Cape Town - The Proteas will be pinning their hopes on the continued fightback from Dean Elgar (67 not out) and Temba Bavuma (10 not out) on the third day of the Sunfoil Test match against England at Sahara Stadium Kingsmead.
Elgar has been the standout batsman of the Proteas’ innings, and has composed an exemplary gutsy innings under pressure.
Patience and partnerships will be key on the third “moving day” of the match, particularly against a skilful England attack and in conditions where ticking over the scoreboard has seemed difficult to do.
“In Durban, that’s a crucial part, that first hour,” Morne Morkel said to the media.
“The ball starts to tail and it’s quite tough to score with the wicket and the outfield being slow. If we can get one or two partnerships going with the tail that can also help us get closer to their score.”
The contribution from the lower order, who put in extra work with Lance Klusener in the build-up to the match, also becomes crucial in the context of the game after another batting let down from the top order.
“We’ve worked hard on our batting over the last few weeks,” Morkel said of the tail.
“Hopefully we can go out and front up tomorrow when we get the opportunity. I can sit here and say all of the right things but it’s a matter of fronting up. Hopefully the tail will wag and we can get close or even get past their score. We have JP (Duminy) in the shed and Dean and Temba are playing really well, we are also still a couple of overs away from the new ball. If we can have a solid start tomorrow and get some sort of partnership going; it’s a funny game.”
Earlier in the day, it was Morkel’s fired up spell that led the England rout to 303 all out, a total the camp was satisfied with given the placid conditions.
Morkel has shown his ability to strike in all conditions after coming off a successful tour of India where he was the standout fast bowler.
“A lot of the times I put pressure on myself,” he said. “Coming back from the sub-continent you almost create that expectation of bouncy, quicker wickets which can put yourself under pressure. Yesterday I toiled hard for 12 overs and went wicket-less but this morning it’s just showed that it’s a funny game. If you are willing to put in the hard yards and get the ball in the right area consistently you can get wickets.”
Play will start at 09h30 on Monday.