We have to dismiss Kallis quickly: Laxman
VVS Laxman, the hero of India's second innings, feels it is important to get Jacques Kallis out quickly on Wednesday to win the second Test and draw level in the three-match series.
"Kallis's wicket will be important for us. If we can get his wicket early tomorrow [Day 4] morning, then we can create real pressure on other batsmen. Wicket is doing a bit, so our bowlers can put them in trouble. That is why I think 300 runs is quite enough," Laxman, whose superb 96 has given India hopes of victory, said at the end of play on Day 3.
"If the match goes down to the wire, then I am sure that the Indian team will be able to hold nerves and do the needful to win this match," the Hyderabadi stylist said.
Image: VVS Laxman
'Pujara showed lot of character'
Laxman admitted that he was a touch disappointed about finishing four runs shy off what would have been his 17th Test century.
"I feel happy that I have contributed to the team's cause but a little but disappointed for not getting a hundred. I have not scored a hundred here in South Africa. But having stretched our lead past the 300-run mark was good feeling," he said.
The veteran of 119 Test matches said it was difficult batting on the Kingsmead strip.
"Kingsmead wicket is not easy to bat on. You can never say that I am feeling settled on this wicket. Wicket is doing something all the time and you just cannot afford to relax even for few balls. That is why I think that so many batsmen have got out after getting set."
Laxman also praised Zaheer Khan and young Cheteshwar Pujara who gave him good support in his bid to put up a challenging target for the hosts.
"In the second innings, it was just a matter of getting one good partnership and luckily Zaheer played well and supported me. I think Pujara also batted well. He is playing for the first time here in South Africa. He applied himself well and showed a lot of character," Laxman said about the Saurashtra lad.
Image: Cheteshwar Pujara
'Zaheer played an aggressive innings'
For someone who has now perfected the art of batting along with the tail, Laxman feels lot of credit should go to coach Gary Kirsten for changing the mindset of the tailenders.
"Today Zaheer played an aggressive innings. Our tailenders work hard in the nets. They take lot of pride in their batting. Gary has told them that 25-odd runs scored by any bowler can make huge difference to the team total."
"Normally I believe in rotating the strike and keep the scoreboard ticking. If any batsman is not comfortable with any particular bowler, then only I will try to keep the strike," he concluded.
Image: Zaheer Khan
Kallis and AB will do it for us: Paul Harris
South Africa's left-arm spinner Paul Harris said his side has the edge in the Test as they need just one big partnership to win it and clinch the series.
Harris said South Africa have won Test matches from similar situations and there is no reason why they cannot do it again.
"We are very confident as we still have seven wickets in hand. It is just matter of getting one big partnership going. (Jacques) Kallis and AB (de Villiers) are quality players and they will do it for us," Harris said.
"We are confident of chasing down the required runs. As far as I know we have not buckled down under pressure in Test cricket. Nine out of 10 in situation like this, in Test cricket, we have come on top. We have done it in the past. No reason why we cannot do it again over here," he said.
He saluted Laxman for his "special" knock of 96 under pressure which enabled India set the Proteas a target of 303.
"He (Laxman) is class player, we all know that. He played nicely and fortune also favoured him. But I think you make your own fortune too. His knock was special because it was played under pressure," he said.
Image: Paul Harris