SA v India, 1st Test, Johannesburg, 5th day

Du Plessis, de Villiers ensure thrilling draw

The Report by Firdose Moonda in Johannesburg

December 22, 2013

Comments: 802 | Text size: A | A

India 280 (Kohli 119, Philander 4-61) and 421 (Pujara 153, Kohli 96) drew with South Africa 244 (Smith 68, Philander 59, Ishant 4-79, Zaheer 4-88) and 450 for 7 (Du Plessis 134, De Villiers 103)
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

'Dhoni was ahead of Smith'


AB de Villiers and Faf du Plessis put on 205 for the fifth wicket, South Africa v India, 1st Test, Johannesburg, 5th day, December 22, 2013
AB de Villiers and Faf du Plessis put on 205 for the fifth wicket © Getty Images
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First they pulled off 438, the highest successful chase in ODIs. Today, faced with a target of 458 on a tricky Wanderers pitch, South Africa came within eight runs of breaking the world record for a chase in Test cricket.

At the start of the fifth day, South Africa needed 320 with eight wickets in hand, and a draw was their more realistic goal. But after losing two wickets early on, Faf du Plessis and AB de Villiers, the protagonists of the Adelaide escape, began a partnership that swelled to 205 and turned the game. They took South Africa to within 56 runs of victory. By the time both were dismissed, South Africa needed 16 runs, but with only Imran Tahir and the injured Morne Morkel to come, Vernon Philander and Dale Steyn batted out 19 deliveries to secure one of the game's greatest draws.

The two quicks were the last men standing after what will be remembered as one of the most exciting last hours of Test cricket. It began with de Villiers and du Plessis at the crease, both having scored a hundred and South Africa needing 66 off 15 overs to win. But then India surged back into contention by removing both and JP Duminy in the next 12 overs, before it all ended with Philander and Steyn choosing safety first despite how close South Africa were.

Du Plessis and de Villiers batted together for a minute short of four hours and faced 375 balls to take South Africa from 197 for 4 - when they still needed 261 runs to win - to being in sight of victory. They showed immense patience and composure on a pitch with variable bounce and sizeable cracks, wore down an Indian attack that tried everything and rode the luck that came their way.

When the drinks came out in the final session, MS Dhoni rallied his men in a huddle, South Africa were in relative control, the light was good and chase was on. For two overs, du Plessis and de Villiers kept them on track. Against the run of play, de Villiers chopped one on from a back of a length Ishant Sharma delivery. India had the opening they wanted but plenty still to do.

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JP Duminy, who scored a half-century in South Africa's chase of 414 in Perth, was next in. He took a single to keep strike at the end of the over, drilled a straight drive for four off the first ball of the next but three deliveries after that, he also played on. Duminy was attempting an expansive cover drive but inside-edged to turn the advantage India's way.

Vernon Philander and du Plessis kept South Africa in it with a partnership of 35 off 49 balls. Their stand was filled with tension as Mohammed Shami and Ishant continued to test them with deliveries that jagged back in or rose from a length. When they offered anything short and wide, the result was a boundary.

With four overs left, the pendulum had swung South Africa's way. Poetically, the score was 438 and they needed 20 more runs. They got four of those when du Plessis flayed Zaheer through midwicket. Two balls later, du Plessis called for a run after hitting straight to mid-off. Ajinkya Rahane's direct hit found du Plessis, exhausted after the amount of time he had spent at the crease, well short of his ground.

Dale Steyn joined Philander, Morkel and Imran Tahir were padded up but the shop had shut. Shami bowled an over of short balls to Steyn, which he made no contact with to leave South Africa needing 16 off the last two overs.

Philander blocked out the penultimate over and Steyn left the first two balls of the last over, to leave South Africa needing boundaries off the last four balls. Steyn slogged the third ball but missed and took a bye, Phulander heaved at the next and missed before getting a single and then Steyn smashed the final delivery into the stands over long-on but it meant nothing.

Although intense, it was also an anti-climax after South Africa set themselves up for a historic win when in the morning, only a draw would have been on their minds When du Plessis and de Villeirs came together they locked in on an Adelaide-esque approach of spending as much time as possible at the crease, without worrying about the scoreboard.

Their first 50 runs were scored mostly while on the defensive. They took 115 balls and 40% of the runs came in singles to usher South Africa past lunch and towards the second new ball. Seventeen minutes into the second session, the new nut became available and MS Dhoni was ready to play his next hand.

Zaheer and Shami went searching for wickets and found movement but not success. Du Plessis was the first to bring up his 50, off 142 balls, when he pulled Shami through deep square leg. AB de Villiers followed suit, with the same shot of the same bowler but not before Ishant had induced the edge from both batsmen. The pitch played its part as well, as balls landing on the cracks reared off a length to put the batsmen in considerable discomfort, often looping over the slip cordon. Both de Villiers and du Plessis had to counter balls striking the shoulders of their bats, pushed those alarming moments in the backs of their minds and steadily pushed South Africa forward.

With that good fortune and plenty of fortitude, the partnership's second 50 was scored in just 85 balls and the batsmen's belief had grown.

They were not intimidated by Dhoni's plan to suffocate them with close catchers surrounding the bat and the slower bowlers in operation. Du Plessis and de Villiers squeezed the singles, found boundaries when the seamers occasionally veered off their probing wicket to wicket lines. By tea, they had reached 331 for 4 and still needed 127 runs to win.

Dhoni had what seemed his last throw of the dice, when Zaheer bowled a spell after tea, even though Shami was the man who posed the biggest threat earlier today. Shami returned an hour later and things started to happen for India's bowlers, who were was consistent, disciplined and tireless even though they, like South Africa, did not get the desired result.

'South Africa should've pushed for win' - Cullinan

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

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Posted by iNavnathS on (December 26, 2013, 10:53 GMT)

nobody was especting this kind of solid comeback from indians after the ODI defeat...but they really batted, bowled and even fielded really well..they were in dominating position for four days..but a partnership of AB and Faf has taken away a test win from them...hats off to kohli and pujara for matured batting...!

Posted by Al_Bundy1 on (December 25, 2013, 15:09 GMT)

ASHWIN was the culprit for India's draw in the first test. This test test was in India's hand for the first 4 days. It was Ashwin's inability to take a single wicket on 5th day on a crumbling pitch, that cost India this win. Even Tahir and Duminy got 2 wickets each.

Posted by Jimmyvida on (December 25, 2013, 14:16 GMT)

I was one of the blokes going into the last day to say that SA might win. My reasons were: 1. A MAN CALL DE VILLIERS. 2. India's terrible fielding, and by that I am not talking about dropped catches only. When Dhoni has to put someone like Z. Khan in the covers you know his options are beyond limited. How many times India's fielder at backward sq leg allowed the ball to go for 4. The people from India do not see that the opposing SA fieldsman saved almost all, limiting India to 1 or 2 runs. And 3. Dhoni seem to have a problem with field placing in SA. India did not win because of Fielding, fielding, fielding. And that's that. Stop criticizing individual players. I would have liked to see Bhumi in the side but he has cut all his swing by hitting the ground hard. Shame.

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

In the end, the Wanderer's wicket became so flat that it flattened the bowlers of both sides, thus making even someone like Steyn look like an ordinary bowler. He ended up with just 1 wicket giving away almost 180+ runs. In comparison, the 3 Indian seamers had much better returns, even with the heavy workload on the last day and quarter.

Posted by Raghzzz on (December 24, 2013, 14:57 GMT)

Astounded by people's call for Ashwin's head.. All those have clearly forgotten, that even the great Anil Kumble was a disaster outside India (even in Sri Lanka he was dismal). Harbhajan was equally woeful if not worse, but I believe he was even more worse than what Ashwin is today. Only Shane Warne was an exception but he too was woeful in spin friendly pitches in India. He got most of his wickets against poor players of spin like Eng or SA.

So, Here is a guy who has done exceptionally well - albeit in home conditions yes - but remember even Philander sails in the same boat. Philander hasn't done anything on subcontinent.

Spinners take time to evolve and learn.. Back them and allow them to grow. Dont expect 2 minute noodles from them..

Posted by Al_Bundy1 on (December 24, 2013, 13:53 GMT)

It was Ashwin's inability to take wickets on 5th day that cost India the match. I would replace Ashwin with Jadeja or Ojha. Also Dhawan lacks the technique to play short balls. Maybe plav Bhuvi instead of Dhawan, and let Rahane open.

Posted by Paki-Cricketlover on (December 24, 2013, 12:59 GMT)

What a fabulous Test match it was...one of the greatest test matches in the History of cricket... Faf and AB played outstandingly,on a 5th day wicket that was doing a lottt... Sometimes it was bouncing a lot or else it was keeping very very low at the ankle level...hats off to AB and Faf ,how they played... it was merely a good luck of Indians that da proteas could'nt win...infakt playing so well making 450 batting last on a pitch that was doing a lot ,is a win itself for SA... From India's perspective i don't understand Why Ashwin is playing in the side...his overseas record is terrible...he can take wickets only on dry bouncy ,spinning Indian tracks...He should've taken wickets on day 5...if he can't get a single wicket on such a pitch...well he should be sitting out... as his record shows his overseas record is miserable... Ojha is a marvellous spinner...he should've played...if Dhoni is reluctant to offy then Bhajji shoud've been picked...

Posted by SL_rockz on (December 24, 2013, 12:30 GMT)

Wd-X

i agree to whay you have mentioned buddy... Test cricket losers its fans due to this kinda draw mentality.It came so close that either side could win.But the mentality of draw which is a loosing mentality paves the way for both sides not to go for the win. WoW! i am amused by the fact is a test match should be drawn ???? or is a test match should be won ????? ..... Clearly today players got more satisfaction by draw.... But in the prospective of audience they come to see some result.So they need a result .they donot need to waste their time to see a match without a result.Simple as that...........

Posted by Biswajit03 on (December 24, 2013, 8:07 GMT)

I think SA won the match even though its was draw chasing 458 in Fourth ince. was great

Posted by Nitintnd on (December 24, 2013, 6:29 GMT)

Guyz few question from Team India perspective, plz suggest:-

What about playing with just 3 seamers, can we see Umesh (as first choice) or Bhubneshwar?

How long Ashwin will get favour to play (n struggle to perform) on foreign soil?

With Ojha still there as leg spinner and RSA, Eng, Aus have always been struggling by leg-spinner?

Will MSD have more on-field backup plans if the original back-fires?

Just one more test match and the series will be over and Team India will play under new sponsored umbrella.

Posted by VinodGupte on (December 24, 2013, 6:05 GMT)

Give me one good reason why Dhoni should play away tests. Only one.

Posted by Yousafahmed11 on (December 24, 2013, 5:01 GMT)

@pjd_Howzat . SA no:1 in tests + @ home, India only no:2 + away. SA: steyn, Morkal, Philander - all in top 5 bowlers. India: Zak,Ishant,Shami - will take a lot of time to find their position in the list. Its SA's inability only.

Posted by CurrentPresident on (December 24, 2013, 2:46 GMT)

I am tired of the timid losers who say "this is the best result". No, this is the worst result. Two teams played great cricket and none of them won! How is that fair to anyone?

At least one team should have earned the reward of its hard work and ended happy. Does not matter which one. That would have been fair.

Now, both the teams (and their supporters) are unhappy! Rather than say "no one deserved to lose" (which is the loser mentality), I would say - "someone deserved to win"

Posted by Wd-X on (December 24, 2013, 1:41 GMT)

The winner was Test Cricket? Until the farce of the last 3 overs, yes definitely. At the end of the match, No.

I suppose the crowd was booing because 'Test Cricket' had won? The tons of south africans blasting their team are angry because 'Test Cricket' had won? If Test Cricket is about placing a tame draw over the possibility of a heroic victory then it certainly 'won'.

The match showed two teams who in the end were too cowardly to go for a win at the expense of victory. Dhoni at least was attacking till the last few overs. The Saffers have no excuse. They sacrificed the chance of immortality over a draw that no one will care about in a couple of years.

As for this being the 'best draw ever', the ending of the match should dispel all that. Crowds do not boo the 'best draw ever'. No wonder test cricket is losing fans. Attendances are pathetic and such attitudes of refusing to go for a win only dig more nails in its coffin.

Posted by   on (December 24, 2013, 0:29 GMT)

No SA player is playing in big bash why? any idea

Posted by 2nd_Slip on (December 23, 2013, 21:23 GMT)

Very disappointed that the proteas didn't go for it having come so close, poor decision by Steyn telling Vernon they should settle for a draw instead of going for a win. On the other side I'd be very concerned if I were an Indian fan. Indian bowling has got to be the worst thing in international cricket at the moment!!! Can't bowl out a team on a very uneven pitch on the final day of a rest match!! Appalling really. At the end of the day a draw is probably the most fare result.

Posted by   on (December 23, 2013, 21:06 GMT)

I think India lacked a bowler otherwise they would have finished it earlier. Inclusion of at least Jadeja should have given them edge.

Posted by   on (December 23, 2013, 18:15 GMT)

South Africa had no choice but to play for a draw. Once wickets go down seeing the game to a draw is the only option. The score suggests that a win was on but any wicket on the 5th day final session is lottery and a draw the result.

Posted by Karthickk on (December 23, 2013, 17:44 GMT)

A draw is the only result that this test deserves. Few reasons - one, both the teams deserved to win and two, none of two teams deserved to loose. By ending in a draw, the game of cricket has won and these teams have made the game proud. Even though India kind of dominated for the first three and half days, there were lots of twists and turns in between. Somewhere throughout the course of five days, both the teams felt they could win, both the teams felt scared that they were loosing to a better team. At all times every player was respecting the rest of the 21 players yet were competing fiercely. Hard to see such a game, happens once in a 20-25 years. In my view, it is the best drawn game and one of the top 5 best games played ever.

Any day without any second thoughts, 200% I would take such games as compared to a one sided one that ends in 3 days.

I just do not have words to express my feelings, my sincere thanks to all 22 players, Thanks guys for the splendid entertainment.

Posted by android_user on (December 23, 2013, 17:43 GMT)

I hope Ind will win next match as they r confident after 1st match n sa is under pressure as they have to win if not than wat about comments of and about Indian team

Posted by Al_Bundy1 on (December 23, 2013, 16:45 GMT)

Agree with @KrisRam77 - India had a narrow escape. But for Rahane's match saving run out of Faf .. Time for MSD for a serious introspection of Playing Ashwin in the XI outside of Asia. If Dhoni wants to win outside India, he needs to get rid of his buddies like Yuvi, Ashwin, Raina, etc.

Posted by greek-paratha on (December 23, 2013, 16:43 GMT)

I wouldn't go overboard by calling it one of the greatest matches.However it was a gallant fightback by S.Africa and it would have been a shame to see a loser.AB and DuPlassis were brilliant.So was Kohli.Two crucial runouts in the S.African 2nd innings probably saved India.Seeing this and also the Ashes series ,one fails to see the fascination of the countless ODIs and T20s being promoted excessively to the detriment of Test Matches!Anyway,Thank You S.Africa and India for putting on a spectacular show.

Posted by kumarcoolbuddy on (December 23, 2013, 16:38 GMT)

Wow. 778 comments for a single article.

@wapuser, you said "Bowling a team out for 250 in the first innings is not a remarkable achievement as it happens relatively regularly in test cricket" this was not matching with pre-series comments which says "SA is going to hammer below average Indian bowling attack". What are remarkable here is 1. India played this test as if they were playing at their home and almost tasted success until Dhoni has approached defensively on 5th day. 2. SA fighting like real warriors on 5th day when everyone thought that SA was going to lose. Looking at their batting style on 5th day I thought SA mainly targeted for draw which I agree with them. If batsmen has targeted for victory and batted aggressively then they would have lost wickets like they lost in final overs.

Posted by   on (December 23, 2013, 16:33 GMT)

I have to say that as a SAF supporter, I am disappointed they didnt go for the win. However, I fully respect the decision due to the injury of Morkel. If I was in the middle, there is a very high possibility that I would have done the same. The debate on whether SAF shouldve gone for the win, or who is the "winner" in this match, etc etc can go on forever. Everyone will have their own opinion. But, one thing for sure, This is Test Cricket at its best. One of the best matches I've watched in ANY sport. Well done to both teams.

Posted by x_lnc on (December 23, 2013, 16:28 GMT)

I am sure there would'nt have been these many comments if one of the team had won the game also one should notice India was lucky that Morkel was injured and SA luckily got flat pitch on day five---draw was the correct result, best of luck to both the teams for Durban Test.

Posted by KrisRam77 on (December 23, 2013, 16:10 GMT)

India had a narrow escape. But for Rahane's match saving run out of Faf .. Time for MSD for a serious introspection of Playing Ashwin in the XI outside of Asia.

Posted by Manoj1234 on (December 23, 2013, 16:01 GMT)

@samvarma Dhoni's 8-0 overseas loss was because of carrying 4 geriatrics as the main batters of the team. If they were there in this test, we would have LOST even if they scored the same amount of runs. Why?? Coz they would have leaked 50 or so runs between them. Lets give credit to this team.

Posted by SL_rockz on (December 23, 2013, 15:28 GMT)

India performed well if we consider about mediocre show in ODI.But still SA is no 1.They proved it again in this match too. :) India is a mediocre test team..

Posted by whocareswhowins on (December 23, 2013, 15:28 GMT)

Fantastic Test match !! ' Well played' to both India and SA.

Posted by perl57 on (December 23, 2013, 15:22 GMT)

This game is the biggest example that a match that should have been won has almost ended up in being lost and then stumbled to a draw. How can anyone get interest if games turn up this way. Moreq questions than answers. Not to withhold AB, Faf, Virat and Puj's effort. Also the effort of Vernon, Shami and Ishu. It was clear that Dhoni overbowled Zaheer and Ashwin. SA did not go in for the kill. Pussies at best or just plain dumb lucky or the greatest drawn test?

Posted by wapuser on (December 23, 2013, 15:20 GMT)

India had outplayed SA most of the match but unfortunately for them a test can be won, lost or drawn on the final day. Bowling a team out for 250 in the first innings is not a remarkable achievement as it happens relatively regularly in test cricket. Hitting 444 batting second is a much greater achievement than anything else that happened in this game, or in fact anything else that has happened in test cricket since SA chased down 414 batting last. India played well but what SA did to save and almost win this game, was nothing short of brilliant. This was India's game and SA took the win from them with talented and strategical batting. That's that bottom line unfortunatley you India fans ;)

Posted by   on (December 23, 2013, 15:14 GMT)

I believe India deserves to be #1 as this game was in SA backyard. If we had more than 2 test, India would probably come on top due to fact team is full of youth. Only 2 players above 30 in indian team. SA would not have lasted multiple 5 day game.

Posted by android_user on (December 23, 2013, 15:08 GMT)

bcci are scared to give south Africa a 3-5 test series in India cause south Africa are good players of spin. will be humiliating for india if they get thrashed. look what England did to them in their own back yard. cook bell Petersen destroyed the Indian bowlers. amla. de Villiers will kill them

Posted by rskmfguy on (December 23, 2013, 14:49 GMT)

I see a lot of complaints about BCCI for not having 3 -5 match series. But I don't remember the last 3 - 5 match series that SA played in sub continent. Why?? Fear of losing the test series in spinning tracks???

Posted by rameshpoplay on (December 23, 2013, 14:42 GMT)

This was Test match cricket at its best. I nevertheless thought that Dhoni notwithstanding his cool and calm approach that helped India a lot, erred in over-bowling Zaheer and under-bowling Shami. Towards the end when Shami was brought his first ball was a nasty delivery to Faf Du Plessis, which rattled the batsman. In the next over Ishant produced the ball that turned the match. Talking of Zaheer, though I am glad he made a fitness statement by bowling so many overs and also taking 4 crucial wickets in the first innings, I cannot figure out why bowled 'a foot outside the off stump' line continuously. Was a expecting the well set batsmen to snick the ball or be cautious and leave them alone. Most of the runs given by him were from such balls being dispatched for till a sweeper cover was brought on. Dhoni was also late in bringing in a deep third man a bit too late. One could say this is a defensive field, but the batsmen must be gagged for runs so that they make mistakes.

Posted by sixesandfours on (December 23, 2013, 14:38 GMT)

@Aiyer - Do you lost your mind about Ashwin? Offspinners are struggling throughout the world as there are better technique developed in batting world and gone are the Murali's days. Its the left arm spinners days and rarely we have one with Jadeja's quality in world cricket now. In Durban, Srilank played Herath left spinner and SL were successful. Ashwin talks no delivers and drops catches and blanks out sometimes in his thinking approach. India should go with 4/3 pacers with Jadeja. I am sure Selectors are watching and no favors to region batsman in India and talent and dedication and 100 percent effort - Wins in the end.

Posted by henchart on (December 23, 2013, 14:37 GMT)

@NP_NY:You can do all the appreciation at the cost of objectivity.Brute fact remains that both the teams were guilty of chickening out at key moments and net result is before everybody-no result.

Posted by android_user on (December 23, 2013, 14:31 GMT)

cant really believe south Africa, number one test team with that sort of talent and experience that too at their fortress tried to save the match against a young inexperienced side with a bowling which is nowhere near to even compare the opposition. kudoos india.

Posted by   on (December 23, 2013, 14:15 GMT)

I like Ashwin the batsman...But...

But, if he can't get any purchase from a 5th day pitch where the green grass had died 2 days earlier, cracks had widened a bit, and bouncy enough for his style (that used to be his occasional complaint)....I just can't call him an international class bowler.

Bhuvi or Yadav could be a better as the 4th bowler for the next test.. Since Bhuvi can also bat a bit, and get some swing, he would be marginally better than the erratic Yadav.

P.S.Even the much maligned, and of course currently a pale shadow of his original self, Harbhajan did far better, during the last trip to SA. Of course, certainly not asking Bhajji back. Only suggesting Ashwin has to improve his off-spin, instead of some of his crazy / funny experimentation. Thank God, he didn't try too much of that in this Test.

Posted by   on (December 23, 2013, 14:14 GMT)

Attitude of SA on 3rd day when India was batting well and that of Indians even when they almost lost the match.....speaks a lot about the Young rising Indian team

Posted by   on (December 23, 2013, 14:12 GMT)

Ashwin &Vijay are the targets always.The support Jadeja gets is amzing despite his performance so far.Also there seems to be a selective amnesia regarding the continuous failures of Shikar Dhawan & Rohit Sharma.Ashwin Has 100 Test wickets and should be allowed a continuous run.Kumble too was not successful in his initial overseas tours incuding South Africa.And Ashwin is a better bat test batsman than Jadeja.If Ashwin has to attack there should be a bowler at the other end to bottle up the runs.In this test It was difficult to score off Ashwin and bowlers at other end could have relentlessly attacked.Also the Indian fielding was below par

Posted by satansangels on (December 23, 2013, 14:04 GMT)

Unbelievable knocks by AB and FAF, but kudos to both teams for giving us an amazing match!

Posted by Harmony_not_Discord on (December 23, 2013, 13:58 GMT)

@Vishwas HS

I have no problem with India; they have very talented batsman. Just making a point that India is good at home and BCCI being clever.

As India rightly dominated for entire four days then they should have won it really.

SA just had one good day and they still managed to save the match. Champions did what the champions do when they are down - play well.

Posted by   on (December 23, 2013, 13:57 GMT)

Philander is almost as good a batsman as Dhoni. Marginally better than Ashwin. Certainly better than both, in South African conditions. If Steyn bullied him (because of his status and seniority) to shut shop, ...that is... really bad!

If Dhoni was in Philander's position, he would have taken the risk and gone for it, protecting the weaker tail-enders from the final desperate attacks. Even Ashwin in that position, would have gone for it.

Fortune favours the brave. Of course, occasionally, the brave also falls into unfathomable pits. That is what risk taking is all about.

Posted by greenluv on (December 23, 2013, 13:55 GMT)

it is very hard to believe that this match was real.

Posted by   on (December 23, 2013, 13:55 GMT)

Philander is almost as good a batsman as Dhoni is. Marginally better than Ashwin. Certainly better than both, in South African conditions. If Steyn bullied him (because of his status and seniority) to shut shop, ...that is... really bad!

If Dhoni was in Philander's position, he would have taken the risk and gone for it, protecting the weaker tail enders from the final desperate attacks. Even Ashwin in that position, would have gone for it.

Fortune favours the brave. Of course, occasionally, the brave also falls into unfathomable pits. That is what risk taking is all about.

Posted by android_user on (December 23, 2013, 13:54 GMT)

@pjd_howzzat : here is another what if 1) what if shami us more.experienced, 2)what if zaheer is.more young 3) what if match us played in india 4) what if this Indian team is more.experienced 5) what if this Indian team got some warm up matches 6) what if they used light weight roller just before 4th inning we can give so many what if too.... that doesn't change the result anyway

Posted by android_user on (December 23, 2013, 13:50 GMT)

@sixandfours :.agree.about inclusion of JADEJA, but why drop rahane? why not Rohit? what has Rohit done in this match? dropped one catch, scored.single.digits... where rahane.scored vital 47 runs in first innings, two runouts.... if you.ask me, rahane is more accomplished than Rohit, my team would be,.dhawan, Vijay, pujara, kohli, rahane, dhoni, jaddu, zaheer, yadhav, shami, ishant.... or we can add ojah in place of jadeja, if you are confident about batting line up... or we should go with 4.seamers, 7 batsmen with Rohit and virat doing holding job....

Posted by sazee on (December 23, 2013, 13:50 GMT)

i always love to watch test cricket .......... becuase it has more fun than T-20 and ODI, awsome example of this test match but i still wonder why proteas not go to chase 16 in two overs........... any one can answer

Posted by   on (December 23, 2013, 13:46 GMT)

Though India escaped with a draw, they could have easily won the match had they put some pressure by restricting the run flow as they did in the last five overs in the early part of the innings and gone for attacking after keeping the run rate high. It was a tactical mistake on their part which eluded them a deserving victory.

Posted by android_user on (December 23, 2013, 13:36 GMT)

the captain cant think of anything other then playing his misfiring puppies who is a liablity to the team like i.sharma n ashwin..i wont be surprised if he gets his top puppy raina into the xi soon in place of a performer. the question is not about a win but about his puppies playing and earning at the cost of a defeat. i m pretty sure ojha n yadav in place of those captain's puppies would have surely resulted in a win koz they cant be any worse. even kumar would have been better then i s.. i still wonder how did hr keep is best puppy sir rj out of the xi... baffles me..

Posted by md4cric on (December 23, 2013, 13:35 GMT)

If I was SA Fan I would be strongly disaapointed as they had atleast 1 more wicket to take risk on.As an Indian cricket fan I can not forget the similar disaapointment when in England India were chasing 400 + and closing in with 2-3 wickets in hand and WK Bharat Reddy did not apply acceleration (May be team Management decided) In those days ODI was very new so I could understand the Missing Aggressive element but now T 20 and ODI are very well played by almost all players so SA had a good chance. Happy that India did not loose so both have chance to win the series.Thanks for the post to management

Posted by pjd_Howzat on (December 23, 2013, 13:32 GMT)

Here is another WHAT IF:

SA bowls 22 Wides and 2 No Balls: 24 Extra Runs and 4 overs extra IND: bowls 9 Wides and 3 no Balls: 14 Extra Runs and 2.2 overs extra

Think SA could have found those 8 extra runs in there, so note to self ....

Posted by sixesandfours on (December 23, 2013, 13:32 GMT)

Before start of first test, Several times and people commented at Cricinfo about having JADEJA instead of Ashwin and India team management would have considered and should be considered for Durban test. Playing XI. 1. Shikhar 2. Vijay 3. Pujara 4. Kohli 5. Rohi 6. Rahane 7. Dhoni 8. Jadeja 9. Zaheer 10. Ishant 11. Shami. India can consider 4th Pace bowler Yadav with similar pace bowling as Shami will be handy pick ahead of Bhuvi. Jadeja is a good all rounder in rahane place instead and include the 4th pacer. Then the team would be - 1. Shikhar 2. Vijay 3. Pujara 4. Kohli 5. Rohi 6. Rahane/Jadeja 7. Dhoni 8. U.Yadav 9. Zaheer 10. Ishant 11. Shami.

Posted by 200ondebut on (December 23, 2013, 13:32 GMT)

A great effort by SA - but come on the greatest ever draw? really. Does the person who wrote this not remember Athers and Russells reargard action over almost two days against a much more fearsome attack.

If I was a SA fan I would be asking myself whether Faf cost us the game. 8 runs short with three wickets left is hardly a great equation when you look at how long Faf batted for his runs. If he had just rubbed his bat on his magic zip who knows what might have happened.

Posted by android_user on (December 23, 2013, 13:31 GMT)

@harmony_not_discord: yes India is good only at home. that questions their 2nd spot, but what about saffas? they managed to draw against this rookie Indian team in their own backyard. .that's doesn't question their claim of no1 spot???amazing you have problems only with BCCI and India, so much so that you forgot that India dominated for entire 4 days...

Posted by pjd_Howzat on (December 23, 2013, 13:24 GMT)

SA: 223 Overs - 20 Wickets (No Morkel and Dale Steyn under par/unlucky) IND: 211 Overs - 17 Wickets

So India fails to take all 20 wickets when they had full bowling attack and best pitch conditions to bowl

Bring on Durban

Posted by venkateswarlu84 on (December 23, 2013, 13:22 GMT)

India Somehow escaped with draw :) So finally SA takes series 1-0.

Posted by CricketMaan on (December 23, 2013, 13:14 GMT)

Hindsight is always easy and lot of us paper crictics take joy in mocking these sportsmen. So i will also join the bandwagon of paper crictics. Zak's adamancy to bowl round the wicket and Dhoni's choice of Zak's experience over Shami's exuberance after tea could well be the difference in those last 2 hours. How i wish i saw ZAk attack from over the wicket for atleast 2-3 overs and then a short burst from Shami in that 1st hour after tea. Alas, its all over so such thoughts go to bin!

Posted by android_user on (December 23, 2013, 13:12 GMT)

south Africa should easily win the next test. Indian batting is not good enough for Durban

Posted by Al_Bundy1 on (December 23, 2013, 13:12 GMT)

@Anand Raj - You have to be kidding me when you say Fab 4 retired gracefully. Maybe Dravid retired after only 1 series failure, but Tendulkar was hanging around for last 2 years even after many series failures. His average in last 2 years was around 30. Do you think a top order batsman with an average of 30 deserves to be in Indian team??

Posted by insightfulcricketer on (December 23, 2013, 13:12 GMT)

Now moving on to Durban.The last test match there the Sri Lankans defeated the Proteas. This was mainly achieved by a left arm spin bowler and a left arm medium pacer.Indian team has both and it will be time to un-leash Ojha of whom Proteas have seen little of. The only issue that Dhoni will have is a longer tail. They might have to think long about whether to drop three players (Rohit/Ishant/Ashwin) and bring instead (Jadeja/Bhuvi/Ojha) this would strengthen the batting line up and still the bowling optons would be there. I cannot see Rohit with his brain fades doing much in Durban either.

Looks like time for Dhoni to make some tough decisions and earn his keep.

Posted by Al_Bundy1 on (December 23, 2013, 13:06 GMT)

It is quite obvious - Ashwin failed team India. Please, no more Ashwin outside India.

Posted by sidh78 on (December 23, 2013, 13:02 GMT)

yes it is disapointing that ind can't win this match but it is moral victory for yong & enexperienced indian team.becoz before the start of the series every one said that SA win by an inning& match will over in 2-3 days by seining the the other sc team last performanaces.but what happen in actual,ind dominate 4.5 days.every one says that indian batsmans not able to score more than total 300 in both innings.but the same indian batsmans score near 750 runs on fast bouncy seaming green pitch againsty the best bowlling attack of the world at their backyard(where many teams can not make even 50 odd runs &other sc team batsman can not stay there)as every one know indian bowling attack is weak but they all out SA below 250.yes last day they not bowl well& not won the match for india but not lost also.abd& duflesi are great players and they saved sa team before against great aus aatack in aus.so they do it against weak ind attack which is not a big thing for them.

Posted by mgzak on (December 23, 2013, 12:56 GMT)

Whether one liked the SA team or not, as a cricket lover, one would have wanted them to get these runs. SA lost the plot and choked in the end. 16 runs to get in 3 overs with 3 wickets in hand, even with 2 wickets in hand is gettable and I was hugely dissapointed when they locked up shop. Cricket lost this game with the anti climax.

Posted by sidh78 on (December 23, 2013, 12:43 GMT)

yes it is disapointing that ind can't win this match but it is moral victory for yong & enexperienced indian team.becoz before the start of the series every one said that SA win by an inning& match will over in 2-3 days by seining the the other sc team last performanaces.but what happen in actual,ind dominate 4.5 days.every one says that indian batsmans not able to score more than total 300 in both innings.but the same indian batsmans score near 750 runs on fast bouncy seaming green pitch againsty the best bowlling attack of the world at their backyard(where many teams can not make even 50 odd runs &other sc team batsman can not stay there)as every one know indian bowling attack is weak but they all out SA below 250.yes last day they not bowl well& not won the match for india but not lost also.abd& duflesi are great players and they saved sa team before against great aus aatack in aus.so they do it against weak ind attack which is not a big thing for them.

Posted by Harmony_not_Discord on (December 23, 2013, 12:38 GMT)

SA did extremely well to get a draw out of this match considering the mental drain that it takes to play from behind. Chasing a score of 458 in the last innings, most teams just crumble as England have been doing recently.

@Vishwas HS

If the Indian bowling and batting is like you mention then it's surprising they are the no 2 test side. So, it comes down, in the main, to being good only at home and cricket board manipulating the overseas schedules.

Posted by   on (December 23, 2013, 12:34 GMT)

Should have sent The Vern before JPD on last day to play a few shots, he's the one in better form between them. Legendary game!

Posted by   on (December 23, 2013, 12:14 GMT)

What's truly odd is that with 3 wickets left in the shed, and 25 needed off 16, Steyn and Philander played for the draw. Bizarre if you ask me. Why come so close and not even try to finish it with a win?

Posted by Kaballas on (December 23, 2013, 12:14 GMT)

Well played both sides. SA not going for the win maybe showed some much earned respect by the Indian cricket team. Take note the Indian team and NOT the BCCI.

Has Kallis not lost his wicket SA might well have won as he looked in good form.

In the end a draw is the best result for both teams. No one deserved to lose this match.

This now also ensure the scene is set for the second test. Expect a massive from all over the world for the second test.

It should have been a 3 - 5 test match series. What a shame BCCI.

Posted by Fast_Track_Bully on (December 23, 2013, 12:09 GMT)

@Asad Memon. You need to mention one LBW decision turned down on 72 over of Shami and few dropped catches in the list of Luck! A mis calculation from batsmen and 2 excellent run-outs by Rahane considered as Luck!!!OMG!

Posted by   on (December 23, 2013, 11:41 GMT)

Both teams failed to acheive the results with the oppotunities they have given. India will not get the chance again to have a situation where they just have to take 10 wickets with 5 sessions remaining, and had the better of the oposition for 4 days. Luck goin their way, 2 run outs, a bizare leave and a wrong decision and yet they end up drawing. SAF on the other hand played some unbeleivable cricket, they challanged the theories and had the chance of setting a world record but they failed to acheive and sure they wont get the chance like this either :)

Posted by android_user on (December 23, 2013, 11:04 GMT)

for a moment I thought dhoni would gamble in penultimate over , I thought he would ask zaheer to bowl some Yorkers, after all dhoni is known for gambles right... one good Yorker gets morkel at strike...that would have been epic... I know Yorkers are difficult to bowl, but you must have given it a try

Posted by android_user on (December 23, 2013, 10:54 GMT)

I don't understand how one can criticize Indian bowling, if so what will they tell about saffas bowling who allowed Indian rookie team to set a target of mammoth 458.... havingsaid that none of Indian seamers are in top 20 and 2 of saffas fast bowlers are top 1 and 2 , and none if Indian batsmen are in top 10 except pujara and in contrast 3 of saffas batsmen are top 1,2 and 9 respectively with one man more than 150 matches.experience... yes we should have taken all 10 wickets, but look at the bowling department one man playing 3rd test, one man is in and out of form, one man aged 36 is only back in the team to guide the New pacers and one man.who is not at all effective outside subcontinent....look at who they are bowling to Smith who excells always in 4th inning, Amla and kallis who rarely fails, ABD who is no 1 right now FAF who made the impossible against AUS.... all I am.saying is give some credit to Indian bowlers , they did their best...

Posted by Haz95 on (December 23, 2013, 10:51 GMT)

One Problem though, In the Era of T20, 20 runs of 24 balls or so is easily achievable and with a lead of 457 and win is also easily achievable....Once can say both teams lost, not both teams won...But SA proved why they're the #1 team

Posted by Haz95 on (December 23, 2013, 10:50 GMT)

This was not the greatest draw ever, sorry. This was Indias game which was almost snatched by pure batting brilliance and once again, mediocre bowling. Nevertheless, this game went as expected with some unusual surprises....1. Kohli has proved he's not a flat track bully. 2.Rahane saved India from losing with two awesome runouts, 3.Indias bowling fluked and somehow got them 10wickets(but went back to its usual in 4th innings, 4.Du Plessis is in the makings of one of the best fourth innings batsmen...and finally....Kohli seems the replacement for Tendulkar(the more known one) and Pujara seems the replacement for Dravid(the better one who is severely underrated).

Posted by   on (December 23, 2013, 10:34 GMT)

what a team South Africa, they have proved that why they are no 1 in the world They are going to sort out india in next match, our prayers are with Smith and co...good luck India

Posted by kr_kinshuk on (December 23, 2013, 10:32 GMT)

People really need to watch the entire game before coming here and commenting. There's remark after remark regarding indian bowler's inability to pick up 10 south african wickets.

had these people seen the entire 4th innings they'ld have realized the number of times these bowlers went past the outside edges of the south african batsmen.

there were several leading edges that went in the air and could have gone anywhere but luckily for south africa they landed safely. i'm not saying that duplessis and deviliers didn't do a fine job. to pull off something like this u need some luck going your way.

but only senseless idiots would go on criticizing the indian bowlers for not picking up wickets on a pitch where even steyn couldn't get wickets. and what's this nonsense about lucky run outs. pujara too was run out in the first innings.

btw, congrats team india for shutting up your critics for four days though all the venom did coming rushing out yesterday.Hope u can do an encore in durban.

Posted by   on (December 23, 2013, 10:27 GMT)

Great game. A draw was the right result, simply because neither side deserved to lose.

Posted by concerned_cricketer on (December 23, 2013, 10:25 GMT)

Just think back to the beginning of the test. India with so many youngsters in the team - Virat Kohli (granted talented), Ajinkya rahane, Cheteshwar Pujara, Murali Vijay, Shikhar Dhawan, Mohammed Shami, Rohit Sharma - were virtually written off before the test began. And boy, did they give the No 1 team a run for their money? I think the youngsters will take a lot of heart from what it felt like scrapping with the No 1 team that it will given them the confidence that they can face up to any team easily so long as they show the same discipline and work hard. Fantastic beginiing to their overseas record for each of them. Dhawan can definitely improve and so can Rohit Sharma. The bowlers were really good on a pitch losing its juice as the test progressed to second innings. Well done to both teams for not having succumbed to media's expectations before or during the test.

Posted by vxttemp on (December 23, 2013, 10:18 GMT)

@Diaz54 : Do u remember public opinion about this Ind? SA was supposed to roll-out Ind in 3 days. I for one thought 2-0 result to SA. None of that happened. For that matter, SA struggled for 4 days and played well on one day. Most importantly the best bowler in the world in the best bowling conditions got 1wicket out of 20 Indian wickets.

Posted by Khan444 on (December 23, 2013, 10:13 GMT)

I have witnessed most tame draws in my life, but this one I easily rate as The most pathetic draw I have ever watched. India and South Africa both, strangely lost!...20 runs in 24 balls.....and three wickets to get...neither tried for a win!.....this is not cricket at all....crowd on SA side as well as Indian side appeared utterly disappointed with their teams efforts.

Posted by   on (December 23, 2013, 10:12 GMT)

when africa was battling hard against india pak was playing against lanka and was playing well but most of us (pakistanis) were watching this epic test match because nothing can match test match cricket at its best . Result will be satisfying for both captains but i think india should have won it comfortably if they would have given more spells to shami than zaheer .And for africa after coming so much close they wud have won it but this test result tells us the difference between the Team Aussies of late 90s and 2000s mindset and the defencive safe mindset of smith . Smith team will never become real no. 1 test team as were aussies . In the end best test match of this year but captaincy of both captains not upto the mark . No body was ready to gamble to win .

Posted by Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on (December 23, 2013, 10:09 GMT)

This match should once again remind us about that surreal partnership between Dravid and VVS at Kolkata in 2001 that turned a certain defeat into victory against the then no.1 team Australia. SA put on a wonderful display but could only turn a probable defeat into a draw against the current no.2 team at home. This must hurt SA really bad.

It also helps to remember that when India were crippled due to the loss of Zaheer at Kolkata when SA last toured us, we went on to win the match and not just nearly won. And we didn't have Steyn like or Philander like bowlers (pacers or spinners) as back-ups in the playing eleven. And we were not no.1 team when we lost Zaheer mid-way in Kolkata. So, SA lost the battle here. SA did play well but it is not befitting of a no.1 team. They stumbled at the last hurdle. That dreaded word, I guess! Their fans must be relieved that at least they didn't lose in a tight situation. Congratulations to SA for fighting well.

Posted by Mythh on (December 23, 2013, 10:03 GMT)

Great Test match, only Positives to take out from this Match for India, at the End of the day Every wants to Win :)

Posted by   on (December 23, 2013, 10:00 GMT)

Look at the strike rate of World No.1 fast bowler Dale steyn in this test match 336.

Posted by dogcatcher on (December 23, 2013, 9:50 GMT)

Smith talks about creating a legacy, about "brave cricket". As a Saffa I feel the team missed a massive opportunity to make history and add to that legacy by playing brave cricket. Yes they could have lost but it's just a game and the reality is history only beckons so often. Credit to both teams for a great game but IMO a poor decision not to go for the historic win, even if it meant losing. I think Kohli was right and the Indian team will be more bouyed by the final result than the South Africans. To use a rugby phrase often used, todays draw felt hollow. That said I don't think either team deserved to lose. BCCI stuff that in your christmas stocking for only allowing 2 games.

Meery christmas.

Posted by MaruthuDelft on (December 23, 2013, 9:49 GMT)

@cric_fan123, not that.... Ishant just hurls at an angle into the batsman from wide of the crease. If he doesn't get closer to the stumps with his action he would always remain easily predictable. Then Ashwin for all his intelligent talking seems acutely unintelligent to understand the fact that without drift a spinner is no spinner. With such a foolish open chested action you will never impart adequate spin on the ball to make it drift. With Zaheer it is the pace. If you bowl at 120 kph international cricket it is a massive let down. But unfortunately Umesh has not matured. Bhuvi has grown complescent. Dhoni is right. He never bowls well after the initial spell. So the only improvement possible will be through either Ojah or Jadeja. So in the second test too India will have only Shami and may be Ojah as potent bowlers. How is going to be enough to get 20 wickets?

Posted by   on (December 23, 2013, 9:46 GMT)

My own 2 cents. SA came out on top ! After dominating the SAffers for almost 4 days, it was India's game to lose and they almost did that. Let's tip our caps to Faf, AB and even Philander and move on. If the viewpoint is that India were huge underdogs coming in and that they exceeded expectations, then that's fine. But SA must be feeling really good going into the second test (depending on how fit Morkel is).

Posted by Diaz54 on (December 23, 2013, 9:43 GMT)

Cricket tsunami.....you have got it all wrong. Defended a defeat! India bossed the game and could not get opposition out on a 5 th day wicket. And you say heroic defense! You cannot be cricketer! Hats of to SA to bat in those conditions.,also note Kallis,,descion 2 run outs and 2 played on!!! Genuine wickets hardly.

Posted by mahjut on (December 23, 2013, 9:38 GMT)

@coolbarn...yeah, I agree, johnson and siddle would have gone for the win (and lost - obviously ...like sending a kangaroo down a dead end hole : they cannot walk backwards I hear ) - its pretty much the very reason SA are #1 and Oz are not.

and, btw, you cannot have a good draw in which one team wins! (I'm sure you know that but you claim it would have been a better draw if one team had won!)

saffers are happy to be saffers I am sure. I personally admire their doubt, especially when considering its origins, ... while am surprised at aussies lack of it, considering the same thing

Posted by kr_kinshuk on (December 23, 2013, 9:34 GMT)

anyone with sense who saw yesterday's play would not be criticizing the Indian seamers.

the south africans played well and deserve credit for that but, there were several chances that could have gone to hand but did not.

the draw was a fair result given how evenly matched the two sides were after five days of cricket....

and if i was the indian side's captain i'ld be very happy about the way this side fought the south africans in their own backyard. yes, south africa nearly chased down 458 but, they were set that target of 458 weren't they?

this side's batting was untested overseas. it was actually, the first innings that gave me greater satisfaction since the pitch had begun to ease by the time they batted the second time.

south african supporters (and certainother"fans") were expecting the indian team to just roll over twice without any fight. that didn't happen.

moral victory's amuch abused term but if a moral winner has to be picked my choice would be the underdogs, i.e., ind

Posted by anver777 on (December 23, 2013, 9:32 GMT)

What a game & what a climax.... "TEST CRICKET AT ITS BEST".... a Sunday Special for cricket lovers..."THE ULTIMATE" winner in this match is Test Cricket !!!!

Posted by android_user on (December 23, 2013, 9:30 GMT)

dunno if it was the greatest draw. there's been 2 score draws in the last 10-15 years that were fair value plus another game featuring a certain r benaud as captain and Hugh mckay (?) as no 11 lasting a while to avoid defeat.

Posted by espncricinfomobile on (December 23, 2013, 9:23 GMT)

One of the best test match draws, credit to both teams for top draw, edge of the seat entertainment.

Posted by   on (December 23, 2013, 9:19 GMT)

from a pak fan..............well played both teams...india should win that but what a comeback from sa....worry thing for india for 2nd test match...how will they take 20 wickets ?????? india has to put atleast 400+ runs in next match to save them...well i wanna see a interesting test match...gl both teams... interesting to see dale steyn and philander clueless against indian batting technique..... for me indian batting is best in world...i dont care what other think....

Posted by Morpheus273 on (December 23, 2013, 9:19 GMT)

The ratio for the in-ability of both teams to strive for a win is 9:1, with SA giving away the golden chance to win a test match. They had a better chance to win considering they needed 16 of the 3.2 overs with 3 wickets in hand. What is even silly is that they had a man on the crease who had scored "59" in the first innings when other SA batters were struggling. It was the fear of loosing against an opponent who were touted to lay down after being "SOFTENED UP" and "CHIN MUSICed" by the WORLD's BEST BOWLING ATTACK. Smith says, "you have got to believe that on this surface you have the bowling attack that will do the job", I say, why did world's best bowler only manage to get 1 top order batsman in Dhawan, a low order batter in Ashwin and a tailender in Yadav? As the side's & world's most feared strike bowler why couldn't he intimidate Pujara and Kohli? A loss to India could have pulled the curtains on a bunch of high profile names in SA's test squad, with Smith being one of them.

Posted by Suggsy on (December 23, 2013, 9:14 GMT)

@Deven Sharma, how was Ashwins bowling so bad? He bowled it into the right area almost every time, duminy only got his wicket due to unusual bounce. Even the commentators thought ashwin did well for how unspinning the track was.. And Shami was bowling one boundary ball an over which India could not afford, he also only got duminy's wicket because he was the new batsman, dharma looked like getting him out too... Shami did bowl well though...

Posted by LordKratos on (December 23, 2013, 9:05 GMT)

A truly heroic effort by the SA team. Defending just 8 wickets for the whole day was just out of this world. A win which was centimeters away would've been icing on the cake. #TheNumberOneTestTeam

Posted by   on (December 23, 2013, 8:55 GMT)

I feel SA will be more heartened by the result as they nearly won after one of their main bowlers was ruled out early on, despite this they nearly won.

Posted by cric_fan123 on (December 23, 2013, 8:49 GMT)

For all those who keep raising fingers on Indian bowling - please remember luck and chances play a role in the match. If you watch Kallis decision in the 1st innings it was a marginal decision (bowl hitting stumps - umpires call) went in our favour. There were similar calls in the 2nd innings which went to SA - at least twice for ABD. It happens and the only thing you can do is do your best which I think Indian bowlers did. I hope they can emulate a similar performance in Durban too.

Posted by   on (December 23, 2013, 8:44 GMT)

1 murli 2 rahane 3 pujara 4 virat 5 rohit 6 dhoni 7 jadu 8 zak 9 ishant 10 shami 11 yadav

Posted by   on (December 23, 2013, 8:42 GMT)

So wanted to see South Africa complete this historic chase, felt very disappointed the way Du-Plessis got out, they never needed a risky run at that stage. Being a Pakistani, I bypassed Pak vs SL one-day which was going on and preferred to watch the closing moments of this amazing test match. Cheers for South Africa :)

Posted by harshthakor on (December 23, 2013, 8:40 GMT)

The game would have been the morale victory for test cricket had Vernon Philanderer and Dale Steyn attempted to knock of a win.The match had a classic series of twist and turns like a Hollywood thriller but lacked the gripping climax.In the end it was only a question of a South African victory or a draw,especially when Du Plessis and Devilliers were batting together.Their stand was one of the epics of test cricket which converted probable defeat into almost certain victory.

Full marks to India for sticking to the task by capturing those 3 wickets that saved the game in the end.It reflects the do-or-die spirit in the Indian team.Inclusion of a 4th seamer may well have won the game for India who proved that they have a tendency to lose a grip over a game in the Wanderers test.

Posted by ste13 on (December 23, 2013, 8:37 GMT)

Both teams are well ahead of the rest. In fact none of them deserved to lose this test. Big credit to India for close fight with no. 1 ranked team in their own backyard. Shami - a real find. du Plessis and de Villiers - true class. It's a pity that England is in total collapse now. Every supporter wants competitive cricket, not the type of India West Indies. Hope England can regroup and offer challenge to the Indian team next summer.

Posted by Ananth83 on (December 23, 2013, 8:35 GMT)

The comments section appear to be like an Ashwin bashing thread in a forum. The SA batters were determined not to score anything when he was bowling and just see through his overs and the pitch wasn't assisting as well. Guaranteed, a wicket or two would've changed the result but still don't feel we should drop the guy who is currently ranked number 1 in test all rounders list. Knowing Dhoni, we will most likely go in with the same 11 in the second test as well. Now that the first test is a Draw, the team which wins the second wins the series due to which I am not now disappointed that this is just a 2 test series. Long Live Test Cricket !!!

Posted by harshthakor on (December 23, 2013, 8:33 GMT)

I was very upset that South Africa did not hit the final nails in the coffin and pull of the greatest ever 4th innings winning run chase.It would have been the first time that a 450+ winning target was attained in the 4th innings.Dale Steyn and Philanderer should have attempted to steal a win which would have been the ultimate victory for test cricket.Devilliers and Du plessis batted in a cavalier manner and with about 12 overs to go the proteas were virtually coasting home,before 2 dismissals.Du plessis went for a needless run and was run out which cost his team a certain win.Their stand was arguably the best ever partnership in a run chase.

Morally a draw may have been the fairest result as India dominated the game for 4 days snatching the initiative at crucial junctures.The bowling tactics by Dhoni were unimaginative on the final day.However when coming within just 16 runs of the mammoth target I felt South Africa deserved to win the game.

Posted by gujratwalla on (December 23, 2013, 8:26 GMT)

This was a wonderful and most unexpected match.Credit to both sides for creating a Real Test match! After the hype about the Proteas pace bowlers scaring off the Indians it is revealing to see the boot on the other foot.Zahir,Shami and Sharma may not be the most feared bowlers in the world but they gave the Proteas a lot of food for thought!I was appaled by the second innings dismissal of Amla.I thought a batsman of his stature could deal with short pitched bowling but here is evident that like any average player he is hesistant about this type of balls.The mark of a great player to my mind is the ability to score off short pitched bowling and master it.I do not regard a batsman great if he gets hit about the helmet or takes his eyes off the ball.

Posted by   on (December 23, 2013, 8:21 GMT)

india was lucky not to have lost that game

Posted by   on (December 23, 2013, 8:17 GMT)

Good performance from both teams.I reckon SA are the moral victors here.But still,IND will take heart from the fact that they managed to save this match through some tight bowling and attacking fielding in the end.IND's bowling is still a major concern as they were not able to take 20 wickets.I think Ashwin should be rested.He was outbowled by his SA counterpart Duminy.Jadeja should replace him as he is almost a mirror image of Ashwin.Durban has provided spin for the past 2 tests played there-1.In 2011,Harbhajan Singh picked up 6-80 in the match. 2.Herath picked up 9 in the match between SL and SA.

Posted by ramli on (December 23, 2013, 8:14 GMT)

the problem with 4 fast bowlers in team is they take longer time to complete overs and hence can't be bowled for longer spells owing to over per day restriction ... this had been tried before but has never worked for India ... a fast-bowling all-rounder is a deifferent thing ... unfortunately there is nobody in sight .. there should be a spinner always to lend balance to team, to give breather to pacers as well as hurry through the overs ...

Posted by   on (December 23, 2013, 8:11 GMT)

SA should win this match.... Coming so close was an achievement but drawing at end is a shame.....

Posted by   on (December 23, 2013, 8:07 GMT)

This will go down in the history as the greatest draws of all time.Vijay Hazare, Sunil Gavaskar and Rahul Dravid are the only batsmen to hit centuries in both innings of a Test for India. Of the six instances, four have come in away Tests, with Gavaskar being the only batsman to do this twice in away Tests. Dravid's centuries against Pakistan at the Eden Gardens in 2005, was the last such instance.Sad Kohli missed it.Good India drew the match.Only once India have lost a Test match after setting a target of 300+ runs: to Australia (342/8) at Perth in Dec 1977.It would have been India's 9th consicutive defeat if they have lost the test .India's first drawn "away" Test after 8 losses in a row from July 2011.But there was no looser in this match.Greatest Test match.

Posted by ramli on (December 23, 2013, 8:03 GMT)

@Deven Sharma ... have a heart man ... Shami is human not a machine to be bowled whenever we needed ... he requires rest time between spells ... and for your information, Ashwin did a commendable job of containment (2.3 rpo) in this period ... don't imagine negative things in a test where india competed like nobody expected ... let not personalities cloud your judgment and be fair in your assessment

Posted by   on (December 23, 2013, 8:00 GMT)

A great game of cricket ... for me test cricket is the best form of cricket as it shows the character of the players...Faf du Plesis and AB de vililers showed immense character a 212 run partnership on a 5th day is commendable...Zaheer Khan bowling 40 overs for a 35 yr old is brilliant....the best drawn test match ever...a good job by the curators of the pitch...i have seen the Perth pitch cracking on the 5th day..Indian pitches breaking down on the 4th or 5th day which assist spinners..but this one in Jo'burg was brilliant another 3 days on this pitch it wouldn't have cracked

Posted by Mayan820 on (December 23, 2013, 7:58 GMT)

I can easily say to SA supporters who, basically, wrote this Indian test team off in this very forum . . . "I told you so"! "Don't write this Indian test team off, ever", but I won't. You had enough of a scare. If it wasn't for Faf and AB, once again (especially Faf) we would have lost this first test, comfortably. How incredibly valuable this man F du Plessis must be to Graham Smith. This is now the 2 nd time he saved a test match for SA, the first one being that amazing salvation in Adelaide against the Ausies, where the latter's media already began to write the headlines of a great Australian win with only 4 South African wickets left (one of which was Faf's) on the 5th day. Faf stood there that entire 5th day as he did in this test. What a player, what a champion!! Now we all know, for sure, why this guy cannot be left out of the Protea test team! In Durban SA must go for the kill, from ball one. D Steyn is about 8 or 9 wickets behind on his average bowling strike rate . . .

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

Thank you both teams for providing such an entertainment. I am a Pakistani team supporter, and yesterday Pakistan was batting against SL while test match was going on and I was watching test match because it was so absorbing. Shami is an excellent find for India, lets see how BCCI uses him, otherwise in 2 to 3 years he would be another Munaf Patel or Irfan Pathan. Pujara is a perfect replacement of Dravid and Kholi batting reminds me early days of Sachin. Still believe Gambhir should play in test matches, Dhawan is an excellent player of T20 and ODI but not test match. Anyway, well played both teams, looking forward to next test, Durban.

Posted by   on (December 23, 2013, 7:45 GMT)

i think there is something wrong in the process of giving man of the match awards. in the first test match NZ vs WEST INDIES, man of the match award should go to bravo and in the first test match SA vs INDIA, Faf du Plessis deserved man of the match award. so i have a doubt. what is the definition of man of the match?

Posted by vxttemp on (December 23, 2013, 7:45 GMT)

Has anyone noticed Steyn took only one wicket out of 20 in this bowler friendly track? This again defines the Indian batting line up. Do we want to still bring up the flat track bully stuff??

Posted by vxttemp on (December 23, 2013, 7:43 GMT)

I for one thought 10-0(overseas) is a real possibility with the way these guys played ODIs. But the way India fought back is heartening. For me, this is a victory in many ways. Had SA scored those 8 runs also, I would have marked this a victory for this young Indian team. Almost all the teams took quite sometime during their transition periods but this young took no time(or all it took is 2 ODIs :-))

Posted by   on (December 23, 2013, 7:39 GMT)

One of the best test matches i've had the pleasure of watching. A draw was probably a fair result for both teams.

Posted by loonykiwirocker on (December 23, 2013, 7:31 GMT)

An enthralling Test match from the 2 best Test teams in the world at the moment. Brilliant bowling from both sides in the first innings and tenacious batting in the second innings. Take a bow Pujara, Kohli, Develliers and DuPlessis. You guys are incredible. All 4 results (incl a tie) possible in the last hour of the game, what more can you ask for. India performed better than pre series expectations, and SA showed why they are No. 1.

The usual silly comments from some one eyed supporters of weaker teams but that is expected - we are used to it by now. Bashing the Indian bowling seems to be the national hobby in some countries, but I think they did far better than expected. Just to put it in context, the two top 4th innings chases have been achieved against Australia who had one of the best bowling units at the time. So no shame at all in not being able to take 20 wkts - all credit to SA batsmen for their determined display.

Posted by OttawaRocks on (December 23, 2013, 7:28 GMT)

Don't understand why SA didn't go for the win in the penultimate over with Philander batting? Even if he got out SA still had 2 more wickets left to bat out a draw (its not like India was getting 3 wickets in the final 2 overs!). Yes, I know India spread their field back but Philander was hitting off the middle of the bat and I'm sure he could of sent one or two of his shots for a six. Its just mind boggling. India was playing for a draw at that point but why was SA?

Posted by pratit on (December 23, 2013, 7:27 GMT)

surely ashwin needs to be dropped in favour of b.kumar in the next match. India needs to rethink its bowling combo abroad. Ashwin is ordinary and certainly no Anil kumble who was really good abroad. You cannot expect 3 pacers to take 20 wickets. Even if they got some help from ashwin, India would have won the match. If India needs a spinner for run-saving or maintaining overrate, jadeja is the better option.

Posted by Sorcerer on (December 23, 2013, 7:27 GMT)

Dhoni's inexplicable captaincy made the match interesting. Shami was held back till the very end and 4-an-over ZaK kept running in and leaking runs.

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

The selectors have a few queries regarding selecting the team for the next test. Dhawan will get selected, but if he plays like he played in the first test, Gambhir will be happy. Ashwin's capability of getting wickets outside of India is in serious doubt. Probably choosing Ohja over Ashwin for Durban test might help. However, Ashwin will still be preferred over Ohja on account of his superior batting skills. Ishant will also get selected, but will not Bhuvenesh Kumar or Umesh Yadav (is he there in the 15) be better suited for Durban ahead of Ishant?

Posted by fuji-one on (December 23, 2013, 7:18 GMT)

I think this was a moral loss for India. SAFs snatched the match from India's stomach(not jaws). Commendable effort from south africans. On paper, it would b draw but in reality, it is a victory for them. Kudos for Africa and a little cheer for India also as they managed to save their face in the end....

Posted by nyc_missile on (December 23, 2013, 7:18 GMT)

While MSD & team are rejoicing a draw we shouldn't forget the fact that we were in a position to win it more than SA were.So that means CP and Kohli's blistering batting went in vain.Shame on the management for dragging things in 2nd inns thereby wasting a lot of valuable time.Another opportunity lost abroad.SA proved why they are NO1 after all.

Posted by   on (December 23, 2013, 7:16 GMT)

I'm fortunate to witness this match after the one sided Ashes. Great fight back by the SA team although our Indian bowlers lack sting to get the wickets of AB and Faf. The pitch proved each and everyone wrong and I am sure it will still be good for batting even on the 6th day specially with the ROLLERS on. Great bowling by the Indians in the first innings to come back in the match. I still would have like the South Africans lower order to go for the win to value the runs scored by ABD and FAF. At the end, I am sure; for both the teams, its all about saving the match rather then losing it by trying to force a win. I never imagined this test to end in a draw after the South African collapse in the 3rd day morning. Hats off to both the South Africans and the Indians to show us some real contest. This is a reason why TEST cricket is incomparable. I am sure, the 5 day memories of this test will remain forever with me. Thank you SA and India. Hope to see the same in Durban.

Posted by   on (December 23, 2013, 7:16 GMT)

@cricketsunami What great captaincy ? If you can't save a target of 450 on day 4 and 5 then you should really worry about your bowling. In the last it was such a pathetic finish from South Africa as well. For making history you have to take risks and South Africa were afraid of taking risk at that time.

Posted by Yousafahmed11 on (December 23, 2013, 7:10 GMT)

congrats India. they fought hard. But luck gone other way. drop catches and some close LBW calls went against them. But overall it was India's game. From underdogs to a winning position in the game even if not able to achieve that.

Posted by balajit on (December 23, 2013, 7:10 GMT)

Great Test match! Tense finish. Full marks to SA & Ind.Both teams were right to shut shop in trying not lose this epic match. also coupled with the fact it is only 2 match series hence down one nil going into last match only provides chance to square the series not win it. Now both teams have chance to win albeit SA more cause ind will carry 3 really tried fast bowlers into the match.

If Ind mgt is smart they can play couple of fresh pace bowlers instead of 2 tired ones plus play jadeja in place of ashwin. Overall very happy with performance of Team India, played with lot of grit. Hope they continue with same determination in the second test.

Posted by ShanNachimuthu on (December 23, 2013, 7:10 GMT)

Great match and fair result for both the sides. Both the sides deserved to be the winner. SA played liked a no 1 in their 2nd innings and came closer to a historic win. Until last 3 three balls all four result were possible which was incredible. Having come to that closer it may be disappointing for SA fans. But it would have been heart broken for Indians if SA won the match. I do not understand why Zak stuck with around the wicket bowling through out day. He could have tried over the wicket also which would have created some rough patches which could have helped Ashwin. Ashwin was not even on par with Duminy. There was not even close calls from his bowling. The warnings from the umpires made Ishant to bowl little wide from the stumps and that made him little ineffective in 2nd innings. Overall it was a memorable match and enjoyed every moment of it.

Posted by rajuramki on (December 23, 2013, 7:10 GMT)

Without any doubt , this is one of the best test matches that has been played in the recent past . Both teams played so well that neither of them deserved to lose . At the end, the game was drawn , which is a very fair result . Looking into the details , it is still a mystery why Dhoni did not bring on Shami till the very end . Shami was more threatening than Zaheer or Ishant and certainly Dhoni was wrong in persisting with these bowlers when they were providing lot of freebies to SA batsmen . India has atlast proved that the new team cannot be taken lightly .

Posted by mamboman on (December 23, 2013, 7:07 GMT)

Australia v West Indies, Adelaide, 1961. There was the greatest draw!

Posted by chandu78m on (December 23, 2013, 7:07 GMT)

This is the win of Test Cricket.

Posted by   on (December 23, 2013, 7:05 GMT)

As an Indian I would have gone into terminal depression had we lost. But AB and FAF gave nothing, bloody nothing, they played as disciplined as India if not more to come so close, only when they tried different things AB got out, Duminy showed it wasnt an easy wicket. Both teams could have gone all out in the end but didnt because losing would have meant bouncing back mentally would have been very difficult. India needs one more pacer. However AB and FAF played and missed a lot and many half chances could have gone to hand. I think both teams will go all out in the next macth employing tactics against what they have learned in this match. Glad the match is in two days...cannot wait....next time it has to be a four match series....I have already had a few fights with family choosing to sit in front of the TV versus going out....will be interesting to see the changes India makes in the next match...

Posted by karnamgiridhar on (December 23, 2013, 7:01 GMT)

I liked the way this test match was played, but would have been more happy had there been a result. Young Indians posed a stiff challenge to the formidable SA test team. this match goes on to build huge confidence to Indian team for the upcoming test.

Posted by android_user on (December 23, 2013, 7:00 GMT)

india were the losers. well played south africa. 1-0 to south africa easily

Posted by mthi4life on (December 23, 2013, 6:59 GMT)

I am a Proud Protea Supporter but I would have love if they pushed their luck and went for a win the Durban Test Match, which is India's home away from home will be Epic.I the Proteas loose they will look back a say we woulder - shoulder - coulder.

Posted by   on (December 23, 2013, 6:57 GMT)

with all respect to kohli, I believe faf should have been mom. between dhoni and smith, dhoni is the winner for great captaincy. india was short a pace allrounder.

Posted by android_user on (December 23, 2013, 6:56 GMT)

india have messed up completely.could have gone one up. saf showed why they are the best ranked test playing nation.

Posted by 13Amar on (December 23, 2013, 6:55 GMT)

No doubt India was ahead in this game but Proteas really showed some character on last day, I find India seriously lacked 5th bowler... they are playing eight batsmen including Ashwin considered proper batsmen and in both the innings only two did considerable contribution rest just contributed like tailenders #Zaheer Khan. So my point is if you wont believe in the capability of your seven batsmen, your eight wont do anything extra for you. They should play five bowlers in next test match, otherwise results would be same. South Africa just have to wait to get these three fast bowlers get tired. Their fifth bowler Jack Kallis and even sixth JP Duminy took wickets. Go in for winning.

Posted by kapilesh23 on (December 23, 2013, 6:51 GMT)

I think its India which will take a lot of positives from this game. India was on top in this game and that was a complete shocker for everybody in the cricketing world. Forget about Indian bowling its never really very good anyway. Great game which will give hope to Indian fans who were loosing faith in this team after that incredible 8-0 stint.

Posted by android_user on (December 23, 2013, 6:49 GMT)

I hope dhoni leaves his ego aside and bring in the all pace attack... ashwin is allrounder alright, but ineffective overseas.... bring in yadhav with using virat to hold one end....no shame in doing that.... even philander was rested on Australia to safeguard his average.... no shame if ashwin is rested..

Posted by android_user on (December 23, 2013, 6:42 GMT)

@ajmaldominateswann : yes man it's definitely a moral victory because we dint get all-out for 49 unlike our neighbors on the same pitch against same opposition, yes it's a moral victory because we have set a target of mammoth 458 against a team whose bowlers are currently no1 and 2, yes it's a moral victory because with 8 members having test experience of less than 20 matches were dominating saffas in their own back yard for the best part of the match, yes it's a moral victory because we have managed to take the game to final ball of last day unlike our neighbors who were folded up within 3 days,yes it's q moral victory because we were neck to neck with world no1 with the most vastly inexperienced side.... yes it's a moral victory because two young lads with less than 20 match experience playing for first time in SA with out prior match practice made world's no.1 bowlers (styne) look like a club level bowler... you want more???

Posted by   on (December 23, 2013, 6:35 GMT)

I feel many people commenting here didn't watch much of the match, because if they did, then trashing the Indian bowlers would be unfair. Throughout the day, the Indian bowling was quite disciplined, and did create chances. It was just a case of bad luck and excellent batting by Faf and ABD that edges landed short and balls in the air landed in no-man's land. Zak bowled 3 balls that had the batsman's name on it, one of which had squared up Faf 100%, but that ball went over the slips. You can't do anything about luck. Also, when a bowler bowls 60 overs in a match, you cannot expect a bowler to maintain 100% intensity while bowling each ball. Remember, this was the same Indian attack that gave India a lead of 36, and was being praised just 2-3 days ago. Instead of calling the Indian attack impotent, it would be better if the SA batsmen were appreciated for having tremendous self-belief.

Posted by Front-Foot-Lunge-Needs-A-Hug on (December 23, 2013, 6:33 GMT)

I was very disappointed that SA shut up shop so close to the line in a match they should have won. If they display this lack of resolve and ruthlessness against quality opposition like Australia they will lose heavily. Watching Philander play out the last two overs with only 16 to get was terrible, you could see the divisions in the dressing room. AB and Faf played so well so this finish was a real disappointment and the boos of the crowd were justified. A great escape by India, an early Christmas present from SA.

Posted by partnershipbreaker on (December 23, 2013, 6:30 GMT)

Test cricket at its best perfect finish between no 1 & 2 ranked teams my congrats to both teams from a sl fan.

Posted by sumit1982 on (December 23, 2013, 6:27 GMT)

IN these era T20 , people who love watching test match it is incredible game to watch the battle between ball and bat.

I Think India need to play 4 fast blower in Durban.My staring eleven will be

RG Sharma,S Dhawan,CA Pujara,V Kohli,AM Rahane,MS Dhoni,R Ashwin,Z Khan,I Sharma,Mohammed Shami and Bhuvneshwar Kumar.

Posted by   on (December 23, 2013, 6:27 GMT)

It's really surprising to see that No One has commented or commended the two crucial run outs by Rahane,Greame Smith and Du Plessis and both are class players who could taken away the match.Such a wonderful direct hit to the base of the wicket and with both the batsmen are inches away definitely deserves mention.

Posted by Waseemtain on (December 23, 2013, 6:22 GMT)

it was a big disapointment to se African aproch after a great hard work by fuf & AB. such a negative aproch badly hurt cricket fans all over the world & specialy SA People. what if SA would have lost the test, it was just only a match, every body would have apreciated them for their Positivety, & i ame sure 90% of test was in africa's favour but still they opetd to draw..it might not be a fair commet but to me it is a real shame...

Posted by   on (December 23, 2013, 6:20 GMT)

We didnt win this test because of Dhoni's selfish tactics, he knew India was behind the over rate and he could face a ban on next match, that's why he kept on bowling Ashwin who was so awful with the ball.

Why on earth he didn't bowl Shami who was causing problems to SA batsmen? Why didnt he let him bowl for so long after tea? I just don't understand it, and when he brought him he immediately got us Duminy's wicket.

Posted by android_user on (December 23, 2013, 6:18 GMT)

now dhoni should understand going with only 3 seamers is a sin when playing in SA, ENG, AUS, NZ.... you got to have 4 seamers with virat doing holding job.... now that we don't have fast bowling allrounder why can't we add 1 more seamer, umesh yadhav May be....

Posted by iNsiDers on (December 23, 2013, 6:14 GMT)

SA have clearly come out as winner and Indian bowlers once again proved to be in poor form, they could not take wickets when needed. Hates off to SA

Posted by Nitintnd on (December 23, 2013, 6:14 GMT)

Test match . . . alive till last over, never though test too could be so exciting. This match displayed supremacy between ICC #1&2 ranks. Indian almost lost from coming behind Winning & drew after coming behind losing. On-field Tactics by MSD leaving a big question mark. Don't think Bhuvi & Umesh will get a chance in boxing test match. Zaheer should be promoted as Bowling Coach. Indian team like always still relies more on heroic acts of individuals rather than Team Work. Khudos to SA Batsman for showing great character. Still I feel SA should have won easily at least attacking in last over.

Posted by   on (December 23, 2013, 6:12 GMT)

Great all around performance by the SA side but IND could only manage a great batting performance.....SA will definitely take heart that they took 20 indian wickets with an injured bowler and the fact that indian couldn't do the same . Most of the SA batsmen came through for their team where as Kholi and Pujara are the only two batsmen that looked comfortable and the fact that indian catching was so poor should worry india going in the next test match. SA has a tendency(weakness) to not preform at their best in most of the opening game of a series and hope they'll improve in the next game. Few indian players showed they have class in their performance but that's the main point that there are only few of them

SA do look the favorites going into the Durban test

Posted by Rajeshj on (December 23, 2013, 6:11 GMT)

We Indians never learn to understand what a pitch is all about and keep criticizing players.. Saeed Ajmal played in the same pitch in February this year and took 1 wicket for 142 runs after bowling 41 overs.. Ashwin has bowled 42 overs in this match for 108 runs with no wicket.. Look at the figures and how can we blame Ashwin for not taking wickets in this match??.. When Ajmal goes wicketless, everyone says the pitch is like that.. When Ashwin goes wickletless in the same pitch, he is criticized.. I would say Ashwin bowled with greater control on this pitch and looked dangerous at times and was one reason why SA did not run away with the match quickly.. We need to appreciate the talent we have rather than criticizing him endlessly... I am sure if Jadeja/Ojha/Mishra had bowled in this pitch, they wouldn't have had such decent (economy-wise) outing..

Posted by   on (December 23, 2013, 6:07 GMT)

@Ntokozo Sboh Qwabe ,pls don't tell us who are great as a team,if you want to tak about match then you know you people are playing in your home ground and before the match every one(including fans of srilanka,pakis)said that it will be 2-0 to ,even india is not going to cross 250 in the whole series,but look at the score card.

Dont tell us about the team,we believe in our team .You people are playing in your home and i think its your duty (as no 1 team) first try to win like no 1 ,Every one is no 1 in their home. You guys are roaring every time that steyn,morne and philander etc will all out the Indians less than 50 by making a green top.You all blame bcci ,however if we welcome saf with rob turner from first day and play with four spinners then whole world stood against us. Look at your team,dale steyn no 1 bowler,wicket less...hahaha

Posted by JustIPL on (December 23, 2013, 6:04 GMT)

Du Plessis, de Villiers were not ensure thrilling draw rather they were on course for a win against india.

Posted by cric.info. on (December 23, 2013, 6:04 GMT)

anyone having just a bit of cricketing sense should acknowledge south africa for their compromise.... 6 on last ball was a good way to say the same..

Posted by caught_knott_bowled_old on (December 23, 2013, 6:02 GMT)

India couldn't take 20 wickets; SA could. The draw masks the superb effort that SA's batsmen put on. Scoring 448-7 in the 4th inning while chasing a target of 458 is unprecedented in Test history. What we witnessed was a rare event, with SA finishing with a morale-boosting draw.

Posted by thebeautifulgame on (December 23, 2013, 5:56 GMT)

I think that India failed to win this game because of retrograde and selfish tactics by Dhoni.

In SA's first innings, India were behind on the over rate. Dhoni faced being suspended for the next Test. That is why spinners were kept on, long after it had become apparent that they were not making headway. Ashwin was bowling quite well (he should have been taken off after 10 overs or so of no result), but what is the excuse for trying out so many part-timers?

Shami was causing SA problems every time he bowled. However, he was also the slowest (in terms of over rate) bowler on our side. Ishant close behind him in that respect.

There is a comment by Sid Monga (D5S3) where he states that India were one over ahead of the requirement. Immediately, Shami is brought back and takes out a wicket. Ditto for Ishant. However, it was by then a case of too little, too late. No doubt Faf and AB played well but Dhoni allowed them to settle.

In this case, Dhoni put his own interest ahead of the team

Posted by manisrinath on (December 23, 2013, 5:55 GMT)

&jagluth....iam sure you would have given a straight opposite comment if Bhuvi and yadav had played this match. The result would not have been favorable for India. In that scenario, you would have been blaming for lack of experience and Zaheer would have been a better choice. This match was for test match lovers and iam sure every cricket lover would have enjoyed the game last evening. Its time we give credit to the players playing the game rather than speculating what would have happened if X Y Z had played. One of the best test matches played in recent times. Way to go test cricket.

Posted by   on (December 23, 2013, 5:52 GMT)

it was thrilling but before last three overs. Proties could ve glorify the results but i think Bravery is still missing in their Criecket... butl i cant take anything away from them before that they realy played good cricket or must say fighting cricket.

zubair

Posted by BEDEKAR on (December 23, 2013, 5:49 GMT)

To me the real man of the match was Ajinkya Rahane. He brilliantly ran out FAF Duplessis,which turned the match around. Had FAF and Philander stayed together SA would have certainly won.Rahane also similarly ran out Smith,when he had just started taking control after some scratchy batting.

Posted by prof_aks on (December 23, 2013, 5:49 GMT)

Prof_aks Well done both teams, all is well that ends well and no team has any regret at large.

Posted by   on (December 23, 2013, 5:43 GMT)

@jagluth if u dont know what is cricket then please dont talk abt it do you what Sachin dravid and laxman did for India overseas??they showed wat it requires and has been a guide and role model for many players today...and they all retired gracefully..see their records overseas!!!

Posted by   on (December 23, 2013, 5:38 GMT)

No one can blame Anyone for not going for the win. SA definitely would have gone for it had Faf and Vernon been there at the end. Once FAF was gone going for the win was out of the window for SA. India can take confidence on how the performed. But I think SA should be the happier of the two from this draw.

Posted by chin-music on (December 23, 2013, 5:33 GMT)

Certainly a gripping test match - & proof if any is really needed, that a well contested 5-day test will always have far more genuine "excitement" than the contrived, packaged & fairly predictable excitement that ODI/T20 dole out. Now, if only the idiots at BCCI would allow us a real 3 or 5 test series between these 2 sides ??

Posted by lillee4PM on (December 23, 2013, 5:30 GMT)

After the wickets of AB, Faf & Duminy, it seems that the SA team management told Steyn to tell Philander to play out the draw. I believe the SA players wanted to go for the win and the booing of the crowd should have been directed to bosses in the back room. Disappointing that five days of fighting grit and determination from both teams ended with a fizz.

Posted by srikanths on (December 23, 2013, 5:30 GMT)

One has to concede that Indian bowling was quite mediocre. Ashwin Ravichandran is ordinary on pitches which do not provide special assistance to spinners unlike a Swann. Zaheer and Ishant looked too tired and unpenetrative. This had been a failure of Indian attacks in the past and continues to be so. Have always had just abt one pace bowler and Kumble to some extent effective abroad. Exceptions had been when Zaheer and RP Singh in Eng, Zaheer and Ishant in Australia and Zaheer and Agarkar in Australia.This had been one reason why we missed winning last time around in SA 3 rd test when SA was 140 and odd for 5 and Kallis scored a century and got them to the shore. Same happened in Sydnet Australi in 2003. Indian attack just lacks the final bite. I thought differengt this time with Zaheer and Shami, looks I am wrong. Ashwin is a paasenger abroad in bowling department

Posted by   on (December 23, 2013, 5:29 GMT)

If india played in similar situation where SAF played...Many people would have commented here that pitch is changed to flat track....Hope so Not for SAF Batting...

Posted by p77gin on (December 23, 2013, 5:25 GMT)

One team that can take a cue from this match is Australia. India and SA showed how good and "hard" cricket can be played without the need to abuse and sledge the opposition in the heat of the moment. it was well fought battle from both sides without getting ugly. Sadly enough, the administrators turn a blind eye to atrocious Aussie behavior in the name of tough cricket

Posted by espncricinfomobile on (December 23, 2013, 5:25 GMT)

I was sure SA will catch up and they did but the thing is that they could have won because they still had Phillinder who made a great half century in the 1st inning so SA could have won!

Posted by VinodGupte on (December 23, 2013, 5:25 GMT)

INDIA lost this game. If they could not win despite 1) leading by 450, 2) having 4+ sessions to bowl, 3) the gifts of amla's and kallis' wickets, 4) injured morkel. All they could manage as 7 wickets two of which were run out! that means, only peterson, JPD and ABD got out to IND's bowlers. what a shame! SA 1, IND 0.

Posted by   on (December 23, 2013, 5:22 GMT)

SA probably wins on points in this match just like in the movie Rocky. would the game in Durban transpire to be Rocky 2?

Posted by amilag on (December 23, 2013, 5:21 GMT)

ha...ha..ha.. India was acting the winner by the end of fourth day! They can't take eight wickets on a deteriorated pitch of 5th day of a test! what a shame? Actually SA should have won the match had there been 5 more overs and crate a world record. Indian bowling line up deserved that record!

Posted by sadisticatittude on (December 23, 2013, 5:17 GMT)

Well after a long time, a drawn test went down to the wire with all three results being actually possible on the day. That the teams chose to be cautious is understandable because there was a lot at stake. Neither team wanted to lose after working so hard. But, what I fail to understand is comments from people who called the Indian attack inept against an experienced and strong RSA batting line up while on the same pitch, arguably the best fast bowler in the world (read Dale Steyn) failed to take even a single wicket. So it really was not as much a case of inept bowling performance from either team as it is a case of very very good application, perseverence and tenacity from batsmen experienced and inexperienced alike.

True, a result (though neither of the teams deserved losing) would have made this match even grater but, on the day, the result achieved was pretty fair coz honestly there was very little to choose the winner between the two.

Posted by Thegimp on (December 23, 2013, 5:17 GMT)

@cricketsunami......What part of both teams playing and praying for a draw makes it a great match. Great draws are when one team is out on a limb down on the canvas and hangs on. Great draws are not about watching two sides disintegrate at the thought of losing. This game shows why it won't be long until the gap between Australia and the rest is re-established.

Posted by Rufus_Fuddleduck on (December 23, 2013, 5:08 GMT)

@rocket, did you get the time to see the match? Someone had mentioned the other day you were due for some doctorate. Indeed India were going through the motions - as was the case on day 1,day 2, day 3 and day 4. They caused two batting collapses in South Africa's first innings, took the lead and two cubs batted India to safety. All this step by step - cricket for dummies as my coach used to say. Whereupon once-in-many-moons performance from South Africa resulted in a riveting draw. Probability charts are being drawn up on what can be replicated. Take nothing away from both wonderful sides. Just that fans sometimes take undue advantage of literacy.

Posted by bMike on (December 23, 2013, 5:05 GMT)

South Africa should have won this match easily. They should have sent Philander in before Duminy to make some quick runs. India proved again why they don't like DRS. Bat-pad LBW could be the only way to stop Kallis when he was scoring run a ball. In SA's perspective this could be their greatest draw ever although they should have won the match.. By the way India should celebrate this draw as their greatest test win ever because this draw helped them to avoid their consecutive 11th away test defeat..

Posted by tao585 on (December 23, 2013, 5:04 GMT)

It seems strange when Indians are the one who are furious that why SA did not went for the win in last 3 overs. Graeme Smith is a smart cricketer and a captain, he knew that Indian bowlers can not take wickets if SA batsmen did not go for random shots. Next time if you want other team to win, please dont post your every fielder on the boundary.

Posted by Gryphon-PR on (December 23, 2013, 5:03 GMT)

Wow, what an amazing game. I think the Proteas made the right decision in not going for the win. In a two match series you can't afford to go 1 down and have to play safety first. I wonder if they would have gone for it had it been a 3 match series?

Posted by   on (December 23, 2013, 4:58 GMT)

what if flaff and ABD just blocked blocked blocked and prolly got to 320-350 at the end of the day similar to what they did in adelaide? im sure the Fans and people here wouldn't have been bashing RSA for not going for the win!! So it is still a fantastic stuff from the number 1 team. But, having said that, as a RSA cricket fan, im very upset that flaff went for the run and threw his wicket away.

Posted by taslu613 on (December 23, 2013, 4:57 GMT)

No doubt it was a great game.But I think South Africa should have won it.Turning point of the match was du plessis's run out.Luck was with india,they some how able take a wicket in crucial time.AB have shown that why he is best batsman in all format .All wickets taken by india,were not convincing.In the second innings they bowled badly.Their good luck fetch them wicket nothing else.South Africa showed why they are at the top in ICC rankings.It was a great game of cricket.Both team played well.But india played well in the first inning than Second.i thoroughly enjoyed this match.Finger crossed for the second test.Cricket ki jai ho.

Posted by   on (December 23, 2013, 4:56 GMT)

Indian bowling was "just good" there was no bite,no pace at all,, Ashwin was out of place on this pitch,,,Bhuvi should have been therein his place,,, Now Dhoni should think,, he can not win matches just on batsmen,,

Posted by REALMADRIDFAN on (December 23, 2013, 4:53 GMT)

The draw would have been a setback for India if they were the No.1 team playing in their own backyard, mocking the opposition batsmen and insulting their bowlers. And the proteas have not been stretched this far in match since they played the aussies of the old. And to add insult to injury this has been done by a bunch of newbies. Australia (although a little bit early to say, the more deserving for the No.1 spot) must have been watching the test match closely. The Indians have shown the way.

Posted by Rufus_Fuddleduck on (December 23, 2013, 4:51 GMT)

What a match. Smith may be looked upon as bit cowardly, but for those who have followed his career over the past decade, this was anything but so. Having been under for about three days and a key guy injured, you don't feel very adventurous. Surprising was Dhoni's plan to bowl a recently-refitted Zaheer half into the ground. This when Shami was available and pitching well. Ashwin is the next Tracer Shastri - can hold his own in batting and nothing else. A good replacement for Rohit Sharma, who is right now being shown up. South Africa were magnificent on day five. A cracker Boxing Day Test is being set up, without the Tarzan-like thumping that South Africans recently displayed. If only both teams are fit and none disappoint on the field. May the best win for the best reasons.

Posted by   on (December 23, 2013, 4:50 GMT)

India wasted a great chance to win this test. After the great partnership in the second Indian innings, we thought match was won and that was not so . Until the last ball is bowled, the match is on , India should remember; in the end we were very lucky to draw the match as the Proteas became Extra cautious & safe.

Posted by loks07 on (December 23, 2013, 4:49 GMT)

Hold on all guys who insist that this is the greatest advertisement for test cricket. Only already ardent test followers can appreciate the happenings in this test. You ask anyone from outside world and they will wonder why none of the team is vying for a win.

And on a side note, I only wish Rohit is replaced by Jadeja, Ashwin by Amit Mishra/Rasool and Ishant by Bhuvi/Rishi Dhawan. And Dhoni's mind by Ganguly's :)

Posted by NP_NY on (December 23, 2013, 4:44 GMT)

@henchart: You obviously didn't watch the game, if you thought India didn't go for the win or gave up too early. If they wanted to give up they could have easily just given away 60 runs in the first and second session by bowling a negative line. They were clearly going for a win even after tea when SA seemed to have the upper hand. This was clearly a brave effort by both teams, so try to appreciate that instead of slamming one or the other team.

Posted by Amol_Ind_SA on (December 23, 2013, 4:40 GMT)

The decision against Kallis was bad to say the least and was the difference between the win and the draw for SA. And the decision by IND to deny DRS in 2013 just because some years long, long back in 2008, the technology when it was only just in its developing stages had given wrong decisions against IND...is being immature.

Posted by fuji-one on (December 23, 2013, 4:39 GMT)

Great Test Match..... Would hav loved to see Africa victory. They really deserved the win. I would say luck came to rescue India, faf's run-out swung the match in balance and saved India from a big humiliation... And yeah, I was wondering how could India win an overseas test match

Posted by android_user on (December 23, 2013, 4:37 GMT)

Again repeating that people making fun of Indias bowling should see how many wickets steyn and philander got in India's second innings! also same as before this match people are claiming India would be blown away in Durban.well,dont count your eggs before they hatch.Remember how SA were blown away in this match but for last day. Someone said SA didnt had any luck.The match i saw had numerous edges falling in no mans land and many balls missing edges.

Posted by android_user on (December 23, 2013, 4:33 GMT)

india have really goofed up. this was their best chance to win a test in sa. saf have shown why they are the best ranked test team in the world.

Posted by   on (December 23, 2013, 4:29 GMT)

just checked the rankings of test batsmen , there is very good competation between top 7... putting here the score of them 1 906 A.B. de Villiers 2 881 H.M. Amla 3 876 S. Chanderpal 4 871 R.L. Taylor 5 868 M.J. Clarke 6 866 K.C. Sangakkara 7 838 C.A. Pujara

there is only few points difference between those.... i have never sen this kind of cluster....

and it is good to seen 4 indian bowlers on top 25.... this was never expected from me....

Posted by humi_cric on (December 23, 2013, 4:28 GMT)

To be honest, the wicket was ideal for both spin and fast bowlers on day 5 (uneven bounce and turn), some very ordinary/club level bowling from Indian bowlers, especially Ashwin. Golden opportunity missed by Dhoni. Anyway, good match.

Posted by espncricinfomobile on (December 23, 2013, 4:22 GMT)

It did not look like day 5 wicket at all. It was very flat nothing was happening fir bowlers. Had zaheer bowled better india would have won the match. To me india dominated the first 4 days of the match and they deserve to win. SA got lucky many times-plenty of play n miss.

Posted by golgoal on (December 23, 2013, 4:20 GMT)

It whould be a good idea to give Ashwin a break. The only time he has been able to pick up wickets in his career is in test matches on rank turners in India. Time to give Pragyan Ojha a serious go. Amit Mishra and Piyush Chawla bowl too many bad balls in an over to be considered serious test match players. Ojha can either go for wickets or hold up one end depending on situations. And he seems to have a good temperament too.

Posted by piyo_thanda_jiyo_thanda on (December 23, 2013, 4:17 GMT)

There is going to be lot of pressure on Indian batsmen again going into 2nd test. They know that if they score less than 500runs, it is game over for India. I won't be surprised at all if SA win the 2nd game easily, as the Indian batting collapses under this kind of pressure.

Posted by Fan1969 on (December 23, 2013, 4:15 GMT)

Mixed emotions, wanted an India win but an amazing performance by the best batting line up in the world - SA. History possible but a result that was fair to the efforts of both teams.

Bowlers were good in this test but the batting was exceptional. Ball did beat the bat but very few batsmen made mistakes. Perfection personified.

Last series Kallis and Tendulkar were outdoing each other. This series it is Pujara/ Kohli vs. du Plessis/AB.

As an Indian fan I am very happy with the performance of these youngsters. SA deserve the No. 1 tag and India No.2, I hope no barbs will be thrown around on these wonderful teams.

Posted by piyo_thanda_jiyo_thanda on (December 23, 2013, 4:15 GMT)

I am not surprised in the least that India could not defend half-a-thousand runs on a last day pitch. Bowling has been India's problem for a very long time now, and loses games by giving away too many runs and putting way too much pressure on the batsmen. Batsmen can't be expected to score 300 runs in ODIs and 500 runs in test matches every time. But the problem is, if they don't, India is almost certainly going to lost. Time to start looking seriously at other bowlers - Ojha and Umesh, at least instead of Ashwin and Ishant. Zaheer is not a world beater but he is among the better bowlers India has, so dropping him may not be possible. Bhuvi is not test match material.

Posted by android_user on (December 23, 2013, 4:09 GMT)

Yes, saving the game was a feat in itself. But 16 runs in 20 odd deliveries, 3 wickets @ hand, history ? The problem with SA is that they are always content with just drawing..How many tyms in the last 10 yrs have we been drawing? Had we lost the game I wud have respected them more for effort. Mediocre!

Posted by black_bird on (December 23, 2013, 4:08 GMT)

As i said earlier. india will trash saffers. look, what happened to them. zaheer, sami, ishant are much more better than overrated south african bowlers. pujara, kohli, vijay all are better than so called great kallis, smith, de villiers, amla. 1-0 for india.

Posted by   on (December 23, 2013, 4:08 GMT)

i must say this is both a moral victory and moral lose for india, moral victory : 1)india played with rookies ( dhwan 3 matches old, vijay 18 matches old, pujara 15, kohli 20, rohit 2, rahane 1, shami, 2, ashwin 19, only dhoni and zaheer played more than 50 matches, ) 2) shikar, kohli, rohit, rahane, shami, ashwin never played test before in sa ( pujara just played 2 tests ) 3) zhaeer was back from injuries, fitness problem, everything.... 4) performing after 0-8 overseas record 5) no practice matches 6) lost in ODI series

Moral lose : 1) they couldnt take 10 wicket in fourth innings on day 5 ( any team would come closer )

i would say india won in draw, and saffas did not lost in draw ( and dint win also )

Posted by   on (December 23, 2013, 4:02 GMT)

if ashwin cant be axed, please play rahane ahead of rohit sharma , and get another seamer in... rahane is more capable than rohit sharma....

Posted by samvarma on (December 23, 2013, 4:02 GMT)

Though I admire Dhoni's captaincy in ODI's & T20s, I am equally dissapointed with his laid back approach during this test. With 8 consecutive away losses , Dhoni should have pushed his men to capitalize on this golden opportunity (thanks to Kohli, Pujara and 3 fast bowlers). I felt Indian team had no plan and lacked the intensity required on final day. Appalling performance by Ashwin & Zaheer, very dissapointed. Indian team think tank (not sure whether its coach, captain etc) need to give these performances a serious thought as I believe with this kind of talent we should be winning test series abroad.

Posted by android_user on (December 23, 2013, 4:02 GMT)

well... shami was the only bowler who troubled the batsmen yesterday.. yet he was used rarely.. well I dont understand what Mr cool was thinking with this strategy.. a golden opportunity is lost for India to create history and we would hv more confidence going into the second match. it will be tougher for india. Rob P will replace tahir, so no more gifts and free runs... be prepared Team India..

Posted by   on (December 23, 2013, 4:01 GMT)

i think we missed jaddu today, he would have chipped in with atleast one wicket, with his accurate stump to stump bowling and his ability to control runs, hope dhoni drops ashwin and play jaddu or umesh yadhav.... virat can hold one side of bowling ( if jaddu is not there ) 4 seamers should have be played in every overseas game... work od spinner is just to hold one end till the bowlers get rest ( that job can be done by all rounder , jaddu or kohli, or even vijay ) dhawan, vijay, pujara, kohli, rahane, rohit, dhoni, jaddu/yadhav, shami, ishant, zaheer... this is what i expect from dhoni in durban, but you know dhoni, he will have it in his own way....

Posted by espncricinfomobile on (December 23, 2013, 4:00 GMT)

Yeah. A lost chance for India, but didn't anyone else notice that SA used the heavy roller during their allowance. Nothing wrong with that, but it did change the nature of the pitch considerably.

Posted by android_user on (December 23, 2013, 3:57 GMT)

Gutted! SA will never be great...

Posted by NP_NY on (December 23, 2013, 3:55 GMT)

Well done young team India, no matter how the last day panned out, you showed a lot of character going to SA and playing a heck of a test match with the number 1 side in the world on their own ground. India won most of the sessions in the test match. The only session that really got out of hand was the second session on day5. I thought India was going to lose but again, unlike the teams of the past this team doesn't give up.

Posted by   on (December 23, 2013, 3:54 GMT)

so many fans saying india boweld poorly,yes i agree for the less part of it,but it was the great batting from faf and abd who made it look like poor bowling,it was not easy to bat ,yes india should have attacked more att the stumps,instead they bowled too full and too short outside of stump, but then again indian bowling is nowhere close to that of experienced saffas batting or bowling, shami playing 3rtd test, zaheer is back after fitness issues, ishant was never seen as good bowler ( but he bowled his heart out in this match ), ashwin is not effective outside SC.what can you expect.take a look at the opposition batsmen, smith (always excellent in 4th innings),amla(no words to describe) kallis(vastly experienced) abd (no 1 batsmen currently), faf(already saved a match earlier).indian bowling had no one in ranking table in top 10 except ashwin who is worthless abroad, so, bashing indian bowling is bit harsh on them. we have give credit to them for their bowling in 2nd innings

Posted by Anil_Koshy on (December 23, 2013, 3:52 GMT)

It should be a moral victory for South Africa, they came very close but finally could not win, it is always good to settle for a draw rather than losing against a side like India. On the other hand, India should reassess Ashwin's role outside the country his record outside India is very dismal, he never looks like a wicket taking bowler. He should never be in the side when India tours outside India, only Dhoni can answer why Ashwin is an automatic choice when we have Ojha and Mishra is the squad.

Posted by uksar on (December 23, 2013, 3:51 GMT)

Once in a blue moon performance by the Indian batsmen or bowlers or did they come of age? we can conclude after 2nd test.Hope at least the batsmen do not let their fans down.

Posted by   on (December 23, 2013, 3:48 GMT)

S.A Selectors Bring In David Miller for Duminy..give him a chance..& Simo Harmer For Imran Tahir..also Drop Alviro Petersen .bring back ELGAR..if u r to win the series.drop the players who r nt performing..plz

Posted by JustIPL on (December 23, 2013, 3:42 GMT)

It is not SA but India who actually drew the game at last. India could save it because it was the largest fourth innings total to chase. Since, it was nearly chased India are the worst bowling lineup of the game. Zaheer became is usual self and may be get unfit before or during the 2nd test. This bowling performance by india will put pressure on the indian batting as well. Those who were laughing at Kallis holdup have their answer. Kallis came and set the tone for the run chase sending tatters down the indians. SA did not even offer a nightwatchem as it would have been an easy target for indians and they would have boosted of 5 wickets down instead of 4.

Posted by bazooka1446 on (December 23, 2013, 3:40 GMT)

It was a great performance by Faf and ABD.Proteas proved themselves to be No1.Vernon should have given a try.Luck was against India the final day.There were many thicker edges and patient Faf ion the day.Finally it was a great test match with a stunning end

Posted by   on (December 23, 2013, 3:38 GMT)

india should be given special previllege to play 7-8 batsmen and 6 bowlers. man i am tired of hearing when bhuvneshver and umesh were playing indian fans would say we should go with zaheer and ishat. when zaheer ishat fail indian fans would say we should go with bhuvi and umesh.

Posted by espncricinfomobile on (December 23, 2013, 3:35 GMT)

I can't believe that SA didn't win this test match. It was theirs to loose!

Posted by espncricinfomobile on (December 23, 2013, 3:30 GMT)

Fantastic test! But I think the fact that this is only a 2 test series had an influence on the last few overs. Being 1 down with 1 to go isn't ideal. I can't believe the top 2 test teams in the world only have a 2 test series while 3rd and 5th play a 5 test series.

Posted by   on (December 23, 2013, 3:23 GMT)

Everyone who thinks India performed admirably in SA pitches need to understand that this was a flat track at its best. Anytime both teams end up scoring 400 + runs in both innings...it is a flat track. So, Philander was right when he said this was a flat pitch for nothing for the bowlers. Such a shame though...because I wanted to see how the young wings in the Indian team perform in fast, bouncy pitches in overseas conditions against the likes of Steyn, Philander, Morkel.

Posted by   on (December 23, 2013, 3:22 GMT)

India is a sad, sad team. SA was well below par for about 70% of the match, and India played far above expectations for around 4 days, yet India couldn't win.

Posted by humdrum on (December 23, 2013, 3:18 GMT)

@ZiaHassan: I thought thay's exactly what SA did in this test--hit India with pace and bounce,unless you think the likes of Steyn,Philander and Morkel(1st dig) are slow and dibbly dobbly. Even there, despite India's unsung bowling attack and inexperienced batting, outplayed them for the major part of the test match (else you can't be setting targets in excess of 450 for a win) and In the end the SA were a few lusty hits away and the Indians the wkt of Steyn (tahir is a no hoper and morkel badly injured) So try to see the match as everybody else around the world is seeing it.

Posted by   on (December 23, 2013, 3:14 GMT)

It was a great test match until the last 3 overs both teams did not have balls to take risk and go for the win.

Posted by   on (December 23, 2013, 3:13 GMT)

I have said it earlier too, Dhoni is a poor captain in longer format. Reason where we stand after end of day 5 is those listless 42 overs played on day 4. The way we played, showed to SA that we do not want to win, but instead we do not want to lose and taking time out of game. A little more positive cricket, not slogging, just singles and odd boundary would have give us 170 and a little push could have taken us close to 500 target. We do not get these opportunities to win everyday, draw can be achieved even with rain. Winning overseas is what matter. SA is a brilliant side and to defeat them you need to go that extra yard. And dear Dhoni, you are unimaginative when it comes to longer format.

Posted by mahi678 on (December 23, 2013, 3:04 GMT)

@kbza86, ha ha. many people like u said india never dream to draw. but we have made SA sweat. u said SA are starters but india are late starters. india recovered from situation where it lost 2 odis comprehensively and improved itself to a position to give a huge challenge to SA. then think how can india fare in durban test!!???

green pitches are such that they offer help to seamers earlier and become flatter as match progresses. dust bowls are contrary. they offer batters the help in first innings and in the last innings the teams used to get out cheaply.

Posted by Harmony111 on (December 23, 2013, 3:03 GMT)

From one PoV, this was a great match and perhaps the greatest 'draw' of all times.

From another PoV, both the teams have come out poorer out of this. India would kick themselves for not being able to win even after setting 450+ & in fact nearly losing it. SA would kick themselves for coming so close to such a historic win, having all the time & wickets in the world for that yet not finishing it. India would kick themselves for letting SA away after having them at 145/6 & for not scoring more runs at a faster pace when they were 320 ahead with 8 wickets in hand. SA would kick themselves for not being able to go past India's 1st innings total against a really weak & inexp bowling attack.

I was almost certain that India would win around midway through the 3rd session. All along I was hoping for a collapse as it often happens in a test esp on a day 5 wicket but it never came. Then at one point I was sure SA would win. This draw shows #1 team in poor light & #2 team in dim.

Posted by   on (December 23, 2013, 2:59 GMT)

I concur with jagluth, in his comment about Dravid, Tendulkar and Laxman 100%. They should have quit 5 yrs hence, we would have had several more Kohlis and Pujaras. Unfortunately, they owned BCCI. In this land of a billion, we can't have better fast bowlers than what we have in our team. But, today in SA, I felt like we needed another "Kapil Dev" type of allrounder. We should have won today. But...maybe the 2nd test.

Posted by   on (December 23, 2013, 2:55 GMT)

I know South Africa should have tried harder to win, but India really needed to finish them off. The same thing happen to Aust. We had the better of the Saffas for the first two games of the series but failed to beat them They came back and smashed us in the third to take the series. Steyn, may have one bad game, maybe even two - but sooner or later he'll get ya.

Posted by   on (December 23, 2013, 2:54 GMT)

Those last 20-30 minutes captured everything that is good and bad about both teams. The fact that the match even went to the last half an hour shows just have South Africa neutralized India's bowlers. Also, it showed how days 4 and 5 were actually the best to bat and this wasn't a typical crumble-and-explode kind of pitch on day 5.

Those last few minutes also showed that being the number 1 or 2 team doesn't mean you're a great team. No way would Steve Waugh have let his batsmen play to save the test - he would have gambled big time. South Africa is a good team but is nowhere near the likes of the Aussies of the past decade. Those few minutes also showed that, when it is crunch time, none of the Indian bowlers have confidence in their yorkers. I can understand not bowling bouncers because the pitch had died, and not utilizing reverse swing because the pitch wasn't abrasive, but it shouldn't take much to hit the base of off.

Hope we have a close one in Durban too!

Posted by   on (December 23, 2013, 2:52 GMT)

2 teams of 11 members each. Plays for 6 Hours a day across 5 days. So, it is a total of 30 hours game. The total man hours involved is 30*22 = 660 Hours. That is 27 and a half days.

Even after this much of an effort we still do not have a result, there is no winner. The match is drawn. But, we are sure that we have witnessed one of the best ever games in the history. Wow!! Now try explaining this to somebody who doesn't understand this game.

Test Cricket - The mother of all games. The most comprehensive game ever invented by the human race.

Please Note :- The 27 and a half days were arrived at excluding the match officials, break timings for drinks/tea/lunch and any instances of play going over the scheduled time due to slow over rate.

Posted by   on (December 23, 2013, 2:51 GMT)

It was a great test match. Full credit to India for fighting it out till the end when few gave them any chance. Ashwin was a weak link. Probably Umesh should have been played..I loved Rahane for his two crucial and timely run-outs..Great to get wickets from top fielding which India does not do often. In a way I feel India should have won, they missed a few tricks..One glaring one which Sanjay Manjrekar mentioned as well, was MSD not bowling Shami sooner on Day 5. He had got a couple of wickets clean bowled earlier, and was threatening.I also was very impressed by SA fight - AB and Faf, but a bit of choke in the end..It seems like both teams were unprepared for the turn of events..India had a mental state of being stunned that they were actually in a winning position on Day 5 at 197/4, and perhaps from the beginning playing with low expectations were happy not to lose. SA played it safe for a draw when they surprisingly ended in a winning position.

Posted by mahi678 on (December 23, 2013, 2:44 GMT)

every body blames indian bowling but i say indian bowlers had no enough support. i said many times that it need five main bowlers in any match. my team for nxt match would be: dhawan/vijay, rahane, pujara, kohli, rohit, dhoni, jadeja, bhuvi, shami, zaheer, ishanth.

i would say indian fielding saved the match. the first run out when the oeners are cruising and last run out when SA almost winning. credit should be given to rahane.

Posted by android_user on (December 23, 2013, 2:39 GMT)

those criticizing India's bowlers need to look at the pitch. it was excellent for batting barring the occasional misbehavior. even south Africa's bowling wasn't effective on the 4th day. just because India tried to accelerate, SA could bundle them out. otherwise even with more, they would not have had much success. saying India did not bowl well is unfair for both India bowlers and said batsmen. especially due plessis and de Villiers. they batted like a dream. learn to appreciate people's efforts properly

Posted by saview on (December 23, 2013, 2:37 GMT)

SA will be the more disappointed of the two. They had the match in their grasp until fear of losing kicked in with loss of Du Plessis. Two things to note. Although AB and Faf were outstanding, the pitch did no deteriorate as so-called experts told us it would - in fact, despite the cracks, which never really widened, and the odd ball deviating it probably played better on the final day than it had at any point in the match. Second, India's bowling attack is below the standard required of a team with aspirations of becoming number one. They are OK on their own wickets, but no more than average when the pitch isn't helping spin. Ashwin was dreadful in this match and shouldn't have played. Jadeja is a much better bet on SA wickets. If the notorious Durban rain allows the second test to be completed SA should win comfortably now that they have demonstrated they have the measure of the Indian bowlers - despite the fact that in Pujara and Kohli they are blessed with two of the world's best.

Posted by espncricinfomobile on (December 23, 2013, 2:36 GMT)

India will lose within 4 days at Durban.

Posted by mensan on (December 23, 2013, 2:33 GMT)

As I said in my comments at the end of day 4, there are only 2 results possible - either SA win or a draw. Exactly that happened. Indian bowlers could claim only 3 wickets inwhole day, one was a run out and other was an umpiring gift.

Posted by android_user on (December 23, 2013, 2:24 GMT)

Agreed that India couldn't get SA out on day 5.But didnt we all see how many times they edged and missed? If kallis was unlucky then so were Indian bowlers after that. Talking about India's "club bowling" can someone tell me how many wickets "the best"steyn took in India's second innings? Pleasr understand the pitch flattened out and both teams struggled to take wickets.when it was helpful,we saw who took the lead.

Posted by neutralcricket on (December 23, 2013, 2:21 GMT)

Watching Pujara, Kohali bat, Indians proved that they are FTB Bullies. It does not matter where "F" stands for Flat or Fast track :-) No doubt India has #1 batting that can stand up to #1 bowling!

Posted by Thyagu5432 on (December 23, 2013, 2:20 GMT)

Setting a target of 458 runs, which no team has ever done, India were the favourites all the way. If you look at it superficially, it will appear that India really threw away a golden opportunity to win a test match overseas. Which still is true but if you look at the backdrop against which they came on to play this match, a SA win here would have been absolutely cruel.

Here was a team which is stamped as a flop team overseas, have lost 8 straight test matches overseas, were trounced in the one dayers, were written off even before the first ball was bowled in this test match and for them to dominate this test up until the first session of the last day is commendable. It would have been injustice if SA had won this test match.

Having said that, our bowlers should have forced the issue. Very disappointed with Ashwin. Did the pitch crumble at all or became easier? 400+ from both the teams in their respective second outing indicates that the pitch probably only became easier to bat on.

Posted by   on (December 23, 2013, 2:17 GMT)

That was a gem of an innings from Faf du plessis.. No one in the world would have thought of SA coming this close to win. Our pace attack should be spearheaded with Shami and supported by Bhuvi and Umesh. Expect Dhoni to learn from this mistake atleast now.

Posted by   on (December 23, 2013, 2:17 GMT)

shame on south Africa for adopting such a coward approach misssed a rear chance of creating history or its the bookies who got into it hard to believe No 1 side of the world will do like this

Posted by Kappa69 on (December 23, 2013, 2:16 GMT)

Oh ab and faf has saved another match. It was too close for a win but still safety first with morkel injured. Well done sa pureproteafan#

Posted by Weatherdude on (December 23, 2013, 2:15 GMT)

What an anti-climactic end to a fabulous test match. The very thing that separates these two very good teams with the great teams of the past is the defensive mindset and lack of killer instinct. Both teams are guilty here. The priority of both teams seemed to be to avoid losing. Where were the slip fielders in those last 3 or 4 overs, India? Oh that's right, they were on the fence making sure India didn't lose the match. And bowling short was never going to get the wickets required to win the match. And South Africa, all the hard work done by du Plessis and de Villiers to put you in a winning position, and then you just block the last 3 overs so you don't lose the match. Very disappointing. I think this South African side is a hugely talented team, but their defensive mindset, so typical of SAf teams of the past, is holding them back. The great West Indian and Australian teams of the past would have gone in for the kill, even if it meant losing the match.

Posted by   on (December 23, 2013, 2:11 GMT)

Lack of a Quality Spiner Cost this Match for India.

Posted by KiwiRocker- on (December 23, 2013, 2:11 GMT)

Confirmed: India has worse bowling attacks.I can not understand how Kohli is Man of match? This award should go to Faf who literally won this match for SA. Indian fans are all hyped up with their good batting. Lets do a stock take to help Indian fans. Only Pujara ( in second inning) and Kohli clicked for India. Rest of Indian batting was utter failure. The overhyped Rohit and Dhawan were no where to be seen. Zaheer Khan was hyped before match, but Smith had last laugh. Shami looked promising though, but just promising! Smith, AB, Faf, Peterson all scored runs for SA. Kallis and Amla failed but Kallis got one of worse umpiring decisions. SA had a moral victory and more positives. Indian team and fans must be boiling that instead of winning the match with 450+ target, poor Dhoni resorted to saving the match! Asad Shafiq and Younis Khan had also done well against SA, but SA had come back strong as they are No.1 ranked team!.BCCI choose the 'easy' venues but can not choose the results!

Posted by Greatest_Game on (December 23, 2013, 2:10 GMT)

Those celebrating the might of the Indian Bowling Wolf-pack Juggernaut might do well to remember these helpful tips:

The formula for good to great bowling has multiple equations, but none equal "3 inside-edges onto the stumps, 2 run-outs, 1 not-out lbw-by-umpire, 1 funky knee-high bouncer and a partridge in a pear tree."

Conceding 450 runs in the 4th innings on a slightly schizophrenic wicket is not a known entry in the "Little Red Book of Great Bowling Performances."

Zaheer Khan is back, but 1 not-out lbw-by-umpire for 135 does not mean that he is back and useful/should be back/is worth keeping...

R Ashwin is not a fiery, dangerous spinner with 0 for 83 and 0 for 25. Imran Tahir & the part time JP Duminy took 2 wickets each! Duminy dismissed Kohli & Rahane, both known players of spin, on the same wicket that Aswin took not even 1 "Saffers can't play spin" wicket.

Shami is the real deal. All efforts must be made to get him signed by CSK, thus ensuring he plays for India

Posted by Vees1000 on (December 23, 2013, 2:00 GMT)

To all the moaners who think that SA threw the win away...look a bit closer. SA were effectively 9 wickets down. The next two batsmen were either injured or completely non-batsmen. Morkel could barely work and Tahir by his own admission is not a batsman. Imagine if either batsmen got out? It would have been only a matter of time for the next wickets to fall and India would have been gifted a win. If you watched the game, you could it was not easy to bat on a Fifth day pitch. I definitely agree with the decision to play it safe, especially in light of the fact that it is just a two test series. I'm sure that if it was a three or five test series then Philander and Steyn would have had a go at it...you can always come back in a three or five test series if the gamble on the day does not work. SA did the sensible thing in light of the fact that the series was cut short as insisted by the BCCI. Philander and Steyn thought about the series and not just the game and I say well done!

Posted by   on (December 23, 2013, 1:52 GMT)

It was a great match. At the time of toss, not many gave the Indians any chance. But Virat Kohli showed the way with an audacious century and India ended up taking a 36 run first-innings lead. When they scored 421 in their second inning, India looked like having a great chance to win the test match, but the SA openers, followed by nightwatchman Faf du Plessis and AB de Villiers brought the match almost to South Africa's doorstep. Captain Cool MS Dhoni then rallied the bowlers and a fortuitous run out by Ajinkya Rahane brought India the hard-fought draw. In the end it was SA that downed the shutters knowing that India would win if a wicket fell. Full credit to the Indians for showing the South Africans then can match them on their bouncy home track.

Posted by android_user on (December 23, 2013, 1:45 GMT)

it was a great game of cricket,sa batted beautifully. it wasnt the usual fifth day wicket. at the end of the day neither team deserved to loose,so in all fairness draw is the best result.

Posted by CoolBarn on (December 23, 2013, 1:45 GMT)

South Africa might sit atop the ICC Rankings, but that was as weak as water. They won't stay there very long with a "don't lose at all costs" mentality, and have proven again they cannot win pressure matches.

Do you think Mitchell Johnson and Peter Siddle would have shut up shop under similar circumstances? Even if Ryan Harris was injured they most certainly would have gone for the win.

Am glad I'm not South African, as that would kill me as a supporter. Sure it's only a two match series so you don't particularly want to lose the first match, but if you have a chance to win it (and the SAFAs certainly did) and you do so, you get off to a positive start and have a great chance of winning the series.

People talk about it being a great draw, and that it proves that Test Cricket isn't dead, but I disagree. It was an exciting game, and South Africa batted well for most of the second innings, but overall it wasn't a good draw. There should have been a result - and sadly there wasn't.

Posted by Number_5 on (December 23, 2013, 1:43 GMT)

An entertaining test match, ebbs and flows throughout each session and each day, between the 2 top teams in the game. Both teams had their chances but i do feel SAF didnt bowl well on day 1 against an Indian team cleary 'scared' of the bounce. Whilst Kohil might be the most despised player in world cricket (outside india) he continues to grow as a batsman, playing possibly his best test. It was a mighty effort from SAF to get a close as they did but get that close and not take the risk's to win leaves a question mark over their temprament in big moments. India might take more from this game as a young team away from home on unfamiliar pitches knowing that SAF will be under pressure in game 2 being the clear favourite. How good would a 3, 4 or 5 test series have been?

Posted by ToTellUTheTruth on (December 23, 2013, 1:40 GMT)

After all the talk about how Indian batsmen cannot play fast bowling, that they were scared etc. etc., I think India won this match on psychological grounds...hands down. Winning the toss and daring SA bowlers to take them out...and then ending up with first innings lead...that in itself should be a morale booster. And then that Pujara-kohli show....Wow!!! It was just unfortunate that the same did no happen in the first innings, due to that silly run-out of Pujara. But the second innings showed, what could have been. So much for in experienced Indian team and their perceived lack of "back-bone" to stand up to SA pacers. All myths shattered with SA cop out. Looks like SA is more afraid of losing than India.

Posted by _Cover_Drive on (December 23, 2013, 1:38 GMT)

OH WOW! From judging all the comments, this match had to be the most debatable ever in the history of cricket. So much of analysis and so many of theories.

Apparently, everyone is shocked by India's batting unit on a tricky foreign pitch.

Posted by oneupnowuv on (December 23, 2013, 1:31 GMT)

zak shld have bowled more wkt to wkt deliveries with a 5/4 field. not good bowling in the second session Dhoni took it light , kohli bowling so many overs is unacceptable. also the heavy roller helped SA here big-time, the pitch just flattened towards the end and no reverse swing too. big chance gone missing for India.

Posted by Little_Aussie_Battler on (December 23, 2013, 1:29 GMT)

Bring back timeless test matches.

It is ridiculous to have time constraints in test cricket.

They should have played until all wickets are lost, end of story.

Posted by android_user on (December 23, 2013, 1:27 GMT)

Hei... SA was dominating the game on the 5 th day. you guys must be happy that India 's effort to the draw. SA was on their way... go SA go

Posted by Mitty2 on (December 23, 2013, 1:23 GMT)

@greatest_game, et al, the simple way of refuting my comms is by saying that SA aren't playing for glory, are making sure they can still win the test series by not losing and they have already achieved greatness by being in the position to draw (as I've already stated), but saying that they couldn't have gone for it is crap. I can think back to 8 overs earlier when 40 runs were required it would've been the perfect time to attack with the field up but instead Faf and Philander left every ball. And don't give me crap about the captain not having an influence on whether they wanted to draw or not, the players have a bloody break every over for the twelfth man to repeat what the cap'n/coach want. Philander had just scored a 50, Faf was in the form of his life albeit tired, and the Indian bowlers were evidently exhausted, it was the easy way out to draw and frankly, I can't imagine many other home teams who if in that impossible position would have been happy with the draw. Unacceptable.

Posted by madnayar on (December 23, 2013, 1:21 GMT)

Good result as neither team had the will to win in the end. Indian bowlers showed again that they cant take 20 wkts in one match on pitches outside India. Zaheer is over the hill now. Ashwin is an over-rated spinner who is not capable of taking wickets on foreign pitches (think about Murali and Warne ). Discard him for matches outside India.

Posted by popcorn on (December 23, 2013, 1:21 GMT)

If only Faf du Pleissis had not run himself out needlesly,South Africa would have easily won the match. What was the need to go for the reckless single,when there was so much time left for the few runs to get,and the competent,dependable, Vernon Philander was at the other end? India's negative bowling in the final overs to Philander and Steyn asking his bowlers to bowl wide outside the off stump,STINKS. It shows that they were deathly scared that South Africa would win. Dhoni has used negative tactics in the past too,so this is nothing new.Sic.

Posted by Shane75 on (December 23, 2013, 1:11 GMT)

A disgraceful way to end one of the greatest tests in recent years. Captain Smith should be ashamed as throwing away a certain result has only served to diservice Test cricket. Epic wins in epic games are a part of what makes Test cricket superior to results-driven T20. It speaks volumes of South Africas terror on choking - and is not the way a Number 1 team in any sport to act.

Posted by proteasfire on (December 23, 2013, 1:00 GMT)

Well done to both teams. What a gripping test match! Long live test cricket! Atleast now both boards should understand what this contest means to the fans and world cricket! #1 vs #2 we dont need a better promotion for test cricket than this test match. We didnt know the result until last over of the 5th day. Greatest history has ever witnessed. Hats off to both teams. Faf proved one more time what he is capable of under pressure situations. He nearly pulled off a win and repeated his Adelaide heroics. What a player!! AB complimented equally well and their partnership was exceptional. Shami was brilliant with the ball and what a find he has been for India. Not to forget the heroics of Kohli and Pujara with bat. Overall a great test match and no one could have asked anything more. Cant wait to see the teams back in action in Durban again!!

Posted by android_user on (December 23, 2013, 0:58 GMT)

Had enough of Ashwin. Time to sack him from overseas tours. What keeps him in the team? Chennai Super Kings' captain ?

Posted by challagalla on (December 23, 2013, 0:57 GMT)

Never thought SA would escape with a draw. They showed great character and mental strength and maybe they could have chanced it the last two overs. Still a great game and SA can go to Durban head held high . For me both teams are winners here and all the talk of chokers (SA ) and weak bowling of India is just ridiculous. No doubt Indian bowling is weak but they bowled beautifully here and the number of times they beat the bat or forced edges is evidence enough. The fact remains that SA batted with resolve and forced a draw. For me thats a fair result.

Posted by proteasfire on (December 23, 2013, 0:56 GMT)

Well done to both teams. What a gripping test match! Long live test cricket! Atleast now both boards should understand what this contest means to the fans and world cricket! #1 vs #2 we dont need a better promotion for test cricket than this test match. We didnt know the result until last over of the 5th test match. Greatest history has ever witnessed. Hats off to both teams. Faf proved one more time what he is capable of under pressure situations. He nearly pulled off a win and repeated his Adelaide heroics. What a player!! AB complimented equally well and their partnership was exceptional. Shami was brilliant with the ball and what a find he has been for India. Not to forget the heroics of Kohli and Pujara with bat. Overall a great test match and no one could have asked anything more. Cant wait to see the teams back in action in Durban again!!

Posted by CustomKid on (December 23, 2013, 0:55 GMT)

As a neutral observer that was one Epic match, India really should have cashed in from that position but some serious stone walling and a lot of luck went the way of two very quality South African batsmen.

I am however going to be very critical of Smith. That was a pathetic effort not to push for the win. As much as I love him a player he's simply far to passive as a skipper.

The only time I ever recall him being adventurous was back when he gave the Aussies 280 to chase on a final day with Ponting smashing them and maybe scoring back to back tons in each innings to get them home easily, back in 2006?

Either way this match was test cricket at it's best but India really missed an opportunity for a rare overseas win against quality opponents and the South Africans could have easily pushed for a win at the end but would rather draw and reload for the next test. Shame on you G. Smith, time to put your cricketing balls on the line.

Posted by adkum on (December 23, 2013, 0:51 GMT)

This match shows that the teams are evenly matched. This performance does test cricket a great deal of good and ensures test cricket is kept alive. Congrats to both teams for sterling performances with bat and ball. Unfortunate that Kohli did not get the double. He deserved it. The way the top teams India, SA, Australia and England are playing is ensuring interest in test cricket will continue. I wish the WI would learn a thing or two about how to take a test match to 5 days. The way WI play they are damaging this level of cricket.

Posted by cricketcarl on (December 23, 2013, 0:51 GMT)

the hunter caught its prey, then looked at it, and let go..they both live to fight another day (personally i think SAF should have gone for glory, its the stuff dreams are made of)

Posted by bharat431 on (December 23, 2013, 0:39 GMT)

One good observation was given by commentators that how in the 1st 3 innings, both teams used light rollers. And in the 4th innings, SA used heavy roller to flatten out the pitch to avoid lateral movement having a better batting condition.

Both teams played well in the areas where they were not expected to perform a lot.

Posted by MSDR on (December 23, 2013, 0:27 GMT)

@jagluth Are you serious? Did you see the india's first innings bowling??!?!?! They outbowled SA. In Jo'burg spinners don't get any purchase so it does not matter that ashwin didnt get any wicket. India punched above their weight so compliment them.

Posted by Naresh28 on (December 23, 2013, 0:21 GMT)

Indian team balance was not right. You have to have the five bowlers to win. We started winning matches with 5 bowlers and the moment we go back to old 4 bowler squad we lose or draw. Its time the bowlers also contribute with the bat. We are lacking without a good all rounder. One to emerge in India is Rishi Dhawan. In the old days we had a "KUMBLE" who gave us an edge in matches.

Posted by Alexk400 on (December 23, 2013, 0:20 GMT)

Dhoni captaincy is always risk free captaincy. Meaning he waits for opposition to fall on their own. He is like python in indian condition. he waits and waits and break the bone of opposition. That defensive method do not work outside india because the energy is in the side of home team. You need to be pro active. More risk involved in pro active. We all know dhoni never likes risks unless he is 100% confident. he is not confident of his bowling strength. So he waits. As long as dhoni is captain of india , india will not win against Eng, SA in AUS in overseas. What was duncan fletcher doing ?. They will play same team in next Test also. That is only way Dhoni works unless someone injured. Dhoni luck work only in india. he is successful but one bad captain. He lacks imagination , he is more afarid of getting criticized than trying to win the game. I find why we allow him captain overseas? he is still best in india. But oversead i feel kohli should be captain and dhoni can train him

Posted by   on (December 23, 2013, 0:18 GMT)

Why are people blaming only Indian bowlers! Steyn(considered by many as the best in the world) had the worst net bowling figures of his life. Sometimes you just need to give the opposition credit for top-notch batting!

Posted by inthebag on (December 23, 2013, 0:14 GMT)

Can't believe they didn't go for the win. Shutting up shop with 16 runs to get, why play the game in the first place?

Posted by Alexk400 on (December 23, 2013, 0:13 GMT)

I expected india win but you have to give credit to FAF and Devillers for playing out DRAW. SA would have won and given crushing blow to india. Oh well SA always playing nice. This is SA 's problem all along. They are timid. They should have gone for win with 3 wickets in hand. Only brave and fearless gets lucky. Timid chickens play for draw. That said it is great TEST. i do not blame indian bowlers on this one. to win outside india , India need real fast bowlers. Ishant sharma wickets always be lucky ones. Zaheer actually old. Shami will last 20 test max if rely on him too much because all this knee and ankle run out of liquid as he try to bowl faster and faster. It is case of all indian fast bowler. If we see one promising bowler we over use him and bowler also try to show he belongs to top tier. What gives? his body. India should play 4 fats bowler and dump rohit sharma. b kumar can score as many runs as rohit sharma.

Posted by   on (December 23, 2013, 0:09 GMT)

Although the quality of both India (when playing abroad) and that of SA (while playing under pressure) are debatable, this one was the heights of the beauty of test cricket. I could not take my eyes away off a single ball during the last session. It will simply be cruel to both the teams if we just say that the match was drawn. Had I got the power, I would have written the result in the record book as "With no ball to spare, SA has won by 3 wickets while India has won by 7 runs!" ....

Test cricket rocks. Hats off from a Bangla-English fan.

Posted by Happy_hamster on (December 22, 2013, 23:59 GMT)

Well played India, you surprised me as an England fan with your ability to got toe to toe with SA; saying that the injury to Morkel was a significant factor. The Indian bowlers look like they should be able to make a good account of themselves next Summer, and the batsmen are always of a good standard, btw watched some of this test and thoroughly enjoyed it.

Posted by espncricinfomobile on (December 22, 2013, 23:57 GMT)

A tense match like this which could have had any result with five overs to go us what Test cricket is all about - I am sure lots of people would rather watch this than that one-sided retirement-plus-thrashing fest being played in Australia right now under the guise of the Ashes.

Posted by gravapine on (December 22, 2013, 23:55 GMT)

India have spilled a golden opportunity of starting an overseas test tour on a winning note. I think dhoni would not express this, but he would have really disappointed. Especially in a 2 test series it would have put SA under serious pressure. They would have to do it all over again in Durban and hope that Pujara and Kohli continue their good form. Except of these two other batsmen are not playing well. Their bowling clicked in patches. They would be happy with the form of Amla & Kallis. As for SA i think they have added a bit of 'Unknown' to their squad by adding Abbott. India would have to it all over again facing an 'Unknown'.

Posted by AnotherCricketFan on (December 22, 2013, 23:55 GMT)

Well said @jagulnath - especially the stmnts aby Dravid, Laxman & "push-me-out" Sachin. Zaheer was visiblly tired and MS talked abt his fitness - if that is not belittling what is? Ashwin less said better - The saving grACE WAS vIRAT AND pUJARA - SALUTE THEM

Posted by Eat_Sleep_Play_Cricket on (December 22, 2013, 23:53 GMT)

@Ntokozo Sboh Qwabe: "Crumbling pitch"? I guess you havent watched the game! if you did you would know the pitch was as flat as a road. It is Smith's defensive mindset asked philander to block and refuse singles. Any team in that position would have pushed singles and have easily won the match!!

Posted by Eat_Sleep_Play_Cricket on (December 22, 2013, 23:49 GMT)

SouthAfrica is doomed here! After such a good position playing for draw suggests you just dont have that killer instinct. Kudos to Indian bowlers who pulled it back such wonderfully. This one off effort will be back of their minds and they will be left wondering why didnt they win in Wanderers. #gameoverforgreens

Posted by jango_moh on (December 22, 2013, 23:48 GMT)

@jagluth.... wow, how shortsighted can you be??? the reason we were in this position of strength was bcos of zaheer and ishant.... and u just go by what happened on the 5th day!!!! SA played out of their skin and deserved to draw this match.... so did india... great game....

Posted by   on (December 22, 2013, 23:37 GMT)

No doubt about Du Plessis, no matter what form he is in, put him in a 4th innings with SA needing to survive long hours and he is a rock. Realistically, a run-out was the only way he was ever going to be gotten out. Stayed up to all hours to watch and it brought back bad memories of Adelaide, but what a match.

Posted by zn264 on (December 22, 2013, 23:29 GMT)

WOW what a test match! Close but no cigar aye? Both these teams look a bit shakey at times...can't wait for Southee and Bolt (best swing duo in the game) to rip through India early next year!

Posted by Desihungama on (December 22, 2013, 23:26 GMT)

As a neutral fan this draw was more of a win for SA and loss for India. Not many teams find themselves with an upper hand throughout a Test Match against SA as India was but their bowling their nemesis came to haunt them in the end. I cannot even begin to appreciate the grit shown by SA, AB and Faf in particular and early fight by Indian batsmen. Great Test match. One for the ages.

Posted by Bonehead_maz on (December 22, 2013, 23:21 GMT)

What an amazing match ! All through it, the only certainty has been, that there is no certainty. The only correct prediction, the one not made. Incredible cricket. Who needs any sleep when can watch cricket of this quality ? Congratulations to both teams.

Posted by Marcio on (December 22, 2013, 23:06 GMT)

How bizarre! Neither team wanted to risk losing to win in the end. Just close up shop. Only reinforces what i saw with Smith in Australia last year. He is in the Cook category: clueless once the pressure arises. Is Michael Clarke the only captain in world cricket with kahunas these days?

But how on earth, an a fifth day, dry, cracked pitch with the ball bouncing and turning unevenly, did India only take only three wickets with the ball - and two of them very lucky ones? With a full bowling contingent available?

You can't compare this to the Adelaide test. The wicket there was a batsman's paradise, no deterioration due to extra grass being laid on the pitch, and Australia only had three bowlers.

Posted by   on (December 22, 2013, 23:04 GMT)

I was more dissapointed with Zaheer as he did have more assistance but adopted a dreadful strategy of bowling over the wicket where he was either bowling too wide or on the pads and gave runs at close to 4 an over. The only wicket he got was off an inside edge. Anyone that saw the match would know Ashwin bowled far better than Zaheer.

Posted by johnathonjosephs on (December 22, 2013, 23:03 GMT)

Great match by both sides. Other than Kohli and Pujara, the rest of the Indian batsman struggled on this pitch, which really flattened out towards the end. Shami is a good bowler and Ishant has proved he continues to deserve a spot in the team. However, the Indian bowlers need a LOT more work to do. They had it easy in the 1st innings after Ishant blasted through the SA middle order, but in the 2nd innings they were not good at all. Out of the 7 wickets that fell in 138 overs, 2 were run outs, 1 was an inside edge that should not have been given out if there was DRS, and 1 was just plain bad luck (ball keeping low to Amla). Dale Steyn also needs a lot to contemplate on since this was probably one of his worst games against the Indian batsman. Pujara continues to impress and Kohli seems to be showing maturity which is a good sign for India. I think Pujara might have potential to be one of the greatest Test Player ever after Bradman if he continues like this

Posted by   on (December 22, 2013, 23:00 GMT)

I can see a lot of people critizing Ashwin but there was really zero support on this pitch for spinners. Just have a look at Tahir and Duminy's economy. They only got wickets as india were going for quick runs. Ashwin on the other hand bowled far better then he did in Australia and really had good flight and spin. Unfortunately some very good defensive batting and a non assisting pitch negated his effect. If people actually saw him bowl they would realise he bowled very well to keep his economy at 2.3 when other spinners were getting cartered at 4-5 runs Per over. also any cracks where 6 metres away from the batsmans end. Ashwin would have to bowl long hops to hit them. I hope he gets another game.

Posted by bundybear55 on (December 22, 2013, 22:55 GMT)

What a great match..! Living in Sydney means I got to bed after 3am, but there was just no way I could turn the TV off. So much more exciting than those predictable 1-dayers or T20 slogfests. Brilliant stuff from both teams and they should be lauded rather than criticised for the result. You can understand why both sides went on the defensive in the last couple of overs, there was way too much at stake. India had been in front for almost the entire match and to lose the "unlosable' match would have been devastating for them and seriously undermined their confidence going into the next test. Likewise SA, having fought so hard to avoid a defeat most were predicting at the end of day 4, would have been crazy to put all that at risk. The only disappointment for me was seeing the empty stands. Come on SA, you have some of the greats of the modern game on display (Kallis, Smith, Steyn, Amla, deV, Dhoni, Khan) and some future greats - Kholi, Pujara, Shami, Philander - get out & support them!

Posted by Al_Bundy1 on (December 22, 2013, 22:49 GMT)

Ashwin is a complete waste outside India. It will be better to play Ojha or Jadeja instead of Ashwin in the next match.

Posted by McGorium on (December 22, 2013, 22:48 GMT)

@jagluth: So Zak bowling at 128-130 is just above Dhoni's pace, but you want Bhuvi in the side? Bhuvi is Kumble's pace circa 1995, and if you have followed cricket for some time, you will know that bowlers who float the ball up (as opposed to people who bang the ball into the pitch) rarely, if ever, do well in Aus or SAF. Bhuvi would be even more toothless after the ball is 10 overs old. I find it ridiculous that the guys who took 4/80 each (approx) in the first innings are now seen as a liability. By your logic, SAF should drop Steyn, given that he's had 1/165 in this game, and performed worse than any Indian bowler save Ashwin. Du Plessis and Devillers batted well on a pitch that didn't have a lot of gremlins in it. All credit to them. And well played to both sides. Such things have happened before, but Australia didn't drop Warne and McGrath after Eden Gardens, 2001.

Posted by Herath-UK on (December 22, 2013, 22:48 GMT)

What an anti-climax & boring end with the crowd rightly hooting loud. I see it as another choking instant for SA when the win was so close at hand to shut up the shop fearing a loss.SA be brave do not chicken out as once happened in Sri Lanka.

Posted by couchpundit on (December 22, 2013, 22:44 GMT)

Dhoni was determined not to win this game...BY NOT BRINGING SHAMI for 35 overs. He has now essentially over bowled zaheer not sure how fit zaheer will be for Boxing day. Ashwin was big Disappointment. He is basically acknowledging that he is a dust bowl bully like harbhajan.

SA should have won this game...may be they would have gone for the kill if this was 5 match series....so lets blame BCCI!!!

Posted by thejesusofcool on (December 22, 2013, 22:40 GMT)

Strange game!

Steyn & Ashwin, a couple of acknowledged champions, in good bowling conditions, took how many wickets between them in the respective 2nd innings?

And no wonder so many people are peeved this is just a ruddy 2-Test series after a finish like this. C'mon, get together, you administrators, scrap the 1-day Mickey Mouse rubbish & make it a 5-Test series!

Posted by wapuser on (December 22, 2013, 22:31 GMT)

As a SA fan at the game today I am deeply angry and disappointed at the way we ended the game today. In sport you always play for the win. When faf and ab were batting they we batting for a draw cause at that point a draw for us would have been a win, but the last 3 overs, come on go for it!!! We so scared of our chokers tag that well do anything not to lose. I really believe the SA team are not feeling good about themselves at the moment. India played well and are a good side.

Posted by czar2008 on (December 22, 2013, 22:22 GMT)

I think both teams won. I thought this was a great test for another great man - Kallis - who just found form (beware 2nd test) unfortunate to be given out, he picked up crucial wickets and scored at a fast pace. I will be honest and was expecting an Indian win. This test has proved that South Africa are probably the furthest team away from the word - Choke!! They are rightfully number 1 and with plenty of talent, grit and determination. Also - I wouldn't have given india anything going into this test match and expecting a 3 day humiliation. This indian team has proved many fans like me wrong & I salute their determination. The last session was a proper see saw and Draw was a Win for both. South Africa won by almost turning the impossible into possible & staying there till d end. India also turned the impossible into possible over the last 4 days and in the last session - held on to their nerves & bowled/fielded with cool determination. Rahane's was a match saving effort too!!

Posted by   on (December 22, 2013, 22:20 GMT)

I agree with most comments here abouy Ashwin's place in the team. I'm sure Jadeja can do a better job than Ashwin. He can surely keep it tight if not take wickets. I think India should go with Jadeja in the next match.

Posted by Harmony111 on (December 22, 2013, 22:16 GMT)

From one PoV, this was a great match and perhaps the greatest 'draw' of all times. From another PoV, both the teams have come out poorer out of this. India would kick themselves for not being able to win even after setting 450+ & in fact nearly losing it. SA would kick themselves for coming so close to such a historic win, having all the time & wickets in the world for that yet not finishing it. India would kick themselves for letting SA away after having them at 145/6 & for not scoring more runs at a faster pace when they were 320 ahead with 8 wickets in hand. SA would kick themselves for not being able to go past India's 1st innings total against a really weak & inexp bowling attack.

I was almost certain that India would win around midway through the 3rd session. All along I was hoping for a collapse as it often happens in a test esp on a day 5 wicket but it never came. Then at one point I was sure SA would win. This draw shows #1 team in poor light & #2 team in dim.

Posted by righthandbat on (December 22, 2013, 22:13 GMT)

South Africa should have went for the win even if it meant losing by being all out. You can say that "at the start of the day they would have been over the moon with a draw", which is true. To end the test with 7 wickets down and 8 runs short given the way the last few overs went is actually a really poor result for test cricket. It means that a team was not willing to risk losing to win, even in pretty favourable circumstances. It wasn't like they were 9 down and chasing 20 off the last over and expecting them to hit sixes. de Villiers and du Plessis had actually set it up for a final assault on the bowling attack just like the 220ish ODI games of old, yet their players did not finish it off. I am certain that the Australians had they been in this position would have went for the win. Anyway, other than that a fantastic match and really highlights the need for 5 test series between the likes of SA and India and time to reduce the number of ODIs and T20s.

Posted by rickyvoncanterbury on (December 22, 2013, 22:10 GMT)

Great test match... well played both teams, but in the end nothing has changed the Saffers have still only lost 3 tests in 4 years and India cannot win away from home.

Posted by   on (December 22, 2013, 22:09 GMT)

Nobody gave this young Indian team a chance before the start but still they won 4 out of 5 days. The famed bowling line up of SA including Steyn struggled to tame these young guns. The wicket became much flatter as the game progressed as admitted by Smith, Faf and AB bought them close to a win. I think any other team aside from SA would have gone for it in the final three overs.

Posted by Kolpak1989 on (December 22, 2013, 22:06 GMT)

Negative cricket from South Africa at the end. Why didn't they go for the win? Soft stuff. Looking forward to the SA vs Australia series. This game has shown that South Africa are very beatable.

Posted by TRAM on (December 22, 2013, 22:05 GMT)

This is not a greatest draw. This is the greatest *FEAR OF LOSING* by the captains. Greatest disappointment for the audience. All my life I thought the matches are played for winning. I did not know the matches are played for NOT LOSING. If the cricket boards tell us (the fans) this fact ahead of time, no one would watch cricket.

Posted by Mervo on (December 22, 2013, 21:55 GMT)

I love Cullinan's comments. He is such a drip. Almost any comment he makes is the opposite of reality. Where does he get his ideas from?

Posted by   on (December 22, 2013, 21:54 GMT)

Wow! people are actually praising India for bowling well? and praising Indian team and Dhoni for fighting till the end and not loosing the match ? LOL ! India had about 5 sessions to bowled them out and NO ONE had any hopes for SA to come even that close.. Its so evident that Indian bowling is too sub-standard, they should have won this match ! Yet again, disappointment from India.

Posted by rickyvoncanterbury on (December 22, 2013, 21:50 GMT)

After Adelaide and now Joburg, If Du Plessis was an Englishman he would have to retire, tired.

Posted by HabeebRaja786 on (December 22, 2013, 21:43 GMT)

Extremely disappointed by Indian bowling in 4th inning on a pitch with variable bounce. India did not deserve even to draw that match , it was a bad luck for SA to have 2 run outs on very critical moments of match.

On other hand great battling display by Indian batsmen against the so called best attack of present era on apparently seamer friendly conditions.For me Kohli is one most technically sound batsman in present era.

I do not think India has much chance against SA in next match.

Posted by   on (December 22, 2013, 21:41 GMT)

SA missed a trick by not sending in-form Vernon ahead of JP. India missed a trick by starting post tea with Virat instead of Mohammed

Posted by Cricket_Fan_And_Analyst on (December 22, 2013, 21:40 GMT)

People are talking about dropping Ashwin for the next match. Fair enough , but instead of bring Bhubaneswar Kumar , they can include Ojha. S.A has a lot of right handers and durban will turn more than Wanderers.

This decision will completely out fox Saffers as they would not have prepared for Ojha at all.

Posted by   on (December 22, 2013, 21:40 GMT)

What's with everyone bashing the Indian bowling here? Maybe these people just checked the scorecard instead of actually watching the match. First of all, they didn't ball badly at all. It was just how well the ABD and Faf played. Even Dale Steyn- arguably the best bowler in the world got just one wicket in the whole match. Sometimes, on certain pitches in Test cricket, the batting is just too good. I don't think Ashwin bowled that badly either. They always bowled the correct lines and there were always edges that didn't carry.

Posted by Shan156 on (December 22, 2013, 21:40 GMT)

@Greatest_Game, for once I agree with you. To all those criticizing SA for not going for the win, the fact that they managed to come this close speaks volume of the talent at their disposal. There is no way any team, other than SA or India, would have come this close. And the logic that by ensuring a draw in this test, they can win the next game and series, rather than going for the win and losing this test which means they cannot win the series, is sound. Still, it was agonizingly close but any other team would have capitulated. So, full marks to SA.

And, what about India? When everyone dismissed them as no-hopers, I was one of the few who believed that they will mount a stiff challenge to the best test team in the world. And, I was right. Ofc, they fell short here but the next test is in Durban where SA have a rather poor record of late. If India pick Ojha, then they win the test and the series.

Posted by cricmatters on (December 22, 2013, 21:37 GMT)

India should play Jadeja in the next match in place of Ashwin. His fast leg breaks would have caused a few problems. India could not take 20 wickets in this match because they chose the wrong spinner. Ashwin while very good on Indian tracks, is of no use in overseas conditions where there are no roughs to exploit and the pitch does not break up, like it does in India. Jadeja's inclusion would also help the batting, if the top order doesn't score enough runs.

Posted by rjain76 on (December 22, 2013, 21:36 GMT)

There is a lot of criticism going around Indian bowlers. I think one need to closely look at what did the pitch offer. If Indian bowlers did not bowl well, then even SA with such world class bowlers failed on 3rd and 4th day, thanks to Pujara and Kohli for their fantastic partnership.Comparing SA and Ind batsmen, I feel SA batsmen did not match Indian batsmen, so that means Indian bowlers were much better than SA bowlers. Of course yes Morkel being ruled out for 2nd innings SA was minus a super bowler, but then nobody knows if he had bowled well . It is always those if's and but's which cannot be considered. On the other hand India lacked a spinner who could turn well. Ashwin wasted his chance. To me he is not even a spinner I don't see the ball turning. Ohja would have been much better. Among batsmen Shikar and Rohit could not contribute so I see a chance for Jadeja. I feel replacing Shikar with Jadeja and Ashwin with Ohja would work better for India and Rohit opening with Vijay.

Posted by mahjut on (December 22, 2013, 21:29 GMT)

Just a note on the featured post...i am not sure one can say (of this match) that SA were ever in a winning position. True, they got themselves into a position from where it was possible but even with faf and abdv seeing the ball big they still needed to go at 4.5 an over in the last 15 . ...and the result of their attempt is now recorded. So, could steyn and philander have gone for it? Maybe, but as someone pointed out, with an injured morkel and a true #11 to come and on a pretty tough wicket it was not a risk worth taking. If it was the second test and they were a game behind then obviously yes but I'd wager the sa dressing room is pretty content for them to get so close will be huge. One has to suppose the indian dressing room will be more relief ( i am sure they backed themselves pre-game so they won't be thinking "we did more than expected" - they must be gutted, they were in front from the moment kolhi arrived at the crease in the first innings - right till the last 8 overs!)

Posted by kahvas on (December 22, 2013, 21:29 GMT)

There was a lot of hoopla over zaheers return, but dont understand why. Zak has been bowling for more than a decade, he has never been a match winning effective bowler. Frankly with Ashwin useless in these pitches, bring Bhuvi for Zak and Umesh for Ashwin. Bhuvi is awesome with the new bowl and can get early breakthroughs, where zaheer just wastes important opportunities to break opening stands and becomes difficult for other bowlers who dont get that kind of swing with old ball.

Posted by RonG on (December 22, 2013, 21:29 GMT)

As Philander had suggested, the wicket had flattened out. Once that happened India were bound to be at a disadvantage, as their weak bowling needs all the help it can get. If you recollect, India's overseas wins have always come on wickets that have helped the bowlers (Perth, Nottingham, Leeds ...). As an Indian supporter I hope Durban offers enough lateral movement and bounce so that there is a contest otherwise SA will easily have the upper hand.

1 change I would recommend is to replace Ashwin with Jadeja- what do other India supporters think?

Posted by cricmatters on (December 22, 2013, 21:24 GMT)

Ashwin not having any impact on the 5th day pitch was the telling factor. May be he has become too predictable. SA batsmen played him with ease and showed no problems in reading him. India should either play Ojha or Amit Mishra in the next test but then Dhoni would never allow his CSK mate to be dropped. Ashwin should not be in the team for his batting. If he can't take wickets even in the second innings, he should not be in the team.

Posted by SAF-Fan-no-1 on (December 22, 2013, 21:24 GMT)

Real Jim - Both Faf and AB. I love watching playing any team in the world. Mistake was done by faf to fell him self run out. If he wait we should have win. Indian bowling attack is toothless, I don't think India bowl well. Zahir almost 4.5rpo and Sami nearly 4rpo, Ishant nearly 4rpo - Ashwin wicket less. Dhoni's fear is that - Even if India make 600run and SA possible to get within 6 Session they could win that too. India is Lion in their motherland not the out side of the world.

Posted by EverybodylovesSachin on (December 22, 2013, 21:21 GMT)

Dhoni and his problems with tail enders.....

Posted by android_user on (December 22, 2013, 21:20 GMT)

well done sa. welcome india!

Posted by mahjut on (December 22, 2013, 21:15 GMT)

Got to give the Indians their dues as any punter pre-match should have...probably did. Ignore the press, they tend to favour hyperbole. Some very competent looking bats in pujara and kolhi and the bowlers were worth my expectations (though i'd've yadav in my team). On the other side, i do love this SA team ... you can throw everything at them, really, even better them for 4 days but it won't suffice as it seems they'll always find someone to stand up. Though they never quite live up to home ground expectations...ever!! Faf answered my pre-game question [will he ever be capable of another adelaide?] Jacques will stay around for the next test after a rough decision plus his impetous got sa going - i still think serious thought needs to be given to his place - even short term but one would want him to make the decision himself (quickly). AP survives another scrutiny. Cant wait for xmas so we can get on with the important matter of the second test :D

Posted by borninthetimeofSRT on (December 22, 2013, 21:15 GMT)

Congratulations to both teams, players, umpires. It was a mtach between the top two ranked nations in test cricket, and both displayed just why test cricket is the ultimate destination. And to know that almost all players are stars in the T20 format as well, just makes us feel that all that has gone wrong in cricket's recent past is between the boards' politics / DRS / sledging etc. Let us not make the game suffer. SA were on to something big, but as we know their fears of that realization got the better of them, yet again. I watched every ball of this test match, and it was more than a satisfying result. Both teams won! MoM should have been given to Virat, Pujara, AB and Du Plesis together.

Posted by caldruid on (December 22, 2013, 21:13 GMT)

I think the Indian bowlers did all they could. AB and Faf simply waited till the bowlers were tired and then played superbly. Nothing Dhoni could do. Maybe India need another pace bowler for the 2nd test. SA however have been warned - So I think saffers will play better( and to win ) in the 2nd test.

Posted by Shaggy076 on (December 22, 2013, 21:13 GMT)

Mitty2 You need to look at the reverse situation as well, its easy to only have a go at South Africa for being negative. If Australi was in India's position there would be no one on the boundary and at least 3-4 catching men. The negativity of India when the game was theirs to try and take was the equal of South Africa's and perhaps no team deserved to win. Going Into the last day 8 wickets behind 320 t make I think at least South Africa will be happy.

Posted by wellrounded87 on (December 22, 2013, 21:08 GMT)

South Africa need to have a killer instinct. They should have went for the win, even if they came up short and lost the test it's not exactly a big deal to get so close to such a massive target is a win anyway. As an aussie i feel for the Indians for being faffed. It hurts i know. I still think the draw in Adelaide was more impressive, they batted longer had a bigger total and Faf kept his bloody wicket.

Posted by espncricinfomobile on (December 22, 2013, 21:00 GMT)

Have to feel for India, such a talented and promising batting side but their bowlers just can't back them up

Posted by ahweak on (December 22, 2013, 21:00 GMT)

India exceeded expectations. Outcome doesn't matter.

Posted by android_user on (December 22, 2013, 20:59 GMT)

glad india have arrived on our shores. and they wanted to play the west indies? so bleak this isnt at least 3 tests.

Posted by   on (December 22, 2013, 20:57 GMT)

South Africa should've pushed for win

Posted by android_user on (December 22, 2013, 20:56 GMT)

great advertisement for test cricket. even though the match did not end in one of the teams coming out on top, it was test cricket which was the winner with a display from both teams that had everything in it - incisive bowling, dogged batting, sharp fielding, weird dismissals (sorry Amla), drama, technique, guile. The fact that both teams were quiet evenly matched over the full five days and did not give in full the very end was what made it such a great spectacle to watch and to follow. Well done India and South Africa. You guys provided much better fare than the travesty of a contest that's currently masquerading as the Ashes.

Posted by kc69 on (December 22, 2013, 20:52 GMT)

Its funny how many of them call this an SA dominance where I believe going to Durban India will be on top because we need to remember that before the start of this match many predicted that India will be blown away by SA because SA are rank 1test side and routed India in odis.India fought back to silence their critics and Managed to take the game till last moment.This is what we call a number 1 and 2 clash.Next one will be a do or die where SA will try to strike hard.

Posted by espncricinfomobile on (December 22, 2013, 20:50 GMT)

I think SA will go to Durban as firm favourites. The fact that India could not bowl out SA in 135 overs on a deteriorating pitch is very worrying for them. An absolutely amazing effort from SA. Indians were laughing and joking in the change rooms before SA went into bat. They certainly weren't laughing 135 overs later! SA will never ever give up. Bring it on India. Let's wage battle in Durbs. You can bank on Steyn and Philander bowling with fire in the bellies after the way it ended today. Can't wait!

Posted by web_guru2003 on (December 22, 2013, 20:49 GMT)

Great game of cricket. You know its a great game when your country is not playing but you still wake up at 4am to follow it till the last ball. Personally, I think this was the best chance for India to force the result but they were unable to do it. Great batting by FAF (who btw should have been MOM) and AB. Yeah in the end SA came close to winning the game but I believe it was India's game to lose or draw after first 3 days.

Posted by anvesh4444 on (December 22, 2013, 20:49 GMT)

South africa better stop playing cricket, u cant win match on inexperienced young team on ur own fast tracks where ball dont spin a little. ur bowlers are useless after first 20 overs and dont have capacity to bowl long spells.

Posted by   on (December 22, 2013, 20:49 GMT)

SA should have gone for win. Too many dot balls by Faf- where he could have attempted singles (though we understand he must be tired) - would have reduced pressure in the end. It was a 'choker' performance to settle for a draw. An Australian or a Pakistan team would have gone for a win

Posted by HatersAreOrdinary on (December 22, 2013, 20:48 GMT)

crickettsunami this wasnt a display of great captaincy by dhoni by any means. sa just didnt go for it. we all know they are chokers or may be fixers were active at that point of the match. otherwise why on earth would you not go for it. this isnt even 1950 this is the age of t20.16 runs in 3 overs come on man. icc should investigate about this matter

Posted by Indian-cricket-analyst on (December 22, 2013, 20:45 GMT)

India had a great escape in this match and they will know it. SA played exceptionally and deserved to win. They should've gone for the win when there was 16 needed of 12 balls, although it must've been a tough call. You would've imagined a few singles/doubles would've kept Dhoni on his toes. Even with 1 over left and 3 wickets to be taken, you would back the batting side to not lose all 3 wickets. But you are also talking about a country that had to take 22 runs off 1 ball in 1992 World Cup, "dropped" and "ran out" of 1999 World Cup and miscalculated D/L in 2003 World Cup. So, they wanted to play it safe which is understandable. #respect ABD and Faf!!

Posted by   on (December 22, 2013, 20:44 GMT)

For those moaning about the Proteas not going for the win, this was not an IPL game. This was not the Hong Kong Sixes. It was five days, 450 overs of hard slog. To risk a loss for the possibility of a win on a pitch that has seen 15 sessions of wear and tear is high risk when 1. your tail is at the crease 2. you're playing a team that has essentially outplayed you for most of the match 3. there is a second game to play in a two test match series (at home). If we were 1-0 down in the final game, sure, go for it. Well played Proteas, well played Faf and AB. Spirit of 438 lives on.

Posted by reb1 on (December 22, 2013, 20:40 GMT)

Both teams played exceptionally well. If either had won, they would have deserved to win. But SA did exactly the right thing at the end, they did not want to lose this test match. In test cricket the prospect of a draw makes things very different from a limited over game. I do hope that fans of the GAME see that there are superstars in this game beyond whatever team they root for. That's the only takeaway from this game for me.

Posted by anuprakir on (December 22, 2013, 20:38 GMT)

The main reason for India not winning this test is failure of Ashwin.He could hardly spin the ball outside India.If India has to win matches out side subcontinent then they need to find a quality spinner soon

Posted by TommytuckerSaffa on (December 22, 2013, 20:37 GMT)

Posted by Cedric.Godwin on (December 22, 2013, 19:12 GMT) It was disappointing to see South Africa not push for the win... Even after the dismissal of Du Plessis, they only needed 16 in 19... With Philander there, Steyn should have tried to slog... and even if he got out, Philander could have easily pushed for a draw... Atleast they shud hav gon for singles.... An Australian side wud hav gone for a win...

I have to totally disagree Cedric. Test Cricket is not T20 cricket, it wasn't as simple as 16 of 19. You are allowed to bowl wide of the wicket and you are allowed 2 bouncers per over in Test cricket. The Indians simple bowled wide of the wicket and put many fielders on the fence - legal. SA ran out of batsmen, down to their last batsmen as Tahir is a walking wicket and Morkel was injured.

And no, the Australian team would've have gone for the win as they wouldn't be able to get themselves into this position in the first place.

Posted by   on (December 22, 2013, 20:35 GMT)

Very disappointing result for team SA. They really deserve to win this game.

Posted by   on (December 22, 2013, 20:34 GMT)

typical poor indian bowling how can any team won a test without the suppot of there bowlers

Posted by opto_pus on (December 22, 2013, 20:32 GMT)

India dominate for 4 days and grab a draw out of the jaws of victory, what about the catch that Kohli missed when Smith was all at sea in the gully and India should have won this one India under MS Dhoni are a very negative side. Time for the old timer Dhoni to go, the SA commentators were laughing and joking knowing they should have lost by about 200 to 250 runs had it been the Aussies fielding South Africa would have lost by 250 runs and been bowled out for about 200 on that pitch.

Posted by TNAmarkFromIndia on (December 22, 2013, 20:31 GMT)

India's useless bowling meant that a chance to get a big win which would've tilted the scales (and the series) in their favour slipped from their hands. Zaheer was the worst of the lot and his strategy of bowling round the wicket did absolutely nothing and the Proteas played him with ease. Don't know how he could "mentor" this side when he's bowling so poorly himself. Shami has been the only one who has impressed. I hear Varun Aaron's doing well in the Ranji Trophy. It might be a good idea to pick him for the New Zealand tour. Maybe even Rishi Dhawan as the fast-bowling all-rounder that this team desperately needs.

Posted by grahaam on (December 22, 2013, 20:31 GMT)

And to think that the quota system nearly meant leaving Faf out of this match this a selector administration quote from CSA

"The other argument concerned Faf du Plessis' poor form - he has not scored a Test half-century in eight innings - and whether there was merit in giving Tsolekile a chance as a specialist wicketkeeper."

Great response to this by FAF and AB, If reports are true Smith was on the verge of resigning due to this ridiculous selection option, when AB stops keeping wicket there is only one name available and it not Tsolekle but Q De Kock ..Please CSA end this quota "xxxx" before it is damaging to competitive international cricket..logically it is De Kock to replace Duminy soon.

Posted by Cricket_Russel on (December 22, 2013, 20:28 GMT)

What a shame SA...! You just ruined the performances of AB and Plessis...If you are afraid to loose , you don't deserve to win. You simply did not play like a champion team...3 wickets are lot to loose in 2 overs. You should take the chance. I believe the India team was surprise to see your strategy. I used to think you deserve to be the #1 test team. But I am certainly wrong. Poor, very very poor performance. You are out from my favourite team...Shift+ Delete

Posted by   on (December 22, 2013, 20:26 GMT)

Greatest draw? Wow talk about the strangest headline I have ever read. It was like watching a great movie that had a ridiculously bad ending. Stynes 6 and the looks of disappointment and anger on the South Africans faces said it all. This will only be remembered as a great draw if you look at the scoreboard, but if you were following the final 5 overs and actually know anything about cricket you will remember otherwise. As someone earlier said, if Australia were batting they would have left it all on the field. I can't think of any sport off the top of my head where a team would even consider not trying to win from the position South Africa was in.

Posted by satkaru1 on (December 22, 2013, 20:26 GMT)

Why is Dhoni making Zaheer bowl the largest number of Overs.. Is he testing Zaheer's condition or just doesn't want him in the team.. May be he is forcing him to retire by putting him through that kind of workload... He is a captain he should know better.. He is 35.. and probably should have bowled the fewest overs..

Posted by sreehk on (December 22, 2013, 20:24 GMT)

This might be greatest draw but also greatest case for India to look at their bowling CAPACITY. With no tear away fast bowler, India needs a 5 man attack to get 20 wickets. Otherwise it is almost impossible to win. After all the history they proved it again that with 4 bowler theory could not win with 460 runs on 5th day pitch!!

Put Vijay or Rohit out and get Umesh Yadav in.

Posted by wapuser on (December 22, 2013, 20:23 GMT)

I salute Zaheer,Ishant and Shami first for their guts to bowl these many overs on day 5. You are awesome. Congrats to kohli, pujara, vijay and rahane. Dhoni needs to be aggressive in captaincy and waiting for mistakes is simply foolish. You definitely have lost the match of your captaincy.

Posted by naren-knights on (December 22, 2013, 20:23 GMT)

I bet the youngsters from both the teams must have gained more experience and confidence from this game than the other hundreds of dud test matches that we see all year round. Good job to both the teams. What a game!!

Posted by satkaru1 on (December 22, 2013, 20:23 GMT)

India should have gotten the wickets... Lost the opportunity batsman had created.. Not enough strategies for Dhoni..

Posted by Raki99 on (December 22, 2013, 20:22 GMT)

we would have one this match if we had spinner like Kumble, Ashwin was just waste could not take a wicket in second innings. Zaheer is well past is best bowling at a military medium of 125 to 128, you are not gone take wickets when pitch flattens out with that speed. This was a golden opportunity to win the test outside Subcontinent but I am just happy that they didn't lose it.

Posted by Irfanrza41 on (December 22, 2013, 20:22 GMT)

I have never commented before. But ,here, today I find myself in a very strange position. Having behold the match, I thought justice has been done by Almighty. Both the teams played an outstanding game of cricket. Indians , i thought, played an exceptional cricket and they applied their talents collectively and quite thoughtfully captained by Dhoni.However, having lost most of the sessions till day four, the SA team pulled back the game terrifically and almost made a history. Being a Pakistani it is very frustrating that on this side of the border , we do have talent and in abundance but most of the time, out of sorts.I congratulate both the teams on showing an excellent game of cricket. That's what we all want to see. In the end the perfect result achieved. Whenever there is a game, there is a winner and for me I think Cricket wins this match. Hats off to both teams. Especially the Indians. they played better through out the test match. Love for India from Pakistan Good luck Cricket!!

Posted by roger83 on (December 22, 2013, 20:19 GMT)

All Respect for Faf and ABD from an Indian fan , they brought SA close enough to win this one . I honestly believed that MOM should have been given to FaF though even kolhi was spectacular, but FaF gave them a real chance on sealing this one !

Posted by espncricinfomobile on (December 22, 2013, 20:19 GMT)

I don't knw wht happened to SA. They were winning but just not try to win intentionally. Cricket officials must review this as what happened to them that a confirmed won game was converted into a draw in a dramatical way.

Posted by android_user on (December 22, 2013, 20:18 GMT)

a perfect end of wot can b between no1 and no2 ranked team...the match shifted from india to sa and sa to india many tyms but stikk well played to both teams for wonderfull 5 days of crickeet

Posted by sreehk on (December 22, 2013, 20:18 GMT)

Why India can never win tests abroad?? Answer: India always uses only 4 bowlers as against other top teams always using 5 to 6 bowlers. India never has a fast 145kmph bowler. Taking out the ineffective spin in abroad pitches they are a 3 bowler unit. Often one of those is a weak bowler. So effectively they get to the field expecting only 2 bowlers to take 20 wickets. How can India win! They need to bring in Umesh Yadav for Rohit Sharma, with Ashwin as No.7 which is not bad.

Posted by espncricinfomobile on (December 22, 2013, 20:17 GMT)

I struggle to understand how so many people feel India dominated for 4 days? 250/5 after day one is certainly not a great position, particularly as the remaining 5 wickets went for next to nothing on day two. India's bowlers were magnificent on day two and their batting on day three put them in a position whereby SA were made to chase the rest of the game...days 2 and 3 dominated by India. However, SA completely dominated days 4 and 5 and India can only be asking themselves how after day three they couldn't push home their huge advantage.

This really has to be seen as a moral victory for SA, although possibly disappointing they couldn't win.

Congratulations to India for putting up a good fight...lesson...this is how you remain #1. Good luck in Durbs, but expect SA to get of 2nd gear

Posted by SensibleCricket on (December 22, 2013, 20:16 GMT)

We must stop bashing India Bowlers! This was the best drawn test match I remember in a long time. There was something to look for in every session. The Indian bowlers did a fantastic job..for those who watched the match, it would be clear they were quite unlucky. They generated a lot of mis-hits and edges, which mostly landed in no-man's land or missed the stumps my millimeters. If India could score 400+ against the "local" bowlers, SA scoring 400+ against the Indian bowlers in their own backyard is nothing to be ashamed of, but be proud that we defended the match.When they needed 50-odd runs to win with 5 wickets in hand, it looked that India had lost it. But to salvage a draw from there was commendable and, as always, exceptional captaincy. Imagine what would have happened right in this forum if India had lost - they would have been bashed-up even more! So all in all, a great match and well played India and SA.Looking foward to the next match!

Posted by   on (December 22, 2013, 20:14 GMT)

Though SA played wonderfully well to get into a winning position but they showed again that they are mentally not strong enough in situations like these. Had it been Australia, I'm sure they would've gone for the win instead of "closing down the shop" even if they ended up loosing it. Though a great test match but very disappointing end mainly due to the negative approach in last 4 overs by SA batsmen. Indians on the other hand were justified in bowling wide of the wickets once they realised they have not got enough overs to take remaining wickets.

Posted by soaf on (December 22, 2013, 20:13 GMT)

@calcu:"sensational death bowling by India to hold on for a draw".mate you look to be a denizen of wonderland.one of the worst bowling display of all time.gave away the highest fourth innings runs on dangerous jo'burg wicket and a worthy contender for a shameful defeat.how on earth you can say its a good bowling performance by india.their bowlers are capable of proving time and time again that they are the weakest attack in the whole world.even zim and bang are better than these club level bowler.when a bowler like khan is leader of the attack (who had found it difficult to make in the eleven if he had born somewhere else instead of india)you can assume where this attack stand.no doubt in saying that pujara is the real gem india has found and he is a batting legend in making.leave him out of equation and you will see india getting whitewashed.

Posted by   on (December 22, 2013, 20:13 GMT)

Another example of poor bowling by Indian bowlers. A match certain to win, almost lost. Well played SA. A little push could make you cross the line.

Posted by basusri133b on (December 22, 2013, 20:11 GMT)

I wonder what the result would have been if Team India had played Bhuneswar instead of RAshwin. 42 Overs and no wickets speaks for itself. We just could not bowl them out. But overall a great game of cricket. India's performance was excellent. i am very glad that Rahane has come good in this test both as a batsman and a sharp fielder. His last run out took the game away from South Africa.

Posted by vrkp on (December 22, 2013, 20:10 GMT)

I think Dhoni missed a trick by not bowling Rohit 4-5 overs. Also, Shami should have been tried for few overs at the start of the Post-tea session instead of making Zak to bowl not stop for 7 overs.

Plus, don't know why Zak never tried to bowl from over the wicket almost throughout the last two three spells.

Posted by   on (December 22, 2013, 20:09 GMT)

I think it was India's match to win. A draw is SA's win because the way they have come back, speaks volumes of their character. Any team could have a tough day,any team could be challenged, but it is your ability to come back that makes you a great side. For example India was challenged in their home but they couldn't bounce back. So to me, India can surprise you but they lack the sufficient firepower in their bowling department to topple a great side like SA. Nonetheless, a great performance by India, exceptional stuff.

Posted by AVIRAL_Ashok on (December 22, 2013, 20:08 GMT)

22 of 28, 16 of 20 and 16 of 6. Oh dear!! Saffas should have very easily won the game with vernon out in the middle

Posted by   on (December 22, 2013, 20:01 GMT)

ashwin is the reason for draw, from SA even duminy partime picked up 2 wickets if india had a good spinner today the match was India's

Posted by   on (December 22, 2013, 20:00 GMT)

I am wonder on those who think it's great draw, i believe this was worst match for South africa to draw who should have been on wining side since they were very close to win. They just did not tried to win and they were surely in panic due to some mysterious reasons while they were surely in position to win. specially from last 12 balls they did never tried to win the match. There must have been something hidden inside! Well played team south africa until there was faf du plesis and philander together! Shame on match results though!

Posted by Sachinfan8 on (December 22, 2013, 19:57 GMT)

5 days of absolute thrill.I applaud MSD tactic for holding back shami and made him to bowl the last 12 overs of the match.Faf run out was the game changer.A word on Ashwin-someone has to tell him he is in the squad for taking wickets not just to contain runs.SA seemed to be on the track for record chase but India pulled back quite well.Well done India.Win the durban test.best of luck

Posted by   on (December 22, 2013, 19:56 GMT)

crickettsunami's featured comment praising India getting a draw exemplifies what is wrong with Indian cricket today. India played not to lose, they didn't play to win. India didn't set attacking fields and seemed to concentrate on saving runs. Shami shouldn't have been saved, he should have been bowling throughout the day, trying to take wickets. In any match a team needs to play for the win, especially with the lead that India had and there is no shame in losing, especially if you're playing the #1 team in the world, if you're in there going for it. Whoopee, we didn't lose! That doesn't seem quite right, does it?

Posted by AB_DeVilliers on (December 22, 2013, 19:53 GMT)

If you can't bowl out a team in 136 overs on the 5th day on an up and down wicket then you have some serious problems with your bowling. Poor showing by India on the last day, they should have won comfortably. All credit has to go to SA for their mental strength and courage, great display by marathon man and AB.

Posted by cric_gates on (December 22, 2013, 19:52 GMT)

Test at its best....what a contest between two of top test nations.I believe India could have won this match if aswin would have taken 2-3 wickets in his spell of 36 overs.It seems that Aswin going to be huge hit in INdia but he is proving to be huge flop in overseas tour.He let down our Indian bowling by not playing even supporting role to our fast bowler.

Posted by android_user on (December 22, 2013, 19:47 GMT)

Now this is why I love test cricket. What a thriller of a test it was. These sort of matches make the game one of the most beautiful. The protease are ever green at Wonderers, but they didn't execute for the greatest win. Faf's run out was the turning poor of the game. Had it been a win for protease, it would have been mind blowing.

Posted by SantuPaul on (December 22, 2013, 19:46 GMT)

One of the outstanding match drawn. Both teams proved why they are top two. India was on top most of the time until AB and Faf provided a remarkable partnership on the 5th day. On the 5th day morning India was 8 wickets away from a famous victory, but when 10 overs left for the match SA was jut 47 runs needed for a record chase. Draw can only be a fair result for this match.

Posted by android_user on (December 22, 2013, 19:45 GMT)

real disappointment I must say... it was easy win for SA in the end which turned to draw. anyway Dhoni once again played vital role as captain. dale went wicket less ... positive for India.

Posted by   on (December 22, 2013, 19:41 GMT)

SA's major problem is weak leadership and management.

When India scored 175 runs in the final session on the third day, Smith was clueless, simply allowing play to drift. No backup plan, no defensive strategy, no attempt to slow down the scoring rate ( setting a packed offside field and instructing the bowlers to bowl full and wide of the off stump, for example). India's unrestricted scoring rate placed them in a dominant position with 2 days left to play.

At the conclusion of the match, Domingo admits that the decision on whether to shut up shop or go for the win was left to Philander and Steyn! It is clear that SA had not initially expected to be in a position to win the match and having batted brilliantly to eventually be in sight of an historic victory, lack of direction and leadership ultimately ruined this wonderful effort.

One would expect much more from the leadership of the world's top ranked team! Smith at least is an effective batsman. What are Domingo's credentials?

Posted by   on (December 22, 2013, 19:40 GMT)

This is cricket at its best. I think both teams won. This is what should cricket be collective team mental character at war.

Posted by bhushanB on (December 22, 2013, 19:40 GMT)

Basically replace Ashwin with Ojha...

and get at least one new pace bowler.. just to replace one of the tire legs and soar shoulders....

If there was a 7 day gap for the next match.. no need for a change in the pace dept... but we SHOULD get one pair of fresh legs....

Posted by bhushanB on (December 22, 2013, 19:38 GMT)

So my X1 would be

1.) Shikar Dhawan (needs to focus, apply and give a solid start)....... 2.) Murali Vijay (continue the good work and score a few selfish runs for yourself, otherwise your effort will soon be forgotten by the stat gurus that we are)..... 3.) Pujara (do what you are doing)..... 4.) Kohli (its only half done, regroup, focus and just continue the good run)..... 5.) Rohit (put a price on your wicket and show your worth)..... 6.) Rahane (shot selection... few gaps in technique... work hard to fill them)..... 7.) Dhoni (show faith in Ojha, Rahane and Bhuvi.....keep up the good job)..... 8.) Zaheer/Bhuvi - only one can play unless the conditions are swing friendly, with grass, overcase, humid ..... 9.) Ishant/Yadav... only one but needs to be 110% fit and 100% accurate..... 10.) Shami.... take a lot of rest, hydrate... do whatever but get 100% fit..... 11.) Ojha.... show what you've got.......

Good luck India

All the best INDI

Posted by theCricketPurist on (December 22, 2013, 19:37 GMT)

I think this was an absolute EPIC!

India definitely did not deserve to lose, and the final day effort of the Proteas was just outstanding - thus it was a fair result. Both teams will feel they could have won the match, and both would also be relieved to come away with a draw.

You cannot blame RSA for not going for the win. At the end of 4th day, India looked destined to win this game. Lots of key moments of this game went against RSA, and they would be the slightly happier of the 2 teams at the moment.

Till Faf got run out they were looking to win the game, but after that dismissal, Vern & Steyn did the right thing by shutting shop. We must remember that this is a 2 match series, and with an injured Morkel and hopeless Tahir behind them, the decision was definitely the right one.

We must remember that RSA only wanted to survive the day, and the fact that they got so close is only evidence to the fact that they batted amazingly. And you cannot blame them for that...or can you?

Posted by zzby on (December 22, 2013, 19:36 GMT)

In my opinion SAF after lossing ab,duminy,faf did the right thing not to go for the win. This show un-selfihness,true character of team. They would have easily gone for win and made the history but not going for the win and defending the match also made them at top in the history.

For India pathetic bowling performence and some bad captaincy made this happen, they really need to think about thier spin bowling options.

Posted by   on (December 22, 2013, 19:35 GMT)

i really dont understand what Ashwin was doin!!!

Posted by amarnath79 on (December 22, 2013, 19:34 GMT)

Could have been the greatest match ever. But the way South Africa played last 3 overs was an insult. Even their own spectators were booing and shocked. As for India, when was the last time their spinners did not have a single wicket in a match? Ashwin is a good bowler only in India and against weak opposition.

Posted by rahulStillHeaded on (December 22, 2013, 19:32 GMT)

What a gem !!! Fantastic !!! Both teams played some truly high quality cricket. Yes, they made mistakes but who doesn't.

Guys, as far as India is concerned, let's put all these in perspective. Most of these guys are playing for the first time in SA and look at their performance !!! Even today they were attacking stumps all the time to get wickets and that's why a lot of boundaries were scored. For sure we need to have another fast bowler in the team to share workload. Ashwin is a wonderful batsmen but he needs to learn more skills to bowl outside sub-continent.

For SA, wow !!! They showed that they are number 1 team. They made their fair share of mistakes but in the end showed their talent and resolve.

A match fitting Number 1 and Number 2.

Kudos !!

Posted by android_user on (December 22, 2013, 19:32 GMT)

Irfan Pathan in for ashwin .....

Posted by bhushanB on (December 22, 2013, 19:31 GMT)

With in their limitations... IND pace attach bowled their hearts out.... but could have tried some field setups, like 7-2 packed off side... etc... to force a mistake on the batsmen... there were no yorkers....

Shami needs to play the next match for sure... if one of Zaheer or Ishant are not 110% fit... they should be rested and play Bhuvi (for Zaheer) or Umesh (for Ishant).... because it is going to be another torrid game.. where pacemen will be required to each bowl a solid 45 overs per innings for sure..... Ind does not have a Kallis.

Ojha needs to come-in for Ashwin... most of SA are right handers and ojha just had a 10 wicket haul.. and also bowled well against ENG previously....

Posted by   on (December 22, 2013, 19:31 GMT)

how poor or ineffective was Ashwin, did he cost us the match!!

Posted by gimme-a-greentop on (December 22, 2013, 19:30 GMT)

Also some thoughts on Ashwin...Indian fans should take into consideration that the pitch, even on day 5, didn't turn much (there was more bounce for him than anything) and he was bowling a lot to AB (one of the best players of spin in the world) and Faf (his teammate at Chennai, also was playing him really well). Craig McMillan was making a point in the NZ - WI Test that you have to be able to use your feet to the spinners (he was watching Narine giving Rutherford a real working over) and that is what people like AB and Clarke do brilliantly. Then again you get the sub-continent type batsmen who play them well just by good wrist work. I thought Ashwin didn't bowl too badly he was just played with real determination.

Posted by vivkr on (December 22, 2013, 19:29 GMT)

well honestly! despite the Indian bowling trio putting in a good effort, it shows that we are unable to get the opposition out. When you have 350+ to bowl with, you must attack, and I mean really attack, make the batsmen wish they were cosily in the pavilion instead of facing snorters on the pitch. Wonder how things would have looked had Dale Steyn been bowling.

One cannot win Test matches without bowling out the opposition twice, and our bowling has not made an impression as being able to do that.

Posted by Natx on (December 22, 2013, 19:29 GMT)

For those talking about Kallis's dismissal (which unfortunately is wrong), AB got hit right in front and even the hawk-eye showing the ball pitching in line and clipping the top of the stump. So it is kind of evened out at the end as AB went on to make a century. India's bowling was good, but the fielding was the one that let the match slip away from them, except some fine saves and productive direct hits from Rahane. Agree with other comments regarding Ashwin. He was useless. Probably play Jadeja (better fielder, gutsy guy who can hit some useful 20-30 runs down the order, and bowls stump to stump). I don't think Bhuveneshwar will be effective in Durban due to lack of pace and Yadav though is quick will leak boundaries. They should've taken pandey who could've been handy due to his height and accuracy.

Posted by jagluth on (December 22, 2013, 19:29 GMT)

in a country of more than 1 billion people surely we have a couple of bowlers of atleast shamus's quality and pace. zaheer has lost weight but struggles with mediocere pace and ishant is not half a bowler he was.

Posted by UglyIndian on (December 22, 2013, 19:27 GMT)

The draw epitomizes how South Africa have played throughout this Test match - in a cowardly fashion. I don't know if the BCCI was too strong on the South African board...but I really wish South Africa played for a win instead. I am really disappointed by their meek surrender. I really wish they took the extra effort to put India in their rightful place. Sadly, South African tactcs in this test were all too bizzare, and it really seemed at times that they weren't all that keen to win. The test might have ended in a draw...but BCCI has won.

Posted by Inspector_Clouseau on (December 22, 2013, 19:24 GMT)

SA settled for a draw today with the confidence that they would win the test at Durban. This might come to bite them back in the bum.

Posted by Chris_P on (December 22, 2013, 19:24 GMT)

I didn't see too much after Kallis got out, but 450 runs scored in the 4th innings on a pitch with variable bounce & almost no comments on the bowling effectiveness of the Indian attack? Think about it, folks, 450 runs, 4th innings, a pitch with variable bounce favouring bowlers & bowlers couldn't deliver? India, with a better credentiialled line-up of batsmen scored less runs against an exhausted attack due to Morkel's injury. Interesting. Someone posted you need to take 2wiiwckets for victory, seems that seems to have been forgotten.

Posted by   on (December 22, 2013, 19:24 GMT)

I found the last two overs galling. Smith had an opportunity to win one of the most epic test matches in history, a world-record 4th-innings chase. It was an opportunity for the Proteas to surpass being the best team in the world right now. Had they won, they could legitimately have claimed to be among the greatest teams in the history of the game. He had the opportunity and he declined it, instead opting for a conservative pragmatism. Galling and sad.

Posted by bhushanB on (December 22, 2013, 19:24 GMT)

To be affective Ashwin needs to do the follwing: 1.) do not start off with the -ve line, from round the wicket.... a genuine off spinner would always bowl from over the wicket... only in certain circumstances or bowling to a lefty should go bowl from the other side. 2.) You should land your Carrom ball in the same line and length as your stock delivery... that is outside the offstump, and when they try for the in-spinning delivery.. will catch the outside edge with the carrom ball for a catch in the slip... so out of 100 balls 90 should be your stock delivery with slightly varying line, length, pace, flight... and you should use your 10-15 carrom balls... when you spot a batsman with non-decisive foot-work, aggressive, restless, or simply if the pressure is on....

otherwise it is just plain easy to play Ashwin in AWAY - tests

Posted by   on (December 22, 2013, 19:23 GMT)

If india didnt win , its a Great draw and the Greatest test match of all time in Test cricket history..what so great about this match because if you are talking about history then Lords 1963 Eng v WI & Edgbaston 1987 Eng v Pak also went to last over when all 3 results were possible.whole match was about southafrica and in the end they choose to "DRAW" and thats something fishy bcs they should have won easily..In the end well Played south africa.

And for those who are saying other sub continent teams cant do what india have done..then come on guys it was southafrica vs india, not southafrica vs sub-continent. and if you are talking about sub-continent teams then pakistan just drew the test match series and won one day series in southafrica..which india didnt.

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

Ugly cricket!...South Africa should have won easily...Steyn and Philander leaving balls and letting the run rate climb up from 4.7 angainst a rubbish bowling side, just not wise enough...Really disappointed!

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

india should thanks to heaven that they achieve an unlikely draw from a likely defeat.proteas should have been blame themselves that they should cash on this third quality indian attack and go for win.indian bowlers proved that there first inning ballin performance was a total fluke.even zimbabwe and bangladesh have better bowling attack than india and they could make proteas run for their money.when a toothless and defeatist bowler like zaheer khan is called the leader of the attack than it becomes evident where there bowling stands.india thats the dream result you can achieve in SAF -A draw-now get ready for a total thrashing and battering in durban.

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

Test cricket is in a good place...4 teams have world class attacks...S.A,Australia,India and England whilst Pakistan are thereabouts if Ameer makes it back.New Zealand also showing signs of recovery and S.L always have interesting variation.

India have a damn good team...Kohli,Pujara,Shami,Ishant and Zaheer were world class.Shami looks pure class.For S.A,Smith,A.B,Faf ,Vern and Kallis's bowling were stand out factors.

The drama,tension,agony and excitement during this test match make it impossible to be critical.

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

lolz.Now indians are saying its their moral victory.the indians could not not take 8 wickets on such a tough pitch really shows that they are club level bowlers.even pakistans street bowlers are better than zaheer and ishant.Indians just lost a golden opportunity and they will be rolled over by steyn in durban...india still winless in the tour...lolz

Posted by iceaxe on (December 22, 2013, 19:21 GMT)

Well, this is no surprise. Did you really think SA would crumble on the last day on their home turf? I think not!

Posted by bhushanB on (December 22, 2013, 19:21 GMT)

Even Imran tahir managed a couple of wickets......Ashwin could not inflict a single wicket even on the 5th day of a test pitch....

This is where a genuine spinner will definitely make a difference.....

The only reason why ajmal or to an extent Sunil Narine are successful with their wrong ones.. is...

They can bowl them with almost a similar action, same flight, same line and same length and make it go the wrong direction....

From day 1, I saw ashwin.... his carrom ball is pitched on a leg-spinner line, is not as flighted.... just based on the line alone, the batsmen can easily pick that it is a carrom ball...

Posted by disco_bob on (December 22, 2013, 19:20 GMT)

Just like they SA to us in Adelaide, India have been Faffed.

Posted by insightfulcricketer on (December 22, 2013, 19:20 GMT)

Great game. SA batsmen showed great application and their bowlers were very disciplined except Tahir of course. Indian batsmen notably Vijay,Kohli,Pujara and Rahane (in 1st inn) played very well. Dhoni's captaincy left a lot to be desired.Totally un-imaginative and un-inspiring on the 4th and 5th day.Also Ashwin needs to be dropped in favor of Ojha. Looking at the right handed batsmen SA has its a genuine case of bringing Ojha.Ashwin did not look like taking a wicket right through the fifth day.If you cannot bowl overseas on the 5th day of a wearing track then you can never bowl - I think that was a cruel lesson for him. Whatever happened to Dhawan after the 187? He is averaging 21 eversince.Time for him to step up to the plate in Durban.

Posted by hamza893 on (December 22, 2013, 19:19 GMT)

Against SA you need some classic bowling attack if you gotta win or beat them.India by no mean have that kind of attack,only four bowling option with Ashwin bowling very less becomes three.I remember Ajmal bowls dozens of overs in one innings although the conditions suits seam bowling but Dumini and Tahir picked 4 wickets in 2nd innings.Very very defensive mindset from Dhoni he has to think hard on his bowling options otherwise SA are coming hard in next match.I must say India was lucky to have a Draw.

Posted by   on (December 22, 2013, 19:17 GMT)

Its bloody tough n emotional being an Indian supporter...sometimes i feel that i should stop watching cricket n stop following Ind cricket team, n that way there will be no emotional roller coaster ride whether they win or lose...that again is impossible. Thanks to god that Ind did not lose today...if they did, then my remaining evening n remainder of week n watching the upcoming test could be miserable...i can accept Ind being completely outplayed n lose a game by skittled out for 150 odd runs, but cannot digest n tolerate them lose in such a fashion...again, thanks to god...hail the almighty.

Posted by   on (December 22, 2013, 19:14 GMT)

I might be missing something but how exactly is saving a match where you are set 458 on a crumbling pitch proof that you are 'not a great team'? How many people would have given SA a sniff of even a draw when the game started? Let's not be hypocritical here. Yes, SA could have made history but it wasn't meant to be. Not in this test match. Too many things went against them in this match.

Remember that - after Faf was dismissed - victory was a few balls away for India. Had one of Vern or Steyn been dismissed, Tahir (basically a walking wicket) and an injured Morkel would have been too easy to get through. Remember, we are not sure what state Morkel was in. After having come such a long way, it would have been a travesty had we lost. Drawing has at least given us momentum, and knowing SA, the second match will be very tough for India :)

Posted by Game_Gazer on (December 22, 2013, 19:14 GMT)

well, India goofed up a rare chance, pretty toothless & unimaginative bowling I must say, are we thrown back to the 90s watching India lose/not win from winning situations !! And, I suspect dhoni's complimenting Zaheer, as leader of the attack &"mentoring" how to bowl, was back-handed. Zaheer's bowling was piss-poor, not to mention other bowlers, apart from Shami, they just seemed confused as to why they had a ball in their hand :-)

Posted by jagluth on (December 22, 2013, 19:13 GMT)

India showed how impotent their attack is today, I am their biggest supporter. alas they decided to persist with 35 yr old zaheer who struggled to bowl at barely above dhonis pace,and ishant as well could muster 1 wicket in the second innings at military medium. shami was the only bowler who looked threatening. the less said about ashwins bowling outside india the better. not to say zaheer,ishant and ashwin are major liabilities in the field. so sad that with 458 to defend on a 5th day wicket with all the help and we almost lose. I feel if bhuvi and yadav had played instead of zaheer and ishant we would have won. it took us yrs to get rid of dravid,sachin and laxman but clearly if they had departed earlier we would have done far better in the last few series away in England and Australia.

Posted by recycle-bin-is-empty on (December 22, 2013, 19:12 GMT)

@VenkyN you are absolutely spot on with your comment regarding Ashwin. Ashwin is the worst frontline spinner that we had since past 3-4 decades, our fast bowling was never our strength but we always had atleast one effective spinner in our side. I don't know why just why Dhoni trust this guy so much, granted he can bat but he is a total failure outside subcontinent with his main job. FOr the next match, I would suggest bringing in Yadav for Ashwin, we should go out there atleast once with an all pace attack. It would be a sin not to give chance to Yadav on the fastest decks in the world. If playing spinner is a must, then replace Rohit with Ashwin or Mishra.

Posted by Cedric.Godwin on (December 22, 2013, 19:12 GMT)

It was disappointing to see South Africa not push for the win... Even after the dismissal of Du Plessis, they only needed 16 in 19... With Philander there, Steyn should have tried to slog... and even if he got out, Philander could have easily pushed for a draw... Atleast they shud hav gon for singles.... An Australian side wud hav gone for a win...

Posted by momer79 on (December 22, 2013, 19:11 GMT)

very poor bowling display by india. I was really surprise to see kholi and Dhoni holding wickets in hand after the match like they have won the match.

Posted by android_user on (December 22, 2013, 19:11 GMT)

For me personally SA have won no way they could have survived for about 5 sessions and get the match that close hat off for ABD and du pelisis indias bowling is just below average lol aaaash and zaaak are not good enough india must be demoralised by this as they had plenty of time and runs to win but the bowling let them down well done SA as you were more positive you going to win the next test drop tahir for next test and get a faster in for the next game and hit india with bounce and pace

Posted by gsingh7 on (December 22, 2013, 19:11 GMT)

well done both teams. neither deserved to lose this test. india did more than expected. considering last year pakistan lost 3-0 to sa and sl lost 2-1 to them, india did themselves proud by drawing first test even. last time india came here they drew 1-1 and" kaliis denied them series." then sa coach said all this. so good effort from team from india and hoping they win game 2 and become first team to win a series vs sa since they became number 1 side in tests.

Posted by TrueIndian4ever on (December 22, 2013, 19:11 GMT)

This should have been won by India. What a poor performance with the bowl. This tells you bowlers win you the match and batters can only help you draw. India should offer sohail tanvir a contract, now that he is dropped from Pakistan line up.

Posted by wapuser on (December 22, 2013, 19:09 GMT)

i will suggest Quote Unquote for cricinfo that "6 balls might turn history" Being an Indian i am very much pleased with the temperament of this indian team but instead of 90 overs, we bowl 91 overs.these 6 balls might be sparing 8-9 runs and these will be very handy after the loss of du plesis. At that time Dhoni can attack Steyn by luring him to go over the fence, or defend. Pressure may creat the possibility of wickets.it was the blunder. If we win today that will break the RECORD OF WINNING first test match of series after 1968. Of course Ashwin not justify his part compared to Duminy. But overall what a nail biting finish.

Posted by Suggsy on (December 22, 2013, 19:09 GMT)

Wow... All these comments about India's bowling, I for one think they bowled too well. The ball beat the bat so many times, it takes less movement to get the edge... Everyone keeps saying it was a day 5 pitch... But it obviously got flatter however overall it was more great batting than poor bowling.

Posted by bouncer709 on (December 22, 2013, 19:08 GMT)

Interesting match but Disappointing end , at the end both teams were trying not win because of fear of losing the match, the whole match was interesting but at the end both teams were negative not trying to win the game.

Posted by android_user on (December 22, 2013, 19:08 GMT)

This sort of performance makes the most beautiful game more colorful and intriguing. What a game of cricket it was. This makes test cricket alive. Well played protease, but had it been a win, it would have been mind blowing.

Posted by anshul_tie on (December 22, 2013, 19:05 GMT)

Its a shame for indian cricket nd i m vry much disappointed with dhoni's captain... He behaved lyk an immature captain.. I think dhoni should surrender his captaincy to kohli... I think E would be a going d captain nd quick learner than dhoni... Dhoni nferiorness always pay to india... Why he didhnt bowl shami after tea.. I dont think shami was tired... But dhoni should break his ipl frndship here.. Why he dud always bowl wid ashwin when dere was no turn on d pitch.. He was justify his selection of ashwin in d team by good ving much nd much over but he was beat by duminy as well as a bowler.. I think bangladesh could win dis match in that kind of situation.... I think dhoni needs some break from captaincy Nd as well as from test cricket..

Posted by Stat1977 on (December 22, 2013, 19:05 GMT)

Well done SA.What a match.I'm gutted you missed the chance of a world record.

Posted by SherjilIslam on (December 22, 2013, 19:04 GMT)

@Mitty2: With all due respect to you and your cricketing acumen, just one point i would like to make - care to see the match and situation before commenting. Check Graeme Smith's post match comment saying the decision to play for the draw was of entirely of Styne and Philander. And i respect that decision after analyzing the situation in hand. As this is a two match series, the whole series was at stake.They didn't trusted the batting abilities of critically injured morkel and a walking wicket tahir, i don't see any stupidity or cowardliness in that

Posted by bhushanB on (December 22, 2013, 19:03 GMT)

Nail biting finish.... both teams battled it out... could have made wonders for IND to win it... after all the hardwork... playing SA in SA with such an young and in-experienced team without any match practice......splendid job....

Having said that with such a score to defend... it is very disappointing to get to a position where we could lose.. and draw is only a consolation in the end.. and forced acceptable.. because a loss would have been devastating...

Great match

Posted by android_user on (December 22, 2013, 19:01 GMT)

I'm sure this was a great, closely fought game that could have gone either way but how is it the greatest ever draw? And why didn't SA go for it with two overs left, they had a couple of wickets in hand?

Posted by RichardW on (December 22, 2013, 19:00 GMT)

Anybody who has a basic understanding of test cricket would know how well South Africa have played to draw this match. To fight back from being completely and utterly out of the game after three days is a fantastic effort and I am positive that no other current international team would have come close to matching that performance. India were 320 runs ahead with 8 wickets in hand, so the least they should have been expecting, was to push on at 4,5 to 5 runs an over, and to declare leaving South Africa 500 to score off 140 overs. And that would have been the minimum considering Morkel's injury and Tahir's lack of confidence. So for South Africa to restrict them and to then come so close to winning the game, despite some unfortunate dismissals is quite remarkable and should be recognised as such. Congratulations to two teams that both overcame their own set of issues on playing a great game in an excellent spirit.

Posted by PureProteas49 on (December 22, 2013, 19:00 GMT)

The thing that bothers me is BCCI interference, It was ours for the taking, I think our guys received instructions for the last few runs, tragedy is they didn't have a choice, Look Indian supporters I am glad we took the draw, Maybe I am wrong, not running when there was a run etc, I don't know guys, I love the game and hope it isn't true

Posted by SamRoy on (December 22, 2013, 18:57 GMT)

terrible spells from ashwin, zak and Ishant on last day, no threat whatsoever. Also need to drop ashwin, zak and Ishant and bring in bhuvi, umesh and jaddu for next test.

Posted by likeintcricket on (December 22, 2013, 18:56 GMT)

SA has once again proven that they are a better team and despite tall claims for a "greatest Draw" I see this game as an opportunity missed by SA. AB despite his great inning he once again proved that he is not a finisher. Also FAF should have pushed Philander to play big shots and finish the game three four overs earlier. I understand they wanted to make sure they don't loose but they missed a very big opportunity to de moralized India once for all. Morkel's Injury played a big part and the surprise reverse swing in the first inning by Indians is a great factor too. SA now go into the second test with a clear mind and 5 fast bowlers. They need to target Kohli as he is the real star and others just play around him. I was greatly impressed by Indian batting earlier but after seeing SA bat I am unsure. Also they need to bring in De Kock in place of struggling Duminy. I still say SA has the bowling and batting to beat India in the Test but they need to show some character.

Posted by ambrosefan on (December 22, 2013, 18:56 GMT)

South african team just lacks killer instinct. Its their match. They could have won it. If any one to be blamed, then its their attitude. I always wonder why south africa falters at critical stage, but with this kind of attitude, they will remain a very good side but not all conquering dominant force like west indies or australia. India missed the golden opportunity. But given their bowling attack, not all are convinced about their ability to take 20 wickets. ashwin should be dropped from second match. By the by way, most non indian crickets fans wanted india to fail miserably. Nice slap to them by Indian cricket team!

Posted by   on (December 22, 2013, 18:56 GMT)

Avg No of balls faced per wicket in Tests Faf du Plessis - 147.9 Rahul Dravid - 123.06 Shivnarine Chanderpaul - 119.9 Jacques Kallis - 119.6 Kumar Sangakkara - 105.5

Sachin,VVS Laxman,Hashim Amla,Ricky Ponting,Brian Lara, Allan Border,Steve Waugh - less than 102 # Just a research (Just picked players randomly)

Posted by   on (December 22, 2013, 18:55 GMT)

It's a shame that South Africa couldn't kick on at the crucial very last moment of the match. they should've tried than blocking those 2 overs.. some may say this is a test match but this is not the spirit of the any game..

Posted by Capricorn60 on (December 22, 2013, 18:55 GMT)

@ loyalcomments - Although we definitely need a fourth seamer for the next Test & for overseas Tests generally, it should not be at the expense of Ashwin who makes invaluable contributions with the bat too & even looks quite comfortable playing hostile pace bowling. Even SA playing at home recognize the need to have a frontline spinner in their team - even though home conditions for them generally don't favour spin bowlers.

Posted by Dilbar786 on (December 22, 2013, 18:55 GMT)

You cant win test match with 3rd class bowling

Posted by   on (December 22, 2013, 18:55 GMT)

AB and Faf may have deserved to be on the winning side but they sure as hell did not deserve to be on the losing side.

Posted by Surajrises on (December 22, 2013, 18:54 GMT)

A few point which I feel Dhoni din't do right.. 1) When he came out in the middle last evening to bat, he was pushing Duminy's balls to longoff for singles which should have sailed over the ropes quite comfortably. Had he done that and got quick runs, we would have probable saved time to bowl more in the 2nd innings because m sure our bowlers could have had SA 3 or 4 down on day 4 because the ball would have been at least 50-55 overs old in the evening and reverse swing would have done its work with the sunset taking place. 2) The point is if 458 din't look secure because of Dhoni's negative mindset and no faith in his bowlers, things would have been different if he trusted them because then we could have declared for 420 and had that extra half hour to 40 minutes for our fast bowlers to further attack the Africans. Acc to me Kohli and Pujara would be dejected for not having won this match after batting so splendidly. After this I think India will lose in Durban..

Posted by USA_Res on (December 22, 2013, 18:54 GMT)

Sorry to disagree with the majority of posters, but I think SA gave the draw to India. I cant think of any international team that would have settled for a draw requiring only 16 runs off the last 4 overs with 4 wickets available. I think it was a disappointing end to a great cricket match. I find it hard to believe considering that it was an opportunity for SA to go 1-0 up in the series. India must be saying thanks to the Spirit of Christmas.

Posted by Waves239 on (December 22, 2013, 18:53 GMT)

The preview of this test match is something like this: Out-of-practice India against stiff odds.After looking at the way ODI series had done with and the first test to be played on Wanderers, I felt it would be icing on the cake for South Africa. Now I say what a blinder this turned out to be! Exceptional display by both teams.

I don't understand why No.1 and No.2 teams are playing only two match series. Dreaming in other world both teams playing for MANDELA-GANDHI trophy, India start tour with 2 four day games, test series kicking off at Wanderers

1 - Wanderers, 2 - SuperSport Park, 3 - St George's Oval, 4 - Kingsmead ( Boxing Day Test ), 5 - Newlands ( New Year Test ).

Then two years later, SA tour India, starting with 2 four day games and test series kicking off at Chennai.

1 - M.A. Chidambaram Stadium 2 - Wankhede Stadium 3 - PCA Stadium 4 - Feroz Shah Kotla 5 - Eden Gardens.

Tours like this prevail test cricket with great excitement between nations. how good will it be !

Posted by Srini_Indian on (December 22, 2013, 18:52 GMT)

It was a nice match. It would have been a shocker if India lost the match. Frankly, I'm quite disappointed that India didn't win the match after dominating the proceedings for 4 days. The wicket considerably flattened out in the final day with no pace and no spin. It is absolutely disgraceful that the pitch didn't spin much even on day 5. Having said that, Ashwin's performance is pathetic. Had he taken 1 or 2 wickets in the middle session, India would have won it.

Posted by   on (December 22, 2013, 18:51 GMT)

India's weak bowling again exposed, not able to get 20 wickets in a match, any other team would have won easily having posted 458 and had more than 4 sessions to bowl the opposition out, but great team india couldn't do that, even in the end when philandar and steyn were bowling, india chose defensive line instead of going for the kill....

Posted by Sudhir65 on (December 22, 2013, 18:50 GMT)

I wonder why the stands are almost empty? Does anyone even care about Test cricket any more?

Posted by Cricket_Fan_And_Analyst on (December 22, 2013, 18:50 GMT)

Saffers will complain that Kallis was not out and would ignore that De Villers was out LBW off Shami and given not out. He went on to hit a century. That ball hit him in line and would have hit top of the stumps (according to hawk eye). Umpire probably thought that there was an inside edge.

In any case , it was a fantastic game - great escape for both the teams.

Posted by Sudhir65 on (December 22, 2013, 18:49 GMT)

I wonder if there is instance of Indian spinner not taking a single wicket before in a test match that lasted 5 days? Ashwin has done nothing to justify his place in team- whether it is T20, ODI or tests.

Indian bowlers could only get 4 wickets on a 5th day. Very disappointing. India is lucky not to lose as SA captain and coach took an extremely conservative (and wrong in my opinion) approach after FAF wicket to play for a Draw.

Posted by jackthelad on (December 22, 2013, 18:48 GMT)

Absolutely thrilling game, neither team deserved to lose this one, this is the kind of thing that makes Test Cricket the most fascinating of all field sports. Thanks and congratulations to both sides.

Posted by   on (December 22, 2013, 18:48 GMT)

To know how nail biting this match has been, just read today's report. For the first time a match report is discussing ball by ball update :) Having said that, this match is the best match I have ever seen in my life and the thrill of it will never be forgotten. Thank god this is just a two match series, I would have had a heart attack had it been longer series!

Posted by wapuser on (December 22, 2013, 18:44 GMT)

If there were points for a draw, the young Indian team probably got the higher number. Ashwin and Steyn's failure to get wickets prevented a decisive outcome for either team. In the end, Dhoni's captaincy was crucial to martial his team when it seemed South Africa would pull off a miraculous win. Test cricket at its best.

Posted by wapuser on (December 22, 2013, 18:44 GMT)

Irfan pathan the right choice for instead of ashwin , dear ashwin its didficult for u to raplace anil kumble ... U can play more Ranji games than a Tour to s africa

Posted by wapuser on (December 22, 2013, 18:43 GMT)

Haaa I feel Dhoni just manages a drow, becose Morkal was unable to bowl ... dont get carried away by centuries by Kohli ... n Pugara ... IIndians are always poor tourist. ... Dhoni is just a lucky captain..

Posted by Diaz54 on (December 22, 2013, 18:42 GMT)

Let's be honest India were lucky to get away....2 run outs, one bad umpiring decision against Kallis, two played on!! What more can I say. Also procures injury to Morlel. If you can't bowl,on 5 th day well that it! Ash win best spinner who can't take wickets on 5 day wicket. please be realistic with your assessment.

Posted by   on (December 22, 2013, 18:40 GMT)

This is perhaps one good match ended in a draw - But for me the game's greatest draw came in 1979 - ind vs Eng in Oval. Playing a crucial secomd innings where the hosts set a target of 438 to win, the God of defense Gavaskar battled his nerves out only to got out at 221-his- one of the best knocks in the history of cricket- just 49 runs to score - but the rest of the batsmen could not make it- ended the match in draw... This perhaps the best ever match played for a draw...

Posted by Matadore on (December 22, 2013, 18:40 GMT)

Today i might understand why Germans nd americans feel disgusted about cricket :p :p great match!? ummm, both teams dont wanna lose it.. nd the last 3 ovrs telling the 'great' story! (not the result, um talking ab8 the intension nd attitude) anyway, kudos kohli, pujara!

Posted by brusselslion on (December 22, 2013, 18:40 GMT)

Posted on (December 22, 2013, 16:01 GMT): "The Greatest Test Match of Modern Times. This is the effect of T20..."

Would certainly agree that it was one of the best Test Matches of recent times - well played both sides. "This is the effect of T20..." Err.. care to explain how you reached this conclusion?

Posted by   on (December 22, 2013, 18:39 GMT)

thats a great match, one of the greatest i have seen. Dont know how to react, a feeling of happiness that India saved d match or disappointment to miss such an opportunity, in SA u will not get these type of opportunities again. But yes happy to see virat & pujara exceling. Zak finding a come back & shami n ishant bowling well. Winning & loosing is not important, important is to fight which India has shown. All d best for Durban.

Posted by cricfansince91 on (December 22, 2013, 18:38 GMT)

A Great proof of why Test Cricket outscores over the other 2 Formats.. This is the only format which allows a fair result- a Draw to two great sides; although I feel India should have one if: 1.They had played Ojha(or even Jadeja) in place of Ashwin 2. They had not allowed too many easy singles in both innings of SA 3. If Zaheer had bowled over the wicket too for some overs..

SA missed out only due to: 1. untimely exit of De Villiers (and not Du Plessis who was too tired by the end) 2. they shut the shop 1 over too early!!!

But Nevertheless a Riveting game, Focus shifts to Durban now :)

Posted by chokkashokka on (December 22, 2013, 18:36 GMT)

Wow....reading this I would have never thought that this was a draw - I was sure that SA won. Right Ms. Moonda? SA got lucky - this was their back yard and the curator wanted a white-wash. SA was behind 4.5 days in this 5 day test match. Shame for SA. You are not supposed to draw test matches at home when you are the no. 1 test side and your competitors are a young inexperienced side who didn't even get a tour game as preparation. SA lost his game in every way lest anyone got carried away with this report.

Posted by android_user on (December 22, 2013, 18:32 GMT)

wow.A classic match for sure but I dunt get one thing it was the final day of the test match. SA were in chase of the unthinkable. defeat was looming and yet SA pulled off one of the most sensational chases in the history of cricket. India should have won this match, they should be dissapointed they could not bowl them out. I think SA deserves more credit Far played one of the best test knocks I've seen in a long tume.two thumbs up

Posted by   on (December 22, 2013, 18:32 GMT)

Really disappointed with SA's defensive approach, they could have easily gone for a win a created history. But getting to this position after being totally outplayed by India was incredible, thanks to outstanding batting of AB and Faf. This will go down as one of the best Test in history with all possible results even in the final over. Great game between two top teams, but I think India will think they have an upper hand after this match.

Posted by   on (December 22, 2013, 18:32 GMT)

What a good struggle between bat and ball.

Posted by wapuser on (December 22, 2013, 18:32 GMT)

The greatest thing was the teams played fair. No negative bowling no time wasting. Great performance and spirit by two top teams. Cricket wins

Posted by Blackholesun on (December 22, 2013, 18:32 GMT)

Superb match ! My heart was in my mouth for the whole of last hour. SA will be more disappointed, they were in, just couldn't cross the line. Disappointed with Indian bowlers a bit in the second innings. Ashwin in not effective outside India, may be the pitch had nothing in it for the spinners. Batting wise Indian tail is vulnerable. Ashwin scores sometimes and sometimes not.

For India Rahane was the real savior. His inflicted run out, turned the game back in India's favor. India will be relieved that they didn't loose it, it would have been embarrassing

Who says Test Matches are boring ? It is the real deal and will remain this way as long as we have this type of matches.

Posted by   on (December 22, 2013, 18:31 GMT)

The people blasting SA and Smith for not going for the win need to take their emotions out of it and realize that Morkel was injured and Tahir is a walking wicket. Some people comment as if Steyn is a mini-Klusener. Steyn can hit a six but also just as likely get bowled. I'm disappointed that SA didn't get an incredible win but it would have been much worse if they'd lost after doing so well. Its a two test series which they can win in Durban. No-one is going to give credit in the future about matches you lost because you chased a win. The end result will say you lost the match and the opportunity to win the series. History remembers winners not losers who came close to winning.

Folks can talk about Aus always going for the win but the fact is that Aus would not even have got close because they would have chased the win and got bowled out for 300 odd. They are either boom or bust. I know I'd rather take a 1-0 series win over India than a 1-1 draw.

Posted by gimme-a-greentop on (December 22, 2013, 18:31 GMT)

Firstly, one feels the approach might have been different from both sides if this was not a 2 match series (thank you petty power politics). It should be remembered, especially by the Australian supporters (and media that has been quoted here) slating SA that both teams were playing for a draw at the end. A bit hard for Steyn to score off repeated bouncers. Mind you, he didn't try, either. As an SA supporter it would have been nice if they had thrown caution to the wind, but they still did an amazing job to even come close and should be proud of the effort. One feels that no other current batting line-up would have even come close, which is why the comments re Australia are a bit ripe, really. I feel sorry for Faf, he stood on the brink of cricketing immortality and then ran himself out. Such is life. In the end a fair result, as India were so far ahead by day 4 that losing due to a miracle would have been slightly unfair after they played so well.

Posted by EnPee on (December 22, 2013, 18:26 GMT)

India bowled with only 3 bowlers. Ashwin is of no use on overseas tours. For the next test, India should replace him with Jadeja and replace Rohit with Bhuvaneshwar Kumar. Jadeja bats as well as Ashwin and is a way better fielder than Ashwin. This way we will go with 5 specialist bowlers - Zaheer, Ishant, Shami, Bhuvi and Jadeja.

Also one of the turning points of the match that changed the scenario from SA winning to a draw was du Plessis runout by Rahane. Else SA would have easily won the match.

Posted by   on (December 22, 2013, 18:23 GMT)

some people here say india done well they were loosing... with a score of 458 you were loooosing ???? thn your bowling is school cricket bowling ....

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

We did great to bat the whole day, but I cant really understand why we didnt go for it with 2 overs to go. Not taking singles with 7 balls left and 2 batsmen (albeit tailenders) still in the hut. Philander could have taken the single, leaving one ball for steyn to survive, and then tried to smash it last over. I thought it was wrong - wrong for the spectators, wrong for a great game of cricket, and wrong for the best side in the world not to back themselves having played so well.

Posted by Moin13 on (December 22, 2013, 18:21 GMT)

I think india is not in condition to play test matches..so in my opinion they should not play test matches outside of their country until their players become mature enough to play the real Game...

Posted by   on (December 22, 2013, 18:21 GMT)

Amazing match. Hats off to both the teams, for taking this right down to the wire. However, as an Indian fan, I feel India needs to introspect. None of their batsmen other than Kohli and Pujara could handle the SA bowlers. Playing Rahane, robs Dhoni off a bowling option which he could have got by playing Jadeja. With Ashwin not even able to open his account, Jadeja could at least provide a second option. India's catching has been way below par. We still haven't got a reliable slip cordon.

SA was severely depleted with the absence of Morkel. Still they managed to get a draw. I think it will be a different story in Durban, with either Mclaren or Tsotsobe taking Morkel's place.

Posted by m_ilind on (December 22, 2013, 18:20 GMT)

India will consider themselves lucky to get away with a draw. Some good individual batting performances (by Pujara & Kohli) while the seamers bowled well in the 1st innings, but were disappointing in the last innings, when they could not create opportunities on a deteriorating pitch. Overall, full marks to a young Indian side for putting up a fight against the number 1 team in the world.

Posted by WC2011Champs on (December 22, 2013, 18:20 GMT)

What a match (it turned out to be)! Had Jadeja played instead of Ashwin India would have won the game hands down. What did Ashwin learn from the tour so far? Has he taken any wickets on the tour so far? Outside continent he is not the first choice spinner, test or ODI. Jadeja is a wily bowler and under any conditions he will provide breakthroughs. Ishant is THE bowler for SA and Australia pitches. But very disappointed with his 132kmph bowling speed these days. Ishant and Jadhav are in the team to bowl at 140kmph and hustle batsmen otherwise what is the point? Remember you bowl all out (fast to your strength) and achieve better results in 2 sessions or bowl 130kmph all day long and feel more tired.

Posted by paapam on (December 22, 2013, 18:13 GMT)

India need to get Jadeja into the team. Poor Rahane he did no wrong but team balance is paramount. Mishra too is an option. India may have lost their best chance to win!

Posted by SaffasNo1 on (December 22, 2013, 18:11 GMT)

I'm surprised by so many people criticizing for SA for being defensive. Sure, they could have gone for the win but having watched the game, I'm still happy they came so close 2 draw dis fantastic test.

People who are criticizing should understand the game situation during the last 10 mins. Dhoni had pushed all the fielders back near the boundaries during last 3 overs and scoring was not easy. Also to note was that there were only 3 wickets left, of which Morkel was injured and there are no runners allowed and anyone who follows SA cricket will have an idea of what Tahir is capable of with the bat, he is a walking wicket. If Steyn and Philander pushed for the win and one of them got out, I think SA would have been in trouble with Morkel (injured,no runners allowed) and Tahir (most genuine #11 in the world today).

Also this is not like the final of a match or a must-win (A lost would have been disastrous IMO). They can still win the series in Durban which I'm sure they will. Go SA!

Posted by Metro-ant on (December 22, 2013, 18:10 GMT)

Until today I wondered why people were turning away from test cricket and the way this match ended, answered my question. It defies logic as to why they didn't attack in the previous over and only with 3 balls remaining. Were they so pessimistic that they thought that India would get 3 wickets in one over let alone 4 overs? Light wasn't an issue like it was during the 5th test at the Oval and if a professional team which plays to win, plays for a draw despite requiring 22 runs with 3-4 wickets in hand (depending on Morkel's fitness) with momentum clearly in your side, I was speechless like I'm sure many Protea supporters were.

Posted by JG2704 on (December 22, 2013, 18:00 GMT)

Has to be said , what a great display by both sides. India will feel they had the better of the match but SA were surely the more likely side had it continued for a few overs more. Not sure whether India will rue the fact they had them at 197-4 or if SA may kick themselves for not being a little more positive in the end. Faf is showing - as he did in Australia - that he is a man they can call on for rearguard action. India may feel slightly worse as SA are the top side , defending their ranking and India will want to close that gap , but I suppose both sides can take positives from the match

Posted by KunzMan on (December 22, 2013, 17:57 GMT)

Truly amazing match. Difficult to say who should have won..so many contexts to look at. SA 145 for 6 in first innings, followed by Morkel injury. So they will be pleased. SA 400 for 4 in second innings with less than 5 an over to get will make India pleased, they got out of jail after almost dominating over first four days. But clearly deep down all South African players will know they lost a platinum opportunity to rewrite history books. It is this killer instinct which they lack in their DNA which explains a barren cupboard in terms of ICC events.

Anyway, what AB did after Kallis received a bad one, and that man... Faf! He almost got India faffed like Aussies. Kudos to both teams. Specially SA. Cant wait for Durban! Long live test cricket!

Posted by Ryan_H on (December 22, 2013, 17:57 GMT)

Very good test match from a competition perspective. Not that great from a spectator perspective. You don't want to be watching a match for five days and not see a result at the end of it. I felt the Indians lost this one given that they were in control 4 out of 5 days. Their bowlers were again inept in finishing things off. It was up their alley. South Africa were lucky to get a draw out of it. Rohit Sharma needs to get his back kicked. Shikar Dhawan must contribute. Indian bowlers must attack with killer instinct. Ashwin's place in the side should be under doubt.

Posted by anupkeni on (December 22, 2013, 17:57 GMT)

Ojha should play instead of Ashwin in Durban. Ashwin is pretty useless and worthless outside of India. He is an effective bowler only in Indian conditions and that too mainly against weak opponents like West Indies and New Zealand.

Posted by ToTellUTheTruth on (December 22, 2013, 17:56 GMT)

What a game!!!! India definitely missed RJ. He does not spin the ball much and could have helped bowling his stump to stump stuff. Overall, both teams are the winners. Perfect result for a very well fought contest.

Posted by wapuser on (December 22, 2013, 17:55 GMT)

After a really really long time watched a match, where cricket was the winner. Experienced a see-saw of emotions, from 'Oh, we are doing well', to 'Awesome, we can win this!', to 'Are we really going to lose', to finally, 'It couldn't have been a better result.' All this in last 3 days of a test match. These are the kind of matches you want to see. Completely surrendering to an opposition or annihilating them is just not good cricket in the long run. Exactly, what this match didn't let me experience. The fact that this match was the first match, post the Sachin Tendulkar era, made it all the more exciting. Seeing some of our blokes perform, even if it was for a match, makes me believe that the legacy has left an impact. A devoid of talent is what we never lacked, it was always application. And we got to see that. Hopefully, in the long run, a new legacy would be established. And even more hopefully, it would be of A Team and not that of an individual. Cheers!

Posted by ArnoldVDH on (December 22, 2013, 17:55 GMT)

And one final thing.

If I were Smith and win the toss in Durban, bat.

The Indians will be exhausted having stood in the field for the better part of 2 days. They'll still be tired and piling on the pressure by batting first will be tough on them.

Posted by tom120 on (December 22, 2013, 17:55 GMT)

Great opportunity missed by India. SA showed why they are no. 1 side. With 4 days ' dominance, India was on the verge of defeat in the last session. If AB didn't get inside edge and unluckily get bowled, SA would have won this match. Luck didn't favor SA at all in this test. Duminy shouldn't be in the team. He's a baggage, it was his responsibility to play at least 5-6 overs get close to the target. Alas, it didn't happen, Indian bowlers were ordinary as there were 2 run outs, one freaky dismissal of Amla, one bad lbw decision in the tally of 7 wickets. India couldn't bowl them out in 136 overs. Last time I remember this happened at adelaide, and Australia couldn't bowl SA out despite bowling 158 overs, Australia lost the next match. Very much is on the cards for India, unless Durban pitch has help for winners.

Posted by vrkp on (December 22, 2013, 17:51 GMT)

one of the greatest test match i have ever seen. Even the draw feels like a win as it came after almost everyone (incl. myself) not expecting much from this young team. Morkel's injury helped us, but if you look at the bowling line up, we bowled out SA with three seamers whereas SA needed 4 seamers to bowl out us in the 1st innings. So, it was actually back to even with Morkel's injury. Hope he will be alright for the 2nd match.

For me the biggest positives are Rahane (batting and fielding) and Ishant who I thought would be the weekest link before the match started. Hope its not a one-off performance from them.

For the 2nd test, i think we may need to drop Ashwin for either Jadeja, Bhuvi or Ojha, depending on the pitch. If it is fast and bouncy, then a seamer is better option with Rohit to bowl some part time spin options. If not, then Jadeja would be better choice than Ohja as gives better fielding and slightly better batting option. Dhawan shd perform better in the next match

Posted by android_user on (December 22, 2013, 17:51 GMT)

A perfect contest between no.1 and no.2 teams

Posted by marcs on (December 22, 2013, 17:50 GMT)

Truly a match b/w #1 and #2 teams after a loooong time. To me, SA's decision to play out the remaining overs appeared correct bcos at the start of the day, they would have ben happy with a draw. Foolish shots could have undone the good work of FAF and AB. Also shows why SA is the top ranker. The team has the ability to come out of tight corners and as a team take collective responsibility in dishing out success. Much different from the team of the past. Kudos to both the teams

Posted by kbza86 on (December 22, 2013, 17:50 GMT)

everybody keeps saying great draw..only because India didn't win...your bowling attack must be really weak not to defend 450+ in a day and a half..again the proteas made be proud to be south African. as a nation, we just never ever give in..EVER!!!! we always start a series slowly, last time this happend against Pakistan, we came back strongly in the next match, hoping for the same here. Player Rating out of 10 by me:Petersen6 Smith8 amla 6 kallis 8 abd 8 jp4 faf10 dale4 verny 8 mornas5,5 tahir1 PROTEA POWER FOREVER!!!

Posted by pull_shot on (December 22, 2013, 17:50 GMT)

India need allrounder like watson or kallis atleast in worst case mathews with out fast bowling allrounder its impossible to win abroad but have to say well bowled indian bowlers they bowled there heart out

Posted by ArnoldVDH on (December 22, 2013, 17:49 GMT)

Hi Everyone.

I've just gotten back from the match. And what a match it was.

The history of cricket shows, these totals are thus far unattainable. As such, India would have thought at the end of their 2nd innings the game was theirs. Hence why I think this draw feels more like a loss for them. Especially since they also didn't have to contend with Morkel.

The Proteas will be disappointed they didn't win once they got into a winning position. Dhoni became very defensive with his field placings and the bowlers bowled wide of the off-stump. The last over to Steyn perfectly illustrates the Indian attitude. The Saffers should therefore have made more use of the crease to throw the Indian bowlers of their line and length. They failed in this.

Both teams will be able to look at negatives and positives for this game. The first innings collapses for both teams but how well each team did in their 2nd innings. Conversely, the bowling also leaves a bit to be desired.

Bring on Durban.

Posted by espncricinfomobile on (December 22, 2013, 17:49 GMT)

Any other team (even Zimbabwe) would have bowled South Africa out in this sort of wicket. Batting was bit easy on the last. Indian bowling made it look easy.

Posted by android_user on (December 22, 2013, 17:48 GMT)

I think SA missed a great chance to write their name on record books, even after Du Plessis was out they should have gone for win, and in doing so even if they had lost, not many would have really blamed SA much

Posted by calcu on (December 22, 2013, 17:47 GMT)

What a match! One of the greatest draws ever in test cricket history,possibly the greatest. In the end,it was a great result as neither team deserved to lose. Excellent batting by SA to save this and sensational death bowling by India to hold on for a draw.

Posted by   on (December 22, 2013, 17:46 GMT)

one must agree that india played better for most of the test match... first day, 2nd day was even, third day was india's, 4th day was even but 60 % towards SA, and last day was saffa's... but in the end the result is fair, india definatley dint deserve to lose, they did very good bwling in first innings, they batted very well in both innings..... and saffas dint deserve to lose either, after what we have seen on day five.....

Posted by   on (December 22, 2013, 17:45 GMT)

one of the best test match i seen. goes with the aussie humbling win of india where laxman scored 281. wish there are more such matches. even such draws are better than 20 20 bang bang

Posted by   on (December 22, 2013, 17:43 GMT)

What a great test match! Although I'm very disappointed with the way we went about it at the end, hats off to the team for their fighting spirit to survive the day. Many moments of the game I believe went India's way, such as Morkel's injury/Kallis decision and Tahir's dropped catch, but at the end of the 5 days, both teams played brilliantly and with spirit to give us a spectacle you wont see often. Well done faf, silence those critics! Cannot wait to be at kingsmead!

Posted by VenkyN on (December 22, 2013, 17:40 GMT)

I do not know why people are crowing about the result, and generally heralding this as the greatest ever game. Perhaps it was exciting but it was also quite disappointing in that both teams did not want to win towards the end and seemed quite content to draw the game. I cannot help thinking that if Australia had been one of the sides in this test, it would have had a result.

India were poor today, particularly in the second session. I wonder what is next for Ashwin. He has been adequate in Indian conditions, but a spinner going wicketless in the last innings of a test match on the fifth day, in deteriorating conditions, with runs behind him to defend... that is pretty much unheard of with quality spinners. His resume has been heavily padded due to his cheap wickets on Indian wickets, but he has looked pretty toothless abroad in his short career so far.

Posted by blink182alex on (December 22, 2013, 17:39 GMT)

It was a great match but the ending was farcical. Both captains it seemed wanted to not lose first, and then try and win. 16 needed from 20 odd balls with 3 wickets in hand and they block it until the last 2 balls, makes no sense at all.

Whilst India need 3 wickets to win the test, an injured Morkel and rabbit Tahir left to bat, and they have all the fielders out on the fence not looking for wickets.

It was a great game that deserved a better finish than that. Both sides should of held strong and gone for the win.

Posted by bowledwarnie on (December 22, 2013, 17:39 GMT)

South Africa were outplayed for 3 and half days, 2 bowlers down (Tahir not a test match level bowler) and still were the only team that could have won it. Indian bowlers are in much the same condition Aussie bowlers were post-Adelaide and look what happened to them in the Perth test. SA hold all the cards going into Durban. Fresher bowlers, top 6 batters (bar Duminy) in good touch, India mentally scarred from not being able to beat us. SA going to enjoy their Xmas dinner more I think...

Posted by DhairyBoghani on (December 22, 2013, 17:38 GMT)

I fell 'The best result' came in the end. If one team could have won this match, It would had very very disappiontment for other team. as both team was playing classicaly, you can't tell who was the real winner.

Posted by loyalcomments on (December 22, 2013, 17:37 GMT)

Bring on Irfan pathan as the fourth seemer in place of ashwin.

Posted by mrd1911 on (December 22, 2013, 17:36 GMT)

Also, well done India. Amazing fight shown. True test cricket.

Posted by cricfansince91 on (December 22, 2013, 17:36 GMT)

Great game.. both sides equally deserved to both Win & Loose.. for SA, dont know whether quick fall of De Villiers and Duminy prevented them or did they shut shop one over too early??? India, well.. I would say missed both Tendulkar and Sehwag today.!!! not as batsmen but as valuable spin options.. Ashwin is total waste so if he has to compulsorily be in the Team, there is virtually no back up support.!!

Posted by sudeep_sarkar on (December 22, 2013, 17:36 GMT)

WHAT A MATCH...India played the better cricket than SA for four and half days!! That's a fact. India has a use full player in Ashwin, who can take wickets outside India. Dhoni should get another bowler in for Durban. This test match also proves that India is better playing overseas than any of the other sub continental teams in test match. SA depends on AB and Faf, and they can beat India.

Posted by tententen on (December 22, 2013, 17:35 GMT)

india played excellently even today. with no disrespect to faf and ab there were quite a few half chances and even a few full chances. india should feel disappointed that they did not win this match. ojha MoM in his last match should be included in place of ashwin as it looked like only 3 bowlers were bowling today

Posted by   on (December 22, 2013, 17:34 GMT)

I think SA will blow India away now. If India cant finish SA after dominating for four days, it shows that they cant get SA out twice in a test match. SA came out clear winners and had it been an over or two more left, there is no question about that. India will be mentally dented after this finish.

Posted by optimiser on (December 22, 2013, 17:34 GMT)

Well I think its fair to say that no team deserved to lose after scoring so many runs in the second innings.Though I'd have loved to see something more from the pitch for the bowlers on 4th and 5th days too because a low scoring encounter is anyday better than these high scoring ones. Baffling to see the tactics of South African batsmen towards the end playing for a draw but it is rather understandable keeping "series" victory in mind(pity that this is only a two-match series). Fair to say that this is morally degrading for India as this was there their best chance to beat south africa in south africa. They are going to come all guns blazing at Durban which is evident from the character they have shown on the last day. What an AMAZING number1 test team they are, just didn't let India win

Posted by android_user on (December 22, 2013, 17:33 GMT)

For me, India lost this win, but South Africa didn't win. If I were to be SA captain, I would rather go for a win than to play for a draw in last few overs after working so hard and making a hefty 450 in last innings , would never mind even if I lose trying to win.

Posted by   on (December 22, 2013, 17:32 GMT)

Continuing...There is a problem with this indian team balance. We have suddenly lost Shewag, Ganguly, and Sachin's bowling. India without any fast-bowling allrounders was managing with a few overs from them. You need 3 fast bowlers, 1 spinner and one allrounder who can bowl medium pace in SA, Aus, NZ, and Eng. SL has matthews and perera, WI have pollard, bravo, and sammy. Eng has Broad. SA has kallis and theron and philander. Aus have watson and faulkner. NZ always has a few. India had irfan Pathan but he was not allowed to contribute. Agarkar wasted opportunities - too much o it he got. all rounder does not mean a kapil or hadlee or botham. Even someone like Abdur Razaq, klusner, azhar mahmood, prabhakar, oram, will do.

Dhoni did not show street smartness. He should have tried drying up the runs, asking bowlers to go round the wicket, attacked De Villiers with Aswin. I don't know when the next chance will come. Great fightback after the ODIs were lost w/o practice.

Posted by DeckChairand6pack on (December 22, 2013, 17:28 GMT)

What a great game of Test cricket! Some posters have mentioned the great Windies and Aus teams of the past and that they wouldn't have settled for a draw. The fact is that this is a world record for a draw, so by definition, these teams of the past were never able to get into this position in the first place. This Proteas team has overtaken them. But, yes, we're they down to the last 3, with one injured and one a jack they would have taken the draw. Well done to Faf and AB and the rest of the boys. This team fights until the end.

Posted by PrasPunter on (December 22, 2013, 17:27 GMT)

Thought it was india's test to win. SA did well to come this close. Dont think they will be disappointed with that effort anyway. May be the indians didnt put the runs on the board quickly towards end of day 3/ day 4 to give lot of time to bowl SA out ?? Not sure. Given that SA were short of 2 bowlers ( Morkel injured and Tahir is hardly effective ), indians seem to have missed a trick or two by not scoring quickly against a depleted tired bowling attack. All these in hindsight. But it appears the disappointment is more with india than with SA for not finishing it out.

Posted by   on (December 22, 2013, 17:25 GMT)

Absolutely stunning game of cricket, the previous day with Amla's freak dismissal India were very much in the game. If only they had taken wickets upfront early in the day the result would have been much, much different. Rahane's two run-outs save the day for India if one takes a closer look. Smith was looking dangerous at 44 and Francois at Do-I-need-to-mention-it stunning knock. You have give full credit to Faf though he was playing for a day-and-a-half to be precise, cramps are destined to be there. Plus I think he took the right decision to retain the strike, even though Philander is no mug with the bat you cannot trust, after-all saving the test match was the proteas thinking-tanks primary motive was'n't it? Shami, the young buck bowled, esp those bouncers at the end to Steyn's chest were highlights of his spell.

Posted by Amol_Ind_SA on (December 22, 2013, 17:22 GMT)

As I fan of both IND and SA, I seriously missed the legendary Anil Kumble. Here he who would have given a master-class on how to take wickets on a 5th day on an away, non-spinning pitch. He and Shane Warne were masters of it. As for SA, I felt bad when Du Plessis got out. He should have tried some boundary shots more instead of that panicky suicidal run...I am hoping to see Ashwin and Tahir both sitting out the next match.

Posted by ArjunSp21 on (December 22, 2013, 17:21 GMT)

Just the kind of a match test cricket needed for its survival..It was test cricket at its very best..India now will have lots of confidence with them as they where written off before the start of the game..and what a partnership from ABD & Faf..excellent, the way they paced the innings..

Posted by CricketFanIndUS on (December 22, 2013, 17:21 GMT)

The number 1 and 2 teams have produced a fantastic draw, one of the best draws in recent times. Rankings aside, this match has shown that these two sides are the two best test cricket teams at present. That partnership from AB and Faf is probably one of the best to save a match. More importantly the post fab 4 era started off well for India and the transition to the next generation looks good. The young batting line up of India has started off on the right foot, for the four difficult overseas tours. For a sub continent team it will be tough to play in Australia, England and SA because of the obviously different conditions (from the sub continent). It is very different from say Australia touring SA. It is more challenging to India in both batting and bowling. The Indian seamers did well, but the team will feel the need of 4 seamers in SA based on their 4th innings performance today. Overall our team did very well. Although the result is a draw, it feels like a victory!

Posted by yuvi_gladiator on (December 22, 2013, 17:21 GMT)

wow great game of cricket. SA should have gone for it at the end. I think this game provided every bit of thrill and entertainment that test cricket can provide. the inexperienced indian batsman tagged as being T20 players and having technical deficiencies showed what determination can do. overall it should be satisfying for us indian fans that at least our team can compete after the 8-0 drubbing in Eng and Aus. But lets not get our hopes too high and give this young team some time as they are bound to loose a few. Exciting times ahead!

Posted by   on (December 22, 2013, 17:19 GMT)

@Greatest Game:" India are exhausted, & know that they could not take down SA despite a huge opportunity. In 3 days they have to start all over with the knowledge that giving their all was not enough to win." How many thought that this was India's best just 5 days before.All of the SA fans and to an extent Indians also felt that Ind would just roll over limply.I don't look at it that way.Shikhar,Rohit has not fired.We all know these two have the talent and if they fire and Ashwin is replaced with Ojha or changes his bowling to suit the conditions, we might see a much better result than a slim draw for India

Posted by   on (December 22, 2013, 17:19 GMT)

Clueless Indian Bowlers. This shows that the 1st innings bowling was a fluke. Over the past 20 years, on an average, Indian bowling has been the worst in the world. All tail enders can become batsmen against India. No tactics and no quality. If not for batting, Indian cricket would have closed their screen long back.

The root level Indian bowling academies lack quality and international standard.

Posted by   on (December 22, 2013, 17:18 GMT)

Lets think this from SA's point of view. Faf du Plessis gets out. 19 off 16 needed. Philander defends the last ball. Then Steyn facing Shami. 16 needed off 18. At that point SA should theoretically rotate the strike. But Steyn has literally just walked to the crease. Everything is fast, back of the length, seaming away or short past the neck. Steyn survives. It's a maiden. Then Philander has 16 to get off 12. Now he has to go for the big shot. At least 1 boundary. EVERYBODY is deep in the boundary line. It's no ODI. There are no gaps, no one in the circle. If he goes for a big shot, gets out caught in the boundary, in comes Imran Tahir. He is a walking wicket. Next in is Morkel who is injured. If he rotates the strike, Steyn is facing. He is not a batsman. Field would be up. Remember, it's the first match of a series. Plays the safer option to go for the draw. If he had won SA the match, he would be a hero. But if SA lost the first match of the series, they can't win the series at all!

Posted by Eat_Sleep_Play_Cricket on (December 22, 2013, 17:18 GMT)

It was funny when commentators started questioning India's #2 pos and within minutes later they had no words to describe the result. Crowds were left baffled after philander refused to take single! As a spectator i would take a loss after fighting so hard than a draw. Perfect setting for 2nd test !All the best teams!

Posted by   on (December 22, 2013, 17:17 GMT)

Great match. But India should have won it fair and square. They let SA off the hook in the first innings. Then they dropped catches. In the 2nd innings India should have stretched the lead to 500. In the modern game, some teams have started chasing big totals. India did not know what target to set. It was almost as if they had decided that 400 was not gettable. How wrong. Cricket has changed because of ODIs. Kohli got out and then India did not do well. Had one of the catches been held - smith of Kohli, and two by pujara at forward short leg could have changed the game. Aswin and Rohit dropped catches.

I had said that fauf was the key. India should have realized why he was promoted - just to change things and also he was confident after Adelaide. Dhoni must groom an allrounder. He is too stubborn - why did he not allow any fast bowler to bowl round the wicket? At times if wickets dont fall, he should have set a semi defensive field say with 200 still to get and change things.

Posted by BostonFan on (December 22, 2013, 17:16 GMT)

Long back had heard, 'Cricket by chance (and badminton by dance)'. Seems the biggest chance of 'em all is the pitch. In golf the greens and the rough have quite an effect but in no other sport does the playing field have as much effect as in cricket.

You really are playing the pitch rather than the opponents. No matter how interesting the 5-day format is, it really boils down to how the pitch holds over this long stretch. In old times there used to be a rest day in which the pitch was rolled and that had a quite an unpredictable effect.

Nevertheless, what a match!

Posted by rocket123 on (December 22, 2013, 17:16 GMT)

Well, a great test match. At the end, it is India who was at the receiving end knowing fully, with 458 runs they had the match in the kitty. SA came out the strongest and showed the weak and limp India bowling attack. This is just one off performance from India. At least after losing 8 on the trot abroad, one performance like this could have been expected. India should have won this match given the wicket's nature and unbelievably huge mountain SA had to climb. The end result proved that SA was mentally tougher and skillwise way ahead of this Indian outfit. At the end of 4th day, it was expected that India would win it but it was SA which made 2 other results possible, India lose or draw. So India need not be carried away with this performance becuase it was found wanting on the 5th day. Lucky that Amla did not click, and Kallis outrageous LBW. In a nutshell, it was SA that made this test so riveting on the final day and India was just going with the motions waiting for sthg.

Posted by espncricinfomobile on (December 22, 2013, 17:13 GMT)

I think it's a genuine choice by philander and steyn to force a draw though score seems reachable Just imagine if gng for shots and loosing wickets then it's left for injured morkel and Tahir which is very risky things hence after faf wicket most sensible thing is to play for draw over all it's a moral win for saf after snatching victory from India on last day

Posted by thinkgood on (December 22, 2013, 17:13 GMT)

Is it a must to have Ashwin in the playing XI all the time whether he is useful or not ? Why was he playing instead of Buvi who could have gotten better purchase off this pitch. Ashwin's away record is very poor. Even if we needed a spinner, Ojha or Jaddu would have been a better choice on away tours. Team selection for playing XI must be thought about better at least for the next match in Durban.

Posted by neo-galactico on (December 22, 2013, 17:12 GMT)

It was tense for most of the last session, and the cricket we were witnessing was superb. The end though was an anticlimax of epic proportions. SA should've gone for the win there 16 of 3 overs with Dhoni posting everyone on the boundary is gettable. On the other hand, this will be a bitter-sweet for the Indians having dominated the Test Match for 3 and a half days and setting an improbable target they would've expected to win. But in that final hour they would have taken a draw in a heartbeat if it was offered to them. Good match with ebbs and flows

Posted by   on (December 22, 2013, 17:11 GMT)

India was poor? Give me a break guys, You first write of these young Indians, and when they made the match out of it, not saying they were poor. These are young kids almost 80% of them playing tests in SA for the first time.

Well done boys and thanks for making 1 billion proud. We drew because of our defensive captain, but rest fought hard! Well done.

Posted by Suggsy on (December 22, 2013, 17:11 GMT)

I've just read a lot of comments about how India's bowling was dull, but I have to put this out there. Pujara and Kohli batted about 60 overs, the same length as AB and Faf. During that time, the ball did beat the bat on a few occasions but during the AB - Faf partnership, there were a number of balls beating the bat against them too. The Indians seemed to be just as untroubled by the SA attack as the S African's were to the Indian attack.

Posted by   on (December 22, 2013, 17:09 GMT)

What happened there in the last 4 overs! How could SA not go for a win from where they were. Maybe they would have lost but at least they would have given it their best shot. I'd be furious if I were a SA fan.

Posted by   on (December 22, 2013, 17:08 GMT)

All those asking about India's poor bowling....Guys SA managed to get the picth rolled by a heavy roller twice, once when they started the innings and then today morning which flattened out the pitch, it was hardly swinging.

It was okay bowling performance, but we lost because of Dhoni's favorite defensive captaincy and missed the 4th pacer in place of hopeless Ashwin overseas.

Posted by landl47 on (December 22, 2013, 17:08 GMT)

Perhaps someone from SA can explain why, when this team had a chance to make history and go down as a great side, they didn't even attempt it in the last 4 overs. The only answer I can come up with was that they were afraid of losing.

Up till then, it was a wonderful game.

Posted by   on (December 22, 2013, 17:06 GMT)

tremendous effort and character from both teams.. I feel it is a deserved result. Had SA won, it would undermine India's excellence and how they have played throughout first four days. There is nothing much of a difference between the teams now which everybody expected before the series. Indian seamers enjoying SA conditions and their batsmen adapting to conditions very well. Pity that it was only a two match series. Expecting some great stuff in the next match !! And special thanks to Fuf and AB who made it this interesting...

Posted by samincolumbia on (December 22, 2013, 17:05 GMT)

India played the better cricket than SA for four and half days!! That's a fact. India has a useless player in Ashwin, who cannot take wickets outside India. Dhoni should get Jadeja in for Durban. This test match also proves that India is thousand better playing overseas than any of the other sub continental teams. SA survived due to AB and Faf, and they were supposed to roll over India. lol.

Posted by Protears on (December 22, 2013, 17:03 GMT)

I am hoping Abbott replaces Morkel and I am expecting Robbie P to replace Tahir as spin in SA is pretty much a holding role, in these conditions Tahir is not the right option add the fact that Robbie P has good batting technique it lengthens the order and gives us a containing spinner. A change that everyone wants to see is De Kock in and probably Duminy out.

Posted by cricket-is-passion on (December 22, 2013, 17:01 GMT)

wow what a match, enjoyed every moment of it. Both the teams deserve a win, it would have been more satisfactory to be tie. Great game, good fight, great character. Good luck for second test, hoping to have similar fight and wanted India to win in a tough fight.

Posted by kirands on (December 22, 2013, 17:00 GMT)

It was like going back to 34 years ago, to The Oval 1979 all over as South Africa fell tantalisingly short today by a mere 8 runs to win the Test after fighting valiantly for a highly unlikely victory. Remember Gavaskar's 221 ? Those days we were on radio commentary and I can recall every ball from that match. Still vivid in my memory. Sunil Gavaskar led a monumental chase, looking to reach 438 for an unbelievable victory. The England team were wilting under his onslaught as Gavaskar and Chauhan and then Gavaskar and Vengsarkar battled Botham and party, to come within a whisker of achieving a fabulous victory for India. In the end, after some indiscreet cricket (Kapil Dev promoted and failing, Viswanath given out to a dubious catch, and Venkataraghavan getting run out) India had to settle for a draw, agonisingly 9 runs short and with two wickets left. One of Gavaskar's most memorable innings but what a bittersweet end !!!!!!!

Posted by Built_4_the_Kill on (December 22, 2013, 16:59 GMT)

It probably is one of the greatest draw, however the full credit must go to to team India who not only remained in the winning situation for four days but also managed to draw the game when the odds were against them.

Frankly speaking I was bit disappointed with SA for not throwing the killer blow. If India was in the same situation, they would have gone for the win even at the expense of losing it.

In this test series India has a big advantage over SA and that is the iceman Dhoni. This guy hardly panic and makes the right decisions even at the most dire situations.

Posted by THE_MIZ on (December 22, 2013, 16:59 GMT)

@Mitty and @BrutalAnalyst and all those slating Smith for being "defensive" if you watched the post match, you would see that Smith says that the decision was Philander and Steyn's entirely. Also do you guys realise that with Morkel's injury he could barely bat, and tahir is a walking wicket so effectively they were on the last pair...after working so hard and then lose would have been a huge blow to the morale...also consider that this is a 2 test series making that the loser unable to win the series...the series is still alive! Just appreciate the mental resolve to save it in the 1st place...twice! As for what Australia would do...would they manage to be in that position in the first place? How many sides have scored 450 in the 4th innings batting on a treacherous pitch (more than Adelaide was!)

Posted by   on (December 22, 2013, 16:57 GMT)

We needed the 4th fast bowler. Ashwin's performance even on a 5th day track with so much to offer has been awful. He was miserable in Autralia as well. We need to play Bhuvaneshwar Kumar in next match in place of Ashwin because he can bowl long spells to tighten up one end.

Shami bowled beautifully.

Posted by Protears on (December 22, 2013, 16:56 GMT)

In the end I feel the cricket world was robbed of a fantastic result, it was more certain that there was going to be a result within a over or two and would have been the greatest game ever played. The defining factor was Kallis being given out when he wasn't, not only was he hitting boundaries with fluidity he was free scoring despite the variable bounce, he goes on to get 30-40 more and we win. The bigger factor is DRS would have made sure the decision was 100% correct.

From a SA standpoint the position of JP Duminy is in scruitiny in this format, apart from offering some off spin his run contribution is all but dried up and I do think we have better options. Alviro may have saved himself some time with his 76 but he is also on the block at this time. I wouldn't be surprised if Abbott and Robbie P come in for Morkel and Tahir in the next test match.

For India they need to consider another bowler, and potentially Arshwin's place abroad, 9 wickets in 5 tests.

Posted by Rajesh.Kumar on (December 22, 2013, 16:55 GMT)

I feel disappointed. I predicted an Indian win by at least 150 runs which didn't materialize. On the other hand, SA came close to winning. Both teams must be feeling disappointed at not winning, and relieved at not losing. I don't believe that in this series spinners have any role to play. India should drop Ashwin and take Yadav, and instead of Rahane, take Jadeja, who can quickly go through the overs, and take may be one or two wickets. Similarly SAFs should get rid of Tahir, and go for another fast bowler. Tahir will prove to be a big liability against India, if persisted with. Of course, Morkel may not be able to play the next one, so they should look for two new fast bowlers to replace Morkel and Tahir.

Posted by   on (December 22, 2013, 16:55 GMT)

Rahane the game changer.

Yes the match is good, everybody deserved not to loose....blah blah...Who is the main game changer. According to me, its Rahane's brilliant fielding. Yesterday, he gave a breakthrough for India with the first run out.

But most importantly, when south Africa was almost winning, performing under great pressure(to remind you india is losing at this stage), another run out through him. DIRECT THROW under great pressure. Dhoni's plan??? Possible. That was zaheer spot all the time. But dhoni chose the perfect player to be in that spot.

Posted by Capricorn60 on (December 22, 2013, 16:55 GMT)

Unless the Durban wicket is totally different & more spin-friendly, today's result appears to show that India needs to have an extra seamer in place of Rahane for the Durban Test if the aim is still to win the series. With spin being seemingly ineffective in SA conditions, there is too much of a workload for just three frontline seamers & particularly when one of them is a 35 year old injury-prone veteran who has just come back into the team after a year out. Had it been one of one main seamers who got injured during this Jo'burg Test instead of Morkel, we would have lost this match handsomely as we obviously don't have a back-up seam-bowling all-rounder like Kallis.

Posted by   on (December 22, 2013, 16:53 GMT)

Ishant, Shami bowled their hearts out. SA was lucky that they managed to get heavy roller two times that flattened out the pitch completely. Still India bowled tight lines and made it difficult to chase for SA.

Oh Boy! This young Indian team played well and gave SA run for the money!

Posted by tinkertinker on (December 22, 2013, 16:52 GMT)

Greatest draw?

Could you imagine the aussies shutting the game down when 7 down?

Say what you like about them they would have gone for it, nothing great about that finish, both teams too happy with not losing.

Posted by _Cover_Drive on (December 22, 2013, 16:51 GMT)

Steyn's attitude towards Philander was little amusing. Don't think Steyn was understanding or reading situation too well. He would be the last person on Saffa's list to be as a captain. The pitch was not favoring either side, bowling or batting.

Posted by heartbreakerz on (December 22, 2013, 16:50 GMT)

India has lost a great chance to beat SA in SA....With all the luck in their favour (morkel's injury, kallis' howler, overcast conditions during SA 1st inng, Amla's freaky dismissal...etc) india should have won this test easily but in the end they were lucky to escape with a draw here...SA has shown why they are the best test side, but they should have gone for it.

this draw also shows the lack of ability of indian bowlers to pick 20 wkts. In the 1st inng they bowled well (albeit in overcast conditions) but when the sun came out in the 2nd inng they were ordinary. In the 2nd inng most of the wkts picked by indians didnt had to do alot with the bowlers (2 runouts n a howler...etc) However, indian batting was good n their fielding effectively saved them from defeat but they have to really improve their bowling before the 2nd test (specially ashwin).

Posted by android_user on (December 22, 2013, 16:50 GMT)

well played by both teams.Fafs run out had changed it. And brave for Philander to deny singles when even Steyn asking for it. 

SA: played well. ABD and FAF played brilliantly and almost took it near the line. Just wickets at wrong time for them. 

They showed why they are no 1. Never given up. When needed they have guys who stood up for them. We have seen it vs AUS, vs ENG and vs PAK and now india. Whenever they are pushed to wall they bounce back.

Will be disappointed a bit because they have got themselves in a position to win it. They will still take it as a win from where they were on day 4.

IND: well played. lot of positives. Pujara was good but Kohli is ever superb. Bowlers did well in 1st innings.

But more disappointed than SA. it was their game to take. SA doesnt give too many chances like that to take.like a loss to them they were looking winner for most of tim. Should have won it. But in the end will take draw as SA got to winning position.

Well played no1 & 2 teams.

Posted by anvesh4444 on (December 22, 2013, 16:50 GMT)

instead of being criticised, Indian team must be applauded as these inexperienced boys gave a head to head fight to world no 1 team on their home soil, respect to team India.

Posted by Navaneeth1717 on (December 22, 2013, 16:48 GMT)

Congrats to South Africans. They were fabulous. Chasing down world record 458 and coming so close was exceptional effort. Faf and AB showed why they are rated so high. Young India can also hold their head high. Kohli and Pujara were exceptional. What a great advertisement for test cricket. Pity it is only 2 match series. SA should be charged up at Durban. Young India should be really aware of that. I would like to see a similar test match at Durban.

Posted by theRule19 on (December 22, 2013, 16:46 GMT)

Disappointed as this game should have been won by India and it was only theirs to loose from their seconds innings onwards. Bowlers for India just did ok in the second innings far to many short and wide outside off stump deliveries and to some extent Dhoni even asked them to do it rather than targeting the off and middle stump line. Hope the Indians pull up their bowling and come up with a better peformance in the next game.

Posted by Nutcutlet on (December 22, 2013, 16:45 GMT)

There are two ways of looking at this splendid Test match: neither side deserved to lose - that's true - but just as true, perhaps, is neither side did quite enough to deserve to win. What cannot be contested is the quality of cricket on show; it was of the highest order. Superlative batting from Virat Kohli & Cheteshwar Pujara counter-balanced by phenomenal efforts from Faf du Plessis & AB de Villiers late in the piece. And the bowlers kept going, kept asking questions. A special mention for Zaheer Khan - I thought his Test playing days were over, but class is class & D Fletcher knows his men. As ever, I'm happy to be proved wrong! Then there were other less heralded aspects to the play that deserve mention. The Umpires were on form ( Kallis's inside edge excepted - how DRS would have helped with that one!). And was there any sledging? Of course not! This match, above all, honoured the game! Now how can anyone explain all this to an American? We can't. It's far too sophisticated ;-)!

Posted by Greatest_Game on (December 22, 2013, 16:44 GMT)

@ Mitty2. I too am disappointed, but there is no disgrace in the match outcome. All your sputtering, your claims of what should have, could have or might have been done, cannot disguise the fact that Australia were soundly beaten by both these teams. In Adelaide Australia could not take 20 wickets, and in Perth Australia could not mount a run chase. Of course, in India Australia were so pathetic that they lost in both ODIs & tests, & the players got in trouble for not doing their homework..

SA can still take this series, but could not have done so if they threw the match away in search of glory, of some record. As after Adelaide, India are exhausted, & know that they could not take down SA despite a huge opportunity. In 3 days they have to start all over with the knowledge that giving their all was not enough to win. We know what happened to Australia when they were in that position - they folded like a wet rag, just like in India & in England.

Go & rain on someone else's parade.

Posted by   on (December 22, 2013, 16:44 GMT)

Now that Indian batsmen got used to SAF conditions(look at the improvement in the 2nd innings) i would not be surprised if India get an innings victory in the 2nd test.

Posted by   on (December 22, 2013, 16:44 GMT)

Those critical of SA's tactics at the end should review the over after Faff was run-out and the last 3 overs in particular. No batsman would have found it easy to score runs off the deliveries bowled given the defensive field placing by India and the knowledge that the tail could have been removed with a few decent deliveries. SA emerge from this slightly ahead; they had to bowl at India (a great batting side) without Morkel and Kallis was given out incorrectly. This is a series and SA go to Durban all square with a chance to win. Sadly it looks like Morkel won't play but I would replace Petersen with De Kock which would free up De Villers. Also maybe replace Tahir with another McLaren?

Posted by   on (December 22, 2013, 16:43 GMT)

India should have lost this Test Match. Their fourth day decisions were not too good as they allowed SA back into the test match by this wait and see what happens approach. Their field placing were not really what was required to win Test match as they leaked runs with poor bowling strategies, Khan was allowed to boss what the stratgy when he bowled, which suited him and not the team hence a scrambled strategy resulted in no clear strategy. Thed strategy was not attacking enough to win and that is the fault of the captain.

Posted by henchart on (December 22, 2013, 16:42 GMT)

It was anything but a thrilling draw ! 20 Wkts overseas cant be obtd. with Ashwin operating alongside Zaheer ,Ishant and Shami.Why was MSD not using Shami more instead of employing a jaded Zaheer whose wide outside the off stump line was fodder for RSA batsmen?Pretty ordinary captaincy from MSD and prospects look bleak for his team in Kingsmead with Amla and Kallis really overdue for big runs.

Posted by tests_the_best on (December 22, 2013, 16:42 GMT)

Terrific advertisement for test cricket! But must say SA missed out despite great innings from Faf and AB. With 66 needed off the last 15 mandatory overs and 6 wkts in hand, they were completely in control but in such situations, it's always a couple of quick wkts that are needed to break the momentum. Saw the same thing happen earlier this year in the Champions Trophy final when Ishant got 2 wkts in 2 balls to turn the game.

Going into Durban and also beyond, India must seriously consider if Ashwin is a viable option on overseas tours. He scores valuable runs down the order but if he can't do his main task of taking wkts, Ind might want to look at Ojha or some other spinner. I expect India to bring in B Kumar or other spinner for Durban test. Hopefully that test will be as gripping. Long live test cricket!

Posted by 801mlh on (December 22, 2013, 16:40 GMT)

Pathetic from South Africa. All that batting from AB and Faf to come down to 16 to win from 3 overs with Philander batting untroubled and you play for a draw. Poor. Thing is, India weren't even threatening, 2 inside edges and a run out. If India were running through the batting I could understand. Playing for a draw when you are behind is acceptable but when you are in full control is a disgrace.

Posted by drunkonsport on (December 22, 2013, 16:40 GMT)

Both teams i though paid for thier complacency. SA after they bowled out india in first innings for 280 and India after they took the first 2 wickets of SA's 2nd innings ,each thought they had the game in thier hand. Maybe a combination of ODI and test cricket would make such draws a thing of the past. What about each team having 120 overs max each innings to play. Any thoughts??

Posted by   on (December 22, 2013, 16:38 GMT)

India drew this match because of Dhoni's defensive captaincy. Whydidnt he let Shami bowl for so long? Why was he dragging zaheer khan? We would have won 2010 series in SA as well, had he not gone defensive and let Morkel and Steyn score freebies, and guess what he did that today again!

Till the time Dhoni is captain, India will never win series despite all the hard work of our boys...he will always go defensive for god knows why!

Posted by tom120 on (December 22, 2013, 16:38 GMT)

SA has a history of snatching a defeat from the jaws of history. When AB and Duminy were gone, I knew they would go on defensive. And it was the right thing to do. More than 60 balls to play and 6 wickets are down. One more wicket and you are in the tail with one batsman with his leg injured. They could have lost the match. Had Faf not been run out, SA might have won the match, actually he shouldn't have attempted to take run as the ball went straight into the fielder's hand he was very close to the stumps. But, after Faf was gone it was the right decision to go for a draw, much at stakes they couldn't afford to lose to India, it would have been humiliating. Only one team would have gone for a victory and it is Australia.

Posted by android_user on (December 22, 2013, 16:38 GMT)

what a match! Test cricket at its peak! Heroics and mistakes aside, both the teams must be congratulated for putting in tremendous effort for making the match meaningful.On to Idia and they were least expected at the outset to be the dominant side but barring the last day the proceedings got dominated by them.No second opinion about it the first four days were suggestive of a possible win for India.Alas it would be! Now the corrective steps.Aswin may be replaced by Ojha in the next match.Pitch permitting, the option of playing another seamer by dropping one batsman may also be explored.Lack of penetration in bowling is quite evident more so because your specialist spinner failed to grab even a single wicket.Sami is no way near the rythem and guile he displayed against the windies.Even half of that would have decimated the proteas.He needs some attention if there is anything at all wrong with him. Finally,India truely deserved to win this one.The draw has turned the mood sombre.

Posted by   on (December 22, 2013, 16:37 GMT)

I think turning point of the match was Faf's run out.Had he been there in the last 4 overs,SA would have won.Nevertheless,it was a great test match,and lot positives for India.

Posted by Haz95 on (December 22, 2013, 16:37 GMT)

Greatest Draw? Maybe. Am I disappointed? Yes. South Africa had it in the bag, especially when AB and Faf had set such a solid platform, India's bowling dropped to its usual dull standards. India have found a tendulkar in kohli and a dravid in Pujara, 2 of the furious four so far. South Africa have found the makings of one of the greatest number 4 innings batsmen too. Philander could have rotated the strike, especially since Steyn could blast a useful four and six....The C word was about to come again, that's why they were satisfied with a draw Nevertheless, Very Very entertaining match..

Posted by   on (December 22, 2013, 16:36 GMT)

india have more positives from this.... their batsmen gutted the difficult condition ( remember all of them are playing in sa for first time, and with less than 20 match experience), theitr bowlers showed they can bowl out any team too ..... their bowlers showed they can bowl long spells ( bowling in 4th innings in bright sunshine is no ordinary feet ).... they made the world no.1 bowler looked like a school kid... at one stage they gave up on victory, and then again they snatched it back from the opposition to settle for a draw.... remember they were underdogs in this series, and as everyone predicted they were to get all out for under 200 runs.... but they showed character..... they showed they wont accpet a lose easily ... fight till the end.... a truly no.1 and 2

Posted by   on (December 22, 2013, 16:36 GMT)

All great players know their strengths. Dhoni is special since he is well aware of his/his team's weakness. Bowling remains India's weakest link. Unlike many of the posters here (self included) Dhoni did not get carried away by his pacers' performance in SA's 1st innings. That is the reason he didnt declare India's 2d innings. Most of us were puzzled that he didnt declare even after 350+ & 400+ lead. India came within 8 runs of losing this stupendous effort. His non-declaration is the reason they are going into Durban with a chance (albeit an outside one).

Also, the much reviled Ashwin delivered 36 overs @ 2.3 per over. That economy rate helped India draw. Regardless, hope it will be Ojha's turn @ Durban.

Posted by   on (December 22, 2013, 16:36 GMT)

Both teams not deserved to lost. this is the fairest of fair result of a magnificent game. i will take moral victory for India. Deserved to be number one title for SA. Real game of all Time... Test cricket at its Best....Even though there are some one to say drawn test is not a result but it's also great result of nerves and mental strength of persons who are played their part in..... Wonder How could these 22 player cope such a toughness on their mind and play the Game in right spirit...

Posted by _Cover_Drive on (December 22, 2013, 16:35 GMT)

This test felt better than the world cup finals.

Justified result at the hands of god. Certainly, there were only heroes and no one is to be blamed for the result. I felt no teams did wrong and everyone played their heart out, along with some superb display of management skills from both captains. Congratulations to both teams and this match is a lesson to all the test playing nations in terms of what it can bring to the fanfare in test cricket.

The only thing that went wrong was the MOM award, it should haven both Kohli and FaF.Du.

Posted by AamirKhan-SuperStar on (December 22, 2013, 16:34 GMT)

Who won? Cricket won today!! Really captivating cricket played between two great teams, absolutely incredible to watch, one of the greatest draw in history and the second great game in 2013 since the Oval test. Some of the best batsmen of future on display (Note: AB is already the best). Personally for me the memory of Amla's dismissal will remain forever with me. Congratulations to both the teams. Can't wait to see the action shift back to Durban.

Posted by Hanumall on (December 22, 2013, 16:33 GMT)

What an incredible finish to the test! India snatched a draw from the jaws of victory. India simply didn't have the bowling strength to win this test match. In 135 overs over one and half days, the indian bowlers could not take more than three wickets (Kallis dismissal and the two run outs excluded) while giving away 450 runs on a difficult fourth and fifth day wicket to an opposition up against a very stiff target. They could not even contain the scoring rate.

Posted by Harizs on (December 22, 2013, 16:31 GMT)

WOW..NOW THIS IS REAL ORIGINAL CRICKET ...TEST MATCH AT ITS BEST..what a display by both the teams, thats why there are no.1 and no.2 team in world cricket. Young Indian team is a fighter they didnt gave up inspite SA was in commanding position. As a Indian fan i was dissappointed as India has a gud chance to take 8 wickets and win but then FAf and ABD played a gem of a innings, india managed to pull back things after ABD n faf wickets. This is the first test match i have seen from till d last ball of the final day. Both team didnt deserve to lose ..Cheers to both team for entertaining the cricket lovers. India showed a lot of character and learned from their mistakes, first subcontinent team to give such a gud fight to SA in their home.Respect to SA and India.

Posted by bandyopadhyay_rupam on (December 22, 2013, 16:31 GMT)

Indian bowlers haven't even bowl a single wicket- taking delivery in the fourth innings. I would rather say they just simply thrown away their 7 wickets, Indian bowlers haven't achieved those . India is surely lack of a proper spinner who can at least spin in overseas condition .Ashwin looked pretty ordinary, might be Sammi brought back earlier. If Morkel could go on more than 2 overs scenario could have been different. ' Kohli & Pujara ' the only two Indian survivors who were able to stand against Proteas attack . They are definitely outstanding. Faf du Plessis , his innings just can't be forgotten ! #Respect Even Morkel was padded up. I just loved their spirit & approach!

I think the best possible result is draw ! But it's a win for "TEST-CRICKET" !

Posted by shammini on (December 22, 2013, 16:30 GMT)

For those who are grumbling about the last 3 over - this is test cricket, not ODI/T20. Losing a test match hurts us and players more than any other format. In test matches, its almost always safety first then the heroics. Yes SA could have gone for the victory but 5th day, tailenders, one of whom is nursing a grave injury n with all the tension - being in a superheated pressure cooker might feel like an ice bath compared to this. Smith rightly said they have made sure they have given themselves a chance at going for the series by ensuring a draw here. Lots of positives for both sides - SA fought from behind and almost pulled off a victory, Indians with no match practice, drubbed in ODI, young guns, one of the worst bowling attacks etc etc. All in all, this was one heck of a test match. Looking forward to a similar match in Durban.

Posted by   on (December 22, 2013, 16:30 GMT)

well played ...both the teams....but seriouslly didn't expect southafrica to come so far....but duminy needs to prove himself at crucial moments...not only in test matches but also in other formats.....he somehow always puts his team down....well anyways all the best for next match....

Posted by   on (December 22, 2013, 16:28 GMT)

The bets test match ever drawn? Best one I know of anyway.

@Mitty2: Yes SA should have been bolder in the last few overs (Australia would have forced a result one way or the other). But don't judge a whole Test by the last 15 minutes. This was still a magnificent save, better even than the one in Adelaide. The only reason we can criticise them is that they got so close.

And well done India! I'm one of those who wrote them off, now they have 50% proven me wrong. We already knew Kohli could do it, and suspected Pujara could. What about the others? The bowlers did well enough, but the SA top order had a poor first innings under difficult conditions. India is soon going to play a lot of cricket against tough oversees teams, I think they are going to get better and better.

Posted by Suggsy on (December 22, 2013, 16:27 GMT)

I would have to say overall India has my vote for the better team here, they had the game for four days, but completely lost the plot on day five albeit to some amazing skill shown by Faf and AB. Definitely the best Test Match in the past ten years.

Posted by BRUTALANALYST on (December 22, 2013, 16:27 GMT)

Indian fans will say right result great cricket good fight but every neutral and SA fan will say Smith is a disgrace and bottled out of history, either way it's end is due to BCCI reducing series to 2 games Test cricket has been robbed and I really don't see how it can be saved when we have outcomes like this and the top 2 sides just playing a 2 game series ! No wonder no one was in the stadium and I'd expect even worse turn out for the final game now so sad.

Posted by   on (December 22, 2013, 16:26 GMT)

im an indian supporter but an ardent fan of ABD....same as in the recent odi against pakistan SAF lost their way once he got out......according to me a draw for SA in place of victory was mainly coz his untimely dismissal...ANYBODY AGREE ?????????anyway a great test match....credit to both teams though i wanted INDIA to win....

Posted by android_user on (December 22, 2013, 16:26 GMT)

well played by both teams.Fafs run out had changed it. And brave for Philander to deny singles when even Steyn asking for it. 

SA: played well. ABD and FAF played brilliantly and almost took it near the line. Just wickets at wrong time for them. 

They showed why they are no 1. Never given up. When needed they have guys who stood up for them. We have seen it vs AUS, vs ENG and vs PAK and now india. Whenever they are pushed to wall they bounce back.

Will be disappointed a bit because they have got themselves in a position to win it. They will still take it as a win from where they were on day 4.

IND: well played. lot of positives. Pujara was good but Kohli is ever superb. Bowlers did well in 1st innings.

But more disappointed than SA. it was their game to take. SA doesnt give too many chances like that to take. its like a loss to them as at 1 point they were looking to loose it. Should have won it. But in the end will take draw as SA were looking to win.

Well played no1 & 2 teams.

Posted by sundersingh on (December 22, 2013, 16:26 GMT)

ok i got it wrong today... thanks to that wonderful fielding display from (rahane) and hope We will give a better show in the next match...

Posted by aussie1993 on (December 22, 2013, 16:25 GMT)

india shuld be frustrated tht they didn't win thiz one sa were always behind in terms of runs and what they did in end is fairly ryt becoz if 1 wicket have fallen in end remember morne morkel was injured so it might be dangerous for him to bat sa proved tht they r no 1 in tests but india couldn't prove it in odi's both matches lost by 140+ runs

Posted by BRUTALANALYST on (December 22, 2013, 16:25 GMT)

Indian fans will say right result great cricket good fight but every neutral and SA fan will say Smith is a disgrace and bottled out of history, either way it's end is due to BCCI reducing series to 2 games Test cricket has been robbed and I really don't see how it can be saved when we have outcomes like this and the top 2 sides just playing a 2 game series ! No wonder no one was in the stadium and I'd expect even worse turn out for the final game now so sad.

Posted by AltafPatel on (December 22, 2013, 16:25 GMT)

Unnecessary quick single by DuPlessis cost them a match. You are No. 1 and draw can be enough for only India.

Posted by diehardINDIANcricketfan on (December 22, 2013, 16:24 GMT)

Sa played extremely well hats off to them. Can someone please tell me why ashwin is playing. He is from CSK. Thats the only reason i can see. Guys like Amit mishra is far better than him.Where are our part timers like sehwag,sachin. If any one like them is there we could have an extra seamer on this kind of track. I am very disappointed with this kind of display. loosing some hope here..

Posted by Nandu_Ravi on (December 22, 2013, 16:24 GMT)

Proteas showed they aren't the number one for no reason. In the end, it was a comfortable draw and India gave away the series. A better-composed Proteas is gonna tear through this Indian team in the second test.

Posted by batman_gothamcity on (December 22, 2013, 16:24 GMT)

Wow what a great Test match ..perfect billimg for 1 vs 2 test sides . Roller coaster ride for the whole day ,after 4th wicket it looked like India will win by tea but SA came back strongly thro Faf and AB , again when 7th wicket fell it looked like India will pull this off but a fair result at the end . India dominated the first 3 days and SA next 2 . Only problem for India should be Ashwin he could not be effective even on 5th day pitch .Time to bring in Ojha or Jadega for Durban . Well played to both teams .Looking forward to Durban .

Posted by Stark62 on (December 22, 2013, 16:23 GMT)

Faf fluffed the chance of a historic win!!

He shouldn't have taken that single because there was another ball to go and he should have given Philander the license to hit in the next over, if he didn't get the single off the last ball.

Also, why did SA go into "survival" mode in the last 4 overs, when everyone switched to the game? Surely, Steyn should have been given the nod to hit and if out, Morkel and Tahir can still block out the game.

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

Firstly what a match! Absolutely brilliant. Kohli, Pujara, Philander, Ishant, Du Plessis and ABdV made it one for the ages! It's no wonder that these two teams are at #1 & #2 Test teams.

I see one similarity in the philosophy of both these teams, despite being top quality side, they hate to lose more than they love to win. There were moments in day 4 for India and day 5 for SA where they could have tried being a little more proactive. In the end though you can't blame them for what they did. As they did exceptionally well, both teams. After all considering the whole test match a tight draw is the perfect end for this match.

Posted by Captain_Tuk_Tuk on (December 22, 2013, 16:21 GMT)

If anyone would have won it that would have been Australia as they have the ability to take risks. If they would have reached this far to create a history they wouldn't have backed and after reaching this far draw shouldn't be an option for SA but they made a mess of it. Well played India, we guided MSD.

Posted by shammini on (December 22, 2013, 16:21 GMT)

Great game of 'TEST cricket'. Will surely go down in history despite the result. Both teams displayed immense strength of character at various stages of the game and never let the competition down. Especially India, who could have tried to slow down after tea or bowl negatively, considering the strong position SA were in. As almost all commentators pointed out, neither team deserved to lose. I was a bit disappointed with the man of match award - it HAD to go to Faf but Virat got it (Yes, I am an India supporter). Though Virat played a very good part in the first innings, and contributed nicely in 2nd, his second innings was done without much pressure. Faf on the other hand was playing to avoid defeat and he achieved that. I am sure most will agree that Faf's innings was atleast at par if not greater than Virat's. Anyway, one of the greatest test matches I have seen in a while.

Posted by yvivekcb on (December 22, 2013, 16:20 GMT)

Proud of you TEAM INDIA!!! You guys have silenced all the critics with your superlative performance. No wonder that these are the TOP 2 TEAMS in Test rankings.

Posted by BRUTALANALYST on (December 22, 2013, 16:20 GMT)

Indian fans will say right result great cricket good fight but every neutral and SA fan will say Smith is a disgrace and bottled out of history, either way it's end is due to BCCI reducing series to 2 games Test cricket has been robbed and I really don't see how it can be saved when we have outcomes like this and the top 2 sides just playing a 2 game series ! No wonder no one was in the stadium and I'd expect even worse turn out for the final game now so sad.

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

All these comments like "timid", "disgraceful" etc are completely misguided. This is a Test SERIES, not a one-off Test match. If a wicket had gone down in those last couple of overs SA, with an injured player, could very easily have been cleaned up. Then they would have no chance of winning this series. As it is, they have put themselves into a good position to win the Series. Instead of criticizing, congratulate both India and SA on an absolutely FANTASTIC and RIVETING Test match.

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

tis is the reason why i don't lik test crecket? The player didn't want to win game due to the fear lo losing. Tis game was in pokect of saf wit 16 reqd in 19 bowl with 3 wicket and philender was striking the bowl quite nicely. They jst ned to pick up singles.

Posted by wapuser on (December 22, 2013, 16:17 GMT)

Kudos to team India a real sportsmanship. Though situation forces they never stick on to negative line. Its so good get the result in right way

Posted by android_user on (December 22, 2013, 16:17 GMT)

you lot criticizing the approach of SA makes one laugh. I wonder what your predictions were before start of play. Superb game of cricket and SA today showed the real test cricket fans why there are undoubtedly the best! what SA did was bat in the situation! Dohni went incredibly defensive, the only options were 6s in the last 3 overs! pathetic that this series is only a 2 match series! bring on Durban where the mighty proteas will wrap up the series.

Posted by Simon.Says on (December 22, 2013, 16:16 GMT)

In the end a bit of an anti-climax. S.A proved once again that they are very hard to beat. More positives for S.A from this game and also the momentum is with them. Next TEST is SA's for sure cuz it is very hard to keep the number one bowler in the world silenced for long. HE WILL ROAR and Amla hardly fails two tests in a row.

Posted by PK-KID on (December 22, 2013, 16:16 GMT)

Lucky india Survived,SA didn't Go for win

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

Greatest draw..my foot! No one deserved to win.

This test match was headed only one way when South Africa had about 150 to win. A low quality draw. The host nation did not have the gumption to finish it off and the tourists will never learn their lesson - to win abroad they need five regular bowlers or atleast one genuine all rounder. Till they learn this, they are never going to finish off the opposition twice.

Posted by android_user on (December 22, 2013, 16:15 GMT)

What a match!! All the three results were possible till the last over of the match. MOM should be shared between Faf and AB'D. Eventhough Pujara and Kohli played gem of innings but Saffans played it in the last innings when pressure to save the match was tremendous. Eventhough the result is an exciting draw but the clear winners in this contest are South Africans! - A Team India Fan..

Posted by IT13 on (December 22, 2013, 16:15 GMT)

Totally Pathetic from South Africa and Grame Smith, You cannot call yourself Number 1 test team and play that defensively. Real Shame on the tactics of the team. Thanks God, we have teams like Australia, which with even 9 wickets down will go for the win in the simnilar situation.

To draw a Test match with 8 Runs and 3 wickets in the bag is not a draw rather than a Lost.

Posted by android_user on (December 22, 2013, 16:14 GMT)

Indian bowlers lost the game again!! SA saved it for them!!

Posted by SugarFoot on (December 22, 2013, 16:14 GMT)

To get this close to winning - South Africa only 7 down and only needing 15 off 17 balls , to play for a draw.. That is negative cricket. I'm an Aussie and if Australia ever go negative in that situation where they can EASILY win and play for a draw before a win - I will support Bangladesh.

Posted by android_user on (December 22, 2013, 16:13 GMT)

This is how the match should be if number 1 & number 2 team is playing.. unpredictable and excited. Good come back from both the team.

Posted by mzm149 on (December 22, 2013, 16:13 GMT)

South Africa has really put a shameful show in last 3 overs. That's what I like about Australia. They always go for the kill. But I would say, India's bowling has been exposed badly once again. 1 wicket gifted by umpire, 2 run outs. They could take 2 wickets virtually in a day. Too bad.

Posted by NP_NY on (December 22, 2013, 16:13 GMT)

Watching Philander in this match, one realizes the importance of a fast bowling all-rounder when playing outside the sub-continent. SA has two in Kallis and Philander, India has none. India may not have a choice but to play Jadeja in the next game in place of Rohit / Rahane, just to provide more relief for the three fast bowlers.

Posted by MaruthuDelft on (December 22, 2013, 16:12 GMT)

For the Second Test; Dhawan, Pujara, Kohli, Rahane, Dhoni, Jadeja, Zaheer, Bhuvaneshwar, Ishant(Umesh is still risky), Shammy and Ojah. I am not joking; India needs 6 bowlers to win a test match in foreign conditions. Why don't they try it? Nothing can get worse than just 4 wins in SA and Aus for 30 years.

Posted by Temuzin on (December 22, 2013, 16:11 GMT)

I had really expected SA to go for all out attack but they developed cold feet at the crucial moment. They were scared of losing this match after such a fantastic reply. This is understandable, but a top team must show more guts. Even though I am happy with the result but I suppose team India in this situation (if they were batting) would have gone for the kill. They will take a lot of positives from this match.

Posted by electric_waco_WAP4 on (December 22, 2013, 16:10 GMT)

India needed somebody like Irfan khan, who can bowl and bat a bit..... Is there somebody in India today ? I know irfan is injured....May be he should do what Zaheer did go to France...

Posted by   on (December 22, 2013, 16:09 GMT)

No SA player is playing in big bash why? any idea

Posted by android_user on (December 22, 2013, 16:09 GMT)

Two test cricket heavyweights going toe to toe in "The rumble in the (concrete) jungle".

Posted by   on (December 22, 2013, 16:09 GMT)

it was India's match to win at start of the day...then it was SA's match to win when AB De Villiers n Faf Du Plessis were cruising n looked like they would win with 3-4 overs to spare...Indian bowlers bowled their hearts out, especially the old chip Zak, not to mention his last few crucial runs in 1st innings...good to see that Indian pacers lasted the test match...Faf Du Plessis is the VVS Laxman of SA

Posted by kasyapm on (December 22, 2013, 16:07 GMT)

Awesome match!! test cricket at its best. My respect for SA has gone up several notches after the performance by ABD and Faf - to come back in that fashion after being down for 4 days is incredible - from an Indian fan.

Posted by Mitty2 on (December 22, 2013, 16:07 GMT)

That was about 447 overs of gold and three overs of straight-up crap. This is Dan Brettig's take: "Aust will go to SAf next year knowing there is still fear of failure in Smith's team" and it's hard to disagree with him. Smith, much like Cook, is a brilliant opening bat who leads by example with good managing skills but tactically he's clueless and overly defensive. It's unfair to compare to other number 1 teams but what SA would shame them - can you imagine any of the great Aussie teams or WI teams after all that hard work just giving it up and being content with a draw? No.

I may seem somewhat ungrateful after watching such a great day of test cricket, but for a test between the number 1 and 2 sides for both teams to be playing for a draw is outright pathetic.

AbD proving himself the most all round cricketer on earth with temperament and talent in spades. Keeps for his team, captains the ODI's and can be attacking, counter-attacking and defensive. Great ton, and more so for Faf.

Posted by android_user on (December 22, 2013, 16:07 GMT)

india this was your best chance to win. A draw from being far behind is decent for us. see u in the next one which in all likelihood we will win. you should have taken this. our bowlers bowl sides out twice. enjoy

Posted by android_user on (December 22, 2013, 16:06 GMT)

You have to remember that if they had lost another wicket with Steyn and Philender in that would have meant that two on target deliveries could have bowled them both out and India would have won. Also the negative bowling that India were doing did not let them go for the win. South Africa played out of there socks to get into a position to beat India, but losing Faff at the end saved India the defeat. Well done to both Teams. India have a dynamic youthfull side that is to be respected. Thank you to the hapless Indian officials for giving us an abbreviated tour, to deprive cricket lovers across the world of a "proper" test match series

Posted by Shan156 on (December 22, 2013, 16:06 GMT)

What a test match! SA have proved why they are #1 and India have proved why they are the #2 and the only threat to SA's #1 crown in the near future. If there were 2 teams that could have attempted this chase, they were SA and India. SA, take a bow. Once again, India's bowling shortcomings proves too costly and almost cost them the match. Pick Ojha for Durban - remember the damage done by Rangana Herath when SL played there. SA's right handers may not enjoy playing Ojha in Durban. Zaheer will take care of Smith.

This test was in stark contrast to the 'contest' going on down under. Well played India and SA.

Posted by Pankreap on (December 22, 2013, 16:06 GMT)

Let me breathe please,really what was this match? I'm in luv with test cricket.

Posted by android_user on (December 22, 2013, 16:05 GMT)

both teams not deserved to lost. this is the fairest of fair result of a magnificient game. i will take moral victory for india. deserved to be numner one title for SA.

Posted by android_user on (December 22, 2013, 16:05 GMT)

hahaha.the indians talking nonesense here.didnt they predict an india win yesterday..

Posted by android_user on (December 22, 2013, 16:04 GMT)

cowardly. india played well, fought hard but we had the game wrapped up. im sure if the roles were reversed india wudv gone for the win. wonder who gave the orders, vern looked annoyed.

Posted by espncricinfomobile on (December 22, 2013, 16:04 GMT)

Indias bowling still poor... No all rounders and no serious bowlers... They should have won this match

Posted by CricIndia208 on (December 22, 2013, 16:02 GMT)

INDIA IS THE MORAL WINNER. India batted when the conditions were poor for batting and bowled on the last day when the pitch turned flat. India's undefeated record at Johannesburg continues. This proves that India is the best team in the world.

Posted by bleed_blue007 on (December 22, 2013, 16:02 GMT)

As an Indian follower, i would say South Africa won this match on the merit. What a test match it was, no one can imagine such a breathtaking turnaround in the last 6-7 overs. I salute the resistance and batsmanship of Faf Du Plesis and ABD. I would say India has lost the edge for the next match because everyone was expecting only 2 results, India will get it or Draw (even so difficult conditions to resist on the last day). Ashwin must sit outside in the next game and Ojha shold given a chance to show his skills in the overseas conditions.

Posted by gsingh7 on (December 22, 2013, 16:02 GMT)

well done Indian pacers who bowled with heart and pride to settle for a drawn game. one of the best test for past few seasons.compare this to one sided ashes.thats why we needed more than 2 tests between best 2 test sides. welldone both teams.

Posted by TommytuckerSaffa on (December 22, 2013, 16:01 GMT)

Dear Indian friends. What a match. What a spectacle of cricket this test match has been. That's why I love this format it makes lasting memories and the emotional ride is sometimes unbearable. Like a true battle of cut and thrust. What a match. Well played India and well played SA.

Posted by android_user on (December 22, 2013, 16:01 GMT)

The Greatest Test Match of Modern Times. This is the effect of T20...

Posted by DRS_Flawed_NeedsImprovement on (December 22, 2013, 15:58 GMT)

I LIKE THIS COMMENT.

The match is drawn. None of the teams lost. But after those last three overs, Test cricket is the real loser.

thanjs Ajayendar Shahzada.

Posted by espncricinfomobile on (December 22, 2013, 15:58 GMT)

In the end One can say that ind bowlers lack the venom to polish off s.a when they had big target of 458 to defend. At the most they avoided what could have been shameful defeat.

Posted by BRUTALANALYST on (December 22, 2013, 15:58 GMT)

I cannot believe Smith instructed to play for the draw with 3-4 overs to go Steyn and Phillander both cable of scoring with history on the line ! Really never seen anything so pathetic really I cannot believe it . . .

Posted by NP_NY on (December 22, 2013, 15:58 GMT)

Wow, what a game and what a relief that India didn't lose! On the other hand still disappointed that India didn't win because they were in a great position when Petersen fell early today. Still feel Shami should have bowled more overs than Zak. But great character showed by the young Indian team overall against SA (the number one side in the world) in SA. With 15 overs to go almost everyone thought the game is SA's but these young Indians once again proved that they never give up. And what about Faf Du Plessis, the new wall! Can't wait for boxing day.

Posted by Mitty2 on (December 22, 2013, 15:55 GMT)

This is absolutely disgraceful from SA. Shameful. This finish is an injustice to one of the best games in Test history. Absolute debacle from SAF. Wouldn't happen in Australia, and Michael Clarke would be happy seeing the number 1 team being so skilful and dominant, and yet so defensive.

Jog on Graeme Smith, jog on Vernon Philander. South Africa insulting their own hard work and the few fans that bothered to come and watch. This doesn't deserve a crowd.

Oh well, that's my 2:50 am anger out, but still I just can't understand how SA were doing so brilliantly, on the cusp of what would have been the greatest test victory that I've certainly seen and probably the best of all time, and yet in the last 8 overs were seeing leaving heaps of balls (5rpo) and with 16 runs in 3 overs they didn't go for it. A shambles.

Anyway it was a great day's play and although the finish was the biggest anti-climax of all time and Steyn's six the most disappointing of all time, full credit to Faf and AbD.

Posted by Nathan_R_Patrick on (December 22, 2013, 15:55 GMT)

Did not know I would dine on my nails today. Have to grow them back before the next game ;)

Posted by usernames on (December 22, 2013, 15:50 GMT)

Man, oh, Man! This was *the* most riveting cricket I've ever seen.

Posted by wapuser on (December 22, 2013, 15:50 GMT)

Both teams did not deserve to lose!

Posted by android_user on (December 22, 2013, 15:49 GMT)

Draw a victory for India after being written off. Sets up the nicely for the 2nd Test.

Posted by MaruthuDelft on (December 22, 2013, 15:49 GMT)

That is better. It is not fair had India lost it.

Posted by android_user on (December 22, 2013, 15:48 GMT)

S.A played cowered cricket in last 4 over

Posted by xtrafalgarx on (December 22, 2013, 15:46 GMT)

Poor cricket, South Africa have lost all my respect. Thank God for Australia, the only team with enough guts to go for a win at all costs. People laughed at Shane Warne when he said, "You have to be prepared to lose in order to win" SA were too scared to lose in order to win. Poor cricket.

Posted by espncricinfomobile on (December 22, 2013, 15:46 GMT)

This is timid batting by number 1 team....16 in 3 overs and throw in the towel....really

Posted by Eat_Sleep_Play_Cricket on (December 22, 2013, 15:44 GMT)

What a pity! world #1 is playing horrible cricket at the end. This is a great moral victory to India! Go blue go!

Posted by Temuzin on (December 22, 2013, 15:44 GMT)

Superb captaincy by Dhoni is this over. prevented Philander from making any impact. Lets get them now.

Posted by Temuzin on (December 22, 2013, 15:41 GMT)

What a game? There will be no loser now in this match. Only winners. Lets get em now India. run rate is good atm. this over is going to be crucial.

Posted by Eat_Sleep_Play_Cricket on (December 22, 2013, 15:37 GMT)

I have eaten all my nails and nothing left for today! Great match, great teams and great sweet victory who ever wins! Draw is the best result.

Posted by android_user on (December 22, 2013, 15:36 GMT)

FAF is gone. Always a chance with Steyn.

Posted by gsingh7 on (December 22, 2013, 15:34 GMT)

run out du plesis, 2 more to go morkel cannot bat. come on ishant. win it for india . use ur height for good bowling for once , mate.

Posted by Temuzin on (December 22, 2013, 15:34 GMT)

Well I am no bowling coach but am surprised our bowlers are not attempting any yorkers. BTW Rahane has proved his selection right. two wickets for him. Come on guys now there are only tailenders. Go get em.

Posted by android_user on (December 22, 2013, 15:32 GMT)

leading run scorer for india - Zaheer khan ..what a coneback indeed

Posted by NP_NY on (December 22, 2013, 15:30 GMT)

That one over extra that India bowled is going to cost them the test match. Utterly disappointed with Dhoni's planning here.

Posted by android_user on (December 22, 2013, 15:29 GMT)

lets goo saaaaaaa

Posted by Temuzin on (December 22, 2013, 15:26 GMT)

Come on Shami. Win it for India. Indian fans are deeply depending on you.

Posted by espncricinfomobile on (December 22, 2013, 15:24 GMT)

5 overs left and all for result possible in s TEST match .. Wooow what a match gd luck watching

Posted by DRS_Flawed_NeedsImprovement on (December 22, 2013, 15:18 GMT)

I am happy, bcz my prediction is almost right. Read my previous comment. I am not the big ban of test cricket.

ONE THING IS SURE, THIS ONE MATCH EXCEEDS THE EXPECTATION OF LAST TWO ONE SIDED ASHES SERIES.

Posted by Temuzin on (December 22, 2013, 15:18 GMT)

Philander is an excellent all rounder. I am impressed by his performance. If India loses this match it is because of his performance.

Posted by android_user on (December 22, 2013, 15:14 GMT)

shami gets duminy but then he is bowling like a boundary bowl every over leaking runs to a batsman averaging 23

Posted by Temuzin on (December 22, 2013, 15:13 GMT)

My correction it was 48 balls and now 45 balls for 39 runs.

Posted by Temuzin on (December 22, 2013, 15:11 GMT)

Test cricket at its best. 40 runs 40 balls 4 wickets after five days of top class cricket by top two sides. Cant ask anything better than it except an Indian win will be icing on the cake. Go India go.

Posted by Temuzin on (December 22, 2013, 15:07 GMT)

What a match! Down to the last ball and it is a test match. This game is worthy of a match between number 1 and number 2 teams. Any team can win from here. Great Job India to fight like this. My heart says India will win it. but even if you dont win, I still will be proud of your performance.

Posted by android_user on (December 22, 2013, 15:02 GMT)

47 to win off 60 balls with 4 wickets in hand. Win or løse both sides deserve credit.

Posted by Harlequin. on (December 22, 2013, 14:58 GMT)

I'm tense and I'm neither a Saffer or Indian!

Vernon deserves to hit the winning runs though

Posted by Temuzin on (December 22, 2013, 14:55 GMT)

Good come back by India. This is what I love about cricket. Patience is a virtue.

Posted by gsingh7 on (December 22, 2013, 14:55 GMT)

6 down now.come on india 3 more, do nt let the foot off the throat. pitch is a landmine and sa always fluff their line when under pressure. come on ishant ,bowl out sa.

Posted by Temuzin on (December 22, 2013, 14:51 GMT)

Being an Indian bowler is very tough. poor guys are always criticized. Being Indian captain is the toughest job. Captain has to listen a billion advice on every move.

Posted by MaruthuDelft on (December 22, 2013, 14:50 GMT)

@Bonehead_maz, on the whole AB has always been a better batsman than Clarke because Clarke has a serious flaw in not being able to meet the challenge of T20 as a batsman. However AB is not charismatic like Lara, Tendular, Greg Chappel and Viv Richards to be celebrated as the world's greatest batsman.

Posted by sundersingh on (December 22, 2013, 14:48 GMT)

guys dont think i am an ordinary Indian cricket fan who supports only when india come up with victory and not a fan who visits wankade and eden or else with facial FULL MAKE UP to catch the camera... i am deeply constrained to this beautiful game.... "CRICKET"

Posted by android_user on (December 22, 2013, 14:47 GMT)

ishant sharma finnaly roxxx..

Posted by TNAmarkFromIndia on (December 22, 2013, 14:47 GMT)

What a useless bowling performance in India. India were overconfident having to defend 458 and kept leaking runs in the hope of getting wickets. They didn't get the wickets and all those runs added up in the end and now South Africa are in a strong position to win the match. Zaheer Khan bowling round the wicket was completely ineffective and I still don't understand what the logic was behind it.

Posted by Temuzin on (December 22, 2013, 14:46 GMT)

@MaruthuDelft , I fully agree with you. And thats why Gavaskar is no coach. For that matter none of the past Indian greats are good enough to be a coach and India has to import foreign coaches. Every time these Indian greats offer any advise it backfires. India certainly needed Jadeja here. They have sorely missed him.

Posted by chechong0114 on (December 22, 2013, 14:46 GMT)

Talk about high class high quality cricket on display by these 2 teams. This is absolutely phenominal, after losing the ODI and T20 series I thought the Indians were all but done but they fought back nicely and proved to the critics what an A class outfit they are, but what can u say about the South Africans, their resolve speaks for itself. Even if India loses this game they have a lot of positives to take into game 2 which promises to be an absolute cracker of a match. Hope to see a lot of fans show up at that venue on game day because it does not get better than this. This is cricket A- La- Carte, it will be a sin for anyone who can and refuses to get to the venue for game 2 and watch this kind of entertainment ringside. Hope to see more fans at the ground.

Posted by gsingh7 on (December 22, 2013, 14:46 GMT)

come on india now 5 down, 4 to go as morkel cannot bat. 4 balls will do. india need to win tests with sa if they need to get that number 1 ranking back . ishant does it again.

Posted by NP_NY on (December 22, 2013, 14:46 GMT)

@Blade-Runner: "Luck can only take a team a certain distance". LOL, if luck can take a team to world cup and chamiopns trophy victories and and to number 1 and number 2 in ODIs and Tests respectively, we will take it any day. Look India is still far ahead of the other cricket teams in both formats of the game. It is no shame for a young team losing to the number one side in the last couple of overs in an away test match.

Posted by espncricinfomobile on (December 22, 2013, 14:42 GMT)

Super Safrica! Truly exposing the highly over-rated Indian batting lineup and forever below average bowling :)

Posted by sundersingh on (December 22, 2013, 14:42 GMT)

@prashanth my friend i think u did not heard the words of Shaun Pollock who bowled lots of lots overs there... what he said " Here if u come and hit the deck hard u will get rewards"(like shami is doing thats why he is so effective when he bowls...)

Posted by Temuzin on (December 22, 2013, 14:41 GMT)

Well Played SA. They deserve to win this match. Indian bowlers could not extract a win here. I see some posters are so desperate that they do not enjoy good cricket. They keep asking, why not Shami, when he is canned then why not sharma and then why not zaheer. MSD is there to see who is being la bit effective out of all ineffective bowlers he has at his disposal. But as usual fans know better than any body playing that match.

Posted by Srini_Indian on (December 22, 2013, 14:37 GMT)

I'm a huge fan of test cricket and have watched every session of this match. It is absolutely devastating to see us lose(almost as I write) after dominating 4 days of play. This is what I hate about test cricket, not always the team which dominates the proceeding win. I hope test cricket dies its eventual death and I for one would be happy for it.

Posted by Bonehead_maz on (December 22, 2013, 14:36 GMT)

I;m an aussie and adore Michael Clarke as a batsman. If AB isn't better I eat my hat. What can't he do? If they win this match Test records aren't just beaten..... THEY ARE SHATTERED ! Then again is still 66 to win and given this match's short history - who knows what might happen? Meanwhile wonderful watching for we neutrals !

Posted by ketaann on (December 22, 2013, 14:34 GMT)

wow!! South africa create history chasing 458. They will beat india 2-0.

Posted by DRS_Flawed_NeedsImprovement on (December 22, 2013, 14:33 GMT)

at tea, draw is still most possible result.

Posted by wapuser on (December 22, 2013, 14:33 GMT)

Dhoni when are you gonna understand bring shami on !

Posted by android_user on (December 22, 2013, 14:32 GMT)

The game is still open for all 3 results. Proteas need 66 in 84 balls.

Posted by nandanLeo on (December 22, 2013, 14:30 GMT)

I have always maintained that India is a third rate test match team. This is because we dont have bowlers who can take 20 wickets. Its not a suprise that SA will register this record win against India. In fact if you look at all the batting records most of these records have been made against India. I fail to see the glee in pakistanis…what is for Indian bowling the same is for their batting.

Posted by espncricinfomobile on (December 22, 2013, 14:29 GMT)

Where is shami..??? Is he sleeping..??

Posted by sundersingh on (December 22, 2013, 14:29 GMT)

so, now what about that DROPPED CATCH BY our extra aggressive No.4 batsman.....

Posted by android_user on (December 22, 2013, 14:27 GMT)

I reckon cricket loVing mind got it all wrong, no team will perform like what RSA is doing right now as they're more experienced.

comments such as no good bowling by Indians is highly unacceptable as it degrades the South African fighting structure which even the Australians don't possess.

Posted by sumit1982 on (December 22, 2013, 14:25 GMT)

The way the s Africa innings going on .India will lose the series 2-0.

Posted by NP_NY on (December 22, 2013, 14:23 GMT)

From here on if Dhoni bowls Shami continuously he would have only bowled 27 overs, which is still 3 less than Zaheer. Shami has looked far more effective and he is 23 compared to Zak's 35. What is the logic here? I just can't believe any team can lose a test match like this, let alone India.

Posted by sundersingh on (December 22, 2013, 14:22 GMT)

where is that DAMN rain...... what u say THE THUNDERSTORM.......

Posted by sundersingh on (December 22, 2013, 14:19 GMT)

Guys shami is not introduced into the attack, bcoz he is being prepared for all out attack with continuous stream of overs...........

Posted by sundersingh on (December 22, 2013, 14:17 GMT)

hey! guys dont say anything about MSD...... Look at the age of 32 he is having lots of grey hair, that's bcoz he is bombarded every time when india tours outside with a blunted pace bowling,, now i am realize how good philander bowled yesterday...

Posted by Bonehead_maz on (December 22, 2013, 14:16 GMT)

I tuned in just now, wondering by how much India had won. WOW - these Saffers just don't go away ! Nightmares of Adelaide returned and then I realized we (Aussies) were lucky - imaging if they'd chased them ?

Posted by Blade-Runner on (December 22, 2013, 14:15 GMT)

Well, it seems that all the premature celebrations have dried out. SA are cruising toward the victory. We've known all along. There is one thing that all Indians must understand that the luck can only get you to a certain distance. At the end, its talent what matters. SA have cetainly got a plenty of talent unlike their opponents. GO SA !!!!

Posted by BradmanBestEver on (December 22, 2013, 14:15 GMT)

India's bowling problem has been exposed - namely if they are playing away their bowlers are very low quality.

The selectors must find out why this occurs and address the matter asap.

Posted by nandanLeo on (December 22, 2013, 14:13 GMT)

I have always maintained that India is a third rate test match team. This is because we dont have bowlers who can take 20 wickets. Its not a suprise that SA will register this record win against India. In fact if you look at all the batting records most of these records have been made against India. I fail to see the glee in pakistanis…what is for Indian bowling the same is for their batting.

Posted by MaruthuDelft on (December 22, 2013, 14:12 GMT)

Indian cricketers I think are improved but Indian cricket fans are as usual not honest. It is heartbreaking to see India lose this. After doing so well in the first 3 days they went into the shell on 4th. Virat Kohli is the culprit. This is the reason why Tendulkars performances didn't win many games for India. Gavaskar's advice to have an extra batsman has backfired. I think Ashwin(he is not a bowler as all), Ishant(sorry for the UTurn, certainly he looks foolish and have no prospects of improving) and Rohit(he is obviously talented but don't have the tenacity like Kohli to succeed in international cricket) should be sent home.

Posted by gsingh7 on (December 22, 2013, 14:12 GMT)

congrats to zaheer for conceding 100 plus in 2nd innings at odi pace.and he is strike bowler. also congrats r ashwin for conceding 100 plus runs without wicket for match. harbhajan on last tour took 7-for in an innings and won the test. even in this test sa spinners took 4 wickets in 2nd innings. he should only be selected in indian tests on indian soil.

Posted by sundersingh on (December 22, 2013, 14:09 GMT)

dear SA fans,, please don't say it is good batting.....its because of poor bowling earlier (without plan waiting for mistakes) they r making fun out of this venom less bowling and another point to make , i think ohja should be there instead of ashwin, he has more control and patient that is very very very necessary for test matches, that's why it is called 'TEST' match ,,, i am seeing the SA win definitely........

Posted by android_user on (December 22, 2013, 14:07 GMT)

Mkilmi: anti-gravity treatment given by no 1 side to the poor attach of the era who manages to take wickets if pitch offers an incredible support but look devastated if the deck offer a bit support for batting. feels sorry for Pujara and Kohli's sensational contribution with the bat!!!

Posted by xtrafalgarx on (December 22, 2013, 14:07 GMT)

Faf is becoming a specialist test match saver.

Posted by BradmanBestEver on (December 22, 2013, 14:04 GMT)

Zaheer showing us the "average trundler" that he is

Posted by Harmony111 on (December 22, 2013, 14:02 GMT)

Wow, Faf is not only saving the match for SA but along with AB he might even win it. A wicket doesn't seem to be coming as of now and someone will have to play a foolish shot to give India a boost. SA's chances of winning this test are high now while India seem unlikely to take 6 wickets in 20 overs now.

Posted by usernames on (December 22, 2013, 13:59 GMT)

Guys, here's the thing: India performed way beyond expectations.

If they lose now, I won't mind. SA are a great team, and if they can chase 458, great. We have improved our performances overseas, and that's what we need to keep working on. Simple.

There's no use of Ashwin in these conditions, but topics like these are for later.

Posted by partyanimal on (December 22, 2013, 13:58 GMT)

Congrats Faf that's the best match winning under pressure century of this test match.

Posted by partyanimal on (December 22, 2013, 13:54 GMT)

What a performance from those batsmen,It's like an Art execute the game plan. SA always have in their mind is winning first they have a game plan they don't look like take risk on spin balers they just skip them and target the other balers, other hand India don't have any game plan.

Posted by BradmanBestEver on (December 22, 2013, 13:54 GMT)

A fantastic performance by SA. I predict a SA victory by 5 wickets

Posted by sundersingh on (December 22, 2013, 13:52 GMT)

another thing, this is what we were telling, though ZAK is experienced but he is not fit enough to bowl in 2nd innings...his record speaks for him.... india should be positive yesterday..and go into attacking mode as early as possible..... and now only shami is having that venom to strike.... I am very very deeply disappointed indian right now.. only one result is possible i.e (NO.1 team's Win)

Posted by tanstell87 on (December 22, 2013, 13:45 GMT)

no wickets for Dhoni's favorite Ashwin...not surprising...why is Ashwin played inspite of non performance in ODIs...he was flat in Australia also..why is Ojha not played ?...Ashwin has been over-rated since start of his career getting wickets against New Zealand,West Indies & Australia new comers on our dustbowls & struggled against experienced English batsman last winter...a spinners main job is to pick wickets on 4th & 5th day...but Ashwin is useless at home as well as overseas...MS there are other spinners too - Rahul Sharma, Amit Mishra, Pragyan Ojha, Parvez Rasool, Dhabholkar, Tambe & Harbhajan...

Posted by   on (December 22, 2013, 13:41 GMT)

Why Dhoni is not giving the ball to Shami who is India's best bowler in the second innings so far?

Posted by   on (December 22, 2013, 13:37 GMT)

India played well but some Indian fans ruled Saffa completely out. And now see Indian fans are paying the price for that. S.A is #1 and they are showing why they are # 1. Pakistan got them in the toughest situation in the second test palyed in Centurion but they won that game comprehensively. Even now S.A is winning this game comprehensively. look how they turned the tables. They were without Morkel, but still with their batting they are taking the match away. It shows how bad Indian bowling is.

Posted by espncricinfomobile on (December 22, 2013, 13:37 GMT)

It would be such a shame if india let this one slip. On the other hand, it will be a great show of determination by SA. Wow what fight!

Posted by espncricinfomobile on (December 22, 2013, 13:36 GMT)

Come on SA u got this in the bag now

Posted by Temuzin on (December 22, 2013, 13:36 GMT)

Win or loss, it has been great game and excellent effort by Indians to be in dominant position for almost 4 days. Indian batting has neutralized threat of Steyb who has gone over 100 runs in second innings. Keep fighting boys.

Posted by rickyvoncanterbury on (December 22, 2013, 13:35 GMT)

Reading some of these comments sledging cricket players is not the domain of the ashes.

Posted by   on (December 22, 2013, 13:32 GMT)

Faf and AB you little beauties. Now don't get out after tea. SA still could win it. Come on boys. You two need to bat to the finish.

Posted by NP_NY on (December 22, 2013, 13:31 GMT)

In hindsight, India should have just listened to Vernon Philander's press conference instead of the so-called-experts who declared that 250 will be a good enough score to defend on this pitch. Nothing should take away from AB and Faf's effort though. Genuinely classy test batting this!

Posted by sundersingh on (December 22, 2013, 13:28 GMT)

i said it will be the 2-0 victory for SA.... our bowlers r not having that big heart , to strike at the right time.... sorry for INDIA

Posted by partyanimal on (December 22, 2013, 13:27 GMT)

SA going to finished it their own way,Poor Indian spin bowling side can't support their team unfortunately, but it's still one of the best test match.

Posted by israrak on (December 22, 2013, 13:27 GMT)

@ Yousufahmed .... why ur only pointing pak innings of 50 all out in Sa last yr whereas Pakistan has also won before in SA and also have drawn the series before. Like india has won 2 tests in SA Pakistan also have won 2 tests in SA ... and btw India still haven't won a odi series in SA whereas Pak has just won an odi series in SA ...

Posted by INDIANFOOL on (December 22, 2013, 13:26 GMT)

Ok, then. SA ARE 127 runs away from the VICTORY. But headline yesterday was that India were 8 wickets away from winning lol. Naturally you should not use such a headline unless it's a match between a minnow and a top side. Underestimating the world's number one test team and overestimating some mediocre team who are weak out side sub continent(got hammered 4-0 twice) is quite absurd!

Posted by sumit1982 on (December 22, 2013, 13:25 GMT)

India & Pakistan cricket team world most unpredictable team you never known the result till the match end.

Posted by espncricinfomobile on (December 22, 2013, 13:25 GMT)

SA should try to win this game. They have enough wicket to fight. Let see !!! AB and FaF will make it !!!

Posted by android_user on (December 22, 2013, 13:24 GMT)

Really expecting the same for 10 overs after lunch but if no wickets fall SA will possibly aim for the target. De Villiers could possibly accelerate with Du Plessis carrying on blocking out.

Posted by wapuser on (December 22, 2013, 13:21 GMT)

Now only thing can win match for india "Dhoni's Fortune"

Posted by wapuser on (December 22, 2013, 13:20 GMT)

Exceptional batting from both the batsmen...its not easy to sink in but I think we r losing this one...tough luck...

Posted by   on (December 22, 2013, 13:20 GMT)

Still not out of reach guys. India can still win. just 2 wickets away. Ashwin will have to contribute. and stop the boundaries.

well played by ABD & FAF. dues to a suicidal run out, a bizzare leave and 1 umpiring error , Both were left to do too much but so far they have been up to the mark. Few more runs and india will start panic.

That is why they are no 1 team. when team needed, some 1 stood up for them. We have seen it many times in past vs AUS, vs pak , vs Eng. They always bounce back strongly.

I think SA should still go at same pace for 1 hour and try not to loose any wicket and then in last hour they can see whats required on how many balls.

Posted by   on (December 22, 2013, 13:19 GMT)

Obvious WIN for SA... Poor bowling on the last day by India

Posted by android_user on (December 22, 2013, 13:19 GMT)

Very poor show by our Bowlers.They need to be exposed to similar conditions here in India so that they do not get zeroed when playing abroad.

Posted by aussie1993 on (December 22, 2013, 13:18 GMT)

brilliant performance by faf and abd repeating adelaide incident but this tym for winning still a far way ahead but sa on good postion

Posted by android_user on (December 22, 2013, 13:17 GMT)

we can nt say until in cricket last bowl is delivered .cricket is very unpredictable .

Posted by Eat_Sleep_Play_Cricket on (December 22, 2013, 13:15 GMT)

@NalakaFairly: For other subcontinent teams to be in this position first they need to score runs. We have seen in the past how teams were bundled out within 3 days including SL and Pakistan. Kudos to India for such a fighting spirit and that is why they are #2. Winning or losing is part of the game but from this young brigade the fight has been extra ordinary. #1 team made to sweat till the last minute is already a victory for India. A win would be icing on cake! Kudos to Blues! Well played. Hang in there and you will be smelling victory very soon.

Posted by espncricinfomobile on (December 22, 2013, 13:15 GMT)

I guess the better way for india to win the second test is to play 6 bowlers and 5 batsman..

Posted by rjain76 on (December 22, 2013, 13:14 GMT)

To me India is missing their part time bowlers like Sehwag, Sachin and Yuvi. When none of the main bowlers were able to give a break, these guys did provide and more importantly if it is a turning pitch they made difficult. I have not seen such a turn by Ashwin ever.

Posted by izzidole on (December 22, 2013, 13:13 GMT)

This reminds me of the third and final test against Australia at the Adelaide Oval exactly one year ago where South Africa hung onto a draw. But this time South Africa could win. Once again it is De Villiers and Du Plesis who have been involved in a rescue mission. An interesting finish is on the cards.

Posted by Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on (December 22, 2013, 13:12 GMT)

If SA wins, blame has to be straight on Zaheer for his ridiculous thinking or the lack of it. If SA draws, blame has to be straight on Zaheer for his ridiculous thinking or the lack of it. If India wins, it doesn't really look so authoritative now. Zaheer's bowling was absolutely bereft of any method or logic or plot. His approach has been that of chance, luck and put it there, the ball will do the rest. Seriously? Shame!!! Is that how you approach the final day when the opposition is firmly on mat when Peterson was dismissed courtesy a fiery spell from a 23 year old rookie called Shami???? Zaheer should be ashamed of his around the wicket approach for the whole day. Beggars belief!!!

Posted by android_user on (December 22, 2013, 13:12 GMT)

India do something.Time is running out.Give Shami the ball Dhoni.Your pride is at stake

Posted by Silverbails on (December 22, 2013, 13:10 GMT)

Looking like another SA victory. Yet another indisciplined performance from this Indian Test bowling unit. Poor from India. It'll take something extra special from India after tea to pull this one from the fire. Let's hope for a miracle!!

Posted by espncricinfomobile on (December 22, 2013, 13:04 GMT)

This will be one for the records. SA will win this match.

Posted by   on (December 22, 2013, 13:04 GMT)

There's a reason why SA is the no 1 test team in the world. Although it's extremely disheartening for an Indian fan, this is exceptional batting by Faf and AB.

Posted by Diaz54 on (December 22, 2013, 13:02 GMT)

Kallis shocker! DRS would have given him justice.,shame because he was in great touch! He wanted to respond to Kholi who had 2 great knocks! I am a neutral,,but SA have been very unlucky!!

Posted by wapuser on (December 22, 2013, 12:57 GMT)

poor bowling poor feilding by indian..ashwin never be a successfull bowler like harbhajan on overseas pitches

Posted by Yousufahmed1 on (December 22, 2013, 12:57 GMT)

Hate comments are starting now. Sad thing is that if India loses people will say how Indian bowlers are bad rather than saying that SA batted beautifully. Shami and Ishant has beaten the bat so many times, edges going at places where there are no fielders and its the resilience by SA batsmen which is admirable. But what will the fans of a team understand who were bowled out for less than 50.

Posted by kh1902 on (December 22, 2013, 12:56 GMT)

The Indian bowlers have never had the ability to take 20 wickets outside the subcontinent. It would have been a surprise if South Africa didn't win. What de Villiers and Du Plessis are doing now should have been done three days ago against this bowling attack. It's a credit to India's batsmen over the years that they've helped the team save face on occasions. Virat Kohli will end up like Dravid and Tendulkar. A great batsman in a team which lacks the ability to win.

Posted by Mitty2 on (December 22, 2013, 12:55 GMT)

This makes me so happy that India are being Faffed. As an Australian I know that terrible Faffing feeling when your dominating the first four days and on the brink of a certain victory... Only to be deprived by one precariously talented Faf. I just wish that our Shane Watson had this temperament, and he might actually be a decent test batsman. Oh and credit to the world's number one batsman (although Clarke's better) in ABD. Truly a great batsman to watch and it's testament to his ability that he can both attack so well (vs us in Perth) and save the team (Adelaide/now).

I'm speaking where it's 4/318 and SA are only 140 odd away from victory. Truly the number one team and if they win this it would have to go down as one of the greatest ever test wins (with the world record fourth innings chase). Even a draw is an amazing effort. C'mon Saffers - I'm staying up for this.

Posted by android_user on (December 22, 2013, 12:52 GMT)

from now on only 2 results are possible either SA win or draw..I don't think India can win from any means..but nothing to take away from India they have showed lot of character n given tough competition.. hope for d best...

Posted by wapuser on (December 22, 2013, 12:45 GMT)

Give shami the damn ball Dhoni

Posted by wapuser on (December 22, 2013, 12:43 GMT)

South Africa might win this one !

Posted by Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on (December 22, 2013, 12:40 GMT)

BTW, for the most part of this inning Zaheer is back to his old self bowling in mid to high 120s. That around the wicket itself cuts down your pace. And the fact that he is bowling around the wicket is not helping in the first place. You would use around the wicket as a surprise angle not as a regular angle. He is depending on that occasional surprise low or shooter and missing out on a whole lot of opportunities that over the wicket would give him. Anybody who depends on such luck and chance will not have long lasting success. This is heart breaking to see. Ridiculous!! Shame!!!

Posted by INDIANFOOL on (December 22, 2013, 12:40 GMT)

Lol there we go. Like we expected Indian mediocre bowlers struggling to take wickets even with a situation that clearly favors India. If SL or Pakistan are put in to s same situation their bowlers would have done better for sure. As always Indian bowling is average at best. And SA...can still win the match making history lol.

The only possibilities for here are SA winning or a draw. Indian bowlers are not good enough to take 20 wickets in a test match outside sub continent. Lol.

Wish you all the best SA. Well done. India are yet to win a match in this tour :)

Posted by   on (December 22, 2013, 12:38 GMT)

Utter bad luck from Zaheer Khan to not to get even one wicket out of the three reapers.

Posted by ABLcric on (December 22, 2013, 12:38 GMT)

Amazing, I don't see any comments about Kallis invalid dismissal. TV replay showed clear bat/pad. He was NOT OUT. Though, people praise Zaheer's 300th wicket, but it was not his wicket. But, the most outstanding example set by this role model was that Kallis did not show any disrespect for the umpire who made this grave error. TV replays should show this to all new and young cricketers to set good example about how not to be reactive and keep and stay within the values of 'cricket' Great example set by great cricketer. he was playing, probably the best innings of his life, shortened by the human error.

Posted by   on (December 22, 2013, 12:35 GMT)

I like Shami and he's going to be a very successful bowler for India. After looking at him very good i can see great resemblance to Malcolm Marshall many would disagree but i tell you why Marshall use to put it on the threads and the ball will dance off the pitch and that's what Shami have, he it hits the threads every time. Alot of critique will say he aint no Marshall but watch when he develop more skills of the game keep fit and stay healthy he's going to get a tom of wicket for India. Just to mention India should not burn him out with too much T20 and ODI's if they want him for a long Test career thou

Posted by Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on (December 22, 2013, 12:33 GMT)

This is the age of t20. SA most likely going to win this. A draw would be a shame for them from now on. I'm sure senior batsmen and senior bowlers are a hindrance for India's progress. I'm sure if it was a junior bowler, Dhoni would have asked him immediately without any hesitation or fear to switch over to over the wicket. Just listen to Shaun Pollock's commentary. Zaheer is losing this game without any doubt. Please send these old horses home with their bloated egos.

Posted by android_user on (December 22, 2013, 12:32 GMT)

maybe indialoss thismatch because bowling not good.

Posted by rickyvoncanterbury on (December 22, 2013, 12:31 GMT)

To be able to play top class fast bowling or spinners or bat on roads and minefields, that is what it takes to be number 1 in the world the Saffers have done it for 4 years. if that does not scare you... Fav batting to save the game should. I have seen it before.

Posted by android_user on (December 22, 2013, 12:27 GMT)

India will be very worried if the proteas take this game late into the final session with 3,4 wickets in hand.. will be interesting to see if dhoni chases a win or defends for a draw

Posted by   on (December 22, 2013, 12:26 GMT)

A couple of more wickets and all the hoopla around another great SA comeback will end. Come on India.

Posted by android_user on (December 22, 2013, 12:26 GMT)

south africa in 20 20 modeeeee

Posted by SaadRocx on (December 22, 2013, 12:22 GMT)

I reckon SA gonna Win this one.. India bowling doesn't look that threatning. SA gonna make History today!.

Posted by   on (December 22, 2013, 12:22 GMT)

72 balls bowled in second session and not a single wicket! All three outcomes still possible , but probability of a draw surging over by over.

Posted by MaruthuDelft on (December 22, 2013, 12:18 GMT)

India are sliding towards defeat. Poor and negative performance on the 4th day has cost the match. Kohli batted poorly on day 4. And bowlers allowed a big opening partnership being complescent thinking 457 was a big target. To win in international cricket you just can't go into negative mindset or relax intensity

Posted by Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on (December 22, 2013, 12:17 GMT)

@Vishwas, enjoy mate. Cruel game this. Love this tense moments. Would be glad if India wins. But as I said before right - draw is out of the picture. It's more likely SA win now. Indian win is also out of the picture. Mighty impressed with the way SA batted. Disappointed at Zaheer's persistent round the wicket bowling - the returns are far less than what he is giving away. Shameful bowling from the leader of the pack. At least for the next match we should drop Ashwin and take in Yadav and Dhoni needs to show some spine and ask Zaheer what exactly he is trying to achieve by continuing to bowl round the wickets. Foolish. SA should thump this dismal bowling performance. Not taking away any credit from SA. It is excellent batsmanship coupled with poor bowling. Result can only be one way. Is it not mate?

Posted by android_user on (December 22, 2013, 12:15 GMT)

its just a matter of one wicket, its a wicket wherein one wicket will be followed by another couple of wickets in no time...hopefully it happens sooner else it might be little too late....India deserve to win after such a brave performance

Posted by Yousufahmed1 on (December 22, 2013, 12:15 GMT)

Brilliant batting by SA. Still feel India is just a wicket away. Shami deserves couple of wickets the way he is bowling right now. Whatever be the result this match has been a tight slap for our critics who were saying India will lose is three days. Yes morne got injured but first innings was completed and India was ahead after first innings and have dominated this match for 4 days. Teams have been bowled out for under 50 last time they visited here. And one team was bowled out for 43 in 2012 and specially fans of that team were saying how they are better than India outside Sub continent. LOL

Posted by   on (December 22, 2013, 12:13 GMT)

2nd new ball is going to be THE factor. If India can make a couple of breakthroughs with that, match will be theirs. if not... well, I keep my fingers crossed.

Posted by android_user on (December 22, 2013, 12:12 GMT)

wonder why zak is not bowling over the wicket

Posted by balajit on (December 22, 2013, 12:12 GMT)

177 runs in 46 overs with 6 wickets! SA in box seat. Now very tough for India. Target is easily achievable. India fought well but looks like SA will take the match.1-0 going to Durban for SA. Tough game this! After playing so well kohli & pujara don't deserve to be on the losing side. need one big effort with the ball from ind bowlers to even achieve draw out of this match.

Posted by NP_NY on (December 22, 2013, 12:12 GMT)

Hate to say it but looks like India is going to lose this. Great risk-free batting by AB and Faf. This pitch has been a miracle though. It has progressively gotten better for batting. Maybe Philander was right in his press-conference!

Posted by android_user on (December 22, 2013, 12:11 GMT)

india third class bowling

Posted by soumyas on (December 22, 2013, 12:09 GMT)

Dhoni's missed a trick in fielding setting, SA batsmen were scoring lot of boundaries in midwicket direction, dhoni should have kept one fielder in the region of deep-midwicket, forward-deep-midwicket, or wide-long-on. they cud have kept boundary ball to single.

Posted by android_user on (December 22, 2013, 11:50 GMT)

feeling bit tensed now.... I think we will lose this... they will finish it with some 25 overs to spares... tough game this....

Posted by JustIPL on (December 22, 2013, 11:45 GMT)

Less than 200 left for SA to win this test match. With 6 wickets in hand against the indian bowling lineup against whom a nightwatchmen was not deemed necessary is a doable task. Go on proteas and kill the ones hopping from one branch to another.

Posted by Vivfan on (December 22, 2013, 11:45 GMT)

I thought "even 250 is enough for India" Now what haha. Even without Morkel this SA side looks set to put India at 0-9.

Posted by android_user on (December 22, 2013, 11:45 GMT)

just matter of time.india have to be patient score of 450 a world record in sa arent made everyday.

Posted by   on (December 22, 2013, 11:42 GMT)

I think the match is going to be a draw. I dont back this Indian bowling line up to pick 6 wickets….also SA has an outside chance of winning this match.

Posted by Shumbu on (December 22, 2013, 11:37 GMT)

To all those who are blaming India on DRS; Even if India are against DRS, it doesn't mean that umpires decisions are favouring India only. It can go either way.... As we have seen in past few test matches, there were mistakes from umpires which went against India. So, Kallis's wicket is part of the game. Having said that, I don't mind implementing DRS if 'eliminates' human error!

Posted by NP_NY on (December 22, 2013, 11:34 GMT)

Zak is looking really flat. SA still scoring at a fair clip. This could easily turn around in SA's favor if it continues like this.

Posted by   on (December 22, 2013, 11:32 GMT)

ABD and Faf looks well set. Hard battles ahead for India.

Posted by android_user on (December 22, 2013, 11:30 GMT)

a great advertisement for test cricket...battle of the top teams....

Posted by espncricinfomobile on (December 22, 2013, 11:21 GMT)

new balls coming Now !!!!

Posted by DhairyBoghani on (December 22, 2013, 11:18 GMT)

new ball is just 4 overs away. wait & watch.

Posted by roook on (December 22, 2013, 11:14 GMT)

TV replays should be made mandatory so that naked eye error can be evaded pakistan are not using hotspot in there DRS review. All indian giagantic effort will be tarnish by one silly decision be reasonable

Posted by DhairyBoghani on (December 22, 2013, 11:14 GMT)

Reality is that this is not adeliade & they are not playing against AUS. We have a good spin bowler in Aswin. I think 75%-India win, 20%-draw, 5%-SA win. All the best India. Go ahed.

Posted by   on (December 22, 2013, 11:13 GMT)

Nothing to be taken away from India, But one got to feel for SAF aswell. None of the wickets in the 2nd innigs were geniune wickets, either they r run outs, low bounce, inside edged or some bad decision. Exciting test match though, Hope the best team wins!!!

Posted by android_user on (December 22, 2013, 11:12 GMT)

ishant needs to deliver as he is not making batsmen play enough to his deliveries...without him contributing it would be difficult to wrap up the match....this session till tea will certainly decide the fate of the match....SA still not out of this match though india have a upper hand

Posted by   on (December 22, 2013, 11:10 GMT)

seriously what's wrong with u people ? its just one bad decision by the umpire.What if this decision had not been given and then the next ball .. he 's out .. you never know what 's gonna happen. and as for DRS , i do agree that it should be taken .

Posted by   on (December 22, 2013, 11:09 GMT)

India is way ahead now. Its just a matter of time. SA has the potential to chase/save it but a suicidal runout, a bizarre leave and 1 umpiring error sums it up for them and left too much to ask from ABD-FAF-Duminy to do.

Well played by Pujara and Ever superb kohli. Bowlers are doing their bit.

Posted by android_user on (December 22, 2013, 11:02 GMT)

its evenly poised nw v got to take at least 2 in next session o else final session will b harder fo us to get all 6. . shami wz very impressive again hopefully Zack goes over d wicket to right handers

Posted by tom120 on (December 22, 2013, 11:02 GMT)

There was no DRS , and that proved devastating for Kallis today. India always insists on not using DRS. They say when playing in India that, bounce is uneven thus the DRS can not show unevenness in the bounce. I remember Alastair Cook was wrongly given out in his last 2 innings when he played in Nagpur the last test in India. Those could have cost them the series, but it didn't. When Arun Lal was asked about it is very disappointing the way he was given out, now it could change the match altogether, as he was the man in sublime form then. Arun Lal said that bowler worked very hard and he deserved that wicket.Kallis was playing very well, with a run a ball 34. Now SA are 4 wickets down, it become very likely that India wins this match unless it rains.

Posted by wapuser on (December 22, 2013, 11:02 GMT)

Last match of cricket..RIP cricket

Posted by aussie1993 on (December 22, 2013, 11:02 GMT)

all three results are possible india winning :40% sa drawing :40% sa winning :20% if abd and faf play till tea then sa will win comfortably

Posted by   on (December 22, 2013, 11:01 GMT)

AB WAS out yaar how these umpire r bad at wrong at so crucial tome.kallis was out in no doubt about dat

Posted by espncricinfomobile on (December 22, 2013, 11:00 GMT)

I guess there is a 50-50 chance for both the teams.. SA in a comfortable stage.. Had India played few more overs in the second innings at least a draw could have been confirmed.

Posted by espncricinfomobile on (December 22, 2013, 10:58 GMT)

Two wickets in the next session and it would be game-over. This is the last pair that can SA the blushes.

Posted by TSJ07 on (December 22, 2013, 10:55 GMT)

India need at least two wickets in the next session,anything more will be clear signal for Indian victory. As the ball is not swinging much Dhoni can remove his 3rd slip and protect his leg side more and ask bowlers to bowl on off- middle stump line.Bowling wide off ofstump will not get rest of the wickets. Its India that need to make the decisions,SA will be happy to play waiting game.

Posted by Rags57 on (December 22, 2013, 10:55 GMT)

It is strange that Ashwin has not been able to get any wicket yet - on a fifth day pitch with such uneven bounce you expect to find him in the wickets column - he was a big flop in Australia and has seemed ineffective here. Even Tahir and Duminy were able to get something in India's second innings. Wonder why Rohit is not having a bowl - don't see any point in Virat bowling - you need to be a genuine quick or a spin bowler. You can't get wickets bowling the military medium pace that Kohli or Dhoni serve up. Time for Dhoni to be innovative in his captaincy - if he does not do it in this session the match may slip from his grasp. Come on Dhoni and team India - show serious intent with the second new ball.

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