Proteas to focus on morning overs to get some bounce

2014-02-22 00:00

PORT ELIZABETH — South Africa’s pace attack will have another 10 overs this morning to get some bounce on a dead St George’s Park pitch with a hard ball.

After that it will be blood and sweat to get any wickets.

JP Duminy last night said the team were aware that the new ball will be more important than usual on a wicket that does not assist the pace men at all.

“We know we will have to utilise the new ball. We also know that we may get some bounce this morning during the first 10 overs, but afterwards we will have to come up with other plans,” said Duminy, who was one of SA’s heroes on the second day of the second Test against Australia.

“We will have to be clever and perhaps change our line, length and fielding positions to make up for the lack of bounce and speed on this pitch,” he added.

Australia resume their innings at 112/4 after they earlier bowled the Proteas out for 423. The South Africans were elated that they got four wickets, but could have been in a better position had it not been for a couple of missed chances.

Duminy was one of the sinners.

“It was disappointing. But what can you do? Hopefully we will grab our chances tomorrow,” said the Cape Cobra.

He was, however, happy with his performance. He scored 123 and together with AB de Villiers (116) helped South Africa to score a significant total. But what was almost as important as the runs they had scored, was the fact that they had kept the Aussies on the field for more than 150 overs.

Aussie coach Darren Lehmann said afterwards that the two long days in the field played a big role in their batting.

“They bowled well and we probably also helped them with the shots we played, but we have to be better in such situations.”

Lehmann also said that Australia’s top order batsmen cannot continue to struggle so much in the first innings. They struggled against England in their recent Test series and in the first Test against SA at Centurion they also collapsed and were rescued by good partnerships lower down.

“It is definitely something we will have to work at,” he added.

It is now the sixth time during the past year that Australia found themselves 100/4 or worse in an innings.

Lehmann is, however, convinced that his team would be able to bat themselves out of trouble. “I am happy that we got 112 in double quick time and that showed the pitch was still good to bat on.”

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