Cricinfo: India in South Africa 2006-07

South Africa v India, 3rd Test, Cape Town

Top Performer of the match: Pollock's second coming

The tour of Sri Lanka last year was perhaps the most worrying in Shaun Pollock.s Test career. His pace dipped to such an extent that he resorted to bowling offspinners, reduced to a sad shadow of the bowler he was. The future of Shaun Pollock the Test spearhead was indeed a worrying factor for South Africa and it was up to him to raise his performance, at least in friendlier conditions back home. With 13 wickets, 187 runs and a Man of the Series award to boot, the memories of Sri Lanka have been safely stashed away.

With the pressure on South Africa after having lost the first Test at Johannesburg, it was upto their most experienced men to step up to the plate. Pollock.s fluent 40 in the the second innings at Johannesburg may not have won his side the match, but it was clearly a sign of things to come. His unbeaten 63 in the second Test at Durban was a turning point, as it came under pressure after a wicket burst, enabling Graeme Smith to declare. At Cape Town, it was his bowling in India.s first innings which stood out more than his batting. On a pitch which wasn.t the most responsive to the seamers on the first two days, Pollock pegged away for 29 overs, picking up four wickets. After Rahul Dravid got off to an aggressive start, Pollock managed to pin him down and succeeded in inducing an edge to the wicketkeeper.

His next big scalp was Sourav Ganguly, the last Indian wicket to fall, bringing a disappointing end to India.s innings, considering their good start. His batting frustrated India yet again when South Africa were in a hole at 281 for 6, in reply to India.s 414. With Mark Boucher for company, the pair added 69 for the seventh wicket, a stand which proved crucial for South Africa.s fortunes, with Pollock contributing 31. Pollock didn.t have the same success in India.s second innings, but he gave little away, conceding just 24 off 15 overs with the wicket of Sachin Tendulkar.

Much has been said about Smith.s errors in not handing the new ball to Pollock, the most experienced fast bowler in their ranks, but Pollock never let that deter him, proving to be as effective with the old one.

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