Not so green, I am sceptic.
I thought SAfs would come hard and make India stamp on an axe, but not to be. I was watching TV and Ravi Shastri ( a top commentator) kept on saying it was a good toss to lose. I was so happy when Dravid lost the toss and SAfs elected to bat.
South African first innings
Smith is Zaks bunny.
Zaheer Khan is looking really good. He has picked up Smith as his bunny, tormented him right through the ODIs and Smith was far away from being impressive. He tried postively and ended up top edging Zaheer, long hop, it was a skier and Tendulkar maintained his calm to latch on a good (also Vital) catch of Smith. Short Pitch Stuff on opposing captain, grerat going Zaheer. He was generating some pace, some more control may be and we would have had a better and clear picture.
Zaheer then trapped Amla for nothing and Safs were deja vu al over again.
DeVillers needs to do something better. It was a shot which must not be playe. He was dismissed again Tendulkar holding a tidy catch. It is good to see Dravid asking Tendulkar to stand on first slip.
Parternship tested Indian bowling.
Dravid opted not to atack after lunch with SAfs not enjoying much at 67 for 3. Anyways a partnership made sure India patience was tested. Indians held fort even after Gibbs changed gears and suddenly went on the rampage , but by mistake he pressed a self-destruct button only to get out on a short-pitch ball Dhoni mopping him up with a nice low catch.
Boucher-Sreesanth more than a contest.
Sreesanth upped the ante agains Boucher who kept on scoring against everyone barring Kumble. Sreesanth yorked him and the next ball pitched outside off and blew his middle and leg stumps away much to the joy on Sreesanth. Boucher kicking himself.
Pollock came, saw, thrashed and went.
Ambition or excess of it done Pollock in and VRV got his lone wicket of the innings. Pollock cut a rising VRV delivery to point where Sehwag caught a stinger. SAfs hoped dashed. The next to follow was a Kumble Show.
He has been an unsung hero of India Pantheon currently the fourth highest wicket taker. No mean achievement that. Andrew Hall who is in the record books for scoring a slwoest century that too aginst India wasn't alowed to settle in much and a googly ctrapped him front. The couple of balls latter another googly bowled Nel through the gate.
Prince on Kingsmead.
He is a sticker. Dravid is another but I think Dravid on present form is one of the most complete player in world cricket. Prince had his luck, as the standard of umpiring was not that good and there were a few appeals which were turned down and helped save SAfs from the blushes or else they would have been wrapped up for less that 225. Anyways he stayed among the ruins and played the way Test cricket should be played. He should cut on his tendency to sniff around the offstump. Hacques Rudolph is missing much to my dismay. He is a very good batssmen copy book but good.
It depends on what colour one is supporting. It is all about taking initiative and driving home the advantage. Indian will look to bowl them below 300 and SAfs will be first looking towards Prince getting a deserving century and then may be get as many as they can. Who opens the bowling in the first session of the day.
Indian will be batting at some-point in time. Lets hope SAfs get bowled for say 285. The Indian opening batsmen have to put the heads down and just wait for Pollock to get out of attack. it means even if they have to face him for an hour and not score to many then then can score heavily from other. Nel is important for SAfs and India should look fprward to scoring off him. Indians have to look to facing they second new ball with atleast 5 wickets in hand. If they do it they will win the series or else India will make a one sided affair exciting.
Shane Warne has taken 700 hundered wickets and can take a maximum of thirty more atleast 15 must I say.