South Africa v India, 1st Test, Johannesburg, 3rd day December 20, 2013

Conditions have favoured India - Philander

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Expected tough day after Morkel injury - Philander

India have had two centurions in this Test, put up four fifty-plus partnerships - with their ongoing one currently at 191 - and posted the highest total of the match so far. With those numbers, it would be safe to assume that they've silenced those who claimed that they were scared of South African conditions. Not according to Vernon Philander.

"Don't be fooled. I think this wicket is pretty slow and they've obviously had time to adjust and get in," he said. "If it had to be a quicker wicket like we had in the ODI game it would be a totally different ball game." A little grudgingly, perhaps, he gave them some credit. "I think they've played well. Well done to them."

The Wanderers track is known to be one of the more hostile ones in South Africa, and is expected to test the true measure of subcontinent batsmen. It has good pace and carry, can generate steep bounce, and is where South Africa's attack is comfortable. It did all of those things again with the added variation of the odd one keeping low and the bounce becoming variable, but India's line-up, Virat Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara in particular, met the challenge with success.

Philander put that down to two things - the changing weather and South Africa's bowling. He explained that South Africa had the more testing batting conditions. "This morning and yesterday when they bowled, there was overcast conditions which made the ball do a few more stuff on occasions and I think when we came out this afternoon [to bowl], the sun was brightly out again."

He also blamed the way South Africa bowled, in comparison to the way the visiting pack operated. "They bowled pretty well. They attacked the stumps all the time and when a new batter got in they were at the bat all the time," he said. "I think that is something we didn't do well in the first innings, we did it a bit better in the second innings."

Ishant Sharma agreed that India had been more incisive than South Africa, possibly due to a better strategy. "I think everyone has a different plan, and maybe they thought they were going to bowl outside off stump," he said. "We were going to bowl into stumps because there will be more help if you bowl into the stumps."

With India's batsmen making the pitch look docile, South Africa may have hopes of staging an Adelaide-style rescue effort. Against Australia, South Africa survived a day and a half with Faf du Plessis registering his maiden century as they frustrated Australia with a draw.

Although Philander joked that South Africa would welcome rain, he also hoped they can "push India off their plans". He admitted the camp is "obviously quite down now", but remained hopeful that if the sun comes out, they could stage another survival.

Ishant, though, doesn't think there's too much chance of that happening. "Obviously cracks are opening up and it's going to be a little up and down if you are bowling into stumps," he said.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • sweetspot on December 21, 2013, 4:17 GMT

    The pitch may have eased out to some extent, but it is still hard for a new batsman to settle down right away.

    The man who really set this up is Vijay. Give him some credit. He blunted all the incisive bowling and didn't get tempted to slash at anything. Remember he is a flamboyant stroke player who once hit 127 in 57 deliveries, without once looking brutal. The moment Dhawan went, Vijay knuckled down and really took the game away slowly and sweetly, without any fuss from SA, along with Pujara who was expected to do this anyway.

    People asking for Vijay to be dropped must be crazy. He is the one who was with Dhawan during his debut series, and please check his career stats. He is a big ton maker. If he is clear in his head, he can take on any bowling. He seems to be doing that now.

  • on December 22, 2013, 19:37 GMT

    Looks like Vern was correct after all.

  • on December 21, 2013, 10:22 GMT

    the body language of south African bowlers on the first day suggested that they were about to bowl out India under 100.. these are typical south african conditions with seam movement, bounce, pace, everything in the wicket.. philander should admit that the Indian batsmen especially virat kohli are fearless attacking players. virat showed them why he is considered to b the most prolific batsman today..

  • Rufus_Fuddleduck on December 21, 2013, 10:03 GMT

    Dear Brother Vernon, In spite of your faithful assertion, today three wickets have gone down to deliveries which have deviated from their trajectory in a way no bowler can claim or replicate. The remainder batsmen of the visitors do not know where to put their bats in defence. And none of your bowlers has been celebrating a well-thought plan. You still think the wicket is doing nothing? God be with you when you chase something in the vicinity of 400. Even on belters it has been known to be difficult. I shall watch your future progress with considerable interest, as Sir Pelham Wodehouse was apt to say. More so when you come to Asian and Middle East countries.

  • WalkingWicket11 on December 21, 2013, 9:44 GMT

    Excellent analysis by Philander, and he has set up a precedent which other teams can use. Imagine the horror when Cook has to face the media after getting whitewashed 5-0 in a couple of weeks. No worries, just declare that "conditions favoured Australia when they bowled, and did not favour us when we bowled." Problem solved! So easy.

  • Waves239 on December 21, 2013, 8:29 GMT

    Is there any worst place to be in cricketing world, it is being part of Indian batting line-up. Give enough credit to Indian batsmen the way they applied themselves on this wicket in the first innings and in the second. The temperament shown against good fast bowling spells is incredible considering their inexperience in test arena and came up with strategy that out foxed SA seamers in the first innings. They exploited the weak link( spin ) in the opposition bowling, which did not allow build pressure from the other end.

    What's good from bowling unit is they are not gonna wait for second new ball but can reverse and rip through opposition middle order. Good signs! Hope they blossom and go long!

    Coming to vernon's view, given the enough sunshine cracks widen up even more, that is not gonna good either for batsmen! At the end of the day you got to accept how well Opposition batsmen played! Remember this pitch gonna be tough for new batsmen and set batsmen have to do the job!

  • Hummingbird0 on December 21, 2013, 8:17 GMT

    What a pity. I just can't for Aus to tour SA and show the world that who is the boss.

  • ssenthil on December 21, 2013, 8:01 GMT

    "Don't be fooled. I think this wicket is pretty slow!!!

    1. Then how can Steyn can clock over 147 Kmph? He doesn't normally bowl more then 140k's. Even in his battle with Sachin in 2011 Capetown test he was from 137k's to 141k's.

    2. How the ball is still wobbling around even after 50 overs old ball? Also after the ball change, Steyn got to swing away immediately. Even after 50 overs old ball, some balls are able to beat the bat from the set batsman.

    3. If the pitch is really slow, why there is not many driving? I can see only 3 fours through the extra cover and Mid off region, which makes the pitch is not easy to drive and the batsman were disciplined enough to not to go for the drive.

    4. We will see, what excuse you are coming up with when you were being bundled by the Indian bowlers once again?

    Philander is a decent bowler, who has the discipline to bowl around 4th to 5th stump line and expects the pitch to remaining things. But whenever he doesn't get assistance he is exposed

  • wnwn on December 21, 2013, 7:51 GMT

    South Africa have definitely missed a trick by not playing an all seam attack against India especially at home. The Indian batsmen are the world's best at playing any kind of spin bowling. They can make world class spinners like Ajmal and Narine look ordinary.

  • on December 21, 2013, 7:37 GMT

    I find so many things wrong with his comment that it's hard to know where to begin. Firstly, mate these are your home conditions, so you know best how to adapt according to the conditions. Secondly, if you are blaming the conditions, then mentally you guys are weak even or have been weakened these past two days by India. Thirdly, if anything it's india coming in with almost no practice matches who should be complaining. Fourthly, great players adapt to conditions. McGrath never complained about the conditions when playing in the sub-continent. He knew his strengths and he stuck to them and it used to pay off, he used to bowl cross seamed deliviries that is called adaptation. Fifthly, it's not like India scored at five an over from the beginning of their second innings. They struggled, yet the fought and never gave up. So don't say the track is flat and it was sunny. Sixthly, mate you shouldn't be doing press conferences any more cause you just aint got the character to be a sport.

  • sweetspot on December 21, 2013, 4:17 GMT

    The pitch may have eased out to some extent, but it is still hard for a new batsman to settle down right away.

    The man who really set this up is Vijay. Give him some credit. He blunted all the incisive bowling and didn't get tempted to slash at anything. Remember he is a flamboyant stroke player who once hit 127 in 57 deliveries, without once looking brutal. The moment Dhawan went, Vijay knuckled down and really took the game away slowly and sweetly, without any fuss from SA, along with Pujara who was expected to do this anyway.

    People asking for Vijay to be dropped must be crazy. He is the one who was with Dhawan during his debut series, and please check his career stats. He is a big ton maker. If he is clear in his head, he can take on any bowling. He seems to be doing that now.

  • on December 22, 2013, 19:37 GMT

    Looks like Vern was correct after all.

  • on December 21, 2013, 10:22 GMT

    the body language of south African bowlers on the first day suggested that they were about to bowl out India under 100.. these are typical south african conditions with seam movement, bounce, pace, everything in the wicket.. philander should admit that the Indian batsmen especially virat kohli are fearless attacking players. virat showed them why he is considered to b the most prolific batsman today..

  • Rufus_Fuddleduck on December 21, 2013, 10:03 GMT

    Dear Brother Vernon, In spite of your faithful assertion, today three wickets have gone down to deliveries which have deviated from their trajectory in a way no bowler can claim or replicate. The remainder batsmen of the visitors do not know where to put their bats in defence. And none of your bowlers has been celebrating a well-thought plan. You still think the wicket is doing nothing? God be with you when you chase something in the vicinity of 400. Even on belters it has been known to be difficult. I shall watch your future progress with considerable interest, as Sir Pelham Wodehouse was apt to say. More so when you come to Asian and Middle East countries.

  • WalkingWicket11 on December 21, 2013, 9:44 GMT

    Excellent analysis by Philander, and he has set up a precedent which other teams can use. Imagine the horror when Cook has to face the media after getting whitewashed 5-0 in a couple of weeks. No worries, just declare that "conditions favoured Australia when they bowled, and did not favour us when we bowled." Problem solved! So easy.

  • Waves239 on December 21, 2013, 8:29 GMT

    Is there any worst place to be in cricketing world, it is being part of Indian batting line-up. Give enough credit to Indian batsmen the way they applied themselves on this wicket in the first innings and in the second. The temperament shown against good fast bowling spells is incredible considering their inexperience in test arena and came up with strategy that out foxed SA seamers in the first innings. They exploited the weak link( spin ) in the opposition bowling, which did not allow build pressure from the other end.

    What's good from bowling unit is they are not gonna wait for second new ball but can reverse and rip through opposition middle order. Good signs! Hope they blossom and go long!

    Coming to vernon's view, given the enough sunshine cracks widen up even more, that is not gonna good either for batsmen! At the end of the day you got to accept how well Opposition batsmen played! Remember this pitch gonna be tough for new batsmen and set batsmen have to do the job!

  • Hummingbird0 on December 21, 2013, 8:17 GMT

    What a pity. I just can't for Aus to tour SA and show the world that who is the boss.

  • ssenthil on December 21, 2013, 8:01 GMT

    "Don't be fooled. I think this wicket is pretty slow!!!

    1. Then how can Steyn can clock over 147 Kmph? He doesn't normally bowl more then 140k's. Even in his battle with Sachin in 2011 Capetown test he was from 137k's to 141k's.

    2. How the ball is still wobbling around even after 50 overs old ball? Also after the ball change, Steyn got to swing away immediately. Even after 50 overs old ball, some balls are able to beat the bat from the set batsman.

    3. If the pitch is really slow, why there is not many driving? I can see only 3 fours through the extra cover and Mid off region, which makes the pitch is not easy to drive and the batsman were disciplined enough to not to go for the drive.

    4. We will see, what excuse you are coming up with when you were being bundled by the Indian bowlers once again?

    Philander is a decent bowler, who has the discipline to bowl around 4th to 5th stump line and expects the pitch to remaining things. But whenever he doesn't get assistance he is exposed

  • wnwn on December 21, 2013, 7:51 GMT

    South Africa have definitely missed a trick by not playing an all seam attack against India especially at home. The Indian batsmen are the world's best at playing any kind of spin bowling. They can make world class spinners like Ajmal and Narine look ordinary.

  • on December 21, 2013, 7:37 GMT

    I find so many things wrong with his comment that it's hard to know where to begin. Firstly, mate these are your home conditions, so you know best how to adapt according to the conditions. Secondly, if you are blaming the conditions, then mentally you guys are weak even or have been weakened these past two days by India. Thirdly, if anything it's india coming in with almost no practice matches who should be complaining. Fourthly, great players adapt to conditions. McGrath never complained about the conditions when playing in the sub-continent. He knew his strengths and he stuck to them and it used to pay off, he used to bowl cross seamed deliviries that is called adaptation. Fifthly, it's not like India scored at five an over from the beginning of their second innings. They struggled, yet the fought and never gave up. So don't say the track is flat and it was sunny. Sixthly, mate you shouldn't be doing press conferences any more cause you just aint got the character to be a sport.

  • RajuallenEmanuel on December 21, 2013, 7:34 GMT

    Conditions Favoured India?????? Are u member of No.1 Team????? And Don't think His comment about rain is "JOKE", I bet He and Rest of the SA Team looks up the sky and expect rain... Don't Forgot, when Dhoni won the toss and elected to bat first, he said, its a kind of pitch where you should first get yourself settle in and start scoring. Its is definitely the game plan to leave the balls outside half and attack the lose balls on the pads. And Vijay... Goodness Gracious Me!!!! He has shown them the key how to play test cricket.. He literally saved the Indian Middle-Order from early exposure to the New Ball in both Innings..

    Probably, Indian's Looks More Responsible than before when there are seniors around.

    I'm not a big fan of Dhoni. But Man, He definitely Put his money on his team with the Perfect Game Plan to see of the bowling when new to crease and attack later.

  • Baxter_P on December 21, 2013, 7:31 GMT

    This is the Vernon Philander who has 57 of his 100 test wickets in South Africa (you know, in South African conditions which usually assist his style of bowling) at about 14.5. The other 43 wickets cost 22.00, still impressive but flattered by a excellent series in NZ. Subtract that, and he has just 22 wickets aboard at 28.22 and has looked very ordinary in Australia and has never bowled in India. So really, he's not the guy to be talking about conditions favouring certain teams or players, when he's benefitted so much from favourable conditions himself.

  • on December 21, 2013, 7:21 GMT

    It is always difficult to accept and appreciate your opponent. But what we see with Philander has not been seen in cricket now-a-days. Everyone appreciate their opponent if they perform well. If Philander was saying this excuse after just India's first innings, we can understand it. But after 2 full innings and a further 3rd innings these excuses looks likes a foolish attempt. What is understood is SA expected a cake walk as in One-dayers. They cannot swallow what they were meted out with. They thought by bowling outside off-stump they can easily fold Indian innings. Even after seeing Indian bowlers using the condition for their benefit, these super bowlers were bowling outside off-stump again in 3rd innings. Even the excuse of loosing morkel cannot be accepted as they still have one of the fiercest bowling unit with Styen, Philader etc. Well done India. After the humiliation in One-dayers, they planned and executed them well.

  • kunderan on December 21, 2013, 7:20 GMT

    I am glad at least some of the more sensible members are recognising the true worth of Murali Vijay's innings. Abishek, very good comparison with Akash, who showed great character in Australia under testing conditions, although his scores might not have shown the same as Viru.

    Once Shikar gets used to playing in these conditions (hopefully in the second test), this opening partnership will be the best we have had in a long long time! One thing that has made a difference is the absence of Morne under unfortunate (for SA) circumstances.

    We'll know the true nature of conditions when SA bat last. In any case, India's application has made this a much more even contest and has not proved to be the one sided massacre that a lot of people (including me) expected!

  • on December 21, 2013, 7:13 GMT

    I wonder where is Dale Steyn hiding his aggression now ?. They said, we scared the Indian batsman. It is the SA batsman who got scared by Ishant, Shami and Zaheer. The art of reverse swinging should be learned from Indian bowlers. Last time Sreesanth caused SA batsman to hop and jump on the pitch. Indian bowlers can convert a foreign green/bouncy pitch a graveyard for the host team.

    As for the batsman, the patient knock was expected from Pujara. Rahane was a surprise and Kohli was fired up after the ODI. He was determined to hit back SA.

  • pommy80 on December 21, 2013, 7:04 GMT

    Conditions favoured India in India and we still managed to beat them. Don't make excuses because you're losing.

  • whensdrinks on December 21, 2013, 6:53 GMT

    Well done India. Losing Morkel hurt SA but take nothing away from Pujara and Kohli, that was a world class batting performance. Philander looks like a sook when he suddenly has to work for his wickets and blames everything else but himself. It almost looked like SA thought India would collapse and when this didn't happen they didn't have either the fire to fight back or a Plan B. Much like the Poms in Oz!

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on December 21, 2013, 6:41 GMT

    Let me get this - this Vernon is a 'great' bowler. Right? So, if the conditions are just a little less favourable to him in comparison to what the Indian bowlers had, then shouldn't he, Steyn and Morkel still be capable of walking all over our 'mediocre' Indian 'flat track bullies'? What an ungracious pacer! Full of excuses and no grace whatsoever. Next, if the conditions were just a little more favourable to our 'mediocre' bowlers, then shouldn't the 'great' SA batsmen still be able to cane our 'mediocre' bowlers? So, what exactly is he saying? Oh excuses! I get it. Looks like it's the hardest thing to say that India played well by resorting to high percentage cricket and or played better than SA! lol @ Vernon 'excuses' Philander and Dale 'cramping-limping' Steyn. Love to see this fella in India.

  • Fast_Track_Bully on December 21, 2013, 6:19 GMT

    Just accept the fact that India played good cricket. If you cannot adjust at lest to your own weather, then you cannot be called as no:1 team.You got India on the first day morning on a fresh pitch and your bowlers were not able to bowl out India.And India battered 2nd day morning too. Your batsmen got a batting condition (noon) when 1st inngs of SA started. And India got wickets after a solid partnership form your batsmen - that means around tea time. India got advantage of 3rd day bowling conditions only. So, tell me who got most of the favorable conditions?

  • fineprint on December 21, 2013, 6:19 GMT

    What a cricketer this man is !! What he is basically saying is that the current Test # 1 team will perfom well IF the weather conditions are favourable, that their team could not perform well in certain sessions BECAUSE the weather conditions were unfavourable. Champions teams do well WEATHER( read Whether) or not the CONDITIONS are favourable. What a sportsperson this man is !!! Amazing !!

  • fineprint on December 21, 2013, 6:01 GMT

    What a cricketer this man is !! What he is basically saying is that the current Test # 1 team will perfom well IF the weather conditions are favourable, that their team could not perform well in certain sessions BECAUSE the weather conditions were unfavourable. Champions teams do well WEATHER( read Whether) or not the CONDITIONS are favourable. What a sportsperson this man is !!! Amazing !!

  • on December 21, 2013, 5:56 GMT

    this is rubbish... you are playing at your home ground and you are saying conditions helped indian batsmen as if they have a loads of experience behind them and as if you are a newbie in international cricket...... philander is utterly wrong in this..... as a bowler you need to be able to bowl reverse swing in the old ball... you need to bowl in the old ball also... that is why there is a life of 80 overs per ball.... SA is entirely depended on pace and new ball.... i havent seen them bowling reverse swing or even inswing for the right handers even with the new ball.... just out swingers with a new ball wont help my dear friend..... this is where i rate morkel ahead of styne and philander.... no disrepect to both, but for me morkel is dangerous than these two... he can swing both ways and can extract bounce.... sad that he dint bowl yesterday, infact happy that india missed him yesterday....

  • on December 21, 2013, 5:51 GMT

    good old test match style batting. wasn't surprised with pujara but was pleasantly surprised with kohli and vijay. vijay did a wonderful job, much like akash chopra in australia. akash didn't get substantial scores but he really blunted the australian attack on that one tour. vijay's contribution was immense. facing upto dale witha new cherry is o mean achievement. the indian batsmen have really batted with a strong mind and strategy. whatever the outcome of this match, the new test batting line up of india is a responsible one. kudos.

  • sss_m19 on December 21, 2013, 5:51 GMT

    I still believe India used the odi's only to test the bowling line up and to make believe SA,that Indian batsmen are poor!

  • on December 21, 2013, 5:41 GMT

    Vijay is the second highest run-getter in tests this year after this Pujara innings! To those who are clamouring for him to be dropped (no such talk about Dhawan though his big score who, after that superlative 187, still has to hit a fifty in tests.. while Vijay is more consistent in tests, but unfortunate to get a big score), with his emphasis on having clear mind, with his technique he should succeed big in future...! Just think how many chances Rohit got in ODIs... why people who perform better, from South, are not given the same long rope which others (!) get when needed?

  • on December 21, 2013, 5:37 GMT

    This is worse press conference i have ever seen. Blaming climate eh!!! LOL what kind of cricketer is he??? What happened to their first innings then??? Can't even make what India scored???

    Silly !!! absolutely hilarious!!! Ask him to get some rest!! Mentally i mean LOL

  • on December 21, 2013, 5:36 GMT

    This is the "sour grapes" concept. In the past, lot of people used to complain that only Dhoni makes such kind of statements. But now the world can see that all teams do this all the time. I don't blame Philander there. All competitive sportsman don't like loosing. It tastes bitter for them. So nothing wrong there whether it is Dhoni or Philander. The world has to realize that.

  • Pavinasen on December 21, 2013, 5:35 GMT

    Survival would be virtually impossible when you look at the amount of reverse swing that Sami is getting.Ishant is on top of his game,& Zak is bowling as if he did not have a break from international cricket.Can someone tell me if India win this series would they go to No 1

  • ssenthil on December 21, 2013, 5:33 GMT

    Oh Poor Philander!!! What kind of whining is this? Conditions favoured Indian bowlers and when we came out to bowl the sun is beating? You were easily exposed against Pakistan in UAE itself against a batting order is known for collapses and throwing away their wicket. You may be fastest to 100 by an SAffers but you have to learn a lot from Steyn and Morkel soon how to bowl in non green pitches. I think when you tour Australia and India, you will be thrashed all around the park. Come to the reality soon. You are nothing without those assistance from the pitch.

  • CricketFanIndUS on December 21, 2013, 5:30 GMT

    This is very disappointing from Philander, I expected better from him, may be this is just gamesmanship. It does not matter. SA have been outplayed by India on a home ground, for the first 3 days of play here. The first 40 overs of bowling in the Indian second innings were pretty difficult, but later became a little less sharp. It happens when the batters do well and especially towards the end of the day. Now, anything can happen still regarding the result. If India keep to the same diligence and execution they can win. A disappointing interview this is, however. I saw the match almost in its entirety and there was plenty of assistance, movement, bounce and zip on day 3 as well. Yeah it slowed a bit, it did when SA were batting too. If Morkel's departure is so crucial, India has only 3 pace bowlers all match. In fact they do not have an allrounder that is a pace bowler, which is very important to have on overseas trips.

  • on December 21, 2013, 5:24 GMT

    I dint hear anyone speak of conditions during the one day matches which India lost. Come to India and we'll show you what change in conditions can do. India scored more in the 1st innings. India bowled better in the 1st innings. If we win it, I need to see his response then.

  • on December 21, 2013, 5:19 GMT

    Fortune favours the brave! So if your South African team is not lucky enough, Philander...then probably your team is not brave enough.

  • Pavinasen on December 21, 2013, 5:17 GMT

    I remember the words of Smith before the test series start."Indian batsmen will have a tough time facing the top quality bowling of SA"When you make a brave statement like that ,you ought to honour it.i thought that the indian bowlers will get a hammering judging from the ODI games,but they are a completely different unit in test.I believe that india have a 95 % chance of winning this game barring rain,,which could cost them time.As for the next test in durban,SA has a poor record here,the most that could happen here is a draw & india win the series.

    A wite wash is very much a possibility.Go India

  • Cpt.Meanster on December 21, 2013, 5:17 GMT

    Poor POOR excuses from Philander. He needs to admit that his team have been out played in every department by a young team India. India bowled better, batted better and fielded better. Indian spinners bowled well unlike club level bowler Imran Tahir. This Jo'burg pitch is a quick and bouncy one, make no mistake folks. It also has some uneven bounce to it so that would make batting very hard overall. Still, India countered everything that was thrown at them by the South Africans. This is ridiculous from Vernon, I didn't expect him to make excuses. India should win it from here. SA made to look ordinary in their own backyard. Well done India.

  • on December 21, 2013, 5:15 GMT

    Ridiculous statement made by Philander. Then it is clear that he gets wicket or performs good only on luck, i.e. only if pitch suits its bowling. He doesn't perform. You should learn from A. Donald, S Pollock who were performing in any conditions.

  • cricktwins on December 21, 2013, 5:14 GMT

    Philander is a green track bully his statement suggests that.. I wonder how philander will perform in subcontinent conditions. In subcontinent pitch will not help both team bowlers..

  • Lets_Bash_Indians on December 21, 2013, 5:12 GMT

    Vernon Philander finally admitted saffa bowlers need assistance from the pitch to make an impact,,,,, Misery does everything.

  • pull_shot on December 21, 2013, 5:09 GMT

    Vernon Philander has attributed India's success with the bat to a SLOW pitch in Johannesburg, i really don't understand when indian batsman scores runs pitch will become suddenly a SLOW pitch come on, One thing India has done is they didn't give wicket to steyn that means with out morkel how many could philander and old but gem kallis can take

  • on December 21, 2013, 5:06 GMT

    Seriously Mr.Philander you are suggesting that fast wicket would have helped you to bundle us out..I don't think this track as a slower track it has enough for the fast bowlers to pick wickets and also why cant worlds best swinging fast bowler and yourself cant extract reverse swing while the Indian bowlers did very well..

    India have had two centurions in this Test, put up four fifty-plus partnerships - with their ongoing one currently at 191 - and posted the highest total of the match so far. With those numbers, it would be safe to assume that they've silenced those who claimed that they were scared of South African conditions. Not according to Vernon Philander.

    "Don't be fooled. I think this wicket is pretty slow and they've obviously had time to adjust and get in," he said. "If it had to be a quicker wicket like we had in the ODI game it would be a totally different ball game." A little grudgingly, perhaps, he gave them some credit. "I think they've played well. Well done to them.

  • rick333 on December 21, 2013, 5:02 GMT

    Cant think of a better excuse?!?!! next time try Dog ate my homework! What this test has done is to show the cricket fraternity that SA attack is not that venomous as it is touted to be. India has earlier done that to Aussie at its peak and there after Aussies were no longer feared. This tour will have same effect on SA.

  • Sir_Ivor on December 21, 2013, 4:57 GMT

    Actually I agree with Philander than India got some conditions. But it was much the same for the South Africans for the major part of their first innings. When they got India all out for 280 after them having been 255 for 5 the previous evening, there was a big cloud cover. It was the same when South Africa were bowled out in a hurry for 244 from the previous day'd score of 213 for 6. But then Vernon should realise that if they start complaining about the toss and the weather, then cricket cannot be played. Test cricket that is because it is over 5 days. I think India were able to reverse swing the ball and that made a lot of difference apart from bowling on the stumps all the time. They had the bounce to hit the top of the stumps where as the Saffas got too much bounce which was not really necessary except to test De Villiers. Philander is a very good bowler but the day someone decides to stand outside the crease to him he may not be so good.

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on December 21, 2013, 4:48 GMT

    Wow! get a truckload of buckets for him guys. He is going to wet up the place with loads of tears. excuses galore.

  • on December 21, 2013, 4:42 GMT

    that's shows the immaturity of Philander

  • ShanNachimuthu on December 21, 2013, 4:42 GMT

    Philander, These are all the words you have to tell your batsmen when they are stepping out for the chase. 'Conditions are favoring batsmen', 'Don't be fooled the wicket is very slow', etc. The fact of the matter is its not only you guys have to manage new ball attack, you guys have to deal with reverse swinging old ball attack also. During ODI series India did not play like No.1 and Now your team is also not playing like No. 1 Test team.

  • Eclipse0990 on December 21, 2013, 4:33 GMT

    Hahaha. This is funny! and people said that MS will be the one making excuses after the game. 3rd day and the excuses are flowing from Philander already. Get real Sir. You were outplayed. No matter what the situation, I'm sure your bouncers and all should've worked. After all, its your "Home conditions".

  • Nightbat on December 21, 2013, 4:31 GMT

    Didn't expect the South Africans to make excuses for their toothless performance. Kind of makes you lose respect for Big Vern, when he makes such ridiculous statements.

    The truth is that they were utterly neutered by the Indian batters in their own backyard.

    The pitch had way more bounce than any India/Pak/SL/Ban pitch, and it swung appreciably throughout - something that will never happen in the subcontinent.

    The conditions were as alien for the Indians as ever can be.

    Even losing Morkel is no excuse, all it did was even up the match - SA's 3 pacemen +1 spinner Vs. India's 3 pacemen and 1 spinner.

    These excuses they are making tell a lot of the state of mind inside the S.African dressing room - they are shell-schocked.

    A lead of 320 is already enough to win, given the 4th innings record at the Wanderers. Another 100 runs will put the issue beyond doubt.

    Rub it in, India!

  • on December 21, 2013, 4:29 GMT

    now thts utterly ungracias but not so suprising becoz this had been worlds approach towards india...when they win..'Luck favoured them, pitch favoured them ' n all and when they lose,' its entirely their fault, they r flat trac bullies , they are bad ' n all !! disgusting it is . In first innings yes even Indian batsmen except Kohli struggled against terrific Saffer pace trio but in second innings Pujara and kohli found the correct nack to handle them and they dominated them. on the other hand ...honestly in terms of speed ,variation and length steyn -morkel-philander wud always b rated ahead of Zaheer-Ishant-shami on daily basis but it was disciplined bowlingby indian trio which tied down saffer batsmen. so all in all 3 days India had an upper hand , all credit to kohli-pujara and pacers. btetter admit it rather than throwing lame excuses.

  • Cpt.Meanster on December 21, 2013, 4:11 GMT

    @markatnotts: My friend, the pitch didn't slow down but it's the South Africans who had underestimated this young Indian team and hit a brick wall, slowing down and losing the plot. They expected to just turn up and roll over India. Too bad, this Indian team doesn't roll over that easily. They have the sights fixed on winning the test series. This bodes well for them in the near future when they will tour NZ, ENG and AUS within the same year in 2014.

  • Johnny_129 on December 21, 2013, 4:09 GMT

    Although I don't agree with Philander's sentiments, I can understand his motivates - He does not want Indian batsman to gain any confidence, at all. He wants to keep that doubt in the Indian minds. The pace and bounce was there for all to see. Indian batsman can play on these tracks but in the past they did not prepare well enough and did not adjust in time until late in the series.

  • on December 21, 2013, 3:55 GMT

    Good on you Vern to say things that would only make this young Indian brigade even more determined to prove people wrong. What about second day post tea session. Did the pitch suddenly become spicy and the clouds of doom hovered over Wanderers? If I recall it correctly, there was just enough sunshine for sun bathing on the beautiful grass banks and it was a combination of some skillful bowling and mindless batting.

  • on December 21, 2013, 3:50 GMT

    I think the better explanation for philander, if he accepts, SA bowlers performed well in 1st innings though Kholi managed to grab a century. Remember Pujara had a stable stand when he got runout. India's 2nd innings is still the repetition of their 1st innings except Pujara didn't get runout. Stop blaming the pitch, focus on the game and accept the facts if you really want to realize what you need to do to win the match.

  • on December 21, 2013, 3:26 GMT

    I am sure that when India comes out to bowl on day 4, the pitch/weather will miraculously change once again. Clearly all the gods are against SA - and that is the only logical explanation as it absolutely beyond the realm of possibility that these Indian batsmen may actually be...you know...good !!!

  • CricketFanIndUS on December 21, 2013, 3:09 GMT

    I forgot to mention, I saw the entire second innings on TV (thanks to my dvr).

  • CricketFanIndUS on December 21, 2013, 3:08 GMT

    This is very disappointing from Philander, I expected better from him, may be this is just gamesmanship. It does not matter. SA have been outplayed by India in their home ground, for the first 3 days of play here. There were no shadows for a part of the innings from India. The first 30 overs of bowling in the Indian second innings was pretty good, but later became dull. It happens when the batters do well and especially towards the end of the day. Now, anything can happen still regarding the result. If India keep to the same diligence and execution they can win. A disappointing interview this is, however. I heard the commentary for the entire second innings and there was plenty of assistance, movement, bounce and zip.

  • on December 21, 2013, 2:55 GMT

    Sore Loser Phillander...

    I hope India grinds SAs to dust.

  • on December 21, 2013, 2:55 GMT

    cndition should favor the home team (No 1 Test Team) . This guy's statement is interesting.

  • truebleue_cricfan on December 21, 2013, 2:24 GMT

    That's ok. If Ishant can make the 'lucky' remark about De Kock, Philander can say this too! But India really have surprised quite a lot of people with this performance. Good to see the youngsters sticking to the plan. This test, irrespective of what happens from now will set the template for many an overseas tour for India.

  • VJGS on December 21, 2013, 2:22 GMT

    I think this performance was coming for quite some time. Even in the ODIs when India were walked all over, it was clear from their approach that they had prioritized Tests over ODIs and were using the ODIs to get acclimatized to the conditions. They didn't even attack in the ODIs. But the efforts of Pujara and to an extent, Vijay has to be applauded. They came into SA with no practice time and have showed everyone their true batting prowesses.

  • on December 21, 2013, 2:22 GMT

    First i thought the unexpected turn out of the test is due to SA's over confidence. But with phil's explanation, it can easily be coined to attitude as well. His words are just an anticipatory bail. Morkel's injury definitely cost SA dearly. But nobody spared India when criticizing them after failures in eng although they lost almost 10 players due to injury with four of them during matches.

  • on December 21, 2013, 2:18 GMT

    You know.. you know.. you know.. lol .i lost his actual content very soon and started counting how many you know.. Just got to accept that India played better cricket !!

  • pull_shot on December 21, 2013, 2:17 GMT

    Ok then what about in first innings? Just imagine if pujara is not runout in first innings

  • Rufus_Fuddleduck on December 21, 2013, 2:08 GMT

    I hope when Philander grows up and retires with probably 400 wickets he will blush for this memory

  • on December 21, 2013, 1:48 GMT

    To South Africa I say, "tomorrow is another day". Try, try and try again; for no one knows what tomorrow will bring.

  • on December 21, 2013, 1:44 GMT

    I agree Vernon's comments were pitiful, to say the least. Indian quicks terrorised and pumelled the formidable SA batting line-up. Yet on the same pitch, the Indians batted with the greatest ease, against the two best quicks in the game. It wasn't just clouds or the glorious morning sun. Lets give credit where credit is due. The South Africans have been outplayed, plain and simple. Vernon is talented enough to see that and accept it as well.

  • on December 21, 2013, 1:44 GMT

    It is not an unsual thinking by anyone who hail from native country and with philander he just had his say. Just reminded me of Alan Donald when he got angryat dravid when dravid hit him for six when "the wall" was new to international level and known to be a cricketer who use to play slow game in his initial carrrer . Pujara temperament was amazing . If India can make some quick runs after spending some early morning overs and declare and take it from there....Good luck India

  • salil247 on December 21, 2013, 1:28 GMT

    @IndianSRTfan- Ha ha ha! That's the funniest comment I've read on cricinfo. Seriously, I thought Philander was wiser than that, being a SA player. I respect SA as a team of champions.Vern's comment only hurts his team's image.

  • Cpt.Meanster on December 21, 2013, 1:28 GMT

    Make no mistake, I have a lot of respect for SA as a test team and Philander in particular. However, these are POOR excuses from a team that has been simply FOUND OUT in its own conditions. India were BRILLIANT ! No matter what happens here on in, India's young batting are well on their way to a bright future. It seems SA are also on the decline along with England. Australia and India are the teams for the future.

  • jimbond on December 21, 2013, 1:05 GMT

    What Philander said was very close to the truth, but his statements sound hollow in the current context. If your team is not doing well, blaming the weather and luck is not what people expect. The Indian team has been pretty lucky here. But this only reinforces the importance of luck between roughly evenly matched teams. I remember the earlier matches between India and England (both in India and England) where a few chance occurrences- Zaheer Khan's injury, a few rare failures by a few batsmen etc changed the course of the series. I can see a similar thing happening - in the Ashes- both in England and Australia. This only makes the tests interesting where the results of a few hard fought incidents may decide the match and the series.

  • AvidCricFan on December 21, 2013, 0:56 GMT

    Indian batmen simply played superbly in this match. SA were lucky to get Pujara run out in the first innings in the mix up. Otherwise, Indian total in the first innings would have been much higher. He puts premium to his wicket and truly an exciting prospect. I hope team India gets him in ODI as an anchor batsman. I would not be surprised to see another double ton from Pujara tomorrow.

  • Humdingers on December 21, 2013, 0:54 GMT

    Let's put away the high fives and back slapping till the test is over and for that matter the series (If India do win this one, they will not want a drawn series). India will take a lot out of this performance for the future. A bigger worry for SA is in Feb when Johnson/Warner/Clarke come firing. Let's see where all the "this team will hold on to the no.1 spot for a long time" have to say after that!

  • The_Rohit on December 21, 2013, 0:48 GMT

    So is he saying that he cannot take wickets on *slower* pitches? I am sure his bowling partner Steyn and his coach Donald would've cringed hearing this. They never had any issues blowing away batting line-ups even in India.

  • cloudmess on December 21, 2013, 0:41 GMT

    Sorry, Philander, if you want to be no 1 side in the world you gotta be able to win in all conditions.

  • Broken_F-ing_Arm on December 21, 2013, 0:40 GMT

    Poor form from Philander, Pujara is right up there with guys like Clarke, AB and Amla in terms of batters and I'm an Aussie so no biased. He looks so solid against good ball whether it be swingers, seamers or spin but also has all the attacking shots needed for bad balls and also this innings has showed his ability to counter attack makes him a great 3. Test avg of 70 and FC average of 63. Wow

  • theRule19 on December 21, 2013, 0:10 GMT

    Slow wicket!!..they r playing in SA right. How come all of a sudden it is a slow wicket now. Is that the best you got. What will happen to your team when they tour India then. It can be understood that SA bowling attack might be better in terms of experience and pace compared to that of India's but there should not be any problem in admitting that the Indians have applied themselves better in this match than SA's and give credit where it is due. The Indian bowlers look far better bowlers than their stats suggest and their bowling in this match is one example of it as they have done better then SA's in their own backyard well led by Zaheer in bowling. Looking forward for more great days of competitive test cricket. One thing is for sure, this Indian lot does look a promising bunch and has full potential of success outside India.

  • on December 21, 2013, 0:02 GMT

    if pitch was favorable to india, how many wickets did spinners took? comparing the experience of SA and IND, we have an young team and SA have a good batting line up who should have performed much better especially at home. All team visiting sub-continent complain about the pitch for their poor performance. It just takes some time to adjust to new enviornment ...and our young indian batsmen adapted.. adapt or perish...thats the rule for every one..

  • on December 20, 2013, 23:54 GMT

    Sure, Philander. Those grapes were kind a sour anyway...

  • on December 20, 2013, 23:45 GMT

    Things have changed SA fans. There is a new "Improved" kid on the block. That kid is awakened in the form of India. Come to grip with it SA fans!

  • Matricfail on December 20, 2013, 23:39 GMT

    One word comment: Ridiculous.

  • maddy20 on December 20, 2013, 22:58 GMT

    It seems the Safas are already deflated by the Kohli, Pujara combo and morale is really low. I never expected the guy who was the fastest to get to 100 wickets in recent times to make such a remark. India weathered off the hostile spell of Steyn and Philander who beat the bat of both batsmen countless times. The ball was maintained poorly and hence there was no reverse on offer. India got 9 of their 10 wickets with reverse. Zaheer, Shami, Ishant all of them got the ball to reverse. I guess they will play Umesh in the next game instead of Ashwin. South Africa failed to exploit the conditions, Tahir drops a simple chance that too off-Pujara. You can't expect to drop him and get away with it. Things would have been a lot different had they taken that catch. No batsman in the current Indian side can match the solidity of these two. Go India!

  • Arjun_Sharma on December 20, 2013, 22:56 GMT

    Philander you beauty!! nobody except him realised that CSA have a golden goose in their backyards and they didn't realise upto now. No other piece of land on earth changes this much. So, wicket was good when india batted on day 1, it started doing things (perhaps became quicker like ODIs) and grass hedges started growing when SA batted. It was still doing things when Sir Philander was batting, but, obviously he is too good a bat to be affected by conditions (unlike naive pujara and kholi who are fooling themselves and don't currently know what they are doing). I think there was wind directly head on to the bowler and reducing the speed but without any assistance in lateral movement. The wind alternated in direction every over. Then as soon as SA were all out, during the 10 min innings break suddenly the pitch became slow (flat road almost) and outfield lightning fast. Maybe SA should sell Wanderers for scientific research to clear their debts and build some earthly grounds.

  • Nampally on December 20, 2013, 22:44 GMT

    Come on Philander , Give credit where it belongs. A poor craftsman always blames his tools. Indian batsmen tackled the conditions superbly both in bowling & batting. But for Pujara's first innings unfortunate run out, SA would have been looking at a much bigger first innings total. Both SA & India batted on the same pitch under the same conditions. The guys who applied themselves to the job have done well. India 's policy of "Tire the SA bowlers & then sock it to them" has worked. Also the SA bowlers misfired by wasting their energy wide of the off stump. There were about 14 wides in the first innings. Indians ignored them. Now the bowlers had no Plan B. So SA faltered. Let us face it, the way Pujara & Kohli batted, it was heavenly. Both are excellent batsmen & they are not done yet! Day 4 will reveal the true state of the game. SA policy of gamesmanship failed. They were over confident after ODI Wins. Indians are not just push overs as they have showed up in full armour to fight!

  • Manoj1234 on December 20, 2013, 22:38 GMT

    It looks like the comments from a man who has lost, does not want to accept it and going crying to his mom (media). This could give an idea why SA team is a pushover when you get even little bit on top of them. Indian batsmen were brilliant. Also what he is saying would be analogous to someone in India saying theat the pitch did not spin as much as expected , so the opposition are winning. It exposes the narrowness of his character and spirit.

  • Marcio on December 20, 2013, 22:35 GMT

    On a notoriously flat Adelaide track AUS was reduced to only 3 bowlers, Pattinson breaking down early in the 1st innings, Watson being out injured. That was the main factor in SA saving a game they were being thrashed up till the final day. As far as I am aware India has a full contingent of bowlers here. Too bad about Morkel. Swings & roundabouts, but at least it happened in the 2nd innings.

    I think SA is suffering from a bit of England-syndrome - winning or drawing when playing badly - even when being outplayed - & not fully acknowledging the glaring signs the final result covered up. SA would have lost the test & probably the series in AUS - and by a big margin - if not for the aforementioned issues & stupidly rotating ALL 4 quicks for 3rd test.

    Philander is right. Overhead conditions make a HUGE difference to batting in some places in SA. At Newlands 1st test vs AUS 19 wickets fell in 2 sessions for 90 runs when overcast,then it dried out after tea and batting became much easier

  • on December 20, 2013, 22:28 GMT

    Oh for heavens sake, give the guy a break. He has stated nothing untoward. The ball has not bounced as much, the article clearly states he said the Indian team played well, he said he 'hoped' SA can turn it around and said the SA camp were down. Pretty much sums it up. It is not his job to wax lyrical over the Indian performance, but neither has he been derogatory. Enjoy the cricket guys.

  • sharibhai on December 20, 2013, 22:19 GMT

    have to agree with yourl regarding verns comments completely out of line he should be giving credit to the opponent than making excuses. unacceptable. hope india wrap up the win so that vern can make more excuses and show his unsportsmanlike behaviour

  • on December 20, 2013, 21:57 GMT

    It's the same pitch for both teams Vernon.

  • Zak- on December 20, 2013, 21:50 GMT

    Donald simply has to go. Under Barnes, the bowling was brilliant, but under Donald, completely one-dimensional and flat. Tahir has a long, long way to go before he's worse than Peterson. I hope they never pick RP again.

  • vrms on December 20, 2013, 21:47 GMT

    SA is still very much in the game. This is the only competent batting pair in the Indian camp who have the right techniques to play in SA's 'grass courts'. First session on fourth day morning with new ball will help SA well and if only they could break this pair, then they can hope to pack and send the rest in no time as none of the others could last even few overs in such conditions (as we have seen in the first innings and ODIs). Forget about Dhoni, Rohit and Co, they can be easily snapped up in the slip cordon in few overs with right approach by SA. Then with nearly five sessions to play with sunshine and morning advantage gone, it's just an easy matter to get those 350 odd runs without much risks.

  • chitti_cricket on December 20, 2013, 21:41 GMT

    This talk looks and makes no sense. Philander is making things worse for them by not acknowledging the right things, 1. They definitely are missing Morkal's services (who proved a better bowler than himself and Stayen in this test at least) 2. Indian truly batted well 3. South Africa has no plan B or C other than just attacking Indian batsmen on off stump line and assume these guys are sitting ducks in that area. They truly are taking and playing stupid cricket. Is it not visible up front to all? Why the hell even that one over was bowled by AB? Was SA banking on luck? These SA guys have no guts to even accept the fact of the day that India played better and they bad. From here on SA will be just thinking to save this test match but won't be to winning it. Unless they bowl India all our tomorrow for another 25 runs.

  • CherryWood_Champion on December 20, 2013, 21:35 GMT

    @IndianSRTfan ... Awesome analysis on Big Vern's thinking ... :)

  • on December 20, 2013, 21:32 GMT

    Then doesn't the condition favour sa

  • LegSpinBowlr on December 20, 2013, 21:30 GMT

    So now a world#1 team needs help of pitch, sun,clouds to beat other teams ! Dissapointed with philanders statements

  • trolllord666 on December 20, 2013, 21:28 GMT

    my 50p worth

    Id like to paraphrase the legendary indian of the year, decade, 25 years and all time, the only man who can silence a radio [or arnab goswami]....shri NAVJOT SINGH SIDHU...

    he said "look boss....If IFs and BUTs were pots and pans then there would be no tinkers"

  • Vilander on December 20, 2013, 21:24 GMT

    would love to see Philander tour India and bowl next time, with the pleasantries we received this time you can expect very 'SA friendly' wickets when they tour India..so yeah looking forward to that. About the current game, SA could still knock off thew rest of wickets for 50 odd and chase 300+ in 5 sessions. India needs to bat them out till lunch day 4 and then attack..but keep an eye on weather for sunday though.

  • the_blue_android on December 20, 2013, 21:19 GMT

    Aah, now I get what they meant by ' This is not Mumbai, this is Jo'berg'. What they meant is Jo'berg conditions are very favorable for Indians. I totally did not get it till now! thanks for clearing that up Vern!

  • on December 20, 2013, 21:18 GMT

    what i think is great for India is Dhoni's attacking captaincy in this match. apart from the batsmen failures on india's last 2 overseas tours, i think dhoni's captaincy was part of what cost india to lose 8-0 overseas. what is great was that dhoni had his attacking field with slips all day when smith and amla was batting to 130-1. in the past dhoni would be spreading the field with a score like that and give away easy singles as a result. i guess he has learnt that from michael clarke.

  • Cyril_Knight on December 20, 2013, 21:15 GMT

    If Philander's comments are reflective of the attitude in the SA camp then this is really worrying. I am a massive Smith fan, but his body language so early in the 2nd innings was poor. This was a very visible representation of his negative tactics. It was as if losing Morkel destroyed their plans to a point of no return.

    Massive credit must go to India, without Tendulkar I thought their may lose some aura. But it appears that the young players, Kohli in particular (who I think will break all Sachin's records) are thriving on the extra pressure.

    It looks like the end for Smith though. I'm comparing his approach to when I've seen him live, but he did not seem up for this at all. He was quieter than usual, I never saw him telling his bowlers what to do. In his pomp he would shout at them, even Pollock, demanding more. Today he was a shadow of the great leader cricket fans have grown to love.

  • CandidIndian on December 20, 2013, 21:10 GMT

    Well when you are not ready to accept reality and run away from it, then you make delusional comments like these. Its like creating a parallel world where everyone is doing a conspiracy against you. It happens with almost everybody though, when India got hammered in Australia and Eng then our players made many such comments like they were given green tops and all that. When Eng came to India and we got beaten at our own game then our players must have got reality check. There is nothing wrong in accepting that you are playing bad, being delusional never helps. If SA will continue thinking on same line then it will help India further to be really honest.

  • JPoncricket on December 20, 2013, 21:01 GMT

    Will grant that Indian batsmen did have a bigger share of the sunshine, but to say that this is a slow low pitch, is ingenious. Of course, one may have doubts that it has eased out, but we will know about that very soon on Day 4 when SA come out to bat. One thing is clear, even to the TV spectator, the much vaunted South African attack (including the great Mr. Steyn) were afraid to attack the stumps (perhaps because the Indians are so good with their onside play). You just need to see how many times the ball struck South African pads relative to Indian ones and how many balls the Indians could leave. Pity, that South African bowlers were not as creative in the field with bowling strategies as they are with their answers in the press conference..

  • pitchItup on December 20, 2013, 20:58 GMT

    Yes Vernon, you got it spot on, that its the conditions that have favoured India, nothing to do with the fact that India just might have bowled and batted better than SA. Well at least, one thing is consistent, SA produces another cricketer who loves to mouth off very much like Smith used to mouth off before being crushed by Australia and choking in World Cups.

  • silentstand on December 20, 2013, 20:47 GMT

    Honestly as a saffa supporter I'm ashamed of these comments .S.A are behind and need to accept that and regroup not belittle india

  • anvesh4444 on December 20, 2013, 20:46 GMT

    Now its time for SA players to make exuses for their bad performance. Indians outplayed SA today, All the best to India

  • Batmanindallas on December 20, 2013, 20:45 GMT

    Now Philander wants to blame sun coming out and not coming out etc. They were talking about blowing away the indians. The e batting strip and surrounding area look like prairies. They made a lot of mistakes-time to say bye to Kallis and having a bowler of the calibre of Tahir who would not even make the Jharkand B team to name a few of them

  • Baxter_P on December 20, 2013, 20:42 GMT

    The tradition of poor sportsmanship and being an ungracious 'loser' is alive and well in South Africa, I see. I'd like to see India win this test, and that result would not be so bad for SA in the overall picture, if it knocks their complacency and overconfidence down a peg or two (if Philander's attitude is representative of the squad, they certainly need that).

  • eskr on December 20, 2013, 20:38 GMT

    Hahaha..... didnt expect this from world No 2 bowler

  • blogossip on December 20, 2013, 20:38 GMT

    Unless south africa bat out of their skins its 1-0 to India- a bigger shock than the ashes!

  • 2929paul on December 20, 2013, 20:35 GMT

    The thing is, Vern, when you're outplayed in all departments, you really should just man up and admit it. Just like England were completely stuffed in Australia when we thought we were the better team, it's no good looking for excuses when the truth is the other team has just played better cricket.

    At least you still have a chance, both in this Test and in the next one, to come back and prove yourselves. England completely failed to up their game as Australia went from strength to strength. I would be surprised if India don't keep upping their game from here on in. I can't wait to watch this group of young batsmen playing in England next year.

  • McGorium on December 20, 2013, 20:32 GMT

    One might still believe Philander's argument about India getting lucky, except for the fact that SAF were 130-odd for the loss of one wicket yesterday and were well on their way towards a good score(300+). The balls that Amla, Kallis, Smith, AB got out to were not unplayable. Steyn was probably the only guy who got an unplayable ball off the pitch. Philander himself batted quite competently, which is suggestive. Further, the best bowling attack in the world couldn't take wickets of an inexperienced batting unit, whereas the worst bowling attack of a good test side (i.e. ranked above 5) ran through their experienced batting line-up. Kallis alone has played more tests than the entire indian top order combined. Surely, it can't just be overcast conditions.

  • SnowSnake on December 20, 2013, 20:30 GMT

    The problem with SA is that they believe stereotypes and stat. too much. While pitches can be different, I doubt any test playing batsman has to make substantial adjustment to learn to play on bouncy tracks. People need to understand that gravity is same. In ODIs, India was chasing huge totals and they had to hit so it was easy for SA to take wickets. Also, de Koch was outstanding in both games. SA is better off admitting their shortcomings because if they keep thinking India can be beaten easily on bouncy tracks and Indian bowlers are flat track bullies then they will not win much. What SA needs is respect. They are hardly a great side to show all this attitude.

  • prabi on December 20, 2013, 20:23 GMT

    Bating - Kholi is an exceptional talent, the attitude he shows while batting is extra ordinary. he is the man for India, who has proved N number of times... Pujara is rock solid!! I had a feeling if pujara would not have been runout in the first innings, he would have went on to score big.

    I would love to see sami & zaheer bowling in tandom.. zaheer & company have done a great job in the first innings, lets hope they do the same in the second as well..

    Congratulations to India on there determination & dedication displayed..

  • on December 20, 2013, 20:20 GMT

    SA cricketers have contributed to their own downfall; they've been too overconfident and cocky (typical of them). This is coming on the heels of the ODI series, writing off India. They never see anything good in opposition and only praise themselves. I guess this serves then right; you could see they are stunned at India's batting. Well done India!

  • Venkat_Pisipaty on December 20, 2013, 20:14 GMT

    Its simply been amazing how this young Indian team - young in age but not for sure in talent, has made mince-meat of SA & all their big talk prior to the test series! I just wish we had a couple of games before the ODI series & we would have seen a different result there even! The Kohlis, Pujaras, Sharmas & Dhawans aren't called a potent force for nothing - mind you I have kept kept the Dhonis out of this as yet!

  • anvesh4444 on December 20, 2013, 20:09 GMT

    now it's SA's players time to make exuse for their bad performance

  • annys on December 20, 2013, 20:06 GMT

    i dont know what is the fuss about imran tahirs performance, i mean did anyone expect him to get a five for against India!!!! . To be honest SA never expected that tahir will be bowling India top order and that assumption lead to this, bottom line never under estimate your opposition

  • SinSpider on December 20, 2013, 20:01 GMT

    Dear Philander, Did you really say this?

    SA and India competed neck-to-neck in the first innings, which is reflected in the scores. However, Indian batsman utterly dominated SA bowling in the 2nd innings. Certainly, SA's failing strategies and poor bowling have helped.

    1) Why AB was asked to bowl just before tea is a complete mystery. It reflected a complete lack of killer instinct and showed that SA were relying on a stroke of luck than strategy.

    2) Imran Tahir's hapless bowling (and the dropped catch of Pujara) has really helped India.

    3) Morkel's accident is unfortunate and helped India massively

    If you turn up on day 4 with this blame-the-pitch approach, sorry to say, but I can only see one result and that is India's victory.

  • Leggie on December 20, 2013, 19:54 GMT

    Honestly not concerned what happens from this point onwards. SA have gotten a glimpse of the talent that India has, and as Robin Jackman acknowleged on TV, this team has surprised all those who stereotyped them as subcontinental bullies. The team has shown tremendous discipline, whereas SA have gone for flair. Very happy to see the attitude of this Indian team more than anything else. Way to go India.

  • gsingh7 on December 20, 2013, 19:48 GMT

    philander showing his inexperience here. how can pitch change characteristics just when he and steyn came to bowling. its like saying that grass grew few inches when ishant was bowling and disappeared when he himself came to bowl. denial is bad for improvement. he needs to accept that indian bowlers outbowled sa pace attack in sa and strive for improvement. not giving due credit to pujara and kohli shows lack of sportsmanship and is not good for game.

  • cricket-is-passion on December 20, 2013, 19:47 GMT

    I think Philander was dreaming or thinking India and SA are playing 2 diff pitches in Wanderers :). I am not particularly worried about number game as to who is no 1 or 2 or whatever. It depends on how well you do on that day. I am impressed but excpected this batting mainly from Pujara and also counted on Dhawan and a bit from Kohli and Rahane because of their clas. Most performed to my expectation except Dhawan. I am an Indian supporting Team India but this game is just not over yet. SA has high quality batsmen like Kallis, AB, Amla and good batters like Smith, Dumini and Faf so they can bat well especially on their ground which has been proved many times. Currently I wanted to see if Kohli can score a century (first atleast for record) and second Pujara's double and some decent batting practice for Rohit to perform well in 2nd Test. Good luck India hope u can win match for us so less worry abt series loss. Good luck SA, hope you can come back well to make it competitive interesting.

  • avjbp on December 20, 2013, 19:45 GMT

    Oh my! really. A cricketer of his caliber is suggesting it.. it is a complete surrender by those words. Although, I would say that everyone has their days but it is also competency and arrogance that played in a this dual. I doubt mr Philander will gain any respect world wide once he visits overseas or even in SA..

  • Anubhav-the-Experience on December 20, 2013, 19:45 GMT

    Nice overall for Indian fans here..they can take pride in the fact that Indian Team showed fight against No.1 ranked team in their own backyard when this team was supposed to be"softened up". Virat did not like those comments...Indians did not either...they are performing beyond our over- optimistic(read Indian fans) expectations...and the only "roda" in our way is Amla.

  • Shan156 on December 20, 2013, 19:31 GMT

    Poor excuse from a #1 team. India were all over SA today (and the last 2 days) because they played better cricket. As someone pointed out, Indian bowlers were able to extract reverse swing while SA's could not. India also possess rock solid batsman while the one truly great SA batsman is totally out of form (probably will never get back to form considering his age). The other SA batsmen are very good but, probably, underestimated the Indian bowlers and fell prey to their well-executed plans. Philander needs to accept that India played better cricket than them.

  • IndianSRTfan on December 20, 2013, 19:31 GMT

    Spot on Big Vern. All the past, current and future Indian batsman are shaking in their boots thinking about the day when the pitch, the sky, the sun, the wind, the rain, the crowd, the ground, the seasons, the planets, the stars, the world peace and everything under the Sun, will favor the SA team when they play Cricket.

    All I can say is, a picture speaks a thousand words. Nice accompanying picture to back up Philander's marvellous insights.

    At any rate, reactions like "Don't be fooled. I think this wicket is pretty slow and they've obviously had time to adjust and get in", "If it had to be a quicker wicket like we had in the ODI game it would be a totally different ball game", make for a refreshing change of pace from lovely observations that Indian batsman were scared.

    Can't wait to see this guy tour India.

  • on December 20, 2013, 19:24 GMT

    Philander's comments are not that of a fighter.

    Indian's made SA bowlers have a horrid day - plain and simple. Indian's played the ball and the situation. Before new ball was taken they were getting about 6 runs/over after new ball that dropped to 2 runs /over. That's a very mature way of batting - ball by ball, session by session.

    SA quick's didn't pitch in right areas and the lone spinner didn't pitch that much at all.

  • markatnotts on December 20, 2013, 19:24 GMT

    Rather ungracious comments here from a cricketer I most admire. Ok the pitch may be a touch slower than usual for Jo'berg but there is still some assistance if you bowl in the right areas. Kohli has been brilliant and Pujara has come to the party! Ok SA are unfortunate with Morkel's accident (I saw it live and having done something similar whilst running have great empathy), but India have just turned up and played some seriously good cricket!

  • truthseeker-82 on December 20, 2013, 19:21 GMT

    Vernon has given it a nice spin!!! The pitch is still spicy if anything it is getting even more up & down. Simple reasons for South Africa's poor performance today: 1) Morkel was missed badly because his extra pace and bounce would extracted more out of this pitch. 2) Steyn was off color today. 3) Tahir had absolutely any control. He needed to step up on a wearing pitch.

    SA can still come back into the match tomorrow by batting well to save the match. It just shows that premature and hasty conclusions are never good. India was supposed to be steam rolled after their performance in the 2 ODI's. But as Rahul Dravid put it, 2 ODI's is a very small sample size to draw any conclusions!!

    Nice test match though. A good advertisement for test cricket. SA have a fight on their hands at home after a long time. May the best team win!!!

  • mzm149 on December 20, 2013, 19:20 GMT

    Philander is right. Conditions became unfavorable when South Africa batted. India got lucky. They are not that capable as the scorecard suggests. South Africa got big blows by batting in harsh conditions, then by losing Morkel in conditions meant for batting. I hope India loses early wickets tomorrow so that they crumble before 350. Only team who can chase scores close to 400 is South Africa. I am hopeful they will save the game.

  • NP_NY on December 20, 2013, 19:17 GMT

    "Don't be fooled" is good advice Vern! We are not fooled by your defensive excuses. This is the Wanderers and we've all seen the pitch. There is grass, there is bounce and there is swing. India have bowled and batted better in conditions alien to them, as simple as that.

  • on December 20, 2013, 19:14 GMT

    Wow slow and low, Philander must have been bowling on a different pitch to what I saw.

  • on December 20, 2013, 19:14 GMT

    You can talk all you want, SA. It is time to pray for rain or Du Pleessis -style draw. There is no hiding here - you can only run SA!

  • sreehk on December 20, 2013, 19:10 GMT

    Philander a home pitch is a home pitch. What rubbish to say conditions favored India. How incompetent even to say that, as if India's innings are played on Chennai pitch and SA innings at Johenesberg. Both played on same pitch. So if you are number one side then battle it out on any condition and any pitch that too in your own backyard. Whole credit to Pujara and Kholi. Watch out two legends in the making.

  • nareshgb1 on December 20, 2013, 19:09 GMT

    Dont know about conditions - but Imran Tahir has certainly favored Indians in both knocks. And the injury to Morkel in the second. But Philander obviously cannot say "Tahir" as the reason.

  • on December 20, 2013, 19:04 GMT

    I like Philander's comments..(sarcasm intended). Clear signs of refusal to accept that his team has had a bad day.. Or obviously a comment made to keep spirits of the team high with still plenty to play for... This pitch does not certainly fit Philander's description.. Its a good wicket with a bit for everyone and I would like to think more so for the bowlers.. Its like how Gambhir talked before England series and even during the series against england and we all know what happened in the end..Excuses wont win you matches and if Philander's views are those of the team they are in trouble this series.. Acceptance of a problem is the first step towards finding a solution. If the team lives in denial it will be like playing this series in to India's hands!!

  • Srini_Indian on December 20, 2013, 19:01 GMT

    Ridiculous from Philander. The difference between the two sides bowling was India was able to extract reverse swing and made the old ball talk. SA bowlers were clueless when the ball lost its shine. To India's credit, they didn't go fishing outside off stump and that added to SA's woes. This young, inexperienced Indian side absolutely dominated the SA bowling. Wait for tomorrow when India goes crazy and smack 120-130 in a session.

  • Srini_Indian on December 20, 2013, 19:01 GMT

    Ridiculous from Philander. The difference between the two sides bowling was India was able to extract reverse swing and made the old ball talk. SA bowlers were clueless when the ball lost its shine. To India's credit, they didn't go fishing outside off stump and that added to SA's woes. This young, inexperienced Indian side absolutely dominated the SA bowling. Wait for tomorrow when India goes crazy and smack 120-130 in a session.

  • on December 20, 2013, 19:04 GMT

    I like Philander's comments..(sarcasm intended). Clear signs of refusal to accept that his team has had a bad day.. Or obviously a comment made to keep spirits of the team high with still plenty to play for... This pitch does not certainly fit Philander's description.. Its a good wicket with a bit for everyone and I would like to think more so for the bowlers.. Its like how Gambhir talked before England series and even during the series against england and we all know what happened in the end..Excuses wont win you matches and if Philander's views are those of the team they are in trouble this series.. Acceptance of a problem is the first step towards finding a solution. If the team lives in denial it will be like playing this series in to India's hands!!

  • nareshgb1 on December 20, 2013, 19:09 GMT

    Dont know about conditions - but Imran Tahir has certainly favored Indians in both knocks. And the injury to Morkel in the second. But Philander obviously cannot say "Tahir" as the reason.

  • sreehk on December 20, 2013, 19:10 GMT

    Philander a home pitch is a home pitch. What rubbish to say conditions favored India. How incompetent even to say that, as if India's innings are played on Chennai pitch and SA innings at Johenesberg. Both played on same pitch. So if you are number one side then battle it out on any condition and any pitch that too in your own backyard. Whole credit to Pujara and Kholi. Watch out two legends in the making.

  • on December 20, 2013, 19:14 GMT

    You can talk all you want, SA. It is time to pray for rain or Du Pleessis -style draw. There is no hiding here - you can only run SA!

  • on December 20, 2013, 19:14 GMT

    Wow slow and low, Philander must have been bowling on a different pitch to what I saw.

  • NP_NY on December 20, 2013, 19:17 GMT

    "Don't be fooled" is good advice Vern! We are not fooled by your defensive excuses. This is the Wanderers and we've all seen the pitch. There is grass, there is bounce and there is swing. India have bowled and batted better in conditions alien to them, as simple as that.

  • mzm149 on December 20, 2013, 19:20 GMT

    Philander is right. Conditions became unfavorable when South Africa batted. India got lucky. They are not that capable as the scorecard suggests. South Africa got big blows by batting in harsh conditions, then by losing Morkel in conditions meant for batting. I hope India loses early wickets tomorrow so that they crumble before 350. Only team who can chase scores close to 400 is South Africa. I am hopeful they will save the game.

  • truthseeker-82 on December 20, 2013, 19:21 GMT

    Vernon has given it a nice spin!!! The pitch is still spicy if anything it is getting even more up & down. Simple reasons for South Africa's poor performance today: 1) Morkel was missed badly because his extra pace and bounce would extracted more out of this pitch. 2) Steyn was off color today. 3) Tahir had absolutely any control. He needed to step up on a wearing pitch.

    SA can still come back into the match tomorrow by batting well to save the match. It just shows that premature and hasty conclusions are never good. India was supposed to be steam rolled after their performance in the 2 ODI's. But as Rahul Dravid put it, 2 ODI's is a very small sample size to draw any conclusions!!

    Nice test match though. A good advertisement for test cricket. SA have a fight on their hands at home after a long time. May the best team win!!!

  • markatnotts on December 20, 2013, 19:24 GMT

    Rather ungracious comments here from a cricketer I most admire. Ok the pitch may be a touch slower than usual for Jo'berg but there is still some assistance if you bowl in the right areas. Kohli has been brilliant and Pujara has come to the party! Ok SA are unfortunate with Morkel's accident (I saw it live and having done something similar whilst running have great empathy), but India have just turned up and played some seriously good cricket!