It was extremely disappointing to go through the Test match in Ahmedabad because after the first few hours, we were always on the back foot and chasing South Africa. Frankly, when we got shot out in 20 overs, it happened so quickly that we didn’t even realize what was happening, while it was happening. And before we could take it all in, we’d lost all the top order.
There was certainly something in it for the faster bowlers right through the game and a bit more early on, but at the same time, given the kind of batsmen we have, we should really have handled it. But this was one of those innings where things just went wrong collectively: The outside edges would go straight to the fielders and the inside edges onto the stumps. Still, we were in with a chance to get back into the game, when we had four batsmen down for 110 but the partnership between de Villiers and Kallis really took the game away from us.
Like I said, once you’re behind a team, it’s really very difficult to get back into the game. The only chance is if you get the opposition out for 200-250 and that did not happen here.
Well, it’s happened and while it was a loss that hurt all of us badly, now, it’s time for us to look ahead and recoup. We’ve had a couple of days off we’ve been talking about what to do next to try and ensure we put things in perspective and look at the task ahead, winning the Test and squaring the series.
The only snag in our plans are the injury worries, we have a couple we have to work around --- unfortunately, my own injury is the major concern really --- and that is giving us some stress but hopefully, everything will be sorted out by Wednesday.
Actually, no one is unfit or anything, this has all got a lot to do with the amount of cricket we’ve been playing, not actual fitness woes. There’s not been too much rest in between and under the circumstances, this is bound to keep happening. It’s something we have to deal with.
The wicket here has always been slow, with a low bounce and from what I’ve been given to understand, nothing much has changed at the Green Park either in terms of the ground or the conditions. A few local boys who have played most of their cricket here, Kaifi, Piyush Chawla, RP… even if he’s not part of this squad… their inputs will be useful.
Let’s see how things pan out. We have a fantastic record at home, and do not want to mar it by losing a series, so how we go about playing this game will be hugely important. We all know the responsibility we carry and realize that the only way to do this is to get a really big score and have the bowlers come up with a special performance.
I’m pretty positive that we will be able to do that.