South African captain Graeme Smith was understandably pleased with the wholesomeness of his side's performance in the 135-run win over India in the first ODI.
“It wasn't a 300 wicket, and we did pretty well to get 289,” said Smith. “Hashim (Amla) batted very well, and then J.P. Duminy and A.B. de Villiers put on a terrific partnership. The (batting) Power Play worked very well for us. We didn't want to push for 300 and get bowled out for 270. We knew the slow outfield would give us 25 runs, and so it was a case of being street-smart and not pushing too much.”
South Africa's four-man pace attack then stunted India's reply. “I thought we bowled really well,” said Smith.
“Lobsie (Tsotsobe) and Morne (Morkel) were terrific. To stand at slip and to watch the bounce and the skill was just wonderful.”
Tsotsobe, whose four wickets included Sachin Tendulkar, chose to say little about dismissing the great man. “It's a great honour to keep on getting a guy I wish to get, but I don't want to make the man angry,” he said, to laughter.
“Dale (Steyn) came up to me and said ‘it is not swinging much, so just hit the deck and get it to AB.' That's all I tried to do and guess luck was on my side.”
Indian captain M.S. Dhoni said the start under lights had cost his side the match.
“With wickets in hand, we might have fancied our chances,” he said. “The white Kookaburra ball does a bit but I don't think it was anything unplayable. We should have negotiated the first 10-11 overs, but we couldn't.”
Asked what was needed to turn things around, Dhoni said, “There were positives from the game. Virat (Kohli) batted really well and the part-timers did well to get us back into the match. It's also good to see Zaheer (Khan) and Munaf (Patel) bowling well.
“The intent needs to be positive when batting. South Africa rely a lot on a good start with the ball, they look to take wickets in succession. If we can defy that, it will be a completely different game.”