First innings deficit was too much to handle: Dhoni
Skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni conceded that the first innings deficit was too much to handle and defeat was inevitable after India conceded a massive 484-run lead to South Africa in the first Test in Centurion.
"The deficit was too much to handle, and South Africa got too many runs. It was a good show by the batsmen in the second innings," said Dhoni, after India were dismissed for 459 in their second innings, handing South Africa an innings and 25-run victory, on Monday, the fifth day of the Test.
"After they won the toss it was a job half done, but they had to bowl at the right areas and they did that. Their batsmen also batted really well," he added.
Image: Mahendra Singh Dhoni
'Our bowling has to improve'
Asked what are the positives India would take from the match, Dhoni replied, "Most of the batsmen got off to a good start in the second innings; I mean Gauti (Gautam Gambhir) scored 80, Sachin (Tendulkar) 100; these are positives."
"But there are grey areas. Our bowling has to improve, and we are looking forward to have Zaheer (Khan) back in the side. It is important to educate the bowlers and give them a road map for the next test.
"I've lost quite a few tosses, but it's important now to take some time off and then get back into the groove," he added.
Image: Sachin Tendulkar
Double ton a very special moment: Kallis
South Africa all-rounder Jacques Kallis, who was adjudged Man of the Match after his maiden unbeaten double ton in the first innings, said it was a very special moment for him.
"It took a long way to come but it was worth the wait. It was a very special moment," Kallis said.
"It was a good all-round effort from us; we put in a good performance on day one which put us ahead of the eight ball. Centurion is a big scoring ground and we came into this Test looking to be very positive with both bat and ball," he said.
Image: Jacques Kallis
Our aim is 2-0 in Durban Test: Smith
Highly satisfied after drawing first blood in the high-profile series, South Africa skipper Graeme Smith heaped praise on his team and said the aim now is to make it 2-0 in Durban.
"Obviously, very happy; it's a big series. The build-up has been big and it's nice to come out and secure a big win," Smith said in reply to a question.
"The bowlers did very well and bowled in the right areas on the first day. We wanted to be positive in our first innings, and to take the game forward like that. The way the batsmen played, it was great Test cricket.
"We've had terrific support from the fans, looking forward to Christmas with our families. We have to continue in the same vein and make it 2-0 in Durban Test, that would be the aim," he said.
Spinner Paul Harris and pacer Morne Morkel were also presented a memento during the post-match presentation for claiming 100 wickets in their Test career.
Image: Graeme Smith