Ball One 5.15pm – Captains have to find a way to win a cricket match -waiting for something to happen is not a good option. With just 220 on the board, Graeme Smith will look to build pressure, but surely he will need to take wickets as well as squeeze errors out of the Indian batsmen. With a new hard ball in the hands of the Number One rated bowler in the world, Smith set fields that you would expect to see had his batsmen made 100 more runs. Why not try a short leg and a couple more slips? Once the ball goes soft and the quiet middle overs start to tick along with four singles and two dots, the chance will have gone.
Ball Two 5.20pm – South African TV coverage always manages to pick out a little eye candy in the crowd and it’s noticeable today that the Rainbow Nation seems to be fairly well represented on Newlands’ grassy banks. Too much can be read into such pictures of course, but there would be comment if every face in the sell-out crowd were white – and rightly so.
Ball Three 5.30pm – Replays of Dale Steyn’s spectacular catch show that as he completes it and is gathering himself after his leaping dive, the ball comes perilously close to touching the turf. In such circumstances, the catch is almost always accepted as fair, as the fielder is deemed to be in control of his body and the ball – but if so, why give the umpire the chance to call the catch grounded?
Ball Four 5.53 – Morne Morkel, like Glenn McGrath before him, shows the virtue of bowling straight from a high arm on a less than trustworthy pitch. You often hear pundits talking about bowling being too straight the moment the batsman clips the ball through the legside. There may be a case for such criticism in Test matches with a full complement of slips, but in ODIs, it’s surely worth risking a few runs through midwicket for the chance of clattering the stumps. Was Morkel bowling too straight tonight? Ask Rohit Sharma.
Ball Five 6.07pm – Michael Yardy may be an ugly bowler – okay, there’s no maybe: he is an ugly bowler – but Johan Botha demonstrates yet again the tradition of South Africa producing aesthetically displeasing slow men. He’s not in the class of the gruesome twosome of Pauls (Harris and Adams), but his jerky delivery is hardly one for the purists. Effective though, as often as not – alas.
Ball Six 6.22pm – Like many a player picked as a teenager, Wayne Parnell appears to be undergoing a crisis of confidence a couple of years on from debut. Most young players return – often stronger – but a few don’t (Vinod Kambli for example). Parnell may well be disappointed when South Africa name their World Cup squad after this match, but with a lot of work and a little confidence, he has the talent to come back… if he wants it enough.
The Tooting Trumpet, whom you can often find at Testmatchsofa.com and on Twitter at @garynaylor999 and @Fakeadil.