The last time South Africa played a Test in Nagpur they won emphatically. Hashim Amla’s men will need something similar to stay in the current series against India.
The Nagpur Test of 2010 will be remembered for two things: Hashim Amla’s Man-of-the-Match innings of 253 not out and Dale Steyn’s 10-wicket haul as South Africa trounced India by an innings and six runs.
That was the first of a two-Test series which ended 1-1. This time around India won the first Test by 108 runs while the second was washed out. South Africa have never won an away series after going 1-0 down and will need a big, much improved performance starting next Wednesday if they want to stay relevant in this four-match series.
Graeme Smith won the toss and batted first. South Africa racked up 558-6, Amla scoring that unbeaten 253 and Jacques Kallis contributing 173 as they shared a 340-run partnership. AB de Villiers chipped in with 53.
Steyn took 7-51 in India’s first innings as they fell for 233, Virender Sehwag offering the only real resistance with a well played 109. In a bold move Smith asked India to follow on and although Sachin Tendulkar scored 100, Steyn produced the goods again, claiming 3-57 (for match figures of 10-108) and Paul Harris also contributing three wickets for 76 runs to bowl India out for 319.
South Africa lost the second Test to draw the series but that is of little importance now. Their first priority must be to get back into the series, but there is a question mark over Steyn’s fitness and Amla is horribly out of form. South Africa’s character will be tested come Wednesday.
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