'Result was decided on day 2'

South Africa have been dismissed in the nervous 130s in their last three Tests at Kingsmead -- against Australia, England and now India -- and have lost all three Tests.

“We just haven’t played well in Durban, it’s as simple as that,” the Protean skipper said. “I don’t think it’s been the pace and bounce in the last few Test matches. Swann bowled well against us here, there was reverse swing against England. We were a little bit loose at times in this game. It was a wicket that you needed to graft hard on, and no total was above 250. It was a tough wicket to bat freely on. You really needed to grind things out.”

Smith said their first innings, when they were bowled out for 131, decided the course of this game.  “We lost the Test match on day two,” he averred. “It was not a 131 wicket. Even if we had managed to get level with India, it would have made it a lot easier in the fourth innings. India bowled well, but getting bowled out for 131 wasn’t good enough in this Test match.”

Somewhat miffed when asked if South Africa would insist on grass in Newlands for the final Test, he shot back, “We hoped for wickets with pace and bounce. That’s what we’ve grown up on. We haven’t specifically requested anything to the groundsmen besides that.”

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