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South Africa defend their batting stance

Discussions at the press conference on day two revolved around the merits of the different approaches to batting by South Africa and India, a difference that was starkly emphasized by Virender Sehwag's rattling innings in the afternoon session.

"South Africa looked like they didn't want to win the match," said Harbhajan Singh. "They seemed like they would be happy with a draw. They never scored at much more than two runs an over. Now our batsmen have to do their part of the job, and make a big score - about 500. That will give us enough of a lead to put South Africa under pressure in the second innings."

South African coach Ray Jennings later contested Harbhajan's remarks. "People are misunderstanding us," he said. "We played as well as we could. You have to remember the guy coming in after Kallis was making his debut. And Ontong was playing his first game for four years. It's a different thing when you're batting with Tendulkar waiting to bat after you."

Jacques Kallis expressed satisfaction with his hundred, saying that the pitch was not an easy one to score on. "It's always more rewarding when you have to work to get your runs. It's probably one of my best hundreds, though I'd say my first hundred against Australia was better."

Kallis conceded that South Africa had not made enough runs. "305 is an average score - we would have liked 400. But the Indians bowled very well and we didn't stand up. We'll have to bowl well tomorrow to come back in the game. But we didn't set out to play for a draw. The day a South Africa team comes out to play for a draw we'll walk right off the field."

Chandrahas Choudhury is staff writer of Wisden Asia Cricket magazine.