Defeat was inevitable at Centurion: Dhoni
Centurion: India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni today said the first innings deficit was too much to handle and a defeat was inevitable after the visitors conceded a massive 484-run lead to South Africa in the first cricket Test here.
"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," Dhoni said after India were dismissed for 459 in their second innings to hand South Africa an innings and 25-run victory.
"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.
Asked what are the positives that India would take from this match, Dhoni said, "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.
South African all-rounder Jacques Kallis, who was awarded the Man of the Match for 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.
Highly satisfied after drawing the first blood in the high profile series, South African skipper Graeme Smith heaped praise on his team and said the aim now would be 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.
"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 awarded with a memento for achieving 100 wickets in their Test career in the post-match presentation.