Saturday, November 20

Kanpur Day 1

14:10, IST
The S’Africans reached the very brink of tea with all the reasons to claim the second session as entirely their own. Then Kumble’s hard work through the session paid off, ad he got two in two. Kallis out lbw to a decision that he seemed unhappy about, but loked pretty good to me; and Rudolph out in a manner suggesting he takes great inspiration from his skipper. Suddenly, the 2 Jacques had departed, and India will reach out for those cups of chai on a high, with Jumbo on hat trick ball when he returns.

I would still say the batting side has a long way to go, what their keeper batsman coming in at no.10, but with India, spin and the final session of a day, you never know. Hats off to Andre Hall, though- unexpectedly at the top of the order, he not only saw of the (relatively toothless) opening spell, but comfortably negotiated all the spinners have thrown at him so far.

In the morning, the pitch looked fair- typically Indian is what I mean. Bound to take turn, but not a minefield and unlikely to turn into a dustbowl. Dada continued his great luck at the toss and Graeme Smith happily elected to bat. It was an important toss for many reasons. It gave South Africa the chance to start of the series with a decent batting performance as opposed to India piling on the runs and setting the tone for the series. India, on the other hand, went in with 3 spinners and would have loved to bowl last on this track.

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