I was surprised at India’s collapse: Smith

Centurion: India’s dramatic collapse in the first innings, notwithstanding, South Africa captain Graeme Smith on Friday said there was no demon in the wicket and he was surprised to see the visitors surrendering for a paltry 136.

“I was very surprised. I didn’t feel the wicket did that much, I mean nine wickets down in 37 overs. I know we bowled pretty well with control and executed the plans with a calm head,” he said after the second day’s play here on Friday.

“The wicket this morning was pretty similar to yesterday. It is slow, pungy and two-paced. It was a good day for us. Me and (Alviro) Petersen set the tone and Jacques (Kallis) and Hashim (Alma) carried it forward in the end,” he added.

South Africa openers Smith (62) and Petersen (77) clubbed twin half-centuries, before Kallis (102) and Alma (116) slammed unbeaten centuries to see South Africa end the second day at 366 for two, ensuring a massive 230-run lead over the visitors with three full days to go.

“There is still a lot of cricket left in the match. We have AB (De Villiers) and Ashwell (Prince) next and they are pretty free-flowing scorers. So, hopefully we will set a good base and if we can exert pressure on them early in the second innings, it would be good for us,” he said.

Smith reiterated that being the world number one side India need to win more matches away from home.

“I always believed that world number one should win as many away matches as they win at home. Australia have set the ball rolling when they dominated, we have a couple of teams touching the number one ranking but lets see it is a long series,” he said.