Rassie van der Dussen says the Proteas batsmen were disappointed with their effort in the middle during first Test match against Pakistan.
The South Africans suffered major collapses in both innings, which handed the hosts the advantage to seal a comfortable victory in Karachi.
Despite winning the toss and batting first on a good deck, the Proteas batters were responsible for a number careless dismissals, including two run-outs, one of which Van der Dussen caused.
The right-hander told reporters on Monday that the team’s batting performance was nowhere near good enough, despite having prepared really well for the conditions of the opening match.
‘We weren’t good enough, not even close,’ he said.
‘It is disappointing, because we had really good preparation coming into that match. The preparation we had was actually spot on. We prepared in pretty bad conditions and that’s, to an extent, what we got.
‘We definitely had the right gameplan and it was the execution that was lacking. It is our responsibility, we can’t run away from it. A few of us got in and got starts, on a good wicket – batting first, you need to put pressure on the other team, especially on a pitch that’s playing well.’
Van der Dussen batted bravely alongside Aiden Markram in the second innings but another batting collapse ensued. The Proteas stumbled from 175-1 to 245 all out, setting Pakistan the small target of 88 for victory.
‘We knew we needed 350 at least. If we could bat the whole day we could’ve gotten close to 400, then it’s a whole different game. So, we were quite disappointed in that. It’s everyone’s first time in Pakistan, some of our guys’ first time in the sub-continent, so sometimes it is valuable to go out there and experience how it is.’
The right-hander added that it is difficult to identify a specific reason why the Proteas batting unit has struggled recently or why a number of them threw their wickets away at critical stages of the first match.
According to Van der Dussen, it is important that they avoid another poor batting showing when the second Test gets under way on Thursday.
‘It goes down to the fundamentals of building an innings and getting in to give yourself the best chance for those first 20 or 30 balls. The last game was highlighted by the fact that the spinners were bowling really well and the scoring rate does go down as the ball gets older.
‘It’s difficult to pin-point. There were a few aspects of our batting that we weren’t happy with and we can improve a whole lot on. It’s a bit of a conglomerate of circumstances. You need to give yourself the best of chance to play a long innings,’ he said.