Rampant Proteas attack keeps it simple, not distracted by 'Bazball': 'It's nothing new'

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  • The Proteas bowlers merely focused on doing the basics well and not disproving "Bazball" in dominating England on the first day of the first Test at Lord's. 
  • Part of the reason why Kagiso Rabada and co looked at ease was the fact that they don't believe their opponents are doing anything revolutionary anyway.
  • Rabada also credited the bowlers' success to quickly adapting to Lord's infamous slope.

A sheer desire to "win" a proper day of Test cricket, not petty eagerness to ridicule "Bazball".

According to Kagiso Rabada, that was the reason for the Proteas attack's dominance of England's batting order on a truncated opening day of the first Test on Wednesday at Lord's.

South Africa admittedly won a very good toss in overcast conditions, but still delivered regular moments of incisiveness, sticking to doing the basics well and not getting sucked into the franticness that's underpinned their attack-minded hosts' recent success.

As a result, they reduced England to 116/6. 

"Different teams have different strategies and I guess it's just about adapting to what the opposition throw at you," said Rabada, who gave his side an ideal start with a fine opening spell that included both openers' scalps.

"There's nothing really going around that brings any animosity or 'white line fever' [when we play against England now]. It's really about adapting your strategy [for what's in front of you].

"The opposition can play any way they want to. That's okay."

READ | STUMPS | Rabada, Nortje rock England in first Test as Proteas dominate at Lord's

The bowlers indeed showed impressive adaptability, with Rabada (2/36), the hasty Anrich Nortje (3/43) and beanpole Marco Jansen (1/18), at various times, gaining some significant movement.

"It was the infamous slope at Lord's. It was quite a big topic during our preparation, especially for the guys who haven't played here before," said Rabada.

"Generally, you just need to get a feel for which end you're bowling at, get a feel for where the ball is going and adjusting. I was bowling down the slope and that takes the ball away from the right handers. So you just have to play with it."

Nortje, who also bowled from the nursery end, managed to angle some deliveries back up the slope, memorably rocketing through the in-form Jonny Bairstow's defences, while Jansen used the pavilion end to do exactly the same.

"While England's pressure approach does present the opportunity to take wickets, ever since I've started playing Test cricket it's been the same story," said Rabada.

"You play against top quality batters and top quality batters try to put whoever they're facing under pressure. It's nothing new really. 

"That's why it's Test cricket. You have top bowlers bowling at top batters, each of them trying to impose themselves on each other. That's what makes it a spectacle."

Play will start 30 minutes earlier for the next four days at 11:30.             


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