SuperSport pundits Shaun Pollock and Ashwell Prince analysed day two of the third Test between South and England.
England finished day two on 238-5 after bad light stopped play.
On South Africa’s bowling
Pollock: ‘We had them on 22-2. I was impressed with the intensity and the line and lengths they started off with. We really had them against the ropes at 91-4 and I thought that was the moment to really try and push through and win the Test match and I must admit I was disappointed with what happened once Stokes came to the crease. There was a bit of a hangover from the Cape Town innings where he had put them under so much pressure and I think they felt like they had to try something against him.
‘For me the surface had more than enough help for them. They just had to hit line and length consistently for the first 20-25 deliveries; I think he was bound to give them an opportunity to take his wicket. They didn’t and him getting off to a flyer just inspired Root, who went on his merry way.’
On why South Africa didn’t bowl better
Pollock: ‘I think they want to. Personally at the start of the Test I was heading towards Kyle Abbott when the selection came because he is one kind of guy who can bowl exactly the way Rabada did with the new ball. Viljoen is not really the kind of guy who’s going to do that; he’s there to blast people out. It is the nature of the bowling attack and they are inexperienced, but I thought we might have learned a little bit of a lesson from what we saw in Cape Town and might have been able to adapt. South Africa will be disappointed.’
On Ben Stokes’s innings
Prince: ‘You just felt when Stokes came in it was as if they anticipated him to come and play the same way [he did in Cape Town]. The fields spread out more and became more defensive. They went attacking with short stuff and it’s as if they wanted him to play shots knowing that it’s not easy to control. But on this surface, if he is going to be positive and playing shots you rather ask him to come and play something off the front foot because on this type of surface you probably prefer to play on the back foot.’