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South Africa claim 1-0 lead after crushing top-ranked India

Dale Steyn, left, took seven wickets in the match as did fellow South Africa fast bowler Morne Morkel.
Dale Steyn, left, took seven wickets in the match as did fellow South Africa fast bowler Morne Morkel.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • India suffer heavy defeat by South Africa in opening match of three-Test series in Centurion
  • Top-ranked team lose last two wickets inside opening half-hour of final day
  • Sachin Tendulkar stranded on 111 after extending his record of Test tons to 50 on Sunday
  • India's bowling attack to be boosted by return of left-armer Zaheer Khan in Durban

(CNN) -- Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni criticized his bowlers after India crashed to an innings-and-25-run defeat by South Africa in the opening match of the three-Test cricket series in Centurion on Monday.

The Proteas quickly took the tourists' final two wickets on the morning of the final day, leaving Sachin Tendulkar unbeaten on 111 having added just four runs to his overnight total.

On Sunday, the 37-year-old extended his world record of Test centuries to 50 but it was in vain as the top-ranked Test team suffered a humiliating defeat to their closest rivals.

Having capitulated for just 136 runs after a rain-hit opening day, India made 459 in their second innings but it was nowhere near enough after South Africa declared on 620-4.

You're supposed to either take wickets or not let the opposition score at five runs an over in a Test match
--Mahendra Singh Dhoni
RELATED TOPICS
  • Cricket
  • South Africa
  • India
  • Sachin Tendulkar
  • New Zealand

The hosts scored a phenomenal 225 runs in one two-hour session as veteran batsman Jacques Kallis scored his first double-century, while Hashim Amla and A.B. de Villiers also passed three figures.

India missed injured left-arm seamer Zaheer Khan, who will return for the second Test in Durban starting on December 26.

"You're supposed to either take wickets or not let the opposition score at five runs an over in a Test match," Dhoni, who made 90 in a stand of 172 with Tendulkar before falling late on Sunday, told reporters.

"The conditions are difficult out here, it's not like in India where it's turning and the ball doesn't come on. Over here scoring is quite easy, in the sense that once you're set, the ball comes on nicely and you can score on both sides of the wicket.

"So that's also an area of concern. Even our scoring rate, despite us losing wickets, was quite good. So that means, the only way out is to take wickets."

South Africa captain Graeme Smith said the pressure was now on India to bounce back with an immediate victory to have a chance of winning the series.

"When you go 1-0 down in a three-match series, there's always extra pressure," he said.

"The build-up to the next Test becomes crucial -- the decisions you make, how you train, the selection, how the squad moves to the next Test. I know the Indian team always plays under pressure, and there are high expectations on them."

Fast bowlers Morne Morkel (2-94) and Dale Steyn (4-105) picked up a wicket each inside the first half-hour on Monday to both claim seven wickets for the match.

In India's second innings, Rahul Dravid became just the third player to reach 12,000 Test runs, after Tendulkar and Australia captain Ricky Ponting, before being dismissed by Morkel for 43.

Meanwhile, former India coach John Wright has been appointed by New Zealand on an 18-month contract to replace his fellow former international batsman Mark Greatbatch.

Greatbatch will now head the selection panel as New Zealand Cricket acted following the one-day and Test series defeats in India last month