ICC to probe Kanpur Test wicket

The International Cricket Council is investigating the wicket used in the final Test between India and South Africa in Kanpur, which was criticised following the tourists’ collapse, a top official said on Wednesday.

The dry, dusty pitch at the Green Park, described by South African coach Mickey Arthur as “a poor cricket wicket”, saw India win the match in three days on Sunday to draw the series 1-1.

Match referee Roshan Mahanama described it as sub-standard in his post-match report, forcing the International Cricket Council (ICC) to demand an explanation from the Indian cricket board.

Dhoni hails bowlers after squaring a series

dhoniIndia captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni credited his side’s disciplined bowling on a turning pitch after they defeated South Africa by eight wickets in the third and final Test on Sunday to square the series.

India skittled the tourists for 121 in their second innings, their third lowest total against India.

“Most of the times we got wickets just after bowling changes, but the appreciation and credit should go to the bowlers,” he told reporters. “There was assistance, but they bowled really well, especially the fast bowlers.

“In the second innings, everybody knew what lengths to bowl.”

India sweep to eight-wicket win to level series

A match which hung in the balance after two days had a swift and incredible denouement on the third as India swept to a eight-wicket win to level the series 1-1. Ahead by just 23 with one wicket in hand when play began, India stretched their lead to 60, and then made full use of a wearing pitch, bundling South Africa out for a meagre 121. The rest was a cinch.

Ganguly rates knock as one of his best

gangulySourav Ganguly said his 87 on Saturday was one of his best knocks and was hopeful it would lead India to victory against South Africa in the third and final Test to square the series.

Ganguly top-scored on a deteriorating pitch to give India a 23-run first innings lead on the second day after the hosts reached 288 for nine at stumps. “It is one of the best knocks I have played considering the surface, it is one of my top test knocks,” the 35-year-oldformer skipper told reporters.

India fight back to bowl out South Africa

It took nine days for the series to finally witness an absorbing battle between bat and ball. While Chennai produced a featherbed and Ahmedabad saw a track with generous sprinklings of green, Kanpur laid out a crackling surface that assisted turn. South Africa made the most of winning the toss, grinding out 265 at the end of a tense first day, but India’s spinners, with some good support from Ishant Sharma, ensured they remained in the hunt.

Surface tension before series decider

Pitch reading is a hazardous occupation at the best of times. But from the look of it, the surface at the Green Park stadium in Kanpur is designed to yield a result. The question, however, is how long the match will last. One-down in the series, India would have hoped for a turner, and South Africa would have expected it. But neither team would have quite bargained for what they have got.

We’ll force India out of their comfort zone – Arthur

South Africa will stick to their aggressive bowling strategy of drawing India’s heavyweight batting line-up out of the comfort zone, and will take a call on a second spin option only after having a look at the Kanpur pitch on Wednesday, revealed Mickey Arthur, the team’s coach.

Arthur told Cricinfo that India would be committing a blunder if they prepared a pitch for the third Test that would crumble because “nobody in the world would want to face our bowlers at 150 kmph on a surface where the ball would go through the top from day four”.

Kallis has no plans to stop playing

kallisJacques Kallis is looking to continue performing at the highest level for several more years after registering his 30th Test century in South Africa’s resounding second Test victory over India.

Kallis’s stylish 132 in middle leg of the three-match series which ended on Saturday took him past Australian great Don Bradman’s 29 centuries and the 32-year-old all-rounder is now level with Australian opener Matthew Hayden.

Five batsmen have scored more than 30 hundreds with India’s Sachin Tendulkar on top with 39 centuries. The only other active cricketer in the group of five is Australia captain Ricky Ponting, who has 34 centuries.

Ishant and Munaf back for third Test

ishantIshant Sharma and Munaf Patel have been included in the 16-member Indian squad for the third Test against South Africa in Kanpur. Offspinner Ramesh Powar has also been recalled as a cover for Anil Kumble, who is suffering from a groin injury, while RP Singh has been dropped after his lacklustre performance in the first two Tests.

Both Ishant and Kumble will undergo fitness tests on April 10, after which two players will be omitted from the squad. Two members of the selection committee will travel to Kanpur a couple of days before the match to help prune the squad to 14.

Tendulkar out of Kanpur Test

sachinSachin Tendulkar is yet to recover from his groin injury that kept him out of the ongoing second Test against South Africa in Ahmedabad and will also miss the third Test in Kanpur, starting on April 11.

The Indian board confirmed this in a release and added that he would continue with his rehabilitation program. “This decision has been taken to give Sachin the opportunity to make a full recovery from this injury,” the release said. “Sachin has a rehabilitation program to continue with and will be monitored closely.”