Dhoni beaming with pride
India captain MS Dhoni felt his side's win at Durban was a fitting way to end a successful year.
Last Updated: 29/12/10 2:54pm
India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni felt his team's 87-run victory over South Africa in the second Test at Kingsmead was a fitting way to end a successful year.
The Proteas resumed on 111-3 in pursuit of a target of 303 on the fourth morning but were bowled out for 215 in mid-afternoon, Zaheer Khan leading the way with three wickets.
The result levels the series at 1-1 and sets up a mouth-watering decider in Cape Town, starting on January 2.
"What this means is that we have a good side," said Dhoni after India claimed just their second Test win on South African soil in 14 attempts.
"We've played consistent cricket over a period of time. This process started in September 2008 and in the next two years we are in a position where we can say that most of the places we have done well.
"So it's a proud moment, 2010 has been good for us."
Asked what the key was to victory, he continued: "A bit of worry for us was to get 20 wickets, but the bowlers did really well over here.
"Off course there was something for the bowlers and a bit of bounce for the spinners, so I think the bowling department did really well.
"I think every wicket that we fetched was really important because the timing was really great. (Jacques) Kallis got out, then AB (de Villiers) then all the other batsmen."
Bowlers aside, the one man that stood out amongst the batsmen was man-of-the-match VVS Laxman, who made 96 and 38, two of the top three scores in the game with Ashwell Prince 39 not out making the other one.
Dhoni added: "It was a very special innings. You always count on Laxman. It was one of those wickets where it's very difficult to convince yourself that you are settling down and you are set because one odd ball will do something.
"But it was special because at the end of the day it was those 90 odd runs that really mattered."
South Africa skipper Graeme Smith was predictably disappointed afterward, but blamed the loss on their first innings score of 131.
"I think we probably lost the Test match on day two," he said. "I don't think it was a 131 wicket and if we'd manage to draw level with India then it would have made our lives a lot easier in the fourth innings.
"We had one or two unlucky decisions, but I thought India bowled well. I don't think we played terribly in the Test, but that 131 wasn't good enough."
Those unlucky calls he was referring to were the dismissals of De Villiers and Mark Boucher.
Both were given out leg before wicket with replays showing that the ball was going on to miss the stumps.
The Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS) is not being used in the series as India opted against it - both sides must agree on using it for the technology to be in operation.
And Smith added: "My message all along is that the ICC needs to take responsibility for that, they need to lead the way.
"They can't leave it up to boards to negotiate for those things.
"If the technology is available and they want us to trial it and use it, then we must use it and get use to using it to have an idea if it works or not.
"Using it one in every seven series is not going to benefit anybody and we're not going to get a good idea whether it benefits the game or not."