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Ken Borland

Same game-plan executed even better for Proteas despite India’s admission they were too good for them in 2nd Test

Posted on February 07, 2022 by Ken

South Africa were too good for India in the second Test at the Wanderers, even the tourists’ coach Rahul Dravid making that admission, but the Proteas know they will need to execute a similar game-plan even better at Newlands, where the third and decisive Test starts on Tuesday.

South Africa won a thrilling second Test by seven wickets, chasing down a daunting target of 240.

“We weren’t complacent at any stage, the players were very switched on and right until the last day, we were winning the game. But South Africa played better than us on the last day,” Dravid admitted.

“We know South Africa are a very good side in their home conditions, even though the rankings might tell something else. It was always going to be a very tough series, but we have no excuses.

“We were outplayed in this Test and South Africa fully deserved the win,” Dravid said.

Proteas captain Dean Elgar, the hero of the victory with his epic 96 not out in the final innings, was already looking forward to taking their momentum to Cape Town.

“This was a massive positive move, a step in the right direction,” Elgar said. “It was a confidence-booster for a lot of players, but there are still going to be a lot of challenges in the next Test.

“We were pushed to different boundaries and the guys came up with some massive plans in tough conditions. We are emphasising the basics and we focused on the areas that weren’t good enough.

“We will have the same kind of plan for Cape Town, our game-plan is not going to change much,” Elgar said.

Dravid did mention the injury to paceman Mohammad Siraj, who strained his hamstring on the first evening, and having to bowl with a damp ball in the final session after it had rained for much of the fourth day, as also playing a role in their first defeat in six matches at the Wanderers.

“Losing Siraj and him not being 100% fit right through set us back a bit. We weren’t able to use the fifth bowler as much as we would have liked.

“And then the outfield was wet which made the ball wet. We rely a lot on swing bowling, but the seam just got wet and softer. But the South African batsmen played really well and cashed in on their opportunities.

“We kiss the pitch more, we pitch the ball up and look for swing. But the Proteas have a slight natural height advantage and that extra height on an up-and-down pitch made a little bit of difference.

“We saw quite a few balls spit up and hit the gloves, the pitch seemed to misbehave a bit more for them,” Dravid said.

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