Cape Town - Proteas opener,
Temba Bavuma, believes the batsmen have the resolve and temperament to save the
fourth Freedom Test match against India at the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium on
The Proteas will have to withstand at least 90 overs on the final day
with eight wickets in hand, but will hold on to the belief after Hashim Amla
(23 off 207 balls) and AB de Villiers (11 off 91 balls) absorbed the
pressure to see out stumps on day four.
“It’s a tough ask, asking
guys to bat 90 overs,” the 25-year-old said honestly. “It will be day five, so
we expect the wicket to deteriorate even
more. But we have the experience, we have the skills, so definitely whatever
happens, we will go down fighting. You see Hash (Amla) there, he’s laid down
his mark. AB (De Villiers) is also still there, we still have Faf (Du Plessis),
JP Duminy and Dane Vilas, so we will definitely carry on the spirit and
try our best to salvage a draw out of this game.”
Most of the remaining batsmen
are all familiar with the patience and attrition required for a match-saving
‘blockathon’, and will need to curb their natural attacking instincts to pull
off what would go down as one of the most famous heists in South Africa’s
history. “Maybe it was something they
(India) weren’t expecting,” he said of the team strategy. “We did sit down as a
batting unit before the second innings and came up with the best way forward.
We spoke about how we are going to try and tackle the challenge going forward.
Bavuma, who is opening for the first time in his 80-match first-class career,
was at the crease for 43 overs for his 117-ball 34, and along with his
encouraging 22 in the first innings, has shown potential qualities to make the
opening slot his own.
“I am keen to do more of the
opening job,” he said when asked about the role going forward. “I always pride
myself as a team player, so wherever the opportunity is, or wherever the team
needs me to fulfil a role, I will do it. So if I am asked to bat number seven,
or I am asked to open, I will do that as well.
“To be honest, that was the
toughest piece of batting I’ve ever had to do in my life,” he admitted. “I
always try to be positive, always look to score runs. I was put in a situation
where scoring runs wasn’t the priority, but the amount of time you batted out
there was the key thing. I can take out a lot of positives from my batting
experience, and hopefully I can grow from that.”