Proteas looking for early Indian wickets

Bengaluru, Nov 14 (IANS) Having got out for a paltry 214 in the first innings of the second Test of the Gandhi-Mandela series on Saturday, a downcast South Africa is looking for early wickets when India resume batting at 80 for no loss at the Chinnaswamy stadium here on Sunday.

“As we need to get back into the game, we will look for wickets in the first session because history says the pitch does something in the morning,” South Africa’s head coach Russell Domingo told reporters at the draw of stumps.

Indian openers Shikhar Dhawan with 45 and Murali Vijay at 28 defied the Proteas’ seamers and spinners to remain unbeaten for 22 overs in the last session of the day.

“Getting 5-6 wickets in a session is possible and if we get them, we are back into the game. But for that, we need to some disciplined bowling in the first session,” the coach asserted.

Admitting that it was very disappointing to be bowled out on the first day for a low score, Domingo said that though they were happy to bat first on a good pitch, they didn’t play well enough to stay put.

“Definitely it is a good pitch. We were happy batting in the morning, but we just didn’t play well enough,” Domingo said.

Crediting Indian ace spinner Ravichandran Ashwin for the initial breakthrough with two quick wickets in a over (seventh) when he got out Stiaan van Zyl for 10 and Faf du Plessis for duck, Domingo said his boys had to find remedies when he would come to bowl in the second innings.

“He (Ashwin) is a quality bowler and very consistent in the areas in which he hits. He was a top class bowler in the first test, there is no doubt about it. We got some work to do to face him,” the coach said.

Asked to bat first by Indian captain Virat Kohi, who won the toss, Domingo said they too wanted to bowl first in light of the wicket’s track record of helping seamers in the morning session.

The coach also agreed that there were many soft dismissals of their batters, as shot selection was poor.

“When you play against the quality bowling attack of India, you got to limit your freedom to score,” Domingo quipped.

On AB de Villiers failing to score a century in his 100th Test match, Domingo said it was disappointing that he got out at 85, caught behind to a spin ball of Ravindra Jadeja in the 52nd over after playing 105 balls and hitting one six and 11 fours.

“Obviously, AB was disappointed getting out. The way he plays is phenomenal, as he is quick on his feet. He got out wanting to look aggressive. That’s how he plays his cricket trying to score runs. He played beautifully for 85, but was unlucky not to get his hundred,” Domingo added.

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