South African pacer Andile Phehlukwayo, on Wednesday, lauded his fellow bowlers who have done a great job in bowling friendly pitch, but warns the Proteas batsman to look to score at the Johannesburg wicket
On the opening Day of the final Test, South Africa did a good job to restrict India to 187, but the finished the day on 6 runs from 5 overs for the loss of one wicket, and Phehlukwayo feels that the batsmen must rise to the occasion in the first innings to get into good position at the New Wanderers Stadium.
As per PTI, Phehlukwayo, who finished with figures of 2-25, told reporters after the day’s play, “We did have a good day. Our efforts on the field were really good bar a few mistakes here and there. 180-odd is really good. The guys put the ball in the right areas and they were rewarded. It's a really good wicket (to bowl on). But you've got to be really positive and look to score. You have got to get into good positions otherwise there is a ball that has your number on that type of wicket.”
He further added “You have to be looking ahead of the game. Their total is a decent enough total but it's not really par. We bowled really well. If you just hang in there and try to get bowlers into 2nd and 3rd spells, you can cash in (as batsmen).”
Commenting on the gritty knock of Virat Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara, who have posted half-centuries at the bowling friendly pitch, Phehlukwayo said, “I looked at who was bowling at that time and Vernon (Philander) bowled eight overs for one run. As much as they were not going anyway, the bowlers did really well and maintained discipline really well.
"But the way Kohli and Pujara batted was really good. Kohli at the end was really positive, and Pujara was waiting for bad balls but he didn't really get many. You've got to find a way to try and score on that wicket, and they weren't going anywhere. If we had added two more wickets, we would have been really into the game.”
Phehlukwayo further admitted that the Johannesburg was a good pitch for bowlers, saying, “I was the fifth seamer. My job was to try and hit a length. If there's nibble on the wicket, try and expose that. Just try to hit the top of off stump, with a few bouncers and try getting the reward from that.”
Phehlukwayo signed off by saying, “Days four and five will get quite difficult to bat. There are obvious cracks and one ball deviates a lot (off length). It will go up and down. It's already getting quite difficult from the length. If we post a good first innings score, I think it will be a good game.”