'I don't want to get Sachin angry'

'I don't want to get Sachin angry'

Tsotsobe cherishes maestros scalp; Smith all praise for his quicks

The first of those four wickets was that of Sachin Tendulkar’s, the second time on this tour and at Kingsmead that he had got the Indian champion out, the first coming in the second innings of the second Test a fortnight ago. “It’s been a great honour to keep on getting the same guy I wish to get,” Tsotsobe said, then laughed when asked if he had Tendulkar’s number. “I don’t want to get the man angry! I will just take it game by game.”

The left-arm medium-pacer said he had benefited from Dale Steyn’s advice after the first over of the Indian chase. “Dale came up to me and said it is not swinging much,” Tsotsobe revealed. “He told me to just hit the deck and get it to AB (de Villiers). That’s all I tried to do, guess luck was on my side. The Kingsmead pitch has always been good to me, I have got quite a few four-fors and five-fors here.”

Sitting by his side, skipper Graeme Smith reflected on a job well done by his team. “I don’t think the wicket changed a lot (between the two innings). It wasn’t a 300 wicket,” he observed. “We batted pretty well to get 289. It was a case of being more street-smart. We didn’t want to push for 300 and get bowled out for 270. We knew the slow outfield would give us 25 runs, so in our minds, though we made 289, the total was more than 300.”

Back in the slips after having spent time in the infield with a finger injury, Smith said he had thoroughly enjoyed watching his quicks in operation. “We bowled really well,” he gushed. “Lobsie (Tsotsobe) and Morne were terrific, they bowled in terrific areas. To stand at slip and to watch the bounce and carry and the skills was just wonderful.”

South Africa have four quality quicks in Steyn, Morkel, Tsotsobe and Wayne Parnell, and Smith said he went by instinct more than anything else when deciding on the new-ball combination. “It’s a gut feel thing for me,” he acknowledged. “It depends a lot on the conditions and the opposition. Sometimes, I might not even let Dale take the new ball. It really is a gut-feel thing. It’s something I discuss with (coach) Corrie (van Zyl) and then decide out in the middle.”