India in SA
Proteas-India Tests 'iconic'
India-Proteas draw (AFP Photo)
Cape Town - The Proteas and India drew their third successive Test series (two in India and one in South Africa) to underline the exciting new rivalry they have brought to the world of Test match cricket.
The Proteas drew 1-1 in India in 2008 and 2010 and the current Castle Test series finished with the same result as the third Test at Sahara Park Newlands finished as a draw on Thursday.
Cricket South Africa (CSA) CEO Gerald Majola commented afterwards that he was confident that future Test series between the two countries would be granted icon status and consist of at least four matches.
“The high quality and huge popularity of the cricket that was delivered by both teams in the three-match Castle Test series between South Africa and India points irresistibly towards ensuring that future tours between these two top teams in world cricket are granted icon status,” commented Majola.
“This would entail a minimum of four Tests which would be a true contest between two teams that have produced the standard of cricket that will ensure the future of the game at this vital level.
“Both countries have the right mix of established stars, emerging players and structures to keep this high and exciting standard of Test cricket going for years to come.
“The value of the examples set on this milestone-filled tour to the youth in both countries, set by the likes of Jacques Kallis, Sachin Tendulkar, Dale Steyn and Harbhajan Singh, is inestimable. It is up to the administrators of cricket in both countries to build on this and make this role-model cricket sustainable by granting icon status to future tours with a minimum of four Tests between South Africa and India.
“This Castle Test series was absorbing from start to finish and CSA would like to congratulate both the Proteas and India for playing such positive cricket and leaving fans from both sides wanting more. The South African public is also to be applauded for coming out in such large numbers to support Castle Test cricket on this tour.
“We especially salute Jacques Kallis for his skill and heroism and who has proved yet again that he is surely the greatest cricketer produced by South Africa. It was also an honour to see Sachin Tendulkar become the first batsman to score 50 Test centuries and to achieve this major milestone on our home soil.
“The stage is now set for an intriguing contest in the shorter forms of the game, with the historic Standard Bank International Pro20 match at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban on Sunday, which will be followed by five MTN ODIs.
“This will be ideal preparation for the Proteas for the upcoming ICC World Cup, and big crowds will spur them on even further in their determination to bring this coveted trophy home.”
India, set a victory target of 340 to win the final Test and win a series in South Africa for the first time, were never troubled to any great extent in surviving to the close with 166 runs on the board for the loss of only 3 wickets.
Not surprisingly Jacques Kallis was named both Castle Man of the Match (for the second time in the series) and Castle Man of the Series. He scored 498 runs with a double century and two other centuries in addition to taking valuable wickets and catches.
Dale Steyn’s solitary wicket on the final day was his 21st of the series and set a new record in Test series between the Proteas and India.