Kirsten happy with Proteas
Johannesburg - Proteas coach Gary Kirsten would be hesitant to criticise his charges after losing the second Test on Monday to Australia after twice being in a commanding position.
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Australia bounced back to win the second Test by a slender two wickets and level the series 1-1 after a dismal showing at Newlands two weeks ago.
"It was one of those series where both sides let it slip and then pulled it back brilliantly," said Kirsten, who took over as coach in August.
"There were times when we could have kept up our concentration levels for longer periods and capitalised on a really good position, but the Aussies had situations like that as well."
With both sides constantly trying to gain an advantage, Kirsten said it made for a great series and a very competitive one.
"I’m generally happy with the way things went," he said.
"They gave 100 percent and, from a coaching perspective, that’s all I ever ask for and I think it was a fantastic Test series."
Two South Africans, Vernon Philander and Imran Tahir, made their Test debuts in the series while Jacques Rudolph made a welcome return to Test cricket after an absence of five years.
Philander was particularly impressive, taking a five-wicket haul in each of the two Tests.
His five for 15 in Australia’s bizarre 46-all-out innings at Newlands was matched by his five for 70 at the Wanderers on Monday.
"Vernon has been the standout bowler," Kirsten said.
"He has served his time at first-class level and he has come in and delivered the goods."