Indian bowlers' found little success barring the first half hour's play but skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni on Saturday defended their performance on a lifeless track while conceding that centurions Jacques Kallis and Hashim Amla put the hosts on the backfoot.
"I'm quite happy with the bowlers' performance and Zaheer bowled really well. We did a decent job of it as the wicket is rather slow. They were also a bit unlucky as the ball missed the edge on quite a few occasions," said Dhoni after four of his five bowlers drew a blank in South Africa's end of play score of 291 for 2 in 91 overs on the first day.
"There was a bit of turn especially for (leg-spinner) Amit Mishra but the ball did not rip off the pitch. It's not a square turner," he said, trying to explain the lack of success for his frontline spin duo despite bowling 47 overs in combination.
Dhoni lauded Kallis (not out 159) and Amla (not out 115) for rescuing their team from a precarious 6 for two, after Zaheer Khan's double strike in successive overs, with a record unconquered stand of 285 in 512 balls.
"They batted really well. You have to compliment them, We tried to put pressure, especially on Kallis, but he went after Harbhajan Singh in one over in which he gathered around 15 runs.