‘SA’s batting a positive’

2015-02-24 00:00

SYDNEY — It wasn’t all bad news for the Proteas in the aftermath of their humiliating slaughter on Sunday at the MCG.

According to captain AB de Villiers, the successive excellent performances in the two matches at the tournament so far by Imran Tahir, as well as the team’s batting against India’s formidable spin bowling, were some comfort.

Tahir’s figures of 1/48 in 10 overs were by far the pick of the Proteas bowling during the clash between Group B’s two heavyweights, which was won by India by 130 runs.

The South African leg break bowler also took 3/36 during South Africa’s first match against Zimbabwe in Hamilton.

“I was very impressed with Immy’s performance and I am very proud of the way how he had bowled to batsmen who could probably handle spin bowling better than anyone,” said De Villiers.

“I had to answer many questions all week [especially from Indian journalists] why he was playing against India, but I still believe that he has shown that he is one of the best spinners in the world — at least if judged on his recent level of performance.”

According to De Villiers, the Proteas also showed they could bat against top level spin bowling — despite having been bowled out for a paltry 177 in response to India’s 307/7.

Between Ravichandran Ashwin (3/41), Ravindra Jadeja (1/37) and Suresh Raina (0/3) the spinners took four Proteas wickets, but only one of them — JP Duminy — was a recognised batsman.

“We did not bat well but at least we can say that it was not their spin bowlers who won the match for them,” said De Villiers.

“They bowled well but they did not catch us with our pants down. This is one of the positives we can take from our performance.”

What does worry De Villiers is the inability of SA’s seamers to swing the ball.

“It is strange that Dale [Steyn] has failed until now to swing the ball through the air or move it off the seam,” he said.

“It is something that worries him and the rest of the bowling attack.”

De Villiers and his team landed in ­Sydney yesterday for Friday’s game against the West Indians.

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