Benkenstein hails 'genius' De Villiers

2018-01-05 19:19
AB de Villiers (Gallo)

Cape Town - With South Africa at 12/3 on the opening morning of the first Test against India at Newlands on Friday, Proteas batting coach Dale Benkenstein would have had better days. 

READ: Proteas fight back as seamers rock India

A superb spell of fast bowling from India's Bhuvneshwar Kumar had rattled South Africa after Faf du Plessis had won the toss and elected to bat, and Benkenstein joked after the day's play that he had thought about sneaking out of the ground and heading back to his hotel. 

"Luckily our phones get taken away otherwise I would have been looking for an Uber back to the hotel," Benkenstein said.

"They are a quality bowling attack and at that stage I was sitting there wondering how we were going to get a run."

But, thanks to half-centuries from AB de Villiers (65) and Du Plessis (62), they did. 

The pair put on 114 for the fourth-wicket to steady the ship, and the Proteas recovered to 286 all out. 

The conditions, throughout the day, made batting extremely difficult and in total 13 wickets fell. 

But, for a period, it looked like De Villiers and Du Plessis were on their way to big knocks.

For Benkenstein, one over changed the game when De Villiers hit Kumar, who was in his fifth over with his tail up, for four boundaries to take him for 17 runs. 

"I just think the class and genius of AB de Villiers and the tenacity of the captain … that partnership and even just one over changed the game," Benkenstein said.

"He (De Villiers) made the bowlers have to worry about their lengths and that partnership of 100 runs got us back in the game and belief back in the changeroom."

Benkenstein, who added that he doesn't try and coach De Villiers on how to bat, added that the side was happy with where they were in the Test match. 

India will resume their innings on 28/3 on Saturday, still 258 runs behind. 

"It was quite an intense day but we’re very happy," he said.

"The guys fought hard in very tough conditions."

Read more on:    proteas  |  ab de villiers  |  cape town  |  cricket

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