India pacer Vernon Philander
India pacer Vernon Philander

Indian batsmen played our spinners really well, says Vernon Philander

ANI | Updated: Oct 05, 2019 18:39 IST

Visakhapatnam (Andhra Pradesh) [India], Oct 5 (ANI): After India set a target of 395 in the first Test, South Africa pacer Vernon Philander on Saturday lauded the Indian batting lineup, saying that the side tackled Proteas' spinners really well.
His remarks came after the close of play on day four of the first Test. South Africa ended the day at 11/1, still, 384 runs away from the target.
"I think it is about understanding your role. When we came here, both I and Rabada understood that we need to keep the asking run-rate in check. Unfortunately, India played our spinners really well, our main job was to keep it quiet. I knew I had to keep it tight today, but India played our spinners really well," Philander told reporters.
In pursuit of 395, South Africa lost its centurion from the first innings pretty early as Dean Elgar (2) was dismissed by Ravindra Jadeja.
"You have to trust your processes. My confidence is pretty high, I am looking forward to tomorrow. We had good first innings, so guys are in good spirit and I am looking forward to tomorrow. It is going to be a challenge but we would be up for it," Philander said.
"There is a bit of assistance for the spinners. It is a good wicket, hopefully, we can get off to a good start tomorrow and set up the game," he added.
Despite losing Elgar early in the innings, Philander was confident of the team showing a fightback and said it will be about getting in and showing grit on the field.
"I still think we are in with a shout tomorrow. We started really nicely well with the ball. They have got the runs on the board, we have to make sure to be on the top of our game tomorrow and hopefully get close," Philander said.
"Dean played a massive knock for us in the first innings. Hopefully, someone else will step up for us in the second innings. Guys are hungry to score the runs so hopefully we will have someone who rises to the occasion," he added.
Rohit Sharma played a knock of 127 runs in the second innings against South Africa and as a result, became the second Indian opener to score centuries in both innings of a Test match.
"It is always good to dismiss batsmen in the sub-continent. Rohit played really well, he is used to these sort of conditions, he paced his innings really well. Hats off to him. I think choosing three spinners for the match was the right decision, but like I said, they played our spinners really well," Philander said.
South Africa is going through a transition phase as their senior pros like Hashim Amla, Dale Steyn announced retirement from red-ball cricket a little while back.
Philander said that the addition of youngsters has given a chance to the team to deflect from a conservative style of play.
"I think it is a lot of excitement within the group. With youngsters, you have fresh energy within the camp. Couple of years back, we used to be a conservative team, but the youngsters are playing an exciting brand of cricket," Philander said.
South Africa will resume the final day of the Test at a score of 11/1 with Aiden Markram and Theunis de Bruyn still at the crease. (ANI)

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