Cape Town - The Proteas will
not be short of inspiration as they approach the 278 runs needed for victory in
the third Test against India at the Vidarbha Cricket Association (VCA) Stadium
Although the prospects look bleak from the outside, Proteas coach,
Russell Domingo, says there is belief and determination within the squad to
accomplish what no touring side has done.
It’s exactly three years to
the day that Faf du Plessis’ courageous century on debut earned South Africa a
thrilling draw against Australia in Adelaide, and who can forget the valiant
effort by Du Plessis and AB de Villiers at the Bidvest Wanderers to get the
team within a sniff of victory against India after defeat had seemed certain.
Both batsmen are still to bat, and although conditions are extreme, motivation
and hunger can go a long way.
“We have to believe that we
can do it,” Domingo said at stumps on Thursday. “ We know that we have the
players capable of pulling off what would definitely go down as one of the
greatest chases in the game so we have to have that belief. Some strange things have happened in this game before. We
are obviously a long way behind this game at the moment, but we are not
discounting ourselves just yet.”
Domingo insists that the only
way for the batsmen to approach the mammoth task ahead is to play with positive
intent. Some of the batsmen were dismissed while taking the initiative in the
first innings but more of the same approach will be needed if they are to
relieve the pressure created by R Ashwin and Co.
“It was part of it (the
plan), but I think it has been shown that if you just sit there and look to
absorb without trying to score, you will get a ball that will get you out,” he
said. “So the plan was not to play loosely, but look to score. We
want to be positive in our defence and positive when we are attacking. It
didn’t work this morning, unfortunately, but the guys who have got runs have
looked to score. We are going to look to score tomorrow, because there is no
way that we will block out for three days.”
Although the conditions and the poor
batting took the spotlight, Domingo was full of praise for the bowlers, who
dismissed India for 173.
“Imran Tahir bowled really
well today, and Morne Morkel has been outstanding, those are the two standout