End of day two and this Test Match keeps see sawing from one end to another. Whilst the first day the honour’s were shared the first two sessions on day two went to SA. The last session though was a total ripper, as India found inspiration in the old ball and 5 wickets were taken for 16 at one stage. However, tiring bowlers and a softer ball combined with some grit shown by Philander South Africa might want to think they escaped from a big lead. India will rue the missed chances. Smith caught at 19 would have made matters very very different. South Africa would still like to add a few runs, they have to bat last and just because of that India can consider their noses a little ahead.
At the start of the second day, I felt India could have maybe look for runs alongside defence. The problem with being cautious is that if you get out the game has just not moved ahead. India will have to find a way of mixing aggression with caution and also look for runs, singles are also runs by the way. Dropping the ball and scampering like mad is one option, brings the field in closer and then the boundaries follow. Also pressure doesn’t rise and the game keeps moving forward.
The Indian bowling performance will give a lot of heart to MS, he has an attack that can take 20 wickets in these conditions, whilst I expect Zaheer’s performance to imporove, I am sure he will be happy with the way Ishant and Shami bowled. Also in hindsight perhaps its better to play Yadav or Bhuvi in place of Ashwin. Whilst Yadav could give pace and bounce yet could be erratic, Bhuvi will not just move the ball around but also give Dhoni a lot of control. Unless something drastic is done by Ashwin bowling wise in the 2nd innings, I guess we must field a 4 pronged pace attack in Durban.
South African batting order will have a lot of questions, apparently Kallis has been short of runs for a while now and all of them were caught at the crease, talking of Indian batsmen not coming forward, so far actually Indian’s have shown a better technique. Indian’s will have to find ways to score a few more runs though.
Day three normally tells you the way this Test is headed, however, I suspect this one will go down to the wire and keep Yoyo-ing till the end.
Not for nothing do they call Test Cricket, Real Cricket. I can never understand or comprehend such riveting, see-sawing battles ever in a T-20 or an ODI!!