There aren’t too many things that have gone right for the Proteas in the final portion of their lengthy sojourn to India.
A heavy defeat in the first Test, injuries and a washed out second Test, it’s hard to tell whether it was a blessing or not, mean that the world’s No 1 Test side have had a lot to think about as they reached the halfway point of the four match series.
It’s also hard to find any positives as they prepare to move on to Nagpur for the start of the third Test on Wednesday given that in the three sessions of play in Bengaluru it was the hosts who had the upper hand throughout.
“Test matches are not always won on the first day. There was a lot of time left for us to claw our way back into the game. You never know what could have happened,” Hashim Amla said at the conclusion.
A number of what-if scenarios come to mind.
What if the Proteas seam attack, sans the injured Dale Steyn, had extrapolated something out of the conditions if play and resumed? What if India became a bit lax at the crease and gave wickets away? What if South Africa had to bat again?
“We’ve had a lot of time to reflect but we don’t want to over-reflect,” Amla said following a frustrating couple of days that involved pitch inspections and finding ways to stay occupied during the delays.
But the lull in play has offered an opportunity to take stock of South Africa’s batting fortunes so far in the series.
“We’ve had three innings that haven’t gone to our plan and I am sure in the Nagpur Test, hopefully we come good. We have talked about it but you can’t over talk about something and complicate it more than it is.”
The uncomplicated approach is probably best when dealing with India’s spin arsenal.
“It’s pretty simple: you try and be as positive as possible and sometimes it was the lack of turn that outdid us. You don’t overdo it, you try and keep the game as simple as possible,” he added.