Pandey puts India A in control
Ishwar Pandey and Simon Harmer (Gallo Images)
Rustenburg - Debutant Ishwar Pandey’s performance with the ball has given India A firm control of the first unofficial Test against South Africa A at Olympia Park in Rustenburg on Monday.
Pandey’s new-ball spell late on Day three left SA A in trouble on 312 for nine at stumps in response to India A’s first innings total of 582 for nine declared.
SA A’s batsmen were guilty of not consolidating their starts, with Rilee Rossouw
(57), Justin Ontong
(47) and Thami Tsolekile
(47) failing to push on. JP Duminy
looked confident and solid before he was caught behind for 84 in the last over of the day.
The left-hander batted with steady judgment and temperament for his 222-ball innings, and featured in two 50-run partnerships with Ontong and Tsolekile.
Rossouw admitted the batsmen were disappointed at their failure to convert their starts into big scores.
"If you look at the way India batted, most of their batsmen went on to score big which helped them to their total," he said.
"We would have wanted to get close but we haven’t managed to do that."
"It (the wicket) was a bit difficult to play on, to be honest i didn’t really know what to expect," he continued.
"As a team we said we wants to look to play as straight as possible and if it was short and wide we would attack."
The roles of India A’s bowlers balanced out well, with all of them making important contributions.
Pandey finished as the highest wicket-taker with four for 40, with Suresh Raina the next best with two for 33.
India A coach Lalchand Rajput gave no indication of whether or not they would enforce the follow-on, but rather praised the team effort from his bowlers.
"It’s pleasing that we got them to nine wickets down today,"he said.
"It would be even better if they were all out today but Duminy played an excellent innings.
"The bowlers bowled well; they stuck to their tasks, especially on this wicket where the length ball is ideal.
"Pandey made his debut for India A in this match and has bowled exceptionally well. Unadkat and Shami gave him good support," he remarked.
"When you come to South Africa you always expect bouncy wickets.
"It was helpful on the first two days but we expected it to play this way on the third day."