• ‘First innings cost us’

    South Africa’s first-innings score of 79 made it very difficult for them to win or draw the third Test in Nagpur.

    SuperSport pundits Ashwell Prince, Eric Simons and HD Ackerman analysed South Africa’s 124-run loss, which ended their nine-year unbeaten run in series away from home as India went 2-0 up with a game to play.

    On the result
    Ashwell Prince: Perhaps South Africa could have played better in the series. It did look like they tried on day three to find a way, even though everybody is saying the pitch was what it was. They still tried to find a way to play on it and that is what they have done over nine years of playing away from home. They found a way to win, or not lose a series. It’s just that, in the first innings, that application wasn’t quite there.
    Eric Simons: When you score 79 in your first innings you are always going to be battling. South Africa did well to dismiss India for 215, but when you give them those many runs as a lead it’s always an uphill struggle. The story of this series was the quality of the Indian spinners.
    HD Ackerman: I think South Africa will look back on this series and think there were opportunities for them to have reversed the result. India played the better cricket with both bat and ball in these conditions. They had the advantage, they won the toss in the first and third Test. That was a distinct advantage. I’m not saying we couldn’t have overturned it in the first Test match because we had a chance, but 79 in the first innings here was not enough; not on that wicket, which I still maintain has no place in the Test arena. The best team won in those conditions; India deserve to win the series.

    On the performance:
    Ashwell Prince: Not losing away from home for nine years has not been plain sailing. There were tough times and people stood up and the team have always been able to come up and find a way to combat whatever the situation was. On the last day today we sort of tried to dig in to that resilient character of ours as a team. We just didn’t manage to do that earlier in the series.

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