Cape Town - The Proteas will need to have serious introspection after a disappointing performance with the bat on the second day of the fourth Test against India at the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium in Delhi.
The batsmen folded to 121 all out, and continued with the trend of listless batting performances on the tour.
Disappointed Proteas coach, Russell Domingo, was at a loss for words in his analysis of the embarrassing collapse, but discounted the proverbial ‘one foot on the plane’ attitude, which can creep in after more than two months on the road.
“There’s no dead rubber when you play international cricket,” he said at stumps on Friday. “The players were all keen to play good cricket, which we haven’t done in the last few weeks. It has been a long tour, but that is no excuse. There is a lot of pride in that change-room, and a lot of hurt players after that performance that we put up today.
“The talk leading into this match from our team was all very good,” he added. “It was about how important every Test is and playing for South Africa, we knew we had to play as well as we can, we wanted to finish the series well. Whether it was subconsciously one foot on the plane, I can’t comment on that, I thought our preparation was as good as it has been for every other Test match. We’ve just been outplayed here over two days, that’s the bottom line, sometimes you have to give credit to the opposition.
“It’s obviously very disappointing, we didn’t bat very well this afternoon, we have a lot of thinking to do. It just wasn’t good enough as a performance.”
Domingo highlighted the fight from India’s batsmen to push on for a score of 334 after they were pegged down for 139 for six as the difference. The batsmen were once again found out by India’s spinners on an improved batting surface, and nullified the work put in by the bowlers led by Kyle Abbott who took five for 40.
“There were a few dismissals that could be deemed as a bit soft, but a good few were from very good bowling, if you think of Dane Vilas’ dismissal and Temba Bavuma. So it is a bit of both, and we have to give credit to India’s spinners because they have bowled well throughout the series, but we also have to take responsibility for some very soft dismissals.
“They (India) have managed to bat better at the back end of the innings, in pressure situations, than us,” he explained. “Once we’ve been under pressure, we’ve fallen away badly, and they haven’t. Their lower order and their middle order have fought back, and have managed to give them good scores, we haven’t been able to do that.”
India have not enforced the follow-on and will begin their second innings on Saturday morning.