South Africa as they contemplate their standing in the first Test against England at Lord’s, it is that they have been here before. They have regularly been guilty of starting series slowly and they have come back to win them; they have been under pressure from the opposition and found ways to reverse it; they have even faced the prospect of batting out nearly two days to save a Test at Lord’s, and done it.
“That’s the nature of South African cricket – we pride ourselves on being resilient,” Temba Bavuma said on Saturday (July 8). “Ideally we would like to be the ones throwing the first couple of punches, but that hasn’t happened. At the back of our minds we know that the possibility is always there and we’ll try and stay as optimistic as possible. I do believe that there will be an opportunity for us in the game, and it’s just a matter of making use of it.”
“I wasn’t expecting to see the wicket deteriorate so quickly,” admitted Bavuma, who is playing at Lord’s for the first time. “Day five will be quite interesting, and could be a handful for the batters. I think how you counter the spin will be quite important.”
“I think we can take a lot of confidence from our bowling in the second innings,” said Bavuma. “Our intensity and skill that we were able to bring out was very good. If we can come tomorrow and replicate the same then I think it could put an interesting spin on things.”