SA bowling coach says Rabada showing signs of getting to the top

Kagiso Rabada scalped all the three wickets, but the others never really made their presence felt.

Kagiso Rabada was the only bowler to pick wickets for South Africa on Day 1 of the second Test against India in Pune on Thursday.   -  Vivek Bendre

It was another day, another disappointing day for the South African bowlers. At the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium on Thursday, the Proteas failed to make an impact as India ended the day at 273-3.

Kagiso Rabada scalped all the three wickets, but the others never really made their presence felt.

DAY 1 MATCH REPORT

Bowling coach Vincent Barnes defended his wards. “When we looked at the conditions this morning, the window for the fast bowlers was a lot longer than Vizag. I thought that we bowled quite well this morning. And, with a bit of luck, we could have had a few more wickets,” Barnes said.

The plan, Barnes said, was to be patient. “That was the strategy. Look, if we had one or two more wickets, I would have been happy,” he said.

He, however, heaped praise on his key pacer Rabada. “It was fantastic to see him bowl, especially the spell after lunch. I thought he bowled well in Vizag as well. Today there were a lot of signs that he is getting to the top,” Barnes said.

“We had to keep bowling in the right areas and they would make mistakes. Pujara at one stage looked set and KG bowled in the right area and got the wicket.”

Keeping in mind that the pitch may aid the pacers, South Africa fielded debutant Anrich Nortje. But that move backfired as he bowled short, went wicketless and conceded 60 runs.

“He bowls 145 plus and we tried a different strategy (bowling short) after lunch and I don’t think he would want to be seen as that type of a bowler. He is a fantastic bowler and we saw an opportunity to grab a wicket and that was the strategy after lunch,” the bowling coach said.