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Self-belief our biggest strength

Only a team that has spirit could have come back like we did on Monday evening after an exceptionally tough day at the Eden Gardens. Jacques Kallis comments.

india Updated: Feb 16, 2010 01:35 IST

Only a team that has spirit could have come back like we did on Monday evening after an exceptionally tough day at the Eden Gardens.

We knew if we stuck to our task and picked up one wicket, we could get through India's top-order and, hopefully, run through them on the third day. We will need to knock over a few batsmen with the second new ball, which is due in four overs' time, because if India get to any sort of sizeable lead, the harder it will be for us to win the game.

Both teams have suffered collapses in this Test and that's because it's tough to get in as a batsman in the sub-continent. Once you're in, it becomes easy and you can play your strokes as Virender Sehwag and Sachin Tendulkar showed on Monday.

But you only need one wicket and it can open up an end and bring in more wickets. We've often spoken about it as a team that you can lose wickets in clumps here, and unfortunately, the first day was one of those days when it happened to us.

It's been proven in Kolkata and it has happened again to India in their first innings.

Sehwag has played a number of destructive innings against us and we'll certainly remember his knock here, but not with too much fondness!

Once Viru gets going, he is very difficult to stop because he scores so strongly on either side of the wicket and the margin of error against him is very small.

Sachin had a real air of determination about him and it was also an impressive hundred, but we were willing to do the hard yards and that's why we managed to get them both out before the close of play.

There is a belief in the team that we can win the Test. We're still in the contest and are very confident. We know that it will take some top-class cricket from us and maybe a thin slice or two of good fortune!

We just have to be careful not to allow India to make a good start on the third morning.

Hopefully we'll be batting again on Tuesday and, after a low total on the first day, we'll be concentrating on not making the same mistakes again.

Having just the one major partnership in the innings, between Alviro Petersen and Hashim Amla, was our chief sin and we'll be looking to go much further in our second innings.

Finally, my congratulations to Alviro for his century on debut. He has waited a long time to get in the Test side and took his chance very well. I'm sure he will now go from strength to strength, much as he has in our one-day side.