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October 16, 2019

We’ve been put under immense pressure: Rabada


October 16, 2019

RANCHI, India: South Africa’s attack has seldom felt as much strain as they do on their current tour of India, despite the focus of their failures falling squarely on the batting.

The top-order’s inability to bed in, the extra burden placed on the middle order and the lower-order rescue acts have all been analysed in the aftermath of the defeats at Visakhapatnam and Pune. So some attention ahead of the final Test in Ranchi will turn to the bowlers, who acknowledge they have also found it difficult to find form.

“We’ve been put under immense pressure,” said pacer Kagiso Rabada. “I don’t know if we can be put more pressure than that.” India piled on totals in excess of 500 and 600 in the first innings of the two Tests, where South Africa were not only unable to control their scoring rate but also failed to bowl them out.

South Africa last took 20 wickets in a Test match nine months and five Tests ago, when they beat Pakistan at home. Since then, South Africa have failed to bowl both Sri Lanka and India out twice each.

At home against Sri Lanka, where South Africa generally rely on their quicks, they lacked the firepower to remove Sri Lanka’s tail. In India, their slower bowlers barely threatened and their fast men have also appeared ineffective, even when conditions have offered some assistance such as on the first morning in Pune.

Rabada, who is South Africa’s leading seamer, only has four wickets from two matches, half that of Mohammed Shami and two fewer than Umesh Yadav. He believes the difference between the two packs has been the home team’s ability to generate some reverse-swing, while South Africa have not found any.

“They got the ball to reverse and they bowled well as a collective,” Rabada said. “Their whole attack put pressure on us in every single aspect. Their spinners bowled well and when the ball was reversing their seamers could exploit that. We didn’t really get the ball to reverse and that’s a major weapon of ours.”

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