• Philander: Wickets were a lot worse last time

    All-rounder Vernon Philander is hopeful the Proteas batsmen can outlast the India bowlers on day five of the first Test at the Dr YS Rajasekhara Reddy ACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium in Visakhapatnam on Sunday.

    The tourists’ second innings moved to 11-1 at the close of play on day four, having lost opener Dean Elgar early. Elgar had struck a ton in the visitors’ first innings, which totalled 431 all out. India, meanwhile, amassed 502-7 declared and 323-4 declared.

    The hosts opened the bowlers with spinners Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja on Saturday, as the pitch proved increasingly conducive to turn, but not as much as experienced during the Proteas last visit to India in 2015.

    ‘The last time we came here, the wickets were a lot worse. But you can still bat on there. Their batters showed it. Guys have to get in. Hopefully two guys can get in and can get big centuries for us,’ said Philander.

    Philander effectively defended the composition of the visitors’ XI for this match, with specialist spinners Dane Piedt, Senuran Muthusamy and Keshav Maharaj selected and fast bowlers Anrich Nortje and Lungi Ngidi overlooked.

    ‘The seamers have only taken four wickets for both teams. You can say it this way or that way, but I think three spinners was the right call to have made. They have played our spinners really well and credit to them,’ he added.

    Photo: Gallo Images

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