India back at work as South Africa celebrate
DURBAN: While South Africa celebrated a comprehensive innings and 25 runs win in the first Test at SuperSport Park on Monday, India's players made use of the Test pitch to start their preparation for the second contest, which starts in Durban on Sunday.
Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni bemoaned his bowlers' failure to dismiss South Africa, who scored 620 for four declared in their only innings after India had been dismissed for 136 after being sent in.
"The wicket was very different to the first day, but still we have played on flatter tracks and been able to get batsmen out," said Dhoni. "To win a Test match you need to take 20 wickets."
Dhoni said it was a problem that South Africa had been able to score at a rate of 4.76 runs an over. "If you are not getting wickets you have to stop the batsmen scoring briskly." The Indian captain was also concerned that India had been unable to keep up with the required over rate.
As though to emphasise Dhoni's discontent, the Indian bowlers spent more than an hour bowling on the Test pitch after the end of the match.
The bowlers included leftarm paceman Zaheer Khan, who missed the first Test because of a hamstring injury. Dhoni said Zaheer was almost certain to play in Durban.
Dhoni said the first two sessions, when India collapsed to South Africa's pace attack after being sent in, had been crucial, but he refused to blame losing the toss for the scale of the defeat.
"Winning the toss is only the job half done," he said. "South Africa bowled really well. Once they got us out, they got a good wicket to bat on but they needed to bat well."
Dhoni said India's spirited performance in the second innings, in which they scored 459, was a positive to take to the second Test, which he said India were determined to win.
South African captain Graeme Smith, though, said his team wanted to put more pressure on the tourists, who are defending their number one ranking in Test cricket, after what he described as "a pretty dominant performance." -Afp