Town - Proteas coach Ottis
Gibson wants to see his batsmen playing positively, even
on wickets where they are up against it.
On a green Newlands wicket where
40 wickets fell in nine sessions, it was tough going for the batters from
beginning to end.
South Africa, having won the
toss, opted to bat first and they soon found themselves 12/3.
Yet, after an AB de Villiers and
Faf du Plessis-inspired recovery, they somehow got to 286. In the context of
the game, that number was more than enough as the Proteas emerged as 72-run
What was striking about that
first innings, though, was the run rate.
For most of the innings the
Proteas were going at well above 4 to the over and at one stage got up to
De Villiers' 65 came off 84
balls, Quinton de Kock's 43 off 40 and Keshav Maharaj's 35 off 47, and for the
most part the South Africans were looking to score even when they were in
It is a mindset that Gibson
encourages, especially on wickets where there is a lot happening for the
"If you think on a wicket
like this as a batsman that there is always a ball with your name on it, then
the simple approach is to make sure you get your runs before that ball gets
you," Gibson explained.
"Try and play positively. In
the first innings we lost wickets but we still scored positively and we got
bowled out for 280.
"The pitches will lend
themselves to pace and seam movement and batsmen have to adapt accordingly, but
ultimately batsmen have to score runs while they’re there.
"If you bat for 15 overs and
score no runs and then you get out, you haven’t really moved the game forward.
The message that I’ve been giving to the guys out in the middle is to try as
best they can to get runs before that ball gets you."
When asked if he considered
himself an "adventurous" coach because of his outlook on the game,
Gibson was not so sure.
"I wouldn’t say I’m
adventurous, but certainly positive," he said.
"I encourage the guys all
the time to take the positive option, whatever that is. Batsmen are there to
score runs and bowlers are there to take wickets.
"When you get out into the
middle there is pressure on you to make an impact on the game and you feel your
best approach is to be positive, then that’s how you must play."
The second Test will start at
Centurion on Saturday.