South Africa v India, 1st Test, Johannesburg, 5th day December 22, 2013

Whose win should it have been anyway?

246

'Shocked SA didn't push for a win' - Kohli

This great Test ended with both teams blaming the other for not going for the win, trying to claim a psychological advantage.

Until Faf du Plessis' run-out, with 16 to get off 20, it was anybody's guess which team was more desperate to win and which was going for safety, but both the sides waited for the other to make the play in the last three overs.

India began to bowl bouncers to Dale Steyn, who seemed content to not play them. They then sent all nine fielders to the boundary in the penultimate over, faced by Vernon Philander who was striking the ball well. Zaheer Khan bowled full and wide, but Philander kept turning down the single. The last two balls were harmless bouncers, which didn't seem to faze Philander.

In the last over too, Steyn didn't show much intent to go for the win until there were only three balls left. The crowd present for the rollercoaster game booed both the teams in the end.

Man-of-the-Match Virat Kohli fired the first salvo when he came for the press conference. "Everyone was pretty shocked honestly," Kohli said of South Africa's approach. "We didn't think that they would stop going for the score because with eight runs an over and with Philander striking the ball pretty well - and he can bat, we have seen that in the past - I don't know what happened. We had our plans, and that was going for the wickets but to see them not going for that score was pretty surprising for all of us."

In response, Graeme Smith pointed out to the fields set during the penultimate over. "They (India) certainly didn't have four slips, short leg and a gully," Smith said. "I can throw the thing back at you if you want. I think certainly they didn't play like a team that had been wanting to win the game. In the end probably a fair result for both the teams. I know there is a lot of emotion around, public sentiment, naturally so, but as a team I think we are in a strong position going into Durban."

Smith said MS Dhoni had reason to be more disappointed after how well they had done over the first four days. "I'd be surprised if MS didn't feel that his bowlers should have won the game for them," Smith said. "I would certainly as a captain - 450-460 on the board, 132 [136] overs - you have got to believe that on this surface you have the bowling attack that will do the job. Credit to our guys and the way we played. One thirty-two overs with a short turnaround to the next Test, there are probably a few things that they are thinking about.

"Certainly they were ahead of the game. I think they will be very disappointed they didn't win the game. There was certainly a huge amount in that wicket to work with to win the Test. Knowing the mental drain it is to play from behind from day two… Day two was an extremely difficult day to bat. Once we were behind, it was always going to be difficult to make a play. Credit to the guys and the ability that we have. The mental strength and the ability to find a way to get something out of this Test match, we have done extremely well with that."

Kohli disagreed with Smith's assessment of India's intent. "Most part of that last session, we were looking to attack," Kohli said. "Not so when Faf and AB [de Villiers] were playing. The moment AB got out, all we looked to do was get wickets and get the result our way. We were never aiming for a draw. Or thinking that we needed to draw this game."

Kohli said that South Africa's refusal to go for the win had renewed India's confidence. "If you ask me if we claim an emotional victory, we were on top on the first four days of the Test match," Kohli said. "The fifth day they played brilliantly, but in the end when they had the chance to actually go for the total, they didn't. That was surprising for us. That revived or rejuvenated our confidence once again. It doesn't feel nice when there is a big partnership. You are low and down, and the bowlers cannot put in so much of effort continuously. But they gave us an opening in the end again so I think we take a lot of confidence from that."

There was respect, though, for how difficult it was to beat South Africa. "It was not easy when Faf and AB were batting," Kohli said. "It was a fifth day's wicket, and Ashwin was getting a bit of bounce and a bit of turn when they were batting but I think for the fast bowlers it was difficult. I think they bowled pretty well throughout this Test match. They kept attacking the stumps. If you see, there were so many edges falling to the right or left of the fielder, so many inside-edges missing the stumps.

"I think we bowled well, but we have to accept that those two guys batted brilliantly. They showed a lot of character, and that is why they are the No. 1 side in the world. It is not easy to defeat them in a Test match, and you have to fight it out, and it was totally the brilliance of their batting."

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Mayan820 on December 25, 2013, 12:05 GMT

    Rahul Radhakrishnan . . . the likes of you are going to get one hell of a surprise in Durban! Bank on it! I don't say this, at all, because I believe the Indian test cricketers are, somehow, weaker/poorer players than the Proteas, but mainly because of Graham Smith's insistence that South Africa MUST win this test. Like I have said before . . . He is the best thing that has ever happened to South African test cricket. Z. Kahn can bowl him out, all day long, and probably will do so, again, even cheaply, but neither he nor any other international fast bowler will ever bowl out G. Smith's sheer grit and determination for South Africa to dominate international test cricket for a good long time to come. This M. Clarke will also find out if he has not done so, long ago, already.

  • JustIPL on December 25, 2013, 4:13 GMT

    It is hard to say who deserved to win as in 1st innings india were 5/264 but ended on 280 all out so SA came back strongly for for indian batting lineup got them out cheaply. Then SA were sitting pretty at 130 when Amla got out surprisingly and india bowling was set for mauling but ZAK/Shami got them back in the game with significant lead. India extended the lead but lost last 9 wickets for 100 runs so SA again restricted while India had not batted to their fill an still wanted to extend the lead. Then the historical 4th innings where india could not contain SA, conceded 300+ runs on final day wearing pitch and eased to draw with wide and bouncy deliveries bowled at tailenders. lol. In this scenario, SA deserved to win as they resticted indian strength of batting in both innings and almost chased world's largest 4th innings total to win a test match. Also, they scored 3rd highest total of a 4th innings. In SA 1st innings Indian bowlers benifited by conditions and were tamed in 2nd inns

  • GermanPlayer on December 24, 2013, 14:37 GMT

    BLAST FROM THE PAST: 2011... 3rd test vs windies... India facing a target of some 75 runs in 15 overs with 8 wickets in hand with dravid n laxman playing... and the skipper Dhoni plays for a draw! That is not shocking to kohli, but tail enders playing for a draw is a big shock 2 him. Kohli gave a nice try at hiding the '9 players on the boundary' tactic of his skipper!

  • DhairyBoghani on December 24, 2013, 11:15 GMT

    Two reason of bad 4th Innings bowling. 1))Bad spin bowling as duminy-tahir both gone for 2-2 wickets each & aswin hadn't take least one. We can believe he hadn't bowled bad but true thing is that he couldn't find a wicket against not so well spin players. # Change him with Jadeja. Better batsman & better bowler according to condition. 2)) Bad use of new ball in both Innings. we produced only 1 wicket between early overs of all 3 new ball.Bad Zaheer who Leaked runs at 4.25/over in 2nd inning & taken only 1 wicket because of bad dicition. #change him with Bhuvi. He always use new ball batter than all others. Try him in atleast 1 away test. He just put out by 1 bad performene in 1st ODI.

  • on December 24, 2013, 10:20 GMT

    First of all Congrats to SA than Mr. Virat kohli expression surprise on SA not trying chasing world record target, I explain this expression in 2011 india chasing target 243 but short 1 run against weak attack WI but now MR VT expressed his surprise on SA attitude. MR VT you give Thank to god who save you and india

  • on December 24, 2013, 10:09 GMT

    First of all congratulation to SA now days Mr. Virat kohli expressed surprise on SA attitude of not trying winning this test match but Mr. VT Look inner heart in 2011 when India chasing 243 target in 4th innings against poor bowling line up WI. They were not trying 243 and ended their innings 242. Mr. VT trying these things first of all their own than advised other.

  • Naresh28 on December 24, 2013, 6:51 GMT

    @zcfoutkast - I somehow also have an inkling that something was amiss with this game. I just did not see Steyn and Philander communicating. In fact I think there is a rift in the SA team. The game was there for SA's taking - the result makes a lot of people wonder. Thus I concur with some of your thoughts !!

  • ROXSPORT on December 24, 2013, 6:47 GMT

    Contrary to popular opinion, I believe Indian bowlers will put up an even better show in Durban. In fact, with the lack of firepower, Indian bowlers depend too much on help from the pitch. That is why Dhoni commented, "Greener the better", when he was told that a green top awaited India before the first test. In fact, on the last tour to SA, India actually won at Durban, while SA have lost their last 4 Tests at that venue.

  • Fast_Track_Bully on December 24, 2013, 6:39 GMT

    @wapuser. lol. India donot have any top10 bowlers dude. Only SA have 3 bowlers in top 5 still they were not able to restrict India for a less than 350 score. Some people think India need to bowl out side leg side and let them to score. LOL. You need to work hard to score runs and win matches. SA had fear of losing the match after the fall of 7th wicket and hence they never touched anything outside off or never tried to play bouncers. That is the fact. If they were going for runs, wicket will fell and as you know, after one more wicket, there is no one there who can hold the bat.

  • DJH1001 on December 24, 2013, 6:09 GMT

    Bit disappointment in Knoli's remarks - he is the one that made a bad decision wrt to his shot in an attempt to get 100 in the 2nd innings why did he not make a better decision in this regard.

    Furthermore everyone is hammering SA for not going for the win - why did India not continue to attack in their attempt to get the last wickets - putting 8 or 9 fielders on the boundary is acceptable as is the draw for India - but SA gets lambasted for deciding to accept a draw.... It was India that was in control of the match the whole time - and the Supersport commentators at the end of day 4 also claimed SA had no chance of getting the runs... So why does Kholi only criticise SA's and not his own teams tactics...

  • Mayan820 on December 25, 2013, 12:05 GMT

    Rahul Radhakrishnan . . . the likes of you are going to get one hell of a surprise in Durban! Bank on it! I don't say this, at all, because I believe the Indian test cricketers are, somehow, weaker/poorer players than the Proteas, but mainly because of Graham Smith's insistence that South Africa MUST win this test. Like I have said before . . . He is the best thing that has ever happened to South African test cricket. Z. Kahn can bowl him out, all day long, and probably will do so, again, even cheaply, but neither he nor any other international fast bowler will ever bowl out G. Smith's sheer grit and determination for South Africa to dominate international test cricket for a good long time to come. This M. Clarke will also find out if he has not done so, long ago, already.

  • JustIPL on December 25, 2013, 4:13 GMT

    It is hard to say who deserved to win as in 1st innings india were 5/264 but ended on 280 all out so SA came back strongly for for indian batting lineup got them out cheaply. Then SA were sitting pretty at 130 when Amla got out surprisingly and india bowling was set for mauling but ZAK/Shami got them back in the game with significant lead. India extended the lead but lost last 9 wickets for 100 runs so SA again restricted while India had not batted to their fill an still wanted to extend the lead. Then the historical 4th innings where india could not contain SA, conceded 300+ runs on final day wearing pitch and eased to draw with wide and bouncy deliveries bowled at tailenders. lol. In this scenario, SA deserved to win as they resticted indian strength of batting in both innings and almost chased world's largest 4th innings total to win a test match. Also, they scored 3rd highest total of a 4th innings. In SA 1st innings Indian bowlers benifited by conditions and were tamed in 2nd inns

  • GermanPlayer on December 24, 2013, 14:37 GMT

    BLAST FROM THE PAST: 2011... 3rd test vs windies... India facing a target of some 75 runs in 15 overs with 8 wickets in hand with dravid n laxman playing... and the skipper Dhoni plays for a draw! That is not shocking to kohli, but tail enders playing for a draw is a big shock 2 him. Kohli gave a nice try at hiding the '9 players on the boundary' tactic of his skipper!

  • DhairyBoghani on December 24, 2013, 11:15 GMT

    Two reason of bad 4th Innings bowling. 1))Bad spin bowling as duminy-tahir both gone for 2-2 wickets each & aswin hadn't take least one. We can believe he hadn't bowled bad but true thing is that he couldn't find a wicket against not so well spin players. # Change him with Jadeja. Better batsman & better bowler according to condition. 2)) Bad use of new ball in both Innings. we produced only 1 wicket between early overs of all 3 new ball.Bad Zaheer who Leaked runs at 4.25/over in 2nd inning & taken only 1 wicket because of bad dicition. #change him with Bhuvi. He always use new ball batter than all others. Try him in atleast 1 away test. He just put out by 1 bad performene in 1st ODI.

  • on December 24, 2013, 10:20 GMT

    First of all Congrats to SA than Mr. Virat kohli expression surprise on SA not trying chasing world record target, I explain this expression in 2011 india chasing target 243 but short 1 run against weak attack WI but now MR VT expressed his surprise on SA attitude. MR VT you give Thank to god who save you and india

  • on December 24, 2013, 10:09 GMT

    First of all congratulation to SA now days Mr. Virat kohli expressed surprise on SA attitude of not trying winning this test match but Mr. VT Look inner heart in 2011 when India chasing 243 target in 4th innings against poor bowling line up WI. They were not trying 243 and ended their innings 242. Mr. VT trying these things first of all their own than advised other.

  • Naresh28 on December 24, 2013, 6:51 GMT

    @zcfoutkast - I somehow also have an inkling that something was amiss with this game. I just did not see Steyn and Philander communicating. In fact I think there is a rift in the SA team. The game was there for SA's taking - the result makes a lot of people wonder. Thus I concur with some of your thoughts !!

  • ROXSPORT on December 24, 2013, 6:47 GMT

    Contrary to popular opinion, I believe Indian bowlers will put up an even better show in Durban. In fact, with the lack of firepower, Indian bowlers depend too much on help from the pitch. That is why Dhoni commented, "Greener the better", when he was told that a green top awaited India before the first test. In fact, on the last tour to SA, India actually won at Durban, while SA have lost their last 4 Tests at that venue.

  • Fast_Track_Bully on December 24, 2013, 6:39 GMT

    @wapuser. lol. India donot have any top10 bowlers dude. Only SA have 3 bowlers in top 5 still they were not able to restrict India for a less than 350 score. Some people think India need to bowl out side leg side and let them to score. LOL. You need to work hard to score runs and win matches. SA had fear of losing the match after the fall of 7th wicket and hence they never touched anything outside off or never tried to play bouncers. That is the fact. If they were going for runs, wicket will fell and as you know, after one more wicket, there is no one there who can hold the bat.

  • DJH1001 on December 24, 2013, 6:09 GMT

    Bit disappointment in Knoli's remarks - he is the one that made a bad decision wrt to his shot in an attempt to get 100 in the 2nd innings why did he not make a better decision in this regard.

    Furthermore everyone is hammering SA for not going for the win - why did India not continue to attack in their attempt to get the last wickets - putting 8 or 9 fielders on the boundary is acceptable as is the draw for India - but SA gets lambasted for deciding to accept a draw.... It was India that was in control of the match the whole time - and the Supersport commentators at the end of day 4 also claimed SA had no chance of getting the runs... So why does Kholi only criticise SA's and not his own teams tactics...

  • on December 24, 2013, 5:30 GMT

    ha ha SA and their fans are crying that they are not disappointed come on.... India nw have a very big upper hand.... Indians playing 11 had only one bwler who was in the below 20 rank that too was a spinner in the pacey conditions... still we got the lead...SA choked... SA allout pace attack were in the top 20 ranking hell two of them were the best and one of them was left with only one wkt....India got the lead n the first innngs...we got more hundreds than the SA team...you have 4 top batsman on top 20 ... and India have only two.... and SA were at their home ground ... still cant win... who do you think will be more confident playing nxt match... were SA have lost all the last 4 test matches...

  • on December 23, 2013, 15:50 GMT

    @Funplexhead and that would be why Australia have lost 4x as many games as SA have in the last 2 years. Seriosuly a series win is way more important than a single match and you cannot say that being set 458 to win with 5 sessions to play in the first test of a 2 match series you wouldn't take a draw

  • on December 23, 2013, 14:56 GMT

    For long I wondered what is "beating about the bush"..... and after reading all comments its clear now....... with series still wide open, SA would have been silly to take risk especially knowing the fact that morkal is injured and IMRAN TAHIR can hardly hold the bat...... the harsh reality for indian fans is that a test match can only be won by taking 20 wickets.. and sorry guys your bowlers are just not good enough

  • GRVJPR on December 23, 2013, 14:45 GMT

    I agree with Virat that India tried their best. In fact they bowled 91 overs in a day when only 90 were needed in order to get wickets and also giving south africa a chance to go for a victory.

  • on December 23, 2013, 14:43 GMT

    Its obvious that Smith tried to put up a brave face after a match where his team were expected to steamroll a young and inexperienced Indian team. Instead it was that very team that almost pushed SA to the brink of defeat. If it had not been for AB and Faf's innings, SA would have ended up with a sorry defeat - something they wanted to avoid before the last remaining test. Sure Indians will be disappointed at not getting on the victory podium. But they also know that their group of nohopers had the mighty and much more experienced SA team down on the mat. That and the knowledge that they can fight with the greatest in their own backyard can only bode well not just for the Durban test, but also for the upcoming tours in NZ, England and Australia, and also for the next tour to SA, whenever that happens. Just imagine an Indian team with more expereinced Kohli, Pujara and company who will return with the confidence and belief that they can face up to and push the best that SA has to offer.

  • WC96QF on December 23, 2013, 14:34 GMT

    If I may add my 2 cents: First, India showed courage in choosing to bat first after winning the toss. Unexpected from a team that was so badly thrashed in the ODI series. Second, though first innings total appeared modest, Indian fast bowlers showed great skill and application in handing their team a first innings lead agnst the World #1 Test team. Third, India performed superbly in their second innings, with the young guns stamping their class at the highest level in Tests. Fourth, India lacked the bowling fire-power to take 9 SA wickets in their second innings (Morkel may or may not hv batted). But at the same time, having come so close to creating Test history, SA played safe for a draw. Finally, it was an enthralling, exhilirating, absorbing, nerve-wracking Test in the best traditions of the game. An all time classic ! So why were most of the seats empty most of the time ?

  • Sagarneel on December 23, 2013, 14:16 GMT

    Both teams have ample reasons to be happy and disappointed. However, I think the psychological advantage will be a bit more with the Indians as they had clearly shown their authority against a very good SA side. Durban will be a tougher test, unless they use the heavy rollers there too! Whatever it is, it is for games like these, that Test cricket is and will always be the best format of the game for the lover of the sport.

  • ProdigyA on December 23, 2013, 14:14 GMT

    Steyn reminded me of Alan Donald in the 99 WC. A great bowler but a headless chicken when it comes to crunch situations.

    It was understandable that they did not go for boundaries, may be they were scared that they could get out. But refusing singles, can someone please explain why were they refusing singles, were they too scared that they will be run out. I could see Steyn yelling not to go even for singles.

    The mist hilarious part was that SA didn't go for boundaries even in the last over, until only three balls were left. Did they seriously think they would lose all the wickets in one over. God this team has absolutely no confidence in them or they are just too scared.

    Or may be they just chocked again.

  • InfiniteWhite on December 23, 2013, 14:04 GMT

    Both teams can bat a long time but only one can take 20 wickets. SA will flog India in the second test. Similar to Adelaide, SA's back was against the wall but India couldn't finish them off.

  • Leggie on December 23, 2013, 13:30 GMT

    A great advertisement for Test cricket. Incidentally, just after the match got over, Willow TV switched to the SL vs. Pak. ODI in Sharjah/Dubai - and one could see the sea change between the two formats, and why Test match is so much better and a real form of good cricket. This month has been particularly good for Test cricket with some wonderful matches being played in Australia and South Africa. Coming specifically to this match, in my honest opinion, India lost significant ground on the 4th morning. To lose those 3 crucial wickets - Pujara, Kohli and Rahane in the morning session, and then being bundled out within the next 1 hour was a setback, and SA gained significant advantage at that point. While in my mind, setting a target of 500+ was important for India, India collapsed - leaving very little choice for Dhoni on how he should control the game. What was surprising was to see commentators en masse seeing this as an opportunity for an India win! This IMHO was incorrect..continued

  • on December 23, 2013, 13:22 GMT

    After dominating for days, I think India would be disappointed not to win. But SA came so close, 16 runs from more than 3 overs with three wickets in hand, in this age of T20 and ODI's it was only SA's match to lose. People talking about defensive field setting, that happened only in the last three overs with only 16 to get. One or two streak boundaries and the match was gone...so any sensible captain would have done what MS did. In fact I was surprised that he over attacked until that point in time.

    But refusing even singles in the last three overs from SA was criminal and defies all logic.

  • ramli on December 23, 2013, 13:15 GMT

    Positive approach is defined by match situation ... when two new batsmen are in, keeping the field in and when two settled batsmen are there, keep run-saving field for them to take the risk ... India did that well and it was SA that budged under pressure ... India drew not because they bowled badly but entirely because SA batted very well ... well done India for competing and announcing yourselves

  • on December 23, 2013, 13:11 GMT

    its very easy to comment like that after drawing a test like that, because no one hoped that india will give a fight like that before coming to SA.. it is better to learn and admire such innings from AB nd FAF..faf repeated it .. how can he do that , why dont india go for a win, even india started insecured right from the start of post lunch and played for a draw wat will he say about that..SA just decided after the wicket of FAF who knows how far morkel and tahir can bat.nothinayg wrong in it, india had very good chance they had good 1 nd half day. wat india did, bowled to 6 and 7th wicket.. wide to stumps wy dont india attack. its very clear india failed in winning it. india is the team which had the better chance of winning it.. how many in the world would have expected about a SA win chasing 458 after their collapse in the 1st inngs. not even SA team but they fought for a win .. great lesson to every cricket player. instead of learning, simply throwing stones. very easy

  • Funplexhead on December 23, 2013, 12:58 GMT

    An absolute disgrace! As a supporter of excellent, hard cricket I could not believe South Africa would give up on the chase when they were so, so close, a chance to make history! I am Australian, and I use to bemoan the way Australia sometimes played the game but now I will support them with everything I've got. Australia would never lack the courage and will to give up if they were that close. CANNOT BELIEVE IT

  • sidh78 on December 23, 2013, 12:54 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.

  • sidh78 on December 23, 2013, 12:44 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.

  • Ali_Chaudhary on December 23, 2013, 12:35 GMT

    Pity that SA didnt go for the win. They got an extra over in crunch Situation. Yet they did so. Unbelievable. AB after taking a shower when enter in balcony looked shocked. So was I,

  • pradeepsays on December 23, 2013, 12:23 GMT

    It does look like India escaped with a draw considering the way the proteas batted. Wonder how it would have panned out if Shami Ahmed was not kept away for so long during the chase. Zaheer was given an extended run during the AB/Du plessis partnership though he was expensive. A good test match with a nerve wracking ending. However, we must credit the Indian batsmen for getting us to this position, though Pujara was lucky that he was dropped on 51. We were not expected to bat this well. So kudos to them!! Well played.

  • on December 23, 2013, 12:16 GMT

    Mutual respect for the strengths or the fear of defeat paved the way for both the teams employing defensive tactics.The sort of professional killer instinct or adventurism being expected of both teams is nothing but expecting of ethos that somewhere has a link-up with the size and strength of economy aspecting the lives of sportspersons concerned.we all know how the Australians approach their game.

  • on December 23, 2013, 12:11 GMT

    Fantastic test match. Both side can take positives from this game. India did much better than expected given the ODI thrashings & venue. Additionally they outplayed SA overall so will be feeling more confident for Durban. On the negative side, Morkel couldn't bowl in India's 2nd innings; secondly, Kallis's non-dismissal was potentially crucial; third, India were odds-on to win having posted such a large total with so much time left. SA had a lucky, though perhaps deserved, escape & may have taken India too lightly after the ODIs (they will not make the same mistake in Durban). Amla is at home an due a big score but Morkel will be missed. Not sure about Tahir might be better to play another medium pacer as this is not Newlands (MacLaren?). Would also include De Kock to open with Smith

  • on December 23, 2013, 12:09 GMT

    I think SA should have go for it because you loose matches everyday but you don't chase 458 everyday , on other hand can't understand what India was doing with those negative tactics unbelievable , they had match in their pocket but how you can give away 300 runs on fifth day , only Indian bowling line up can ..

  • dilscoop_uk on December 23, 2013, 11:28 GMT

    Fortune Favours the brave! In this case both teams are loosers . For India not going for the wickets and adapting the defensive tactics by spreading the field and for SA well!!!!! what can I say ? Hopeless !

  • on December 23, 2013, 11:26 GMT

    I feel at the end this was the ideal result!!

  • on December 23, 2013, 11:25 GMT

    @Tommytuckersaffa.....virat is not the only one, I am sure many SA felt the same...India was at the mercy of SA at that stage, no way India could win after the 2nd session where they got no wickets, they were playing for a draw but from SA perspective 16 runs in 3+ overs with 3 wickets in hand at least Steyn could have gone after the bowling.....SA blocked itself from victory....so considering the situation India won the as they drew the match and not loose........

  • on December 23, 2013, 11:17 GMT

    Out of the TEN, who given their opinion, Nine are diffident Indian and One appears to be a Pakistani. Before, the start of the series, every one literally wrote India Off, and World"s No. 1, bowler who had predicted the ' crushing of Indians with SA"S Fast bowlers", proved wrong. Come On Man, this Indian Team, which was written Off, before the starting of Test series, dominated the First Four days of the test, and challenged the SA's. This team is very inexperienced and still Young . They are learning and is still building. There were Pundits, who had predicted 2-0 thrashing of India, in this forum, will shut their mouth, and stop bad mouthing the team. We were not bundled out for 49 like our neighbours. Yes, We lack the bowling strength of our neighbours, but the team is still maturing. You should understand that, till date, No team from Sub continent have won a series in SA till, barring for a lone Victory. Come on, to beat SA in SA is very difficult,give Credit to both the team.

  • on December 23, 2013, 11:14 GMT

    @ Shafiq Ahmed: may be Zimbabwe would have taken but just about 2 years back, Australia could not do in their own backyard in Adelaide and SA made 451 in last innings to claim draw. but with 22 runs remaining and just two wickets standing india won against australia in 2001 at Chennai. if it were indias day, both Du plassis and de viliers would have been out about 10 times. and if SA had their day, Amla would not have been out twice in same manner and Rahane would not have broken stumps twice with batsmen out of crease. it was truly God's day. he had the last laugh.

  • on December 23, 2013, 11:05 GMT

    SA have used Heavy roller to flatten the pitch- 5th day early morning.

  • on December 23, 2013, 11:05 GMT

    I suppose our boys deserve some credit for showing such character against a team which has been dominating test cricket for sometime. Lot of positives to be taken from this match. Posting 421 against Steyn & Co. was no piece of cake, and the maturity shown by Ishant and Shami under Zak was quite unexpected to me.Yes we might have lacked that killer instinct..But I believe that can be worked upon before Durban..Kudos Team India!!

  • Rupkumar on December 23, 2013, 11:00 GMT

    so smith what did you do when dhoni was batting? placing 8 fielders at the boundary inspite of having steyns and philnders in ur line up. india set defensive field only in last three overs but with 3 wkts in hand you should have gone for a win rather than a draw. dont blame indian strategy.. it is your team that lost.

    you are too confident about durban.. hope indian bowlers do their job in durban

  • ashish_sable on December 23, 2013, 10:55 GMT

    What a great test match !! I will say India's batsman showed their real talent, hats off to pujara and kohli. And also great response by Faf du Plessis and AB. It was a complete package match. by the I think SA could have made it. best cricket by no 1 and no 2 top team.

  • Dr.Vindaloo on December 23, 2013, 10:43 GMT

    Unbelievable that Kohli can say that. India ended the game with their tail between their legs, all their fielders round the boundary, and their quicks bowling six short balls an over to Steyn that were almost unreachable. It was India's big chance to win the series and they choked. SA will hit them hard in Durban even without Morkel.

  • GreenBouncySpin on December 23, 2013, 10:41 GMT

    Continued... As for SA, they need not worry about what happened in the final few overs and do not dwell much into the thought that 'should they have gone for the win?' - as there is no long term problem lingering there, it's just a careful/risk-less decision that is drawing a lot of flak from the fans and media. But SA must look hard at a bigger, genuine concern - which is 'what is our plan B when teams fight back and show discipline with the bat, like India did?'. SA may have lost Morkel, but having him wouldn't have helped much IMO. Not everyday you see Steyn go wicketless in an innings conceding 100+ runs.

  • TommytuckerSaffa on December 23, 2013, 10:39 GMT

    Virat's poor sportsmanship on display in the post game interview. To claim that he was 'surprised' that SA didn't go for it makes me have even less respect for him.

    What infact was surprising, was MS Dhoni putting 8 men on the boundary, removing all his slips and asking the bowlers to bowl short and wide to tail-enders. If this is called 'going for a win' according to MS, then I must be missing something.

  • GreenBouncySpin on December 23, 2013, 10:32 GMT

    Positives from this game for India is that they know they can stand against the No.1 team in the world in their own backyard. This is a huge achievement given that our team is so young and inexperienced, and also didn't play any practice match to adjust to the conditions (not considering ODI as it's completely different ball game). Also - historically slow starters on away tours, generally don't perform well outside India and flat track bullies etc. On top of that, we were under tremendous pressure from 8-0 loss on previous tours. To defy all these odds and dominate 4 out of 5 days against SA in SA is simply extraordinary. Kudos to India and its young blood !! Only worry for India (in fact the biggest worry) is that once again our bowling was found wanted. To think that we almost let our opposition to chase a world record target is a sign of huge concern, that too on a 5th day wicket. We can certainly fight in Durban and secure a draw, but to win we need better bowlers.

  • on December 23, 2013, 10:27 GMT

    South Africa in this test cannot be blamed as they secured an improbable draw on a tough Jo'berg pitch. Indians on the other hands proved their inept with the bowl in hand and looked, according to Kohli, for win only when AB and Faf were gone. The great teams and great bowling attacks dont give up until the last ball is bowled. Indians started negative tactics and then claimed shamelessly in the press conference that they were the team ahead. For first 4 days, I'd agree but on the last day they were thrashed like a school team...Zimbabwe would have taken these wicket though...

  • VijaySh on December 23, 2013, 10:21 GMT

    Guys lets stop blaming the Indian bowlers for the lack of penetration. SA is still the world's best bowling attack (despite the injiury to Morkel) bowling at home. If they conceded 421 - remember India were trying to slog at the end- one can hardly blame the India bowlers. The pitch had really flattened out after day 3. Also those who say India wasn't trying to win - India did not set negative fields or bowl negative lines till the last three overs. Till then they were desperately trying to win. With 16 runs needed from 20 balls and 3 wkts remaining, the odds were heavily in SA's favour. Of course India want to save the match at that point rather than go for the win - its logical. However, SA not going for it is not. SA fans pls face the truth - they bottled it. Historical scars of collapses and all that...

  • on December 23, 2013, 10:18 GMT

    Nope SeanoN. This was an outstanding rear guard action by SA but India proved to be the better team on 4 out of 5 days. The big news here was the Indian spinners not making an impact; certainly a first in memory for me and in such an important match. India thrives on its batting but its bowling came very good and needed an exceptional performance to be deprived; certainly something SA wont be able to repeat

  • ste13 on December 23, 2013, 10:06 GMT

    They did not go for the win, but still this has so far been the best test played in 2013. Good quality of both batting and bowling, drama, see-saw script and controversial ending. And contrary to the Ashes series, played with respect to each other. On the other hand, both teams miss the "killer instinct" that Australia always have and that makes their cricket even more entertaining. Still, this game produced someting to be remembered.

  • sray23 on December 23, 2013, 10:06 GMT

    Absolutely ridiculous Kohli claiming moral victory when his team could not bowl the opposition out with 450 on the board, 5 sessions and a deteriorating pitch! It will take a lot for India to maintain the intensity in the next test and they really needed to win this one to keep pressure on SA. And Indian cricket needs a national level inquiry into why after playing Test cricket for 70-80 years and despite being the economic powerhouse of the game for the last 10-20 years, having at least 10x the talent pool of other countries with financial power in most people's dreams, why we still cannot bowl sides out?? If this was SA, Eng or Aus in the same situation it would only be a formality of them winning this game. Despite all this chest thumping about "brave, new India", it seems the lack of killer instinct and bowling firepower to force victories is still the absolutel same old story like 20-30 years ago. Surely we should be better than this.

  • Captain_Tuk_Tuk on December 23, 2013, 10:05 GMT

    I would say it was South Africa's game to lose. They came inch closer to the victory and after reaching there draw shouldn't have been the option for them. If they would have lost they would've lost just one Test match to number 2 team in ICC Test ranking that wouldn't have effected there ranking much and they could have won 2nd Test to square the series no big deal.

    But if they would've won it they would've created a history and not just one history but a couple of histories or more. They would've won 1st Test at the venue, 1st Test against India at the venue and not to mention highest successful run chase. I think they gave it up after reaching so close while they should have gone down fighting at-least thats what makes great team ready to lose to win and create a history and South Africa don't have what it takes.

  • on December 23, 2013, 9:50 GMT

    India had lost the match in the second session, it was SA's match for the taking, I mean 16 runs in 3+ overs with Indian bowling looking flat......AB and faf sure would have expected atleast vernon or steyn to go for it......ONE BLOCKS TO AVOID A LOSS....BUT YESTERDAY WE SAW ONE CAN BLOCK TO AVOID A WIN...

  • on December 23, 2013, 9:48 GMT

    placing 8 fielders around the boundary and asking bowler to bowl wide and short to a tail-ender shows how much the Indian team wanted to go for the attack and the win..... clearly actions speaks louder than words Virat , and jugging by the field placement and short and wide bowls to a tail ender your team was looking for an easy draw and asking dale styen to make a mistake rather than try and bowl him out. With one of their front liner bowlers out SA still managed to bowl india out twice and in the end no matter how much well the batsmen preform they can only take a team as far as a draw ...... bowlers win you matches!!!

  • Samdanh on December 23, 2013, 9:48 GMT

    When fourth day finished and fifth day began no one expected SA to save, leave alone win the Test, given the conditions. That SA managed to draw, leave alone they did not try to win despite getting close, playing out part of 4th day and whole of 5th day on such a pitch goes to prove SA ended the Test on a stronger note. Any knowledgeable cricket follower will realise this. India will have to look at their bowling strength and strategies to enure their bowling puts up a better show next Test

  • Pathiyal on December 23, 2013, 9:42 GMT

    i too have the opinion of Smith - the Indian bowling was just not enough to pull out a win. but if you look at the past, this was a much improved performance by the bowlers...due to zak presence? hope they will take their performance upwards from here and there wont be any looking back!

  • on December 23, 2013, 9:38 GMT

    As an Australian I find it hard to believe neither side would go for the juggular, particularly in a 2 test series (which is a farce in itself BCCI). While SA should have attacked in the final few overs, the game was really India's to lose. From what I saw of the game, there was enough in the pitch for an easy victory, particularly once the Faf AB partnership was broken. Kolhi's comments are quite amusing, 9 players on the ropes and you think you are attacking? SA was nursing an injury, Morkel is clearly not fit to bat, and Tahir is a bit of a bunny. For India, in such a strong position, they may have let this series slip away because I doubt they will be in this position in Durban. But maybe that is where this Indian team is at. They celebrate competing with the best rather than beating them. They have a v ordinary attack, lots of inexperience but promise in batting, and their cricket administrators don't care about tests - the pinnacle of the sport. I expect SA to win this now.

  • SanjivAwesome on December 23, 2013, 9:38 GMT

    An epic match indeed! Congratulations SA - you were the moral winners. India lost a sitter and I find Kohli's comments incredulous. Our bowlers went to SA with doubts around their ability to take 20 wickets. Those doubts are re-doubled after this performance.

  • on December 23, 2013, 9:31 GMT

    If you can't take all 20 wickets, you can't win a test match. FULL STOP.

  • Srini_Indian on December 23, 2013, 9:31 GMT

    People who are saying australia would have won this needs to get real. When was the last time australia did anything noticeable while chasing? It is all well and good when you're dominating to be aggressive but I'm sure australia would have crumbled like pack of cards against India or SA facing a daunting total like this. australia might be aggressive but they're extremely poor in chasing and they would have got rolled over by India or SA if they're to chase 400+ scores. I wanna see how australia performs with scoreboard pressure. Hope England bats first in melbourne and post 400. Then we'll see how aggressive australia are.

  • on December 23, 2013, 9:26 GMT

    India exceeded expectations but ultimately still failed to win cant see them getting better chance and the last time SA got out of jail with a draw batting more than a whole day they destroyed the aussies in the next match. The fact that this is a two match series there is very little point in losing the first match so yeah only having Tahir and a injured Morkel left, with India having everyone on the boundary and bowling defensively, there was no point throwing the game just for mone shot at victory. if it was last matach of the series and it would mean a series win then yeah. Why are people not questioning India ? never won a series in SA yet they didnt bother to attack steyn when all SA had where Tahir and an injured Mokel left?

    Madhusudan Rao - He was by far and away SA's most dangerous bowler so to not have him made a huge difference but SA still came away with a draw not many teams would be able to do that.

  • SeanoN on December 23, 2013, 9:22 GMT

    Say what you want but the bottom-line is that South Africa snatched certain defeat away and salvaged a strong draw. Everyone on all the blogs were singing the praises of the Indian batsmen and bowlers on Day 4 but the same bowlers couldn't dislodge our batsmen. Two run outs. One shocker lbw and two inside edges don't say a lot of the Indian bowling attack on a 5th day pitch. South Africa take an advantage into the 2nd test. We have bowled India out twice and can do it again. Our bowlers and batsmen have learnt a solid lesson about underestimating the talent India has but pound for pound South Africa is a better team... I bet most India supporters are feeling that they got lucky... Very lucky to draw.

  • on December 23, 2013, 9:15 GMT

    @madhusudan if we take shami out of the SA 2nd innings would India have come this far?? he bowled in the first innings too. SA loosing a bowler like morkel was a huge blow to them. he was ideal on this pitch with variable bounce. unbelievable excuses

  • on December 23, 2013, 9:12 GMT

    It is once again a case of so near, yet so far. Indian bowling lacked penetration and except for Shami looked quite harmless. Zaheer and co must understand that hostility needs to be sustained for length of spell that they bowl. There is no point in bowling a beauty and get clobbered for 2 boundaries in the same over. Learn from Mcgrath, Steyn who offcourse had a rare bad test. Bowl in that corridor from where the batsmen should play and are not allowed freehits. There would be a lapse in concentration triggering dismissal.

  • Baundele on December 23, 2013, 9:11 GMT

    In this test both teams are losers. India failed to take 8 wickets on the fifth day of a test match, and South Africa could not score 16 runs off 20 deliveries with 3 wickets at hand.

  • on December 23, 2013, 9:10 GMT

    The second last over by shami sums up the situation pretty well. Bowling bouncers to steyn with all nine fielders on the boundary. was India aiming for victory then?? I dunt think so neither did Jackers when he put across the same question to a fellow commentator. I dunt think any other leading test playing nation would have leaked this many runs on such wicket. SA starting 5th day would have taken draw anytime given the variable bounce. India claiming the psychological victory doest seem logical.

  • Tova on December 23, 2013, 9:08 GMT

    I think South Africa definitely has the moral victory. India were unable to bowl the Saffers out in 136 overs on a wicket that was still doing things off the seam and reversing... That says a great deal. In fact they were only able to take 6 wickets, 2 of them being run outs... I think the Indians have major concerns with their bowlers. And having watched that last day, in particular the last overs, India's field placings and the way they bowled showed they were not going for the win. Despite what Mr Kohli has to say... Those saying that the Saffers should have gone for the win with the tail enders in, don't have to face the consequences should they have lost... Easy to criticise when you have no responsibility

  • on December 23, 2013, 9:08 GMT

    i think ravi is not wicket taker bowler jadeja will be more good then ravi there was a little bit turn for the spinners on the last day where ashwin did not manage to took 1 wicket in 30 overs jadeja can bowl well then ashwin because he is left hander which can create problems for the right handers so go with jadeja at durban

  • on December 23, 2013, 9:07 GMT

    They way Kohli and Pujara learnt from first inning batting collapse ,, SA batsmen also learnt. They are not club class,, they are world class. For second inning both teams lacked bowling plans. Zak, Shami and Ishant never seemed threatening,, there is a need to pace,, real scary pace like Mitch Johnson doing now for England,, lively pace bowling. All three seamers from India never bowled on stump line,, it was easy for AB and FAF to leave balls and stick to wickets,,,bouncers were ill directed,,, I think real weak link was fourth bowler and thats Ashwin,, Bhuvi or Umesh could have made difference and could add variety,,,

  • rajcl on December 23, 2013, 9:06 GMT

    the luck belongs to saffers on day 5 ,because miss run outs ,edges over feilders not giving not lbw, etc,,,,,,,,,,& last hour luck turned to india,,,,,,finally saffers played well ( forgot the miss chances ) & india bowling was superb in last hour ,,,in my opinion safeers dont deserve this because out of five they won only 1 day in there home, ( safeers most dangeres in the home better than any team in the world so they dont deserve this )

  • on December 23, 2013, 9:04 GMT

    Syed, your comment is the best. But as an Indian fan I'm satisfied that we've been able to play well and exceeding expectations. SA fans must be wondering why this freeze happened!

  • TCooper on December 23, 2013, 8:55 GMT

    CurrentPresident is completely clueless and has certainly not seen the match at all. There was no surprise factor with indian bowling attack. It was disciplined swing bowling which will also be equally effective and lethal in Durban. CurrentPresident would be proven wrong again. No SA batsmen has measured them , do not fool yourself. Every day is a new day and you start from 0.

  • on December 23, 2013, 8:55 GMT

    WOW what a match this is been ; outstanding stuff ; ofcourse India was top of their game in first 4 days but wat happened in 5th day ;!! they were completely clueless ͵thanks to the poor effort of our bowlers ; there is runouts͵inside edges and lot of luck; still they don't win ; i think we missed umesh's 148 kph reverse swingers; which shami and zak had a bit at their medium pace; Hope umesh gets in Durban !!!!!!!

  • Mike_Tyson on December 23, 2013, 8:51 GMT

    Say what you want about India's bowling, and it was pretty average in the second innings, however, SA were supposed to annihalte India in this series. I honestly can't recall anyone on these forums giving India a chance, so for them to have dominated 3+ days of this test on what was a pretty lively track is a credit to them and they young players. I think they will do well in Durban, not sure if they will win but they can definitely pull out another draw.

    I have said it before and will say it again, with this young team and the talented individuals, India will be a tough side to beat in the future both home and away.

  • on December 23, 2013, 8:45 GMT

    South Africa should have win the match , I wonder they had enough opportunity to win but they didn't make it :(

  • on December 23, 2013, 8:44 GMT

    For me South Africa is winner ...inda lost it....hahhaha

  • ShahbazSalamat on December 23, 2013, 8:36 GMT

    SA is the winner of this Match....after posting 458 any team even like could have bowled them out...but India clearly missing spark in bowling though the manage to draw this but its their loss...they should have won ....great character shown by AB and Faf...man of the match is wrongly given to Kholi it should have given to Faf who actually secure the match...But everybody knows its Indian politics..

  • Indiana_jones99 on December 23, 2013, 8:27 GMT

    Nailbiting till the last minute. One of the best matches that left you at the edge of the seat and with sweaty palms. As I predicted SA fought hard and came within a whisker of winning the match. Thats the reason they are no. 1 and deserved so. India will take lot of confidence from this match and SA will have to have a hard re-think. Everybody was expecting India to rollover after the ODI. It is heart warming to see a young side performing well especially abroad. It bodes well for the future. I hope this will attract more crowds to watch test matches in India . The conditions in the grounds should be improved to attract more spectators. Promote young kids and families to come by offering discounts. For the present I cannot wait for the Durban test. I hope it is another battle royal and not a damp squib.

  • on December 23, 2013, 8:24 GMT

    Both are losers ..... India let SA to come this far, SA didn't win after getting into winning position ... pity !!

  • CurrentPresident on December 23, 2013, 8:23 GMT

    All it proves is that India does not have the bowling attack to take 20 wickets in a match. Plain and simple.

    Perhaps Jadeja/Ojha could have made a difference as the additional spinner.

    In the first innings the Indian pace attack succeeded because of the surprise factor, but by the second innings, the SA batsmen got the measure of it. None of their tricks worked. Two wickets were run-out, Amla was a freak dismissal and Kalliis was incorrectly given out. So where does that leave the Indian bowlers?

    I don't think the Indian pacers will have much more impact in the subsequent innings. At most, if their batting clicks, they will be able to get a draw.

    You cannot win matches without wicket taking bowlers.

  • on December 23, 2013, 8:18 GMT

    Nobody expected India to do well in SA with relatively new team. Hence the psychological advantage will be with India going to next test. But it is the test India should have won and not let it go to the wire. As for SA they are yet to come to terms with their chokers tag in one days and and do not want similar tag in tests. Hence they decided to play it safe.

  • on December 23, 2013, 8:13 GMT

    It is hard to believe what Smith is saying..... 16 runs arent too many. Philander was well set and a couple of swings and you could have reached the target. Dhoni must consider himself very lucky to escape with a draw after the threatening partnerhsip between AB and DPlessis. I would say here that Smith missed it! 4 days out of the 5 belonged to India and there is no denying that! What with the media drawing a conclusion even before a single ball was played in the match. So much so for the bullring! Philander's comment also was not acceptable....the conditions suited India? So he means that SA can win only if the conditions suit them??? Then why are thay the No 1 team? To be fair India's performance has exceeded all expectations and let us accept that they gave SA a run for thieir money ..in their own backyard! Injuries are part of the game and the loss of Morkel also cannot be used by anone as a reason. Morket did bowl in the Ist innings did'nt he?

  • borninthetimeofSRT on December 23, 2013, 8:07 GMT

    Ravichandran Ashwin must step up! I believe he is falling in line with what Harbajan Singh did to his own career. Ashwin is a specialist spinner. May be the selectors wanted a specialist bowler who can be a good batsman at No 8 or 9. Just have a feeling that Ashwin got the nod because of his batting performance against the Windies recently. Ojha or Jadeja could have been more lethal in the day 5 circumstances. Also, somebody in the shoes of Saurav Ganguly / Robin Singh / Mohinder Amarnath could have been extremely deceptive with the slight medium pace on a crumbling wicket under dim lights. So was Kallis in his second innings spell. That clue was missed completely in the Indian bowling attack. Dhoni might be thinking about that medium pace option he never had in his team. Just feel that there were wickets due before the second new ball in SA second innings. Beating SA with normal pace is always going to be difficult. And when they are also the number one side in the world!

  • on December 23, 2013, 8:06 GMT

    Definitely its a loss for India, after setting target of 458 if u r not in a situation to win & defending in the last few overs. In SA u are not going to grab opportunities u r going to loss game & series. Anyways lot of positives for India. They are in a building process & its a start of 13 test away this year, not many have thoughts India to be in a position of taking contest so far with this inexperienced team. I was expecting a 2-0 loss but India have drawn first test, so no 2-0 at least but in Durban wkt will be tougher, expectations will be higher & a lot of pressure. So it will be a test of nerves for Dhoni's lads. All the best India just play the game with ur heart out, forget about results, just give ur best, we Indian supporters are backing u .

  • on December 23, 2013, 8:04 GMT

    India bowling is really a concern, how much they need to defend in fourth inning? 458 run to defend and around 135 over to get opponent out in fourth inning, one cannot ask for more. Ashwin bowling is big concern wicket-less in whole match. he bowled around 35 over on 4th and 5th day without a wicket, this figures itself is loud. I would go for 4 pacer, including Umesh in playing eleven, and Ravidra Jadeja filling in as a spinner role as our spinner are toothless outside India. Jadeja in-place of either Rohit or Rahane would be a better option, I would replace Rohit as he is struggling even in net-session on SA condition as report is to believed.

  • ka3380 on December 23, 2013, 8:03 GMT

    It was really suprising to see South Africa not going for win. They could have attacked atleast last over, But what a match it ws. Finally happy with the result , because the way each team batted , no one deserved to lose.

  • on December 23, 2013, 8:03 GMT

    But India also performed very well

  • on December 23, 2013, 8:02 GMT

    South Africa should win

  • on December 23, 2013, 8:00 GMT

    South Africa should have tried for win but they didn't try. Because our bowlers already exhausted....But they tried level best to make it for win. But that's ok.... Next match is going to come a real crackers...

  • on December 23, 2013, 7:50 GMT

    one more over and SA would have won ! that's the case....India should have won that match, but they dint hav guys to take 2O wickets and this will haunt them in the second test too...they were on defense since the start of the last session. SA showed great character

  • on December 23, 2013, 7:49 GMT

    Ovrall a gr8 game of Test Cricket 1 wud hv evr seen.. Unfortunate tht both nvr won, bt fortunate tht Cricket Won :-) India bwld pretty well in 2nd inng, bt an absolute beauty by Faf & ABD.. They wr too gd 4 indian bwlrs ! Hope 4 another cracker at Durban..

  • truecric_fan on December 23, 2013, 7:35 GMT

    This was the best test match I have seen. Full credit to India who despite having no time to adjust to SA conditions dominated a majority of the 5 days and great job by SA to save the test when it seemed almost impossible. Young Shami was the most impressive of all bowlers and great work by Zaheer for his mentorship and leading by example. For a country that has produced dozens of great spinners, Ashwin is a disgrace.Let him stick to IPL and leave test cricket for genuine cricketers. At the end of the day I am happy cause neither team deserved to loose. This game will be remembered for a long time.

  • milepost on December 23, 2013, 7:30 GMT

    I couldn't believe SA shut up shop either, an appalling end to a test match. More of a flop than a thriller. Australia will be ruthless against SA if they play with this roll over mindset. India were patient and AB and Faf were very good but SA should have tried to win the game. 16 off 20 is hardly a tall order.

  • ZCFOutkast on December 23, 2013, 7:26 GMT

    People talk of Cook being defensive, it's Smith who needs to get fired from the job. It's no wonder the Proteas will continue to be mere bridesmaids at World Cups. As soon as Alviro's consistency picks up, we need him as captain of this side. Say what you want but there's no way this match should have ended as a draw. India had all but handed this to them on a silver platter!

    My consipiracy theory is - after two stellar innings with the ball, having got the Proteas close to India's first innings score, plus knocking off the winnings run - all with a sore tooth - they certainly didn't want Philander to be the "PERFECT" hero and take plaudits for this win for years to come. That was the message a near wicketless&insignificant tail end runs scoring Steyn was sent with and was all too happy to convey. That my friends is the only explanation for this.

  • haq33 on December 23, 2013, 7:25 GMT

    Kohli is becoming a bit of a whinger to be honest, always trying to antagonise and play mind games. I do like mind games when experts play it. The problem is he makes it soooo obvious. Of course India were playing for a draw! It is bleedingly obvious from the field set! Mr Kohli, you are good at batting but completely see-through at press conferences.

  • on December 23, 2013, 7:23 GMT

    SA should have won when u come so close u can only win! Faf was in no mood to win and so was dhoni it eas ratherna waste of 5 days!Yes it was a waste! Oh boy had Hitler been Alive..!

  • bravetigersmustwin on December 23, 2013, 7:21 GMT

    I wanted India to draw this match match so that definitely they would aim for win in the next match to win the series. Now SA is under pressure going to Durban. India batmen have showed their bowlers are less threatening as they expected. India must take the positives of this match and go for the big win in the next match. Wicket got better in last 3 days and Indian batmen faced best SA bowling when the wicket was very hard.

  • on December 23, 2013, 7:18 GMT

    South Africa had every chance to go in for the world record victory for the highest run chase in the fourth innings - perhaps they did not want to part with the chokers title -

  • StaalBurgher on December 23, 2013, 7:15 GMT

    Kohli is just typical of the arrogant Indian today. They certainly were not attacking and were bowling the balls over Steyn's head. After winning the toss, Morkel being injured and being gifted the wicket of Kallis India still couldn't win. Can't wait for Kingsmead because they can bluster all they want but we all know what happened.

  • on December 23, 2013, 7:13 GMT

    what a test match this is! exeptional cricket from both the teams. again faf showing his enormous pressre handling abilities in tests. what a plyer. also AB, this man can do anything with the cricket bat. I hv no words to praise him. but finally well played india. you were clearly ahead of mighty SA for 4 days. much similar to what happened in adilaide last year. this again shows it is extremely difficult to beat SA in a test. congrats to both teams from sri lanka.

  • OttawaRocks on December 23, 2013, 7:12 GMT

    I don't see why Philander couldn't have gone for some boundaries in the penultimate over. Steyn is excused because he just came to bat but Philander was set. What was he waiting for? Even if SA lost Philander to an aggressive shot there were still 2 more wickets left. Its really hard to get 3 wickets in 2 overs so why didn't SA go for the shots?

  • on December 23, 2013, 7:02 GMT

    By all means this shud hv been SAs win, undoubtedly. Indian bowling attack remained helpless till the last hour of play when they managed to derail the wonderful partnership of Faf & ABD and others. Wid 4 overs remaining and 16 runs to win, a side like SA didnt show the fighting spirit to complete the match with a win. Rather the batsmen decided to play for a draw for reasons known to them only, such as playing with 10 players etc.

    There is no point in looking at 10 or 11 players, rather those who were on the field after the duos massive partnership shud hv taken the onus to complete the match. SA might hv settled for a draw but Morally as an Indian fan, i feel Team India didnt deserve this result.

    Having played 13 matches from Jan 2012 till date, with 9 wins and 4 draws, a side like SA compromised for a draw is something un acceptable. India might have been happy about the result which is nothing but complacency.

  • Gupta.Ankur on December 23, 2013, 7:01 GMT

    India was the better team by miles. India had a very very in-experienced team and their fast bowling effectiveness was under doubt and still with minimal of preparatory time they outplayed the world's no.1 team with lot of big names.

    SA on other hand showed great reluctance to win the match despite needing just 16 runs in 3 overs.

    This might go against them in durban where indians will benefit from knowing that SA are capable of beating and that they lack the killer instinct of a true no.1 team.

  • guptahitesh4u on December 23, 2013, 6:47 GMT

    Its a shame that Kohli expects no. 8 & 9 to go for win rather than India aggressively attacking the tail....Last few overs, our bowlers kept the bowl outside the off and Batsmen could easily leave those...If I was at Smith's place, I would have said - "Look this is the quality of the SA team. We were behind for first four days and still we managed to draw the game. and yet, the opposition thinks that SA should have easily won the match..that is the quality of SA team"

  • bouncer709 on December 23, 2013, 6:46 GMT

    Come on this was not war, it was a cricket game, why afraid of losing? now both are talking nonsense for not winning the game and blaming each other. Both teams played negatively at the end, specially South Africans. now kidding to claim victory for drawn match. Shame for both. Thinking of this, it remind me of match won by great Inzimam for Pakistan against Australia on last wckt (58) runs partnership with Mushtaq Ahmed. Needed 315 runs in last inning and last day Pakistan were 258 for 9, but instead of wasting time and balls Inzi trusted his companion Mushtaq Ahmed and won the battle against G.McGrath and Shane Warn. ( http://www.espncricinfo.com/magazine/content/story/390838.html )

  • ravi_hari on December 23, 2013, 6:42 GMT

    SA are the real winners. I dont think any one had imagined that they would come so close. In the end, I think it was justified in safety first approach. If Faf was there it would have been a definite win for SA. I think Steyn and Philander saw the way Indians were bowling and did not want to loose after doing all the hard work. The losers were India. On a pitch with variable bounce and on day 5, with someone like Ashwin in, India should have won this. It is a total failure of our bowlers. If you cannot take 10 wkts in over 130 overs, I think there is something seriously wrong with your bowling. Harsh it may sound but I think Ashwin should not be in the side. If he is there for batting, we dont need him. Wicketless in over 200 overs is unacceptable. Ojha or even Jadeja would have picked up atleast 1 wkt on day 5. Duminy and Tahir picked 2 each against better players of spin, but Ashwin failed miserably. Kohli, dont try to blame SA. You and MS need to post-mortem and find ways to win.

  • on December 23, 2013, 6:38 GMT

    what a shame for India! they should have won the game. it was a briliant chance for India. their bowler didn't show their accumen in the right moment.as a result This match has drawn. South Africa will come back with a great rhythm in the next match.

  • matchfixerpkn on December 23, 2013, 6:29 GMT

    no one won...gods good decision for not breaking any ones heart...victory of test cricket... in practically ..16 runs required in last 4 overs....certainly s afrcial lost the match.... and ...4 session ..final day ...450 runs.....indian llsot it ..

  • Pranarnia on December 23, 2013, 6:26 GMT

    What's the need of that single faf tried to? A gully cricketer knows that single was not a necessary one. Please Cricketers you are our real heroes, don't loose your places in our hearts. Cricket is more becoming a commercial and entertaining... not a sportive...

  • on December 23, 2013, 6:21 GMT

    iam too surprised that sa didnt go for it.think they where lack of confidence

  • sailorsupreme on December 23, 2013, 6:21 GMT

    Smith is making very strange comments. Maybe SA needs to show him the door. From what was visible from their dressing room video shots, AB was shocked that the team was not pushing for a win, if one goes by his shrug of the shoulders with his arms spread out even as he was looking at Smith, helplessly. Dhoni and his boys have seen what they want to see and they will hunt down the fearful prey, his poor bowling resources notwithstanding

  • AB-50 on December 23, 2013, 6:15 GMT

    India dominated the first four days & upto Lunch on the final day -- they should have won this Test.However,du palssis & de Villiers came in their way like a Wall & they both turned the tables on India. Either team could have won -- but towards the end,it was SA,who were in a better position to win,since 16 runs were needed in 20 balls and with T20 cricket being played so much these days,even the tail enders can also blast their team off to victory, especially with Vernon playing so well.Indian bowlers were totally fagged out towards the end -- more so mentally,when the stand of 205 was built.Ashwin,though bowled the 36 overs,was not effective and all the bowlers leaked a lot of boundaries, straying off the line practically in all the overs towards the end.Since he was not effective as a spinner,Jadeja can be considered for the Durban Test,as he can bat,field well & bowl flat deliveries,not giving easy runs.But overall,well played India considering their dismal ODI performance in SA.

  • on December 23, 2013, 6:12 GMT

    Sport is entertainment. We go to the game to see our team win, not lose, not draw. When SA beat Australia in that 430 odd one day game, who won the series, I don't know. SA should have gone for the win, if we lost going for it, that would have been better. I also don't think it was Graeme's call, I think Russel Domingo made that call.

  • on December 23, 2013, 6:11 GMT

    still not sure why shami was not given a fresh start in the last session of the match...zaheer and ashwin balled almost 15 over without threatening proteas....dhoni should have been more aggressive is what i think...at the end a fair result to one of the greatest test match i've ever witnessed...but south africans will have an psychological advantage ahead of durban test..

  • on December 23, 2013, 6:08 GMT

    SA's strategy covered up one of the most important features of this test which was India's inability to defend a huge total. They seriously need to think where they are heading. The legendary Ashwin and Zak who was great once upon a time need to be given a 'rest'.

  • on December 23, 2013, 6:08 GMT

    South Africa should have tried to win no matter how Indian field placement was.

  • caught_knott_bowled_old on December 23, 2013, 6:07 GMT

    Surely, the match should have been won by the team that set a huge target of 458. They had 5 sessions to get the opposition out, but couldn't. India should have either won this by the end of the day but came close to losing the match!

  • on December 23, 2013, 5:58 GMT

    I think while both teams played an unbelievable cricket... both were to blame for not going for the win... more so SA... They could have tried aleast in the last over with 16 needed... This shows that the stakes are really high and no one wants to take a risk. Perhaps would have been different had it been the second test. I believe though that the second test is going to be really difficult for the Indians... they desperately need to be batting first and piling on some runs

  • ravi_bangalore on December 23, 2013, 5:58 GMT

    After watching yesterday's game I think there is nothing wrong with Indian team. Batting was good so was bowling. Only change Indian team needs is the CAPTAIN.

  • on December 23, 2013, 5:58 GMT

    This is quiet a funny psychological gameplay from virat and the indian team when you consider they were certain the game was in their bag.....South Africa will be the happier side with the draw and considering Du plessi running himself out shows that they wanted to go for the win but that another good peice of feilding form Rahane was the point which drew the match. SA saved a certain defeat and came close to winning the game and their biggest win will be that the Indian bowlers weren't able to get 20 wickets.... now for the Durban Test the SA team will be certain that either they will win the test or atleast draw the game and losing the game will be out of the question thanks to the preformance of the Indian bowlers i the 2nd innings

  • on December 23, 2013, 5:57 GMT

    Both were scared of each other.

  • prof_aks on December 23, 2013, 5:46 GMT

    The result 'Draw' is satisfactory, both teams would ultimately not remember but a loss would become a fatal memory to either team losing. easy to say from outside, but definitely what must be going in the minds of Dale and Philender ' safety first'. Had they played risky, we would be criticizing them by now and advise they could have gone for a draw. ANY WAY, still one more chance for both the team to show their strength and superiority in the Kingsmead Durban, waiting anxiously.

  • on December 23, 2013, 5:43 GMT

    I think India blew a huuge opportunity to win a test match in SA, I think these statements will come to appease the Indian general public who till day before were celebrating hoping for a great day for Indian cricket. Not to be and now they are putting the onus on to SA, who staged a fight back like no other team could have to even salvage a draw. Also Morkel was injured and Tahir couldnt bat. With the field out, no captain or team would have gone for the score.

  • shrikant200 on December 23, 2013, 5:41 GMT

    India more than deserved to win,especially after dominating first 4 days.It was only when the Duplesis-ABD stand getting bigger did india started feeling the scare of defeat.I think india should hve attacked more to break that vital partnership to expose the tailenders .Even SA didnt show the instinct of winning with 16 needed from 18.

  • Imthiyaz_Haniffa on December 23, 2013, 5:40 GMT

    Greatest Test Match of 2013. It shows the character of bowling, batting and fielding. Though SA should have gone for the WIN and yet sudden loss of AB and Faf pushed them back to safety-first. Last ball SIX from Steyn showed some power that they could have won leaving couple of balls......

  • JustIPL on December 23, 2013, 5:36 GMT

    SA played very professionally. Morkel was injured and Tahir may not be a good bat. Once wicket in the last 12 balls could lead to other and SA very rightly held back by not taking risk. Indian best bwoler Shami hit for six last ball which shows SA intent. SA forced the pace despite the mamoth total to chase specially Kallis threatened to take it away and then AB & Faf. Any other team including india would have played for a tame draw. India were very lucky to not lose this test match. Thanks, to SA professional thinking. India just care about ranking while SA played the game of cricket.

  • on December 23, 2013, 5:30 GMT

    I don't know whether Kohli's playing a mental game or he's actually saying that. If so, I completely disagree with him. It's the Proteas who won the game morally, clearly a draw was always a better result for them. It was quite surprising India didn't go for the win. At the end of the day, India got a disappointing result and to say the least, gave the series away.

  • on December 23, 2013, 5:28 GMT

    Smith is wrong.. 16 in 3 over.. Indian did right to save them selves what south Africa did for victory. ..

  • on December 23, 2013, 5:28 GMT

    India should have won the game, based on how they dominated most of the test match - they are to blame for letting it slip from their hands! They needed to show more resolve and an iron clad grip! Once SA showcased the incredible execution of their mental strength - it was mind-boggling to see both VP and DS in the middle with NO PLAN !! Smith must be so mad at himself for getting run out that he was probably crying in the dressing room bathroom - forgetting that he was the captain!! Dhoni, on the other hand was being Mr. Cool....so much that he looked Mr. Cold with no sense of urgency giving all the wrong signals to his team ! Both teams were Great and Pathetic at the same time!!! How weird is that??

  • Amarjitmadan on December 23, 2013, 5:16 GMT

    It is the ideal result as neither team deserved to lose. In retrospect any thing can be said that both India and SA should have/should not have this that or the other One wrong call and things would have changed as we all know the most experienced and the best of players do get tense in such situation. A very exciting and entertaining test match.

  • Rags57 on December 23, 2013, 5:15 GMT

    A lot of inexplicable things - one Dhoni felt that his bowlers attacked too much before tea so in the end they had to struggle to contain the South Africans from winning the game. He felt that his bowlers will learn from experience (not to over attack). If they indeed were over attacking what was Dhoni doing then? Is it not the captain's responsibility to tone them down so they played it safe? An equally in explicable comment from Smith - the decision not to go for the win in the last three overs were that of Steyn and Philander who were on the field. Isn't it surprising that the captain does not have an input in such a crucial situation? Even there it was strange that Steyn wanted the strike when Philander kept refusing singles in the penultimate over. So was it Philander decision alone to call off the chase? Now both teams trade verbal volleys that the other team chickened out. All in all a fantastic test match but very inexplicable things in the end.

  • ReverseSweepIndia on December 23, 2013, 5:04 GMT

    I love this guy and hope he lead the team sooner rather than later in longer format. Not only Dhoni is a poor captain in tests, his tactics in day 4 (batting) lead to a situation where we end up and he always have excuses. Virat not only have aggressive attitude, he is gracious even after that attitude and agreed that it was brilliance of batting which not only saved SA but took them to the brink of historical win. We played 42 overs on day 4 for 137 runs, what Dhoni was trying? Field was spread out and even singles would have allowed to maintain a runrate of 4 which would have given us 50-60 runs extra. With 500 runs target on board, we could have atleast closed one door for SA, but we tried not to. Before fellow readers start lambasting me, I am not against Dhoni the ODI/T20 captain, he is brilliant there. Its the longer format where he is short. In India he do not have to do much, because spinners take wickets & batters score. It is in foreign soil where you need tactics best...

  • on December 23, 2013, 4:57 GMT

    its a shame SA didnt go for the win.

  • dganger on December 23, 2013, 4:54 GMT

    I guess India will be more disapointed coz they had the upper hand and was expected to win this match 75 % of the entire Test match's duration whereas SA created their chance only 25 % of the duration i.e the most part of the last day. Though India have done well ultimately at the end to restrict a draw (Which they should have won) when the match seemed slipped off from their grasp. For South Africa their ultimate objective was successful i.e to secure a draw, yes at the end they will be disapointed along with many fans that they dint go for the kill, but they saved the match. So overall a tremendous test match where both teams can take immense pride.

  • Fast_Track_Bully on December 23, 2013, 4:53 GMT

    There were predictions against India: 1) test will end in 2-3 days - But it lasted till last ball of the 5th day! 2) SA will score 600/2 and declare in 1st inngs - they bowled out less than Indian score 3) India will lose by an Inngs - India played well at 1st 3 days and got their chances to win the game! 4) India will be out by less than 50 or less than 100 - Both inngs India score over 250. and there was only one prediction from Indian fans only after their 2nd inngs: 1) India will win - nor SA able to win it.

    So, with all odds against them, India got the psychological advantage. Draws on away matches shows the good efforts made by the visiting team and poor show of home team especially when home team are no:1 test side.

  • on December 23, 2013, 4:53 GMT

    It was a great test match,India had the upper hand till lunch time on the fifth day.The new ball was miserably wasted by our seamers.Our spinner was not turning the ball at all,he was bowling a negative line.It is foolish to say that the pitch did not turn.Shane Warne or Murali would have won the match for their country while bowling on such a wicket on the fifth day.

  • Rahul_78 on December 23, 2013, 4:52 GMT

    If you take all the mountains of overs bowled and runs scored in this test match and concentrate on the last 5 overs you get a feeling that SAF should have won it. They had a batsmen who had batted close to 4 sessions at one end and Vernon who was striking it cleanly at other with 3 wickets in hand. I guess the enormity of the occasion got to them. They were just couple of big hits away from the victory. In the hind side they might have just waited for a loose delivery from the tired attack then going for the risky runs. Having said that take nothing away from Indian bowlers. The 3 quick's bowled their heart out. Even at the fag end they were consistent with their pace and what a fielding effort from Rahane after so much excursion to get the run of Faf. All in all the honors even might just be the right result as neither Virat's nor Faf's innings deserved to be on the loosing side.

  • on December 23, 2013, 4:46 GMT

    Indian bowlers did not had that threat,,There was no bowler who looked dangerous,, no pace,, no movement, Ashwin looked out of place. If Vernon can hit half century against these bowlers,, then Dhoni and BCCI needs to think

  • VPSrivastava on December 23, 2013, 4:44 GMT

    Fifth day pitch, 4th innings in progress and a team fully down and wanting to save the game with 2 wicket already in pavilion and a full day of cricket left. You would have thought that a good spinner would be licking his lips but not Indian one. The fully flop Ashwin should be first one to be blamed for not winning this Test match for his poor show, not able to take a single wicket on last day' pitch, only 'GHAR KA SHER'. Better we should go for Amit Mishra or Prgyan Ojha, genuine spinners instead of greed of having and all rounder. Mr president BCCI should not interfere in selection matters.

  • CricketFever11 on December 23, 2013, 4:43 GMT

    Looking at the Kohli's face, It is him and India is shocked Coz India could get 10 wicket from 130 odd overs. Bowlers got only 5 wickets from 5 sessions. Importantly, It was 5th day of the test.

  • Masking_Tape on December 23, 2013, 4:33 GMT

    It wasn't a draw. SA lost by 7 runs that's how I see it.

  • on December 23, 2013, 4:13 GMT

    saffas dint want to risk and they were right in doing so... but i felt why dint dhoni tell shami to bowl yorkers in the last 4 deliveries??? pilander was playing alright, but he cant hit for 3 sixes continuously, you were quick to realise he was playing for draw , dhoni should have taken his chances, who knew for the first yorker shami would have got philander , and morkel will be on strike, and again his ankel was injured, another yorker would have been too good for him, and tahir was walking wicket..... easy for me to say, but they should have taken chances... after all the effort of pujara and kohli, vijay was a waste

  • jimbond on December 23, 2013, 4:06 GMT

    To 'Throw it back to Smith' he certainly would never have encountered a field of 'four slips, short leg and a gully' even in T20 matches where batsmen routinely score between 8 to 9 runs routinely and even more than 15-20 runs in the last couple of overs. However, I can understand where Smith is coming from- he wouldn't have wanted to snatch defeat from the situation of a draw and encourage the use of the C word. And I agree with Smith, a draw is a fair result for this match- which neither team deserved to win. On a flat track that rivals tracks in SL or India, bowlers could only take wickets if the weather conspired to create conditions conducive to swing.Otherwise I got the impression that neither team was capable of taking 20 wickets on this ground. As biased viewers, we are so eager to prop up a Kohli or a Fab, and making snide comments about Steyn or Zaheer Khan- that we forget that this is another track that is unfair to test cricket- despite the exciting finish.

  • on December 23, 2013, 4:01 GMT

    It had to be India's win .. The africans also played well .. Undoutedly the match was indias

  • Sniper on December 23, 2013, 3:59 GMT

    The fact is that South Africans who talked of winning in 3 days had to eat their words. A few chances were missed in the 1st innings. A runout chance in the second innings would have got India victory. However Indian bowlers went all out to at tech thus giving away a lot of runs. A little more planning and better execution would have made India victorious. SNIPER

  • SeanoN on December 23, 2013, 3:59 GMT

    Both teams were waiting for mistakes. Both didn't take the chance. Bottom line is that Durban is shaping to be a cracker!

  • on December 23, 2013, 3:58 GMT

    No guts no glory, it should be Safas who should be going for a win, no doubt on this they did tremendous work to reach at that stage and suddenly they surrendered that without any good logic, common its mere 16 runs. though as Indian I feel its good for India they did'nt go for it but India too left to ponder what else they require to take 10 wickets last day pitch huge score to defend and all bowlers in rhythm. so no postive to take from last day. though Individually pujara and kohli grows there stature, they have earn lot of fans globally no doubt. finally no point of raising finger at each other..we can safely say while both team fail cricket (particularly test match) win.

  • on December 23, 2013, 3:54 GMT

    Yes absolutely.It shows Lack of all rounders in Ind .

  • Johnny_129 on December 23, 2013, 3:52 GMT

    India should not only talk about a moral victory but they must really believe it! In the past I have noticed different countries and the way they come back from adversity. Australia, for example, come back very determined whereas India tend to drop heads and feel sorry for themselves. In the past I have seen Indian bowling fall apart after just one bad LBW decision that does not go in their favour! India must gain confidence from this showing even if they could not deliver the knockout punch.

  • TATTUs on December 23, 2013, 3:46 GMT

    It was Indias game to win, definitely. What was India doing with a deep point in the last over yesterday? What was Dhoni thinking when simply extending the play by bowling himself and Ashwin for 6-7 overs? He was definitely not looking for any wickets. You had a deep squareleg for almost most of the time with Dhoni running almost always to field the ball at that end. A deep [somewhat] midwicket? Bowling was looking toothless with even Zaheer bowling poorly and inconsistently. Shami was the best bowler for India. The 3 wickets which they got fortunately sums up Indias bowling.

    For South Africa, they played it as per their plans and they executed it well. India didnt.

  • roygbiv on December 23, 2013, 3:37 GMT

    I didn't see much evidence of India going for the win in the final session. In the last three overs they bowled short and not one ball was attacking the stumps. MSD was clearly happy not to lose the test from the impossible to lose situation they were in at the end of the 3rd innings. In the end SA have inflicted a heavy physical toll on the indian bowlers and should they bat first in durban, India are in for a world of pain. That is the result that SA derived from this match, which from their experience from last year's series against australia, gives them a big advantage to win the series.

  • Johnny_129 on December 23, 2013, 3:27 GMT

    At the end of it all I think a draw was a fair result. There many ways of looking at which team would be more disappointed - Prior to the start of the Test, India would have happily accepted a draw while SA's expectation would have been a win. During the 1st 3 days of the Test it was tight with both teams fighting for control. India gained full control going into the final day so from that aspect they would be disappointed not to have finished SA off after having them on the ropes. SA would be disappointed because they could not finish things off after a tremendous fight back on the final day and also not getting the win they initially expected. India's disappointment would also be the failure to record a much wanted win on foreign soil and they were in a perfect position to not only record a win but do it against the No.1 side.

  • spas on December 23, 2013, 3:25 GMT

    It is always better if Kohli and his team think about why their own team did not go for it, when placed in most advantageous position in a test match. Shami did not bowl for ages, Ashwin was pretty ordinary. It is not what you tell to press that matters.

  • on December 23, 2013, 3:22 GMT

    If anyone listened to Ravi Shastri before the last day's play, India had a 95% chance of winning it, SA, 2% and a 3% chance of a draw. India should have won this match but lost because of the following: Session #1 on day 4 - didn't score enough runs more quickly; bowled Vijay, Kohli and Dhoni for 6 wasted overs when the ball could have been reverse swinging; Khan's spell around the wicket with a newish ball was a travesty. He was barely bowling at 125kph; Ashwin is the most useless off spinner outside India and should not be picked for the second Test. Bring Bhajji back. Jadeja is not a test bowler. Dhoni must have thought he had the match won on Day 4. Bad mistake and he should be held accountable but by whom? Ravi Shastri??

  • on December 23, 2013, 3:19 GMT

    I think in the end both teams in a position to win the game and both teams satisfied with result

  • on December 23, 2013, 3:10 GMT

    It's the test cricket's win undoubtly.

  • on December 23, 2013, 3:08 GMT

    One important thing to note is the luck element. Many balls took the edge and could have just gone to the slip fielders. SA -Faf or De villers cnnot control that. Not even a wasim akram or a Bradman can control that. Luck is just luck. Yes India should have won it and tried more things with their bowling. Also they lacked another allrounder to bowl a bit and even a part-time spinner. Yet against all odds they did well. SA showed enough pluck. But they got more than their share of luck. Of course they are unlucky in duckworth lewis. But very very lucky in test matches. However, India should get the right arsenal - a couple of allrounders, one more left hand bat etc if they are to win more.

  • humdrum on December 23, 2013, 3:06 GMT

    Although India were favourites going into the fifth day, SA turned up for the party and AB with Faf gave a masterclass on the art of chasing.At tea, you would have backed SA to defy history until the twist in the tale when AB and Duminy departed.It then became a nail-biter,when a direct hit found Faf short and suddenly,the SA guys decided not to go for it.Wonder what Steyn was trying to prove when he lofted the last ball for six in a meaningless gesture, he should have gone for it earlier---after all,he can bat,can't he ? But all said and done,a great classic of a test match,swinging this way and that,and truly a privilege to have watched it in real time.

  • 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.

  • on December 23, 2013, 2:55 GMT

    I think South Africans should be surprised that Indians weren't trying to take wickets after faf got out. 9 fielders in the deep and shami and zaheer were bowling outside off. Now do u expect them to cut the ball over deep for six. In tests the ropes are very close to the fence - so not easy to clear the ropes with a mistimed shot like ones in T20 or ODI. Remember morne morkel was also injured. So effectively India needed 2 wickets. So the plan to leave it to the last over and then giving it a slog was very understandable. The wouldn't want an injured strike bowler to be receiving blows on his body, especially if u want him fit for next test.

  • on December 23, 2013, 2:40 GMT

    I guess South Africa could have won easily but they have opted for safety.. Overall, the test match was nail biting except for the last ten minutes... India could have pushed for win at Durban had they lost this.. Indian bowling need a lot of retrospection, they must bring in new blood apart from the likes of zaheer,ishant and Ashwin... Batting was also poor had kohli and pujara under performed things would have been different!! Rohit,shikar and vijay are not performing to their potentials!! We want more overseas tours organised by the bcci to really check the quality of Indian cricket!

  • 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.

  • Gr8Mindzzzz on December 23, 2013, 2:33 GMT

    Yes surprised. Vernon could have given it to Steyn atleast. Steyn was also not pleased with the proceedings in the last 2 overs. I guess there was a discussion in the field in the b/w Steyn and Philander. And there were wickets in hand.. They could have given it a hit. Philander has let them down.

  • Greatest_Game on December 23, 2013, 2:25 GMT

    He he he - an emotional victory! Dude, you conceded 450 in the 4th innings, aided and abetted by the worst lbw decision of the millennium. SA did not need to win - India walked off the field beaten. They knew SA had them, and did not need to bother chasing 8 runs to prove it. SA played half the match with 10 men and all India can claim is an emotional victory? Lol.

  • aliasad106 on December 23, 2013, 2:25 GMT

    rediculous from both teams. fans want to see results and these guys scared of losing game wow what an incredible blunder by dhoni and smith..

  • SnowSnake on December 23, 2013, 2:17 GMT

    I think both teams did what they had to do. India wanted SA to take risk and lose wickets whereas SA wanted to draw. Fair result overall. It was nice to see that teams played all 5 days which is very rare nowadays.

  • on December 23, 2013, 2:14 GMT

    What a match! Proper rollercoaster ride :D In the end, a fair result as no one deserved to lose. After four and a half days of superb test match cricket, India had the upper hand but SA showed why they are number one in the world by fighting back on the last day and actually becoming favourites to win the test! Then they almost (C-word) and in the end, both of erred on the side of safety. Test cricket at its best :D

  • KiwiRocker- on December 23, 2013, 2:13 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!

  • on December 23, 2013, 2:02 GMT

    it is disappointed to not see any result.Both teams have equal chance to produce result but but did not take risk.Shame on them

  • on December 23, 2013, 1:52 GMT

    India played exceptionally well, my initial presumption was that India should have won as the lead was more than enough and they had enough fire power in the bowling department to take 10 Wickets as well, but after watching SA's chase the score, I believe that they could have or should have won the test.

  • on December 23, 2013, 1:46 GMT

    That's why test cricket can never be as attractive as the other formats. orchestrated draws like this when a match is winnable, 16 to win with 20 balls 3 wicket in hand give me a break south Africa. That's not greatness that being a coward. I rather lose a match seeking to win than to draw a match because am afraid to lose.

  • on December 23, 2013, 1:37 GMT

    We have 3 test series of absolute contrast. One where the home team dominates (The Ashes), one with both teams hanging in the balance (ind vs SA) and the other with teams up and down (NZ vs WI). Good finish to 2013. Especially considering India drawing a test and SA unable to hand India 9-0 away loss.

  • inefekt on December 23, 2013, 1:36 GMT

    Pathetic effort from South Africa, embarrassing. Great teams have the intestinal fortitude to back themselves in situations like they faced last night. No way would any Australian team have shut up shop and played for a draw, they would have gone for the win.

  • Raju_Iyer on December 23, 2013, 1:32 GMT

    What is Smith talking about? Having close-in fielders for the last over? That tactic had not worked whole day. India would have wanted to get them out going for their shots and holing out to the fielders. Of course full credit to SA for holding on to a draw, which is probably a fair result since India certainly did not deserve to lose.

  • BnH1985Fan on December 23, 2013, 1:31 GMT

    Not sure why SA didn't go for the win with just 16 needed in 3 overs! Routine for almost any team at that level, more so for the #1 ranked SA. Baffling! Of course the Indians will gratefully accept the great escape!

  • on December 23, 2013, 1:24 GMT

    probably after the run out of duplesis........they gave up..........if something goes wrong it would have been repeat of india vs australia at sydney 2007 series....

  • CustomKid on December 23, 2013, 1:22 GMT

    While I've had a crack at the SAF team or more so Smith, both he and MSD are very negative tacticians. SAF should have pushed for the win and didn't, and the end result is probably fitting for two men who fail to push a game forward when they have a chance. They're both safety first and that is what I despise the most about these two skippers.

    For all the individual brilliance of Kohli, Faf, AB, etc - they're still lead by two men who don't have an attacking or gambling bone in their body. Unless they're out in front with day light a distant second you've got two of the games most boring tacticians in it's rich history with some of it's greatest players (in SAF) and list of brilliant potentials (with IND). Shame on you both.

  • Shane75 on December 23, 2013, 1:17 GMT

    India can take this as a moral victory, as they cowered the South Africans into surrendering a draw when the game was almost theirs to win. Smiths actions were disrespectful to cricket fans everywhere, and have only served to highlight South Africas unique combination of cowardice and dominance. The post-Tendulkar India are looking great, here's to them as Number 2 in the rankings (with Australia as Number 1 of course).

  • on December 23, 2013, 1:16 GMT

    First of all India were underdogs and SA expected a 2-0 white wash before the start of the series. Second, on a pitch in which Dale Steyn went wicket less for 51 overs for 155 runs, it was a great show by the Indian bowlers. The team defending, setting a defensive field is natural and the onus was on SA to win the game. At least in the final over, they could have gone for it, which they din't. From an Indian perspective it's a huge gain that they did not lose a test at Joberg.The youngest and inexperienced side from India dominated 4.3 days is not a mean achievement. What followed showed why they are the No. Side through ABD and FDP. We all have seen what could happen to bowlers when two quality batters are on song when Kohli-Pujara duo batted. But Ishant bowled ABD and Shami, Duminy. Over all good fielding too. So, it's advantage Team India!

  • on December 23, 2013, 1:07 GMT

    I think SA could have won because of Phillinder who made a great half century in the last inning and plus Styn is a gentle batter so SA could have won!

  • CamH on December 23, 2013, 1:07 GMT

    I simply cannot believe that South Africa weren't willing to risk losing the match to pull off one of the great test victories of all time. 16 runs from 20 deliveries should be achievable in any form of cricket. A victory to either team would have reflected better on both teams rather than allowing what appears to have been a great match up until the last 15 minutes peter out due to timidity. As an Australian I would have been very disappointed if our team had done the same thing in similar circumstances - much rather a brave loss than a cowardly draw. All the same well done to Du Plesis. He has now played two absolutely epic innings in the last twelve months. If he does nothing else he will be remembered for a long time.

  • vaidy on December 23, 2013, 1:01 GMT

    I think the only team that can take positives to Durban is SA (and I am an Indian fan). In the second innings, save for Amla (unfortunate dismissal) and Duminy, almost every other batsman has batted themselves into form.

    However, Indian revival was entirely based on the performance of Kohli and Pujara and to some extent Vijay.

    Dhawan, Rohit, Rahane and Dhoni haven't really faced enough deliveries and haven't batted with reassurance (Rahane perhaps in the 1st innings for a bit).

  • azurecharms on December 23, 2013, 1:00 GMT

    Putting on 701 runs in SA conditions, moral victory would have been for Indian even if they would have lost it. Fate were favoring SA to win it but they opted for safety which was is really demoralizing. India will come more confident and aggressive in the second test.

  • on December 23, 2013, 0:56 GMT

    I think ms should be very disappointed at the end of the day that his bowlers could not produce 8 quality delivery on wanderer ' s indifferent pitch to bowled out SA!!! JUST EIGHT DELIVERIES OUT OF 540 FOR THE DAY. That's sheer disappointment for India.

  • tao585 on December 23, 2013, 0:49 GMT

    How can SA go for the target in last few overs, when all of the fielders were on boundary. I think Virat Kohli is sour that SA did not fall for the trap. I feel pity that India can not win over an opposition who has injured Morkel, toothless Steyn, Out of form Kallis, Schoolboy Legspin by Imran in this match, inconsistent bounce.

    Having SA cornered in a Test Match is a rare occurrence. Dhoni should have gone for the kill.

  • cricketcarl on December 23, 2013, 0:49 GMT

    i think the result of the next test will silence the debate...

  • on December 23, 2013, 0:49 GMT

    It was an "ultimate Test" both teams kept on, quite correctly,changing the tactics, back & forth, from attack to defense and back,depending upon on the ups and downs of the game. In such a situation, one can always find stretches of "caution".Who would want to lose, after such magnificent efforts from BOTH sides.

    Memories are still fresh. The unrequited desire to win will stir up emotions on both sides. Both among the highly competitive players and passionate fans. Understandable.

    Once emotions and a certain sense of frustration cool down, ALL will recognise the beauty, and historical nature of this great drawn Test. Test cricket wins. Cricket wins. We will all rejoice reminiscing about this Test for ever.

    Congratulations to both teams, for the good cricket! And also for the gentlemanliness of both set of players, till the last ball!

  • bleed_blue007 on December 23, 2013, 0:43 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.

  • lillee4PM on December 23, 2013, 0:42 GMT

    I'm an Aussie fan but I have to say that Faf du Plessis is amazing, first the Adelaide heroics and now this, the guy is a machine. I watched both of these run chases and his mental toughness is awe inspiring! However, as I looked on last night, it seems that the SA management told Steyn to shut things down and save the match. This was very disappointing after du Plessis and de Villiers had got SA into a winning position. Even with the cheap loss of Duminy, I think Philander and Steyn could have finished this game off but their bosses were gutless. Hopefully, the booing from the SA crowd was directed at the back-room boys and not the players!

  • on December 23, 2013, 0:42 GMT

    Whoever would have won this test would have deserved the win and it is quite comedic that both teams are accusing each other... brilliant. Would definitely be a contestant for the greatest test ever if not then it is!

  • TRAM on December 23, 2013, 0:34 GMT

    Its a game at the end of which every one is disappointed - in spite of good show most part of the game. Every one except *may be* the organizers. There is good chance the ticket sales for next match would be high.

  • on December 23, 2013, 0:32 GMT

    To be honest, it was saf game to win in the last session. both teams gave up in the end. India should have shown more desperation to win cause it means so much more.

  • VivGilchrist on December 23, 2013, 0:28 GMT

    This is why Australia, even in times while not no1, are the best team to watch as a victory is always the goal, even at the risk of a loss. To think that South Africa still had 3 wickets in hand and didn't pursue victory is a disgrace to the no1 ranking. Safety first mentality will eventually kill Test cricket as it is pointless. The fact that SAf are no1 and only need a draw to remain there is a poor excuse. This wouldn't have happened under Steve Waugh. Great fight back, yes, but in the end, an insult to the game.

  • MasterClass on December 23, 2013, 0:14 GMT

    Absolutely pathetic from Smith. Just CYA rubbish. SA is the far more experienced team. Of course India would be disappointed they didn't win and of course being a young team they would not want all they had accomplished in the last 4 days (and no question till day 5 India won every day if not every session) to be recorded as a loss. So one can understand the concern as AB & Faf's partnership grew. But there is no excuse for SA once they saw that victory was possible. Sorry Smith your words ring hollow.

  • Cricket_theBestGame on December 23, 2013, 0:14 GMT

    i agree with kohli on this one. india has the mental edge after this test..they posted a huge total with apparently world's 'best' pace attack. not bad for a team coming from dust bowl pitches of india and not coping with swing and bounce!

    with 16 to get of 20 and phliander refusing to take even singles, i think that showed they didn't want to win. regardless of how field was spread. steyn is no slouch with the bat and could've easily handled it. they could've tried to play it like odi match and if they lost a wicket then go in their shell. oh well... official result is 0-0 but really its 1-0 ..india's way !

  • on December 23, 2013, 0:13 GMT

    Why does Kolhi say he is "shocked" by SA not going all out for a win. Shami was almost unplayable for the tail and SA would have lost the game if they had gambled. Once du PLessis was run out, settling for a draw was SA's best option. India was lucky that Kallis was mistakenly given LBW. If he was around and if du Plessis had not risked that needless single, we would have a different outcome by now. India however played very well this time. They dominated for the most part. It was only SA's enormous depth and talent that kept them in the running. No other team in the world could stay competitive with their best bowler (Morkel) out of action and their best batsman (Amla) making the same mistake TWICE. That was plain dumb on Amla's part.

  • on December 23, 2013, 0:09 GMT

    This isn't even a debate, really. South Africa's job was always to save the Test after India had been in the driver's seat for most of the first 4 days. The fact that AB and Faf managed to bat SA into a position by tea on the fifth day from which they could even contemplate chasing down 459 to win should be embarrassing to that entire India team. SA did their job, and they did it spectacularly well. Kohli knows it, Dhoni knows it, and Graeme Smith certainly knows it. Just a weak attempt at mind games by Virat here. Hint, hint, Virat: that stuff doesn't work with this SA team. Only the Australian juggernaut could get under their skins.

  • czar2008 on December 23, 2013, 0:08 GMT

    Cricket's win :)). Well played both. Especially Faf, Pujara, Kohli, Rahane, Philander. Good respect mutually both sides. Praise from Kohli for AB. This is ideal for cricket. Less leg pulling and more respect and professionalism! Perfect. Wish both could win :))

  • spinkingKK on December 22, 2013, 23:50 GMT

    There are two things inexplicable in this match. Why did Dhoni persist with Zaheer Khan bowling short and wide outside off stump to Devilliers and Du Plessis and also giving him an extended spell to make sure both the batsmen got their centuries at the most easiest way. That was one of the worst medium pace bowling I have seen in a bowler-friendly conditions and that too when you are in danger of losing to a world record run chase. Shami was the best bowler on display and he wasn't used until an Indian win was almost impossible. Ashwin was also bowling very well and it was very hard to hit him for runs except by taking risks. But, he only had a short spell after tea and was taken off the attack for some inexplicable reason. But, the captain cool was very happy to keep giving the ball to Zaheer, the worst bowler on either side. I just can't understand that tactics. Secondly, only secondly, is why SA decided to call off the chase. May be it was a return favor.

  • Chris_P on December 22, 2013, 23:47 GMT

    9 Fielders on the boundary & he is shocked they didn't go for the win? Why didn't you go for the win then, Virat? Works both ways, pal.

  • dinosaurus on December 22, 2013, 23:37 GMT

    I'm glad India didn't win, after they benefited from their anti-DRS attitude with the dismissal of Kallis. Of course, it becomes another argument for continuing their opposition.

  • Sheikasif on December 22, 2013, 23:16 GMT

    Indian bowlers fail again. Tell me something new. India needs to get good fast bowlers to be competitive otherwise forget about becoming number one. Sack Ashwin and bring in Ojha in next match.

  • on December 22, 2013, 23:06 GMT

    The win should have been India's. They were the one's who were in front throughout the game and if their leadership was a little more positive then they probably would have one rather than wait for the game to come to them. Their bowling was at times ineffective as they constantly leaked runs and dropped catches.

  • on December 22, 2013, 23:04 GMT

    Smith should have gone for the victory, Steyn & Philander could have taken 1's or 2's with the fielders set deep yet they didn't bother with the chase & shut up shop instead such a pity Smith!

  • on December 22, 2013, 22:46 GMT

    that was such a disappointing stuff by philander.. he should have gone for the kill or have given strike to steyn.. nevertheless that was a solid spirit displayed by Faf and AB.. SA can never overcome crunch moment in any match..

  • on December 22, 2013, 22:45 GMT

    Silly 2 Test series - no side can afford to lose one.

  • Sorcerer on December 22, 2013, 22:37 GMT

    I don;t know what is Kohli talking about! Dhoni had set a pretty defensive field in the last few overs with four or five men on the boundary. how can he says they were trying to get wickets when Shami was consistently bowling short at Steyn who just let the balls go by?

  • pat_one_back on December 22, 2013, 22:35 GMT

    Intriguing that Ashwin has escaped the type of criticism levelled against Nathan Lyon when he failed to bowl this SA team out on a worn 5th day wicket in Adelaide...!

  • on December 22, 2013, 22:34 GMT

    well I think both the teams were content in drawing the game after du plesis got out, before that SA was pressing hard for the win. Even after du plesis dissmisal it was SA's game but they shut the shop a wicket to early and after the battering that Indians got at the hands of deviliers and du plesis for majority of two session India was more happier side with the draw i feel. India got a bit complacent after they got alviro' s and kallis's wicket, they lacked intensity and didn't apply any pressure on batsmen at the crease. A match that deserved a victory, lost to a draw because of unsporting display of both the teams in last 3 overs..... such a shameful and anticlimactic end to otherwise a fantastic test match

  • Sorcerer on December 22, 2013, 22:33 GMT

    what does he mean when he says, "honestly"? Is he dishonest a lot of times?

  • on December 22, 2013, 22:32 GMT

    I think it was good chance for south africa to make history.they should have go for it

  • on December 22, 2013, 22:30 GMT

    I think it was good chance for south africa to make history.they should go for.it

  • on December 22, 2013, 22:23 GMT

    South Africa should have won. India should be happy they didn't lose :) Psychological advantage is surely with SA.

  • on December 22, 2013, 22:20 GMT

    both teams lack guts and only always play for safety, pretty poor as far as a result.

  • Harmony111 on December 22, 2013, 22:17 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.

  • kempvet on December 22, 2013, 22:15 GMT

    Australia wasn't playing, that is why there was no result, if Australia were playing, no way would they settle for the draw, either win in glory or defeated knowing that they gave their best.

  • on December 22, 2013, 22:15 GMT

    what a test it was being a pakistani I watched full game today as you know pk and sl was playing today but I prefer to watch ind. and sa. game. its been so many years that we didn't see such a fascinating test. Anyway as ravi said both team didn't deserve to loose.

  • Shongololo on December 22, 2013, 22:14 GMT

    Virot Kohli is a fine batsman but these utterances are just plain PR rubbish. The truth is that in a two-Test series, no-one wants to go one down leading into the last. Yes, Smith and SA settled for the draw. Just as Dhoni and India settled for the draw. Disappointing from both, a bit of an anti-climax at the very end but who can blame them?

  • pat_one_back on December 22, 2013, 22:14 GMT

    Nice attempt from Kohli to spin a positive story but that's all it is, spin, HUGE moral victory for SA saving the test. India really are talking rubbish, there is nothing they can take from day 5 other than disappointment. To set up a win like that, dominating 4 days only to barely salvage a draw day 5 is seriously deflating for any team. Aust were dominating SA until that huge Adelaide draw and then capitulated in Perth to lose the series, can see this pattern repeating. Huge wraps to India for setting up the position but there's no denying this is SA's moral victory, the win was secondary and with Morkel injured it was probably wise to settle for the moral win.

  • anoopshameed on December 22, 2013, 22:09 GMT

    Have no idea what Smith is saying here! India was trying not to loose which was why they had all the fielders in the boundary-and South Africa gave up without trying!

  • fairfan70 on December 22, 2013, 22:05 GMT

    First, the wicket was not as tough as every one is making it out to be. When India was batting in the second innings critics started saying that pitch has eased up. And when SA batted it was the last day pitch that was hard! Give me a break! The fact is it started getting slower and easier after 1st innings by both the teams (relatively speaking). Smith said second day batting was tough. I'd say it was tough on the 1st day as well and Indians batted really well. Coming to the second innings, SA have batted exceptionally and India's bowling was exposed. India will not win a match if they play Ashwin in the eleven. They have to go with 4 pacers to give themselves any chance. Even stevens at the end of 1st test - a fair result, though both teams will feel they should/could have won.

  • shashi114 on December 22, 2013, 22:03 GMT

    What an amazing day of Test day of test cricket ! SA chased down 434 against aussie in ODI, the world record they hold. They had golden opportunity to make another world record in test as well, chasing 458... didn't go for it. Indian should consider themselves lucky. I think Rahane took two important wickets at very crucial times. Running out both smith and du plesis.

  • theCricketPurist on December 22, 2013, 22:01 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?

  • on December 22, 2013, 22:01 GMT

    South Africa had the opportunity to create history.This would've been a nice gift to Nelson Mandela. Yet they blew it. No point poking your fingers to India. Shame on Proteas. You are the NO 1 team so show it. Australian team would've gone for it. Your supporters paid to see a result when opportunity comes. Show them some respect!

  • on December 22, 2013, 21:58 GMT

    To be very honest this was always India's test match to win. Day 1 255-5 and they made only 280.. Day 2 SA 145-6 and they were allowed to go on to 244. These two slip-ups has cost the win. Day 3 and 4 India were on top again with a handsome total on board to defend. SA brilliance sparkled only on Day 2 morning and Day 5 with the bat. When it came down to the last line the match was easily in SA's hand for the taking. But yes, I feel they would have lost had they gone for their shots still it might have been worth it to try for a historic win. India has done well to give still give SA chills and not going for the win and holding the match to a draw. My judgement is that India are marginally the better side and they will prove it by winning the next test match. India would need to reassess its spin option in Ashwin producing no wickets and their fast bowlers penetration on the final day. Otherwise it was a total awesome performance in overseas conditions.

  • Planetindia on December 22, 2013, 21:54 GMT

    It's S.A. that didn't go for the WIN as easy and Simple as that. they need 16 in 18 balls and three wicket in the hand. The way Philander batted in the first inning, S.A. should have gone for the win and History. Instead They got scared of loosing at Home and get behind in the 2 match series. I believe India have more confidence going to the second match then S.A. because nobody believe that they would control this match 80% of the time.

  • mahjut on December 22, 2013, 21:50 GMT

    :) not so surprising at all, really ... given this was a 5th day wicket, dhoni had pushed all fielders back and losing one more wicket would most likely have ended sa hopes (with an injured bowler and a true #11 only to come).

  • aussie1993 on December 22, 2013, 21:48 GMT

    of course sa if there was one genuine tail ender after steyn sa would have go for the kill but india will be really disappointed not to pulling this of

  • on December 22, 2013, 21:44 GMT

    Kohli: "The moment AB got out, all we looked to do was get wickets and get the result our way. We were never aiming for a draw. Or thinking that we needed to draw this game."

    > They then sent all nine fielders to the boundary in the penultimate over, faced > by Vernon Philander who was striking the ball well. Zaheer Khan bowled full > and wide...

    Pull the other one, Virat.

  • msdhoni123 on December 22, 2013, 21:42 GMT

    if you ask me start of the day would i be happy with the draw? i would be dissapointed but if you ask me at lunch would i be happy with the draw? i would grab with both hands. well donee India. no one gave us a chance at start of the series and we proved them wrong.Im still happy with the draw to be honest. hope India will keep the same intensity in durban as well. i dont understand why srilankan and pakistani fans criticising the Indian team. both of them got bowled out under 50. so they got no right to criticise this young team. Teams will do anything to have young players like kohli and pujara. well done india. easily the best team in the world right now if you consider all kinds of format.

  • glen1 on December 22, 2013, 21:39 GMT

    'Ashwin was getting a bit of bounce and turn', there in lies the rub. With no wickets to show, he should be dropped for Ojha or Jadega. If any of the fast bowlers look tired, they should honestly make way for Bhuvi or Yadav; this refers to Zak, in particular. The test is only three days away and India comes first.

  • chechong0114 on December 22, 2013, 21:28 GMT

    If I accurately read the look on Greame Smith's face after this game it said "ABSOLUTE DISAPPOINTMENT" and there probably should have been a result one way or the other. Regardless of how it ended up this was one incredible game of cricket one that in my books I would never forget. I think that both teams should be extremely proud of themselves they certainly provided some world class entertainment to everyone. I am a West Indian so the result had no effect on me and I was on the edge of my seat the whole time, this was a surreal cricket match and definitely one for the ages, one that the players will be able to tell their great, great, great, great grand kids about for a long time. Mahendra Singh Dhoni has seen it all in his career, great success and some bad defeats he is very humble man of very little words and virtually no emotions. So the post match interview will be very interesting to observe and know exactly what he is thinking and how he feels.

  • Diaz54 on December 22, 2013, 21:25 GMT

    5th day wicket and Indian bowlers did not manage to get the wickets on wicket which was helping bowlers. SA had been unlucky,,2 run outs,,two,played ons, and Kallis dismissal! Cannot get worse. Despite all this Indians could,not win....so they would be the more disappointed having bossed the match for 4 days.

  • JavagalSrinath on December 22, 2013, 21:23 GMT

    Heard some commentators say its cricket which is a winner today. I completely disagree and feel test cricket is a biggest looser as both the teams played out for a draw when they were so close to victory. Five days of cricket and nobody interested in winning during the final stage. I am happy crowd booed both teams.

  • on December 22, 2013, 21:17 GMT

    SA

    > would be surprised that this rookie Ind team would compete this way n give them a run for their money, they would have initially thought it would be a walk in the park

    > would be mightily content n satisfied to no extent that they drew the match n entertained thoughts of winning it n nearly won it...it would give them the belief that they could chase down any test score set out to them...which is worrying for other teams

    Ind

    > captain n bowlers would be disappointed that they could not win this test given lead n 2nd innings overs to spare

    > would be proud of the way the rookie batsmen stood up to the task

    both teams could blame themselves for not winning...both teams gave up their advantage from winning position:

    > SA were 130 odd runs for loss of 1 wicket in 1st innings...they could have batted Ind out of the game...in last 3 overs, match was again theirs to win

    > any team with a decent bowling lineup would back themselves to bowl opposition out with such a lead n overs

  • on December 22, 2013, 21:13 GMT

    SA 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. smith said right there. even die hard fans were in doubt. but should have gone for it. i think faf's runout was the problem.

    india should be 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 win it. infact almost for 4 days india was looking winner. Should have won it.

    i think smith pointed rightly. 5 th day vs a team who you have bowled for under 250 in 1 st innings and pitch behaving a bit . india was more disappointed side in the end.

    But in the end will take draw as SA were looking to win. and it was almost lost battle in the end until faf run out.

    SA saved it from jaws of loss. and got into position to win it. india have wasted a good chance to win it.

    over all Well played no1 & 2 teams.

  • PatrickJM on December 22, 2013, 21:06 GMT

    Jonathan Agnew made the excellent point that the reason this match transpired the way it did was because this is a two test series. Both teams were afraid to lose, because if you do you can only draw the series. The cricket watching public deserve at least a three, if not five match series - shorter series encourage conservative play, and also mean that the narrative of the contest is not allowed to develop. Individual battles between players don't get the chance to swing to and fro. And ultimately, test cricket is the poorer for it. Especially with the sort of talent on show in this match - Pujara, Steyn, Dhawan, de Villers, Amla, Philander, Dhoni, Kohli, Zaheer etc

  • on December 22, 2013, 21:05 GMT

    i am disappointed that our bowling unit could not bowl them out, given the target n no of overs...i would expect our bowlers to have regained again n relatively fresh after Ind kept SA out for a considerable amount of time in 2nd innings...may be it was some missing intensity n a bit of complacency at the start of SA's 2nd innings, whereby Ind bowlers never imagined that SA could actually believe n go for a win...however, hats off to our bowlers for toiling right till the end n salvaging the match which once looked lost, done n dusted...respect to SA, after being kept in field for so long, they dug deep n stuck around...esply when AB n Faf were batting, Ind bowlers lacked the zing n looked out of sorts with a resigned feel...SA proved their mettle...its like a car having a speedometer of 180, and the car actually hits that speed mark...thats what SA showed in terms of skill n talent, as to why they are no.1

  • realthog on December 22, 2013, 21:04 GMT

    I'm with Kohli on this one: I couldn't believe it when, in the last few overs, the Saffers just threw away all the wonderful work they'd done.

    Yes, by then, the Indians probably *were* going for the draw, as Smith says, but that doesn't mean the Saffers had to meekly follow suit. I'm still dumbfounded by the capitulation.

  • Sulaimaan91 on December 22, 2013, 20:55 GMT

    Deep down it is the Indians who would feel disappointed, having come in as underdogs and dominated the first 4 days of the match and being in such a commanding position at the beginning of the 5th, they would surely be more disappointed not to have won. SA would definitely feel as though they got out of jail after the misery of the first 4 days, although they had a slight chance of winning, with the wickets that fell and with so much at stake( its a two test series), SA would feel very content with the end result and India are still the underdogs going into the next Test.

  • heathrf1974 on December 22, 2013, 20:54 GMT

    It was the correct call, after these two SA would have had an injured Morkel and Tahir.

  • on December 22, 2013, 20:53 GMT

    Wow what a great test match end. All credit goes to SA batsmen for playing an excellent innigns and taking SA almost home. Faf's run out was the turning point of the game. it should have been SA's win.

  • on December 22, 2013, 20:53 GMT

    There will be endless discussions on which team should have gone for the kill and which team lost the opportunity but the truth is that both teams fought like a boxer possessed and threw everything they had in them. A draw is by far the most satisfactory conclusion to showcase the display of caliber that India and SA showed for 5 memorable days... and this coming from a die hard Indian fan... :)

  • Ashes8421 on December 22, 2013, 20:51 GMT

    rubbish tactics from SA - shame on them for not going for a win.

  • TommytuckerSaffa on December 22, 2013, 20:49 GMT

    A little bit difficult when Indian Bowlers are bowling a meter wide of off stump and bowling bouncers....And the next batsmen in is injured and the last is a walking wicket...

  • Silverbails on December 22, 2013, 20:48 GMT

    I couldn't understand the tactics of South Africa in the end. Between lunch and tea, when Faf and AB were batting so well, I really thought that even with 20 off 16 that they should have gone for it. Philander, too, was batting well, and Steyn's no mug with the bat, neither! So, even with Tahir and the injured Morkel to come in, singles would surely have taken South Africa home. Although India didn't really deserve to draw, perhaps Smithy is right: a draw maybe was the fairest result. Sets up the 2nd test beautifully. Who's the strongest, mentally? Lets wait and see…but, why only two Tests scheduled? Should have been 5, to make this a classic series...

  • him1618 on December 22, 2013, 20:43 GMT

    I do not think India had the firepower to get South Africa out on this wicket. Contrary to what Kohli says, it certainly did not look like India's bowling was incisive enough in the second innings. If they were looking to get wickets after ABD got out, I did not see yorkers, body balls, or close in fielders to attack the lower order. Indian bowlers need to learn to work when there is no help from the conditions. With no turn, Ashwin turns a pie-chucker, and with no swing of any kind, the pacers look toothless. They should be disappointed at not getting ten wickets here. They got the conditions to support them in the first innings with a spate of wickets falling, and got very lucky that Kallis was given out. I am afraid they'll be put to task in Durban, and they're easily beatable as a bowling attack, like what England did to them on their last tour to India. Lucky escape for India!

  • on December 22, 2013, 20:03 GMT

    the draw was the perfect result because for 4 days and 80ish overs neither team deserved to lose and for those last 10 overs neither deserved to win

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  • on December 22, 2013, 20:03 GMT

    the draw was the perfect result because for 4 days and 80ish overs neither team deserved to lose and for those last 10 overs neither deserved to win

  • him1618 on December 22, 2013, 20:43 GMT

    I do not think India had the firepower to get South Africa out on this wicket. Contrary to what Kohli says, it certainly did not look like India's bowling was incisive enough in the second innings. If they were looking to get wickets after ABD got out, I did not see yorkers, body balls, or close in fielders to attack the lower order. Indian bowlers need to learn to work when there is no help from the conditions. With no turn, Ashwin turns a pie-chucker, and with no swing of any kind, the pacers look toothless. They should be disappointed at not getting ten wickets here. They got the conditions to support them in the first innings with a spate of wickets falling, and got very lucky that Kallis was given out. I am afraid they'll be put to task in Durban, and they're easily beatable as a bowling attack, like what England did to them on their last tour to India. Lucky escape for India!

  • Silverbails on December 22, 2013, 20:48 GMT

    I couldn't understand the tactics of South Africa in the end. Between lunch and tea, when Faf and AB were batting so well, I really thought that even with 20 off 16 that they should have gone for it. Philander, too, was batting well, and Steyn's no mug with the bat, neither! So, even with Tahir and the injured Morkel to come in, singles would surely have taken South Africa home. Although India didn't really deserve to draw, perhaps Smithy is right: a draw maybe was the fairest result. Sets up the 2nd test beautifully. Who's the strongest, mentally? Lets wait and see…but, why only two Tests scheduled? Should have been 5, to make this a classic series...

  • TommytuckerSaffa on December 22, 2013, 20:49 GMT

    A little bit difficult when Indian Bowlers are bowling a meter wide of off stump and bowling bouncers....And the next batsmen in is injured and the last is a walking wicket...

  • Ashes8421 on December 22, 2013, 20:51 GMT

    rubbish tactics from SA - shame on them for not going for a win.

  • on December 22, 2013, 20:53 GMT

    There will be endless discussions on which team should have gone for the kill and which team lost the opportunity but the truth is that both teams fought like a boxer possessed and threw everything they had in them. A draw is by far the most satisfactory conclusion to showcase the display of caliber that India and SA showed for 5 memorable days... and this coming from a die hard Indian fan... :)

  • on December 22, 2013, 20:53 GMT

    Wow what a great test match end. All credit goes to SA batsmen for playing an excellent innigns and taking SA almost home. Faf's run out was the turning point of the game. it should have been SA's win.

  • heathrf1974 on December 22, 2013, 20:54 GMT

    It was the correct call, after these two SA would have had an injured Morkel and Tahir.

  • Sulaimaan91 on December 22, 2013, 20:55 GMT

    Deep down it is the Indians who would feel disappointed, having come in as underdogs and dominated the first 4 days of the match and being in such a commanding position at the beginning of the 5th, they would surely be more disappointed not to have won. SA would definitely feel as though they got out of jail after the misery of the first 4 days, although they had a slight chance of winning, with the wickets that fell and with so much at stake( its a two test series), SA would feel very content with the end result and India are still the underdogs going into the next Test.

  • realthog on December 22, 2013, 21:04 GMT

    I'm with Kohli on this one: I couldn't believe it when, in the last few overs, the Saffers just threw away all the wonderful work they'd done.

    Yes, by then, the Indians probably *were* going for the draw, as Smith says, but that doesn't mean the Saffers had to meekly follow suit. I'm still dumbfounded by the capitulation.