SuperSport analysts Graeme Smith and Ian Botham take a closer look at the first day’s play of the third Test.
South Africa were 267-7 at stumps after gifting most of their wickets away to poor shot selection.
On England’s bowling
Botham: ‘It had to improve. Why is it that England bowl too short with the new ball? England put that right but they didn’t have much luck tonight. They will be reasonably pleased; they have seven wickets down, they lost the toss and if they can restrict South Africa to under 300 they will feel they are in the driving seat.’
On South Africa’s batting
Smith: ‘England looked a lot better to the right-handers than they did against the left-handers. They struggled to the left-handers with their line and length. South Africa’s batting unit will be disappointed. They fought hard and got a couple of good partnerships going, but a few soft dismissals let them down. I think the partnership at the end between Morris and Rabada certainly saved them a little bit because they were in trouble at 225-7. I think 300-320 is a good score on this wicket.’
On the wicket
Smith: ‘To me it was a typical Wanderers surface. It had value for shots, it had something for the bowlers, it was a great balance between bat and ball. I think it’s one of those surfaces when you get in you have the ability to take advantage of it. South Africa will be a little bit upset today, they had players who got starts; all you need to do is turn one of those into a 75 or a 80 and suddenly you are looking at 350 in this innings. They will be hoping tomorrow that this Morris/Rabada-partnership and the rest of the tail can contribute a little bit more and get them over that 300-run mark.’