• Hamza: Pressure from bowlers relentless

    Batsman Zubayr Hamza has lamented a ‘very disappointing’ performance, after the Proteas fell to within two wickets of defeat on day three of the third and final Test against India in Ranchi.

    Resuming on a shaky 9-2 overnight, the tourists’ first innings slipped to a mere 162 all out in response to India’s hefty 497-9 declared. The follow-on then capitulated to a precarious 132-8. South Africa, indeed, are still 203 runs shy of at least making India bat again.

    ‘It has been a tough day. Very disappointing for the team. To almost have been bowled out twice in about a day is pretty poor from our side. We have struggled to build partnerships, especially when there has been pressure on from their bowlers, which has been pretty relentless,’ said Hamza, who struck a Test-best 62 in the first innings but fell for a duck in the second.

    ‘From a personal point of view, I am disappointed to not go on to make use of the opportunity after getting to my first Test half-century. We have struggled with our defence – and they have bowled pretty attacking lines. We haven’t been good enough to keep those balls out.’

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    Indian seamers Umesh Yadav and Mohammed Shami effectively outshone spinners Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja, sharing 10 of the 18 wickets.

    ‘I don’t think we underprepared to face the seamers. All credit to them. We haven’t been good enough in our defensive work against them. With the new ball, they forced us to play at more balls,’ added Hamza.

    ‘They didn’t allow us to leave many balls. By asking to play at the majority of the balls, given the fact they have plenty of skill, we needed to be on top of our game to keep them out and we were not.’

    Photo: Gallo Images

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