Proteas batter Temba Bavuma: ‘The first session is going to be super key’

Temba Bavuma of the Proteas goes to his 50 on day 3 of the first Test against India at SuperSport Park in Centurion on December 28 2021.
Temba Bavuma of the Proteas goes to his 50 on day 3 of the first Test against India at SuperSport Park in Centurion on December 28 2021.
Image: Lee Warren/Gallo Images

Proteas batter Temba Bavuma says they will have to be clinical in the first session of day 4 on Wednesday to deny India running away with the Boxing Day Test.

India reached stumps on day 3, when 18 wickets fell on Tuesday, on 16/1 in their second innings, and a solid lead of 146 runs that gives them the upper hand going into the last two days.

The visitors lost the wicket of Mayank Agarwal for four when he was caught by Quinton de Kock from the bowling of debutant Marco Jansen during the late stages of the third session.

They will resume with opener KL Rahul on five and Shardul Thakur on four and look to lay a solid foundation for possible victory that will give them a 1-0 lead in the three match series.

At the end of day 3, Bavuma — who top-scored for the Proteas in the first innings with 52 off 103 — said SA have to show intensity with ball in hand on Wednesday morning.

“What has happened has happened in terms of the batting and the bowling,” he said.

On Tuesday morning Lungi Ngidi and Kagiso Rabada bowled exceptionally well upfront as SA claimed seven Indian wickets in 55 balls and in less than an hour to restrict the tourists to 327 before the Proteas’ batting collapse saw them out for 197.

Bavuma is expecting more of the same from SA’s bowlers.

“Obviously coming in tomorrow with the ball, the first session is going to be super key and we are going to require the intensity we brought on Tuesday,” he said.

“Hopefully there is a reachable target to chase down. If you can’t chase it down as batters we are going to have to knuckle down and make it hard for the Indian bowlers.”

The one thing we want to cut out from our first innings is soft dismissals, but if the guy is bowling good balls and getting guys out then credit to him.
Temba Bavuma

The destroyer in chief for India with ball in hand was their veteran fast bowler Mohammed Shami, who returned with a five wicket haul, and Bavuma said SA expected a tough encounter with him.

“He is a world-class bowler and we have seen him do this around the world. I don’t think it is something we didn’t expect. As batters we have to front up and we have to back our defence as much as we can.”

“If he bowls a good ball, kudos to him. The one thing we want to cut out from our first innings is soft dismissals, but if the guy is bowling good balls and getting guys out then credit to him.”

Bavuma said the pitch has become more difficult to bat on.

“On the first day the wicket was more on the slower side. There was still a lot more grass on the wicket and the movement on the wicket wasn’t exaggerated.

“On Tuesday, when the wicket had a bit of the sun, the movement was a bit challenging for the batters but credit to the Indian bowlers led by Mohammed Shami.

“They were able to exploit all of that and in their first innings they batted well, with one guy [Rahul with 123] getting a big score to put them in a commanding position.”


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