India vs South Africa: We need to find a way to counter Hardik Pandya, says Kagiso Rabada

Hardik Pandya saved India from embarrassment after he scored brisk 93 runs and later took 2 wickets in the day.

By: PTI | Cape Town | Published: January 7, 2018 9:22 am
India are playing the 1st Test in Cape Town. Hardik Pandya celebrates his half century in Cape Town. (Source: BCCI)

South African pacer Kagiso Rabada has ascertained that his side are slightly ahead in the first Test as they now enjoy an overall lead of 142 runs with eight wickets in hand, going into the third day of the opening cricket Test. “We are slightly ahead and we are not going to give in. We need more hard work but we will take it at the end of the day. After the sort of momentum India got in the second session, we would take that lead,” said Rabada at the end of the day’s play.

“Obviously, we were hoping for a bigger lead but India are not going to roll over and we expected that. That is what they showed out there,” Rabada added.

“It is tough to say what fourth innings’ score we are looking for right now. We are looking at batting time, looking to bat normally and see what happens from there. We want to make it hard for them to score,” he added.

Steyn has been ruled of the remainder of the series with a bruised heel. This was his comeback Test but he lasted only 18.3 overs before an awkward landing on a foothole impeded his return.

“It’s never nice for Dale Steyn because he’s just come back from injury, so just feeling very sympathetic for him. It’s not a nice thing, but we have to find a way to win this Test match. Luckily this time, we went with four seamers. So there’s three seamers now that have to do the work,” said Rabada. Hardik Pandya scored 93 and took two wickets to bring India back into the game.

“Looking at a player like him, he likes to play his natural game by playing shots. Sometimes that can put you on the backfoot or sometimes that can pay off for the bowling side. So it’s a bit of a gamble, but if he chooses to play that way and it works for him then great. We need to find a way to counter him,” the fast bowler said. “It’s a wicket where you really have to graft. You can’t just come in and play shots everywhere. It’s almost like there’s a ball that will have your name on it. I think you need a little bit of luck.

“As you have seen Hardik Pandya got dropped, but he did play well. So I think it’s a wicket where you need a little bit of luck. You need to really grind,” he added.

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  1. Narendra M. Apte
    Jan 7, 2018 at 10:27 am
    1. Hardik Pandya has earned a huge applause. If Hardik Pandya could defy South African bowlers with authority, what happened to our top batsmen? 2. After Indian team had arrived in South Africa, this is what coach of our team said in context of the South Africa-India Test match series: “This will be a contest. I can sense our players want this (first) Test match to start as soon as possible”. I wonder whether the Indian team would be able to make it a real contest from what we have seen during first two days of play of first Test against South Africa. 3. My question when our team goes overseas to play is this: when would our batsmen learn to adapt to face pace attack on pitches of South Africa, Australia, England New Zealand? My view is that all these years we have always protected our batsmen by not making them face genuine fast bowlers. Therefore they fail to deliver. As regards our pace bowlers we never expose them to conditions which are similar to those in South Africa.
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