• ‘De Villiers’ wicket was crucial’

    What Graeme Smith and Michael Holding had to say on SuperSport about the second day’s play between South Africa and England at Kingsmead.

    South Africa were 137-4 and trail England by 166 runs at stumps on day two.

    On Morne Morkel’s performance
    Smith: ‘Morne was the guy that stepped up for South Africa. They did what they needed to do. They got England into trouble. Morkel, into the wind, bowled superbly well. He was the first bowler with the new ball who showed the intent that was needed on this type of surface. He used his short ball well and effectively and then followed it up with a beautiful length and created the chances that got South Africa into a good position.’
    Holding: ‘I’m happy to see Morkel bowl as well as he has bowled. You could see he was thinking about what he was doing and he bowled beautifully. That is what you want to see Morkel do on a regular basis.’

    Getting to 300
    Smith: ‘For South Africa to get to that 300-mark it’s going to take them a period of time. Run-scoring hasn’t come at a premium. You thought with the partnership between Dean Elgar and AB de Villiers that South Africa might be in here, but Stuart Broad bowled superbly to get De Villiers out. With a middle order lacking confidence and experience, England will definitely fancy their chances.’

    On De Villiers’ wicket
    Holding: ‘He could have taken the game away from England quite easily if he had batted a long time. He’ll get runs irrespective of how difficult the bowling seems to other people. That was a big wicket for England and a fantastic delivery from Stuart Broad. After that it took another 12 or 13 overs for another boundary to be hit, that had such a big impact on the day’s play. If De Villiers was still there, South Africa would have been heading towards 200 and thinking things are easy.’

    On Dean Elgar’s role
    Smith: ‘He started like a man who’s just lacking a bit of confidence, but he got better as the day went on. South Africa will be hoping he can anchor the innings as the game goes on, play at his tempo and his strengths. They won’t want him to play like AB de Villiers. It’s about having six different batters in your line-up that can play their own way. They will hope he goes on and gets a big score in the fashion that Dean Elgar bats.’

    On the middle order
    Smith: ‘I think the key to it all is owning up. They have had a difficult time. No-one is doubting the fact that they might be lacking a bit of confidence, but they are quality players and they need to find that mental space where they can go out there and perform. Dean Elgar had a rough time, he has come out and made it right.’

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