For the second time in as many days, no play was possible due to the elements on the third day of the second Test between South Africa and India in Bengaluru on Monday.
Perhaps the abandonment of play due to persistent rain came as something of a blessing for the Proteas given the manner in which they started the match after being bundled out for 214 and then failing to have a meaningful impact with the ball, allowing India to 80/0 by stumps on the opening day.
So far 180 overs have been lost and rain is forecast for the last two days of play which means that it is likely that this match is headed towards a draw.
“They’ll sit on it. They don’t need to make the play. They’ll probably pick an extra batter in the next match as well,” former Proteas Test tweaker Pat Symcox said yesterday of the current situation and how advantageous it is for the hosts.
“Once you’re 1-0 up the other team needs to make the play. If South Africa collapse again then we’re in for it. Being one up with two to play, every Test match is now a final because if you lose you’re out of the series. If this is a draw and they’re one up with two to play. They’re in a comfortable position and they won’t worry about taking any chances,” he said before offering his thoughts on South Africa’s efforts with bat in hand during the series.
“I just think we’ve batted really poorly. We haven’t worked out how to get off strike and tend to get stuck at one end which is sad because we’ve never learnt from past tours. We’ve got a lot of guys who have gone their for the first time and one of the things you learn after a period is to get off strike,” Symcox said of the side’s ability to handle the spin barrage thrown at them by their hosts.
“I haven’t seen guys with too many options apart from AB,” the man who took 37 Test wickets said of AB de Villiers’ contribution of 85 in the first innings.
“What happens then is you get stuck on one end and that allows the opposition to build pressure. As a spinner you want to constantly bowl at someone. When you’re changing from batter to batter every second or third ball it’s quite hard to line somebody up.
“The great players of spin all have a shot that gets them to the other side and keeps rotating the strike,” Symcox said.
“It’s something you don’t need to develop in South Africa because the ball doesn’t turn much. It’s clear that that strategy in terms of batting against spin has been overlooked. Badly.”