South Africa versus India
The Third Test at Cape Town 2nd-6th January 2011
Click here to see our analysis of the First Test at Centurion
Click here to see our analysis of the Second Test at Durban
Who contributed most to put his team in a winning position?
Who did the most to save the game for his team?
Here is our WPA analysis of the Test (showing how each player changed the probability that his team would go on to win/lose/draw the match):
Having had a chance to recover from the excesses and indiscretions of a typical New Year’s Eve party in Cape Town, fans converged upon Newlands keen to see the climax to this enthralling (albeit regrettably and inexplicably short) Test series. Despite a few frustrating stoppages on the first day, the weather gods were kind, clearly excited at the prospect of some platinum grade Test magic.
The first four sessions were dominated by the incredible Jacques Kallis who (aided by Hashim Amla and Ashwell Prince), scored 161 and created 23.5% of a win for the Proteas. Shanth Sreesanth was the pick of the Indian attack in South Africa’s first innings, earning 22.2% of a win for India (although unfortunately for him, his poor 0-79 in the second innings left him in negative territory for the game, with a match WPA of -12.6%).
After the loss of two early wickets (one of which was the run out of Dravid by de Villiers, worth 12.9% of a win for SA), Satchin Tendulkar came to the crease. ‘Kallisesque’ became ‘Tendulkareque’ as he settled in, first in tandem with the excellent Gambhir and later with the plucky Harbhajan, to score an attritional 146, worth 15.0% of a win for his side (in the process also reducing South Africa’s chances of winning by 32.6%). Dale Steyn was again the standout bowler for South Africa, taking 5-75 in India’s first innings, or 27.5% of a win.
With only two runs in it after the first innings, South Africa came in with a tricky hour or so remaining on the third day. All seemed to be going well as Smith and Peterson passed 50 for the first wicket, but Harbhajan’s dismissals of Smith and the nightwatchman Harris before the close of play gave India hope of a good night’s sleep. On the morning of the fourth day, India were in the ascendancy as Harbhajan dismissed Petersen and Amla to leave the home side on 64-4. But Kallis was still there. Resolute as always and battling a side strain, he again reached three figures (an innings worth 23.8% of a win), this time supported well by Boucher and the lower order. Harbhajan ended the innings with seven wickets, but gave up 120 runs across his 38 overs, so his efforts were only worth 5.3% of a win.
It was pretty clear from the start of the final day that India were in no mood to lose this game, and they batted conservatively (scoring at only 2 runs an over). Usually our statistical model acknowledges the possibility that teams may accelerate their rate of scoring in a late run chase, but in this case India’s approach was so overwhelmingly negative that it was made aware of their intentions and dismissed the possibility of an India win during the fourth innings. This is of course not to take any credit away from an excellent batting performance which enabled them to save the game, and retain their Number One ranking. Gautam Gambhir in particular served to frustrate the South Africans with 64 runs off 184 deliveries, worth 28.7% of a draw.
Whilst the last day was, in retrospect, something of an anticlimax, this Test still was a joy to watch, keenly contested as it was between two excellent sides. Jacques Kallis was named Man of the Match for his two centuries (one unbeaten), as he earned 47.3% of a win for his side. Dale Steyn ended the match with 18.2% of a win, whilst the run outs of Dravid and Laxman in India’s first innings were worth 23.8% of a win for South Africa. Paul Harris was the anti-Kallis of this game, taking one wicket in 59 overs and losing 43.3% of a win with his bowling (although it should be noted he was instrumental in the Laxman run out). Gambhir and Tendulkar were India’s keys to saving this game, taking 45.1% and 43.6% (respectively) of a win away from South Africa.