Andile Phehlukwayo says he wasn’t surprised by his selection as the Proteas’ fifth seamer for the third Test against India at the Wanderers.
The Wanderers curators promised a wicket with pace and bounce and that is what was presented. India opted to bat first and it seemed to be the incorrect decision as they were skittled for 187.
The key was the team selection. Both sides opted for five seamers, but the major surprise was the inclusion of Phehlukwayo, who was brought in to replace Keshav Maharaj.
When asked whether his selection was a surprise, the all-rounder answered: ‘No, not really, on a Wanderers wicket you must pick five seamers, to expoit the conditions.
‘They [India] also went the same route. It wasn’t a bad selection, it was clear that it was what both teams had planned.’
The 20-year-old backed up his selection by taking 2-25 in seven overs.
‘My job was to hit a length and try to hit the top of off-stump. I tried to restrict the runs and hit a lot of dot balls. If a batsman makes a mistake I can get a wicket there.’
Phehlukwayo dismissed Cheteshwar Pujara in that exact manner. He pitched the ball outside off, got a slight slant into the right-hander and Pujara got the nick.
Pujara was dismissed for 50 off 179 balls, after facing 53 dot balls on what he described as a difficult pitch to bat on.
‘I wanted to get off the mark and it was difficult to rotate the strike,’ said Pujara. ‘This is one of the toughest pitches to bat on. You need to take your time, you need to get used to the bounce and the lateral movement.
‘There is enough pace on the wicket. The amount of runs we have now is as good as 300 on any wicket. As you saw we got a wicket [in the final session] and I think it was a good day for us.’
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