Bowling coach Vincent Barnes welcomed a marked improvement in the Proteas’ performance with the ball on day one of the second Test against India at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Pune.
Fast bowler Kagiso Rabada snared three wickets, as India moved to 273-3 at close of play on Thursday. The pitch, according to Barnes, yielded more pace and carry than during last week’s series opener in Visakhapatnam.
‘The window for the fast bowlers was longer here than it was in Visakhapatnam. I thought we bowled quite well this morning,’ he said.
‘There was grass on the pitch and the plan was to go and bowl in good areas.’
Rabada dismissed opener Rohit Sharma, centurion Mayank Agarwal and half-centurion Cheteshwar Pujara on Thursday. Fellow fast bowler Anrich Nortje, meanwhile, struggled on debut. Nortje replaced spinner Dane Piedt in the XI, while fast bowler Lungi Ngidi went overlooked.
‘It was fantastic to see, especially Kagiso’s spell after tea. He bowled very well in the first Test and now here. Hopefully we can get more of the best out of him,’ added Barnes.
‘In the first Test, we didn’t put enough pressure on India. We had one bowler, Kagiso, bowling well and nobody backing him up.’
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