The long partnership between Keshav Maharaj and Vernon Philander has not only boosted the confidence of the struggling South African team, but has also made them realise that there is ‘no demon’ in the pitch.
“The boys are trying with the bat and I think (we are) looking forward to the second innings. There is a lot of confidence we can take in the fact that it’s not all demons out there,” Temba Bavuma said.
Much before the second Test got underway, there were questions over the wicket at the Maharashtra Cricket Association International Stadium. With the region witnessing incessant rain over the fortnight, there were apprehensions on how the wicket will play out over the five days.
But Indian batsmen made merry and posted a mammoth first innings total of 601-5. But South Africa witnessed a top-order collapse, and could only manage to put up 275.
With a possibility of India enforcing a follow on, Bavuma feels that it is important to play freely. “We just got to find a way to dominate with the bat, just as India have done so. I don't have the answers to why it is going wrong. The obvious one is that we are not able to put up partnerships,” Bavuma, who has so far managed to score only 26 runs in three innings, said.
“We haven’t been able to absorb and sustain the pressure that Indian bowlers have put on us for consistent periods of time. That's obviously something we will try to rectify. We have that option to do that in the second innings, whether India decides to bat or follow on, we are going to have an opportunity to really stake our claim,” the South African batsman said.
Bavuma also lauded Philander and Maharaj. “It was a spectacular effort from Vernon and Keshav to fight it out there in the middle and face as many balls as they did and still accumulate runs. I mean, us in the change room and on the sides, we were enjoying it. We were feeding off the confidence they were giving us,” he said.
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