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India, South Africa renew enticing battle in series finale

Wednesday, 25 December 2013 - 11:50am IST | Place: DURBAN | Agency: PTI
At Kingsmead, on Boxing Day, the two sides will go head-to-head in a decider that is more than just another five-day game.

After sharing the honours in a thrilling draw, India and South Africa will renew their exciting battle for supremacy in the series-deciding second and final cricket Test which promises to be another epic encounter starting here tomorrow.

The opening Test between the number one (South Africa) and number two (India) turned out to be the most perfect advertisement for Test cricket giving five days of an engaging clash.

In the end, South Africa were left needing just eight runs for what would have been one of the most memorable Test wins of all time. India, on the other hand, were left wondering as to what turned the fortunes so drastically after four days of domination.

At Kingsmead, on Boxing Day, the two sides will go head-to-head in a decider that is more than just another five-day game.

Ever since this tour got embroiled in a battle between the Board of Control for Cricket in India and Cricket South Africa for off-field matters, it has been about bragging rights.

Seemingly both sides knew what to expect from this short tour, one that did no favours to the watching fans, sponsors or broadcasters. It was about gaining supremacy over the other, and indeed there was a certain path needed to be taken to achieve this.

For South Africa, it had to begin early. The three-ODI-series was where they could do some real damage because there weren't any practice games.

The Indian team flew in, fresh from an ever-lasting home season with little know-how to deal with conditions here. Not to mention, there was a lot to prove after the retirement of senior stalwarts like Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman over the past year. They had to be put on the back-foot immediately.

And so it happened. The number-five ranked ODI team handed out a 2-0 defeat to the number-one ranked side, a spanking really considering the huge margins of 141 runs and 136 runs in the two completed matches at Johannesburg and Durban.


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