South Africa v India, 2nd Test, Durban, 2nd day

Steyn six brings South Africa roaring back

The Report by Siddarth Ravindran

December 27, 2013

Comments: 222 | Text size: A | A

South Africa 82 for 0 (Petersen 46*) trail India 334 (Vijay 97, Rahane 51*, Steyn 6-100) by 252 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Dravid: India should not be sweating just yet

The second day began with grey skies and a persistent rain that wiped out the morning session but when play began, more than three hours behind the scheduled start, it was in blazing sunshine with the fans reaching for the sunblock. Dale Steyn's mood similarly brightened as he ended an unprecedented 69.2-over wait for a wicket with a triple-strike that brought South Africa right back after the first day was dominated by India's batsmen.

Steyn returned after tea to roll over the lower order in a pumped-up spell and finish with 6 for 100, his 22nd five-for, as India ended on 334. It was a high-class display on a surface that offered little for quicks, and showed his adaptability. With his usual outswinger not working, he relied on express pace and hostile short balls.

In between, India had a couple of sprightly partnerships involving Ajinkya Rahane, another young batsman whose reputation has been bolstered on this tour. First, he put on 66 with the in-form Virat Kohli and then 55 with MS Dhoni to ensure India didn't keel over without resistance.

Dale Steyn picked up six wickets, South Africa v India, 2nd Test, Durban, 2nd day, December 27, 2013
Out of form? Dale Steyn took 6 for 100 © Associated Press

M Vijay and Cheteshwar Pujara, utterly in control all day yesterday to take India to 181 for 1, had a couple of nervy moments early on against Steyn as both batsmen edged past the staggered slip cordon. On the sixth over of the day, Steyn broke through. After a bunch of short balls, Pujara only went half-forward to a pitched-up delivery and nicked through to the keeper.

For Vijay, the early stumps yesterday came at the worst time, as he had a night to ruminate over a possible first century overseas. He spent 47 deliveries in the 90s - including that edge past slip for four - before a Steyn short ball had him gloving to the keeper, three short of a milestone to cherish.

The next delivery was one that will likely haunt Rohit Sharma for a while. With Steyn reversing the ball in, Rohit had a brainfade and decided to not offer a stroke and lost his middle stump. Cue a flood of Nohit jokes, a derisory nickname he'd thought he had left behind with the golden run back home leading up to this series.

A fired-up Steyn kept up the short-ball onslaught, hitting Rahane twice with the second new ball, signalling to the batsman that he was keeping count. Virat Kohli was less troubled by that strategy, authoritatively pulling Steyn to midwicket for four. Kohli was in the form that brought him a century and 96 in the Johannesburg Test, and he showed that off with a series of defensive pushes down the ground, several of which reached the rope.

With Vernon Philander getting nothing from the new ball, Rahane was settling in, the partnership grew and India were slowly asserting themselves again. Morne Morkel, though, changed that with a short ball ten minutes before tea that Kohli guided to AB de Villiers, who reacted rapidly to collect that chance.

The runs came quickly after the break with Dhoni in the middle and Rahane latching onto anything short. For the third innings in a row, India had batted out more than 100 overs, not something that was predicted before the tour began. The pair added 32 in five overs and just as India seemed to be taking a firm grip, Steyn returned.

He had Dhoni chasing one outside off to nick to slip to break the stand, and expose India's lower order. Ravindra Jadeja became the first victim of spin in the game, as he gave Jacques Kallis his 200th Test catch to exit for a duck.

A leaping, acrobatic take from de Villiers to send back Zaheer Khan left Rahane wondering whether he would reach his maiden Test half-century. He got there but soon after the innings ended, with the final five wickets going down for 14 runs.

South Africa's batsmen had to negotiate 20 overs before stumps and they began at a T20 pace. India's new-ball bowlers couldn't get the ball to deviate, and offered some easy putaways which Graeme Smith and Alviro Petersen pounced on. Like Philander, Zaheer Khan was taken off after just three overs. The introduction of Ishant Sharma made it tougher for the batsmen, as both Smith and Petersen were left groping outside off.

There was more excitement when Jadeja came on, as he first got appreciable turn off the footmarks when bowling to Smith and then off an unblemished surface to Petersen. There was no breakthrough, though, as Petersen kept dispatching the bad ball on offer and South Africa maintained a punishing pace.

By stumps, South Africa's openers had reduced the deficit to 252, and ensured their team dictated the second day as much as India had the first.

Match Point: 'South Africa have their noses ahead'

Siddarth Ravindran is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by TMSer on (December 28, 2013, 20:25 GMT)

Poor selection has hampered india in this series - picked the spinner for the Wanderers greentop instead of 4 seamers ( should have been Kumar), and dropped the spinner for the turning Durban pitch. That and picking rohit sharma for an overseas test series

Posted by   on (December 28, 2013, 10:34 GMT)

hmm Peterson and amla was out twice, if that counts India should have 5 wickets lierally... and none speaks about these howlers.... commentators were shouting that Peterson was out so many times and our 3rd umpire just blind folded himself for few moments..

Posted by Captain_Tuk_Tuk on (December 28, 2013, 10:34 GMT)

@pommy80 A white wash is a white wash whether its 2-0 or 1-0 :P But seriously credit to India they haven't bowled out for less than a 100 like other teams visited SA including our team. Conditions of this pitch is different yes but previous pitch wasn't that easy to bat on and they played according to the game plan as India must have seen that strength of SA is bowling outside off stump allowing batters to edge it to the slips and they neutralized it but leaving so many balls outside off stump. Great fight by India and if they lose it well other teams lost in SA too but no one criticized them but India people are criticizing because Indian themselves believe they can win in any condition only Windies and Ausis dominated whole world long ago but gone are the days now all teams are good in there own home environment.

Posted by Big_Poppa_94 on (December 28, 2013, 10:33 GMT)

India have proven that they have the technique, guts and determination to bat on these "greentop pitches". Dhawan, I've noticed has a very top handed grip which means he tends to go hard at the ball. It's probably why he keeps nicking to slip. He needs to be patient, because once bowlers get tired, you can score heavily. Dhoni despite all the great things he's done, cannot cut it in overseas conditions (in Tests). You need a player like Matt Prior, and whilst he's had a torrid Ashes series, has shown previous times (like in NZ when he saved test match) that he can survive and then attack in testing conditions. India need to find a wk/batsman like him! The only notable moment of Dhoni performing overseas was that drawn test match at Lords (2007), where he scored 72. Ashwin is not a potent bowler outside India. You need control, so Jadeja is sufficient. But I'd rather have Ojha, who is a classical left arm spinner. Ishant and Zak are past it. Yadav, Aaron & Shami should be pace attack.

Posted by   on (December 28, 2013, 10:31 GMT)

Partisan Crowd..It is surprising and frustrating to watch the crowd (who ever bothered to make it) looking like zombies when Indians were playing shots, especially Pujara and Kholi..As if the match is not played in front of them. This series has generated no interest in the public for whatever reasons and which ever crowd make it to the stadium likes to applaud only their players. Much like or worse than what we see in the subcontinent stadiums. Even the commentary from Dravid and co is much to be desired..

Posted by Sharo0nGill on (December 28, 2013, 10:29 GMT)

@Harmony111... its just awesome how your team underperforms in EVERY away tour (SL being exceptions) and yet you always have something to say to exhalt this team, inexperience, wayward stats, anything of these sorts..hope you keep this going till the end of 2014..cuz Ind have a lot of away tests to play...promise?

Posted by Vivfan on (December 28, 2013, 10:23 GMT)

@truecric_fan: India playing like true World #1? True No. 1 arent 0-8 overseas mate.

Whats happening to Khan? I thought he just needed to "show up"? He hasnt gotten Smith a single time and this series shows how poor he is and is ruining is figures.

Posted by Biohazard7279 on (December 28, 2013, 10:16 GMT)

@Harmony111 I was talking about the wickets he got in the UAE, I misread your comment and I apologize. You can't expect any bowler to get wickets every single innings. With such a good pace attack every innings somebody is going to get left out in the wickets column. Just like Steyn in Joburg, Philander had a bad day, which is part of cricket.

Only 70 overs were bowled on day 2, not the usual 90. They also finished at 18:30, when half the pitch was in the shadows. Show me any bowler who doesn't try to intimidate batsman. I can guarantee you all the great sides, such as the dominant West Indies or Australian teams of old, would've adopted the same tactics. That's also cricket buddy, no need to take out your frustration on Steyn.

Like @Protears said, all the breaks are part of the game.Batsmen are well aware of them and should bat accordingly.

The South African pace attack has proved itself time and time again all around the world. Please find another bowling attack to criticize.

Posted by   on (December 28, 2013, 10:13 GMT)

I think this is the last test for Zaheer, he looks so tired bowling 125 kph which is not acceptable at all. Even out of those 4 wickets in Jo'burg 2 were of tailenders, and second Inning's only wicket of Kallis was a lucky one.

He needs to be dropped for upcoming tours and we must have faith in our upcoming young bowlers, just like we showed faith in our young batsmen and they are delivering.

When Sachin, Dravid and Laxman were prolonging their career all expert said if tehy will retire who will bat for India? and now our young batsmen making a strong statement, just like that our bowlers can do well to, but we have to show faith in them.

Varun Aaron, Parvinder Awana, Ishwar Pandey are few who can bowl consistently with some serious pace.

Posted by VinodGupte on (December 28, 2013, 10:12 GMT)

Indian selectors have a tricky situation. MSD is poor in overseas tests. i am sure, DK will fare much better than him while playing overseas. other young players have done much better than the former senior players. why can't DK?

when it is the captain himself who doesn't lead from the front while batting, it must be difficult to inspire others to do good. and it is not as if he is taking some game-changing tactical decisions on the field either. selectors would not mind replacing him but unfortunately they don't have any seniors in the side who can replace MSD the captain. it looks as if we are stuck with MSD in tests until Kohli plays 20-30 more tests.

Posted by pommy80 on (December 28, 2013, 9:33 GMT)

Rain saving India again. No surprise seeing as that's what they will need to avoid any whitewash in England next year.

Posted by   on (December 28, 2013, 9:31 GMT)

All of these comments on the pitches that were prepared, the people do not know about pitch preparation. It is very difficult to prepare pitches when you have a large amount of rain around as what has happened in South Africa. You have to keep the pitches covered more than usual as they can become saturated. When you have the luxury of preparing a pitch with nice stable weather you can prepare really good test wickets. Normally the wicket in JHB would never crack which happened in the 1st test. Just sit back, relax and watch a really good series. The only negative is that it should have been 3 to 5 tests, especially the top two teams playing.

Posted by   on (December 28, 2013, 9:21 GMT)

In this test at least, Zaheer looks a shadow of his old self. Very low on pace and not much movement. Looks like the pressure release bowler for SA which is surprising

Posted by Rebel_Who_Follows_All_The_Rules on (December 28, 2013, 9:19 GMT)

@aussie1993: So OZ have won a series in IND ''many tym'' have they??, Just a heads up, in the last 10 tests that OZ have played in IND, their record is 8-0: 2-0, 2-0 and 4-0.Granted that IND'S record in OZ is poor, but for you to say that they have won in IND ''many tym'' is ridiculous to say the least.But then again I am not surprised because regardless of what your screen name says, it does not take much to figure out that you are not an ''Aussie''.

Posted by IndianSRTfan on (December 28, 2013, 9:09 GMT)

Posted by aussie1993 on (December 28, 2013, 7:07 GMT): "australia have won test series many tym in india" Take out the '04-'05 series and Aussies have nothing over India in India. Few series played versus amateur Indian players in '60s are hardly something to gloat about. The strongest aussie team under Waugh in 2001 failed to win the series against India in India. Nothing needs to be said more about it. Despite the presence of 'LEGENDS' in that and subsequent aussie teams.

Posted by truecric_fan on (December 28, 2013, 8:57 GMT)

India playing like true World #1. 3 wickets gone for 10 runs, India can smell a series win.

Posted by on (December 28, 2013, 8:52 GMT)

I think the difference between the two sides in the second innings of the first test was of a spinner. Part time Duminy and not so confident Tahir took 4 wkts between them. Indians have bridged the gap successfully in this match with Sir Jadeja.. Results follows.. Ashwin is not so good a bowler. He is just a batsmen who can bowl a bit. India are not going to succeed overseas if they persist with him.

Posted by Harmony111 on (December 28, 2013, 8:50 GMT)


Yet again, yet again you playing the stats game with me? I bet you won't be replying to my rebuttal afterwards cos I will use your own stats to make a new point.

Zak's avg in Ind is high cos those are dead tracks. Zak's avg in SA is high cos he gets no help from other bowlers.

Ashwin's avg in India is understandable. Ashwin's avg away is high cos he has played only 4 tests away so far, 3 of them in Aus in those crazy times. Just like Steyn being mauled by Viru for a triple ton if I were to limit myself to such small sample.

Kallis avg in SA is high cos SA is his home. Heard of Home Adv? Kallis' avg has to be high in India cos these are flat tracks but if he was that special he should have avgd 80 cos those are, well. easy wickets to score runs.

Steyn's avg is great in India primarily due to those 2 7 wicket hauls. Well done there. Thus I hope from now on you & your comrades won't say that Kohli is a FTB as he got near 2 100s in J'burg + 100 & 77 in Aus.


Posted by Harmony111 on (December 28, 2013, 8:34 GMT)

@Rios Kyp:

Ahh, even the #1 team has to make a lament somehow. Toss, weather, Rotation of earth, El Nino, El Dorado, Al phonso, yada yada yada.

Talk to me about Steyn's greatness when SA manage to win a ICC Trophy, if ever.

Remind me again --- when exactly did I talk of the booing that Steyn got? And wasn't it fair anyhow? He had talked of scarring Indian batsmen yet when it came to scoring 20 runs with 3 wickets in hand this I-Scar-Others kind of player chickened out???

I think it showed that while Steyn could only scar Kohli on his ribs, Kohli with his near twin hundreds had scarred Steyn right till his marrow, spleen, gall & left ventricle.

Posted by on (December 28, 2013, 8:32 GMT)

Ashwin is over rated , we can see how well Jadeja would have performed in Johannesburg. Hope selectors and Dhoni open their eyes now !!!

Posted by   on (December 28, 2013, 8:31 GMT)

I think SA are number one followed by India and Australia. The real question now is whether the Aussies are really number three or one as they have an impressive bowling line up, which I believe is the best in the world or close up three.

Posted by bharatvishwa on (December 28, 2013, 8:18 GMT)

aussie1993: You know what stopped india from winning in australia.

Year 2003: Steve Waugh Year 2007: Steve Bucknor

Both the matches in sydney.

Posted by Harmony111 on (December 28, 2013, 8:13 GMT)

@Protears? It is not about Styen having 340 wickets. No where have I said that he did not deserve those wickets or that he is not a great bowler. The main point is, Indian batsmen have managed to show to Steyn & to others that Steyn too can be tamed & made to look jelly-soft. Also, it is about Steyn bragging after the ODIs he had scarred 'jet-lagged' Indian batsmen. But the moment Indians had 'some' acclimatization, they trounced Steyn. India were unlucky on Day 1 here not get more runs cos. Day2 they had to restart & Steyn benefited from it. Simple.

It is interesting to see that you want to discount all such tea breaks, drinks, lunch etc when India lose wickets saying they are part of the game yet you want to talk of India bowling in helpful conditions as if these things are not part of the game. It is this hypocrisy that mainly causes the rage.

Btw, did you mean that #1 team's batsmen can't face weak Indian bowlers on a flat track just cos it was overcast?

Posted by   on (December 28, 2013, 8:02 GMT)

How is petersen not out.. Still cant beleive my eyes.. Their is nothing behind the line.. Is 3rd umpire see something else..???

Posted by Yousufahmed1 on (December 28, 2013, 7:55 GMT)

People who talking about DRS. If 3rd umpire can give this stump not out then what's left.

Posted by   on (December 28, 2013, 7:52 GMT)

Whoever said: "Zaheer is the 'Sachin' among the Indian bowlers"; is so right. Even in overstaying! And, all of us hoping that better fitness he will be back to his best. Alas, it is not so. It was a dream. At best just a hope.

But he still the 'best thinker' among the current crop of Indian pacers. Make him a bowling coach ASAP.

Posted by Harmony111 on (December 28, 2013, 7:32 GMT)


Hilarious comment. I am talking about THIS test, you too were talking about THIS test but then to suit your argument you started talking about THIS Test + 1st test? All this cos you somehow want to show that Philander took 6 & not ZERO wickets?

Your whole comment is like this, you are going round in circles. I talk of this test, you mix it with others. You talk of being new to commenting & timestamps yet you yourself get it wrong by saying Philander got 6 wickets when he has 7 in fact. I have already said Steyn got Pujara & Murali when they were re-starting but you say they were well set. Day 2 saw FULL day's play yet you talk of SA batting in poor light.

As for Steyn's tactics on Day 1, they were rather unsportsmanlike. What kind of a player will bowl that line in poor light? The one who is out of ideas & just wants to go home. And what did you mean as successful as Steyn? Steyn got ZERO wickets using those tactics on Day 1. Again you being woeful while arguing.

Posted by aussie1993 on (December 28, 2013, 7:07 GMT)

@devan this is a in experienced aussie side but y has not india won any test series in australia inspite of presence of legends but australia have won test series many tym in india

Posted by   on (December 28, 2013, 7:01 GMT)

@Deven buddy I agree we beat Oz at home no doubt but small correction Aus sent their team A as they wanted their players fresh for Ashes expect for Mitch none of other bowlers bowling in the line up played in India so get facts right buddy

Posted by dadasupporterNO.1 on (December 28, 2013, 7:00 GMT)

i m an indian fan but i dnt think we can be world beater,we just dnt hv tht kind of bowling attack at the moment to become one despite excellent batting unit at disposal. And i DISAGREE with those who say rohit is in team bcoz of mumbai connection, its just favourism by sunny ravi for tht particular player, if they had regional bias in their mind den dey wud hv pressed for jaffer nayar dhaval dabholkar ,these guys actually deserve chance(may be jaffer wud be ruled out citing his age) Even rahane hasnt got support he deserves so the point is its not regional favorism.

Posted by muxa on (December 28, 2013, 6:56 GMT)

i just dont understand why south Africa prepared these flat dead tracks when on those lively bouncy pitches in one days in every game south Africa managed over 300(without getting bowled out in all 3 games) and bowled india out with margins of nearly 150 does bcci have that much of a hold to trim the schedule and then enforce the conditions as well .. might as well play this series in india

Posted by Rohit_Gupta78 on (December 28, 2013, 6:56 GMT)

I wonder how everyone is talking about the pitch being flat just because Indian batsmen has batted so well on the first day. We have seen the pitch doing quite a bit on the second day. That was enough to get styen going who is ofcourse best bowler at the moment. If it was not rain on the first day we could have seen India decalring their Innings. Truth really hurts but we got to accept it.

Posted by VKohlitheGreat on (December 28, 2013, 6:54 GMT)

@ aussie1993 : are you talking about the same aussie team which was thrashed in India some time ago and was made a mockery of in the last ashes tour to england and are now making merrry by beating the same team at home and considering themselves no less then heroes. I suggest you leave the lousy sledging to your cricketers and come to terms with reality.

Posted by GRVJPR on (December 28, 2013, 6:52 GMT)

@aussie1993 , Australia won all those series in ADAMS AGE. Its like beating Kenya at the moment who are new in cricket. India was evolving side then, that's why I don;t give much importance to those series win by australia. Talk about present man, India 4 - 0 (Australia).

Posted by kr_kinshuk on (December 28, 2013, 6:51 GMT)

Steyn is a class act. But u r going to face the music if u go to town about the indian batsman being "scared" and then get taken to the cleaners in the very next game.

the fact that so many non - indian fans r so worked up proves that this indian side has done much better than expected... india got 334 yesterday... people here r making it sound as if the south african attack steam - rolled the indian batting for 150 odd!!!!!

btw, if this line - up can perform like this with such little experience imagine what these guys r going to be like in a few years' time. Pujara's run out, vijay and kohli's dismissals down the leg side, their inability to get over the loss of momentum due to stoppage of play that cost them 30 overs of batting against tired south african bowlers.. these r flaws that r going to be ironed out in the years to come.

my only worry, dhoni's defensiveness.. jadeja as fourth bowler was suicidal let's hope he doesn't have to pay for it with an undeserved series defeat

Posted by GRVJPR on (December 28, 2013, 6:49 GMT)

@lion83, Dream on mate. With ball reversing and spinning south african batsmen are school boys really. So far India have guts out in conditions favoring south africa. I hope it spins and reverses and let me see if south africa can show same guts. Anyway, the one man bowling attack of south africa won't be able to ball out India again. But fact is, South Africa is going to struggle today. But I want ICC to investigate as to why CSA groundsmen covered the wicket with moist covers all through the night at the end of first day. Well, I know the answer, but let GOD do the justice.

Posted by GRVJPR on (December 28, 2013, 6:46 GMT)

With reverse swing India is better equipped than South Africa on anyday. They won't whinge like Africans for sure as they are used to hard work back home. Jadeja will get 5 wicket hall in this innings and in the end it will only be rain that would save south africa. Mark my words. I have been right on all occassions this test series with my call.

Posted by VKohlitheGreat on (December 28, 2013, 6:42 GMT)

@ lion83 : your SL team is just about to play a test in a few days. Its about time SL fans recollect the rules for test matches (since SL would have forgotten the test match rules by now) and the ones you are sure to miss out on, I will be there to help you soon..

Posted by GRVJPR on (December 28, 2013, 6:35 GMT)

One lucky Spell doesn't make any body great. Steyn has to take atleast 10 ten wickets haul in India at chennai heat to prove that he is fit enough and skill ful enough to be called great. And no tailender wickets like shami and Ishant.

Posted by GRVJPR on (December 28, 2013, 6:33 GMT)

There was nothing special about dale steyn spell. Indian bowlere always bowls in these conditions and produces result. Early rain helped steyn and he got few lucky wickets down the leg side. Watch out for Zaheer and Shami with old ball tomorrow and jadea with his very accurate left arm quick spin. All these Indian Haters are in for a royal Hiding.

Posted by Naeem578 on (December 28, 2013, 6:33 GMT)

@realFan:For God Sake stop this Pak-ind chik chik,everyone knows the quality of Saeed Ajmal n Pakistani Bowling attack is not just comprised of ajmal,there are junaid,irfan,afridi,rehman,hafeez n gul too who are masters of their fields n if ajmal was not as good in s.a tests then you are forgetting Irfan n Junaid who did excellent job there.So kindly accept the fact whole heartedly.Now the thing is ind is competing well in s.a after odi slump n we Pakistanis acknowledge that so you should just enjoy that.

Posted by   on (December 28, 2013, 6:32 GMT)

Rohit Sharma's once in a blue moon inning and come back in the team Gameplay will carry on for ages. He'll score a hundred against some mediocre team at home and then "Oh He is So Talented" get him back in the team will continue.

Rahane on the other side seems to be a hard working kid and have the technique to create a solid middle order base for our team.

Posted by Preeteshd on (December 28, 2013, 6:32 GMT)

@aussie1993: "if a team cant take 10 wickets on a bowing pitch for 458 runs that team should RIP"? Dude, some eyeopening facts for you- (1) How many times Aus took 20 wickets against Eng in last three series? (those matches were played in Eng / Aus), (2) Last time on Indian flat tracks - How many Aus batsmen score 100 in all four matches? (total 1), (3) In Aus against SA in the third test (bowler friendly wicket prepared by Aus curator) - Aus lost match by 309 runs (conceded 569 runs in 111.5 overs @ 5.08 runs per over in the second innings)

Mate, next time pls analyse your own team's performance before posting nonsense comments.

Posted by VKohlitheGreat on (December 28, 2013, 6:31 GMT)

@ eblompot : I am suggesting he needs his own conditions, like batsmen coming after a break/tea/lunch i.e. batsmen being unsettled, to take wickets.. If u say 'nobody expected this test to be over in 3 days' I am sure you are not a regular on these forums.. Indian pitch? Well this is nothing new, this happened in England, in WI, in SL, in ZIM, in India, in SA now. Where exactly are the fast pitches in the world? Where the three ODIs were played and India was served there right?

Posted by   on (December 28, 2013, 6:29 GMT)

@aussie1993 - We saw how well your attack was hammered in India recently. The same attack making England look like school boys. It's all about conditions mate. Cricket is a funny game a great leveler, don't gloat too much mate.

Posted by Lion83 on (December 28, 2013, 6:26 GMT)

SA need to score over 400 runs and get a lead of over 100 then it will be a pressure for india to save the test match

Posted by realfan on (December 28, 2013, 6:21 GMT)

south africa has no1 and 2 bowlers, has no 1 and 2 batsmen and no9 also, has no1 allrounder..... and what more they are no 1 in the world ... and yet they couldn't dare to go for win in the 1st match ( PS: it was india's match, we dont have bowlers to take 20 wickets , i know that .... and india let off... yet south africa couln't dare to go for win ) and on contrast india doesnt have any fast bowler who is raked under 25, and spinners are ineffective( know fact ) and batting only kohli and oujara stands tall with a raking of 7 and 11, none is above 25..and the south africans coudnt roll over us. coming to experience.. india saffas dhawan(5) smith(113) vijay(20) alvero(27) pujara(15) amla (72) kohli(20) kallis( 165) rohit(3) abd(88) rahane(2) faf(10) dhoni(80) duminy(20) jadeja(5) peterson(17) zaheer(80) styne(68) ishant(50) morkel(52) shami(2) philander(19) how can you expect from a tem which lack in experience vastly

Posted by aussie1993 on (December 28, 2013, 6:19 GMT)

@india is always a average team not good enough to beat overseas team in their india has not never won any test series in sa and australia but australia nd sa have won test series in india australia hve won 5+ times a series in india is it what u called a indian team inspite of presence of sachin,gangluly,laxman,dravid,kumble,harbhajan,

Posted by cricpanther on (December 28, 2013, 6:02 GMT)

V. Important test match as far as series point of view. As we all knew, its having only 2 test match series! There is a bright chance 99% South Africa will win this test. India's chances seems difficult, specially, it's been long time their captain MSD has played anchor inning with his bat!!! He got out cheaply most of his test innings. I am not understanding why he still gets spare from his individual performance where every one paying heavy duty for their performance and gets inn and gets out on MSD's push button of remote control!! I urge to selectors that if India loss this test match give chance to other player to hold test captaincy. Virat is not a good idea for captaincy. Great idea could be to call back Viru and Gambhir and appoint Gambhir as Test team captain and make him comfortable for it's permanent place. Because we all knew he was responsible to win 2011 world cup,even he played anchor inning in final and MSD took away his credit in strange!! Dhavan is not a test player.

Posted by bhushanB on (December 28, 2013, 5:58 GMT)


Exactly my point.... for ages, I've been shouting off my heart...that test cricket is for specialists.. not for bits and pieces cricketers like Jadeja, Ashwin, Raina, Yuvraj, ..... The reason I brought up Rohit's bowling... it is exactly the same reason that Dhoni gave for including him ahead of Rahane against WI...... as someone that can bowl....

There was no other way he could get Rohit in the team at that time, when Rahane was waiting for ages.... Same way he would rule out Ojha against ENG, AUS saying they have lot of lefties..and picks up Ashwin... and now if there are righties, he picks up Jadeja...

Posted by   on (December 28, 2013, 5:54 GMT)

Somebody please show Ishant Sharma his Perth 2008 spell tapes. He was bowling consistently 145-150 Kmh towards the end of that Aus tour and was bowling very well in that 2008-09 season even in India. Now he struggles to hit 140. He can take inspiration from Johnson who's come back strongly with more pace and venom !! Yesterday though he bowled a good couple of overs to Smith. Hopefully he ll do it more consistently.

Posted by   on (December 28, 2013, 5:51 GMT)

@aussie 199?....we dont hav worlds fastest bowlers nor no.1 &no.2 bowlers in our side still we went to nd nailed dem for almost 4.5 days in 1st test(some fools predicted we wil loose in 3 days) @lso how gud teams do for eg# @ustralia wen dey went for ashes in england or say wen dey toured india.....!!!! sa is also wonderful team d way dey came back & played like no.1 & India too proved all critics wrong nd played like top lets njoy d series......

Posted by VKohlitheGreat on (December 28, 2013, 5:51 GMT)

@ bumpu : all the "Sir" Jadeja supporters are busy with Morne Morkel supporters because in the second innings of the first test he was going to destroy the entire Indian batting lineup in one spell but has only taken two wickets here.

Posted by RedHawk999 on (December 28, 2013, 5:44 GMT)

@ Harmony111 why don't you just comment on the article! You comment on others comments....whats the use of that? They are not going to stop and neither are you!!! Indian team's performance is not going to be affected with that!

Posted by realfan on (December 28, 2013, 5:38 GMT)

i dont what these cricketing pundits from pakisthan are trying to claim here.... even with all the "so called best bowling attack" that they claim to have, they just just managed to take only 39 wickets put of 60 in south africa with more favourable conditions for bowling..... india is never know for their bowling, and yet none of the indian fan claimed that we have best bowling attack, and somebody saying about ashwin, they should see what the record of ajmal in AUS, NEWzeland, england, south africa.... he has played 8 matches with 27 wickets at an average of 40 and strike rate of 85.... and nobody claimed ashwin as a best bowler in the world , infact we have mentioned he is ineffective away from subcontinent..... regarding batting, less talk the better... india is mile ahead of pakisthani batsmen, except for rohit, who is haffez of indian batting line up , over hyped.....

Posted by VKohlitheGreat on (December 28, 2013, 5:29 GMT)

@ aussie1993 : On the contrary, a team which also conceded 458 on a 'bowling pitch' could not take 10 wickets (unless the other team chose to accelerate) that team should be glorified?

Posted by eblompot on (December 28, 2013, 5:29 GMT)

@VKohlitheGreat: Fast track Bully? Are you suggesting this is a fast track? Or, are you suggesting we should not pick fast , intimidating bowlers? Or should we request India not to pick bowlers who spin the ball in India? Did India not bowl negatively and employ negative fielding positions towards the end of the previous match preventing a result, happy with a draw? Also, SA did not 'take you off the field'. SA does not control the light, God does. Helped by the weather? Has weather never before been involved in cricket, such as the dried out pitch on day 1? Good luck to Steyn if he can command the weather as well! And, nobody expected this test to be over in 3 days; in fact, both wickets have suited India better than SA, as neither represents a resemblance to what they used to be, unlike the ones prepared in India. If anything, India expected to walk over us in the ODI's... Stop moaning and try to enjoy watching the 2 best teams playing in SA on an Indian pitch.

Posted by bumpu on (December 28, 2013, 5:21 GMT)

Where are all the "Sir" Jadeja supporters? Lasted three balls with the bat and going for over 4 and over with the ball? Is Dhoni trying to deliberately belittle Ashwin and boost Jadeja on a track that is likely to offer spin at the later stages of the match? Just watch the backlash now!!

Posted by aussie1993 on (December 28, 2013, 5:11 GMT)

if a team cant take 10 wickets on a bowing pitch for 458 runs that team should RIP

Posted by Amol_Ind_SA on (December 28, 2013, 5:10 GMT)

As a follower of Dale Steyn's whole career since that Day-One in 2004, I have learned to ignore all those myopic comments which attack/analyze Steyn on the basis of one single current match or series because these comments have absolutely NEITHER value NOR credit whatsoever. Steyn is a proven great and he will be counted among so, even if he decides to

Posted by Amol_Ind_SA on (December 28, 2013, 5:02 GMT)

...And now when Steyn gets 3 more scalps in the second innings, he will be, along with Sir Hadlee, the fastest paceman to reach the milestone of 350 career wickets (in 69 tests).

Posted by VKohlitheGreat on (December 28, 2013, 5:00 GMT)

@ CurrentPresident : Wow, congrats on the amazing analysis of the two teams. By the looks of it, there is nothing that India has better than SA, still SA was not able to win the first test at their backyard inspite of winning the ODI series 3-0 and them being #1 in tests, your valued inputs on this one please?

Posted by sachin_vvsfan on (December 28, 2013, 5:00 GMT)

Some fans (Indian, SA and others too) were writing off Steyn. But Steyn got the kick he needed , booed by the crowd, displaced by philander in ranking. I was predicting his wickets burst on first day but he did it on the second day.Although i did not like this against India i think this will probably produce a result in this rain effected game.

@Greatest_Game You need to stop giving all those crazy stats. We all know SA is num1 side for good reason. ABD , Steyn are the players who walk in any format and also add x factor to the game. Come the IPL and some of the anti steyn posters(from India) will start singing praises again. I think this short burst is due to his comments about "this is not Mumbai pitch" remark which caused some grievance to hard core Indian fans.

Posted by VKohlitheGreat on (December 28, 2013, 4:46 GMT)

@ Known Strangerr : Mate, Neither does India have world # 1 & 2 bowler nor is India the #1 team, so the team which was suppose to loose in 3 days has done pretty well. You seem too happy about SA bowling performance to be an Indian. Also, dale steyn if he is that geat a bowler did very by bowling negative lines when India was cruising along to take SA off the field and came back next morning to take wickets helped by weather.. Fast track Bully?

Posted by VKohlitheGreat on (December 28, 2013, 4:32 GMT)

@ Known Strangerr : oh 'Learn to give credit where its due' is a term so easily used on others and dont see any1 using it themselves but the fact is most people like you had predicted either an innings loss or the match to end in 3 days which surely has not happened, would any care to come and eat those words first?

Posted by   on (December 28, 2013, 3:59 GMT)

@Harmony111 Your talking about Steyn's aggression now will you tell which series prior to this has this aggression not been shown by teams.All the talks prior to matches and end of day are common and don't tell me it was only steyn who did the talking even Indian team did its bit now I know you shall defend this too and incase you are talking about steyn delivering body blows to Indian batsman and giving a stare all are part of the game.As per your great analysis Steyn Morkel Philander failed let me remind you what steyn did to us in 2008 and 2010.Buddy in cricket every bowler wont take wickets some bowl tight probing lines and rest take advantage of the pressure to pick this is what is called Hunting in a pack.If you want every bowler to pick wickets show me indian bowlers who have done so.Just don't blame people for the sake of it

Posted by Greatest_Game on (December 28, 2013, 3:24 GMT)

@ Harmony111. You complain that "Steyn took those wickets within 8 overs of a new start," & "It seems the only way Steyn can take wickets these days is when well set batsmen are starting again after play was stopped."

During their 1st innings at the Wanderers, SA were 118 for 1 at tea, Smith & Amla well set. 3 overs after the "well set batsmen started again," SA lost 5 wickets for 16 runs.

It seems that, like Steyn, "the only way India can take wickets these days is when well set batsmen are starting again after play was stopped?" It its true for Steyn, its true for India!

Previously, when play resumed on day 2 of the test, the well-set Rahane & Dhoni lasted 8 overs before India lost 5 wickets for 16 runs. Steyn took ZERO!!!!

Today India lost 5 wickets for 14 runs - the 3rd, almost identical, collapse this series. Its clear your whinging & complaining is not about Steyn, but about cricket itself. You use cricket to attack Steyn for playing cricket? Why? What is your motive?

Posted by lillee4PM on (December 28, 2013, 3:24 GMT)

I can't believe that some people were recently slagging Dale Steyn; you only discount this guy at your peril. As an Aussie fan I can't wait for the upcoming tour, which will be a battle of the quicks (Steyn v Johnson). Hope these two ultra aggressive and competitive guys will be fully fit and in form, coz it will produce some great test cricket.

Posted by   on (December 28, 2013, 2:56 GMT)

Rohit has (or needs?) plenty of time to play his variety of good strokes. The fast bowlers give hardly any time after the ball pitches, for Rohit to execute his fabulous strokes. He has yet to prove against the real fast bowling. He is not used to that.

Posted by   on (December 28, 2013, 2:54 GMT)

south africa supporters : before you rule out india don't forget that we have SIR RAVINDRA JADEJA...who may not be a kallis but can spin miracles of his own. Lets wait for the ball to get a little older.

Posted by kary on (December 28, 2013, 2:47 GMT)

posting 334 on conditions similar to home is a poor show, India needs to step up they should have posted more than 500 in two days, thus the quality of the lucky Indian players. I don't know how much more luxury they can ask for!

Posted by   on (December 28, 2013, 2:44 GMT)

All the good work done by the Indians, so far on the tour, got 'steyned' in just one session!

Still there are gains for India. Vijay, Pujara, Kohli, & Rahane have passed the test. We need to persist with them, give them even more confidence and develop them into the future "fabulous five" for India.

All others are suspects against true pace on fast & bouncy tracks. Each one of them have one serious deficiency or the other. That includes Dhoni & his batting in tests.

Need for Ashwin to improve his fitness & agility is talked about from his induction to India team. Now he also proves that he has to significantly improve his basic skill; that is off-spinning.

Though great for internationals in India; for overseas, I would look for options in place of (believe it or not) Dhawan, Dhoni, Ashwin & Rohit.

Rohit needs time after the ball takes of the pitch, to decide how to play the right shot; which really fast bowlers don't give.

We are still groping to find the right set of bowlers!

Posted by Nampally on (December 28, 2013, 2:36 GMT)

A very poor day 2 for India. Firstly they lost 9 wkts for 153 runs followed by giving away 82 runs for No Loss to SA. The play stoppage due to bad light had a huge impact when Pujara & Vijay were in total command. Today neither carried off where they left & dismissed easily. Kohli, Rahane & Dhoni resisted but never built big innings. Rohit Sharam & Jadeja were total failures with Golden Ducks- most disappointing performance! When the Captain sacrifices a regular bowler to make room for these 2 for their batting, It was a Huge let down. India will pay dearly for inclusion of these 2 guys who came in as Dhoni's favourites. Rohit has failed in all 3 innings so far. Why Jadeja for Ashwin? India is left with 3 seamers who are still recovering after marathon effort in the First test. Dhoni's irrational XI selection deprived India winning the first test. Lesson learnt: Just 4 bowlers tire out in 4th innings. Dhoni has repeated 4 bowlers theory for 2nd Test with 3 day rest- Result: SA 82-0 !

Posted by Happy_hamster on (December 28, 2013, 2:06 GMT)

dabbadubba on (December 27, 2013, 15:03 GMT) SA record is based on winning on green tops at home is it, actually they have not lost a test series overseas since August 2006, misinformed is the word (I am an England fan by the way).

Posted by Greatest_Game on (December 28, 2013, 2:02 GMT)

@ Harmony111 Chill out, man. Yes, Philander got ZERO wickets today. Zak took 1 wicket in SA's 2nd inns at the Wanderers. Steyn took 1 in that test. Philander took 7. Kallis took 4 top order wickets, & got a golden duck! Ashwin took ZERO wickets, but Duminy & Tahir each took 2.

All that proves nothing about the players. They are all playing test cricket. They are all pretty damned good! Players have good days and bad days. Ashwin rocketed to 100 wickets, bowling ave 28.5: in India 24.12, & 74.77 out of India. Philander also rocketed to 100 wickets, ave 18.11: in SA 15.28, and 21.83 out of SA. Zak has been India's bowling mainstay,& averages 32.56, but 35.39 in SA. His 300th wicket was Kallis, who has 292 wickets @ ave 32.53. In India it is 38.85, but Kallis batting ave, 55.12, goes up in India to 58.46.

Good & bad days, good & bad matches, good & bad tours, good & bad countries. It happens, with all players. In India Steyn's ave is 20.23, BETTER than 21.12 in SA. How about that?

Posted by   on (December 28, 2013, 1:04 GMT)

Every cricket players has up and down and bad times in their career, nobody exceptional. I believe that Ashwin is clever and have potential to bounce back as a spinner. He must be given more chances to play away India in test matches. Jadeja is suitable for T20 and ODI

Posted by OttawaRocks on (December 28, 2013, 1:01 GMT)

More wickets fell on the 2nd day. Big deal. Bad light will affect the rest of the test plus rain on day 4 and 5. So no decision again. And of course, if SA has a chance to win, they'll close shop anyway so no need to hope for a result.

Posted by legfinedeep on (December 28, 2013, 0:57 GMT)

I guess you can never write off Steyn, I didn't bother to watch after his disappointing first day and was gobsmacked to see him come back with 6 wickets. Still looks like it will be a draw to me. What a damp squib for King Kallis' final match.

Posted by Greatest_Game on (December 28, 2013, 0:39 GMT)

@ Rajendra Rele contributed this thoughtful analysis: " If it wasnt for a lot of luck in the 1st test it was India's match..."

Luck? Did you really write 'luck?' Whose luck? Against a 10 man team India escaped, by 8 runs, THE record defeat in a 4th innings chase. SA made MORE runs in the 4th innings than India did in the 3rd, facing a bowling attack missing a premier bowler.

India could not dismiss SA twice. Does that make SA lucky? In dismissing India twice, was SA just lucky, or did they not in fact bowl out 19 batsmen, except for Pujara. Lucky for SA, Kohli ran him out :)

In SA's 2nd innings, India's bowlers managed 4 dismissals. 1 was the Shami/Amla 'bouncer that didn't' - nothing but luck. Kallis was "not-out, dismissed by umpire." Was that SA's luck? Did India plan all along to run out Smith & Faf with direct hits by Rahane? Did that make SA "lucky?"

India played well, & proved their strength, but in REALITY, the truth is India escaped a historic defeat by 8 runs. Get real!

Posted by TMSer on (December 28, 2013, 0:37 GMT)

The Strange selection decisions of the Indian back-office highlighted today, firstly the incomprehensible inclusion of Rohit Sharma, who has no appetite or discipline of the longer form of the game, when its played on spicy pitches ( still happy to clown around for the cameras at the end of play though). Secondly was the odd omission of R Ashwin for of the few grounds in South Africa that offers turn for the spinner. Yes he had a poor 2nd innings in Joberg, but the so did many bowlers ( Dale steyn included). If there ever was a situation to play 2 spinners in SA it was in this match. SA in the driving seat now

Posted by nyc_missile on (December 28, 2013, 0:00 GMT)

The tail starts from MSD in every series abroad.Shame on selectors for not recognizing this fact as there's enough precedence pointing towards it.This joke of a batsman will sound the death knell for promising young Indian talent esp when playing overseas.Time to dump MSD as the captain and pick Kohli for the upcoming tests.Moreover he's just a waste of a spot due to his atrocious batting and pedestrian wicketkeeping.Rohit should be persisted with and given confidence like he was in ODIs.

Posted by   on (December 27, 2013, 22:41 GMT)

@harmony111 your quite an ignorant bloke! Your Judgement is clouded by what you find out.

Dale Steyn ordinary on wickets that offer no assistance? Explain his average of under 23 and also being the number 1 test bowler for 4 years? It takes extra ordinary ability to achieve that feet. Ofcourse here and there you will have the odd test that does not go your way but how you bounce back is what counts. 6 wickets on a placid pitch speaks for itself! You shouldn't hate bro rather appreciate. You are taking Steyns press conference out of context! It was not a complaint.

South Africa as a team is miles ahead of the rest, India have been superb on this tour yet they cannot dictate play. I bet if SA had won the toss in the first test india would be 1 down and the weather is the reason SA will not win this one!

Posted by   on (December 27, 2013, 22:27 GMT)

Zaheer khan needs to understand he is just getting worst. he is leaking runs and even in the first test he got 3 tailenders from the 4 wickets he got. Ishant and shami did all the hard work. This has got to be his last series. I mean he is ageing and is also performing poorly. He does not look like the leader of the pace attack at all. There are so many domestic bowlers waiting to wear that test cap. Give em a try atleast.

Posted by tao585 on (December 27, 2013, 22:23 GMT)

We have to appreciate Indian team, who is World Champion despite mediocre club level bowling and fielding. Pujara and Kohli are once in a century batsmen. Rest of the batting line can be compared to Bangladeshi batting line up

Posted by Protears on (December 27, 2013, 22:17 GMT)

@The_Blue_Android, Philander has taken half his wickets abroad, his worst performance was in Australia but hey nobody is perfect but at least he has shown that he could take wickets in varying conditions, how many has Ashwin taken?

Trot along

@Harmony111 tea break, stumps, lunch these are part of cricket and have been for some time, stop trying to knit pick a logical explanation as to why Steyn has 340 odd wickets, because I can assure you he is more devastating than anyone India has even on said SC tracks. You only have to look at his record in India.

Vernon Philander doesn't have the hostility that Morne and dale have so has to rely on finesse and hitting the boring line and length, the ball did nothing through the air admittedly he is not a swing bowler but he relies on seam movement as his weapon and wasn't getting that, can he get frustrated, yes he is human, can he have a bad day, yes he is human. stop making out our attack to be reliant on pure fav cond.

Posted by GreenBouncySpin on (December 27, 2013, 21:38 GMT)

What happened to Steyn all of a sudden? He was toothless in the entire 1st test and 1st day of 2nd test, and suddenly taken 6 wickets on a flat deck !! Did he become lethal overnight? Steyn was and has been bowling the same all this while - its Indian batsmen who decimated him until now and today they had a lapse in the concentration which worked in favor of Steyn. Watch out for our in-form batsmen Vijay, Puraja, Kohli and Rahane in the 2nd innings - it's going be another long dry run for Steyn and co. It's amazing and amusing how SA supporters try to back their team's performance when India has clearly dominated 5 out of 7 days of cricket so far!! India was supposed to roll over and die in less than 3 days as many thought before the start of the series - remember? But we turned the tables upside down and SA supporters are trying to find 1 or 2 sessions when SA performed better. You are No.1 team with #1 and #2 bowlers and all you can muster is catching up in your own backyard !!

Posted by Biohazard7279 on (December 27, 2013, 21:35 GMT)

@Harmony111 Pardon my timestamp mishap, the times are different than my local time and I thought the comments were on the latest news update as I'm new to commenting. Nothing to worry about.

Yes I saw how many wickets Philander got there.... 6 in 2 tests, not ZERO! No fast bowler loves bowling on flat wickets. The wickets in the UAE are some of the flattest and least assistive wickets in the world. Wickets post break might be considered an axiom, but Steyn bowled brilliantly in dismissing the two well set batsman.

Bad light? The Proteas openers batted exceptionally well up until 18:30, even when the light was poor. The Indian bowlers could've adopted the same tactic, but they didn't. If they tried it, I doubt they would've been even nearly as successful as Steyn.

Posted by Silverbails on (December 27, 2013, 21:32 GMT)

Already at the end of Day 2 it looks like a struggle for India to even draw this match. They looked in complete control at the end of Day 1, but a few weak strokes and look what happens: from a position of strength they go to a position of relative weakness, especially with the Indian bowlers looking fairly inept against Smith and Petersen. These poor travellers better start playing a lot better if they even want to try and draw this Test. One of the final frontiers for Indian Test Cricket looks like it may still remain!! Having a two test series is really poor. Anyway, let's hope for a much better display from India's to try and save this Test match, and the series!!

Posted by RAJAT_2589 on (December 27, 2013, 21:27 GMT)

Reverse swing might have a big role to play tomorrow along with spin as the ball gets a bit older.jadeja got a decent amount of turn during his short spell today.he might prove to be a handful under these conditions.SAF do have the upper hand attthe moment..but we have seen wickets going down in clusters during this series. This game is far from over..

Posted by Haz95 on (December 27, 2013, 21:17 GMT)

From a neutral observer.. Rahane>Rohit.. and also Rahane>Dhawan... I don't understand how Ashwin made it in the world Test XI let alone being called the best spinner in the world as he is a flat track bully too. Rahane I believe is actually talented, not rohit sorry nohit 'talented'. He must open or bat up the order in innings 2 for India. 1.Vijay 2. Dhawan 3.Pujara 4.Kohli 5.Rahane 6.Rohit and on goes the tail

Posted by Haz95 on (December 27, 2013, 21:15 GMT)

No offence or anything but think about it, the only reason why a draw happened in test #1 was because India had a fluke in the bowling which somehow got them the wickets but in the second innings, they'd gone back to normal. Unless India have this 'fluke' again, I don't see them winning this.... As you can see, this series is still showing what every1 predicted, A fight in the batting(somewhat but a bit more than we'd expected), Bowling failure(barring the SA 1st inning fluke) and yep. One weird thing is you never see Steyn and Co bowling yorkers but they are still so successful

Posted by   on (December 27, 2013, 21:02 GMT)

You are absolutely right Harmony111 a true test for Steyn should be how he performs on the subcontinent! can you remind me how he has peformed there?

Posted by mahjut on (December 27, 2013, 20:36 GMT)

Harmony111 ... your post sounds genuinely reasonable which is why i am immediately and strongly reminded of David Hume's truism: "reason is a slave of passion"! Luckily we have stats - Steyn'sa average in India (on those same flat tracks the Indians are accused of playing so well on is ... 20!!) So, because people laugh at Indian bats for their away record (sometimes a little unfairly) you take your frustrations out in all the wrong places.

As it happens, Kohli, Pujara (two real prospects - Indias new Sachin and Dravids!!??) have really played well. Steyn did lose his chief scarer in the second innings of the last test and has come back strongly here.

Go easy pal

Posted by Harmony111 on (December 27, 2013, 20:21 GMT)


For Philander, you said ---"His timeless line and length will get wickets no matter what the surface might be like. "--- but did you see how many he got here? ZERO You should have also read how he complained about the slow tracks hereā€¦

Buddy, you need to see the timestamps before commenting. When I posted, Morkel had 2 wickets & not 3. Also, Wickets-Post-Break is almost an axiom.

It does not really matter that the ball was 65 overs old. The major point is, the batsmen were starting afresh. Steyn took those wickets within 8 overs of a new start. Against the same batsmen, who were well set yesterday, Steyn adopted the tactic of bowling from round the wicket to their body even when the light was poor. Need I say more?

Posted by MaruthuDelft on (December 27, 2013, 20:06 GMT)

@Criticalthinking, Please don't defend Ashwin the bowler; he is very bad. But surely he is the 3rd best test batsman in India after Virat and Pujara. However he shouldn't be allowed to play as a batsman after being selected for the tour as a spinner. May be for the NZ tour he may be selected as a batting allrounder for the number 6 position. If Dhawan fails in the second innings too the Indian team should be Vijay, Rahane, Pujara, Kohli, Badrinath(He has been treated very unfairly; the selectors must make amends; he can contribute for another 3 years.), Ashwin, Dhoni, Ojah, Jadeja/Bhuvi, Ishant and Shami.

Posted by Harmony111 on (December 27, 2013, 20:03 GMT)

@Known Strangerr:

That is the point. Indian batsmen are routinely made fun of for failing in unfamiliar conditions. No leeway is given to them even if they are asked to chase 350+ on a total green top after zero acclimatization. Did you see those comments? Did you see the arrogance of Steyn then? He talked of scarring Indian batsmen. The same Steyn was seen limping off on Day 1 of J'burg test when just one Indian batsman, Kohli forced him to bowl a bit more than usual.

If Indian batsmen scoring runs in India is no big deal then what is so special about Steyn taking wickets in SA? Even in SA, he, Morkel & Philander are struggling on wickets when they are 'slightly' slower than usual. Mind you, these are no as slow/flat as Ind wickets. But with that slightest bit of help gone, they look ordinary.

If the true test of Indian batsmen is Green Tops then shouldn't the true test of Steyn etc be SC wickets? Logical, isn't it? But SA fail even at home when these FTBs get to learn a bit.

Posted by Preeteshd on (December 27, 2013, 20:01 GMT)

Hahaha.. It seems that the Saffers and their fans are softened up now (for Aus to come and have a treat). Guys to start with, India had nothing to loose and everything to gain for in the series. No shame drawing a series 0-0 or to loose a series 0-1 to the No. 1 test side in their own backyard. Steyn himself initiated the unwanted verbals and when he was on the receiving end, it hurt you ppl. We Indians are ready to give respect where its due. However, it should not be a one way traffic.

Posted by   on (December 27, 2013, 19:58 GMT)

After what happened on the first day of second test, India played a poor batting. It was even worse when india stood at 319, Rahane giving the best.Indian bowling was fairly, even with very good bowling. Indian bowlers could not either the depth or swinf from the good length spot remotely close to Steny did. I hope this improves on the third

Posted by the_blue_android on (December 27, 2013, 19:53 GMT)

@Protears - you make no sense! I even doubt if you're a reak Saffer cos most of the saffers I came across know at least a bit of the game. Even a three year old kid in India will admit that Ashwin is rubbish when bowling abroad. But your 'Big Vern' seems to be bowling at home, that too only when the conditions are to his liking!

Posted by Raki99 on (December 27, 2013, 19:37 GMT)

Tommorow would decide the result for this game, But man some indian Batsman are total waste. And Indian Bowlers cupboard is so empty that they have to keep going with the same blokes again and again. Rohit should get one more series in NZ, If he fails there we should just discard him forever. Total waste can't even bat for 60 balls. I only hope its not a long day for India tommorow and we can get some wickets.

Posted by vivkr on (December 27, 2013, 19:36 GMT)

This is the kind of bowling I wished Indian quicks had shown in the last Test when SA were chasing 458. Seriously! this is exactly what one needs to do. Zak has really been disappointing. As the most experienced of the lot, he needs to show better control of line and length. The great Wasim Akram bowled with wile throughout his career and that should be Zak's ideal, not Ajit Agrakar, lacking tooth or nail.

Posted by   on (December 27, 2013, 19:32 GMT)

Well it was a shock that Steyn went 69 overs without a wicket and India have rather gifted a position to SAF by the end of the second day...but much cricket is yet to be played and SAF are on top due to bad cricket from India and nothing much special from them, from the looks of it, this pitch is gonna turn from tomorrow and SAF will have a tough time. Again very sad to see SA fans deriding India on this page and their comments being posted. Just shows their frustration at their teams poor performance. If it wasnt for a lot of luck in the 1st test it was India's match, if India go back 0-0 they will feel disappointed that they didnt put one across a clearly overrated and soon to be dethroned No.1 team. Lets see what happens after Kalllis goes, since re-entry Kallis has been giving SA one extra player....time for this luxury for SA is now over....

Posted by   on (December 27, 2013, 19:23 GMT)

A MASTERCLASS ON DISPLAY !! Dale Steyn has all the skills of a top class fast bowler-he has speed ( consistently bowls 140 kmph plus), swings the ball both ways, has all the variations including a lethal bouncer and he is supremely fit ( was bowling 140 kmph at the end of the day). He dished out a masterclass today bowling at a great speed with control over his line and length ; and he softened some of the Indian batsmen with his well- aimed bouncers ( the one to Ajinkya Rahane would have been a different tale twenty years ago ). I ' m sure when he hangs his boots he will be among the greatest fast bowlers ever ; up there with Mcgrath, Akram, Marshall, Lillee, Hadlee, Walsh, Ambrose, Truman... and the rest. Until then let's hope we may see many more masterclasses from him !!!

Posted by Harmony111 on (December 27, 2013, 19:22 GMT)


You've completely failed to grasp that "I-Need-Fav-Conditions" point & are misdirecting it to others. Btw, Ashwin made no claim never of scarring anyone, did he? So such arguments can't be made for him. You should have seen how Philander was complaining about flat pitches before replying to me.

Even after being rattled in the 1st test you still haven't lost your hubris? You still talk in the same tone?

Your bowlers were supposed to finish India for 50-60 a.o. & win the 1st test in 3 days. Did that happen? What did happen was that SA were 2.5 wickets away from losing the test. Yeah. This is what the #1 team manages AT HOME vs the FTBs many of whom are like 5- tests old.

Keep talking about the next day, we shall see what happens tomorrow & in this test but India have already pulled SA down from their pedestal & have exposed their limitations.

Posted by CricketFever11 on (December 27, 2013, 19:20 GMT)

Pedestrian Bowling.........Pedestrian Batting....... But India are the World Champions Lol...................................

Posted by   on (December 27, 2013, 19:20 GMT)

Truecric fan aren't speaking of a draw way too early buddy I mean just 2 days of cricket and you have already decided its a draw wow I am so amazed at your cricketing brain.If Saffers can bat to their talent for a day and half more and pile up around 500 odd runs buddy India may loose the game be rest assured of the same.After the nail bitting finish at wanderers another draw is definitely not on cards for sure

Posted by   on (December 27, 2013, 19:20 GMT)

It is highly frustrating looking at Indian bowling reserves. Even in domestic cricket, it's tried tested and dropped seamers like Munaf, Vinay Kumar, Mohit Sharma, R P Singh who are top wicket takers. Ishwar Pandey inspired some confidence last season; Not sure where he is this time around. Ishant Sharma of Perth 2008 should be resurrected !!! Considering India has 2 tests in NZ and 5 in Eng followed by Aus tour.

Posted by CricketFever11 on (December 27, 2013, 19:19 GMT)

A man who made a ODI double century cant put bat on to the ball. Lol........

Posted by Cricfan_99 on (December 27, 2013, 19:16 GMT)

Rohit turning to Nohit again .. did himself no favours with a golden duck.. Have been saying this all along - Sir Jadeja is not a batsman in any format let alone tests in SA conditions.. we needed Ash here. Steyn - just as i predicted before the start of the match - Had a point to prove - and boy - he did it alright.. respect from indian fan - unlike only "some" of my fellow ind supporters.. most of ind fans do enjoy his intensity even though we were at the receiving end today!

Posted by   on (December 27, 2013, 19:13 GMT)

india has to have two teams one for playing in subcontinent and other for playing outside subcontinent..... enough of this oversees flop rohit in the team he can't play outside india totally overhyped get some deserving candidates in the team ... put pujara in the one day squad while playing abroad

Posted by Harmony111 on (December 27, 2013, 19:12 GMT)


It is clear that you've completely failed to see that "I-Need-Fav-Conditions" point & are misdirecting to others. Btw, Ashwin made no claim never of scarring anyone, did he? So such arguments can't be made for him. You should have seen how Philander was complaining about flat pitches before replying to me.

Even after being rattled in the 1st test you still haven't lost your hubris? You still talk in the same tone? Wow, some ppl never change.

FYI, your bowlers were supposed to finish India for 50-60 a.o. & win the 1st test in 3 days. Did that happen? What did happen was that SA were 2.5 wickets away from losing the test. Yeah. This is what the #1 team manages AT HOME vs the FTBs many of whom are like 5- tests old.

Keep talking about the next day, we shall see what happens tomorrow & in this test but India have already pulled SA down from their pedestal & have exposed their limitations.

Posted by   on (December 27, 2013, 19:10 GMT)

sometimes it feels scary to be in M.S.Dhoni's shoes with such an inconsistent bowling attack in overseas conditions. Add to it his own bad form in England and Australia carried onto this tour. Even in ranji trophy, bowlers like Mohit Sharma and Vinay Kumar are top wicket taking seamers who are very easily picked away for runs in Intl cricket. Looks like resurrecting Ishant Sharma of Perth 2008 is the only way out !!! (Shami too offers a ray of hope)

Posted by Harmony_not_Discord on (December 27, 2013, 19:08 GMT)


"There is nothing special about this spell from steyn"

You are talking gibberish again...

Posted by truecric_fan on (December 27, 2013, 19:08 GMT)

Well bowled Steyn but India's top order have done enough damage to enforce a draw. India walking away without a loss in SA is a huge victory for them and a defeat for SA.

Posted by   on (December 27, 2013, 19:03 GMT)

I am surprised reading many comments by fellow Indian fans I mean seriously do these people really know cricket.Harmony and Vkholithegreat guys before you bash Steyn Morkel and Philander do get your facts right.This pitch is a hardcore sub continent pitch type nothing in for the quicks Indian batsmen played well on day 1 and some hostile bowling and probing length by Steyn and co India didn't have answers learn to give credit where it is due. I found so many comments saying Ashwin should have played this game he may have scored more runs guys for heavens sake please do understand Ashwin is a bowler whose job is to bowl contain runs and take wickets which he has not been doing so please no Ashwin topic.As far as Rohit Sharma is concerned he is talented no doubt but if he was to be removed who shall replace in the squad Raina or Yuvi,Raina was preffered ahead of Pujara Rahane and many others when we knew from Day 1 he is no test material.I'd have Rohit in the team instead of Raina

Posted by   on (December 27, 2013, 19:03 GMT)

I now little about Indian cricket these days but the same Rohit Sharma that is being rubbished here scored two Test centuries in November and an ODI double century!

Posted by getgopi on (December 27, 2013, 19:00 GMT)

Not every player will click on every tour. Players like Steyn and Kohli are more consistent than most when it comes to psyching up and maintaining a certain level of mental strength before play. Given the way that Rohit batted in several recently concluded tournaments, he was sure to have been in this Test series. It was a no-brainer. Never mind that most of his recent work was in the shorter formats that included a double ton on a flat track in India. Badri would have been given an extended run had the current India selector Sandeep Patil been around when Badri played those Tests...or, who knows, Patil might have selected someone else instead of Badri.

I very much miss not being able to see Steyn's bowling here in the US. I envy the rest of you who can.

Posted by DhairyBoghani on (December 27, 2013, 18:57 GMT)

@Tram, @Francis,@ TommytuckerSaffa Rohi has 2 centurys in 5 test innings with highest of 177. He is highest run scorer in ODI in 2013 with innings of 209. He failed in SA but just on that base we can't put him out. If he fails to make it count even in NZ surely give a chance to onther.

Posted by DhairyBoghani on (December 27, 2013, 18:44 GMT)

India just need a new ball bowler B.Kumar in playing 11. It would be different team I can bet. India has not any bowler who can use new ball. SA had 130/1, 108/0,82/0 & Faf-AB partnership(second new ball) in a period of threat of new ball.

Posted by DhairyBoghani on (December 27, 2013, 18:43 GMT)

If we play with Kumar, Sharma, Shami & Jadeja; We will have a new ball bowler threat in Kumar to take 2-3 wickets early and put pressure. Jadeja and Sharma can use that pressure in middle order & When bowl start to revers Shami can be used.

Posted by GRVJPR on (December 27, 2013, 18:40 GMT)

There is nothing special about this spell from steyn. I have seen many times from Zaheer and Shami on more flatter comditions. Once the ball gets old watch out for Zaheer, SHami, Jadeja and Ishant in that order.

Posted by DhairyBoghani on (December 27, 2013, 18:38 GMT)

India just need a new ball bowler B.Kumar in playing 11. It would be different team I can bet. India has not any bowler who can use new ball. SA had 130/1, 108/0,82/0 & Faf-AB partnership(second new ball) in a period of threat of new ball.

No need of Zaheer now as he leaks runs, not swinging ball much, not quite speed. He had cleared tail in 1st test and taken only two top order wicket- Smith after 68 & Kalis- wrong dicition.

Posted by TommytuckerSaffa on (December 27, 2013, 18:32 GMT)

@TRAM Great post and very interesting for me as a Saffa to learn about Indian politics behind the scenes in selecting players. Here in SA we are also effected by politics. I never knew Sharma was subject to pro-selection and commentary by Mumbai based commentators /Administrators. But now its becoming apparent as I feel Sharma is the weak link in the Indian batting order. Surely there are more capable batters in the wings. There is no comparison between him and others players like Kohli, Vijay and Puraja who have excelled and proven their class.

Posted by is014 on (December 27, 2013, 18:29 GMT)

India should mull on having different overseas and domestic (sub-continental) international teams. Where they'll have space for both flat-track bullies and more technically sound batsmen. Vijay and Rahane's temperament has shown that somebody like Badrinath would have been better adjusted to probing bowling than Rohit Sharma.

Posted by vrkp on (December 27, 2013, 18:25 GMT)

Zak bowling was disappointing as he was repeatedly bowling on the leg stump. We really need to pick up 3-4 wickets in the morning g session otherwise only rain can help us. Dhawan and Rohit really need to score at least 70 each in the second dig, otherwise they she both be dropped from nz series. ashwin she have been in the team instead of with dhawan or rohit.

As I said before, there is nothing shame to lose to no. 1 team in their conditions as long as we fight till the end.

Posted by StreetView on (December 27, 2013, 18:24 GMT)

Rohit needs to dropped. The only reason he is in the team after years of failure is coz of the lobbying by his Gavaskar & Ravi Shastri who praise him in commentary for no reason whatsoever. This has created an illusion that his 'supremely talented'. LOL

Posted by TaleEnder on (December 27, 2013, 18:21 GMT)

South Africa should win this match for Kallis.. wow!! wat a man Kallis is!! Leave alone his bowling.. His batting figures alone is as mighty as Sachin's..

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

First of all great bowling performance by steyn. I am Indian fan but still steyn is one of my favourite cricketer and he showed today why he was number bowler for long time. as far as game goes India can still come back very strongly tomorrow morning if they take some inspiration from the determination showed by steyn even on this flat pitch. Best of luck team India for tomorrow's game.

Posted by TRAM on (December 27, 2013, 18:05 GMT)

@Francis Arun Bjorn Mel, oh ya, RSharma has been in the India team in one format or the other for YEARS because of nothing but favor. Every one knows it. It is the constant lobbying by the India commentators (all from same Mumbai of course) that keeps giving the viewers a false view that he has immense talent. His awful running between the wickets is never mentioned by them. And lets not talk about his recent bad fielding. Badrinath scored 56 against the same Styne / Morkel bowling attack in his only 3 innings test chance he got and was dumped for ever. Out of those 3 innings Badri got, the last innings was in the fading light with Styne opertaing with new ball, when Dhoni instead of sending night-watchman, sent in Badri. The umpires called badlight immediately after Badri got out. RSharma and Badri are the extreme examples of favorite and un-favorite candidates. Unbiased followers of India cricket know all these.

Posted by Harmony_not_Discord on (December 27, 2013, 18:05 GMT)

Whilst the first day belonged to India the 2nd was definitely South Africa's. So, even contest so far but what a performance by Dale Steyn.

But some still keep rubbishing SA bowlers and whiner keeps whinging.

Posted by Naresh28 on (December 27, 2013, 18:02 GMT)

INDIA fall apart in the bowling departmrnt. We also have no resistance from the tail. Quite frankly there are at least 4 slots which are being wasted:- Dhawan, Rohit, Dhoni, Jadeja These guys need to buck up as there others waiting. Rishi Dhawan, manpreet juneja are two candidates. We need a good left hander - maybe young Vijay Zol. Openers like Jiwonjot Singh, KL Rahul need to be tested on A-tours. Kohli, Pujara, Vijay, Rahane have played ell.Bowlers relie on helpful conditions otherwise they give up.

Posted by   on (December 27, 2013, 17:52 GMT)

I really feel rohit is needed a lot at ranji level since he is given ample chances at International level their are lot of talented players like rahane waiting for their chances..we need to think for Indian cricket and not for player. . india is playing smartly and putting their all efforts to fight against SA. even SA is amazed and shocked by the Indian team performance. .jay ho

Posted by Protears on (December 27, 2013, 17:49 GMT)

@Harmony111 "I need fav conditions bowler" I have two words for you, Ravichandaran Ashwin, the ultimate favorable condition bowler if there ever was one, I mean a guy that is 7th in the rankings can't cut the team, maybe its back to bowling on Indian Doctored decks against the Bangladeshes, and West Indies of the world.

India got to bowl in overcast condition at the Wanderers, on a moist pitch and you talk about favorable conditions, conditions work both ways sunshine and look how close you came to losing that game with 450 on the board, don't worry tomorrow your bowlers on favorable conditions will be chasing leather.

Posted by   on (December 27, 2013, 17:43 GMT)

jadeja, RG sharma need to justify their selections. both of them has played one day series over there and yet their performance is so disappointing. I hope I will see rahane more often in the field and not as an extra player. Pujara, kohli! hats off to you guys. even your captain does not deserve to be your captain. finally, I am happy to see that team india has started scoring 200+ even in abroad. May Sachine grace you more.

Posted by shashankwall on (December 27, 2013, 17:36 GMT)

What a bowler...What a comeback by Steyn.. Never ever write off Dale Steyn... cant judge a player like Steyn based on 1 test match...Lost the No 1 ranking to Philander in the last match but it will not take long for him to regain the NO 1 position.. Legendary Stuff...

Posted by VinodGupte on (December 27, 2013, 17:34 GMT)

if it does not rain on day 4 and day 5, my dear watson, then SA will win this match for Kallis. steyn, with his singular abilit, to knock off 4-5 wickets without breaking a sweat, will create trouble for the indian batsmen on day 4/5.

aside, rohit sharma is embarrassing. he has been mediocre throughout the tour. does anyone believe that he will no longer be a part of XI to NZ?

Posted by wapuser on (December 27, 2013, 17:33 GMT)

Dropping Ashwin was a bad idea...he might have add some runs....

Posted by gimme-a-greentop on (December 27, 2013, 17:33 GMT)

Magnificent bowling by both Steyn and Morkel against an Indian top order batting line-up that has proved very accomplished and disciplined in South African conditions. Vijay, Pujra, Kohli and Rahane have showed that they have what it takes to be top test batsmen. I think everyone knew that about Pujara and Kohli anyway. Sunil Gavaskar made a comment regarding Steyn on TV today that I thought summed it up nicely - that great players come back hard after a disappointing match. This Indian team is going to take some beating though, SA will have to play their top game. Between Dhoni and Duncan Fletcher they don't miss a trick.

Posted by Protears on (December 27, 2013, 17:32 GMT)

Time and time again it happens that Dale Steyn's credentials are brought up if he is anything short of godlike and time and time again Dale answers his critics with a resounding response of devastation. Lets not beat around the bush here any cricket coach making a team the very first player on his team sheet is Dale Steyn because whether its flat or responsive Dale Steyn is quite simply the best in the world.

India were put under pressure and that is the only reason, the pitch is very flat and tomorrow if Alviro and Smith can bat through the morning session we may be still be looking for a result. Smith is in good touch and is absolutely pivotal to our success, hopefully he can Shepard Alviro along as Alviro really needs a good knock.

Posted by Criticalthinking on (December 27, 2013, 17:31 GMT)

@Francis Arun, In 2013, Vijay did a great job look at his stats, Grouping \Mat\Runs\HS\Bat Av\100 Home\6\499\167\55.44\2; Away\2\142\97\47.33\0 Why we want to stick on to Rohit when he is on his rough patch. Except Rohit, I believe we can stick on to other Indian players who are on rough patch. Please let other Indian players also get a chance to represent their country and show their potentials. Why this Rohit alone getting special treatment for 80 to 100 ODIs.We have Badrinath, Rayadu, Dinesh Karthik, Jaffer etc...let them get chance.

Posted by ProdigyA on (December 27, 2013, 17:28 GMT)

Again the Indian batsmen loosing their discipline after just one match. Only Vijay and Kohli were unlucky but the rest all lacked application.

Steyn picks up wickets only when you play outside off when they can be harmlessly left alone, as we have seen at Wanderers and also on Day 1 here. Almost all the wickets were gifted to him by playing attacking shots, which was totally unnecessary.

Dhoni was particularly disappointing as he knows his weakness outside off stump. The tail is totally hopeless, when will they learn that when they can't pick wickets easily, they should not give them easily. This is where the coaches are disappointing.

I think they all got carried away with all the talk about flat track and posting a huge first innings score and not having to bat again. It's going to come back to bite them hard if they don't pick up quick wickets.

Posted by   on (December 27, 2013, 17:23 GMT)

India have lost the match already unless rain intervenes for major parts of the match and changes momentum like it did today. India needed a 30 each from Rohit and Jadeja. And there was no big century. Maybe Aswin could have played instead of Rohit? This is exactly why India needs a leftie at 5 or 6. That will still not compensate the lack of an allrounder and part time bowlers. If only suresh Raina or yuvraj were test match batsmen - they could provide some balance team India badly needs in tests. Dhwaan, Rohit, Dhoni, the tail, jadeja or aswin are not contributing much with the bat. It is hurting India's chances.

Posted by   on (December 27, 2013, 17:22 GMT)

it is better for india to go with 6-1-4 combination no matter what the conditions are, 6 batsmen, 1 all rounder ( depending on conditions , here i consider ashwin to be purely allrounder) and 4 wicket taking bowlers.... its high time india better find some good pacer allrounder . right now rishi dhawan is looking good, but you know we indians never believe in fast bowling allrounders.... infact we never believe in FAST bowling itself.... what wrong if rishi dhawan gets a chance? he wont be extra baggae considering that we have many extra baggages in our team right now, especially in odi team .... this beats my mind....

look at this guy rishi dhawans's record bowling 33 matches, 145 wickets ( almost 5 wickets per match ) with an average of 23 and strike rate of 49(this is excellent considering conditions of indian ranaji pitches )... and in bating he averages 40, with 3 centuries... what morte tou want??? he is still young ( 23 years of age ) and groom him from now itself....

Posted by IndTheBest on (December 27, 2013, 17:20 GMT)

Last 25 overs of the day were the best time for the batting. India lost that opportunity yesterday due to rain and today due to an exceptional bowling from Steyn. Tomorrow morning will be a big test of Indian bowling and SA batting and that one session will decide where this match is heading to.

Posted by   on (December 27, 2013, 17:19 GMT)

Rohit Sharma and Dhawan can safely be called ODI specialists and FLat track bullies now.

Posted by   on (December 27, 2013, 17:17 GMT)

that was pathetic bowling from zaheer and shami both looked out of rhythm and without any able support from the other end the little impressive ishant was'nt effective

Posted by   on (December 27, 2013, 17:13 GMT)

no doubt steyn is best bowler there is no one else in world cricket like steyn in present tym........... im indian but im a fan of steyn......

Posted by   on (December 27, 2013, 17:10 GMT)

@harmony111........I am an Indian supporter but I strongly disagree with your views regarding SA pacers.And frankly your comments were a bit silly.Steyn has 347 test wickets in 69 tests..Sir DK Lillee had 355 in 70.So he is right up there with the best in the world.I dont think drinks breaks helped him in most of those wickets.He did well in India and UAE .Remember Ahmedabad 2008 and Nagpur 2010.He blew us away there.He is a skillfull fast bowler and Indian batters must be given credit that they played him so well in Joburg. Morne Morkel is a bit like Peter Siddle.He dries up an end and creates pressure so that the other bowlers can reap rewards.HE doesnt even take the new ball these days.SOo he is a bit bare in the wickets column. Vernon Philander has never played in Ind and SL.So we cant judge him without seeing his performance there.He took a 5 for in the Oval which is the best Batting surface in UK.So I think you and credit our batters for playing them well.They are indeed the best

Posted by   on (December 27, 2013, 17:09 GMT)

I think some comments below perfectly illustrates why India's fans are known as arrogant. Harmony, VKohliTheGreatest among others yesterday just can't seem to give credit where it's due.

Everyone congratulated Pujara, Kohli and the like when they play well...but when Steyn and co have a good day on the FLATTEST, most subcontinent like pitch I've ever seen in SA then you have resort to all sorts of ridiculous excuses...' 'after drinks', 'lunch' ...really? that the best you got?

As for Morkel, guys just don't go away do you? Every time someone doesn't run through India they are useless? Pipe down folks...India have been fanastic and I've been impressed but a little respect won't hurt.

Posted by Criticalthinking on (December 27, 2013, 17:08 GMT)

Ashwin's resistance is far better than our batsmen's performance in seaming and in home conditions. Ashwin got the temperament and technique to play in these conditions. Ofcourse Ashwin din't take wickets in the 1st test match. Even Steyn took only 1 wicket. Steyn and co struggled in the second innings when India batted in fast bowling assisting condition. Then how can we expect the spin bowler to take lots of wicket. But Ashwin contained and restricted the batsmen at other end and supported Zaheer, Ishant and Shami. Then why sticking on with Dhawan (29,13,15,33,23). Rohit is the luckiest of all, without performing for 80 odd matches still in the team (excluding recent odi series). Lets look into Jadeja's performance in this match.

Posted by Ibanezfan on (December 27, 2013, 16:51 GMT)

Brilliant stuff from Steyn! Dhoni must envy Smith for how the SA bowling cleaned up the Indian tail. :) Once again, only Vijay, Pujara, Kohli and Rahane batted well for India. I said it before and I'll say it again. Rohit Sharma doesn't seem to be test match material outside India. Yeah, I know, he's "talented." To quote Stephen King, "Talent is cheaper than table salt. What separates the talented individual from the successful one is a lot of hard work." Should've dropped him and played Ashwin who can score at least the same number of runs as Rohit against such bowling and can also bowl. Jadeja's and Ashwin's all round skills lend a better balance to this test team.

Posted by   on (December 27, 2013, 16:51 GMT)

rohit need to perform well in second innings at least. he disappointing his fans

Posted by   on (December 27, 2013, 16:50 GMT)

It is quite appalling that Rahane has been superceded by batsmen like Raina Mukund Badrinath Saha and even Rohit to some extent in Tests. It is like he is always fighting for his international career despite displaying class mixed with grit.

Posted by   on (December 27, 2013, 16:46 GMT)

styne gun is back.... this is where he stands out very special from all the other bwlers in world cricket nowadays... he is miles ahead of anybody.... hope india fight back tomorrow .... jadeja please justify your selection... this should be saffas match looking at todays performance... but who knows yesterdy it was india's and one wicket resulted another and another and the whole team.... this might not happen this quickly for saffas, but i think india can do better... again reverse swing is the key.... zaheer is bowling around the wicket again and again early in the innings... this is somewhat disturbing .... i guess shami is the manto do it for india ... all the best for both teams....

Posted by JustIPL on (December 27, 2013, 16:46 GMT)

With 125runs/session on the current scoring rate and just 3 sessions will be enough. Anything extra will be bonus. Third innings here is the fourth innings in fact. India were in good shape overnight but then pujara took steyn too lightly. Murali continued getting out in confusing ways. Rohit and Jadeja jeopardising their scores back home as usual. Zaheer was the bunny of smith today, shami off target may be not able to bend his back due to last test labor. Ishant/jadeja bowled with some purpose but smith and alviro were good enough for them. Dhoni tried to fish for wicket with dual short covers and infact generated a half chance. Leather hunt for indians so far in SA first innings and I seem more of the same coming in the next few sessions. SA will bat india out as indian bowlers will be under pressure for not being able to defend 450 chase effectively.

Posted by   on (December 27, 2013, 16:45 GMT)

@Bang_La: why so much negativity brother?

Posted by srinideva on (December 27, 2013, 16:44 GMT)

@Al_Bundy1, no one is saying that Zaheer khan should score 20 odd in the innss. But he should have at least stay in there to support the other specialist batsman to score more valuable runs for the team. After playing these many matches he still trying to whack it everything over the park show the application he shows on his batting. of course it applies to all the bowlers in the team.

Posted by   on (December 27, 2013, 16:44 GMT)

gud wrk S.A well bowl steyn

Posted by balajit on (December 27, 2013, 16:44 GMT)

Poor Day of test cricket from India. Lost the advantage of fine first day's batting & also bowled poorly to allow SA to get off to a solid start. Should have played ashwin on this dry pitch in place of one of the medium pacers.

Not looking good at all. medium pacers leaking runs & to rely on jadeja for wickets is not going to help at all. only weather can save India.

By the way great fast bowling from best fast bowler in the world. Dale steyn take a bow! done enough to ensure either this match will be SA win or draw if weather intervenes.

Posted by Greatest_Game on (December 27, 2013, 16:40 GMT)

@ x_lnc claims "rain, bad light along with lunatic batting by Rohit and Jadeja aided South Africa to dismiss India below 350 runs."

What batting from Rohit? He did not bat! Didn't offer a stroke, & didn't leave it Just stood there. Jadega managed to get bat onto ball to nick it. He didn't bat, he poked till he was out.

India started on 181-1, & after Rohit's no-hit were on 4-199. They then motored on to 320, with no rain falling, & in bright sunshine. Dhoni fell to good bowling which started the collapse of 5-14 in 29 balls, all with no rain & in good light.

You do not acknowledge that India fell for under 350 to good bowling & very good catching by SA It is sad that you won't accept the games realities, & use weak, untrue excuses for India's failure to capitalise on a great start. Cricket fans call that 'whinging.'

SA, in the fading light are 82 for no loss, batting at 4.1 per over. What is your excuse now? Bad light aids SA?

Posted by   on (December 27, 2013, 16:40 GMT)

south Africa should easily win this . India will crumble in second innings

Posted by   on (December 27, 2013, 16:39 GMT)

Leaking runs at more than 4rpo is the last thing India would have wanted after a disappointing batting display. All depends on India managing some reverse swing tomorrow

Posted by TommytuckerSaffa on (December 27, 2013, 16:38 GMT)

Like I said at the beginning of the Day 1, the pitch is a batting pitch and the only thing on offer for bowlers is reverse swing after 25 overs and spin in day 3-5. Thats what makes Dale Steyns spells so amazing, he extracted whatever he could from the conditions and bowled out well set batsmen.

South African changed the momentum of this test match series by Drawing the last match which India shouldve won now is the time for SA to put pressure on India for the first time in the series.

Posted by CurrentPresident on (December 27, 2013, 16:35 GMT)

It seems a like a hard grind for the Indians. Anything below 400 is a below par score compounded by the below par bowling attack of the Indians.

Indians have done well despite being outgunned.

Bowling - who can argue SA are thrice as good as the Indians. Batting - SA have the edge. Openers are doing well. Amla is not going to get out to freak dismissals all the time and they bat till Philander at No. 7 Fielding - again SA have edge. Their slip cordon does not drop sitters.

Look at the comparison of the wicketkeeper batsmen of the two teams. AB has been exceptional with both bat and behind the wickets. Dhoni, on the other hand could not hold his place in the test team on his batting and wicketkeeping alone.

Posted by Bang_La on (December 27, 2013, 16:34 GMT)

"................with the final five wickets going down for 14 runs. " Skeleton of India's batting overseas on fast wicket :)

Posted by srinideva on (December 27, 2013, 16:34 GMT)

@bhushanB , this is totally different from ODI. you can`t use your part time bowlers in test cricket as much as you use in limited overs cricket. Duminy got the wicket because of lack of batting technique from Jadeja. Part time bolwers line and length is very unpredictable than specialist bowlers. Rohit is not even consider himself as an option in domestic T20. All the batting talents in india have the ability to roll their arm to bowl some kind of spin. that does n`t make them a Part time bowlers for Test cricket. other points are well and clear.

Posted by   on (December 27, 2013, 16:29 GMT)

Indian supporters spoke too soon yesterday... this is a proper sun baked flat track... and those people who criticized steyn are now free to comment! he just showed what he can do when he s all fires up! this is really like a subcontinent track and I don't know if we can even hope for a result here... we are into the third day tomorrow and SA look like they are set for a lead here... in that case I can bet that dhoni will ask his batsmen to play out for a draw(there s no way he l declare and put SA in) ... unless something drastic occurs over 1 or 2 sessions this s the only result possible... tame end to a highly competitive series but I still won't say that India is ready for greater challenges.... rohit needs to pull his socks up..

Posted by SL_rockz on (December 27, 2013, 16:25 GMT)

Steyn is The BEST...He should come to the number 1... He is no way near to be out of form.. NOt getting wickets does not mean that steyn is out of form... If u keep t8 spells ,good line and length u are okay.and coz of steyn's t8 spells other bowlers got the wickets coz batmen went on searching runs from other end.... That is whta happened in test match no 1...It is not what is sooo called out of form..

Posted by confuZedsoul on (December 27, 2013, 16:22 GMT)

Gareth Jones, u r from Hyderabad, India. We love Steyn. He is the best bowler on Indian pitches in IPL. All the best Steyn but our team will be a match for you...

Posted by srinideva on (December 27, 2013, 16:22 GMT)

I am Big fan of Dhoni. but i don`t know why he choose to go with one spinner in this dry pitch. There is Good turn and bounce on Day 2 pitch. BTW we don`t have the fast bowling option like SA have. Three fast bowlers in this pitch for india is too many...

Posted by Al_Bundy1 on (December 27, 2013, 16:20 GMT)

Zaheer is a bowler - not an all rounder or a batsman. It's foolish to criticize him for his batting. He is not in the team for his batting. He deserves criticism only if he fails to get wickets. Sir Jadeja, on the other hand, is an all rounder. He was expected to score some runs. Granted, nobody expects him to score 300 against the likes of Steyn and Morkel, but he is expected to score 20 - 30 runs. As an all rounder he is also expected to take a few wickets.

Posted by bhushanB on (December 27, 2013, 16:15 GMT)


Wondered the same about why Dhoni always stands so far off.... Look at AB standing much further up to pacy Steyn and Morkel.. and still manages to take those unbelievable catches higher up...

Standing so back to not so pacy bowlers.. will only inflict catches falling short of ...already not-so-great slip cordon...

Posted by srinideva on (December 27, 2013, 16:15 GMT)

The peoples who are questioning the ability of Steyn, must watch some cricket before making some baseless comments. He is a special talent just like Bret lee. Love the way they bowl..

Posted by bhushanB on (December 27, 2013, 16:12 GMT)

@Vishwas HS

Totally agree with you regarding Rahane's batting position... Talent aside, he should be allowed to play at No.5 for his temperament...

But guys.. come on... I am happy that he at least got a chance to be in the final X1....that is an achievement in itself.....

There were quite many asking for his head to accommodate both Ashwin and Jadeja.....Hope they realize how important that 51 is (similar to the 47 in the first test)

Posted by   on (December 27, 2013, 16:09 GMT)

After Day 2, it's advantage SA .India have lost their opportunity to dominate this test match by batting quite poorly.I feel Jadeja's gonna be the key tomorrow.If he can pick up some wickets ,then India have a chance of scripting a comeback.Otherwise,the chances of an Indian victory are quite bleak.

Posted by bhushanB on (December 27, 2013, 16:02 GMT)

IND should employ spin from both ends, Jadeja and Rohit.....Pacers can come back into the attach, once there is some reverse swing.....

Posted by srinideva on (December 27, 2013, 15:53 GMT)

Zaheer khan as a senior member of the side should have played a mature inns along with Rahane. I think he feared of Steyn and morkel..throwing his bat all over the place...JADEJA is a Bowler, not A/R.

Posted by   on (December 27, 2013, 15:48 GMT)

Some truly ridiculous comments about Steyn here. He is pure class and has done the job all over the world. His best 7 wicket haul in India shows it. He is by no means a green pitch bowler or only able to take wickets after the break.

Posted by Delmeister on (December 27, 2013, 15:47 GMT)

Gosh, are Indian "fans" really so stupid as to suggest the SA bowling attack is weak? Well, how bad is India's batting then? Either talk about cricket like you know what is going on or rather don't comment ... don't slate a genuine bowling great like Steyn just because he's playing against your team ... 6 wickets in the first innings today proves his class.

Posted by Jaganplus on (December 27, 2013, 15:45 GMT)

Does anyone know why Dhoni stands so far while keeping. Some of balls are going to him on one bounce.

Looks like my previous comment didn't make it through, because this is a new report. Before this test match and even before the series.

- solid indian batmen- pujara, kohli, rahane - rohit - I'd get rid of him in tests. Can't count on him. - Need a real frontline spinner who is <> ashvin or even jadega - Dhoni is great for odi/20's, not great for tests. At some point in future perhaps after WC phase him out of tests. - now for the obvious - need couple of quicks

Thank you for your support

Posted by srinideva on (December 27, 2013, 15:44 GMT)

Rohit Sharma is a Talented batsman. He has the ability to leave the ball when it pitched up and moving towards the middle stump. He has all the shots in his hand and please include this one too.

Posted by   on (December 27, 2013, 15:44 GMT)

wasn't rahane supposed to be replacement for no.4 slot? many thought like that, but kohli grabbed it with both hands and he is justifying that... rahane needs to be 5 , he is too good for no6... naturally he is no3, but pujara is there, rahane might end up with too many fifty's and not outs.... I wish him luck...

Posted by wapuser on (December 27, 2013, 15:42 GMT)

Dale steyn again in d scene with a tenacious display of fast bowling..arguably one of d best fast bowlers cricket has seen in d past decade..bowls with a lion's heart..coming back to India..not goin by Rohit Sharmas poor performance but going by the good work by the rest of the batsmen v cn surely afford an extra bowler in d playin eleven in a Rohit's place with Rohit in d top 15..

Posted by bhushanB on (December 27, 2013, 15:38 GMT)

zeros from both Jadeja and Rohit.....but thats okay... Hopefully they both can compensate it with their bowling....

Remember Rohit's debut against WI ahead of Rahane.... happened.. as he was capable of filling up the 5th bowler spot.... Surprised that I have not seen him bowl any until now... I guess this test is ideal for him to prove his worth as a part-time bowler....if not as a batting alrounder...

Jadeja should relish the conditions and must be itching to get the ball in hand....

Good luck guys... Hope you repay the confidence your captain has shown on you both for the last many years........ Otherwise we are here to remind you how you are hurting deserved opportunities for many

Posted by SamRoy on (December 27, 2013, 15:37 GMT)

jadeja bats like a no. 11 when he faces good fast bowlers in tests. It has happened against Anderson, Siddle and now Steyn. So much for his 3 triple tons. And some people say he is a batsman than ashwin. lol. I wanted jadeja over ashwin for this test as SA have more right handed batsman.

Posted by   on (December 27, 2013, 15:36 GMT)

in dis match africa is playing against 4 guy to win the match dat is -vijay ,kohli,pujara.,rahane when they where batting steyn was struggling n striving his heat out at last he started bowlinh slower to rahane as he felt it is waste of energy as dis batsman is impossible to be out

Posted by srinideva on (December 27, 2013, 15:35 GMT)

For India in seaming conditions, the tail start from Dhoni. Jadeja is no where near the like of an all rounder. We better call him a bowler.. hope he pick some wichets for god sake. Zaheer khan playing these many days but he never understand the value of tail ender batting role. Ridiculous show by the lower batting order.

Posted by bhushanB on (December 27, 2013, 15:32 GMT)

Have n't seen any plays and misses from Smith this morning... not yet...

Posted by srinideva on (December 27, 2013, 15:30 GMT)

Absolute blunder team selection from Dhoni..Dhoni should have dropped a batsman rather than a bowler. He is not interested to drop Rohit.the next option goes to Rahene who showed some patience in the Johe`eg. So he decided to go with one spinner. Jadeja is not a all rounder anymore..

Posted by   on (December 27, 2013, 15:28 GMT)

India has putup a decent total. Jadeja and Rohith's are not meant for playing in these kind of pitches. Dhoni is clearly playing favouritism by including Jadeja in the team instead of proper orthodex spinner like Ashwin.. Steyn's bowling was superb today with reverse swing. Clearly someone has told him this indian top order can't be tempted with outside offstump deliveries. He changed the line, bowled to the batsmens body and got wickets. But it will not be easy for SA to score easily since Zaheer and co will get reverse swing. Match will be very competitive..

Posted by Basil777 on (December 27, 2013, 15:27 GMT)

India was to defensive in thier approach and they are paying the price

Posted by   on (December 27, 2013, 15:26 GMT)

indian test team should be like- dhawan,vijay,pujara,kohli,rahane,d.kartik,ashwin,bhuvi,shami,zaheer ,yadav,.............. dhoni ownself blocking place n no need of rohit as he has lot of mantle problem,... he is no mentally tuff as he takes lot of time to deside. 12th man gautam gambhir as back up openener if dhawan fails again n again

Posted by Biohazard7279 on (December 27, 2013, 15:26 GMT)

@Harmony111 Hopefully I can cover all of the rubbish you just posted.

Steyn has proved today why he was the best bowler in the world for four years. He got 3 wickets in a short space of time with a ball that was 65 overs old. He made a terrific comeback from his worst test ever in Johannesburg and still deserves to be the #1 rated test bowler. Performances all around the world have shown that Steyn is a bowler who can destroy batsman in all conditions.

Philander has done in several different countries and has just played 2 tests in the subcontinent, so your comment is completely irrelevant. His timeless line and length will get wickets no matter what the surface might be like.

As for Morkel, he doesn't always get the wickets, but he creates the pressure which Steyn and Philander reap the rewards from. He took 3 wickets, not 2, and I don't see how the drinks break is such an issue. He has troubled India the entire series and was unlucky in not getting any more wickets.

Posted by MaruthuDelft on (December 27, 2013, 15:24 GMT)

SA would score 600 and knock out India on the last day.

Posted by VKohlitheGreat on (December 27, 2013, 15:22 GMT)

Where are the Morkel worshippers, he who was gonna destroy the entire Indian Batting line up in the second innings of the first test has only two wickets?!? About steyn, looks like he needs the batsmen comin after a lunch/tea/drinks break to take wickets. Also, people need not forget the negative bowling from on the first day.

Posted by bhushanB on (December 27, 2013, 15:21 GMT)

Having blunt the seam attack for 60 overs on day-1, all bowlers tired... excellent time for IND batsmen to cash in in the third session.. .but rain has other ideas.....

Rahane needs some support at the other end and he should play higher up the order....

Disappointed to see India lose wickets in quick succession to such innocuous leg side wide deliveries and rash shots

With india all out for a sub-par 1st innings total and accelerated scoring from SA, looks like the TEST has come back to life...

Exciting times again... Better than the prospect of a tame draw

Good luck India... you need little bit of luck to gain back the momentum...

Posted by cubersamy on (December 27, 2013, 15:19 GMT)

Err are we in a powerplay?

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

even.after this excellent performance from rahane, all he needs is one bad innings to be ignored just like in odis,.where as in contrast rohit needs just one.innings.of double digit score to remain in test for years.even though he consistently fails....imagine the number of chances were to be given to rahane just like Rohit in odis...

Posted by   on (December 27, 2013, 15:13 GMT)

Exactly Tommy, shows you how much certain people know about the game, they expect respect for a couple of good innings from their batsman but cant show respect for an all time great. Now SA will show what cricket is, and the thing is if they get Vijay and Pujara early in the 2nd innings it leaves them open to be bowled out for nothing

Posted by x_lnc on (December 27, 2013, 15:12 GMT)

rain, bad light along with lunatic batting by Rohit and Jadeja aided South Africa to dismiss India below 350 runs.

Posted by sumit1982 on (December 27, 2013, 15:09 GMT)

Steyn at it best. Hats off..........

I think if India can reach the 400 magic figure it put some pressure on south Africa.I couldn't believe dhoni are playing with 3 fast blower.You are playing in Durban, what makes dhoni to select jadeja in replace of ashwin. If he want to jadeja then get rohit rest.

Posted by bhushanB on (December 27, 2013, 15:06 GMT)

Time to move Rahane up the order... he initially was slated to replace Sachin at No.4.....Kohli has made it more or less his now.... Rahane should at least bat a No.5.... Otherwise he is more or less stranded with little chance to score....with all those wickets tumbling at the other end...

We do not want another Shiv Narayan here.. especially as Rahane is keen on playing up the order...

Posted by Jimbroh_1 on (December 27, 2013, 15:04 GMT)

My opinions might somewhat be biased but I don't think the proteas need Robbie P or Tahir, Duminy is a whole lot more effective than both of them together, if facts were to be faced: SA only needs the spinner to get the over rate going and a relief to our seamers

Ryan or Wayne as a replacement.

Posted by   on (December 27, 2013, 15:03 GMT)

rohit and ravindra should not be in indian test team

Posted by dabbadubba on (December 27, 2013, 15:03 GMT)

Such green surface !! Looks like south africas success is built on having green pitches at home.. India should offer them truly spinning tracks when they come to india

Posted by   on (December 27, 2013, 15:02 GMT)

i think indian make good total lets see SA reply match will be intersting

Posted by TommytuckerSaffa on (December 27, 2013, 14:55 GMT)

Massive comeback today by the Steyn Gun. India were 181/1 looking at a target of 450 - 550 . Fantastic bowling by the legend that is Steyn and Kallis getting to 200 catches. 334 all out from being 181/1 is disappointing no matter how you look at it.

Posted by cubersamy on (December 27, 2013, 14:46 GMT)

Should have dropped Rohit and played Ashwin- hindsight is a beautiful thing

Posted by TommytuckerSaffa on (December 27, 2013, 14:38 GMT)

Where are all the Steyn doubters now? Gone, just like Sharma for a golden duck. The disrespect shown by some fans amazes me. This guy has been No1 in the world for a long time for a reason.

Posted by cubersamy on (December 27, 2013, 14:36 GMT)

Woohoo tail wags! totally irresponsible batting by Jadeja and Zaheer Hope Ishanth last till Rahane gets his well deserved 50!

Posted by DRS_Flawed_NeedsImprovement on (December 27, 2013, 14:29 GMT)

rohit 0, jadeja 0. This is why we want ashwin in place of rohit in test. Ashwin better than rohit and jadeja combined.

Posted by   on (December 27, 2013, 14:27 GMT)

Question marks over Dhoni's batsmanship outside the sub-continent continue. Although he was brilliant against Aussies in India, last 10 matches in Eng,Aus,SA hasn't really done anything noteworthy. Just wonder if it's beyond Dhoni- his technique just defeats him every time in tests overseas. At the same time - he finds his way somehow in ODIs

Posted by Al_Bundy1 on (December 27, 2013, 14:27 GMT)

Its time to get rid of Rohit. He can't play top quality fast bowling. He is a tiger against weak bowling, but a timid cat against good pace attacks. Rahane is much better than Rohit, at least for test matches.

Posted by DhairyBoghani on (December 27, 2013, 14:10 GMT)

What about great Indian batting.

They scored 280 or more in all three innings.

They never lost more than 5 wickets under 250.

They played 100+ over in all three innings.

Posted by Harmony111 on (December 27, 2013, 14:07 GMT)

It seems the only way Steyn can take wickets these days is when well set batsmen are starting again after play was stopped due to atrocious bouncer-on-body bowling in poor light by SA bowlers OR when a 3 test old batsman makes a woeful error of judgement.

It is funny when Steyn makes a show of such wickets as if he produced some magic ball to get those wickets.

Indian batsmen have shown that Steyn is no more than a I-need-Fav-Conditions bowler who can be easily tamed with the slightest of application.

When SA lost Morkel in the 1st test, SA fans lamented so much saying that he would have run through India blah blah but what do we see here? He takes 2 wickets, oneof which came right after a drinks break & the other was Kohli unluckily getting out on the leg side.

The less we talk of Philander the better. Ranked #1 in the world but can't pick wickets unless it is dark green & the ball is bouncing 8 ft high. Either this or he will take tale-ender wickets to improve his stats.

Posted by   on (December 27, 2013, 14:04 GMT)

just wonder how much rahane would have improved had he been given the same number of chances as rohit! I agree rohit is equally talented but somehow rahane combines talent with an unflinching temperament which is a rare virtue! and he can play the shorter formats equally well... waiting for him to cement his place in the test fact India can even afford to have the same set of players for both tests and ODIs... dhawan rohit kohli pujara rahane dhoni jadeja ashwin zaheer shami and bhuvi/yadav/ishant/Aaron ... would be great if some of the youngsters like rishi dhawan baba aparajith juneja etc can step in too

Posted by TommytuckerSaffa on (December 27, 2013, 13:59 GMT)

India hit 3 runs per over for the first time in the game.....

Posted by   on (December 27, 2013, 13:53 GMT)

With due respect to Vijay, I think Pujara should open with Dhawan. Rohit Sharma should bat at 3. This allow us to play an additional spinner or fast bowler.

Posted by   on (December 27, 2013, 13:50 GMT)

India is being too careful and their scoring rate is a problem. This may have cost us the previous game as well. MSD is a safety first Captain and his word is done.

Posted by   on (December 27, 2013, 13:48 GMT)

Rohit Sharma is not in the Team by accident or favour. He has earned and deserved his place. He is going through a rough patch but I have no doubt he will bounce back. It may be the second innings or the NZ Tour. He has raised his game and has good koncentration, focus and determination. I think he has failed on this tour because he has tried to be too careful.

Posted by   on (December 27, 2013, 13:45 GMT)

Gutsy performance by Rahane. I am not sure Steyn still feels Indian batsmen are scared. Guess he was playing mind games.

Posted by   on (December 27, 2013, 13:32 GMT)

It amazes me to think just a couple of years ago, many experts were backing Rohit Sharma ahead of Kohli for World Cup 2011. Since then, the graphs of both have trailed in completely opposite directions with Kohli's steeply risinga . This tour been a differentiator for Kohli and I fear Rohit Sharma doesn't end up as another Yuvraj as far as tests are concerned

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