Kagiso Rabada is satisfied to have helped South Africa overcome a gritty batting display from Pakistan in the second Test and said that you expect such resilience and defiance from the opposition line-up while playing Test match cricket.
Trailing behind Proteas' huge first innings lead of 244 runs after a poor performance on Day 1 posting just 177 all out, Pakistan were expected to meekly surrender once again. But the likes of Shan Masood, Asad Shafiq and Babar Azam scored valiant half-centuries and ensured respectability for the Sarfaraz Ahmed led side in the form of a 40-run lead of their own.
The tourists amassed their best total of the series - 294 all out - in the third innings at Cape Town, leaving the hosts a target of just 41 runs on Day 4 to take a 2-0 unassailable lead in the three-match Test series.
"We had to show a lot of resilience, but that's Test cricket. We toiled. Today was a toiling day, but it wouldn't be Test cricket if it was too easy. What's important is that we showed resilience," Rabada was quoted saying, "Even though the run rate shot up and Asad Shafiq started playing shots and scoring quickly, that's where we needed to show the resilience."
"We needed to outlast them. Not breaking, and waiting for that breakthrough. Once it came, we were back in the game. It's very hard to get in on this wicket, and that's something Faf (du Plessis) kept reminding us about."
"Faf mentioned before we started this series that yes we want to win every single game, but at home, we want to be unbeaten. It's something that we want to take forward. Ultimately, our goal is to be the number one team in the world," he added.
Pakistan batsman Asad Shafiq, who himself played a brilliant knock of 88 in just 118 balls and took the game back to Faf du Plessis' men, intimated that the overall strategy was to balance attacking intent with patience and defence in tough conditions.
"Yes, that was my plan, I wanted to take on the short ball and play the pull shot because there was no square leg," Shafiq said, "If you want to score quickly you have to play the pull shot, so I had that in mind. I think the pitch was a bit easier today, the ball didn't hit too many cracks."
"The positive mindset helped me a lot to play my shots and the pitch was a bit easier today than the first and second day."
Shafiq also confessed that the surfaces have been tough to bat on from their perspective but insisted that things get easier once batsmen settle down at the crease.
"They have a great bowling attack that puts the ball into the right areas, so you have to be patient at the same time as you attack. It's not easy to bat against the South African bowling attack. They are world-class bowlers. I was trying to just play my shots if the ball is in the area," Shafiq added.
"You have to take a risk. Without taking risks, you cannot play your shots. Dale Steyn was bowling really well especially into his third spell, and the ball was swinging."
"You have to be attacking when you get the ball outside off stump. If you see your innings through past the first 20-25 balls, you can see the ball better and adjust according to the length of the ball better," he signed off.
(Inputs from AFP)