Keshav Maharaj says the Proteas did not enforce the follow-on because their fast bowlers needed a rest.
The hosts, who posted 488 in their first innings, bowled Australia out for 221 after lunch but opted not to let the visitors bat again.
‘It’s been a really long season for the boys and we wanted to give our fast bowlers a rest,’ explained Maharaj. ‘With the way that conditions are right now, as we saw against India, it’s a lot harder to bat in the second innings. So hopefully with the pitch deteriorating it gives us a better chance to win a Test match.’
Maharaj said Morne Morkel leaving the field to get treatment for a side strain had influenced the Proteas’ decision to bat again.
‘I suppose you could boil it down to that as well, he has a big impact in our bowling unit, but I think he will be ready to bowl from tomorrow onwards.’
CSA confirmed that Morkel will receive treatment overnight.
Australia captain Tim Paine said his side didn’t believe the game would be over inside three days, despite them being 110-6 overnight.
‘We certainly didn’t [think the Test would end in a hurry],’ said Paine. ‘We were very disappointed with yesterday, just purely on effort and the mode of dismissals.
‘We spoke about that last night and also about the opportunity of a second innings and another day. We stuck out the day very well and we have to let today go and come back tomorrow and keep on improving.’
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