Dean Elgar believes the Centurion pitch will help South Africa’s bowlers to beat India on Wednesday and take an unassailable 2-0 series lead.
India were 35-3 at stumps on Tuesday, still needing another 252 runs to claim an unlikely victory.
A final-session surge from the Proteas’ seam attack saw Lungi Ngidi pick up two wickets, including the scalp of Virat Kohli, after Kagiso Rabada’s early strike sent Murali Vijay’s leg stump flying.
India struggled to cope with South Africa’s aggressive approach.
‘It was a good day for us, especially after the way our bowlers put their hands up,’ said Elgar. ‘They have been doing that a lot for the past year.
‘Irrespective of whether it’s a new guy or the old seasoned campaigners, we seem to be hitting the mark a lot quicker than we used to in the past.
’It was a massive day today for us and I think it will prove to be a very good day tomorrow.’
Elgar backed the Proteas’ bowling unit to finish the job on Wednesday.
‘We need to get seven wickets. We don’t really care how we get them, we just need to execute our processes.
‘I think the wicket is going to play into our hands nicely with regards to our seamers and [spinner] Keshav [Maharaj] coming in on what is proving to be quite a good spinning wicket.
‘Our fast bowlers thrive on bowling on wickets like this and it’s when they get very competitive. If we can get the ball to reverse it will be brilliant for us.’
Elgar said it took a lot of hard work from the team to get to this stage.
‘We were in quite a lot of trouble yesterday at 3-2 when myself and AB [de Villiers] got together. We knew we somehow had to find a way, grind it out and take it five overs at a time. We were very thankful that we got a good [286-run] lead.’
Photo: James Oatway/Reuters