Dean Elgar says South Africa will have to stay positive when they resume their first innings on 28-2 on Friday in Mohali.
On a day in which 12 wickets fell for just 229 runs, it is clear that batting on this surface will be extremely difficult over the next four days. That is if the Test lasts that long.
South Africa lost the wickets of Stiaan van Zyl (5) and Faf du Plessis (0) towards the end of the final session after the bowlers did exceptionally well to restrict India to 201 all out.
At the time it seemed like a score well below par, but with three specialist spinners at their disposal India will be determined to bowl South Africa out for something similar.
‘You have to always be positive,’ Elgar said about their approach on day two. ‘At the end of the first day we had to obviously go into our shells a little bit and fight a bit. Generally it’s not always the way that we play our cricket, but this was obviously a very important period for day two, to lose as few wickets as possible so that we can set up day two.’
The left-hand opener played a big role with the ball, taking career-best figures of 4-22 to put India firmly on the back foot.
‘I’m a little bit surprised by the outcome, taking four wickets and bowling decently, which is quite nice,’ Elgar said of his performance.
‘I’ve always had that ability to bowl. I’m not just a batter, which people probably don’t know, maybe now they do. It was nice to contribute. This is obviously a wicket that is assisting the spinners quite a bit. It was nice to firstly bowl India out and put them on the back foot.’
Elgar and Hashim Amla will continue the innings on day two where the goal will be to bat for as long as possible.
‘It wasn’t easy [to bat on that surface]. We sort of expected it to play like that. But we didn’t think it was going to crumble as much as it did already. It was a hard graft and right up there with the hardest day of Test cricket I’ve had.
‘Batting those 20 overs was hard work. You can see the Indians are used to putting the opposition under pressure when their tails are up. We’ll have to work hard and sweat it out against them.’
However, Elgar wasn’t very complimentary of the wicket.
‘It’s like a day four wicket now. That’s how I see it. I don’t think it’s a very good cricket wicket. It’s just my personal opinion. I think it’s a result wicket which is expected when you come here. But kudos to India, they are obviously going to prepare wickets like this against us I’m sure and we knew coming here it was going to be very different from what we’re used to.’