Hats off to India for their grit
For the second time in a couple of years, we have taken the lead in a Test series in India only to fall at the final hurdle. And for the second time we can have no complaints about the result - we have only ourselves to blame, writes Jacques Kallis.india Updated: Feb 19, 2010 00:35 IST
For the second time in a couple of years, we have taken the lead in a Test series in India only to fall at the final hurdle. And for the second time we can have no complaints about the result - we have only ourselves to blame.
My only regret this time is that we weren’t able to play at least a three-Test series. Two Tests hardly constitute a series in my opinion.
Just as they did in Kanpur two years, India hit back very hard after a heavy defeat and made light work of the pressure they were under to square the series. They have a proud record on home soil and if they are able to maintain the hard edge to their cricket and approach, they will only become harder to beat at home.
Gary Kirsten and Paddy Upton have helped the team, especially the younger players, to focus on short periods of time rather than looking too far ahead in a Test match. Harbhajan Singh produced a very good delivery to me and then both Zaheer Khan and Ishant Sharma found their best form just when India desperately needed them.
Having come so close to winning a series in India the last time, I know how disappointed Graeme Smith is after falling short again. Having won in England and Australia in 2008, I reckon he has a secret ambition to win a series in every Test playing country.
Only Mark Boucher and I have survived from our solitary series victory in India in 2000 and it remains one of the favourite memories of my career. I remember the dedication and determination that was required then and I genuinely believe we showed the same this time.
Hashim Amla’s life and career may well change as a result of this phenomenal series. Because he is so modest and well balanced, he may have started the journey towards becoming a great player.
I have every intention of being around when we come back next time. I would like to share the experience of winning in India with Graeme!