When Jacques Kallis played Ravindra Jadeja for a single in the 120th over of the South African innings,a wave of celebration gripped Kingsmead. More than the 1000-odd spectators,reactions of the dressing rooms – both home and away – were a sight to watch. The commentary panel,too,was out in the balcony as legends Rahul Dravid and Shaun Pollock applauded Kallis for a brilliant knock under pressure. This was Kallis’ 45th Test ton and his seventh against India.
No loud music from the ‘rockstar’
Dhoni wasted no time in introducing Jadeja into the attack,and threw the ball to left-armer in the second over of the day. Pollock,during the pitch report,did mention about the assistance the pitch will offer to left-arm spinners,but the assistance was not enough for Jadeja to break the frustrating stand till the 134th over of the innings. The odd one did grip the surface,and generated awkward bounce,but both Steyn and Kallis were alert enough to defend well. The duo didn’t waste any scoring opportunities either,and whenever Jadeja tossed it up,they danced down the track and played it straight over the bowler’s head.
After going wicketless for the first one and a half hour,there was finally some reward for the rockstar when he scalped the big fish Kallis,who attempted a wild sweep only to top-edge and Dhoni took a simple catch.
Excitement you can’t hide was written all over Dale Steyn’s face when Kallis brought up his hundred. The South African speedster,on his 13th b’day,received a birthday card from Kallis,and wouldn’t have imagined back then that he would be a part of such a special occasion – Kallis’ final hurrah!
Steyn played a perfect partner with Kallis. He not only defended well,but was not afraid to get the big shots in,which did relieve a lot of pressure from Kallis’ shoulders. The seamer used his feet to full effect,and played some convincing shots right over the bowlers’ head. Outside edge,over the top,inside edge,through the slips and the runs continued to flow off Steyn’s willow. Zaheer finally removed the nightwatchman for 44,but he had already scored crucial runs for his side till then,
Why did MSD delay the kill?
Seeing the overcast sky and the wearing pitch beneath it,fast bowlers would have been licking their fingers to have a go in this setting. This,however,didn’t happen as Indian skipper MS Dhoni decided otherwise. The captain cool continued with the old ball,expecting Zaheer Khan and Mohammed Shami to reverse things in the middle. The odd ball was reversing,but it was not unplayable. Both Kallis and Steyn were at utmost ease in the middle,and negotiated the Indian bowlers well during most of the first session.
(Last updated: When South Africa were 388/7 after 138 overs)