What Shaun Pollock and Michael Holding had to say after the fourth day’s play between South Africa and England at Kingsmead.
South Africa were 136-4 in pursuit of 416 at stumps on day four at Kingsmead.
On the state of the match
Pollock: ‘At tea time, I had a little bit of hope for South Africa. Stiaan van Zyl and Dean Elgar got going and they were 50 without loss. You thought, ”I know it’s a long way to go. but if they carry on in this vein they might have a chance”. But now they are four down. I know AB de Villiers is still there, but you would think that the writing is on the wall.’
Holding: ‘When AB de Villiers is at the crease, you can never give up. I don’t think South Africa should ever think it’s all over. With AB at the crease; he could go out there and score a big century on the last day with a few other batsmen getting fifties, and that is pretty much the game won. It’s not over.’
On picking an specialist wicketkeeper
Holding: ‘I am biased because I used to be a fast bowler. Every time I hit the edge of the bat I wanted someone behind the stumps very competent to take the catch. Catches will get dropped. No-one will go through their entire career and not drop a catch. But you want to make sure the best possible person does that job.
‘In the modern game you want a wicketkeeper who can also score runs and not just keep wicket.
‘If you are going to have someone that’s going to be able to provide a lot of runs with the bat, but he’s going to drop catches and miss stumpings on a regular basis, I see that as being counter-productive. If he’s going to do a good job with the gloves as well, fine, but if he is going to cost you matches, it’s counter-productive.’
Pollock: ‘I hear where Mikey is coming from. It has been the modern way to go with someone who can contribute runs. But in the end of the day, to win a Test match it’s all about 20 wickets. If you give players like Hashim Amla and AB de Villiers a second chance, it could cost you a game so you have to make sure a specialist is filling that role.’