Normally the Kingsmead ground is lush green. But on Sunday morning, it needed many bags of sawdust to cover the damp areas all around the ground. The brown patches left on the field made the Indians, who fielded first, look a bit clumsy as they were cautious diving on it.
Days of heavy rain and thunderstorm had taken a toll of the ground, rendering it soft and wet. It was waterlogged five days ago but thanks to good drainage facilities, a game was made possible.
What it however did was slow down the track, although nowhere near as flat as any pitch in India. Former South Africa paceman Fanie De Villiers felt it was the slowest Durban track he has ever seen. "It is always fast. To my mind, this is the slowest of the tracks I have seen at the Kingsmead. I think this is India's best chance to win. Your batters know how to bat here." But it didn't turn out that way in the end.
The spinners got great help. Fanie added, "Just look at the amount of turn they are getting!" Remember India throttle the opposition on tracks where the ball hardly comes onto the bat? It was just like that.
Playing at home?
It wasn't just the wicket but the spectators too made it look like India were playing at home. Most of the crowd was made up of Indians, and there were as many Indian flags as there were South African ones. Traditionally, the older people support India while the younger ones are increasingly bei-ng drawn towards South Africa.
However, it seemed many of the young too like India. As India were crumbling once again chasing a target, the packed house was turning empty with fans trickling out before the game ended.
Perhaps the next time, when the Test happens, they would care to bring some good luck charms.