AB de Villiers says the Proteas can turn their 189-run deficit around to take the upper hand against Australia.
Australia ripped through the Proteas’ lineup. Mitchell Starc headlined the bowling attack, ending with figures of 5-34. But it’s difficult to outrightly say that it was all Australia’s doing as the Proteas wilted under the pressure once again.
ALSO READ: Starc makes light work of SA
Prior to the series, the tail end was discussed in depth and Australia’s bottom order was far superior to South Africa’s. In fact, Australia’s tail scored 52 runs, 13 runs more than the Proteas’ top three combined.
De Villiers played a lone-wolf innings of 71 not out to keep South Africa’s hopes alive, but it wasn’t enough as they limped to 162 all out.
Despite having a deficit of 189 runs, De Villiers was confident the Proteas could spark a comeback.
‘That’s sport for you. We are not that far off. But the deficit looks very bad. The wicket is getting harder by the day and that’s a bit of a problem. It won’t be easy for them to bat tomorrow.
‘It’s up to us to have the right game plans in place, with some good intensity and aggression we can really pull off something special. We still have that belief, there’s no doubt about it.
‘We’ve done it to this team before, a few times. So we’re in a bad position yes, but we not out of it.’
De Villiers refused to make any excuses for the Proteas’ poor batting performances.
‘It was a good enough surface to stick around there. If you had your game plans in place you could play. It was an even better surface out there yesterday [Thursday], but that isn’t an excuse.
‘It was definitely a good batting surface out there today to get good partnerships going, which we didn’t. The wicket is going to get harder over the next tw0, three days. We will have our work cut out for us tomorrow, but I still believe we can turn this around.’
Photo: Lee Warren/Gallo Images