Cape Town - The Proteas’ attack has developed a complementary synergy in the ongoing second Test match against New Zealand at SuperSport Park in Centurion.
New Zealand’s first innings collapse of 214 all out was led by an all-round contribution from the pace attack, which has gelled into a formidable unit, largely due to their contrasting skills sets.
Premier fast bowler, Dale Steyn, says he’s thrilled with the performance from the bowlers on a day where 13 wickets fell, and expects the fourth valuable prong to the attack, off-spinner Dane Piedt, to be the last piece of the puzzle in the important fourth innings.
“Vernon is a phenomenal bowler,” he said of Philander. “He keeps it so tight, he is really good. It is probably something that we lacked when we played against England, he is the kind of bowler that doesn’t give you anything, he goes nowhere. To be able to bowl with him always feels free, you feel like you can run in and do what you want to do because you know at the other end he is going to tick over at two runs an over to be safe, and he can still knock guys over when he hits the cracks, he is so skilled.
“Then you have KG (Rabada) who is bowling at 150 kmph, he is hitting the deck and he is getting wickets at a phenomenal strike rate. It’s a great partnership at the moment between the three quicks. The key is to find the opportunity where the three quicks can operate at their best all of the time, the spinner will have to come into play in the fourth innings. We saw a little bit of turn and bounce for Dane so hopefully in the fourth innings there will be a lot more on offer for him.”
Steyn explained the decision not to enforce the follow-on, saying they would rather wait to be in a position that will give the team the best opportunity to win the match with two days still to play.
“We have three seamers, we will probably do the bulk of the bowling so it was probably a good idea to give the guys’ legs, even if it’s just the evening, a little bit of a rest and then go again,” said.
"There are two days left in the game,” he explained. “If we can bat until lunch time, who knows? We will give ourselves enough time to bowl them out but we will sit and chat about that after the day’s play. The longer we hang out there, the longer the sun bakes on the wicket and the wider the cracks get, its going to be more difficult to bat, that’s the plan. The deeper this Test match goes it will get more and more difficult.”