India face a daunting task to save the second Test by batting out the final day but fielding coach Trevor Penney was upbeat about eking out a draw,saying his batsmen know very well what is required of them.
India have eight wickets in hand and a full day to bat against a fiery South African pace battery.
“The mood in the dressing room is just normal. Our batsmen know what their roles are and who the South African bowlers are. They have studied them and played against them. So we need to dig deep and fight the day out,” Penney said.
“We have played good cricket over the last couple of weeks and the team is very upbeat about the possibility of trying to bat out tomorrow,” he added.
India lost one more wicket than they would have wanted when Shikhar Dhawan was out caught by Faff du Plessis,with the fielder pulling off a stunning catch at short mid-wicket.
“At this particular stage,he wasn’t very happy because the light was poor and they could have come off at any stage. I think he was pretty disappointed,” said the coach,describing Dhawan’s mood.
On the reason why India delayed the second new balls,bowling 146 overs with the first one,playing for time in this rain-curtailed match,Penny said it was done because the bowlers were realising reverse swing.
“It is a bit more variable with the old ball. We just wanted to test with reverse swing as well,that was the main reason. It didnt really allow the new batsmen to settle down,as we were relying on reverse swing and thought that was the best strategy,” Penney said.
South Africa spinner Robin Peterson is optimistic that his side could force a result on the final day. “We have lost a lot of time in this game but definitely there’s a result in it for us. At Kingsmead,usually ten wickets fall on the fifth day. So we are hoping to be on the right side of things. The morning session is crucial,so we need early wickets to push for the win. Hopefully the bowlers
can come out firing tomorrow,” Peterson said. “The ball will be older tomorrow and it becomes more variable then. The soft ball is tougher to score off. But it is also easier and comfortable to bat against. But reverse swing is there and spin comes in a little bit as well with the old ball. So we are hoping these two variables will play a massive role on this pitch for us,” Peterson added.