As India and South Africa head into the Boxing Day Test at Durban, here’s a closer look at the record of the two sides at the venue.
India at Durban: Played 4, Lost 2, Won 1, Drawn 1
India played their first Test at Durban back in 1992 after South Africa’s readmission to international cricket. The game was drawn courtesy Pravin Amre’s now famous century on debut. During their next visit to the venue, in 1996, a major disaster took place. The Indian batting crumbled to 100 and 66 all out in their two innings as they went down in the game by 328 runs in spite of a spirited 10-wicket match haul by Venkatesh Prasad.
India and South Africa squared up at Durban again in 2006. India went into the match on a high having won the historic Test at Johannesburg. But South Africa fought back brilliantly in the second Test. Makhaya Ntini was the star for the hosts with eight wickets in the game while Ashwell Prince registered a hundred in the first innings. India’s batting crumbled in both the innings. They were all out for 240 in the first innings, and managed only 179 runs in the second essay chasing 354.
2010 was when things came together for India. Having been thrashed at Centurion by an innings, they came back brilliantly to square the series with an 87-run triumph. VVS Laxman was the hero for India with the bat, scoring 38 and a crucial 96. With the ball, Harbhajan Singh and Zaheer Khan both picked up six wickets each in the game as India stunned the Proteas. South Africa managed only 131 and 215 in their two visits to the crease.
South Africa at Durban (since readmission): Played 20, Won 8, Lost 6, Drawn 6
The records show South Africa have a decent record at the venue, but what India would be interested in and would also worry South Africa is the fact that South Africa have lost the last four Tests they have played at this venue. Their last Test triumph at the Kingsmead came in early 2008 against a weak West Indies. Since, apart from the loss to India, they have also gone down to Australia, England as well as Sri Lanka. In fact, they have lost five of their last seven Tests at the venue, having been beaten by the Aussies in 2006 as well.
In March 2009 , Australia defeated them by 175 runs. Phillip Hughes got a hundred in both the innings. South Africa, on the other hand, collapsed to 138 in their first innings, and there was no way back for them from there. In December 2009, England also thrashed them by an innings and 98 runs. The recently retired Graeme Swann grabbed nine wickets in the game while Alastair Cook and Ian Bell got tons for England. The December 2011 encounter against Sri Lanka saw the Proteas crumble to spin and lose by 208 runs as Rangana Herath scalped nine wickets.
--By A Cricket Analyst