The Proteas could face a frustrating morning on day four as Cameron Bancroft confirmed that Australia will bat until they are all out.
Day three was an even day of cricket, but Australia came out with the advantage: a 402-run lead.
The Proteas battled to restrict Australia, taking nine wickets for 213 runs, before bad light stopped play.
The question was whether Steve Smith would declare before a ball was bowled on day four, or frustrate the Proteas by batting out a few overs in the morning.
Australia opener Bancroft, who scored 53, was confident his side would bat until all 10 wickets had fallen.
‘There are still two days to go. I think the thing they would probably like the most is if we rocked up tomorrow to bowl. There’s plenty of time left in the game,’ said Bancroft.
‘I’m pretty confident that we will keep batting. When that partnership ends, we will come out and work hard to take 10 wickets.’
The Proteas batsmen have a mighty task to conquer, especially after being bundled out for 162 in their first innings.
Assistant coach Malibongwe Maketa broke down the issues they must improve to win the game.
‘We didn’t bat as well as we would have liked. If we’re truly honest, with the bowling in the first innings, we gave away too many boundaries which affected why we’re so far behind.
‘We needed to bat better to get closer to their score, but it wasn’t to be,’ said Maketa.
‘A few guys came in having not hit enough. But they have played a lot of cricket and know what is required to do well at this level. We have faith that we can still play a factor in this game.
‘We showed a lot of fight to get Australia in the position they are in,’ he continued. ‘We needed to show fight with the ball. We showed a lot of improvement from our performance in the first innings. From that, we take a lot of positives to try to win the game.’
Even if the Proteas knock over Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins early on, they will have to achieve the highest run chase ever at Kingsmead.
They suffered a slight scare after Dean Elgar dislocated his finger while taking an incredible catch to dismiss Mitchell Starc, but Maketa and CSA confirmed that Elgar will be fit to bat.
‘Dean is a tough cookie, he made sure that he wanted to go out there and field, and made sure he was ready to go back and bat. There’s no concern for him, a dislocated finger, but he is one tough nut and is prepared to go and bat tomorrow [Sunday].’
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