack. Because given the choice of Steyn, Morkel or Tahir, who would you rather face?

Posted by Fijicricket on (December 18, 2013, 10:44 GMT)

@TommytuckerSaffa If I had to choose between having some silverware and being the best ODI team in the world and be the WORLD CHAMPIONS OR being humiliated whenever I go to the Subcontinent and win no tournaments ever. I go with being world champions! Once SA/PAK starts to win ANY tournament anywhere in the world , then they will get the respect they deserve from INDIA Aus, and Eng fans. But unfortunate the SA and Pakistan teams will never win any tournaments and this is unlikely to change.

Posted by bhushanB on (December 18, 2013, 10:40 GMT)

Morne has been the pick of the bowlers.... Vijay played well.. until the lapse of concentration... Dhawan gave it away... Pujara and Kohli had their luck....

Now Shawn Pollock... concerned about Ind Batsmen finding their feet and feeling settled....

Good vibes... good feeling..

Time for a quick power nap.. and get fresh for the second session...

Awesome... Go India Go...

Posted by truecric_fan on (December 18, 2013, 10:39 GMT)

South African bowlers failed to impress in the morning session with the exception of a few good deliveries, their bowling has not been menacing. Kohli and Pujara have laid the foundation for a big partnership.

Posted by pitch_curator on (December 18, 2013, 10:38 GMT)

@ Duidelik - You would definitely know how to spot fear in batsmen's eyes. After all you would have seen it in every south African batter in every world cup knock out game that South Africa have played in the last 22 years. I will definitely trust your judgment on that.

Posted by   on (December 18, 2013, 10:38 GMT)

disappointment from dhawan. rhat shot was un nessary u should have ducked down. u were playing well. u need patience. these r tests not odis..... anyways expected from vijay lol

Posted by   on (December 18, 2013, 10:38 GMT)

A hard fought first session. Test Cricket at its finest!

India are actually competing so far!

Posted by bhushanB on (December 18, 2013, 10:37 GMT)

@Duidelik

Test cricket is about hanging in there.. the first session... tire the pace men and then go after them....

The first is done OK.. we will see how IND bats in the second session...

The scoring overs will be between 45-75.. 105-150... if you can still hang in there that long.... in these conditions....

Posted by   on (December 18, 2013, 10:36 GMT)

get ready steyn n co..kohli and pujara spending time on crease....

Posted by bhushanB on (December 18, 2013, 10:34 GMT)

Most may say it is a SA session.... I would say it shared.... Dhawan gave it away... Vijay did his part... could have done lot more... except for sheer brilliance from Morkel......

Kohli and Pujara playing good....

I will take a 150-2 at tea... or but it might as well be 165-3

Go India Go

Posted by humdrum on (December 18, 2013, 10:33 GMT)

Well,well.well.So its lunch and still no signs of SA padding up. Means the Indians are miraculously hanging on.Dear me, how did this happen ? 27 overs bowled and only 2 down for 70 ? SA must be slipping.

Posted by wapuser on (December 18, 2013, 10:33 GMT)

Good session for India...........go team India !

Posted by   on (December 18, 2013, 10:31 GMT)

well that was a not a bad start to the series in SA

Posted by   on (December 18, 2013, 10:28 GMT)

What did dhawan do after his first test innings against Aussie that to at home. He is a sheer waste

Posted by Fast_Track_Bully on (December 18, 2013, 10:25 GMT)

@ayesh.don. Not today, dude. Kohli and Pujara did well so far.

Posted by humdrum on (December 18, 2013, 10:22 GMT)

Well,well. Much to the disappointment of SA fans,The Indians have posted their 50 on the board. Came to watch this expecting Steyn and Morkel to finish the innings in the first 15 overs. Dear,dear---that's not quite happening. The 'cub' brigade is up for it. SA IS EXPECTED TO WIN BIG TIME,REMEMBER ?

Posted by   on (December 18, 2013, 10:21 GMT)

Why is Vijay in squad even, that too ahead of players like Gambhir who is aggressive and has better temperament and technique than Vijay. Wake up Sandip Patil.

Posted by Yousufahmed1 on (December 18, 2013, 10:20 GMT)

@ Duidelik Same fear that SA fast track bullies have when they face spin in sub continent. HAHAHAHA

Posted by   on (December 18, 2013, 10:19 GMT)

@ Duidelik, Calm down mate, the match is in balance.

Posted by Big_Poppa_94 on (December 18, 2013, 10:16 GMT)

Seems everyone loses hope to easily. Remember this is a first away series for the likes of Rohit, Dhawan, Rahane, Pujara etc.

Have some faith. Be patient. Take for example Liverpool FC. The 2012/13 season was Brendan Rogers's first season. Liverpool finished 8th that season, but he was hell bent on stamping his OWN philosophy into the team. Now look at this season, Liverpool are playing a wonderful brand of attacking football and are only 2 points off top spot. The likes of Jordan Henderson, who were put down are now flourishing and playing really well. Being patient and giving people time, is very important. Of course, the likes of Yuvraj and Raina have been given lots of time so it is justifiable to drop them.

So have patience and our players will come good.

Posted by Fijicricket on (December 18, 2013, 10:15 GMT)

49 already with loss of just 2 ! Pakistan fans will have to wait for another day for their record of 49 ALL OUT to be broken!

Posted by TommytuckerSaffa on (December 18, 2013, 10:09 GMT)

Morkel is bowling too many wide deliveries, letting the Indian batsman off the hook here.

Posted by   on (December 18, 2013, 10:08 GMT)

Dhawan and Vijay thoroughly exposed. Vijay's confidence was dented by a Morkel bouncer.

Posted by   on (December 18, 2013, 10:06 GMT)

Coming to the rainbow nation which happens to offer the FASTEST wickets in the world of test cricket was always going to be challenging for a nation that happens to host the world slowest wickets at any time of the year.

Nevertheless, I am happy to see the Indians (batting Dhawan) fighting to survive despite the odds (a quality that was surely missing in the 0-8 loses on England and Australia).

Hope I haven't spoken to soon. only time will tell.

Posted by bhushanB on (December 18, 2013, 10:04 GMT)

The first confident shot of the day..... Well done Pujara

There was one from Kohli earlier off a short ball..

but this one is a beauty..

Posted by bhushanB on (December 18, 2013, 10:02 GMT)

I will take a 50-2 for the first session.....

Posted by azeemparayil on (December 18, 2013, 10:01 GMT)

rahane may be century on debut in saouthafrica following pravin amre and virender shewag

Posted by MichaelBurton on (December 18, 2013, 10:00 GMT)

Two wickets down. I won't expect anything from our home bulies. Just try to drag in to the third day atleast. We miss our trure legends Sachin and Dravid.

Posted by Duidelik on (December 18, 2013, 9:51 GMT)

Whats all this about ''just hang on for a few more overs, then they will take off Steyn''? When our bowlers smell blood and fear, they can bowl all day long!!! Bang!!!! Another home track hero gone!!! Now we have the golden boy Kohli at the crease facing the new ball....going to be interesting!! I can definitely see fear in the Indian batters' eyes!!! Hahaha We may even see a 50 from Hash tonight!!!

Posted by santanam73 on (December 18, 2013, 9:50 GMT)

vijay out of form in indian conditions recently and playing in alien conditions. result 42 ball 6 runs and out. why not prefer in form batsmen?

Posted by ayesh.don on (December 18, 2013, 9:46 GMT)

come india can u pass 100 before getting all out..

Posted by wapuser on (December 18, 2013, 9:42 GMT)

No footwork lead to vijay's demise

Posted by bhushanB on (December 18, 2013, 9:41 GMT)

Morne got the better of Vijay... Did all the hardwork... just a lapse of concentration I guess... of the bounce of Morne pushing Vijay.. back in the crease.......

disappointed..

Posted by   on (December 18, 2013, 9:41 GMT)

I don't want to blame dhawan here he did what normally a batsman would do. Africans on the forum looks a but pumped we just gotta be patient ubtill they come to india and we smash them hard.

Posted by Duidelik on (December 18, 2013, 9:38 GMT)

Run rate is around 1.8!! *Yawn* .....I was led to believe that these guys were stroke makers??? Its going to be a loooong day!

Posted by bhushanB on (December 18, 2013, 9:35 GMT)

Can someone make a note of where AB is standing for these pacemen?

I would like to compare where Dhoni stands for our pace bowlers who are definitely tad slow comparatively...

I wonder why so many nicks do not carry when India are fielding...

Posted by cricpanther on (December 18, 2013, 9:35 GMT)

Indian stupid selectors see Dhavan's debut inning and they are happy, but they dont know Dhavan is not even good for Test match cricket, one day cricket and t20 cricket. He is good for just a Ranji cricket! What Dhava is doing here, so as Murli vijay??? and so as Ms Dhoni??? All three should be thrown out quickly and Where is Gambhir??? Gambhir should be on side as an opener as well as Test Captain...Be Back soon. Msd is just a stupid lucky to have 2011 world cup because of others performances and stupid indians continue with his captain,,,strange!!! Time to say good bye for smart Dhoni who handle Sachin and make sachin early retirement. Time to retire Dhoni now. Selectors wake up, you are good for nothing.

Posted by wapuser on (December 18, 2013, 9:34 GMT)

Dhawan should learn how to duck..........I mean you know steyn is bowling short and you keep on fending at it

Posted by bhushanB on (December 18, 2013, 9:33 GMT)

Morne asking more questions of Vijay's technique.... This is where SA has a diverse bowling attack.. all four pacemen brilliantly different from each other.. and cover all facets of pacebowling..

While Vijay could effortlessly leave balls of Steyn.. he is having difficulty doing the same against Morne

Posted by   on (December 18, 2013, 9:32 GMT)

Can you please tell me why Niel Manthorpe is always giggling and sniggering when he is commentating?

Posted by   on (December 18, 2013, 9:31 GMT)

we Indians never learn from or mistakes......

Posted by   on (December 18, 2013, 9:26 GMT)

Ad Moguls Vs South Africa is not a game of equals :-)

Posted by   on (December 18, 2013, 9:25 GMT)

@ TommyTuckerSA: This is what Test match batting is all about. Not sure you'd understand that though.

Posted by bhushanB on (December 18, 2013, 9:25 GMT)

Morne asking more questions of Vijay....

Posted by TommytuckerSaffa on (December 18, 2013, 9:25 GMT)

Wow, how many times can you play and miss and still not get a nick....Vijay riding his luck today.

Posted by   on (December 18, 2013, 9:24 GMT)

where is 5th bowler ???? is virat kohli is the 5th bowler option???

Posted by   on (December 18, 2013, 9:24 GMT)

Murali Vijay is playing beautifully, as is Cheteshwar Pujara. Sadly, I don't believe that Shikhar Dhawan has the right temperament for Test Cricket. He fell into that trap set up buy Dale Steyn book line and sinker.

Posted by   on (December 18, 2013, 9:23 GMT)

Dhawan did not bat intelligently ! He has to bat differently in Test Cricket. There was no need to play that shot with steyn about to end his first spell.

Posted by   on (December 18, 2013, 9:21 GMT)

Am I the only one to find the similarities in t wicket of Dhawan with tht of Nasir Jamshed. Short balls. Unable to Control..

Posted by Duidelik on (December 18, 2013, 9:21 GMT)

First flat track bully to fall!!!! I wonder if Mr Dhawan is twirling his 19th century British moustache now?? Btw, Steyn does not need to be arrogant!! Its your cricketers that came into our country with an arrogant attitude!!! And...trust me...they will pay for that!!!! LOL!!!

Posted by mthi4life on (December 18, 2013, 9:19 GMT)

The Proteas will have to work very hard for their wickets India are here for a fight.

Posted by TusharG on (December 18, 2013, 9:18 GMT)

Suicide from Dhawan. his ego led to hi s fall today.

Posted by Iceman29 on (December 18, 2013, 9:15 GMT)

I seriously doubt if Dhawan is a Test material.....

Posted by   on (December 18, 2013, 9:14 GMT)

The you go... The start of indian downfall slide.

Posted by Solid_Snake on (December 18, 2013, 9:12 GMT)

lol...Good thinking from Steyn.Bowling all short pitch deliveries.In the end Dhawan went after it and gave away his wicket..After first Short pitch bowl,Steyn must have realized that Dhawan is not feeling confident with such delivery..He kept on bowling again and again like that...In the end..boom..Hot headed Dhawan got trapped badly

Posted by bhushanB on (December 18, 2013, 9:11 GMT)

Guys... I am taking a break.. need to focus on how Pujara bats..... see you all in a little while...

Posted by bhushanB on (December 18, 2013, 9:08 GMT)

Probably just one more over from Steyn.... Hang on Dhawan....

Posted by bhushanB on (December 18, 2013, 9:07 GMT)

Shikar taking a few un-necessary risks......patience guys.. patience...

Posted by bhushanB on (December 18, 2013, 9:06 GMT)

Absolute Jaffa from Philanderer.... Lucky for Shikar.....

hang in boys hang in there....

Posted by bhushanB on (December 18, 2013, 9:03 GMT)

The first play & a miss of the day... This is where Philander becomes dangerous... after facing steyn the previous over... people try to score off phil....

Shikar needs to show some more patience..... play in for another 10 overs or so... see off the first spells of the three pacemen.... first.... that is the first target...

Go India Go...

Posted by bhushanB on (December 18, 2013, 9:01 GMT)

Steyn getting a bit restless....trying to show a bit of arrogance.... barrage of short balls... Vijay did leave them effortlessly......

Need to negotiate may be three more overs from Steyn... no false shots so far...

Posted by TommytuckerSaffa on (December 18, 2013, 9:01 GMT)

Watching Vijay bat is like watching paint dry.

Posted by bhushanB on (December 18, 2013, 8:59 GMT)

Murali Vijay... so far.. left the balls..with confidence... just the one unexpected one coming in from steyn.. otherwise...looks good..

Posted by bhushanB on (December 18, 2013, 8:53 GMT)

Vijay so far very comfortable leaving the balls outside the off..

Be wary of that occasional Jaffa....

Posted by ARJUN217 on (December 18, 2013, 8:50 GMT)

Dhoni and virat gonna score a ton for india

Posted by bhushanB on (December 18, 2013, 8:49 GMT)

Good signs for INDIA....good vibes....reading through the following comment...

Posted by TommytuckerSaffa on (December 18, 2013, 8:41 GMT) Pitch looks good to bat on and quite flat. No demons.

Posted by bhushanB on (December 18, 2013, 8:46 GMT)

@raveekoomar Bhuvi will get his chance.... he will need to learn a lot from Zaheer... and will replace him in due course...

With the way India batted in the ODI... we needed a solid batsmen until No.6 to put a decent score on the board.. without which bowlers wont be able to do much...

Posted by yoohoo on (December 18, 2013, 8:45 GMT)

@Shafaqat Hussain - Ofcourse they are. This is tests, not ODIs or t20s. None of the batsmen except dhoni has played more than 20tests. Most of them are in single digits!

Posted by bhushanB on (December 18, 2013, 8:43 GMT)

Three overs.. and so far Vijay has played rather impressively....

Posted by   on (December 18, 2013, 8:42 GMT)

Zaheer may well be the trump card player in this test series.

Posted by TommytuckerSaffa on (December 18, 2013, 8:41 GMT)

Pitch looks good to bat on and quite flat. No demons.

Posted by bhushanB on (December 18, 2013, 8:40 GMT)

First two overs... no real daemons in the pitch... You just need to know where your off-stump is.. and leave the ones that ought to be left....

Posted by bhushanB on (December 18, 2013, 8:39 GMT)

Rahane in... I am happy... should play him at No.4... looks like he is slated for No.6

Ishant picked... well after the way he bowled in the 3rd ODI.. this is bound to happen... He just needed to not give a 30-run over to back to the team.. and he did more than that in that ODI.....

Now that the test has begun.. no point quibbling over the selected X1 I guess... Go India Go.....

Posted by baranasai on (December 18, 2013, 8:37 GMT)

I hope the Indian team now has underdog status will come out successfully in the test series..I expect a few batsmen like Rahane and Pujara to do well /I also expect the openers to score some 100 runs an survive 2 sessions thn we can cause some pressure on the South Africans .Come on Indian players /play to your strength and do well

Posted by bhushanB on (December 18, 2013, 8:36 GMT)

Win the toss and bat first.... First task accomplished

Now we just need to bat 100+ overs and score 350+.... that will be mission accomplished.....AT A MINIMUM

remember the avg first innings score is 322

Posted by   on (December 18, 2013, 8:33 GMT)

Keep reading that India's batting lineup is inexperienced- they are not!

Posted by   on (December 18, 2013, 8:31 GMT)

go india go.... make history and beat SA in their home ground

Posted by raveekoomar on (December 18, 2013, 8:28 GMT)

I would have picked bhuvaneswar kumar instead of a rahane. That way we could have ashwin who can bit a bit, hes no mug with the bat. Can score a decent 30 atleast to a max 50-60 thats what we expect of him and have a 4 man pace bowlers with ashwin or rohit chipping with some spin if it favours later in second innings. Be wise to choose the team MS. Horses for courses required, but only time will tell about his decision without experienced batting line ups.

Posted by   on (December 18, 2013, 8:23 GMT)

at least they won the toss.

Comments have now been closed for this article

TopTop
Email Feedback Print
Share
E-mail
Feedback
Print
Siddarth RavindranClose
Related Links
Players/Officials: Virat Kohli
Series/Tournaments: India tour of South Africa
Tour Results
South Africa v India at Durban - Dec 26-30, 2013
South Africa won by 10 wickets
South Africa v India at Johannesburg - Dec 18-22, 2013
Match drawn
SAf Invit XI v Indians at Benoni - Dec 13-14, 2013
Match abandoned without a ball bowled
South Africa v India at Centurion - Dec 11, 2013
No result
South Africa v India at Durban - Dec 8, 2013
South Africa won by 134 runs
More results »
News | Features Last 3 days
News | Features Last 3 days