Hashim Amla says South Africa’s batsmen didn’t apply themselves well enough in chasing 218 and were guilty of ‘soft’ dismissals.
India won the first Test in Mohali by 108 runs after bowling South Africa out for 109 having set them a target of 218.
‘I think 200 was a gettable total, but 150 would have been more realistic,’ Amla said after the game.
‘There was a few soft dismissals during the chase, but credit to India, they played good cricket.’
A few Proteas batsmen lost their wicket without offering a shot. Amla was one of them, the captain leaving a delivery which went on to crash into his stumps. He misjudged the ball completely, expecting it to turn which it didn’t.
‘I surprised myself with my dismissal,’ he said. ‘I think it was a bit of a brain freeze really. We were in the game until we lost our fourth or fifth wicket and put pressure on the lower order. Stiaan [Van Zyl] applied himself well and he showed you can get runs if you just hang in there.
‘Batting first would have been a tad easier, but getting India out for 200 was an excellent effort from our bowlers. We kept ourselves in the game right until the last session and credit to India; they bowled really well to get us out.’
Virat Kohli celebrated his first victory as Test captain on Indian soil and was relieved to start the series on a winning note.
‘This win was very important for us, especially after how things went in the last month,’ Kohli said.
‘I was pretty confident that our bowlers could defend 218, but at the same time you are wary of their strengths, they have quality batsmen in the side. We thought if we were finding it tough on this wicket, the opposition will find it tough as well.
‘There were soft dismissals throughout the match from both teams. There were no demons in the pitch, the batsmen had to apply themselves better. It was more of a bowlers game.’