Wiaan Mulder says the Proteas bowlers will have to do a quick job at the start of day two to give their batsmen a chance of posting a big first-innings score.
The South African attack came under fire during the opening day of the first Test at SuperSport Park on Saturday that saw Sri Lanka race to 340-6 at stumps in what proved to be a sub-par bowling performance by the inexperienced Proteas bowlers.
Mulder, though, was the pick of the bowlers on the day with 3-68 in 18 overs in Centurion in what is only his second Test match for the Proteas.
Speaking at the end of the day, the 22-year-old admitted that a lot of hard work lays ahead for the bowlers.
‘It was awesome, my second Test match in 18 months. I don’t think the guys are happy with the performance out there today, I think we are quite a young team. Tomorrow [Sunday] is a massive day for us in this Test match and we have to come back fighting,’ he said.
The Proteas bowlers struggled to hit a consistent line and length throughout the first day’s play with a couple of good deliveries narrowly missing the edge of the Sri Lankans’ bat.
Mulder was bit more consistent in his performance and got the ball to move around at certain stages after the visitors made it clear from the start that they weren’t afraid of playing some shots.
‘There was a lot in the wicket upfront. We bowled a little bit short and the chat was to hit top of off stump so we simply just didn’t execute and gave them a couple of freebies and they got a way from us. It’ll pretty much be a similar thing tomorrow, we have to finish it off as soon as we can and go and post a big total.
‘We got a little bit more aggressive as the day went, a couple of short balls, especially with the in batters but the plan was always to hit top of off stumps. There was enough in the wicket, we didn’t have to do anything special but tomorrow we will come back fighting,’ Mulder added.
Speaking about his own performance, Mulder was extremely happy to be back in the national frame and pretty satisfied with his shift on the opening day where he appeared to be in a good physical condition as is required from Test level.
‘The body is good. It hasn’t felt this good in quite a long time, especially after 18 overs in the day so I am really chuffed and it just shows that the hard work has been paying off eventually.’