I knew my plans and we got it right
India smashed its way to 1st rank in Test Cricket against South Africa at the Eden Gardens ground in Kolkata, India, on Thursday 18th February 2010. India beat South Africa by an innings and 58 runs on the fifth day of the last test match.
The Eden Gardens is India’s biggest cricket stadium, and one of the most famous cricket venues in the world, and it was here the Indian team proved to the cricketing world that they still have what it takes to be on the number one spot. Led by MS Dhoni, the Indian team played great belief, commitment, and offensive skills.
With huge interests in the shorter form of cricket like Twenty20, ODI’s and the IPL, it was important to see that Test Cricket still has a firm position in the sport. Matches like this one confirmed this without a doubt and demonstrated that the longer format of cricket still has a strong appeal.
With India winning the match it positions them on top of the ICC Test Championship ranking at the annual cut-off date of April 1.
It was not an easy game for India because it was anticipated that the game would end in a draw. But with just three balls to spare, it was Harbhajan Singh that emerged as the player with the bowling to finish South Africa. Despite the stern batting efforts of South Africa’s Morne Morkel and Hashim Amla, who had stayed together for more than an hour in a batting partnership, the bowling skills of India out played them in the last thrilling moments of this game.
The first test in Nagpur against South Africa was not very memorable for India due to conceding a heavy defeat. But India showed their metal in Kolkata by becoming one of the few teams beaten by an innings and then imposing similar defeat on the same opponent in the following match.
After the match, Harbhajan spoke of their determination to strike back after Nagpur,
“We have learnt that if we fight till the end we will do special things. Everyone was up for the fight and we knew that it was an important game for all of us.”
India’s batsmen notably scored major runs to contribute to the win. Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag scored centuries. But it was Harbhajan’s attacking spin-bowling that was in superb form allowing him to work his way through the South African order, taking five wickets.
Watch highlights of India taking winning wickets:
The Indian team had the odds against it with key players missing from the team, bad light, delayed play due to rain and loss of the toss. The two match series was won with a leg before wicket of South Africa’s Morne Morkel by the ball from ‘Bhajji’ (Harbhajan Singh).
Harbhajan said about his strategy for the match, “I was very focused and I knew what I was doing and I knew my plans and we got it right. I wanted to pitch the ball up and I wanted to get him leg before wicket or bat pad at silly point or in the slips so there were a lot of options. That is what I was trying to do by keeping things simple.”
Interestingly, Virender Sehwag has by-passed fellow player Gautam Gambhir at the top of the official rankings for Test batsmen, following his double centuries against South Africa and South Africa’s batsman Hashim Amla, who scored a century in each of his three Test innings in India, jumped eight places to second position.
India have made it to the top with a great victory over South Africa and have proved that they are the best in the world of Test Cricket.