India in South Africa 2013-14

Booing crowds upset Steyn - De Villiers

Firdose Moonda in Johannesburg

December 23, 2013

Comments: 245 | Text size: A | A

There's bound to be some bruises the morning after a tough fight. Both South Africa and India would have been nursing a few. Despite competing in one of the most closely contested Tests in recent memory, there was disappointment that neither team was able to claim bragging rights or a series lead. "Ultimately cricket won," AB de Villiers, South Africa's second-innings centurion, said upon the team's arrival in Durban. He spoke to the media on Monday to reveal the emotional toll taken on the team over the five days, the rational explanation for the eventual result, and South Africa's plans to win the series.

India's players shake hands with Vernon Philander after the Test is drawn, South Africa v India, 1st Test, Johannesburg, 5th day, December 22, 2013
AB de Villiers: "A lot of people are blaming Dale and Vernon but I honestly believe that the Nos. 9, 10, 11 should never be going for the runs" © AFP

What was the feeling in the immediate aftermath?
There were a lot of mixed emotions. It's difficult to handle those situations. Dale [Steyn] was really upset, he struggled to handle it. It really took Graeme [Smith] and a few guys to help him handle it immediately, because of the crowds, the booing and everyone criticising him and Vernon [Philander]. They took a lot of strain and it was up to the team to pull through that but it was really tough.

A guy like me, I felt really good about the game of cricket. I am always a guy that looks past the results and I feel really lucky to have been part of that. I gave it my best shot, so did Faf [du Plessis], so did the whole team and we just came short in winning a spectacular Test match but very blessed to have been part of the match. It will go down in the history books as one of the best Tests ever. That's how I felt.

Graeme, I don't know, he was quite nervous at the end, running up and down in the changeroom. It was tough to get messages out there, so he let the boys play and let them make the decisions, which I still believe was the right decision. At the end, we had a really good team chat, where Russell [Domingo] and Graeme spoke really wise words and I think the whole team is in a good space after that.

And those words were that it was a great draw?
We pulled up an amazing draw and those were Graeme's words. It was about just how amazing a team we are and what we've achieved over the last while. That we should not go down with the criticism we will get, but to remember that we are a team of character and to keep believing in ourselves and our team-mates. That's why we play the game - for each other. So we look each other in the eye and we are really chuffed with a great draw.

Is there still some disappointment or is it mostly relief?
It's a very sensitive one. It's difficult to explain. We came so far and in that sense, we are all disappointed we didn't win the game. India will also be disappointed. I watched the highlights and I think Robin Jackman summed it up well when he said both teams would be disappointed but cricket probably won in the end. It was a great Test match and everyone should remember that. It's really tough to sum it up in the end. It is make or break. You make a silly decision and you lose the Test match. I think a draw was a fair call.

A lot of people are blaming Dale and Vernon but I honestly believe that the Nos. 9, 10, 11 should never be going for the runs. It's up to the top six to score the runs. If responsibility is going to be thrown around, it's on me, Faf and JP and maybe a little bit on Vern at the end there. The minute Dale walked to the crease, the right thing to do was to save the Test match and I thought they did that brilliantly well.

"People who don't know the game that well will still blame us but if you look at it - wickets in clusters, that always happens at the Wanderers. It was tough for the new batter and that showed when JP came in. Myself and Faf struggled for the first 20 balls, so those are all the things you have to think of. There was a lot of things going through Dale's mind at the end there. So I would say it was a very good draw."

How would you compare this to the draw in Adelaide last year? Would you say this is a bigger achievement?
It's definitely a better achievement than Adelaide. Maybe we did not have such a great bowling attack that we faced here, but Johannesburg is a lively pitch where not a lot of Tests go to day five. I can't remember the last time didn't get a result at the Wanderers. To get away with a draw and to bat so much time was a hell of an achievement.

There's so many things to take into consideration. People who don't know the game that well will still blame us but if you look at it - wickets in clusters, that always happens at the Wanderers. It was tough for the new batter and that showed when JP came in. Myself and Faf struggled for the first 20 balls, so those are all the things you have to think of. There was a lot of things going through Dale's mind at the end there. So I would say it was a very good draw.

What do you think the team can take away from this Test?
We were outplayed in the first three days and towards the end of our second bowling innings, we leaked more than we normally would. So we needed a bit more care with the ball in hand. We could have saved 20 or 30 runs, which would have taken us across the line.

We started slowly. They were a bit smarter than us. It's hard to say that in our conditions but it is a fact for the first innings. We adapted well in the second innings. For some reason, it got a bit slower, which was weird. The Wanderers wicket always picks up pace. Its frustrating that we started slowly but we still got away with a draw. We'd like to start better. The first session of day one will be important for us to set a good trend and send the message that we are here to win a Test match.

South Africa have lost their last four Tests at Kingsmead and the venue has become something of their nemesis of late. With this match being a must-win, what do you expect?
I am confused about Durban. I don't know what to expect. I am going to play it like I always play my cricket. I am going to take it one ball at a time and use my experience to adapt as quickly as I can. So will the whole team. I think there will be a bit of movement on the first day. Batting first always seemed the better option in the past. I don't expect as many cracks as there was at the Wanderers. It will probably be a bit more green, a bit firmer, and there may be a bit of turn towards the end of the Test.

With Morne Morkel unlikely to play, which of Kyle Abbott or Rory Kleinveldt do you think will get the nod and when will the decision be made?
It will come down to the morning of the game for Morne. It's an injury where he could probably play, that's my gut feel, but the chances of him breaking down half-way through the Test match will be good. Any little misplacing of the foot could happen. If he is not 100%, he shouldn't play but that is up to the fitness trainer. Morne definitely wants to get on. You know Morne. He wanted to bowl in the last innings. He's crazy. My gut feel is that we will go with 12 into the morning, let Morne run around and then see. I have no idea who is in better form between the other two. Rory has been with us on tour while Kyle has been bowling well domestically. It's up to the captain and coach to make that call.

The spinners were ineffective and fairly expensive at the Wanderers. Will South Africa opt for a more containing bowler in Robin Peterson in Durban?
JP had a decent game. He was the best spinner in the match. He picked up wickets at important times and if he hadn't, we may have had to chase over 500. Spin will play a bit more of a role here in Durban, so it's a tough one.

Immi [Imran Tahir] has bowled really well in the last few months. He didn't have a great game at the Wanderers but that is part of sport. We know what he is capable of. It's always tempting to get Immi into your starting XI, even if you play on a road. Even on glass, he can get you wickets. He seems to run through the tail easily. It's a tough decision to make. We lacked control at the Wanderers, not just from Immi, from all the bowlers.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by   on (December 26, 2013, 6:07 GMT)

The last thing India wants is a fired up Dale Steyn. The conditions are ripe for him to cutt the india top order to pieces, this isn't good.

Posted by OttawaRocks on (December 25, 2013, 15:34 GMT)

@JohnathonJosephs: Personally, I believe the scenarios you mentioned were the only ones that were plausible / realistic. However, there is one scenario you didn't mention. If SA played for the win (i.e., positive cricket while going for the shots) and one of the two batsmen got out (either Philander or Steyn) then there is a slight possibility that SA could have still collapsed after reverting to a more defensive mindset with the injured Morkel and Tahir trying but incapable of keeping out the remaining balls out. If so, it is possible that the SA fans could have turned on the SA team for not trying to save the game. I'm sure that's what Steyn was thinking and went for safety first rather than risk something unthinkable in his eyes albeit to the rest of us that possibility was an extremely unlikely one.

Posted by Mittaraghava on (December 25, 2013, 15:24 GMT)

I think that SF made a mistake by not going for a world record breaking victory.Before the last 2 overs of the match Steyn and Philander should have attempted fpr a victory(16 runs needed in 18 balls),if a wicket falls then,they could have closed shutters and with 2 wickets to go,their tailenders are capable of playing for a draw by defending last 2 overs.A historic opportunity has been missed after D'Villers ans Duplesis played the innings of their life time.A near similar situtation was in the test between Eng and India,when Gavasker played a marathon 221 and brought India near to victory.Then India having a weak tailend batsman had to go for a draw with 3 wickets and about 12 runs needing in the last few overs(may be 7 or 8 overs).May be Cap.Venkataraghavan was justified then to go for a draw.But even with the weak tail end batsman,I felt India should have gone for the victory,to justify Gavasker,s great knock and recording one of the greatest victories in cricket history.

Posted by cryptq1 on (December 25, 2013, 12:18 GMT)

What johnathonjosephs said. That is all.

Posted by johnathonjosephs on (December 25, 2013, 7:13 GMT)

Its not about it being Test Cricket vs ODI cricket. Its about it being Positive vs Negative Cricket. Lets look at each possible outcome. If South Africa lost (highly unlikely given only 18 balls and if 1 wicket fell, they would play for draw), they would have received applause from all around the cricketing world for their positive intent and how close they came to breaking a world record. If South Africa won, well, does anymore need to be said: it probably would have been the most amazing test win in the history of cricket. If South Africa played positively and one wicket fell/fell short, it would have been fine. Letting 18 balls go without playing a shot and then hitting the last ball for six was an illustration of how ridiculous the Saffers played. Don't know if it was Dale Steyn's decision, or if the order came from up top, but it was negative cricket nonetheless and will be remembered forever because of that

Posted by   on (December 25, 2013, 6:59 GMT)

I support the Proteas but their record of breaking our hearts in those crunch moments is horrendous. They deserve all the stick they get for that horrible decision making in those last 3 overs and for Smith to shift blame is horrible. Based purely on this he does not deserve to win a major title cause that was just a spineless display of a winning mentality. I will forget all we've achieved and will remember that we did not dominate because this was the type of thinking he was applying during those times.

Posted by OttawaRocks on (December 25, 2013, 5:54 GMT)

Based on the post game comments it is clear that Steyn was the one who insisted on the defensive play and that it was due to his lack of confidence that he could stay alive. If so, I'll have to say he was paranoid as behind him were Morkel and Tahir and I'm not convinced India could have got all 3 of them out in a space of 3 overs. In a space of 10 overs, maybe. But in 3 overs? I don't think so.

Posted by jahbert58 on (December 25, 2013, 5:47 GMT)

Choking always going to be SA legacy!!! playing like #1 team in the world between wicket all day even the crowd got involved cheering on their team to victory, a historical land mark of all time then suddenly the dreaded message from G Smith to Philander & Steyn to play it safe. ( mind you Philander made a well played 50 first inning and was playing even better second time around.) I could see the proverbial air been suck out of the stadium. choker choker choker a great team not to win any major tournament this century. This stigma will be very hard for SA to get rid of until they show otherwise....

Posted by aiksa on (December 24, 2013, 22:26 GMT)

I think SA should have tried to win. They had 3 wickets and needed only 16 runs in 18 legal balls which is less than a-run-a-ball. Everybody was disappointed not because they didn't win but because they just didn't try. Both the teams played safe. They did create one of the greatest draws but SA could have achieved the greatest test win and they may have to wait for a century to get such a rare chance.

Posted by   on (December 24, 2013, 17:15 GMT)

We have seen this many a times from South Africans. They completely get choked when victory is in sight. It is hard to believe that they didn't go for it. So what if they lose? It would have been one of the most memorable loss. It was history in making either way.

Posted by Metro-ant on (December 24, 2013, 17:14 GMT)

I completely disagree that test cricket was the winner on Sunday. People watch sport to witness their team perform victorious over the opposition, that's the beauty of sport. To see professional sportsman push themselves to the limit which is what we saw throughout most of that day with Faf and AB's innings. But then backing out when the win is within reach in a 5 day test match is ludicrous. Did the Proteas honestly think that India will get 3 wickets in one or two overs considering they only got 3 wickets that whole day, which was because of South Africa's unforced errors? I'm a staunch supporter of test cricket but I think I can understand why people are turning away because why wait 5 days for your team to win when you can watch them win in 3 hours?

Posted by Protears on (December 24, 2013, 16:14 GMT)

@Mukesh and others that had ago at South Africa's credibility need to take cognisance of the fact that we came out needing 130 runs after Tea on a waring pitch, once Faf and ABD got it down to 70 in quick time India went full defensive in bowling and fielding, AB tried to expand and got out. Who was left? Duminy is not a player to have around in pressure situations a very fair weather character with no solidity and a loose technique. We were left with Steyn a traditional night watchmen and Philander a kind of Pollockesqu lower order batsmen, over their shoulders was a injured Morkel and Tahir who cannot bat, how easy either Steyn or Phhilander get out and the rest tumble in a few balls, I don't criticize SA at all, I criticise the big talking Indians that went negative when Faf and ABD brought us to the brink of legend status.

As for Spin, I was puzzled by Tahir's inclusion over Robbie P but our spinners still got 5 wickets in the match, how many did Ashwin get?

Posted by nainil0683 on (December 24, 2013, 15:33 GMT)

I don't agree with you Mr. De Villiers. If your number 9 bastman scored 50+ in the first innings and was showing supreme confidence in the second innings, then he should have gone for the win. I understand why Steyn was upset. He was surprised and angered on the coward act of Philander. He (Philander) was totally capable of knocking the target down easily but don't know why he chose not to do it. After hitting the last ball for 6, Styen's expression were a clear suggestion to Philander that look, this is what I could have done if you would have given me the strike few overs ago. By the way I am an Indian, but I love cricket. That's why I wanted South Africa to win and create history because they truly deserved it. But when only 3 balls left, the coward knew that they cannot loose and then he went for a ugly hoick. What De Villiers and the coach should be doing is asking for answers from Philander rather than covering his mistake and giving stupid explanations.

Posted by AmmarNEDian on (December 24, 2013, 14:56 GMT)

I personally believe that the approach of the two captains was more on the defensive side, SA being put under a lot of pressure during the final session where as India being unwilling to have a go during the 4th day. India only succeeded in forcing a draw where as SA achieved a draw,hence the 4.5 days of superb cricket where overshadowed by cowardly captaincies!

Posted by spinkingKK on (December 24, 2013, 14:50 GMT)

@Naveed Khan , Good observation that Zaheer was bowling rubbish. But, it was clear that Dhoni wasn't worried at all. Otherwise, he wouldn't have given an extended spell to him. Zaheer is no Muralitharan, Shane Warne or Wasim Akram. Even in first innings, when he bowled exceptionally well, he only got the tail-enders. I don't agree with you that Shami was bowling rubbish. There could have been one or two rubbish per over. But, not all the 6 balls were rubbish.

Posted by spinkingKK on (December 24, 2013, 14:42 GMT)

@Umesh Kartha M , Steyn and Philander could have vindicated themselves if they were the last wicket. There were Imran Tahir and Morkel yet to come. By not going for a win, they are saying that those two are not capable of facing a handufl of balls from Shami or a seemingly wayward Zaheer Khan. SA only reached the winning position because of some seemingly loose bowling from Zaheer Khan in his extended spell after tea. So, in the end they have done a return favor to India and its captain by not going for a win.

Posted by spinkingKK on (December 24, 2013, 14:31 GMT)

@Sohaib Ahmed. May be AB should advocate SA to declare when 9,10, 11 batsmen are left to bat. Australia would have probably lost all their matches if AB is the captain of their team. The second tied test match would have never happened if AB was the captain of the Indian team. Luckily, AB is not the captain of South Africa.

Posted by nirvana_1959 on (December 24, 2013, 14:20 GMT)

You are all missing the point. After having fought so hard I would like to bear some fruit from it.Instead armchair quarterbacking put yourselves in SA players shoes. If Dale Steyn gets out then Shammi can run through remaining wickets. That's what SA mgmt was thinking. I think it makes a great sense. Decision may not please the crowd but was the right thing to do. If SA had lost because of the decision to go for win you all would have cursed him for writing off great efforts to save the match.

Posted by   on (December 24, 2013, 14:10 GMT)

in 2011 3rd test vs windies facing a target of some 75 runs in 15 overs with 8 wickets in hand with dravid n laxman playing, dhoni opting for a draw is not shocking to kohli,but tail enders playing for a draw is a big shock 2 him.l.o.l.

Posted by   on (December 24, 2013, 13:51 GMT)

By drawing a test match you can not create history.Only by wining u can make history.its South africa who lost the opportunity

Posted by   on (December 24, 2013, 13:50 GMT)

@ButchiReddy_TimmaReddy - Do you have any idea how valuable Vijay's small innings were? He left the ball well and that is the job of a test match opener. Sehwag? He is averaging 10 in domestic tournament, enough said.

Posted by   on (December 24, 2013, 13:45 GMT)

I think SA again chocked!

Posted by Mohammad.Imran.Hyder on (December 24, 2013, 13:44 GMT)

Boooooooooo.... great cricket, both team fought really hard and eventually south african cricketers managed to save their IPL contracts..... Boooooooo. open your minds folks, there is no such thing like great draw. it was all against the spirit of the game.

Posted by Rajdeepgupta on (December 24, 2013, 13:39 GMT)

Are you telling me that SA could not win the match? of course, they could have but deep down somewhere they choked.

Posted by Anu_AR on (December 24, 2013, 13:35 GMT)

Everyone is talking about the SA approach in the end but the question is what India did or rather Dhoni did. India lost the whole winning cause on 4th day itself. Once Pujara and Kohli were gone, India should have tried to increase the scoring rate and Dhoni should have taken the charge instead they kept things slow and made JP Duminy look like a great spinner. And afterwards when the need of the hour was to keep rotating the pacers and try to extract something of the wicket when the pitch was still doing something, Dhoni went to Ashwin who was not spinning, nor was getting any bounce. Ashwin bowled the maximum overs on 4th day and as if to outdo Smith in making tactical errors brought himself to bowl. I guess poeple should have booed Dhoni rather than the South Africans in the end. Dhoni was pure lucky to escape the humiliating loss. Dhoni should also consider the fact that most of the time his much admired out of box thinking has been nothing but plain luck.

Posted by on (December 24, 2013, 13:33 GMT)

They can say whatever they want , but the truth is SA had a chance to go for the win and they missed it , forget the all conquering Australians of 2000, even michael clarke's current team would have gone for the victory if they were presented with the same situation.. also anyone who follows cricket knows Indians are such fantastic players of spin , so what exactly were they thinking when they played Imran tahir on a green pitch , he cant bat , cant control flow of runs and was obviously the weak link in their attack , this is why SA will always be just a good team and never called great.

Posted by   on (December 24, 2013, 13:29 GMT)

Let's face it, it doesn't take Steyn much to get angry. Aggression is good for bowlers, but I think he goes overboard. And I think he needs anger management courses. That doesn't mean I don't think he's a good bowler, cos he is.

In regards to the draw, Morkel was injured and Tahir can't bat to save his life. It was a good decision to play for a draw at that point. Up until then, you could see SA going for the win, but with no reliable wickets left, I don't think they had a choice. And there was nothing India could do, so it's not their fault, either.

Espn, why aren't my posts being posted past few days? Come on, guys.

Posted by BnH1985Fan on (December 24, 2013, 13:28 GMT)

Booing crowds upset Steyn. Dale, the saying goes "if you can't stand the heat get out of the kitchen".

Posted by   on (December 24, 2013, 12:55 GMT)

I think India must have been the more relieved of the two sides at the end ! Given their bowlers just couldn't find a way through, you can't underestimate the importance of Rahane's two direct hits, which twice killed the momentum of the SA innings at critical times. I wonder if Joe Solomon was watching.

Posted by   on (December 24, 2013, 12:43 GMT)

lets face it SA has a defensive mindset..when big moments come, they minds get cluttered and are unable to make clear and decisive decisions. Philander batted beautifully in 1st and was looking grt in 2nd innings, not sure why the decision was left to Stey to chase or not to chase. Steyn is a bowler, Philander is an all rounder..blame should be laid at the feet of Smith and Team management, any other team would hv gone for it. SA will never win any meaningful big tournament with this mindset. such a waste of talent and effort

Posted by maini_23081982 on (December 24, 2013, 12:42 GMT)

Happy to see so much debate on a drawn match. Just shows how serious fans of both teams and even others are about this series which was deemed as one-sided lacklustre series.Regarding debate, I take side of SA.Definitely the weight of home defeat would have been manifold compared to the buoyancy of a preconceived victory against an underestimated India. So what SA did was fair and wise. Both teams need to be equally appreciated (or criticised if anyone wants to).Must not forget India's drawn test against W.Indies in Nov'11. Needing only 2 runs off last ball with 2 wickets in hands and what happened - batsmen trying for 1 run instead of 2(or going for boundary) to ensure a draw. Perhaps they thought it could be a runout on a no ball and then all out on last ball. That still would have been a tie with scores levelled by the single. I think same fear of loosing would have gone in the Indian team's think tank at that time what went through SA's in this match. Regards Team India Fan.

Posted by ABLcric on (December 24, 2013, 12:42 GMT)

I am from Pakistan and resident in Africa but was following this match on TV and not the Pak/Sri ODI. Because, I wanted to witness history. The draw is not 'history'. I am sorry, but I am extremely disappointed. SA had a chance to make history, but they decided not to. There is no such thing as Great Draws. Remember the Madiba Magic: "It always seems impossible until it's done". I also do not believe that the decision to go for draw was made at the ground. What happened to the good old "gloves exchange" messages. Anyway, it was surely a good test match. India was winning for 4 days. SA managed to draw!!

Posted by Zamma3 on (December 24, 2013, 12:35 GMT)

Wow, what a game but man am I disappointed. The fans were defiantly wrong to boo, but it is understandable after all they paid for the tickets and were rewarded they just wanted more. I have also played a few games at school and varsity and the pressure is immense but professionals should be able to handle it after all it is their job. Our test team lacks that killer instinct and the fear of failure is crippling us. This game reminds me of that Australia game a few years back when we had them at 27/9 and managed to blunder it so they managed to score 49, Philander could have bowled another over for sure. That game like this was an amazing effort but we worked so hard to get into that position and then to just give up like that in my opinion that was a defeat. I am sure Australia, India and England would have gone for that gone for the win. Smith and Damingo let the team down, they should have made the call after all that is what a captain and coach should do.

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

When fear of defeat outweighs the desire to win, one becomes lost in mediocrity.

Posted by ButchiReddy_TimmaReddy on (December 24, 2013, 12:18 GMT)

Umesh Yadav should replace ashwin in the 2nd test as Rahane looks confident and kohli, pujara are at peak. These bouncy tracks will suite Umesh's pace and swing. India should try Gambir/Sehwag for upcoming NZ and ENG series as vijay and dhavan are not up to the mark on bouncy and grassy tracks. I hope Rohith ll make the difference between two teams in Durban. Good Luck India. Go..India..Go..

Posted by A.Ak on (December 24, 2013, 12:14 GMT)

With Morkel injured, they did the right thing by not throwing away the game. If they'd lost, everyone would blame them very badly as 'Chokers' (I really hate that). I am an Indian and I have always seen fair play between IND vs SA (see how Ashes is going on). IND have played better then SA, but on day 5 SA did very well. Both team don't deserve to loose this game. Fair result!?.Its a sport after all.

Posted by   on (December 24, 2013, 11:42 GMT)

I very much liked what AB says Nos. 9, 10, 11 should never be going for the runs . Big Words

Posted by syed.r.karim on (December 24, 2013, 11:35 GMT)

I think Indian batting department will try to fight, but the steyn gun. If steyn find his big lateral movement from middle stump to outside the off stump then it will be innings defeat for India. South Africa should not hurry against Summy Ahamed in new ball because he has big seam movement. They should watch full against Zaheer Khan's reverse swing on old ball. Tahir should be replaced by Robin.

Posted by   on (December 24, 2013, 11:29 GMT)

Your blocking in the last 2 overs upset me too. So we're even.

Posted by   on (December 24, 2013, 11:27 GMT)

it was a great match superb performance by SA

Posted by cryptq1 on (December 24, 2013, 11:26 GMT)

@pjd_Howzat Not even remotely true that only in the last hour did anyone think SA can win. From the moment the last Indian wicket fell the majority of people were saying that the win is on if the overs are batted out. Most people I know was speaking of winning, not drawing, at the end of day 4. Even a respectable online sports betting site had SA at favourites at that time. They kept up with the required run rate all the way. That's exactly why the expectation became so high in the last hour. It was a text book chase. Keep up with the run rate, have wickets in hand. They played the chase perfectly for 133 overs and then forget to write the final page in a chapter of history.

Posted by JustIPL on (December 24, 2013, 11:01 GMT)

@????f: India are not the number 2 team. However, they were better first four days but last day they had no clue and nullfied their efforts of first four days which were sure to see them winning this test. A team which allows 300+ runs on a wearing pitch cannot win and concedes 3rd highest total in the fourth innings of a test match is extremely mediocre. Dhoni should have attacked to get wickets rather he was keeping ball away from the batsmen as indian bowlers are extremely average. Our team is number one but their progress is hampered by dirty politics of the number game. We beat the so called no.1 team in their backyard. Amla's unusual dismissal created opening for india and india could capatilise a bit more. Next time try to be a bit sensible and be out of day dreaming.

Posted by pjd_Howzat on (December 24, 2013, 10:57 GMT)

@Mazharulhaq Abdulmuqeet

If you are a real fan of South Africa you will support them no matter what and not be so negative against them and please do not speak for fans of the team if you are youtself not one.

so by deduction of your words and your attitude, your DEFINITELY are not a South African fan. please go harass some other team

Posted by pjd_Howzat on (December 24, 2013, 10:47 GMT)

Cricinfo - please post this

I do not understand how people can take the South African players to the cleaners like this. up the the last hour there was only 1 team that everyone thought was going to win this and that was India. Now suddenly South Africa gets lamented for not winning this test match. South Africa did not loose this test match, they saved it and if they did win, it would have been the greatest win in history. And even then most people will still call them to prove themselves to be among the WI (1980') and AUS (00's) - neither of them ever chased these totals or even got close.

So please grow up and give credit to the South African players for showing how much resolve they have to keep this game from running over them like some other teams would have done in the same circumstances.

SA you are the best and this test again has proven it

Posted by   on (December 24, 2013, 10:42 GMT)

this is funny many indians bashing the SA team that they didn't go for the win.....its either that all of them wanted SA to win and IND to loose or all those who commented clearly shows that they just want to dish out the SA team because their team weren't capable of taking 20 wickets and wanted STYEN to commit a mistake so that when Morkel came out to bat he would be forced to run and further damage his ankle.....SA should be proud that they managed a draw and were able to take 20 wickets with one of their front line bowler down.....had Morkel been fit who knows the target might have been 8 runs less..... only SA fans are happy and understand how well their team played,others all can't come to the reality of how well the SA team played and it's their prejudice towards SA for being the no.1 Test Team

Posted by Draconarius on (December 24, 2013, 10:41 GMT)

I think Steyn and Philander made the right call. If Faf had survived I'm sure they would have gone for it, but wiith no dedicated batsmen left there was too much risk of the Indians blowing through the remaining wickets if SA tried to go hard for the win. If they had tried and India had won, they would have been vilified for throwing away all of the hard work Faf and AB put in to save the match.

Posted by Micky.Panda on (December 24, 2013, 10:40 GMT)

Either team could have made history by winning this. It was certainly worth going for the win for SA. Maybe India attack was not good enough and too tired for them to go for the win.

Posted by Yevghenny on (December 24, 2013, 10:18 GMT)

crowds? For such an excellent team, South Africa have a pitiful amount of people turning up to watch them

Posted by India_ANY_track_bully on (December 24, 2013, 10:17 GMT)

Everyone seems to miss the point that Dhoni got defensive only in the last 3 overs to secure 16 odd runs... much like in a ODI.. that's his bread and butter!! but on the other hand SA went defensive even when needing 16 runs of 3 overs with 3 wickets in hand. In fact Faf was leaving/defending balls even when needing 40 off 40 with 4 wickets in hand. That is negative! Dhoni has been superb all along.

Posted by   on (December 24, 2013, 10:15 GMT)

India Bowled badly..SA should have lost this match at the end of second session or within first 10 overs of last session..Ashwin is the weak link... Pacers wanted to picth outside wide or on leg..pathetic..India had luck with Smith got run out and then Du Plessis's Run out ..If I would have the captain of SA then I would ask Vernon to keep taking singles and when try last 8-9 runs in last over..He can bat and Steyn can also bat..they should have tried to Win the match in last 2 overs...Though M happy as an India fan that India is not on loosing side but bowlers were over confident though were tried hard...I stlll feel..AMIT MISHRA can be handy in thses situation where Ashwin is not able to take wkcts..bcz Leg spinners be default invite batsman to play in air.. Ashwin Try quicker or Flightes Off spin..

Posted by India_ANY_track_bully on (December 24, 2013, 10:11 GMT)

Before the start of the series everyone (including me) was expecting us to get thrashed 2-0 and that too no ordinary defeats, but consisting of 3 days, 300+ runs, innings defeat etc.. like the mismatch going in Ashes... you get the picture! I was really surprised (shocked!) to see our batsmen playing so well under foreign conditions and our bowlers bundling SA out within 250 runs. Of course it was a bit too much to ask for a repeat on a hard rolled 5th day pitch but try they did!.. cannot fault anyone from the Indian team, apart from two issues. a) Why did Dhoni go slow on the 4th day? Another quick 50 odd runs would have taken the target to 500+. b) Ashwin... sorry but he is ineffective here. We need a replacement like Sir Jadeja or even Bhuvi. Which team will be more disappointed? Of course SA! It's much easier to take 8 runs than take 3 wickets!! I can see a lot of friction within the SA team due to this match - as already evident from AB's comments. Can't wait for Durban!!

Posted by silentassassin_88 on (December 24, 2013, 10:06 GMT)

To be honest, as an Indian fan, I would like to say that our expectations before this series was to have a decent series even if it was a 2-0 defeat. This series was considered a learning curve for the new players. We never expected them to counter Steyn, Morkel & co. like they did in green pitch like this.They showed that they have the character to fight it out. Remember India lost all the 8 away matches before this tour was started and came here facing the world's best bowlers in their own backyard.

I read comments from previous articles stating that India would be bundled out below hundred etc. But now, the India bashers are concentrating on blaming India and bowlers for not winning this match. I still dont mind if India loses Durban test, but a decent performance is enough. No point in blaming both the teams for not winning. AB and Faf came close to a Laxman-Dravid type partnership(would have been rated on par if SA had won) and both were not just brilliant, but outstanding.

Posted by   on (December 24, 2013, 9:46 GMT)

No SA no ... u shouldn't have lost .... cant your team score 40 of 48 balls with 6 wickets in hand ? if not then your team is not the greatest ... you had to prove that you are the no 1 in the world .... and you ...Amla when are you going to score a 50 or a hundred ?

Posted by cryptq1 on (December 24, 2013, 9:34 GMT)

To every man there comes in his lifetime that special moment when he is figuratively tapped on the shoulder and offered a chance to do a very special thing, unique to him and fitted to his talents. What a tragedy if that moment finds him unprepared or unqualified for the work which would be his finest hour. -Winston Churchill

Posted by spot_on on (December 24, 2013, 9:32 GMT)

Oz fans stop spraying venom here.. Cancel the Ashes and come back on an Indian tour. We will beat your rears down with one hand !!!

Posted by   on (December 24, 2013, 9:31 GMT)

i dont know why some people still close their eyes and blindly saying ... it is an achievement for south african the Drawn test ... they could have win it very easily .. i dont know why .. they disappointed all their fans including me ....according to me it is Indian team who made it ... they put a huge target and then they were losing the game ...and then they got it tied which is good ... but for south african team .. they chased in an incredible way .. but at the end they .. chose to draw instead of a win ...

Posted by thedreamer on (December 24, 2013, 9:31 GMT)

Take it in your stride, Steyn. Even the great Sachin has got booed.

Posted by BradmanBestEver on (December 24, 2013, 9:23 GMT)

Yes I agree that SA should have pressed for victory. Smith is too risk averse.

Posted by   on (December 24, 2013, 9:22 GMT)

As AB put it, this match will certainly go down in history books as one of the best test matches, but also one of the worst finishes ever. Having come this close (16 runs to score of 19 balls with 3 wickets remaining) they should have gone down swinging rather than crawling into a hole and settling for a draw. What an anticlimax to a climactic test match!

Posted by   on (December 24, 2013, 9:20 GMT)

Great character shown by SA to draw the match -- given the situation they were in at the start of their second inning. Luck was arraigned against them -- a freak dismissal of Amla, a wrong decision on Kallis, and they were a bowler down which allowed India to balloon up their second inning score. And of course SA were a batsman down in their second inning as well. Think Philander and Steyn made just the right decision at the end. Good fight back by India after the ODI, which all made for a riveting test!

Posted by umairmah on (December 24, 2013, 9:16 GMT)

I am really surprised no one talking about India's poor bowling. They have 132 overs and still didn't able to bowled out SA in bowling friendly track. They should think of their bowling options seriously. Cahsing a world record total adds more pressure on the batsmen but even then Indian bowlers didnt get advantage with that mind set.

Posted by   on (December 24, 2013, 9:08 GMT)

South Africa should have pressed for a win! India played beautifully, believe me it is very difficult for a Pakistani to say this, yet, they need to work on their bowling to take 20 minutes in a test match. For South Africa, there was much more to gain than to lose, pity they didn't win it. I believe they deserved it more after reaching where they did. Wonderful game of cricket but again I guess cricket actually lost because both teams were extremely negative towards the end. Cricket would have won if both teams had been pressing for a win. Disappointed to see as a cricket lover!

Posted by   on (December 24, 2013, 9:06 GMT)

@ Somach

At what point did I say it was a rare showing by India. They played well, SA didn't.

And don't be hypocritical, saying SA didn't misfire and then go on to Say "FYI India misfired in the odi's". In all honesty, India never came close in the opdi's, and all the Indian fans keep going on about how much better the odi team for India is number one, world champs, champions trophy champs... blah, blah, blah.

SA played well in only one session this test, India played well in 3... and still only beat SA by 8 runs, because SA decided to play for a draw rather than winning.

BTW... go check the individual rankinds for the worlds top batsmen and bowlers... then come here and tell me which of the two teams has the most players in the top ten for bowling and batting, and then what their positions are.

The rankings are over a three year period. Maybe if India actually won something oversease, they would be "number one"... but they haven't.

Posted by   on (December 24, 2013, 9:05 GMT)

Go fly a kite Steyn.

I remember your comments after giggling at Hafeez

'....But that is the kind of way I play the game and I accept the same thing from the opposition coming at me," he admitted.'

Cry baby cry !

Posted by Harlequin. on (December 24, 2013, 9:03 GMT)

Moments like this make me think about the purpose of sport. IMO, there are two; entertainment for the fans, and the chance for players to etch the records of their abilities into the history books. SA failed on both these counts.

Had they gone for it and won, they would have entertained the crowd and immortalised a fantastic achievement that would have been written about in cricinfo specials for the next 20 years. It would have been an epic moment that the team/staff could look back on and know they could never have it taken away.

Had they gone for it and lost, they would have entertained the crowd, and earned a lot of respect in doing so (Brett Lee '05 anyone?!). Sure they would have lost, and felt bitter but in a years time few would remember it, and it certainly wouldn't have been a defining moment.

As it was, they let the moment pass. They failed in their duty as sportsmen to give this match the finale it deserved and become legend. But who knows, they may get another chance!

Posted by quittthewhinging on (December 24, 2013, 8:50 GMT)

What tickles me is that everyone is having a go at Smith, although it doesn't surprise me; despite everything he's achieved, this has been par for the course for 10 years. My question is: what about Dhoni?? He was the captain who had the luxury of setting his opponents a target of 460 on days 4 and 5 of the match. What exactly were his tactics? If he expected SA to fold then he obviously hasn't been watching them too often in recent years. When the crunch came in the last half hour, he had three of the last four batsmen to dismiss. Granted Philander can bat a bit, but Steyn is an out & out slogger (if memory serves me he has a Test average of 13 or 14), Morkel is a true tailender (who was crippled), and Tahir who must be worst #11 in the history of the game. I ask again: what were Dhoni's tactics? He had his quicks bowling high and wide and all his fielders on the boundary. Why didn't HE go for the win?? Surely it was as much in India's interests to win as SA's.

Posted by   on (December 24, 2013, 8:50 GMT)

people who don't know cricket obviously booed steyn and vern. SA had great tactics going for the win until faf was there and once he got out the best thing was to play for a draw. morne wasn't 100 percent and Indian's believed they could get the wickets by spreading the field. Great work SA it shows why we are the NO.1 Test team in the world.

Posted by milepost on (December 24, 2013, 8:45 GMT)

@somach, congratulations, that is the most confusing comment I have ever read here! Not only am I sure that I don't understand your post, I am sure you don't either.

Posted by haq33 on (December 24, 2013, 8:39 GMT)

Ok this uber-analysis is getting depressing now so let's play a game.....which players in the world WOULD have thrown caution to the wind and gone for it all guns blazing? I can think of Shahid Khan Afridi :-) also Chris Gayle.

Posted by   on (December 24, 2013, 8:35 GMT)

Top-class test match, which is to be expected(?) when the two best teams are playing. In the end, I think the result is poetically just. Neither team really deserved to lose. I see some Indians blaming South Africa, saying that when Dhoni spread the field, the onus was on Philander to take the challenge and show positive intent. But the same logic works the other way around too! Philander challenged Dhoni, the onus was on him to not post everyone on the boundary and set a positive field ... Anyway, since the BCCI is so keen to deprive the watching (and paying) public of such high quality cricket (which brainless <insert profanity> schedules a two-test series between the two best sides?), the most appropriate thing to do would be to convert the last match into a TIMELESS test.

Posted by TruthWarrior on (December 24, 2013, 8:33 GMT)

....chocked the right phrase here which D V should use & ....same again...what MSD should say

Posted by Arrow011 on (December 24, 2013, 8:32 GMT)

These kind of draws despite coming close makes me feel so good for the Australians, they go for the win or do not mind losing also. That is what you play cricket for, draw is never a result a captain should have in mind, it is like playing a single test match, not 2 now. You play the sport to win, not for anything else, having done 98% of work you go back is not good. You are about to rewrite history & get into record books. On paper you are world no.1, don't you think this world record chase will be an added achievement?

Posted by somach on (December 24, 2013, 8:31 GMT)

@RichardDavis: No way India played out of their skins. It's time to accept SA couldn't match up with India in many departments, most of which determine whether they are 1st ranked or second ranked. A second ranked team, with most batsmen being on top in their craft, having one of the best fielding unit almost seems a joke to you. South Africa Aren't invincible, India according to me are going in favourites in the next match.

You can't say SA misfired, they were outplayed and mentally overwhelmed. Indian batsmen are known to rip apart any attack, leave alone south african. A steyn can't suddenly misfire. FYI India misfired in the odi's.

South africa didn't seem to be at the top of their game because India was on top of their game, and it's not pleasing for any opponent to see that. BUt south africa proved to be a top ranked team to find their groove and almost win the match. No credit taken away from SA, but you can't allude that India put up a rare show. India are going to maintain

Posted by Arrow011 on (December 24, 2013, 8:24 GMT)

Honestly, this is a good cover up by a very good team man that is ABD. The reality is you have done 98% of good work & before making it 100 you feel we should not complete, that is the kind of work South Africa did. In the last 14 runs they feared "Chokers" tag, this was not there for the rest of 444 runs they worked so hard, this is why South Africa are "Chokers". W-Record squandered

As regards India, as usual the bowlers lacked firepower to take 20 wickets to win a test match. This is the main reason great batsmen like Gavaskar, Sachin & Rahul who scored over 10,000 test runs could not become match winners. Now Virat & Pujara also could not win matches despite their brilliance. Earlier they go with 3 pace & 2 spinners or vice versa India will struggle forever. Dhoni's captaincy & his poor batting got exposed again on foreign soil. Dhoni should always select Ravinder Jadeja instead of Ajinkya. Everybody knows Ravinder is a greater fielder than Ajinkya despite his 2 very good run outs

Posted by StaalBurgher on (December 24, 2013, 8:22 GMT)

Only disgruntled Indian fans clutching at straws can seriously suggest that SA should've risked their bowlers getting the last runs on a spread field with them pitching it short. You cannot expect the dodgy batting from tailenders to chase 8 an over. If Faf en Philander had been there, then yes, they would've gone for it. SA were "going for it" since Tea which was already a bigger risk. They lost 3 batsmen "going for it". Nah, only Indian fans wanted us to risk a long shot and lose because they know they got lucky in the end. Can't wait for Kingsmead.

Posted by   on (December 24, 2013, 8:21 GMT)

At the end of it all, a lose-lose situation. Very sorry that India could not win a match that was theirs to win at lunch time on day 5. Hope India can keep up the intensity in Durban. History is not in their favour.

Posted by   on (December 24, 2013, 8:21 GMT)

@nutcutlet, I think your view is correct. The rest of us armchair experts and mostly the only bottling I see here is one with alcohol. Steyn has every right to be upset, since he is no bottler. Poor show by the crowd, not fully appreciating the cricket they had been watching. As disappointed as I am that we did not win it, I remind myself that I was not the one in the middle and comfort myself that I would have been even more disappointed if we had lost. Durban should be a cracker.

Posted by HiyerNHiyer on (December 24, 2013, 8:20 GMT)

As an Indian Fan, I am happy with the Indian teams performance. Pushing SA so hard in their own backyard with a new look team is good. Yes I would have loved if they won the match.That said, I can in the defense of both teams say that "Neither" team wanted to lose, I am sure both Indian and SA fans would have chastised if their team had lost. Remember No team plays with the idea of losing..from what I know both these teams hate to loose.. we are spectators, the players lived the test match..give both the teams some credit for trying to win.That said I still fee l Dale Steyn desperately wanted to go and win the match for SA even if it meant risking a loss.. I respect that sentiment. Also, I feel that the current breed i.e. Virat, Pujara, Shami, Dhoni, Ashwin, Shikar also dont mind risking a loss in order to go for a win and thats why they leaked runs..Lets respect the sentiments of the teams and the players and not criticize them because its become a fashion nowadays to criticize all!!!

Posted by Wd-X on (December 24, 2013, 8:18 GMT)

@TommytuckerSaffa -- Looks to me like you're the one who did not watch the match. Care to revisit the over zaheer bowled to philander when they needed 16 from 12? Except for the 5th ball all of them were defended stoutly by Philander. Easy singles were refused by the batsmen refusing to run. Go and watch the match before making your ignorant comments. As for the indians bowling 'short and wide' steyn refused to even have a waft at balls well within his range. Again its pretty obvious you are the one who did not see the match.

Posted by Baundele on (December 24, 2013, 8:13 GMT)

I would have called it a 'great' test match, if SA showed intent to win the match from a relatively easy position of scoring 16 runs off 20 deliveries. The fans ask for excitement, and they did not get it at the end. To me, it was a loss-loss situation for both teams. India failed to take those 8 wickets, and SA failed to score those 16 runs.

Posted by wapuser on (December 24, 2013, 8:13 GMT)

India needed 3 wickets not two and indians kept attacking field for steyn......Keeping in mind that indians dominated

Posted by yujilop on (December 24, 2013, 8:11 GMT)

As a neutral cricket fan, I was partly booing in my armchair for the last three overs. Not because it ended a draw, but because neither team showed any intent to try and win the game.

I'm not going to put the blame entirely on any player of either side, everyone was trying to do their job (and avoid getting blamed by the media for a loss). If it was a 4 or 5 match series, I think someone would have taken the risk because there would be room for recovery even if they were trailing 1-0. In a two-match series, if you lose one, you can't win.

That said, when both teams were putting 90% of their hopes on the same result (a draw), it didn't feel quite right. Nobody lost, but everyone was left disappointed.

Posted by   on (December 24, 2013, 8:06 GMT)

I'd rather watch an exciting draw than a boring win, all that i was hoping for is close fought test matches, who wins is anybody's guess, SA is probably more likely to win given the conditions. With Ashes going the way it is, I think this test match was just great. Both teams get credit for playing an excellent test match. I don't care who wins.

Posted by   on (December 24, 2013, 8:00 GMT)

Vernon Philander for all the bravado that he dished out during his press conference during the test match proved he his also a choker just like his Protea team mates. The same match in the case of an Aussie team, with even their tailenders batting they would have gone for a win, without worrying about losing. This is the reason why the South Africans despite statistically the no.1 team and having several top quality players - that too a number of all rounders, which would be any other team's envy- never has had the aura of great teams and any series with them doesn't quite create the same kind of buzz as with other great teams in the past.

Posted by ramli on (December 24, 2013, 7:59 GMT)

Crowding the batsmen with close-in fielders is not the only attacking strategy ... tail-enders are more likely to be caught on the boundary or in the out-field trying something ... MSD spread the field for the last 3 overs simply inviting SA to take up the challenge ... how can this be viewed as negative? The onus was with SA but they did not oblige ...

Posted by   on (December 24, 2013, 7:52 GMT)

it is amazing that india did not go for a win there they were in a position for 4 days to win and in the last they have to just take out 2 more wickets in 3.2 overs but they did not even tried to be hostile to them..

really ash

Posted by Nutcutlet on (December 24, 2013, 7:46 GMT)

That's the entititlement of the crowd. They've paid to see some entertaining sport. They are not, by and large, empathetic. Many have had their judgement skewed by booze, besides their inhibitions being released. Excess alcohol seldom makes for rationalism, or better nature. Those that were responsible for the slightly sour atmosphere in the ground in which this thrilling match ended did not care to appreciate the bigger picture or even understand that a draw was a fair result. What's fairness when you're waving a flag with one hand, got a glass in the other & you can only see throgh one eye?

Posted by   on (December 24, 2013, 7:44 GMT)

great test match

Posted by absartabish on (December 24, 2013, 7:42 GMT)

I think the cricket wins in the end. But for me India have a great chance of winning but they loose that chance and make it a draw , they were missing one really good spinner at that time . Only in the last session SAF have a chance to win the test match which they missed. But overall both teams played well and well wisshes for both the sides for the upcoming series.

Posted by   on (December 24, 2013, 7:40 GMT)

People have forgotten about sport, what it is and means.

Posted by TheVoiceOfReason on (December 24, 2013, 7:35 GMT)

What a shameful disgrace, that is why Steyn felt so bad, it finally sunk in that he had let a great moment slip. No bottle, no self belief. If Steyn was going to go see it off, rather send in Tahir to slog a few and who knows what could have happened! Shameful!

Posted by milepost on (December 24, 2013, 7:35 GMT)

I disagree with AB. I think from watching Steyn wanted to go for it but Philander didn't. This has no right to be remembered for anything other than being a farce.

Posted by Rock_cricket on (December 24, 2013, 7:29 GMT)

I think draw is humiliation for both the sides, Indian was underdog from the beginning of series (many predictions by fans particularly non Indians/ non safis) they played in all departments fantastically till the day 4, day 5 which was very important was ruled by South Africans and made this match a well memorable. Thanks to both teams, people will criticize let them..

Posted by   on (December 24, 2013, 7:26 GMT)

People who say that Dhoni should have gone for the win and was quite defensive are those who watched only the last session of the play , otherwise they would not have said so

Posted by   on (December 24, 2013, 7:25 GMT)

I just pity on FaF who played brilliantly and one error turning the tables upside down and SA is receiving bashing from everyone. SA was about to pluck Victory from an expected Indian one, but rather they thought too less about themselves. I cant stop thinking about culture playing a role. Every country has an inbuilt culture (Aussies - ruthless/go for win, India - hero worship/can surprise or decimate anybody and can play like paper tigers too, Pak - Best Bowling/Inconsistent, SL - win thru fighting/Never excel, Eng - I don't know how I won/I don't know why I lost, SA - Brilliant team/Choke etc...) and they just don't deviate at all from this. No one is there to pip the Aussies consistently.

This result has multiplied the expectations on the boxing day test match. Ashes losing its steam due to 'retirements' even Aussies/English might watch this SA v Ind :)

Posted by   on (December 24, 2013, 7:24 GMT)

What you Indian fans seem not to have notice... this test was India "playing out of their skins" (as some of you seem to suggest), whilst this was the SA team playing poorly.

But, still SA scored 450 runs in the fourth innings, and could have won it. You had all written them off at the end of day 4 "we will see an Indian victory" you were all saying.

If you guys can't beat a South African team that is not firing, whereas the Indian team was "fired up", in what universe do you think India would beat SA when they are firing?

Posted by   on (December 24, 2013, 7:20 GMT)

philander should have gone to bat to was winnable game...defensive mentality,not gud enuff..

Posted by TommytuckerSaffa on (December 24, 2013, 7:20 GMT)

@Posted by Wd-X on (December 24, 2013, 6:29 GMT) Also for those saying this was a test match and not an ODI, in the last 2 overs every single fielder was near the boundary. Never in an ODI will you get an opportunity for such easy singles or twos. Just take the singles and wait for one bad ball which could be slogged over the boundary. Much easier to write than do it in the middle but the fact they did not even try for the singles was pathetic.

I have to laugh out loud when I read this. You clearly never watched the match, this is certain. To quote "Easy singles and twos..." Tell me Wd-X , when a fast bowler is bowling short and wide at the number 9 batsmen on a 5th day pitch - how are those easy runs??

Posted by raanasfk on (December 24, 2013, 7:15 GMT)

SA might have drawn the match but i guess they have won the next IPL gala in SOUTH AFRICA... well done board of South Africa....

Posted by   on (December 24, 2013, 7:14 GMT)

Didn't AUS went down to a white wash to india ....... com'n had it been AUS the game would have finished in half a day .....AUSSIE fan stop kidding youself ...remember how SA chased down your 434 in 50 over huh huh HUH????? in the same ground

Posted by wapuser on (December 24, 2013, 7:11 GMT)

If both teams were playing for draw esp in the end why were they risking players to injury in dark, both captain should have stop the game if they want draw.why philander refuse three singles.if they want a draw why they wasted time of so many viewers.negative cricket by both esp SA.once smith made a blunder decesion to declare at 278 last day....and aust chase that.if poolack can be sacked why not kock far more better batsman than him.

Posted by wasimahm on (December 24, 2013, 7:06 GMT)

There's nothing great about this draw. It was one of the most shameful ones in fact. A win would have been the height of this South Africa dominated era. SA should have gone all out for it whatsoever the consequences. A fighter like Dale Steyn not going for a win, just shows the South African mindset. They are chickens when it comes to enforcing a win. And it just goes on to show Graeme Smith is not all that good at taking risks and neither is Dhoni. There's nothing worse when there are two captains are waiting for the other to take the first step and in the end nothing happens. Literally shameful.

Posted by   on (December 24, 2013, 7:06 GMT)

Beertjie Wide bowling you say? Should India have given SA full tosses?

Of course! Watch Mcgrath bowl Wide ones to Chris Cairns when they were threatened by defeat in their own backyard. A Legend, no?

India had less than 20 runs to play with when the defensive fields came. Philander was hitting the "Wide" ones for fours wasn't he? What happened in the penultimate over? Why refuse singles? Steyn has shown time and time again he can do a decent job, take singles atleast.

India should have never let SA get to 400/4 if they wanted to win, and from 400/4 SA not being able to force a win only reiterates the fact that they choke under pressure. They wouldn't have lost the #1 spot but the thought of losing a close match to India, the "scared" batting lineup and "ordinary" bowling lineup has definitely shaken them up.

Posted by   on (December 24, 2013, 7:04 GMT)

SA once again proved that they are the 'Chokers'! But I think they are 'Cowards' too. I never knew that 'Fast Bowlers' can be that much 'Coward'! I'm very much Disappointed. Dale and Vernon just destroyed the 'Extraordinary' effort of AB and Faf. No word is enough to describe what an opportunity these 'Cowards' missed. It's always Hurts to support SA!

Posted by Naresh28 on (December 24, 2013, 7:03 GMT)

This SA team came across to me - as one where there is no team spirit. Philander and Steyn did not look as they were communicating. Maybe each one of them wanted to be the hero. This outcome was totally unexpected - the game was there for SA to take. What went wrong?

Posted by   on (December 24, 2013, 6:56 GMT)

I could not imagine any other test nation, in the position that the South Africans were in not going for it. The chokers are back!

Posted by SaifS on (December 24, 2013, 6:54 GMT)

My India pick for Durban: Only one replacement, Jadeja in for Ashwin... Reasons: Better Batsman Much Better Fielder More Accurate Bowler who will not rely on turn which is unavailable on SA pitches.

Posted by Just_Sam on (December 24, 2013, 6:41 GMT)

With seven down, SA had no choice but to go for the draw, because actually in a way they were nine down, with Morkel hardly able to walk and Tahir practically a one or two ball batsman. If SA was to loose a wicket in the third last over then even a draw was not possible for SA because it was impossible for Tahir to survive 14-15 balls lest score winning runs. For what India did is also justifiable. Philander is an aggressive all rounder and Steyn is also capable of sending a few over the rope if ball is found in his area. So even a single four or six could have taken the match away from India. At that stage, a draw was the best possible result. To summarize, India's performance is much much better than SA because they drew a match which they were suppose to loose by an innings. Since now that Indian batters and bowlers have spent time in the middle and measured the SA pitch conditions next match will be very tough for SA.

Posted by Gangi on (December 24, 2013, 6:36 GMT)

Its really very surprising that SA did not try to score 14 runs in last three overs. I think they can play first nine balls safely and then try to score 14 runs on last nine balls. This would not only reduce the risk of loosing the game but also ensure lot of possibility of win. Surprisingly Mr. Styen only try to socre 14 runs on the last ball. I doubt that there will be sympathy in the mind of Styen that link with IPL as he even did't bowl on right line and length in both innings.

Posted by Wd-X on (December 24, 2013, 6:29 GMT)

Also for those saying this was a test match and not an ODI, in the last 2 overs every single fielder was near the boundary. Never in an ODI will you get an opportunity for such easy singles or twos. Just take the singles and wait for one bad ball which could be slogged over the boundary. Much easier to write than do it in the middle but the fact they did not even try for the singles was pathetic.

Posted by Wd-X on (December 24, 2013, 6:26 GMT)

@Andy_Wright - Agree with you completely. The last 3 overs were a farce. If this was such a 'victory for test cricket' why were people booing? The ending was a horrible advertisement for the game and the thousands of fans who tuned in to watch the dramatic final session where left with a bitter taste in their mouths. The SA fans are overwhelmingly angry at what transpired. Its mainly the Indian fans who are claiming 'great match' in relief that their team did not lose.

After getting so close it was irrelevant if the saffers had won or lost. They would've been hailed as heroes for chasing a world record score. Even if they had got all out they would still have made their supporters proud. But they did not even try! Even if they win at Durban, who is going to remember a 1-0 series win in 10 years? No one is even going to care who was ranked No:1 in the world.

Posted by   on (December 24, 2013, 6:26 GMT)

@ JustIPL "SA are the true number one team but india do not deserve to be no.2 as they could not defend this highest total and nearly lost the match" Indeed SA are no. 1 but your comment doesn't make any sense. How can you forget first four days when India dominated against the no. 1 Test team in SA and basing your comment on 1 days play. If you are implying that India doesn't deserve to be no. 2 then you are saying that SA is not a good team as they only won 1 out of four day in their own home against a team which is not good enough. And if India doesn't deserve to be no. 1 then who should be no. 1 your team? Which struggled to cross 50 when they last visited in SA. And INDIA DID DEFEND THE TOTAL. Next time try to make sense.

Posted by JustIPL on (December 24, 2013, 6:20 GMT)

India must rue the chance the squandered to win this test. SA were facing the highest 4th innings total and india could not make it. Defensive strategy by Dhoni as he did in WI before 8-0 whitewash. It will start indian slide once again and this time they may slide from no 2 position as there is one more english tour is coming.

Posted by m_ilind on (December 24, 2013, 6:20 GMT)

While SA did well to save this Test and even threaten to win it, India on the other hand should be disappointed. They could not bowl out SA in the second innings even after 133overs. Only seven wickets fell, and that too with two run outs. India's bowling effort was disappointing! It was a golden chance to win an away Test after losing their last eight overseas. Cheers to the young players in the team though!

Posted by   on (December 24, 2013, 6:13 GMT)

Whoever lost this game would have no chance of winning the series. That must have played into the minds when both teams went for a draw.

Posted by   on (December 24, 2013, 6:08 GMT)

Vernon Philander is a pretty decent batsman and can mix caution with aggression whenever required,so should have held up one end and let Steyn go for the shots when the equation was 16 runs off 20 balls.Both batsmen committed almost a sin by eating away 14 consecutive deliveries without even rotating strike at that point.If we put that aside, Steyn should have atleast taken a chance at 16 runs off 6 balls and should have had some confidence in Imran Tahir and Morne Morkel to survive atleast 4 to 5 balls in the event of his departure.In the end by blasting almost a yorker from Mohammad Shami out of the park,Steyn had showcased his underutilized skill.No doubt he has underachieved as a batsman in that last over.South Africa like at every major International stage chocked at the death.Even though it was India's match for 4 days and 1 session,AB Divilliers and Faf Du Plessis took the match away from India with their strokeplay and threatened to win it for South Africa.

Posted by   on (December 24, 2013, 6:07 GMT)

A very balanced interview. Never went overboard at any stage. captain in waiting surely

Posted by hellboy316 on (December 24, 2013, 6:05 GMT)

I think Dhoni should have gone for a kill once Faf was run out. He was the only thorn for India, but the way Shami bowled in the 128th over (previous to penultimate) it looked like Dhoni was not interested in victory. I agree with AB that it was unfair expecting Dale & Vernon win the match for SA. Since Morne was injured and Tahir not a good tail ender to bat it was a wise decision to save the game. But I see a loss on Dhoni's part. And Hats off to FAF.

Posted by Lenniesahayi on (December 24, 2013, 6:01 GMT)

This is why I am not a SA fan,their approach is too conservative,had it been Australia,we could have managed to get a winner and a loser.Smith's captaincy,like his batting has no flair.

Posted by sherishahmir on (December 24, 2013, 5:53 GMT)

This match would also be remembered as one of the greatest test match in the history of cricket as correctly said by Robin Jackman that both teams should be disappointed but cricket won in the end and test cricket was probably at its best. Both teams should take the result positive as India struggles in the ODIs but performed remarkably in the test with their very young and inexperience side, South Africans who were favorites had probably toughest time in their backyard since they become number 1 test side, but also showed great resilience and character and proved fairly why they are number 1 test side.

Hope the next match would also be v interesting as we might see the intensity and aggression from Steyn and resilience by Kohli, all the best to both teams.

Posted by   on (December 24, 2013, 5:46 GMT)

As an Indian fan, I agree that India definitely held the upper hand and won more sessions. So they should be disappointed. That being said, I won't be too harsh because of the collective inexperience of the team. (think of it, Smith has more centuries than entire Indian team put together, and i'm not even counting Kallis, DeVilliers etc.). As an admirer of South African cricket, I'd also say, South Africa turned the tables befitting the world's top ranked team. Faf and ABDV played brilliantly and deserved to end on the winning side as well. Those who are calling South Africa 'chokers' or India 'negative' get a life, they played excellent cricket, they just weren't daring enough. As a cricket fan, I'm sorry to say, both teams played bankers when they needed to play gamblers. Can you imagine Warne and Gillespie, or Lee and Kasprowicz not going for win in this situation? If you don't risk losing, you don't win. That's the reason teams feared Australia as a top-dawg.

Posted by   on (December 24, 2013, 5:45 GMT)

Start of the series Steyn talked too much about counter attacking the indian batting. It didnt happen and it back fired them as the indian batsmen started leaving outside off stump balls and scoring runs on loose deliveries. Steyn should have taken a single and gave strike to phhilander. That did not happen. At the end of the match SA also wanted to play safely.

Posted by   on (December 24, 2013, 5:39 GMT)

Steyn did the right thing in the end the defaulters for not wining the match are AB,FAF and JP.JP again lost his wicket on playing a ridiculous shot which cost the SA the match he got one boundary in the over he only need to play sensibly and that mistake created panic in the whole approach towards the game.AB because after doing so much hard work you can't leave the responsiblity on others to take the team through. FAF because he shouldn't go for that risky run since the was so much in hand and with enough ball to spare both FAF and VERN could easily run the team through. You can't expect from steyn and others to play on such a difficult track and look at the indian bowlers they were bowling bouncers and wide in the last and when one tried to bowl full it dispatched into the crowds by steyn.The indians were also going for the draw not going for the wickets.

Posted by Paddhu72 on (December 24, 2013, 5:37 GMT)

The final session was literally nerve wrecking ! Being a fan of Indian team , the intensity of cricket produced by both teams were so absorbing that , I kept on switching to other channels only to come back after a ball or so , hoping that FAF might have been out ...DV might have been out and so on. Watching the match itself was so absorbing and I could imagine the kind of intensity and pressure , Dale and Vernon might have undergone along with our boys in the middle. Kudos to both the teams and I am sure this is one of the greatest Test cricket ever. Both proved why they are in the top of the table.

Posted by snipercricket on (December 24, 2013, 5:30 GMT)

Big Picture: It was certainly india's match for 4.5 days...and they were clearly favourites on last day. So at the end of the match, india should be more disappointed.

Posted by sidh78 on (December 24, 2013, 5:25 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 they do it against weak ind attack which is not a big thing for them.

Posted by   on (December 24, 2013, 5:25 GMT)

Try imagining this same test match in India. South Africa on the final day would have folded up before lunch on the final day. It is only when they achieve this kind of success on all conditions, that they can be called the no.1 team. The latest test match also showed the difference between the Aussies and Proteas. The Aussies would have gone for a win. Maybe this test match showed why the Proteas don't have any major silverware in their trophy cupboard. No risk , no gain.

Posted by   on (December 24, 2013, 5:20 GMT)

This proves, Dhoni is really brave to defend 16 runs of last 20 balls, he has balls of a elephant ..........AB and Faf frustrated India......Both India and SA don't deserve to loose this match......I believe SA should have taken risk to win...... *No Risk No Success In Life*

Posted by venkateswarlu84 on (December 24, 2013, 5:19 GMT)

AB words "A lot of people are blaming Dale and Vernon but I honestly believe that the Nos. 9, 10, 11 should never be going for the runs. It's up to the top six to score the runs. If responsibility is going to be thrown around, it's on me, Faf and JP and maybe a little bit on Vern at the end there"

I never seen Dhoni telling similar sort words in his entire career other than blaming others for everything. Learn Dhoni

Posted by heavy_cav_1066 on (December 24, 2013, 5:01 GMT)

I definitely agree with AB here.. South Africa played brilliantly all day, but once Faf got out it became very risky to go for the win, especially with Morkel injured. Tahir isn't a guy whose batting you can rely on for even one over and it would have been foolhardy to risk the hard work of more than 130 overs. while South Africa were the favourites going into the final hour, the fall of three quick wickets made the game much more balanced and the draw became the most viable option for South Africa. India would definitely have set attacking fields (or atleast in-out fields) if another wicket had fallen.. and then anything could have happened.

Posted by Anonymos on (December 24, 2013, 4:55 GMT)

Its easy to judge a situation sitting behind your Tv or a computer. Just put yourself instead of steyn and try scoring when two wickets with two balls can lose you a test match. Especially A test match.

Posted by   on (December 24, 2013, 4:44 GMT)

Oh Dale Steyn, you can sledge all day but when the shoe lands on the other foot, you cannot handle it? Another tough guy who cant handle the pressure.. Choker any one?

Posted by   on (December 24, 2013, 4:42 GMT)

that's always been the difference between Australia & Sth Africa. South Africa is always safety first, Australia and in particular Clarke is always win first. Should be a great series in Sth Africa. South Africa have more talent on paper, but Australia have a win at all costs captain.

Posted by snipercricket on (December 24, 2013, 4:32 GMT)

I'm also upset about SA not winning the match. But come to real facts. One wicket means all wickets here. Tahir and injured Morket are matter of 4-5 balls. Also, dhoni took a defensive strategy with all fielders in boundaries with bowlers bowling bouncers and wides. So when FAF got out, there was only one option for SA.

SA would still go for it if there are following situations:

1) They trail by 0-1 in the test series. 2) It is a 5-match test even if they lose this, they have enough opportunities to come back in the series. 3) If there is Robin Peterson instead of Tahir because Peterson can bat a bit.

Posted by JustIPL on (December 24, 2013, 4:12 GMT)

@kinggxcv: SA almost chased down the world highest total to win the fourth innings and scored the third highest total ever in the 4th innnings. They score 300+ runs on the final day when indians were dreaming of a win whole day. SA are the true number one team but india do not deserve to be no.2 as they could not defend this highest total and nearly lost the match.

Posted by   on (December 24, 2013, 4:09 GMT)

clearly indians were dumbstruck by the SA batsmen and placing 8 fielders at the boundary and bowling wide and short to a no.9 batsmen showed how much they wanted to hide away and settle for a draw..... at least 5 fielders outside the ring and attacking the stumps could have made a result more conclusive to both the teams giving both the teams a chance.....No way could STYEN have played a shot to such a short and wide balls.....Indians are the ones who caused the draw by not trying to take a single wicket....STYEN is the best bowler at the moment and I'm sure he'll unleash his fury at Durban..... he did the right thing as Morkel couldn't clearly run and Tahir is a walking duck... I'm glad that STYEN is upset as now i know i can see a fiery STYEN at Durban

Posted by sarangsrk on (December 24, 2013, 3:58 GMT)

No way, AB. No way this was supposed to end as a draw. No.1 side in the world with so much batting talent on a placid pitch with a tired bowling attack, you need to aim higher. Agreed that at the start of the day 5, no one gave you a chance of pulling out a win but in the last hour or so, SA were def favourites and I am sure Aussies would have gone for a win if in same position. What was even more surprising was that Vernon didn't take even a single in Zaheer's last over which would have reduced the target in last over to 10 runs or so. I am sure Steyn is capable of taking a single and rotating the strike. First faf's unnecessary run out and then, this senseless batting. Not so smart, SA.

Posted by zocalo on (December 24, 2013, 3:58 GMT)

Only the teams playing the game and Cricinfo are calling this the "great draw". What this is in reality is another nail in test cricket's coffin and South Africa's position as top Test team in the world. The naysayers will disagree with me extolling the virtues of a five day game coming down to the last over and that South Africa did well to even get as close as they did. What the general cricketing world saw was a team not willing to go after twelve runs off two overs for the fear of loosing a Test. So if they are are not willing to do that, why bother watching?? This is the problem with Test cricket and what the die hard fans are trying to stop. If it was India, England or Australia in that batting position, it would have been "do or die" not "meh, a draw will do". And this signifies a danger for Sth African cricket. When a team is more worried about not losing rather than winning, then their mind is surely not in the game and their position as world # 1 is now very much in doubt.

Posted by Jeeves_ on (December 24, 2013, 3:54 GMT)

I think that people are exaggerating in their comments. To pull off a draw was a great achievement. In the end, there may have been room for going for the win, yet how can you rely on the number 8 and 9 batsmen? If South Africa had been chasing 150, then fair game, but this was psychologically a big task for the tailenders. At the end of the day, both times will emerge confident, with South Africa with the advantage. That said, why arrange games at Kingsmead, when it's a losing ground for South Africa. The conditions there are too different to the rest of the country, and that will again be in India's favour.

Posted by   on (December 24, 2013, 3:47 GMT)

DROP Alviro Petersen For Quinton DeKock,J.P Duminy for David Miller & Bring In Kyle Abbot for Injured Morne Morkel ..& also Giv a chance to Simon Harmer the spinner who is bowling so well in domestic u r on the way to beat any team in teir own backyard..if this is the team...

Posted by cricpanther on (December 24, 2013, 3:46 GMT)

Stupidity at its pick these days, have a look at No 1 Test Team South Africa, England on Ashes, and West Indies (against NZ)!! All three teams are not weak but not delivering these days, because their batsman doing all blunders 80% and 20% from bowlers. Don't understand South African Team, specially few batman who should just play one day cricket, example, AB, JP Duminy etc. Test cricket is out date because, these countries playing worst!! ICC should take heavy action against one sided game of cricket and need to find out what went wrong?? If team is not fit or ready at least they should not schedule the game, ultimately cricket loosing its quality charm! And viewers are going away from cricket more and more!! On the other hand, MSD 's stupidity makes quality player Gambhir away from long time!!! Relying on Sikhar and Murli is not right idea!! I am wondering why Dhoni is on Test Team?? he should be good enough for ODIs only. Throw Dhoni out asap from test squad.

Posted by kinggxcv on (December 24, 2013, 3:41 GMT)

South Africa showed they are chockers,they don't deserve to be no 1

Posted by dhillonaj on (December 24, 2013, 3:27 GMT)

Test Cricket is a different ball game. I fail to comprehend why Smith is the only one being blamed for not going for the kill. Dhoni is equally responsible for the result. The tactics employed by dhoni in the last 3 overs were extremely defensive. He had no intentions of taking a wicket. There were no slips, bowlers were asked to bowl short and wide, and all the fielders were on the boundary. The only hope he had was that SA players will fall into the trap to go for the kill and fall. After working so hard if SA players would have fallen into the trap it would have been foolish. Especially, when morkel was not even fit to bat.

If India can't bank on their bowlers to bowl out 3 tailenders in a test match, I am not sure how SA is perceived as the only team not to have gone for the kill. India is to be blamed equally.

Posted by   on (December 24, 2013, 3:25 GMT)

boo to the SA team is right thing people have done....In such pressure situation Ind might have chased the target to Win...

Posted by   on (December 24, 2013, 3:23 GMT)

AB de Villiers, this type of opportunities comes once in a cricketing career of a batsman and a team... SA should have had pulled a win if they had planned it better.. the last 3 overs SA could have played better and won easily.. in the end the SA team showed that they are Chockers even after reaching so close they couldnt win the match instead they opted for a draw...

Posted by wapuser on (December 24, 2013, 3:07 GMT)

Australia would have gone for the win.

Posted by   on (December 24, 2013, 3:02 GMT)

like it or not, sports are played for winning. Yes, winning in a fair way but not trying to be defensive. Its better to have tried to win and then lost then not to try at all. SA, you guys are so talented yet your DNA is not built of winners but of chokers...sorry if the truth is bitter but the common man expects his country to pick athletes who will put their 100% for failed there.....I guaranteed you if Australia, West Indies or Pakistan were playing against India they would have gone for win (even if that would have meant at the risk of losing)...

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

Steyn has every right to be upset at being Booed ! He is a champion player, he's playing at home, and he took his side over the line to save a seemingly unsavable game. Not only that, he did have a lash when they got past the stage where 3 cheap wickets (his, a cripple and a guy who can't bat) were likely within remaining balls. De Villiers is also a champion and reminded us both on the field and in this interview. India looks set to have a few champions in it's side (awesome young batsmen). I will "suffer"(as if not a pleasure) 12 hours a day of test cricket starting boxing day :). Go the Aussies and may South Africa and India play such a great match again.

Posted by CurrentPresident on (December 24, 2013, 2:37 GMT)

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

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

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

Posted by   on (December 24, 2013, 2:34 GMT)

Despite the result of this magnificent test match "draw" , I would like to name this match "gratitude of cricket". Terrific match for the whole cricket world and yes I second Robin Jackman's statement "cricket probably won in the end". hats off to Team SA & Team India. but this match will be known in the history of test cricket for the sensational resilience shown by du Plessis and ABD.One of the best test matches ever. cheers everyone

Posted by AH_USA on (December 24, 2013, 2:25 GMT)

SA deserves criticism not only from its fans but also cricket fans from around the globe. It would have been a great effort to draw the match if they were down nine wickets with three overs to spare. It was not a great effort when they were in a position to win the game with three wickets in hand and above all, the pitch had eased out and was not troubling the batsmen. SA simply handed the psychological advantage to India which can potentially bite it in the 2nd test match. As for Ravi Shastri suggesting that it was test match and not a one day, no wonder he never won considerable number of test matches in his era because of the exact same defensive mindset. The bottom line is that you can't win if you are too afraid to loose.

Posted by   on (December 24, 2013, 2:02 GMT)

The best test ever played. SA clearly defined what a test match is. fabulous effort from team SA.

Posted by Thyagu5432 on (December 24, 2013, 2:01 GMT)

While SA win would have been celebrated for a few days and then life would have gone on, but an SA loss against India would have been a talking point for the next 1 year. An underdog beating a team with the so called best bowling attack in the world would have done lot more damage to SA and hence the SA team management backed out. Even if wickets were falling in clusters, you can give a no.10 or no.11 about 90% chance of fending off the remaining 10 odd balls even if Steyn had got out. SA just chickened out and to hear Smith patting his players for a great draw is a fantastic victory for India.

Come on India, lets go and get them in Durban. SA dont want to win.

Posted by   on (December 24, 2013, 1:46 GMT)

We saw before how devastating an angry Steyn could be. The worst of his bowling figure and getting booed from the fans in Wanderers - could be the perfect fuel for him to fire in the next match. Mark my words - Durban test will be controlled by Dale Steyn.

Posted by BnH1985Fan on (December 24, 2013, 1:32 GMT)

@ Vinay Reddy I agree .. no one quite understands why SA did not make history when it was in their lap. FRUSTRATING. Reasons given by Smith don't make an iota of sense

Posted by Ms.Cricket on (December 24, 2013, 1:17 GMT)

If this is how the future captain of South Africa thinks then I am afraid South Africa will be seen as meek and scared.

Posted by   on (December 24, 2013, 1:11 GMT)

Sid Monga pointed out in another article how many overs the Indian seamers bowled and I am very sure the three day turnaround will play a BIG part. Also, a fan on this page brought out how Australia got wore down in Adelaide leading to a second string attack in Perth getting a beating. All very highly relevant points. Now cricket being a game of glorious uncertainties [Don't tell me you always knew team India would play this well - I AM TEAM INDIA FAN] what chances are that team India will find reserves of energy to repeat fight tooth and nail another five days. Please remember you cannot chop and change team according to your will and wish. The likes of Jadeja and Bhuvi and Yadav haven't bowled one ball in two weeks and may have difficulty differentiating THE CHERRY from a Tomato. On the whole in the 1st test performances of Dhawan and Ashwin were disappointing. These two need to raise their hand. With talk of Durban assisting spin, it is time for Ashwin to show up, And Dhawan too.

Posted by Andy_Wright on (December 24, 2013, 1:05 GMT)

The fact it wasn't a one-day game made the win potentially easier - with 9 men on the boundary, even a number 8 or 9 could easily push the ball around to the deep fielders for ones and twos. This would've eventually forced Dhoni to bring the field in for the last over, which is when Philander and Steyn should've gone for the jugular. Edges other than thin ones through to the 'keeper would've been irrelevant with no slips in place. Instead SA chose to leave back-of-a-length deliveries outside off for the last 3 overs, rather than risk getting out.

I disagree with the notion that 'cricket won in the end' - cowardice won in the end, and the sight of both teams commiserating each other as though they had both lost told its own story. India were poor with the ball - no team batting last on that pitch should have made 258, let alone 458. But having said that, South Africa had done all the hard work...only to bottle it at the death.

Posted by FaisalGhaffar on (December 24, 2013, 1:00 GMT)

Again it was a test match and you can't expect from a tailender to score 16 on 18 in such a pressure game where Shami and Zaheer were bowling tight..... its easy to loose a t20 or one day but loosing a test match means a lot......... This is what Dhoni was doing by not placing attacking field..

Posted by parvinder7 on (December 24, 2013, 0:59 GMT)

india is one of the most unlucky teams in the past 2yrs and 6 months. Just when you think they can bowl a team out, they let it go. The 2nd test 2011 against eng- 250 for 4 and collapse to 280. First test at the MCG against australia 2011- 39 for 4 in the second innings and australia get over 250. 4th test against england at home 2012- 250 for 4 in the first innings and india did not get a lead. Please can u tell me that india has been in winning positions before but cant finish off teams. Me and alot of indian fans are very disappointed we are not 1-0 up. We have weak minds as cricketers, a captain who has lost his belief to win a test.we are not a no2 side in the world but no4 or no5. South africa fans should be very angry at their side. Humiliate dhoni and u would hav done us a favour in test cricket. You had a chance to make history against the best one day captain of all time. Dont worry i was nearly right 2-0 S.A. You wil win at durban. By the way i am one of true indian fans.

Posted by   on (December 24, 2013, 0:49 GMT)

The south Africans think the test was theirs.. What if they had lost Steyn or Philander. Tahir could be cracked on the first ball and with Morne not in the best of shape, they would be staring at defeat after coming so close. I think India relaxed in the middle and let SA get so close. Else this was India's game to win.

Posted by AllanGavaskar on (December 24, 2013, 0:42 GMT)


"If you can dream - and not make dreams your master; If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim; If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster And treat those two impostors just the same;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss, And lose, and start again at your beginnings And never breathe a word about your loss;

Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it, And - which is more - you'll be a Man, my son!"


Posted by Cantbowlcantbat on (December 24, 2013, 0:26 GMT)

Michael Clarke is licking his lips already. The Saffers are still incapable of taking risks- they'd much rather draw than take a chance on an unlikely victory. This means Clarke can always make the running without fear that the Saffers will try to counter-attack.

Posted by   on (December 24, 2013, 0:18 GMT)

All those who are saying that the paying public has the right to boo the team, should not be allowed to come to watch a test match. These guys don't come to watch cricket matches but come to watch cheer leaders in cricket matches. They should start watching WWW Wrestling matches instead. They don't know what quality cricket really is. Fans like these can ruin cricket. It's sad that cricket has to depend on goofs like these to survive. Administrators might may like these types of people,for they can bring money & administrators can exploit the stupidity of such people. It was one of the best draw in cricket history. Simply because both teams played their hearts out and yet the only out come was a draw. In most other drawn matches rain played its part, but here it was a true test match, played for five whole days. We saw the best bowling, best batting, best fielding and the best strategies to achieve a great draw. Chins up SA IND

Posted by   on (December 24, 2013, 0:14 GMT)

This match was one of the best matches of test cricket...south africa were down under and not many would have given them a chance but they turned it around emphatically...i think they should have gone for the win because it was within their grasps...steyn should have gone after the bowling while philander stayed at the crease...this match also highlighted the fact that india bowling is toothless...they do not seem to have a bowler who can get wickets and put pressure on the other team...they bowl too many free bees and batsman dont mind facing them..they love to face this inept bowling attack....indian batsmen saved their face but i dont think they would be able to do that in next match...steyn does not have too many bad matches....

Posted by SanjeevDatadin on (December 24, 2013, 0:10 GMT)

It was not GREAT test ... that's putting a gloss on it. It was South Africa's game to win and they should have gone for a win. Shaun Pollock was right when he said after the game that if South Africa had won they would make movies about that game ... now its just a smacks of being timid. The "CHOKE" tag is again the main discussion. I don't think it was fair to have the batsmen out there not have been the beneficiaries of instructions from the dressing room ... the leaders should have said what they should do and not leave then on their own.

Posted by   on (December 24, 2013, 0:02 GMT)

If, at the beginning of the day SA had been offered a draw, they would have taken it. And would have been right to do so. The fact is India were fortunate not to lose. Had SA had a few more overs India would have suffered a record loss. They quite simply cannot take any positives from that. Bowling last, you don't expect to give up 300 runs in a day and doing so is a sign of a poor attack.

Should SA have had a slog and risked throwing all that hard work away? No. The team put in a massive performance to get close and playing recklessly would have been a massive betrayal of that effort. SA play tough, skilled, cricket, and they know they're better than this Indian team. They're not so desperate they need to back long shots.

India dodged a bullet, and despite their talk, they know they're lucky to be leaving at nil all. They were bowled out twice and couldn't do the same to SA.

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

Who are the three batsmen? Injured morkel, tahir and steyn. Will India would have gone for shots had they had ishant, shami and zaheer? Dont be harsh. That was one of the best test match with neither team won or lost. A victory for test cricket

Posted by IAS2009 on (December 23, 2013, 23:54 GMT)

I am not sure why people are upset about SA not going for it, If Faf was there there is a chance and he took the chance and lost his wicket, it was not possible to score those runs as field is spread out, they needed boundaries on spread field, don't compare it with ODI or T20 when fielders are restricted, Morkel was not 100 percent and it take three yorkers to get three tailenders batsmen, after battling all day to save the match it would be silly to give it away truing winning, on a difficult pitch. In comparison to match in Adelaide, Pitch was very good for batting if Kallis was fit back then SA might have gone for it. India on other hand should feel good about being in such good position to win it and should feel bad about blowing the chance to win the test match.

Posted by Wd-X on (December 23, 2013, 23:51 GMT)

@cryptq1 - Excellent comment!!

They had the chance to be immortalized forever or be remembered as the heroes who died trying. Instead they chickened out. It doesn't matter if in the last 18 balls they got the runs or not. They should've at least tried! Even refusing singles was unbelievable. Massive massive disappointment. No wonder the fans were booing.

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

That's understandable, 18 balls and 14 runs to make a historic win, and SA ????? You will never get this chance again.

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

@Vinay Reddy..then which tean deserved to be number..the one which is humilitated by the Oz in the past 3 test and already have one player returned due to mental disintegration and other offspinner retiring midseries..Or the Oz who have been badly humiliated by Indians..or the Indians who cant win their last 9 test matches outside and infact were very well on the way of losing straight 9th test outside..I agree that Saffers aren;t as ruthless as past decade aussies but to me they are way way better than any other team on the planet currently..they havent lost in UAE..Won in aus and eng..It has been a long long time that they have lost any series in india..and their home record impeccable as ever..The statement : NOT DESERVED TO BE NUMBER 1 should follow up with some fact..People are forgetting that taking a team to 4th inning total of 450 is no small feat ..Really deserving number 1 the saffers are!

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

So so glad I DIDN'T stay up late to watch this.

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

I watched the whole Test match with interest as a neutral but they have around 3 overs to get 20 odd runs and field was spread, Both fast bowlers are capable enough and they have Morkel to follow (injured but can bat to stay max 18 deliveries).. Sorry to offend but C woord comes to mind.. If it wud have been Ausi team, they wud have nailed it against tired indian pacers.

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

Faf was too slow. Left too many balls

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

I am a South African and I know they are trying to put a brave face to it, but I am absolutely baffled and will never agree that 14 runs required off 19 balls with 3 wickets remaining is a task that is risky to achieve in any format. The sport is about winning. If SAF win the 2nd test, people will forget about it since we will have won the series and that is all that matters. If we draw (or worst lose), as a sportsman, I will never be able to forgive myself for this sham.

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

That's why I sometimes hate the crowd because they always boo for the team who is having a Match against India! I just hate it when they boo every team that is against India in a match and its not fair to boo for a team that is trying hard and what about if you boo India? They will also lose there focus on the game and imagine how does it feel when someone is booing for you!?

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

they say that people that don't know crcket wont understand,yet all the ex-players as well as some of the finest jornalists say that SA made the wrong decision. i just hope 1 day the people involved in that decision can realise the damage they did to sa cricket. the proteas have had a hard time with their fans,this will nt help one bit.

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

"The game of cricket won...we were satisfied with draw..etc.." all these statements from SAF team are rubbish and only a face saving exercise. Just confirms their tag of 'eternal chokers' ..period, end of story,history of their cricket over the past 20 years bears this fact out ,no matter how much they deny and try to hide behind the garb of grandiose statements. Any other team would have gone for glory at the end.

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

When Faf was run out, SA was out of reach. If they had gone for the win, they would have lost the test. Rahane should have been the MOM, not Kohli

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

14 overs in 3 overs of test match is not an easy target. There are no fielder restrictions and power plays, umpires are lenient to bowlers trying to ball bouncers or wide outside offstump or even pitching outside legstump in test. In 1996 Ahmedabad test, SA had been dismissed for 105 when asked to chase 171 runs in the 2nd innings. In 1999 Chepauk test vs Pakistan, India were 254 for 7 when Sachin threw his wicket. The next 3 wickets were gone for just 4 runs and India lost the match by 12 runs. Aus had failed to chase 116 runs in Sydney test of 1994-95 vs SA. 458 runs is huge target.Respecting the target of 458 runs,SA played sensibly to settle out for a draw.

Posted by Stark62 on (December 23, 2013, 23:00 GMT)

Cricket lovers will have found the Test exhilarating and will/have termed it as the greatest draw.

Although, if I was someone just getting into the game and trying develop some keenness for the game, I would be greatly dissatisfied because I would have sat through 5 days of play and to have no result in the end, would be considered a "waste of time".

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

Reminds me of India in WI! In similar situation India did not try to win then and the downfall started. Same might happen to SA!

Posted by Naresh28 on (December 23, 2013, 22:49 GMT)

Lets not be too critical of SA. They have probably learnt that instructions should come out to tailenders. India need to seriously look at their fielding - SA dont throw those away - India did. Another allrounder like Rishi Dhawan needs to be tried out. Here is a list of players India needs to try out on a A-team :- K.L Rahul, H Kadiwale, Jiwonjot Singh, Manpreet Juneja, G Vihari, Rishi Dhawan, Aparajith, A Nayer, Aaron, pankaj Singh, Naman ohja, Jalaj Saxena

Posted by coldcoffee123 on (December 23, 2013, 22:41 GMT)

With 16 needed off 3 overs, Indian players had a lump in their throats. They were literally in shock as to how they managed to lose. And then South Africa did what they only can do: Panic and let go a match. Had they won, they would have left Indian players with life long scars. India would have folded in 3 days in Durban. Now, India feels they strangled SA and will come even harder in Durban. Steyn and Vernon have let Faf down. They must have taken the fight to the last over. The SA timidness will haunt them.

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

With 9 of the 11 players on the boundary and number 9 and 10 at the crease, the sixes and fours were out. "Too risky", to say the least. Don't forget, the Indians were not lobbing lolipops either! Shami has proven to be a handful and Ishant can be dangerous and is having a good time. A fair result and a great match. Good job Philli and Dale! and a wise move! Discretion is the better part of valor!

Posted by   on (December 23, 2013, 22:35 GMT)

I don't agree that cricket won at the end. It was the fear that won and the spirit of test cricket and sportsmanship is heavily bleeding after this match. Both the teams were afraid of losing. So they gave in to there fear. Have not they lost in past or will lose in future? They should have gone for the kill. One of them would have lost but they would be satisfied with the effort they made. Now the regrett will remain throughout their life not to have pushed hard. Especially the South African's Smith should have directed steyn to go positively. I am dead sure that Austrelia would have tried even with their last pair in. I am so disappointed at this draw. :(

Posted by davemac on (December 23, 2013, 22:35 GMT)

What South Africa did was pathetic. 3 overs & 16 runs to win ...& you block for a draw? Absolute cowardice. Win or lose, play the game. Disgraceful. Every South African should be embarrassed by this cowardice. Play up, play up & play the game...don't snivel around scratching for a draw. Pathetic.

Posted by ProdigyA on (December 23, 2013, 22:34 GMT)

Good interview but u could tell that AB had a hard time defending SA's decision not to go for the kill.

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

I wonder if this had been a 5 test series, would SA have gone for it in the last 3 overs?

if they had lost, they would have been more likely to come back and win the series than in a 2 test series when one down. then they could only draw the series.

it really should have been 5 tests.

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

SA were outplayed for three days, were set a massive total to chase down and went mightily close to winning. Some of you obviously know little on how test cricket works. The number 1 team in the world don't go out there to lose matches, they may not have made the correct call but they had the No1 and No2 ranked bowlers in the world out there having to make calls on batting. Very well played Dale and Vern, Nil all still and a chance to smash the Indians 2-0.

Posted by Gevelsis on (December 23, 2013, 22:12 GMT)

Methinks he doth explain too much. There were many opportunities for Smith to get a message out in the final overs. He chose not to, despite the fact that that is his job as captain. I'm not surprised Steyn was upset at the cowardly and negative ending to this game after such a fight. This is precisely why SA have a reputation as CHOKERS. When the situation demands flair and courage, they have neither.

Posted by kc69 on (December 23, 2013, 22:10 GMT)

Ab has a very good PR skills

Posted by bobmartin on (December 23, 2013, 22:09 GMT)

What could have been a classic game turned out at the end to be dead game... with both sides fightened of failure...

Posted by SaudAlvi on (December 23, 2013, 22:09 GMT)

@ PMadhavarao / Shastri . Rubbish - SA choked big time they deserved booing from the crowed ... not like it was the last wicket and they were facing a great bowling unit. Vernon could hit easy .. heck Steyn should have made up for his bowling. SA needs DK to open. I predict India will win next test.

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

@ cryptq1 .... spot on!!! For a team ranked #1, they showed poor willingness to go for the kill. And to add salt to the wound, Steyn did hit a SIX off the last ball too!!!!

Posted by   on (December 23, 2013, 22:01 GMT)

SA did not plan their scoring strategy well.Adding a few safe singles would have reduced the pressure towards the end. Aus or Pak would have gone for the kill in the same situation.

Looking back - Faf was also a sort of 'offender' in both the innings. First innings - he played so cautiously- where quick runs were needed to reduce the deficit. In second innings his many dot balls shut out the prospect of a facile win.It is ironic that he got run out in the end.

Duminy and Imran failed and also relative ineffectiveness of Steyn was noted. Amla's two 'freak' dismissals also added to the problem of SA.

Smith should have sent Vernon ahead of Duminy to accelerate scoring . As compared to Smith - Dhoni handled the situations better as a captain.

Lets now await the second test outcome.

Posted by theCricketPurist on (December 23, 2013, 21:51 GMT)

RSA definitely did the wise thing. Once Faf got out they were correct in shutting shop and not chasing hollow glory.

Winning the "greatest game ever" is just a piece of trivia. At the end of the day it is the title of being on the top that counts. RSA won the greatest ODI ever played when they chased 434, but what does that count for? What matters in ODI cricket is the World Cup, and till they do not win that nothing else matters. Similarly, what matters in Test cricket is the No. 1 ranking. Since RSA are already there, they need to maintain their stronghold. In a 2 match series it was more important to avoid losing the 1st game than chase "empty glory" and then chase the series.

Posted by rickyvoncanterbury on (December 23, 2013, 21:50 GMT)

India had a whole day to get 8 wickets and they fell 3 wickets short, SA had to get around 320 runs on the last day of a wearing pitch for a world record chase and fell 8 runs short, sounds to me like the saffers where going for it, India having 8 fielders on the fence to stop them, looked like they were not going for the win.

Posted by xylo on (December 23, 2013, 21:50 GMT)

The public booed at their team not attempting to win the test? Have they watched their team perform in World Cups?

SA seem to be not mentally as strong as Australia, NZ. Teams like England and SA that are content with a draw make very bad sides for the #1 ranking. I would rate even the Indian #1 team higher than this SA #1 team for their willingness to take risks.

Posted by smileDAMMIT on (December 23, 2013, 21:31 GMT)

@Noman Ikram; I always get a kick out of reading comments and really appreciate different views that various fans have across the world. Every now and then I get tempted to reply to comments I don't agree with but never end up doing so.

After reading your comment I just had to register and add my 2 cents...based on your comment it seems like you never had any respect for SA to lose it. SA may not win trophies but they have produced some of the best games in cricket to date and I as a fan cherish that.

Wake up and break free of your limited view. Realize and understand it is easier to criticize something after a result has been given but during the heat of the moment it's a completely different.

Your last word really sums up your view and comment accurately =)

Posted by InnocentGuy on (December 23, 2013, 21:24 GMT)

With Vern still batting, they should have at least had Steyn go for the win. I mean it was just 8 runs. 2 shots from a sensational victory and they decide to play for a draw? This conservatism is definitely the result of the choker tag playing on their minds. A South African team from say 15 years ago, in the same position near the end of the day's play, would have definitely gone for the win. I am not talking about talent here, but just the mindset.

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

My money's on India folding twice within 3 days and losing by an innings, 120 odd 1st innings, 190 odd 2nd.

Posted by Harlequin. on (December 23, 2013, 21:18 GMT)

@cryptq1 - fully agree with that.

Generally I like ABdV, and I know what he means by saying that 9,10,11 shouldn't be relied on to get runs, but in this case they weren't really. The bulk of the runs had come from the top order batsmen, the tail just needed to finish things off. I commend the guy for sticking behind the decisions of his team mates, and we shouldn't have expected wild slogging but to shut up shop completely to the point where they were turning down singles is just a little too poor. A bitterly disappointing end to what should have been one of the greatest

Posted by AB_DeVilliers on (December 23, 2013, 21:16 GMT)

All these comments from Indian supporters speaking their team up and knocking SA - truth is, India should easily have own but their pathetic bowling was shown up. Which team can't defend 450 runs in the last innings on a wearing pitch?? Just shows how overrated this team is. All the speak about Zak being so good - he was worse than Ashwin on the final day, and that takes some doing. Pathetic display and shows why India will never be the best test team, regardless of what the rankings say.

Posted by Dr.Nick on (December 23, 2013, 21:15 GMT)

At the start of the day, probably a fair share of SA supporters would have been hoping for a flood at the Wanderers to get a draw. At the end of the day, they got to see an outrageous day of cricket, and still got the draw...

How about we all just be happy with what we got?

Posted by   on (December 23, 2013, 21:14 GMT)

after day 3, I was looking forward to Dhoni & Co to win and was sure that they will. But SA were able to draw it in a typical choking style. As wickets were not coming and SA were going well with 2 centurions in the crease, I was expecting a collapse at any time or the typing throwing away wickets from SA side as they did in the end, but not enough to loose. Anyway was a good match. Where Dhoni went wrong? The first mistake he made was choosing Ashwin ahead of Ojha; dropping a leg spinner who can perform on any surface in any condition. Last year, Saeed Ajmal struggled on this pitch but still Ashwin was included. 2nd mistake was dropping Kumar; a bowler who can swing the ball weather the pitch offers any assistance or not, 3rd mistake was dropping Jadeja and including Rehane; Jadeja can bat better than Rehane and can be a good 5th bowler. It was clear that India had no 5th bowler. Injury to any of the 4 bowlers, would have bad affected India. Let see what they do in the 2nd test.

Posted by kitten on (December 23, 2013, 21:11 GMT)

SA unfortunately, chickened out at the end. They have been called 'chokers' in the past, and that must have played on their minds. I am fairly sure, that if Philander or Steyn had got out at that stage, trying to go for it, India would have won, as Morkel has trouble standing at the moment, and Tahir is a walking wicket. And they would be criticized no end. So taking all this into consideration, maybe they made the right decision. Though, I am sure if it had been Australia, India, England, or even any of the others, they would have gone for it. It was one in a million chances, that went begging. However, having said that, it was good that the game ended in a draw, as the last test will be make or break for either team, and hopefully, will be a sizzling affair. Good luck to both teams.

Posted by CoolBarn on (December 23, 2013, 21:10 GMT)

How did South Africa get to number one with an attitude like that? They certainly won't stay there very long, there's sure to be teams with a "win at all costs" mentality bound to overtake them (I'm looking at Australia if they can get a more consistent batting line-up).

Posted by   on (December 23, 2013, 21:10 GMT)

Anyone who says this draw was boring is not a cricket fan, has never played it at any decent level, and doe snot understand the game. Period.

Posted by Dr.Nick on (December 23, 2013, 21:08 GMT)

I find the negative feelings towards how SA played quite surprising! At the start of the day, most people would have said they have a snowballs chance in hell of getting anything from this game. To have fought the way they did to get themselves into a winning position and come off with the draw is a bit disappointing, but to have lost from there because the tailenders are going for runs would have been gut-wrenching for the SA team and their supporters in my opinion... It should be evident to anyone who watched the game that coming in and scoring runs immediately on that pitch was ridiculously hard, so I don't think Steyn is to blame at all!

Also, as much of a brilliant innings he played, I think Faf could still cop a bit of stick because of that NEEDLESS run out. He was the man that had to stay in for SA to cross the line. The only reason for that would have been to maintain the strike, but with Philander striking so well I can't understand what the thinking was there..

Posted by Pickwick on (December 23, 2013, 21:05 GMT)

cryptq1 said it right. Sad but true.

Posted by   on (December 23, 2013, 20:45 GMT)

A load of nonsense comments from lots of people here. In test match cricket, unlike one day or 20/20 the bowling team does not have the same restrictions for fielding or bowling, and India bowled wide and short in the overs they had left. Nothing wrong with that, but it's not comparable to the other formats if the game. The win was off, as AB stated, once Faf went out. As for statements about SA being worthy of the no. 1 spot, shut up and have your team beat us first before making such claims

Posted by nickduck on (December 23, 2013, 20:45 GMT)

@ cryptq1 - Completely agree with all your comments, particularly their "duty to entertain". SA batted brilliantly to be on the verge of creating history and took the whole nation with them along with the lucky fans who were actually there experiencing it all first hand. The last 3 overs were a disgrace and Dale Steyne deserved the booing he received at the end. I am sure most South Africans would have preferred to have lost the game in attempting to make history. In a couple of years time no one will remember this game, but if they had won they would have been immortalised every time a team is set a stiff run chase in the last innings. Bad day for cricket.

Posted by harryshap on (December 23, 2013, 20:44 GMT)

How can anyone have the right to boo one of the most incredible performances in cricket history

Posted by   on (December 23, 2013, 20:38 GMT)

I was seriously shocked at the booing the S.A players received.Captain Smith has been a titanic cricketer with the 2nd best 2nd innings average in test history-he makes runs when it matters and is a great leader,iconic and strong.The sheer emotions and effort the players gave,physically and emotionally would have made a loss unbearable.So much of that last day was about batting on instinct,getting into a zone,resisting physical and mental exhaustion.

Watching J.P Duminy batting showed how immensely difficult the task was...the pitch was uneven with cracks and both teams knew that wickets fell in clusters throughout.

Overall there was only one team looking for victory at the tailend of the test and one preventing a loss..India were the latter...pity that S.A ran out of steam.

Posted by Farhan020328 on (December 23, 2013, 20:36 GMT)

Yes there was tale-enders there who were struggling in that pitch ... but ... come on man ... you could easily gave it a go. There was Morkel and Tahir still available for batting. At least ... at least you could give a chance to loose another wicket to go. There was only three overs left. I believe, if Indian bowling didn't bowl like WI quadrate in 70's, they would never pick the two in last two overs. Overall, I believe, SA was more keen not to lose the match than winning it. Team with that mental attitude doesn't deserve to be the no.1 test team

Posted by   on (December 23, 2013, 20:33 GMT)

As a proud and loyal Jo'burger I'm sad to say that I feel a little ashamed of my city hearing this :( Booing our own team fighting so hard is not on, booing a test match that served up splendid cricket regardless of the outcome is really not on. I was at the Wanderers on day 3 and that was a trying day to watch as a SA-supporter, but no-one boo'ed or disparaged the teams then. Can only assume that the boo'ers did not try to understand the choices being made - yes, maybe deciding to play it safe from both teams wasn't the most cavalier and exciting decision, but certainly either team would have garnered far more boo's and criticisms if they'd wildly struck out for a win and lost. As for the article, I enjoyed hearing about what the players were going through throughout the match and what was going through their minds. Anyway, splendid match, well done to India for proving that they're a great team, and well done to SA for salvaging that draw, here's hoping we kick butt in Durbs :)

Posted by Frayninho21 on (December 23, 2013, 20:29 GMT)

South Africa displayed their innate conservatism at the end by not going for the win. They were probably afraid of all of the negative publicity and another 'chokers' stick to be beaten with if they got so close and then failed. Du Plessis and ABDV batted fantastically well and Philander and Steyn are far from the worst batsmen so 16 runs off 18 balls between those two was do-able. You'd have thought they'd have gone for it given that it is only a two match test series (ludicrously) and that there record at Kingsmead is so poor.

Posted by   on (December 23, 2013, 20:24 GMT)

I cannot believe that anyone can be upset with a most incredible performance by our South African batsmen. No other team in the world would have come close to what our guys achieved yesterday. Well done to both teams. This will be regarded as one of the greatest tests in the history of cricket

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

A great test to follow but definitely disappointed that SA didn't go for the win. For a team that can boast both an excellent batting and bowling department (not many teams have both world cricket) it is really disappointing to see they fail on the mental aspect of being a No 1 team. Instead of focusing on the 'how do we win this' attitude the players let thoughts of 'what if we lose' enter their mind.

The only thing I can see why they did it was that they knew they start poorly in series and with Morne down in the second innings they felt they were at a disadvantage. Well both teams have had time in the middle now, and both will have fit sides so maybe this was the best result going forward for the a roundabout kind of way.

Posted by   on (December 23, 2013, 20:21 GMT)

I have just read the last 6 comments. What a bunch of ignorant people probably brought up on a diet of play-play 2020 cricket, and looking for instant gratification and cheap thrills. Too ignorant to realise the immensity of the draw, no understanding of the tail-enders lack of abilities and the wicket cluster phenomenon at Wanderers. Go back to watching meaningless 2020 games

Posted by   on (December 23, 2013, 20:21 GMT)

India may not be the best bowling attack in the world but AB devilliers don't need to mention that everytime he's interviewed in this series.I think his comments will come back to haunt him in durban test and it almoost did in jo'burg.

Posted by   on (December 23, 2013, 20:17 GMT)

Steyn and Philander blew an opportunity for the History books. As a SA fan I am gutted for rather spineless batting. SA is #1 in Test Cricket and it should have shown the world that why is it so. I saw the last 6 overs, Shami and Zaheer were bowling rubbish and Dhoni was worried, why did South Africans put the shutters? I find Smith's explanation very unconvincing.

Posted by   on (December 23, 2013, 20:16 GMT)

if you are no1;then you have to show;why you are no1?and i don't think South Africa will get this kind of oppurtunity very soon.this was the time where they should have shown the world" there true class".i think SA really lack the big match(more importantly"big moment) temperament;they are unable to handle big matches pressure situations.They have to be mentally strong;otherwise C word.Steve waugh's Australia would have definitely gone for win.

Posted by cooljack_143 on (December 23, 2013, 20:15 GMT)

Had it been MICHAEL CLARKE IN THE PLACE OF MSD, INDIA would have EASILY WON this test.Its captaincy that wins test matches.Many (gambhir) say captain is as good as the players,but in Test cricket its Captain who makes the bold decisions of field placements,declarations,and which bowler to bowl, who is effective, CLARKE is SPOT ON in those decisions not MSD(who is without doubt the best in ODI's ). But sadly Ind doesn't have anyone capable to lead than MSD in the current period ,we have to accept that.Captain needs to be smart & aggressive.Being just aggressive without smartness (gambhir,virat) don't count. I don't see Ind winning the next test either, but They will succeed in drawing this series for sure.0-0 on cards.Smith was worse than MSD in the first test.

Posted by   on (December 23, 2013, 20:14 GMT)

No what SA did was right , SA was more satisfied as they had got what they had wanted from day 4 session 3 a 'draw' whereas India couldnot win even after posting such a big target , so in a way india lost , and even now SA's name will shine in history as du plesis and de villiers resisted and forced india to settle for a draw , and lasyt but not the least if vernon had got out by trying some fancy shots then the next batsmen could have become vulnerable to india's pace.

Posted by cricpanther on (December 23, 2013, 20:13 GMT)

Give rest to Dale stayne...he is not effective...certainly Morkel was right on Money!! So as Philander..Great Bowler. Batters, AB, Amla, JP, Peterson,....seriously disappointed for South African Crowd. Amla bowled by both the innings with same stupid way!!! Why to leave the bowl, bowl is to play....leaving the bowl and defensive batting is not the way for test match, like 10 years ago, seniors have showed these path, might not be useful these days...go aggressively, attack the bowler...leaving the bowl, what a coward way!!! Looks AB wants Test captaincy as well and doing all blunders and make sure other also do this type of performance. We need honest efforts and fights rather this bad spirit for game of cricket should not tolerated. If south Africa not winning the Durban test, throw out their batters from test team, like AB, JP, Amla etc.

Posted by   on (December 23, 2013, 20:12 GMT)

Imagine yourself at Steyn's and Philander's position. If you go for the win, slog and lose your wicket and in the end - the test, how would you explain yourself to Faf and ABD back in the dressing room ? Their hours and hours of toil went down the drain because of your misjudgment. Talking about history, the same fans would forever blame them for gifting India the victory when they could have saved the test.

Posted by PMadhavarao on (December 23, 2013, 20:07 GMT)

Very well balanced statements from De Villiers. Ravi Sastry said in the end "This is not a one day game to think that 14 runs in three overs is a piece of cake". People complaining that SA did not go for the the win should try to understand the difference between a test match and a one day game. India have played really well and can't be written off, this performance will be an eye opener for SA. Similarly SA have played well to save the test.

Posted by   on (December 23, 2013, 20:06 GMT)

SA should have easily won this test. It's surprising having come so close they didn't even give a try esp last 3 overs. Matches are played to be either won or lost esp when quality teams play. Tell me with 3 batsmen out there and 14 runs to be scored why would any team not go for it. Especially against Indian bowling.Very disappointed by the SA attitude. They do not deserve to be #1.

Posted by cricpanther on (December 23, 2013, 20:05 GMT)

Hey Hey, what are you saying AB and Dale??? Leave it up to people, why you bother? you just do your part of performance and make sure team should be on winning side. South Africa is No.1 Test side and they are struggling for young, in experience indian side!! Booing is the small things, you gyes should ready for more of this things. Batman of South Africa make this big loss of test match from SA point of view. Throw JP duminy out and make sure some youngster like De-cock or someone who can bowl a bit. JP duminy is just a waste and at crunch time/crucial moment this gye wont deliver. Is it purposefully??? I think so, because AB is not the captain?? I think so.. Because Smith is the captain??? I think so.. Whoever score below 60 runs throw out and whoever took less than 3 wickets throw out...Make a cut offs for SA point of view. Ultimately test match should be a result oriented rather...waste of time and just DRAW!! Hat's off to Philander and Morkel!!! Dale styne attack was total blunt!

Posted by AamirKhan-SuperStar on (December 23, 2013, 20:00 GMT)

Oh yeah and this test along with this year's Oval test have been the best. Though bad light stopped game at Oval forcing it to be draw, here draw was the result.

Posted by Zahidsaltin on (December 23, 2013, 19:52 GMT)

Sure Alviro Petersen scored some runs but I thing De Cock is in great form and should be played as opner. On bowling side Kyle is a much better option.

Posted by anoopshameed on (December 23, 2013, 19:48 GMT)

Just think about what happens if India win in Durban like last time! South Africa will end up kicking themselves for not going for the win in Wanderers!

Posted by Eat_Sleep_Play_Cricket on (December 23, 2013, 19:46 GMT)

"Smith was running up and down the change room" - Sounds to me like SAF are not mentally strong unlike OZ or India. If India puts them under pressure again they might very much breakdown.Honestly AB's statements tells that SouthAfrica is just happy to win the battle and lose the war under pressure. Good Luck #1 and #2 teams and I hope 2nd test would be as entertaining as the first.

Posted by cryptq1 on (December 23, 2013, 19:42 GMT)

"Ultimately cricket won, AB de Villiers" - sorry AB, as well as you batted you got this wrong. Cricket and the fans lost. This game got to a position where the result didn't matter and the only thing that was important was the effort to create history. As brilliant as the previous day and a half was, the final 19 balls defined the team and the game. You ignored the fans, you failed to show a killer instinct, you failed in your duty to entertain. The only winners in this game was India who'll have taken a lot of heart from not losing as they rightly should have. Personally I don't care who wins the Durban test, I'll forever remember this series as the one where SA showed why they can't win trophies.

Posted by   on (December 23, 2013, 19:32 GMT)

the greatest test draw i ever saw till now.. its a fair result for both the teams considering how competitive they were trying till their last to win the match except for the end where dale and vernon took a more safer decision to save the match..

Posted by   on (December 23, 2013, 19:31 GMT)

The paying public have the right to boo the team. They had a chance to break the record but decided to go for a bore draw.

Posted by Ranjit_sourav on (December 23, 2013, 19:22 GMT)

Well said AB, Atlast Test Cricket won and Should say that I have seen an exciting contest for the last 5 days, Its obvious and those who knew what Test cricket is all about should hail the decision of Philander and Steyn. If Philander goes for a slog and if he has been held out in deep (As Dhoni put all his 9 men on deep) and Tahir gets out in next ball, Then those booing people will say "We know you are Chokers",Now this is far better to get a Boo and not losing the test match by any means.

Kudos to both team, An extra-ordinary test match I have seen after few years(1. famous chase by South Africa in Perth and Indians beating Aussies in Kolkata after they asked us to follow - on - Epic VVS and wall Dravid)

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

Booing from fans upset Steyn and De Villiers... WELCOME TO MISBAH'S WORLD. Everyday he gets booed win, lose or draw. Highest ODI run scorer of the year, still gets booed. Only time fans cheers him is when he gets out. Spare a thought for poor Misbah this Christmas. It's a loney world.

Posted by   on (December 23, 2013, 19:17 GMT)

Then how did Indians outplayed South Africa's so called no.1 bowling attack? And since when did Indian bowling attack have started threatening no.1 batsmen in the world? Come on AB India is winner there!

Posted by johnathonjosephs on (December 23, 2013, 19:15 GMT)

Nope, not understanding it at all. When that little time left in the game and that little runs to get, you go for it. If one more wicket fell, you go into your protective mode and draw the game. With only 18 balls left and Morne Morkel padded up, it would have been very easy to draw

Posted by   on (December 23, 2013, 19:06 GMT)

Thats why SA never win trophies. 3 wickets in hand and you don't wanna score 14 runs. It was not the greatest draw, it was greatest lost for SA. Lost of respect. This is the reason Austraila is favourite to win cups even when SA is the top ranking team in the world. One word, P A T H E T I C .

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Tour Results
South Africa v India at Durban - Dec 26-30, 2013
South Africa won by 10 wickets
South Africa v India at Johannesburg - Dec 18-22, 2013
Match drawn
SAf Invit XI v Indians at Benoni - Dec 13-14, 2013
Match abandoned without a ball bowled
South Africa v India at Centurion - Dec 11, 2013
No result
South Africa v India at Durban - Dec 8, 2013
South Africa won by 134 runs
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