Johannesburg - The Proteas have the fight and belief to
see out a draw in the current Test against India at the Wanderers.
Assistant coach, Adrian Birrell, says the
batsmen reflected on past experiences before the start of the fourth innings,
and will be taking it session-by-session as they look to bat out the remaining
90 overs on the fifth day.
had a bit of a talk before we started batting and we drew on past
experiences," Birrell said at the end of the day’s play.
"We believe that you learn belief
through your experiences and our experiences have been good in the past. We
have shown the resilience of batting through the whole day before and that is
what we are drawing on to approach this innings.
"The first hour will be important
because it will give us the foundation to fight for the rest of the day,"
he added. "In a game like this every session is a match in itself. Every
session will determine how we do in the following session and give us the
confidence to continue fighting."
The first priority for the Proteas is to
play for a draw, but they haven’t ruled out the possibility of chasing down the
highest fourth innings total for victory if the opportunity presents itself.
"At the moment we're thinking of the
draw," Birrell said when asked about going for the win. "But you
never know with the likes of AB de Villiers still to come and the other
remarkable players in our change room. We won’t make the call now, it’s too far
ahead to think. If we bat the full day and we bat at the rate that we normally
bat, we won’t be far off from the win after 90 overs."
partnership between Alviro Petersen (76) and Faf du Plessiss (10) has steadied
the chase following the soft dismissals of Graeme Smith (44) and Hashim Amla
(4). Du Plessis has the experience of gritting it out under pressure following
his hundred on debut against Australia in Adelaide, and Petersen a point to
prove following a lean patch with the bat.
"Alviro has played fantastically well
today, he is well placed for a big score," said Birrell. "They are
both there and we have full confidence that they can bat a long time tomorrow
and lay the foundation to fight for the day. They are both fighters, they are
not going to give it away, it’s a great opportunity for them to play a
meaningful and long innings."