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Rediff.com  » Cricket » Reasons why South Africa batsmen crumbled against spin on Day 1

Reasons why South Africa batsmen crumbled against spin on Day 1

November 14, 2015 19:24 IST

South Africa's coach Russell Domingo lists reasons for South Africa's batting collapse on Day 1 of the second Test against India in Bangalore on Saturday. Harish Kotian/Rediff.com listens in...

South Africa’s captain Hashim Amla is bowled by India’s Varun Aaron

IMAGE: South Africa’s captain Hashim Amla is bowled by India’s Varun Aaron. Photograph: BCCI

For the third straight time in the series, South Africa’s batsmen flopped against Indian spinners.

After being bundled out for 184 and 109 in the two innings of the Mohali Test, the Proteas once again fared poorly with the bat.

Even though India captain Virat Kohli made a surprise decision to bowl first, South Africa could not capitalise on the advantage of batting first and were bundled out for 214 with spinners Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja picking up four wickets each.

Coach Russell Domingo was at a loss for words to explain the poor showing of his batsmen as they came undone on a good wicket on Day 1 of the second Test against India in Bangalore, on Saturday.

“We are very happy batting this morning. But we just didn’t play well enough,” Domingo said after the first day’s play.

“Far too many soft dismissals,” he stated.

“Against quality bowling like India you have go to limit the freebies.”

India's Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja return to the pavilion after the end of the South Africa's firdy innings on Saturday

IMAGE: India's Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja return to the pavilion after the end of the South Africa's firdy innings on Saturday. Photograph: Shailendra Bhojak/PTI

The visitors were unable to string together decent partnerships with their best stand being the 42 for the fifth wicket between AB de Villiers and JP Duminy.

It was Ashwin, who started the rot, claiming two wickets in his first over, and wickets kept tumbling at regular intervals thereafter.

It was only because of De Villiers that South Africa went past the 200-run mark. The right-hander, who was appearing in his 100th Test match, stroked a fluent 85 off 105 balls with 11 fours and a six before he was eventually dismissed off the last ball of the post-lunch session.

Domingo conceded that South Africa’s batsmen need to come up with a plan on how to tackle Ashwin, who has claimed 12 wickets in three innings of the series so far.

“It is not playing in our mind. He is a quality bowler. We have got to find a way. We have got lot of work to do.”

The Proteas coach seemed a bit confused when asked about their approach against left-arm spinner Jadeja, who once again tormented the visitors with figures of four for 50.

India's Cheteshwar Pujara completes a catch to dismiss South Africa's Faf Du Plesis

IMAGE: India's Cheteshwar Pujara completes a catch to dismiss South Africa's Faf Du Plesis. Photograph: Shailendra Bhojak/PTI

"There were no conscious plans to attack him. You can’t just sit in your crease always. You got to look to score. At times we don’t get the right shots and we get out. When we do attack, we are questioned if it is conscious but when we try and block the balls we are again asked why we took the defensive approach. So there is a thin line between the two and today we couldn’t execute few of our shots,” he said.

He also conceded that the batting failure was caused due to the fact that a majority of the players in the South African side lack experience of playing in Indian conditions.

“There is no need to panic. We have come with a fresh side. Amla, Duminy and AB have batted before in India before. Four of our top seven batsmen haven’t played a Test in India before,” he added.

For South Africa, the only hope of coming back in the contest would be a few quick wickets on Day 2 and Domingo is looking to his fast bowlers to stand up and be counted.

“The first session at this ground historically gets rewards. There is odd bounce available for the seamers. We want to try and make some early inroads. We are long way behind in the game at the moment. But a good first session will get back us in the game,” he said. 

Harish Kotian / Rediff.com in Bengaluru