Team India loose the No. 1 tag

Written by: Subhadeep Bhattacharjee
Published: Tuesday, February 9, 2010, 18:34 [IST]
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Team India loose the No. 1 tag

If there is one team which has always made India bite the dust at home, it has to be South Africa. And the Proteas did it once again at the first test at the Vidarbha Cricket Association Ground in Nagpur. They thrashed India by an innings and six runs. This defeat not only serves as a blow to MS Dhoni and his men but also took away the tag of being the No. 1 tag Test Side in the world from India which they had achieved just only a few weeks back.

Resuming at an overnight score of 66 for 2, Indian team bundled out for 319 in their second innings despite a spirited 100 by Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar. This after the home side was asked to follow on after getting bowled out for a mere 233 in their first innings. South Africa has scored a massive 558 for 6 in their first innings riding on the double hundred if Hashim Amla and a spirited century by Jacques Kallis.

India vs South Africa, 1st Test - Scorecard

What will hurt the Indians more than the loss is the manner in which they lost the test at home within four days. In the first innings they were bowled out for less than what Hashim Amla had scored individually in the first innings. If Dayle Steyn ran through the batting order in the first innings, Team India found Ray Price too hard to handle in the second.

This was South Africa's fifth Test win in India in 11 attempts which converts into an impressive winning percentage in India. Indian fans might take some solace from the fact that this was first defeat for Team India in one and half year with the last one coming way back in August 2008 in Colombo versus Sri Lanka. This was also the first time Mahendra Singh Dhoni has tasted defeat after taking over the reins over Indian cricket.

Team India will be in a state of dilemma ahead of the second test in Eden Gardens, Kolkata. With neither the spinners nor the pacers having troubled South African batsman, it will be difficult for Dhoni to take a call on the pitch in Kolkata. Eden has traditionally provided turn and bounce to the spinners but Harbhajan Singh and Amit Mishra looked far from impressive in Nagpur. If India level the series in Kolkata they will retain the No. 1 tag or else Graeme Smith and his men will have the honours.

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