Faf du Plessis says the Proteas bowlers must improve on their ruthlessness when bowling at Australia’s tail.
Done and dusted! Four overs into day five and the Proteas were out for 298 in their second innings. Their resistance ended when Josh Hazlewood trapped Quinton de Kock lbw on 83.
Australia sealed the win by 118 runs and took a 1-0 lead into the second Test in Port Elizabeth, starting on Friday.
The Proteas’ senior batsmen were pathetic throughout the Test. Including AB de Villiers’ 71 on day two, Dean Elgar, Du Plessis and Hashim Amla only contributed 149 runs in two innings between them.
There seems to be a mental block in the Proteas’ senior-batting camp, but Du Plessis still highlighted learning curves the bowlers should take heading in the second Test.
‘The bowlers were really good in this Test match. Both teams were 150 or 160 for five in all four innings. The learning we can take from that is that we must be more ruthless with their tail.
‘The way they [Australia] did it, once they got through the first seven or eight batters, it was easy to get through the tail.’
All Du Plessis said about the batting was: ‘We also need to take more responsibility with the bat. Once we have an opportunity we must get some runs.’
De Villiers’ unbeaten 71 in the first innings and Aiden Markram’s 143, combined with De Kock’s 83, covered up the undeniable issues regarding the Proteas’ batting.
Du Plessis refrained from providing an in-depth analysis of the Proteas batting woes and instead drew positives from the defeat.
‘I’m very proud of the character shown. Most teams that you play in a Test match, when you get into a position of strength like that, the team rocks up on day four and bullies you the whole day,’ he said.
‘Great to see the fight from our bowlers yesterday, bowling Australia out for 227. Then, not a great start with the bat, but then once again great character from our young guys, to start off their series very well.’
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