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.